APFA Weekly Hotline – March 15, 2013
KNIVES OUT OF THE CABIN
As the TSA previously announced, their idea of allowing knives with blades up to 2.36″ along with golf clubs and hockey sticks in the aircraft cabin will be implemented April 25. This decision was made without any prior notification to APFA’s leaders and is of serious concern to every single Flight Attendant.
The 9/11 terrorists brought down 4 planes with small knives and box cutters. There is not a huge conglomerate of individuals clamoring to bring these items on board. Even if there were, what would be the point? These items can be safely checked and have been for the past 12 years. Knives are a weapon and a clear no-starter when considering items to allow back in the cabin.
APFA will have a CapWiz petition up shortly for FAs to contact your legislators. April 25 isn’t far off so we need all hands on deck now. Please visit www.noknivesonplanes.com – forward the link to your friends and family and ask them to do the same. We need 100,000 signatures to effect an official response from the White House. The petition requires each signer to register, but this creates more validity for the petition.
APFA reps had the privilege of meeting with AA FA Training Class 13-01 on Thursday at the Learning Center. These new FAs will graduate on March 28 and begin flying on April 3, 2013. The majority of the FAs will be based at DFW, MIA and LGA; and the Korean speakers have been assigned IDF. Be sure to extend them a warm welcome as we all remember when we first started flying. It’s exciting but it can also be overwhelming. Welcome Class 13-01!
APFA has expressed our concern and vehement opposition to the company regarding the staffing changes on the 737. APFA is distressed with the lack of safety identification and the increased level of service demands on some markets. SAFETY COMES FIRST. Your safety obligations are foremost and take precedence over any service consideration.
We hear your frustration, but need your written reports and examples to back it up. Be sure to include your sequence number and, if possible, the total passengers load for each leg, including if any out of the ordinary circumstances took place on your flight. Using your information we will establish the major problem flights and address with the company. Additionally we will begin a survey process and employee time studies on the effected flights. Please send all staffing concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are International Purser and are considering resigning Purser, please inform your FSM in advance as to your concerns and, as always, copy in APFA.
ALCOHOL TESTING – LHR
APFA received notification on March 14, 2013, that LHR Authorities were increasing their security screening by including random alcohol screening for all outbound International Crew Members. The Joint Security Committee (JSC), which consists of members from AA Corp Security, Flight Service, Flight, APFA Safety & Security and APA Security, is working with our contacts in LHR on the protocol for such random screening. The JSC will be conducting an official site visit in LHR to meet with the British Airport Authority (BAA) and local authorities.
As it stands, crew members flying into and out of LHR should be prepared to be selected for random alcohol screening. This screening could consist of a request by a LHR police officer to “smell your breath” or be subjected to a breathalyzer test. Also, officers are questioning crew members about their alcohol consumption during the layover. Crew members must comply with any additional security screening requested by the BAA as well as any requested random alcohol screening by the local LHR police. Flight Attendants should remain calm, professional and avoid any confrontation with the BAA Security Screeners and LHR Police Officers.
For more info, contact the APFA Safety & Security Department – 817-540-0108, ext. #8302 or email email@example.com.
Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a ruling providing guidance on the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act which amended the Family Medical Leave Act. APFA participated in the rule-making process. The DOL’s ruling was effective on March 8, 2013. The only change FAs will see as a result of this ruling is that administrative eligibility has been amended to include on-duty hours. Therefore, FAs will be eligible for FMLA if they have 504 on-duty hours in the prior rolling 12-month period. AA’s current procedures satisfy the new ruling. The company has stated they are reviewing the other portions of the ruling and will meet with APFA prior to making any additional changes to FMLA for Flight Attendants.
Primary vacation awards were posted today and secondary VC bidding is now open. If you did not submit a bid or submitted insufficient bids, and accrued 7 or more VC days, you can enter your selected VC in the second round of VC bidding. Those who fall in this category should be careful NOT TO DELETE your ballot when bidding a primary VC in the secondary round or you will unset your ability to bid a selected vacation. Instead, use the insert/delete option. If you do delete your ballot, crew planning will need to reset your ballot for you. This only applies to those who did not bid/insufficient bids in the primary round with 7 or more VC days accrued. Secondary VC bidding closes at 0800 Central DST on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Since the merger was announced on February 13, AMR’s stock price has tripled – going from $1.30 to $3.80 as of today. As we stated in an earlier Hotline, the stock options that were distributed in 2003 as part of the Restructuring Participation Agreement have a strike price of $5.00/share and will expire on April 17, 2013. When the options were first issued the Company explained that the stock price “means that if the price of AMR stock goes above $5.00, you can elect to “cash in” your vested options and receive the difference between the current price of AMR stock and the $5.00 strike price, less any taxes, fees and commissions. Obviously, the higher the stock price goes, the more valuable the options become.” (All options issued to Flight Attendants are now fully vested.)
With the stock price still below $5 the options have no value. However, considering the rapid rise in the share price it is now at least possible that the stock could reach and even exceed the $5.00 threshold. We would advise Flight Attendants, who still have these options, to monitor AMR’s stock price daily. Should the price go above $5.00 each Flight Attendant will have to decide when to exercise his or her options, but remember they must be exercised before April 17.
If you purchased AA stock on your own, you, of course, continue to have the ability to hold or sell the stock as you see fit.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“On Our Way”
APFA National Communications Coordinator