December 27, 2013
The deadline to use your 2013 uniform points is approaching. Keep in mind uniform points do not roll over to the next year. Any points you have not used by the end of the year will expire. The deadline to place a phone order with VF Solutions is 1500 Central Time on Tuesday, December 31. The deadline to place an order on the website is 2300 Central Time on Tuesday, December 31. However, you are encouraged not to wait until the last minute to place your order.
Cabin Crew IDs
As a reminder to crew members – the current Crew ID badges will expire December 31, 2013, at midnight. Flight Attendants who have not obtained their new Crew ID badge with the expiration of December 31, 2015, and received the SPC code 10 from Flt Svc, will be considered QI and removed from flying status. Please make arrangements to obtain your new badge by 12/31/13.
Health Spending Account – Transition from PayFlex to WageWorks
Up until 12/15/13 the HealthCare FSAs and other Health spending accounts were administered by PayFlex
- In 2014 the new administrator for these accounts will be Wage Works
- The last date for submitting claims to PayFlex was 12/15/13
- From 12/16/13 – 1/6/14 there will be an administrative transition from PayFlex to WageWorks during which no claims will be accepted
- All health account claims should be submitted to Wage Works beginning 1/7/14
- The new WageWorks debit cards linked to the Health Spending Accounts for 2014 were mailed out last week
- The card must be activated prior to using it for eligible health care expenses. Once the card has been activated any previous method of reimbursement, such as auto rollover, will be disabled
- Remember that if you do not use all of your 2013 FSA money by 12/31/13, there is still an opportunity to access these funds for expenses incurred by 3/15/14
- HSA, HRA, and HIA monies will roll over from year to year as long as you do not change to a different health plan
Bid Line Guarantee
APFA has received several calls concerning pay protection and how it applies to Flight Attendants who subsequently trade down in time or drop a trip.
When a Flight Attendant loses time due to a misconnect, illegality, or cancellation (MIC) but protects GUARANTEE, her/his PPROJ could reflect lower hours than the GUARANTEE. The Flight Attendant will be paid the guaranteed hours should s/he fly less than the original value of the trip.
However, should a Flight Attendant then trade down in time or drop a trip, the guaranteed hours will be reduced to the PPROJ amount, losing not only the time from the drop or the trade down in time, but also the protected hours.
1. Flight Attendant’s bid line guarantee is at 80 hours and the Flight Attendant has not traded or dropped any trips from her/his schedule.
2. During the month a MIC for a sequence worth 10 hours occurs.
3. Flight Attendant follows the steps for pay protection but does no flying.
4. The PPROJ will now be 70 hours while the Guarantee remains at 80 hours.
5. The FA then trades a sequence for another trip that is worth 10 minutes less.
6. The FA would lose not only the 10 minutes from the trade but the 10 hours of pay protection, thereby reducing her/his guarantee to 69:50 to match her/his PPROJ of 69.50
This can result in a great deal of lost paid time if a FA has multiple MICs during the month and fails to protect a trip when the PPROJ is much lower than the guarantee.
The last trip in last five days (L5D) is the only trip treated differently. If the Flight Attendant does not follow protection rules, the GUARANTEE is reduced incrementally for hours lost but not down to PPROJ.
Based on the example above:
1. 70 hour PPROJ with an 80 hour guarantee intact.
2. L5D trip worth 5 hours is lost.
3. Flight Attendant does not make her/himself available to protect the lost trip.
4. Guarantee is only reduced by the 5 hours of the trip down to 75 hours not to her/his PPROJ
Along with the many other problems with the January bid run, Flight Attendants who bid direct conflicts saw those conflicts removed immediately after bids were final instead of waiting until the contractual 72 hours prior to the end of the month to make those adjustments. Crew Schedule worked Monday evening to restore all of the approximately 900 erroneously-removed sequences and also restored the applicable guarantees. If the Flight Attendant does not take advantage of any of the ways to relieve schedule conflicts (see page 7 of the new On-Duty Contract Guide her/himself, these trips WILL BE removed 72 hours prior to the end of the month.
Willingness-to-Serve BOS-I Base Vice Chairperson
The APFA National Ballot Committee posted the Willingness-to-Serve for Vice Chairperson at BOS-I on the APFA website. All interested candidates should to download a copy of the WTS and return to the PO Box at the bottom of the form by 1000 Central Time on January 8, 2013.
Capwiz ACTION ALERT – Cell Phones in the Cabin
Cell phone update. Capwiz remains open and APFA Government Affairs continues to encourage Flight Attendants to contact their member of Congress in support of Rep.Bill Shuster’s bill HR 3676 that would prohibit in-flight cell phone voice communications on commercial aviation flights.
Following the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hearing, Chairman Wheeler defended their review and subsequent 3-2 vote, saying the FCC’s role was simply to determine whether the current technology would allow the use of cell phones on board on planes, adding that he (personally) had no desire to be listening to the calls more than any one else.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel who voted in favor, back stepped in saying she would oppose any final action, as a “regular resident of the last row and middle seat,” Rosenworcel said she understands the frustrations of air travel. “This Commission does not need to add to that burden. I, for one, will not.”
Look for Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to have the last word. Sec. Foxx said the DOT will consider stepping in to prohibit in-flight calls. Public outrage has been widespread and Sec. Foxx has indicated that the DOT could issue simply issue a federal ban on in-flight cellphone calls stays in place. Stay tuned!
The Hotel Department wants to remind you that you can send in your reports via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, from the APFA Hotel Page by filling in the pre-printed form, from the APFA IPHONE app, or by phone to extension # 8306. Always include the city, hotel name, date, room number and the name of anyone you speak to in regard to your complaint or concern. On behalf of the APFA Hotel Committee Representatives, Joel Medford-IDF, Jessica Washington-JFK, Sue Medrow-IDF, Nancy Hummel-Rifkin-IMA, Rick Lange-IDF and myself, Kelly Gambello-IMA, we’d like to wish all of you a healthy and safe Happy New Year!!
VOTE on the Livery Design
There is still time to chime in on how you want AA’s new tail to look. Employees have two choices: keep the new “flag” design, or, revert back to the traditional “AA” design. Make your voice heard on JetNet by noon central time on January 2, 2014.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“On Our Way”
APFA National Communications Coordinator