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Scheduling Info, Single Op. Certificate, Random Drug and Alcohol Testing, FML: When to Appeal, 401(k) Beneficiary
July 4, 2014
The APFA Leadership wishes each and every one of our coworkers a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend. APFA Headquarters will be closed Friday so that our unionized staff may celebrate the holiday. We will be open Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. Central Time.
Adjacent Base, OEs, Option, CC and MU Flying Review, Combined Divisions and Preferential Bidding (PBS) – firstname.lastname@example.org
What is an OR? An OR is an optional exchange trip that originates in a reserve month, uses up to four of the duty free periods a reserve may relinquish for supplemental flying, and is paid on top of applicable guarantee. Unlike ORs, carryover sequences into a Reserve month either fly into Reserve days or result in DFPs being adjusted after the conclusion of the trip.
Q. Who is eligible for an Adjacent Base trip?
A. A regularly scheduled Flight Attendant who submits a HISEND request to the correct scheduler by 1330 home base time the day prior. The awarded trip cannot conflict with the balance of the Flight Attendant’s flying and may require waiving the 30/7 in order to be legal for the trip sequence. You may review the information sheet by clicking here.
APFA headquarters has fielded some questions regarding how make up (MU), Option (II) and Critical Coverage (CC) flying is assigned. CC is only offered on a sequence after it has been offered through MU and Option. As a result, it’s quite possible that Crew Schedule could offer MU or Option and have separate Critical Coverage sequences to offer at the same time. An FA can decide to wait for a sequence that is offered in MU or Option, to later be offered as CC in the event of Critical Coverage flying, but there is no guarantee that trip will survive MU and Option proffering.
The Domestic and International divisions are on track to be combined in 2Q 2015. For scheduling and bidding purposes all Flight Attendants will be considered Domestic and will bid from either division. Open time will reflect all open sequences at that base whether the sequence is International or Domestic. It is anticipated that all Flight Attendants will be overwater qualified and discussions continue between APFA and AA on how best to accomplish training for the approximately 3,200 Flight Attendants not subject to Reserve.
Preferential Bidding at US Airways is currently undergoing “mock” bidding. Some of the benefits they are seeing during their trial is the ability to keep a standing bid on file so Flight Attendants will no longer worry about forgetting to bid, the ability for transparency in the bidding process to see why the Flight Attendant didn’t hold her/his requested trips, and what seniority did hold those trips by using the “view reason report,” as well as ranking items from layover cities, days off, positions, etc…
SOC and Tablets – email@example.com
Single Operating Certificate (SOC)
In Order for the New American Airlines to receive approval for SOC from the FAA, the FAA Certificate Managing Office (CMO) assigned to LAA and the CMO assigned to LUS must conduct various audits on compliance within all departments of the airline.
As a part of the AA CMO merger audit, FAA Cabin Safety Inspectors (CSI) will be conducting audits on AA Flight Attendant compliance regarding in-flight manuals (including Flight Attendant knowledge of any new procedures as a result of the merger), carry-on baggage (COB) policy and minimum crew requirements. Flight Attendants should be prepared to encounter an FAA CSI conducting field audits during the SOC approval process.
Reports of violations involving in-flight manual compliance, COB policy compliance and/or minimum crew compliance could result in delaying the FAA approval for the New American to achieve SOC status.
APFA members will benefit when AA achieves SOC, so all members are reminded to ensure their in-flight manuals are up to date with the latest bulletins and revisions, review the company COB policy and adhere to the aircraft minimum crew requirements during the boarding and deplaning phase of every flight. As a reminder, having pages and/or bulletins in the manual on or after the required date of removal is a manual violation. The FAA is issuing Letters of Warning (LOW) to Flight Attendants for manual violations.
Flight Attendants can reference in-flight manual section Sign-In/Pre-Flight pages 1.3-1.5 for minimum crew requirements and section Boarding pages 2.6-2.10 for carry-on baggage policy and procedures. Current manual revision, bulletin and list of effective pages information can be found on the flight service web site.
Until the FAA has officially approved the company issued Samsung Tablet as our in-flight eManual, the FAA does not regulate the tablet. Flight Attendants cannot be assessed any corrective action by the FAA (Letters of Warning or personal fines) for any issues related to the Samsung tablets.
Random Drug and Alcohol Testing – firstname.lastname@example.org
Random drug and alcohol testing is often a misunderstood part of the job as a Flight Attendant. For instance, many Flight Attendants mistakenly think that if you don’t use illegal drugs, you won’t get a positive drug test. This is not necessarily correct.
Every year, Flight Attendants test positive for a prescription medication after using a medication prescribed for a friend or relative. The DOT regulations state that a crew member who is using a prescription medication without a valid prescription for that medication will be deemed in violation of the regulation and will be given a confirmed positive drug test. This is a career altering event that is filled with emotional distress and financial consequences.
For answers to your questions about the random drug and alcohol testing program, make a confidential call to your APFA EAP department at 817-540-0108 ext. 8701 or email us at email@example.com.
AA/US Reciprocal Jumpseat (Repeat) – firstname.lastname@example.org
As you know, the interim reciprocal jumpseat agreement for travel on AA/US metal went into effect a few weeks ago. For an overview of the agreement, click here. For frequently asked questions relating to the agreement, click here.
FMLA Denial: When to Appeal/ When to File a Grievance – email@example.com
The Company’s FMLA application and approval process continues to be problematic for quite a few of our members and there seems to be confusion regarding when to file a grievance vs. when to file an appeal. It is important to know your options. In short – you should contact your base representative to file an appeal if you are administratively and medically eligible for FML, but your application was denied.
Please feel free to contact the APFA Health Department with any questions about Family Leave.
Hotel Page Links – firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the link to review Temporary Hotel Relocations, and as always, you can find layover hotel amenities by clicking here. A complete list of AA’s layover hotels can be found here.
My Will or My 401k Beneficiary Choice? – email@example.com
You selected a beneficiary for your 401(k) when you first opened your SuperSaver account. If you later create a Will that does something different, for example “leaves all my money to wife #2,” it is important to determine which of the two documents controls the distribution of money in your 401(k).
The US Supreme Court was finally asked to decide the question. They ruled that the 401(k) Beneficiary Designation controlled where the 401(k) money went, even if it was obvious that it was not where the employee would have wanted that money to go (for example to ex-spouse after a bitter divorce).
So the moral of the story is, if you have changed your mind since you last updated your 401(k) Beneficiary Designation, you MUST change that 401(k) Beneficiary Designation to have that money go to someone else.
The good news is that it is a simple process to update by visiting JetNet > Benefits.
Department of Homeland (DHS) Security Testing Biometrics – firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2004, Congress mandated that biometric data for non-citizens be gathered for those individuals both entering and leaving the U.S. This week, we learned that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has initiated a program to develop methods to collect biometric data for non-U.S. citizens. “Scenario testing” has started and Congress was briefed last week.
DHS is considering adding facial recognition and iris scanning biometrics to the entry areas and collecting fingerprints, facial, and iris biometric information from passengers exiting the U.S. Currently, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) collects only fingerprints. DHS has not yet found a cost-effective method to collect other biometric data. DHS plans to estimate the full cost for government and airports for implementing exit biometrics as well as adding new biometrics to entry points such as boarding gates and departure areas that could mitigate staffing costs.
During the development and testing phases, information gathered is being analyzed by a wide range of experts including psychologists, economists, and legal experts. Airlines have expressed concerns regarding the challenges of processing passengers in a timely manner and the potential for flight delays. DHS has committed to consulting airlines and airports as concepts are tested.
Wishing all of our members a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend. APFA will be closed on Friday to allow our unionized staff the opportunity to celebrate the holiday with their families. APFA Headquarters will be open for business Monday at 9:00 a.m. Central.
Vacation Trade Bulletin Board at APFA.org
If you would like to trade your 2014-2015 vacation, APFA offers an electronic bulletin board at www.apfa.org to post your trade requests. Click here and follow instructions to post your requested VC trades.
APFA Website Update
If you’re an APFA member / pre-merger AA Flight Attendant, and don’t yet have access to APFA’s website, go to www.www.apfa.org and click on “Create An Account” under the Log In Form from the main page. Once you fill out the form, a verification email will be sent to you. Click on the specified link within the email, and you will gain immediate access to the members-only portion of APFA.org. Get to know it!
Do you have a report concerning staffing-related issue and would like to submit data to APFA? Please email all details to email@example.com. This email is a no-response email. It is strictly used to collect data. If you have a scheduling or staffing question or issue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share Your Photos
We continue to receive some great pictures from our members both on and off the plane. Please remember that in order for the photos to be useable, they must include the names and employee numbers of all Flight Attendants, as well as contact information (if available). Otherwise, the photos are unusable.
Photos may be incorporated in future APFA web and print projects, including upcoming issues of Skyword, press releases, our APFA New Hire guide and a welcome booklet for our future members from pre-merger US Airways. Please email your hi-res photos to: email@example.com.
If you are emailing several high-resolution photos, please limit your photos to 3 per email as our server will block files over a certain size.
If you prefer to mail a hard copy, send to:
1004 W. Euless Blvd.
Euless, TX, 76040
- Be the sole property of the sender. By sending in photos, you are giving APFA permission to use them in APFA communications.
- Contain the name(s), employee number(s) (if you can obtain your coworker’s employee number easily), email and phone number of each person in the photo in order to obtain permission to publish.
- Be tasteful in content.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“On Our Way”
APFA National Communications Coordinator
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