Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

10.03.14 – (LAA/LUS) 40-Hour Minimum Scheduling Q&As

 
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APFA Special T/A Hotline – 40-Hour Scheduling Minimum Q&As

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Q: Is the 40-hour monthly minimum a threshold to maintain employment?

A: No, we do not have a threshold for employment with the T/A. The current AA threshold for accruing sick and vacation and maintaining company-subsidized medical will no longer exist.
 
Q: I’m a low-time flyer and I don’t care about company-subsidized medical benefits. At LAA, today we have to fly 420 hours a year in order to maintain those benefits. However, I don’t ever meet that threshold because I don’t need health insurance. I just don’t want to fly 40 hours a month. How will this work for me?

A: You have plenty of options to fly less or not at all in a given month.
 
You can split out your vacation bids in up to 9 different places throughout the year. (Read the Q&A below regarding vacation splits.)
 
You can request one of the many leaves of absence available to flight attendants:

  • Voluntary (Bid) Leave of AbsencePersonal Leaves and Educational Leaves.
    • You will accrue full vacation, sick, and subsidized company health benefits.
  • If you are sick, you have sick leave available (paid or unpaid)
  • Family Medical Leave

Q: I’m a low-time flyer. I like to fly a couple of zero hour months during the year. With this new provision of 40 hours, how will I be able to do that?

A: You can split out your vacation bids up to 9 different places throughout the year; or,
 
You can request one of the many leaves of absence available to flight attendants:

  • Voluntary (Bid) Leave of AbsencePersonal Leaves and Educational Leaves.
    • You will accrue full vacation, sick, and subsidized company health benefits.
  • If you are sick, you have sick leave (paid or unpaid)
  • Family Medical Leave

Q: I’m a high time flyer and I’m concerned I won’t be able to fly high time because of the 40-hour scheduling minimum for all flight attendants. Meaning, no one will be dropping trips because they all have to fly 40 hours.

A: With PBS, if you desire high-time flying you can bid and hold up to 110 hours with Preferential Bidding. In addition, you can pick up more time via the Electronic Trade Board (HIBOARD)/Trip Trade System if you desire.
 
With PBS, Flight Attendants will be able to bid for lines as low as 40 hours and as high as 110 hours. This provision will allow flight attendants to be awarded a line that will require fewer transactions to achieve their monthly optimal schedule.
 
Q: I do a lot of trip trading and I’m concerned that I will lose flexibility with the 40-hour monthly minimum.

A: The new contract will provide increased flexibility for the LAA work group with the new Trip Trade System, including new parameters for picking up trips, vacation filler days, “double up,” i.e. the ability to schedule two trips in one duty day, working on vacation days if desired, and “double dip” i.e. the ability to work on days you are receiving pay protection.
 
Q: With PBS, can I bid a 40-hour line and then drop my trips to another flight attendant bringing me below 40 hours?

A: No, you will not be able to trip trade/drop below 40 hours with another flight attendant or with the Electronic Trade Board (ETB).
 
Will we have to fly an additional 40 hours in our vacation months?

A: No, your vacation hours will be included in the 40-hour monthly calculation. If you bid/hold 7 or more days of vacation, you will have priority to hold a low-time line.
 
Q: What is a vacation split?

A: A flight attendant may split his/her vacation into multiple periods of time off throughout the year. The minimum vacation split is 4 days, with the exception of one split, which may be between 1-3 days.
 
If your vacation accrual is 35 days, you could split your vacation up to 9 times.

  • You could split your vacation into 8 periods/months of 4 days plus 3 filler days or a 3-day vacation equaling 35 days.
    • 4 days of vacation in each month of January, March, May, June, July , August, October, November, December and 3 filler days to use throughout the year.
    • In each of these months, you would be required to work 24 hours to meet the 40 hour monthly minimum.
  • You could split your vacation into 5 months of 7 days each.
    • 7 days of vacation in May, July, August, November, December.
    • In each of these months, you would be required to work 12 hours to meet the 40 hour monthly minimum.
  • You could split your vacation into 3 months of 10 days plus 5 filler/vacation days.
    • 10 days of vacation, entire month off with low bid line of 40 hours in May, August, November.  The 5 filler days could then be used throughout the year.

Q: If I take a voluntary bid leave, will I have to pay for my health insurance?

A: No. You will continue to accrue full vacation, sick and company-subsidized health benefits while on voluntary bid leave. This was a provision AA flight attendants lost in 2003, and have now regained with this T/A.

Q: How many hours do I have to fly to maintain my company subsidized health insurance? What do I have to do to be considered “active” for the month so that I can receive full vacation and sick accrual?

A: At the end of the year, there will be no “look back” to make sure you have achieved a certain number of hours for sick accrual, vacation, medical or employment. As long as you are considered active for the month, you will continue to accrue full vacation and sick hours and retain company-subsidized health benefits.

Q: What does it mean to be “active” in any given month in order to accrue vacation, sick and company-subsidized medical benefits?

A: Being available to the company for 15 days of the month means that you are considered on “active status” and, technically available to the company. Your days off, days between paid sick leave, voluntary leaves of absence (bid leaves) and vacation are considered active days. You change to inactive status only if you have an unpaid personal leave or unpaid medical leave that brings your active days within a given month below 15 days.

Q: When will the 40-hour scheduling minimum begin?
A: The 40-hour scheduling minimum will not begin for LAA Flight Attendants until after PBS begins. This will give Flight Attendants time to get acquainted with Preferential Bidding. Therefore, it will not be for at least two years or longer.
 

AmericanAirlines US Airways 
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Leslie Mayo
APFA National Communications Chair

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