10.20.15 – New Hire Brief – October 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Miami Base Brief – October 2015

Hello Miami! It’s that time again for a brief. Please send us any topic ideas that you would like to see addressed in future base briefs. We would like to remind you that your base reps are available 7 days a week. Don’t hesitate to call on weekends or after hours.

At the annual Fall Board of Directors (BOD), meeting several resolutions were passed unanimously by your Base Presidents. Included in those resolutions was a more aggressive approach toward implementing pay protection and examining pay penalties associated with implementation delays. The BOD also passed resolutions concerning non-compete clauses and disclosures when a Union Rep is interviewing for managerial positions, except for training positions.

With the resignation of National President Glading, National Vice President Marcus Gluth assumed the role of APFA National President for the remainder of the term through March 31, 2016. The meeting concluded with the appointment of Rick Knuth to the position of National Vice President. Rick is an attorney and LUS Flight Attendant whose experience and knowledge of the Red Book will be invaluable.

Here are the dates for the upcoming National Officer Elections:

 Willingness to Serve (WTS) Posted  October 21
 WTS Due  November 20 by 10am CT
 Ballots Mailed  December 10
 Ballot Count  January 9

If necessary:

 Run-off Ballots Mailed  January 19
 Run-off Ballots Counted  February 18


We have scheduled a base meeting for Monday, November 30th, at 10am. Tony Marchetti, from the bid sheet committee, will be our guest speaker. We will also have a contract/scheduling training class that day.


There has been a dramatic rise in disputes between Flight Attendants over trading and picking up trips. Most of the instances end up being mistakes or misunderstandings on one or the other’s part. However, before the situation is figured out, some are going right to social media publishing names, declaring Flight Attendants thieves, etc. While we understand a change to ones schedule can be very alarming, we would ask that you refrain from making knee-jerk assumptions and posting them on social media. There are also steps you can take to protect yourself, and your schedule. Here are a few tips to remember:

The best way to protect yourself from unauthorized activity on your schedule is to make sure your trip trade authorization is always set to NO when you are not actively processing a trade.  This is done by typing HIN in DECS. To change your authorization to YES, type HIY. You can verify this on your HI1 at the top right. While many FAs leave themselves in TT mode in order to facilitate trades, it does not authorize you to alter their schedule without their consent. Much in the same way you might leave your house unlocked, it doesn’t give someone the right to take what they want from your home when you aren’t there. As a precautionary measure, we lock our doors and should remember to take ourselves out of TT mode.

When posting a trip in HIBOARD, it’s a good idea to put as much information as possible so there is no confusion as to what you want to do with your trip. Using such phrases as “TT ONLY, NO DROP, PLEASE CALL, or CALL FIRST” give the person a better idea as to what your intent is with the trip listed.  If you are flying international trips and want to drop ASAP, you might consider using an EMAIL address or WHAT’S APP number in the message, for a quicker reply.  If you don’t mind people calling at any hour of the day or night, put CALL ANY HOUR. A good rule of thumb when calling another Flight Attendant for a TT is to call between 9a-9p, unless it is specified differently.  Also important, is making sure you are listing the correct sequence, and choosing TT for trip trades or OE for optional exchanges (drops).  A particularly easy mistake can occur during the finalization of the bid awards going into the new month, as both the last trips of the current month are listed, as well as the new month’s trips.

The “5 rights” when doing a trip trade:

When you have found a trip in HIBOARD and you are ready to pick it up or trade, there are 5 “rights” that should be verified to ensure one has the correct sequence.

  1. Right Name/Employee#
  2. Right Sequence
  3. Right Position
  4. Right Date
  5. Right Type of transaction

Since sequences can change hands several times throughout the month, it is important to check HIBOARD immediately before processing a transaction to ensure the trip is still listed, and the remarks haven’t changed. Taking a photo of, or keeping the HIBOARD posting is also a good idea, especially when sequences are listed as “JUST TAKE”, or when the person has offered money to pick up the trip.

If everyone would take the time to double check these 5 things before processing a trade, and remember to take themselves out of TT mode after doing a transaction, it would greatly reduce the number of unauthorized trades and errors. As a reminder, when you post a sequence in HIBOARD, it automatically sets your TT authorization to NO.

If you find your schedule has been altered without your permission, the first step should be to contact the other FA involved.  If you cannot contact him/her, you can then contact you FSM or Professional Standards.


We are paid and credited full flight pay for diversions, as long as passenger egress is prohibited. If your airplane goes to the gate and the door is opened, the pay will stop. Most of the time the door is opened for operational reasons, but the computer has no way to know that. If the door was opened but passengers were not allowed to deplane, send a message to Pay Comp with HISEND 14. Diversion pay does not run concurrent with holding/ground time.


There are medications that can be obtained over the counter or from a pharmacist in foreign countries that will cause you to test positive on a random DOT drug test. We have seen a dramatic increase in these instances and the Flight Attendant simply didn’t know. DOT rules are not flexible in these scenarios, it is a positive test. This will cause your termination and start the process of conditional reinstatement, if eligible. It is a real hardship to go through this process and one to avoid if possible.

The most prevalent drugs are codeine and amphetamines. Some diet pills contain amphetamines, so you need to be very careful what products you are purchasing out of the country. There are a number of popular diet pills, and cough syrups especially from Brazil and Central America that are problematic and could produce a positive DOT test.

If you test positive for a drug you have a prescription for, a valid prescription is one that is current and you must be taking the medication as prescribed for the condition prescribed for. The Medical Review Officer, MRO, will ask you to provide the prescription to determine if the test will be deemed negative or positive under DOT regulations.


Last 5 days obligations are manually reviewed by Pay Comp until closeout to see if the obligations have been met, which is usually the 9th of the next month. 


If you report to the airport for a specific flight assignment and you end up not flying, you must make contact with Crew Schedule to receive Call Out pay. If you just leave the airport without speaking to someone, they will deny the pay. If the Purser or #1 speaks to them for the crew, make sure that each crew member is accounted for on the call before you leave.

If you are at the airport for more than six hours, you may be entitled to more than 3 hours pay, so it is important to get a release time from scheduling in order to receive the correct E-time pay for the duty period. Don’t leave any pay behind!


Whenever there is an equipment substitution which results in a downgrade, Crew Schedule will automatically place the most senior Flight Attendant(s) on the deadhead list. This will not impact Flight Attendants who already have a scheduled deadhead on their original sequence.


Crew manning will not award a bid to if you will not be qualified on the first day of the new bid month. If you are returning from a leave or are QI and are scheduled for training, you must notify the planner by the 15th to hold a bid. You can email the planner at pearla.chadis@aa.com.


The rules concerning Flight Attendants who live in a city other than her/his crew base and commute to her/his assigned crew base on American Airlines or its wholly owned carriers will be as follows: 

1. The rules set forth in this Agreement apply only to Flight Attendants who designate themselves as commuters with Flight Service via the Company Intranet and list an airport served by American Airlines or its wholly owned carriers. 

2. The commuting Flight Attendant must make all reasonable efforts to arrive in crew base at least one (1) hour prior to scheduled check-in or the start of the Reserve availability period. 

3. If the Flight Attendant’s first scheduled commuting flight cancels or is delayed as a result of weather, mechanical, Company convenience, or the equipment is downgraded within twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled departure, and the subsequent scheduled flight for which she/he is listed for travel cancels as a result of weather, mechanical, Company convenience, equipment downgrades within twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled departure, the flight is delayed for at least thirty (30) minutes, or the flight is full, the Flight Attendant shall notify Crew Schedule as soon as possible prior to her/his scheduled check-in and Crew Schedule will have the option of assigning the commuter to any one of the following: 

  • a. Split the Flight Attendant back on her/his original sequence;*
  • b. Assign the Flight Attendant to any comparable sequence, i.e., same duty days; 
  • c. Release the Flight Attendant from her/his duty and drop her/his original sequence. The Flight Attendant will be responsible to make up the time lost, if possible. 

4. The first three (3) Unable to Commute incidents of the nature described in Paragraph I.3, will not be treated as dependability infractions so long as the Flight Attendant provides the required supporting documentation from the Reservations system to her/his supervisor within seven (7) days of the Unable To Commute incident(s). 

Qualifies Under Commuter Policy:

Example One:
The first flight is canceled and the second flight is full. This does qualify under the Commuter policy. 

Example Two:
The first flight is full and the second flight is cancelled. This does not qualify under the Commuter policy because the first flight being full is not sufficient. 

5. A Reserve who is assigned a future trip and released from Reserve duty pursuant to Reserve Duty, Section 12.J.11, and who is unable to arrive in crew base prior to check-in time shall be eligible for the protections of the Commuter policy provided she/he complies with the provisions of Paragraph I. 

*Please note that while Crew Schedule develops the required automation for this option it’s not likely this will occur.


Be sure to check your HI10 once a month for discrepancies such as late sign-ins (LR). Remember that a seat swap after sign-in requires a new sign-in. If you receive a short call out for a trip and the scheduler says she/he will waive sign-in, make sure the LR does not show on your HI10M. Sometimes the scheduler forgets to send the message to Flight Service for correction. The Scheduler cannot remove the LR. 
If you get a TM and there are extenuating circumstances such as traffic jams, train delays, etc, speak to your manager right away. She/he can investigate and usually there are several people who also had a problem that day. You may be able to have the TM excused.

If you find any issues with your record, address them with your manager while they are fresh in your mind. Be proactive with your attendance to prevent problems later. Let us know if you need our assistance.  


We are going to start having regular Contract/Scheduling training classes at the base for new hires. While we will be targeting new hires to help them understand the job, this is a valuable class and all members are invited and encouraged to attend. Be on the lookout for the dates for these classes.


Attached is a document titled Timelines for Pay Comp Processing New Pay Types. It lists all pay types, where they are found, when processed, how paid, etc. Snapshot it in your phone or print it and carry it in your bag. The most up to date version is posted on the Contract Page of APFA.org.


Below you will find a link to a Quick Reference Guide for bid line guarantees and pay protection. It is a very useful document and is a step-by-step guide for handling cancellations and lost trips throughout the month, and last five days. It puts everything together in one place and is easy to understand. We recommend you put it in your bag and keep it until the new pay protection provisions are implemented.

As always, please report problems or concerns you are having in the field so we can address them right away with the appropriate people or department.

Until next time, fly safely!

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