6.01.17 – Challenge Flight Initiative

Thursday, June 1, 2017

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Attention: Miami Flight Attendants

Today is the official rollout of our MIA Joint Union employee based initiative aimed at helping our non-revenue and jumpseat travelers get onboard our flights….it’s called Challenge Flight.

Why are we doing this? In the month of February alone, 19,000 standby passengers system-wide were left at the gate when there were OPEN SEATS remaining onboard. A snapshot for a one-week period this May, 5000 standbys were left behind with OPEN SEATS remaining. This happens for a variety of reasons, with lack of time/necessity of door closure being the most often cited. This, however, has the potential to affect all of us (as well as our guest travelers), and we believe we can do something about it. The Challenge Flight initiative started in LAX, and numbers of standbys left behind are down since the program was implemented 6 months ago.  We hope that our involvement in Miami will help our fellow employees and family members get on board our extremely full flights.

How will it work? Each gate agent will have Challenge Flight briefing cards (see below) to fill out for your departure. It is a simple tool to enhance the communication between our Agents, Flight Attendants and Pilots. The idea is the agent will fill out the card with the pertinent information from the flight and give it to the Flight Attendant (and Pilot, if present) during the departure dependability briefing (DBB). The card contains much of the same information already being presented to Flight Attendant by agents, but in an easier to read format. The number of expected standby passengers will also be provided on the card, as well as some additional phone numbers to report any issues such as catering, cabin service, etc…

How can we help? Flight Attendants can help by participating in the pre-flight briefing with the agent before each flight, and reporting any issues or concerns (such as baggage, overhead bin space, seat dupes, etc.) as soon as possible. Cutoff times for gate checked baggage and door closing are also highlighted on the briefing card. Knowing there is only so much time to board a flight and process standbys, every minute of the boarding process really does count!

As a reminder, this is a “Grass Roots Effort” with employees from all three union groups (Pilots, Flight Attendants and Agents) helping out our fellow employees. There is NO change to the already established contractual on-board requirements / boarding times for this program.  We hope you will participate in this Joint Union effort – the goal of which is to leave no non-revs behind.  Thank you! 

In unity,

Randy Trautman
APFA MIA Base President

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