Update on January Reserve Numbers – LAA/LUS
As you know, the reserve numbers at many bases are much higher than we would like. We have met twice with Labor and Manpower Planning this week to try and offer solutions to the high reserve numbers in January.
The Company has staffed January at each domicile based on the ‘peak’ reserve staffing needed, which occurs in the first week. After the first week of January, reserve ‘need’ is greatly diminished. On top of this, other factors contributed to the high reserve numbers:
- Many junior Flight Attendants hold vacation in January. Additionally, carryover conflicts and carryover vacations contribute to the need for increased staffing in the first five days of the month.
- Reserve utilization numbers system-wide increased on peak days in a month year over year. Sick calls due to winter weather, coupled with increased delays due to potential deicing and crew misconnects add to the need. In the past, relief had come by way of new hires joining the line in late December. With the current new hire classes scheduled, we won’t see new hires on the line until mid to late February.
Recognizing the issues at hand, we pressed the Company to offer as much relief as possible to Flight Attendants serving reserve. To start, we’ve asked to have VLOAs reopened and offered for a partial month. To be clear, this reopening is not a rebid, but an offering of additional leaves for Flight Attendants that would now like to participate.
If you requested but were not awarded a VLOA in the prior round, you must submit a new ballot to be considered for the partial January VLOA. LAA Flight Attendants who bid onto reserve and are awarded a VLOA, will not receive credit for their reserve rotation.
We recognize that limited VLOAs alone are not enough. We will continue to work with the Company over the next two weeks to explore ways to allow reserves some relief from serving reserve in January. Keep in mind that any idea we bring forward has to be discussed with many departments at AA headquarters including Labor, Finance and Manpower Planning. As soon as we have more information to pass along, we will do so promptly.
APFA National Contract Chair
APFA National Scheduling Chair