Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Eighteen years ago, our resilience as a country was tested when nearly 3,000 people were killed in the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. We reacted with shock and sadness at the senseless deaths, while we were mindful of the survivors, family members and loved ones who were directly impacted by this tragedy.
September 11, 2001 now lives in our language in the same emotional way as December 7, 1941 and November 22, 1963. For most of us, September 11, 2001 will be forever accompanied by the immediate, constant, and graphic images we saw, which have now been shown millions of times over. There was no time lag between the news and the pictures, as the attack on Pearl Harbor or the assassination of President Kennedy. It all happened simultaneously, in real time.
Sept. 11th produced an immeasurable amount of grief for the families and friends directly affected. Those of us who didn’t know any of the victims or those who lost their lives trying to save them, grieved too. In addition to our natural concern for those who died and their survivors, whose worlds were destroyed, we all experienced a loss of safety, a loss of trust, and above all, a loss of innocence.
As a family of “humankind”, we were all affected whether we knew someone or not. Sometimes the impact is in the memories those events stimulate in us about our loved ones who are no longer here. Sometimes those reminders send us to a place of fear for our own safety or that of our loved ones. Loss is inevitable, along with the grief that accompanies it. Some events have direct and immediate impact on us and those in our family or close circle of friends. Other events act as reminders of losses from our past. Sometimes larger than life events in the news engage our membership. In all cases, we must learn to deal with our feelings as they occur. Terrorist events by design are traumatic events that tear down our safety and security. In the last decade, such attacks have increased in sophistication and had enormous impact in terms of loss of life and damage.
If you’re having a hard time coping on this date, these tips may help you get through this year’s anniversary.
- Limit media. Skip TV newscasts and skim related headlines rather than immersing yourself in every story. Don’t click on video replays or photos that are bound to stir up painful memories.
- Do good. Instead of spending the day glued to the TV, perform community service to mark the anniversary, which can help you turn the tragedy into something more positive.
- Reflect. Use the 18-year anniversary of September 11th as a reason to review what you’ve learned — and how much you’ve grown. Focus on any good that came out of the experience, such as growing closer to a family member or keeping a resolution you made at the time to improve your life.
- Don’t compare. The course of your grief is unlike anyone else’s, so don’t feel guilty about struggling with anniversary anxiety while those around you seem to sail through. Allow yourself to feel any emotion that bubbles up.
- Seek help. Try talking your feelings out with a trusted family member or friend. If that doesn’t ease your pain, consider getting professional help from a licensed therapist or clergy who has special training in grief counseling.
The Optum Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free consultation, information and referral service for all American Airlines employees.24-HOUR TELEPHONIC ASSISTANCE AND COUNSELING is completely free, and employees have the option to meet with a counselor for up to four free in-person counseling sessions. Simply call: (800) 363-7190
If you are covered under Blue Cross Blue Shield and would like to continue to meet with your counselor after your four free sessions, please check with BCBS Member Services before beginning your counseling to ensure they are an in-network provider. For those enrolled in United Healthcare medical plan, Optum will also continue to administer mental health and substance abuse benefits.
APFA EAP National Rep on Duty: (817) 540-0108 ext. 8701
AA/APFA Critical Incident Response Team 24-HOUR CREW SUPPORT: (800) 998-8194
Last week, the Cabin Crew sector of the ITF met at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada. ICAO is a specialized UN agency oversees civil aviation rules and safety regulations.Flight Attendant unions from around the world were in attendance at the ITF meeting to build a larger coalition around some of our most pressing issues. Topics discussed included cabin air quality, staffing levels, evacuation certifications, carry-on baggage, and disruptive passengers.
ITF committee members met with respective ICAO representatives to ask for support on two issues. APFA urged US Representative on the Council of the ICAO, Chuck Ashley, to adopt an international cabin crew day to help promote our role as safety professionals. Second, we conveyed the importance of increasing and enforcing penalties on disruptive passengers internationally.
AFLAC Open Enrollment is underway until September 25th for products as a Guarantee Issue without Medical Questions. For those already enrolled, you don’t have to do anything unless you want to make changes. The phone number to call to speak to a live enroller to assist you is 1-877-453-2385 or you can use the online portal here: Click Here
Problems with Split Direct Deposit Payments: Payroll has been assisting us with identifying the issues that are causing the bank rejections and we have found that Flight Attendant entry error is most likely the reason for the non-payment to your Aflac account. Please check your entries. We also have self-pay options available and the form to complete can be found here: Click Here
For More Assistance Please email [email protected]
I would like to acknowledge all APFA National Hotel Committee Representatives who volunteered their time to attend the 2019 Global Cabin Crew Accommodations Committee Conference (GCCACC), at the Westin LAX Airport on September 8-10, 2019.
Your Hotel Committee participated with many other flight attendant union hotel committees in an international coalition for the purpose of improving hotel layover industry standards by sharing ideas and experiences worldwide.
The agenda for the three-day conference included guest speakers from the Marriott Group, Hyatt, Wyndham, BWH, Airline Ambassador’s, The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles Fire Department, and many others. The information provided to the coalition was invaluable and will contribute to our due diligence as we conduct site inspections to improve our layovers.
Back Row (Left to Right)
Joel Medford (DFW), Mark Messinger (MIA), Tobias Baker (LAX), Michael Malool (CLT), Darryl Kure (STL), David McCullar (PHX)
Front Row (Left to Right)
Angel Lopez (MIA), Julia Simpson (APFA National Hotel Chair), A. Marie Plevritis (DFW)
(Also in attendance- Bernadette Cassidy LAX)
The APFA National Hotel Committee would like to thank American Airlines PHL based Flight Attendant Dan Sampey for organizing another annual GCCACC. Dan did an exceptional job putting together such a top-notch informative venue for all union committees to benefit from each other.
Fill out the Hotel and Transportation Debrief Form by clicking the image.
I’ve been injured in turbulence. What do I do?
If you sustain an injury due to turbulence, notify the Captain immediately that you have been injured and request that the turbulence be documented. If medical treatment is necessary it is imperative to let the Captain know.
IODs may be filed 24/7 by calling 1-844-777-8463.
Your call will be answered by a triage nurse with Sedgwick. You are NOT required to follow the nurse’s recommendations and are free to seek medical treatment. Simply advise the nurse if you intend to seek immediate medical care. Not all injuries require immediate medical attention. In the event of a medical emergency, do not wait to speak with a nurse, go to the nearest emergency room. You must be removed from duty by a doctor to become eligible for workers’ compensation pay benefits once the claim is accepted.
All Flight Attendants should also file a CERS Report. The CERS Report is located on the Flight Service website by clicking on Safety and Security.
For more information about turbulence safety, please refer to the Inflight Manual – Safety and Security – General Safety and/or contact the IOD Department at [email protected].
New Pop-Ups in UBL starting Today
If you make changes to your existing ballot while UBL is processing, it could eliminate your request from being considered. To prevent your request from being removed from a run, the following pop-up will generate.
If you saved your ballot while UBL was processing, it would not be considered until the next run. A banner was added to the TTS/UBL screen which showed when UBL was processing, however between the time you created your ballot and the time you hit save, a run may have started. For better clarity, the TTS team has added a new pop-up to alert you a run is in progress at the time you are saving your ballot.
Retirement Seminars – Are You Ready?
The Retirement Department will be conducting the following seminars in September:
- September 24th – LAX – 1100-1400 Meeting Room at LAX Operations
- September 25th – SFO – 1100-1400 Conference Room in the tunnel between terminal 2 and the parking garage.
- October 9th – ORD – 1100-1400 K19 Conference Room
- October 10th – PHL – 1100-1400 Tour Room (inside security between Concourses C & D)
The Retirement seminars cover a wide range of topics including: Retiree Travel, 401(K), Pensions, COBRA, and Medicare.
Legacy American Airlines Flight Attendants: Download a pension estimate from the Pension Service Center page on Jetnet.
Legacy US Airways Flight Attendants: Request a copy of their pension estimate from the PBGC by calling 800-400-7242.
Members unable to attend the seminars are always welcome to watch the retirement webinar series available on the APFA Retirement Page, as well as download the Good Slide! retirement handout.
Everyone is welcome regardless of base or seniority – no need to RSVP.
Remember – it’s never too early to start planning for retirement.
With the retirement of the MD-80 on 04SEP, we have heard from many members asking about their qualifications. Flight Attendants who hold a qualification must keep it up to date for the time being.
The proper steps have been accomplished with the FAA to petition the removal from the training volumes; the process may take 30-45 days to accomplish. Flight Attendants attending CQ in SEP will need to accomplish the online WBT’s, tasks and drills on the MD-80 until it’s officially removed from the training program. Once the approval is received, we will no longer be required to re-qualify on the MD-80 and the qualification will be removed from your HI9.
Please remember to deliver all level-off announcements onboard, regardless of departure time. There are regulatory requirements to provide passengers with the information contained in the level-off announcements.
Delivering seatbelt sign ON announcements are also a requirement while onboard. Between the hours of 2200-0630 Flight Attendants may perform compliance checks only, and advise non-compliant passengers individually in lieu of the announcement.
Thank you to everyone who signed up to attend the upcoming Reserve roundtable. In addition to the recent listening tours, base roadshows, Reserve survey and member emails, this roundtable is simply another avenue for the Negotiating Committee to gather Flight Attendant feedback as to what Flight Attendants across the airline would like to see in a Reserve system. Happily, Flight Attendants from many bases and seniorities applied, and we look forward to hosting the event. We will be sure to send out a recap to all Flight Attendants after the roundtable is complete.
In the meantime, feel free to reach out to the Negotiating Committee at [email protected] with any feedback, ideas, or suggestions.
September 24, 2019Hilton Boston Logan Airport11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
One Hotel Drive
Boston, MA 02128
(Direct access from sky-bridge to hotel)
Phone #: 617-568-6700
As of today, there have been 5,104 Flight Attendants who have filed uniform reaction reports.Please continue to utilize the Uniform Reaction Report Form on the APFA website if you experience a suspected reaction to your uniform.