Monday, October 7, 2019
Good day, We had our monthly allocations calls this week and Charlotte trips officially look like this; 15.5% of the trips will be 1 days; 56.5% will be 2 days; 21% will be 3 days; and 6.5 % will be 4days. We have 137,709-man hours for the month with 2,401 available flight attendants (our total head count is 2,700) There will be 2,041 lineholders (up from last year) with 449 reserves (down from last year). The line average will be at 78 hours.
When we analyzed the trips, this is what we found; 10% of the trips are pure 1 days- the additional numbers account for the addition of some behind the clock trips. The one days are down, most of this is because we lost the summer flying and we will continue to ask for as many 1 days as the computer will make including triangle flying and long-haul high time turns. Keep in mind, it wasn’t too long ago where we would have 5% of our trips as 1 days. When we looked at the 1 days there was some interesting routings such as to an island and then back to MIA. We’re hoping this is a sign that the computer is trying to distribute time in order to make more 1 days.
Our numbers broke the 2 days down to 36% traditional 2 days with a significant increase in ODANs. Not quite as high a number as last spring, but we are glad to see the increase. (ODAN folks, there are some earlier and later departures in the trips so it might be worth taking a look and adjusting your standing bids. There is also an ODAN that has a 10hour 11minute break, this is a legally constructed trip and we would like your feedback on this one) The ODANs accounted for about 12% of our trips, this number has been as high as 14% and as low as 7%. The other types of 2 days were the pink eyes and bullets. The 2 leg out (or back) pink eyes have been drastically cut in the last 2 months and you won’t hear us complaining. The bullets are geographically limited and only account for about 1 % of our flying which seems to remain constant.
We saw an increase in 3 days. The computer wants to naturally spit out 3 days and we will continue to push for 1 days over 3 days. Traditional 3-day red eyes are in this category and we did not see an increase, with bases on the West Coast it’s just not productive to have East Coast crews sitting in a hotel for 24 hours in a base city. We will continue to ask for more Vegas traditional red eyes because apparently (from your feedback), “baby needs a new pair of shoes”.
We had the 4 days clocking in at 10%. The company had 6.5%. The difference must be the 3/4 days we saw over Thanksgiving. Yes, the 2/3 days and the 3/4 days are here again for the holiday. We run a reduced schedule on Thanksgiving Day so many of the low frequency cities have limited flights, so this year is no exception, there are a lot of trips that leave on Wednesday and have the entire Thanksgiving Day off before resuming on Friday. If you have relatives in one of these cities, it’s a cleaver way to get to spend the holiday with them while getting paid and racking up a bonus point at the same time. Just about all of the 4 days were commutable, this is a good sign for the commuters and some of the trips looked pretty good. We’re hopeful to find a balance with the 4days that works for everyone and this was a good sign.
Sit times, we saw about 42% of our trips with a sit time of over 2 hours in a single day. 7% of our trips had 2 long sits in a single day. The company has said this is planned to counter the unscheduled aircraft changes, give us time to eat and cut down on delays. Their delays have been drastically reduced but the sitting around is adding to the fatigue of our crews because they are stretching the duty days. We always push for more rest, less duty. We took the trips with long duty days and shorter overnights and as expected, these were the largest factors in creating fatigue. We still had about 2% of our trips that had more than a 3 hour sit. The computer is programmed to have a max connection time (sit time) of 2+59 but some of these are slipping through the cracks. The sit time for the ODANs was throwing off the computer but hopefully they have found a solution, and this can be addressed with some tweaking.
Some of the more interesting things we saw were, E-190 trips in CLT, yes, E-190. This is an anomaly, not a sign that we are getting the aircraft back. Some of us that are vertically challenged, like myself, may want the aircraft back, but don’t expect it, this is just a short-term scheduling deviation. Keep in mind, daylight savings time ends on the 3rd and we will be turning the clocks back. If you see an overnight on one of your trips that has a really short break, factor in the clock adjustment, FOS naturally compensates for this, but it may look strange on the trip sheet. The increased schedule will be from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday afterwards, keep this in mind when bidding to avoid forced coverage assignments. November is not a very high time month for the most part, but the holiday will have increased flying and make for some interesting trips (look for the dead heads to London through RDU). There were some trips that check in at 23:30 and depart after midnight, this is what’s known as a flex bank of flights outside our traditional schedules. Look for the charters, they are always fun and welcome back to domestic flying for many of our International flight attendants, your break is now scheduled in an airport and you must provide your own pillow.
Our reserve number is set at 449 or about 18% of the available flight attendants. The company is posting 17%, but that would be the total head count and is misleading. This is one of the only months where we have seen a decrease in the number of reserves over the previous year even though our available head count is higher ( a percentage of the total head count will be slated for reserve) and we are encouraged by this but know this might be the calm before the storm that will be high numbers in December. Right now, the LRD tool is showing 463 but this is including the speakers and always throws off the number. The last forced person onto reserve has a seniority of February 2000. This will change with people who bid down and we will know the final numbers when bidding opens. There will be 47 VLOAs for November and that will be the number of tentative reserves. When the leaves are granted, the tentatives will be adjusted, assuming enough people take the leaves, the original number is only affected by the way people bid in PBS and we will have to wait till the 20th to find out if our bidding practices will pull people off reserve. I do want to tell everyone that we in Charlotte have not been sitting idly while the reserve numbers have continued to rise. We predicted the numbers in July and then we were surprised by the August and September numbers, not amounts but how far back the seniority was reaching. We petitioned our National Representatives to investigate this and asked for the company to provide explanations only to be ignored or dismissed. One of your base council reps took on the undertaking of creating our own rotation schedule. The database is almost complete and there is a huge amount data we have to sort through. The database we have is new and very raw, once we start analyzing the data, we hope to have a predictive model and have some of our questions answered. We are hopeful this new database will allow us to keep the company honest with their numbers and be able to spot errors more quickly, we will keep you posted.
I wanted to send out a special thank you to the Charlotte APFA team. I had training this week and was unable to be on one of the calls. We had 2 days to go over all the trips and we were working well past midnight each night. Frank, Cody, Carletta and Ashley did a fantastic job on the call and it was truly a team effort this week and I am proud of how we worked together. Take care of each other and fly safe.
CLT APFA Base President