11.04.19 – CLT December Allocations

Monday, November 4, 2019

Allocations December 2019

Good day,

We had our monthly allocations call this week and here is the breakdown for December.

We will have 128,238-man hours. This has been declining since the summer months and is lower than November. The number of trips are down, and the head count is also down from last year but up from November (2506 available Flight Attendants, as opposed to 2549 from last year and 2,401 in November). This equates to 1813 line holders (up from last year-1795, but down from November-2041).

There will be 693 reserves, 20 VLOAs and a line average of 78.4

So, what does this mean? There is less time, less people but they are trying to build more lines and pulling more people off reserve than last year.

Keep in mind, this is December so there will be a schedule change on the 18th where the increased flying for the holiday will begin. This is also where the cut off will be for the Half Month Max Logic to kick in for PBS. What’s that? To put it simply, while PBS is running and awarding trips it will reach a point where it says; “Hey, there is too much open time at the end of the month so everyone after a certain seniority will be pushed into their bid after the 18th first, and then the computer will look at the bids from the 1st to the 17th.”  In essence, they are splitting the month where the computer will see the month as starting on the 18th through the 31th and then look at the rest of the month as being from the 1st to the 17th.

The computer will look at all your layers from the 18th to the 31st first and try and honor your bids during this time by placing as much time as it can (usually 50 to 60 hours) in the second half of the month. If you want a lot of time off at the beginning of the month and don’t care about flying the holiday for a bonus point, you will probably get your wish.

We all have our strategies for the holiday, so when planning yours, keep in mind forced coverage. The dates are not predetermined but usually are 23, 24, 25 and 31. If your strategy involves having all of these days off, they probably will smooth your layers or assign trips to make you fly these days. The computer is obsessed with making you touch the 24th, 25th and 31st. Something to keep in mind as you bid. Keep this in mind if you happen to get New Years off when you bid for January, the computer will be obsessed with making you touch the 1st of January also.

The trips look like this as reported by the company; 17% will be 1 days, 53% will be 2 days, 21% will be 3 days and almost 7% will be 4 days. After you factor in the pink eyes, bullets, red eyes and ODANs, the numbers look something like this; 12.3 % will be pure 1 days, 31% will be pure 2 days, 26% will be pure 3 days and (we saw) 11% 4 days. ODANs remain strong at about 65 departures per day. Rockets remain the same, and pink eyes had a strong comeback. We have always cautioned the 2 leg out pink eyes and they were doing better on this, but the increase in pink eyes for December also brought back the 2 leg out formula. While some of you like these, we find that a lot of these are on the ETB and end up going very junior or to reserves. We will continue to ask for a push on these to be 1 leg out and 1 leg back.

Traditional red eyes had a strong come back, but again, to get these there are a lot of 2 or 3 leg out and 1 leg back. There were more 1-days and we saw some additional triangle flying, but still a large number of sit times when you go through a base. The 2-days are starting to budge on the super early departure time, so it should be easier to fly back to back trips but there are fewer of them. The 4 days were commutable (we saw 2 that had a problem on the front end) and there are some good ones.

The sit times remain. We saw about 35% of our trips had more than a 2 hour sit in one day. The average across the system is lower at about 28 to 30%. Only 1% of our trips had 2 sits over 2 hours in one day, and we did not see many sits over 3 hours. This is down and is a sign that they are making progress, but until we get back to staying with the airplane, the 2 hour sits (connections) will remain when you pass through a base.

Holiday and Trips
With an increased schedule after the 18th, the computer wanted to cover this time with spitting out 3 and 4-days. This is a natural reaction for the programming so there are a lot of 3 and 4-days that go out on the 23rd and 24th. We asked for a human factor to be added and asked if there was a push to make more 2-days during this period so people could plan something for the holiday. The basic idea here has been the same for years, “if you build it, they will come”. The request has fallen on deaf ears again. Take a look at all the trips during this time, there are IPD trips that will go junior and look for the 17 hours in Honolulu built into a decent 4-day. If they are going to force you to fly, decent trips and flying with friends can make or break your holiday. Really look at the trips for December, there are some good ones out there, bidding specific may benefit you for the actual holiday period, just keep in mind the half month max logic and keep track of the time you are bidding.

Reserve
There will be 693 reserves. The LRD tool will reflect higher numbers, but it is inaccurate. With 20 VLOAs (last year we had 21) there will be 20 people slated as tentative reserve, if enough people take the VLOAs, the tentatives will not have to serve. 693 represents 27% of the base on reserve. Last year we had 754 on reserve or 29% of the base. This is a good trend to see the reserve numbers drop, but we believe 27% is still too high. With the exception of PHX, the other bases are showing 21 to 24% reserves for December . We asked for justification for the numbers such as actual usage numbers from last year as we believe the company is placing a high number of people on reserve just to cover the holidays. This places people on reserve at a disadvantage for being able to break guarantee and drives up the seniority for rotation. There are a good amount of people who bid down to reserve in December to hold the holiday off and we anticipate this to happen again this year, so we are hoping the seniority doesn’t go back too far.

We also asked for details on how the LRD numbers are set because we believe it places undo stress when the numbers are wrong. The reduction in the reserve numbers are consistent with our head count. Our head count is down over last year and the percentage of reserves reflects that. The reduction in man hours from November would naturally mean an increase in the reserve numbers, but 18% to 27% is a huge jump.

The IPD flying has been reduced for the winter so why are the speaker numbers still throwing off the LRD reports by so much? There are so many questions that need to be addressed but the overall argument is the company has to justify the need for so many reserves and we need to get these numbers reduced to a level that works for both the Flight Attendants and the company.

December is such an important month for each of us and it is a vital part of the revenue stream for the company to be successful.

Take your time when bidding. This month is so much different when it comes to PBS logic and our own personal strategies for having an enjoyable season. It is a hard month to have to learn a lesson because of a bidding error.

There will be PBS Specialists available in the crew rooms to help with bidding this year. Take advantage of this as this may be the last time you see them.

Take care of yourselves and each other through the holiday season.

In unity and solidarity,

Scott Hazlewood
APFA CLT Base President

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077

 

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