Sunday, March 15, 2020
Drastic Network Cuts & What it Means for Us
Dear Fellow Flight Attendants,
As changes and network reductions continue to roll in, we are working around the clock to stay on top of the news that obviously impacts each and every one of us in the airline industry and worldwide. And while many of us have lived through life-changing events, it’s important to know that we have come back from every kind of crisis known to man in modern times.
During 9/11, I worked as APFA’s PR/Media consultant at headquarters throughout that horrid event. I will never forget that first night looking up into the sky and there were no airplanes. The skies were empty and the night was silent. That tragedy struck in an instant. This coronavirus health crisis has been creeping pervasively into our lives and is now upon us in a very real way. We will get through this.
Management apprised us of drastic changes to our network last evening and these International changes are hard-hitting: American is phasing out most International flying with a reduction of 75% year over year from March 16 to May and will continue to operate only one flight daily from DFW to LHR and one flight daily from MIA to LHR and three flights per week from DFW to NRT. They said last night that flights still continue to operate in short-haul International markets including Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and some South America (northern part) as scheduled.
Domestic capacity will be reduced by 20% in April and 30% in May on a year over year basis.
What does this mean for our flying schedules and PBS Bids?
- April Bids are still open and the PBS timeline will not change, remaining open until Noon central time Wednesday, March 18.
- Planning is working to eliminate canceled flights before the bid run. There will be NO ADDITIONAL PAY PROTECTION ABOVE THE JCBA in April for canceled International flights.
- VLOAs are still open through Tuesday, March 17 at 8 AM Central.
- The full schedule reduction is on Jetnet.
I have worked hard in these past couple of weeks with your Union leadership and AA’s management to provide flexible options for our Flight Attendants as we navigate through these tough times. To that end, we have offered full-benefit voluntary month leaves VLOAs, we have come up with zero-hour bid lines called VOLOs, and we continue daily to work on other creative and important ways to lessen the impact of these drastic life and scheduling changes on our members.
On the health front, we have demanded all protective measures for our Flight Attendants be provided on all flights, focused first on International, and now everywhere, addressed internal protocols and the sick policy for crew members exposed and/or quarantined, and more. Click here to access the latest Covid-19 update on the APFA website. We know how hard-hitting these changes are, and our EAP reps are available for you at 817-540-0108 x 8701 to speak to and provide resources.
In the coming days, we will ask for your support to join in efforts to call on our lawmakers on Capitol Hill for assistance for our industry and our Flight Attendants. We have already reached out to other Unions to form a joint multi-pronged effort, and you will hear more in the near future on what you can do to assist.
In closing, I have always been in awe of the resilience and caring of our workforce. In the midst of all this madness, I have received invitations on social media to join forces to help each other and our communities. The hearts and souls of our Flight Attendants will no doubt once again lift up our communities and see us through to the other side of this crisis. Stay focused, remain healthy and fly safe.
In Unity and Solidarity,
Lori L. Bassani
APFA National President