Thursday, May 7, 2020
Passenger Counts Restricted to Comply with Onboard Social Distancing
American will be capping the number of passengers on each flight now through May 31st, including non-revenue passengers. Fifty percent of middle seats, as well as seats located near Flight Attendant jumpseats, will not be assigned to comply with social distancing guidelines. On regional aircraft, American will strategically block seats throughout the cabin to comply with social distancing guidelines. Agents will continue to reassign seats to create more space between customers and to accommodate families who need to be seated together. They will only assign these seats when necessary. Once onboard, and subject to aircraft weight and balance restrictions, customers may relocate to another seat within their ticketed cabin.
Flights through May 31st will be capped at 85% capacity. Flights may show availability in Travel Planner, but may not be able to accommodate non-revenue passengers. This 85% hard cap may negatively impact non-revenue travel and create travel challenges. Please be prepared with alternate travel plans through May 31st.
Passenger Face Covering Requirement Begins May 11th
- Very young passengers and those with conditions that prevent them from wearing a face-covering will be exempt.
- Face coverings will not be required while eating or drinking.
- A face covering can be a mask or any secured cloth, such as a scarf or bandana, that covers the nose and mouth.
- Passengers should bring their own face coverings when they travel. We are working on adding a few extra masks for customers onboard each flight in addition to the masks already stocked for crew members. We are also working quickly to add face masks and hand sanitizer as a supplement at the gate, but those will not be available for every customer on every flight.
- Some passengers can not wear a mask due to medical or religious reasons, and Agents will advise those passengers who are exempt from the requirement
Flight Attendant Face Coverings
Lightweight masks may be continuously worn for the duration of your shift and reused so long as the mask does not become soiled or saturated. If the mask becomes soiled or saturated, it should be discarded and replaced. Try not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing your face covering, and wash your hands immediately after removing the mask. Wearing a mask may be required by individual state and local governments. Check with your local leadership regarding any state or local ordinances that may apply. Protecting yourself and others by wearing a mask reduces virus transmission.
In addition to wearing a face mask, it is always important to take precautions to protect against COVID-19, including:
- Staying home when sick
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Covering with a tissue or inside of an elbow when you cough or sneeze if not wearing a face mask
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
Additionally, the CDC continues to emphasize that maintaining six feet of social distance will help prevent the spread of the virus.
Beginning May 8th, Flight Attendants will be required to wear face coverings in most workplace areas, including concourses, gate areas, ticket counter areas, airport areas open to the general public, hotel and employee shuttles, and during the check-in/ check-out process at hotels. If you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you must reach out to your Flight Service Manager.
Mini-Manuals No Longer Available for Lost or Malfunctioning Tablets
The FAA has advised American that the use of mini-manuals as a replacement for missing or non-functioning Flight Attendant tablets is no longer permitted. If your tablet does not work or is missing, notify the flight deck and contact Daily Operations at 682-315-7070 or 888-222-4737. If you are in a base, you may be instructed to go to the Crew Service Center and pick-up a loaner tablet. If you are not in base or a loaner tablet is not available:
- You may be removed from duty and listed as a deadhead if the aircraft has more than minimum crew, or
- The station must print out the entire Inflight Manual, which is more than 800 pages long
Correction: An earlier company communication stated that Flight Attendants might be asked by Daily Operations to borrow tablets belonging to deadheading crew members- this is no longer a viable option. The company is currently working with the FAA to find a more long-term solution. Still, it is critical you bring your tablet and make sure it is fully charged and updated with the correct revision before reporting to work.
Minimum Crew Requirements Web-Based Training due June 30th
The FAA and company continue to see a high number of minimum crew violations- enough that we must quickly work on all fronts to eliminate this problem. Flight Service Policies and Procedures and Training have co-developed this web-based review to ensure crewmembers understand the requirements.
Snack Bags Now Offered on Certain Flight Segments
American has implemented changes to food and beverage service, suspending service on flights under 2,200 miles. Snack bags will be offered during customer boarding on certain flights. Snack Bags will need to be secured under a seat or in an overhead compartment prior to ground movement to comply with 14 CFR § FAR 121.577.
For flights more than 2,200 miles (typically more than 4 1/2 hours): Biscoff cookies or pretzels and water, canned drinks, or juice will be provided to passengers during the flight.
For flights between 900 and 2,199 miles (typically 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours): Snack bags that include a snack and bottle of water will be provided to passengers during customer boarding.
For all flights less than 899 miles (typically shorter than 2 1/2 hours): Passengers may continue to request water, canned drinks, or juice.
Alcohol will not be available in Main Cabin. Alcohol will still be available upon request for those traveling in first class.
Temporary Relocation Procedures for Double Jumpseats
The FAA-approved a temporary exemption for relocating from the double jumpseat on the Boeing 737 and Airbus A321NX for taxi, takeoff, and landing (TTL). We are now adding additional instructions for other aircraft in our fleet, where Flight Attendants may find themselves assigned to a double jumpseat.
The following must be completed with the Customer Service Agent before passenger boarding begins:
- Customers may already be seated in seats designated for Flight Attendants use. If a Flight Attendant elects to relocate, please notify the gate agent before boarding so that the customer may be reseated.
- Flight Attendants may not choose to relocate after customer boarding begins.
- Take the “Do Not Occupy” sign from the demo bag and place it on the assigned relocation seat.
- Continue to be responsible for all assigned duties.
- In the event of a planned emergency or planned ditching, the relocated Flight Attendant must return to their assigned double jumpseat for landing.
If a Flight Attendant relocates to a passenger seat for taxi, takeoff, and landing:
- Conduct a 30-second review
- In the event of an unplanned emergency, the Flight Attendant must assume the passenger standard brace position
- Relocated Flight Attendants are not assigned to deliver any required announcements
- The temporary seat locations listed in the charts are the only seat that relocated Flight Attendants are permitted to use for taxi, takeoff, and landing
- Temporary seat relocations for other Flight Attendant positions or aircraft not listed in the chart are not permitted
- The temporary jumpseat relocation exemption is estimated to end June 30th, 2020 (subject to change)
- Non-revenue passengers will not be seated in the double jumpseat during the exemption period
The charts below outline the voluntary relocations Flight Attendants may choose as part of these temporary measures:
In Safety and Security,
APFA National Safety & Security Chair