Monday, June 15, 2020
Preventing Minimum Crew Violations
Minimum crew violations continue to rise, and these violations usually result in punitive action taken against Flight Attendants. Fines may also be levied against American. If you are involved in a minimum crew violation, always remember to file an ASAP report immediately and contact your base representative.
Communication between Flight Attendants and agents is the most effective way to ensure minimum crew violations are avoided. If a Flight Attendant needs to leave the aircraft for any reason, the Flight Attendant must “scan-off,” so the agents know that the minimum crew is not onboard. When a Flight Attendant scans off, the system prevents the start of boarding.
The scan-off procedure was tested in LAX earlier this year. The Company has now decided to implement the procedure system-wide. This will allow for improved communication between Flight Attendants and agents, and can also protect Flight Attendants from being wrongly charged with departure delays.
Recently, a deadheading Flight Attendant boarded before the minimum crew was onboard. American was forced to voluntarily self-disclose (VSD) these violations to the FAA. As a reminder, deadheading Flight Attendants are not considered part of the working crew and are not allowed to board until the minimum crew is onboard the aircraft.
Once boarding begins, Flight Attendants are not permitted to leave the boarding door’s immediate vicinity unless performing safety-related duties. Flight Attendants should not return to the gate area unless there is a life-threatening emergency. IFM references may be found here:
- IFM > Staffing Requirements > Minimum Crew Requirements >Stepping off Aircraft with Minimum Crew On Board
- IFM > Security > Security Awareness > Crew Security > AA ID Verification
When Leaving the Aircraft Before Customer Boarding
- Notify FA 1 / Purser (or another crewmember if FA 1/Purser is not present) before deplaning the aircraft
- Notify the agent (if they are at the gate) and scan the AA ID at the gate reader, or have the agent manually remove the Flight Attendant
Upon Returning to the Gate and Aircraft
- Notify the Gate Agent once at the gate and present ID for verification
- The Gate Agent may require the returning Flight Attendant to scan their AA ID again at the gate reader activated for the flight
- Notify FA 1 / Purser (or another crewmember if FA1 / Purser not present) of the return to the aircraft
Warm Weather Announcement
Summer temperatures are here! Keeping passengers and crewmembers comfortable alleviates problems while boarding, especially in cities where temperatures can reach over 100 degrees. Here are some reminders on keeping the aircraft cool on warm days:
- Coordinate and communicate with crewmembers to ensure comfortable cabin temperatures (Lower Window Shades / Open Air Vents )
- Review IFM procedures through Crew Duties > Boarding > Prior to Customer Boarding > Guidelines for Boarding a Warm Aircraft
- Deliver the Warm Weather Cabin announcement (PA card: Arrival > Taxi-In > Warm Weather Cabin) immediately following the Arrival/Taxi-In PA
Outermost Garment and Men’s Jackets
- Jackets remain optional onboard the aircraft from May 1st through September 30th
- Coats and ties are still required once inside the terminal or whenever you are off the aircraft
Face Covering PA Announcements
“American Airlines now requires customers to wear face coverings throughout your flight with us. Because some limited exceptions do apply, please be courteous of customers unable to wear face coverings.”
“American Airlines now requires customers to wear face coverings throughout your flight with us. Because some exceptions do apply, please be courteous of customers unable to wear face coverings. It is also acceptable to remove your face covering while eating and drinking.”
“In the event oxygen masks drop from an overhead compartment, remove any face covering prior to placing the mask over your nose and mouth.”
“In order to support social distancing, we will deplane a few rows at a time, starting from the front of the aircraft to the back. We ask everyone to remain seated until the row in front of you has cleared to prevent crowding in aisles.”
Are Passengers Mandated to Wear Face-Covering on the Aircraft?
Passengers must wear face coverings at all times but are not required to wear them when eating or drinking. In the event oxygen masks are required, passengers should remove face coverings before placing the oxygen mask over their nose and mouth.
What if a Passenger Refuses to Wear a Face-Covering?
Our role is to advise customers of the face-covering policy. If you notice someone not covered by one of the exceptions, not wearing a face covering, use your best judgment to address the situation discreetly. If a passenger advises you that they are unable to wear a mask because of a medical condition, disability, religious grounds, etc., no further action is needed. If the passenger chooses not to comply for other reasons, please encourage them to comply. Likewise, if a customer is frustrated by another customer’s lack of face covering, try to de-escalate the situation.
What If a Passenger’s Disability or Medical Condition Prevents Them From Wearing a Face-Covering?
Some passengers may not be able to wear a face covering, and we need to be sensitive to that. If a customer advises you they have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering, no further action is needed, and no documentation is necessary.
Do Infants or Babies Need to Wear a Face-Covering? What If a Small Child Refuses to Wear a Face Covering?
Infants and babies are not required to wear masks. Please use your best judgment if a small child refuses to wear a mask. If the parent is unable to get the child to wear the mask or the child is unable to keep the face-covering on due to age, do not escalate further.
If a Passenger Is Upset by Another Not Wearing a Face Covering, How Should I Handle the Situation?
We must respect our passengers who are unable to wear face coverings, while also encouraging the use of face coverings to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Please use de-escalation techniques, such as reseating a passenger who is upset, to keep the environment respectful.
How Will Passengers Be Informed of the Mandate?
American has added reminders to pre-departure emails, airport gate displays, aa.com, self-service machines, and other passenger-facing communications. Passengers who visit a ticket counter will again be reminded, and agents will reiterate the requirement at the gate prior to boarding. The limited social distancing onboard any flight requires the Company to depend on face coverings as the primary mitigation factor in controlling transmission and spreading the virus.
Four Major COVID-19 Transmission Mitigation Factors
- HEPA Cabin Air Filtration
- Enhanced Cleaning Procedures
- Social Distancing**The FAA relocated jumpseat/social distancing exemption is set to expire on June 30th. As the Company strives for increased passenger loads to ensure the Company’s survival, APFA will continue to strive for 100% passenger face-covering compliance for our safety.On a positive note, three months ago, the Company prohibited Flight Attendants from wearing face coverings while on board. Thanks to APFA persistence, we have now secured a face-covering policy for the entire industry.
The FAA has granted extensions to both current exemptions:
- Exemption 18511 (CQ Grace Month Two-Month Extension) to include the June and July Base Months
- Both exemptions extended through July 31st, 2020
- Exemption 18512 (Emergency Equipment Demo)
Cabin Cleanliness Report Form on APFA Website
Enhanced cleaning is one of the four mitigation factors in our arsenal to control the spread of the virus. Click Here to report aircraft not appropriately cleaned or station cleaning issues.
APFA National Safety & Security Chair