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8.26.20 – Involuntary Furlough Information

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Involuntary Furlough Information

Today, the Company announced the potential for involuntary furloughs beginning with the October 2020 bid month. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions to guide you through the process. Additional questions may be submitted to an APFA Representative by clicking here.

APFA will continue to look for ways to mitigate furloughs to save as many jobs as possible. We continue to coordinate with other aviation Unions to work towards a clean extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) in the hopes that these furloughs will not be necessary. Please continue to call your Congressional representatives daily to insist they return to the table and pass a clean extension of the PSP. The information needed to complete your calls may be found here.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1: Is the furlough pay paid out in a lump sum or in increments?
The involuntary furlough pay is paid out in accordance with the normal paycheck schedule until paid out in its entirety. You are not able to take a lump sum payment for your furlough pay.

Q.2: I received a WARN Letter, does this mean I’m getting furloughed?
No, a WARN letter does not mean you will be furloughed. WARN Letters are sent out to Flight Attendants who fall within the approximate range of a furlough. If there are not enough Flight Attendants who take the leaves offered to mitigate furloughs, you could receive a furlough notice.

Q.3: When will I know my official furlough status?
You will know no later than 15 days prior to October 3, 2020.  You will receive a certified letter through the mail as well as a Mobile CCI notification.

Q.4: I took out a loan on my 401(k) and I am paying it back via payroll deduction. What happens when I’m furloughed?
You should contact Fidelity. You will be responsible for making payments and can continue to make repayments on your loan based on the original loan agreement.

Q.5: I have a loan and direct deposits through the Credit Union, what happens when I’m furloughed?
You will need to contact the Credit Union to make timely payments.

Q.6: Do I still pay union dues?
During your furlough pay period, your dues will continue to be deducted from your paycheck. APFA will continue to bill you for Union dues during your furlough, and you will be in dues arrears after sixty (60) days of unpaid dues. You will be required to pay dues to remain in good standing to vote and participate in APFA activities. If you do not pay dues during furlough, your balance will be forgiven upon recall from furlough.

Q.7: Will I have to pay the dues when I return?
No, you will be forgiven for dues owed when you return from furlough. However, if you would like to vote in an election or any issue brought before the membership, you must be dues current to vote.

Q.8: I have attendance/performance points, will those be there when I return?
Yes, on an involuntary furlough, you are deemed inactive. Points will remain on your record.

Q.9: What happens to my travel benefits? How long do I keep them? What is my travel status?
When you are on involuntary furlough, you maintain travel benefits for twenty-four (24) months. This includes your spouse, registered companion, dependent children, and D3s.  This is determined by company policy. You will not retain jump seat or OAL travel privileges. Your boarding priority will be D2R.

Q.10: Can I change my registered travelers if I’m furloughed?

Q.11: How does a recall work?  Could I be recalled to a different base?
A recall would be in system seniority order. When you are recalled, it will be to fill an open vacancy, which might not be at the base from which you were furloughed. If you’re not recalled to fill a vacancy at your former base, you will have priority of return over non- displaced Flight Attendants and can use your seniority to transfer back to your base.

Q.12: If I am furloughed, how long until I will be recalled?
There is no estimate at this time on how long the furlough will last.

Q.13: How will I be notified if I am recalled?
The Company will notify you when you’re being recalled in writing. It is very important to make sure your address is always up to date with both the Union and the company.

Q.14: How long can I be out on furlough?
Recall rights are unlimited. If you are out on furlough longer than five years, you will be subject to a probationary period of six (6) months upon your return.

Q.15: What if I’m not ready to go back when I am recalled?
If you do not accept an offer of your recall, you’ll remain on the furlough list until there are no more Flight Attendants junior to you on the list. At that point, you’ll be considered resigned if you do not choose to come back.

Q.16: I want to file for unemployment. Do I have to wait until my furlough pay is over to do so?
Each state has different requirements when filing for unemployment. Please check with your local state offices. Keep in mind your unemployment pay is weighed against any incoming pay from American. You can find more information regarding different unemployment requirements in each state by clicking here.

Q.17: I am a Speaker. Am I exempt from furlough?
No, per the JCBA, the Flight Attendants subject to furlough are processed most junior up, regardless of qualifications.

Q.18: I am on a leave (PVLOA, MLOA, sick, etc.) am I exempt from furlough?
No, per the JCBA, the Flight Attendants subject to furlough are processed most junior up, regardless of qualifications.

Q.19: What if I have a carry-over trip into October? Do I have to fly it?
If you have a carryover trip, you are expected to work the carryover trip to complete your obligation to the Company. If you do not have a carryover trip, you will be paid 2:17 per day for October 1st and 2nd (based on 31 days/71 hours).

Q.20: What items do I have to turn into AA after my last trip?
All security related items including: Company ID, Airport ID, travel card, all keys (jetbridge and equipment/cockpit keys), all parking hang tags and cards, and your company tablet.  Please contact your Flight Service Manager to schedule an exit interview/arrange return of these items immediately following your final trip.

Q.21: When will I receive my final paycheck?
Your final paycheck will depend on how many months of furlough pay you receive.

Q.22: Do I keep my uniform?
Yes, you should keep your uniform items in good condition for use upon return to active duty.

Q.23: Can I work in another aviation industry job while on furlough?

Q.24: Will deductions like uniforms, garnishments, and any other normal deduction be taken from my furlough pay?
Yes. As long as you are receiving pay, the deductions will be taken out of your paycheck.

Q.25: How will I be notified if I am recalled from furlough?
The Company will notify you when you’re being recalled, in writing.

Q.26: What happens if I get a job that requires a time commitment past my recall date?
You’ll be allowed to fulfill your obligation with the other employer and will be placed on personal leave of absence with American during that time. You must notify American before entering into a contract with another employer to be eligible for this flexibility. (JCBA Section 23.D.1.a-b.)

Q.27: How do I calculate my furlough pay?
Your furlough pay calculation is based on the average hours flown (pay hours) over the last twelve months prior to the effective date of your furlough. The lookback does not include premiums, overrides, red flag pay or per diem.

Q.28: Which seniority date is a furlough based on?  
Furloughs are done in inverse order of system occupational seniority. (I.e. The most junior Flight Attendants in the system are furloughed first.) (JCBA Section 23.C.1.)

Q.29:  Who will be the point of contact while I am out on furlough?
There will be an updated list of contact emails and numbers provided to you.

Q.30:  Do I have to go to training while on Furlough? 

Q.31:  Am I able to do voluntary training while on Furlough?
No, as you are inactive you are unable to proffer for or be awarded any voluntary training.

Q.32: Do I accrue seniority while on Furlough?
Your company and classification/longevity seniority while furloughed will be adjusted day for day for the number of days you were furloughed.

Q.33: How will furlough affect my eligibility for FMLA?
You will not receive any credit for the months on furlough. Each month will be considered in your 12- month look-back.

Q.34: What happens to my sick time?
Your sick time will freeze until you return. You are unable to cash out your sick time.

Q.35: Will I get paid for vacation time I have earned prior to my furlough?
You will have the option of either being paid out your scheduled or unscheduled vacation, or it will be banked for your use upon being recalled.

Q.36: What if I have vacation scheduled during my furlough? What happens?
You will have two options. You may have it paid out by using the election form, or have it carried forward for you upon your return.

For more details regarding the involuntary furlough process, please reference this Involuntary Furlough Process Q&A Guide on the Contract Department page at

In Solidarity,

Brian Walsh
APFA National Contract Chair

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

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


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