Monday, November 9, 2020
Mixing of Wide-body and Narrow-body Flying
Last week, APFA leadership participated in the regularly scheduled monthly staffing call with the Crew Planning department. This call allows your base and national leadership to give the Company feedback regarding Reserve numbers, PBS line averages, headcount, and more.
Around this same time, APFA leadership previewed the bid sheets for the upcoming bid month. Looking through the bid sheets for December 2020, we noticed sequences containing wide-body and narrow-body flight segments.
In this example, the crew on sequence 15796 works a 737 from PHL-MIA and a 787 from MIA-PHL. On the first flight to Miami, the four Flight Attendant crew works positions 1-4. On the return trip from Miami, the same crew works positions 5-8, and four more Flight Attendants from another crew base work positions 1-4 on the 787.
This is unacceptable, and from an operational standpoint, is a recipe for disaster, especially in a holiday month. We made it clear to Chip Mayer, Director of Crew Schedule Planning, and Cindi Simone, Managing Director of Labor Relations, that this type of sequence construction is unacceptable for many reasons, including a violation of our Collective Bargaining Agreement.
APFA has grave concerns about these sequences, some of which include:
- JCBA Section 10.S is clear: Flight Attendants shall be able to bid and be awarded by position in PBS, TTS, and ETB. I bid position 1 on the sequence in the example above, but I am moved to position 5 on the return. I did not bid for position 5 in PBS, TTS, or ETB.
- Aircraft qualifications: PBS will only award the above sequence if the Flight Attendant is trained on both the 737 and 787. If there are insufficient Flight Attendants trained on the 787 in a specific base, this could cause this sequence to be assigned outside of your PBS pairing layers and could be forced on a more senior Flight Attendant, and the lack of qualification may cause the sequence to be assigned out of order on the Reserve list.
- Premiums: If a Flight Attendant purposely bids Position 1 for the month and now is moved to Position 5 for the return flight above, premium pay will be lost.
- Safety: Moving from narrow-body to wide-body equipment, along with a change in positions, creates an environment for safety issues such as an inadvertent slide deployment (ISD). Please continue to utilize the Cabin ASAP form on the Safety & Security page of the Jetnet Flight Service website to identify any issues related to safety.
- When four Flight Attendants show up for a 787 departure, and four Flight Attendants are delayed, Crew Tracking will have to re-crew the four Flight Attendants with local Reserves if possible, driving up Reserve utilization in a critical holiday month.
- December is not the month to be making drastic changes to sequence construction. December is a holiday month, PBS line averages are high, and the majority of flying is scheduled in the last two weeks of the month.
Changing the sequence construction was done without any communication with anyone at APFA. We only discovered the change as we looked over the December bid sheets. After discovering these sequences, we immediately argued to have all wide-body flying isolated into separate sequences. Aside from removing a few of the sequences from bases where they discovered not many Flight Attendants are wide-body qualified, the Company refused to make any meaningful changes. It is clear to APFA that this decision was not well thought out.
APFA will be sending a cease and desist letter to American, demanding that they immediately cease and desist from implementing the construction of mixed wide-body and narrow-body sequences for December and all subsequent months. We will be following up the letter with a Presidential Grievance.
Your APFA National Officers and APFA Board of Directors
Please remember, we have 7,985 involuntarily furloughed Flight Attendants at American Airlines.
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