1.30.21 – APFA LGA Base Brief – Annual Vacation Bidding

Saturday, January 30, 2021

May 2021 – April 2022 Vacation Bidding

Primary vacation bidding for 2021-2022 opens February 1st at 1200 (CST) and closes March 3rd at 1200 (CST). We are pleased that LGA Flight Service Management plans to offer Vacation Bidding classes over the next month. We are encouraging them to schedule classes at both LGA and JFK. Keep an eye on your Company email for an announcement regarding dates and times.

We want to be candid with you about some of the harsh realities regarding vacation bidding this year.

Vacation Buyback

The Company chose to adhere to the minimum contractual language for the first time, buying back just 5.5% of the total annual crew base vacation accrual this year. It was strictly a financial decision to avoid a large cash payout in June. In turn, it will increase the total percentage of Flight Attendants bidding for vacation from years past. Note that Flight Attendants who are on leaves and have accrued vacation will be bidding as well. Any vacation days they are carrying over from last year due to a leave will be bid in the secondary round of vacation bidding. Unless long-term leaves are canceled, their vacation awards will be dropped into the monthly vacation rebid matrix.

Vacation Matrix 

The available slots in the 2021-2022 vacation matrix will be concentrated toward the vacation calendar’s back end as part of the Company’s effort to defer financial obligations. This means fewer days are offered in months that are more desirable vacation periods, namely summer and December. There are limited contractual provisions for the matrix and the distribution of days.

To help illustrate how this may play out, here are some examples. As the matrix currently stands, only 226 Flight Attendants would be able to hold a seven-day block of vacation in June. The months of July, August, and December look similar. The matrix would allow 340 Flight Attendants to hold a seven-day block of vacation in those three months. The JCBA Vacation system allows us many flexibilities in bidding. Suppose you factor in that people will bid for more than seven days in desirable months. In that case, it is easy to see how the result will be considerably less than 226 people holding vacation in June or 340 in July, August, and December. Simply put, prime vacation months are going to be harder to come by.

Let us look at 2022 to see how the opposite will likely play out. Since the matrix is back heavy, 1294 Flight Attendants would be on vacation in February in a scenario where only seven-day blocks are awarded.

APFA strongly disagrees with the matrix and the distribution of the vacation days. We offered the Company several alternatives that would spread the days more evenly throughout the year. The Company rejected most of our proposals, again stating the need to defer their financial obligations. As a result, APFA leadership has concerns about the operation’s integrity in February, March, and April of 2022. The likelihood of a high number of people on vacation in those months would inevitably push reserve up the seniority list.

Monthly Rebid

Since the vacation awards of those Flight Attendants on leaves will likely drop into the monthly rebid matrix, we recommend reviewing the rebid process. The Vacation Management System guide is available on Crew Change.

In Solidarity,

Robert Norvell
APFA LGA Base President

rnorvell@apfa.org
(718) 350-6023

Penelope King
APFA LGA Base Vice President
pking@apfa.org
(718) 350-7043 

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

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

 

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