Monday, February 8, 2021
March 2021 Allocations
Good Day CLT Flight Attendants,
We had our monthly allocations call this week to discuss the trips for March. There was some good news for a change. Our head count is increasing by 279 with the return of the first group of our furloughed colleagues. Our total headcount will be 1642 with an active count of 1550. The amount of trips has also increased by 20% for Charlotte, almost 25% system wide. This increase in flying is welcome news, but the company remains cautious on what increases may come going forward into the summer months. System wide, IPD flying is slated to begin a slow return at the end of March and the company is moving forward with these trips. For Charlotte, we are seeing about an 18% increase in personnel and a 20% increase in trips. Our base breaks down as follows:
- Active headcount: 1550
- Lineholders: 1,214
- Reserves: 336 (21.7%- same percentage as last year)
- Line Average: 80
- There will be no VLOAs.
Approximately 279 Flight Attendants will be returning from the furlough with a possibility of 16 more being added before PBS closes. They will be eligible to serve Reserve in March and we anticipate the returning group to make up the body of the Reserves.
The Company has sent out WARN notices this week and we have not received the exact number they will need but they have said we may be in an overstaffed position going into the summer. This is the result of the caution they are using moving forward. If the demand comes back, the schedule will reflect this with more increases in flying. Without clear numbers, we are still at the mercy of the pandemic. They have announced another round of leaves including 3 months, 12 months, and 18 months. The terms of these leaves are relatively the same as the previous leaves and there is also an early retirement package similar to the previous one. If enough Flight Attendants take the leaves and the flying increases, there may be no need to furlough again. Click Here to learn more about the leave options.
The Reserve number will be 336 (21.7%). There is usually a slight increase to the Reserve numbers in March and our sick rate remains high with many of our Flight Attendants out on pandemic leaves. This is driving the Reserve numbers in today’s climate. The Reserve usage has increased almost 3-fold over last year due to sick calls and COVID removals.
- 1 days will make up 19% of our trips (12% in February)
- 2 days will make up 36% of our trips (39% in February)
- 3 days will make up 13% of our trips (16% in February)
- 4 days will make up 9% of our trips (no change)
- 2/3 days will be 7% of our flying (down)
- 3/4 days will come in at 3 % (no change)
- ODANs will make up 10% of our trips (7% in February)
- Clean red eyes will come in at about 2 % (down from February)
- There are some Bullets/Rockets for March (none since December)
- Pink eye flying is still being built into the 3- and 4-day trips.
NIPD flying is steady with a mix of different cities and many departures originating out of Miami. NIPD flying is still limited by the governments in the countries we serve. Many of these countries require testing of crews if they are going to be scheduled for an overnight. This limits how we can build these destinations into the system. As these countries lift the restrictions, the flying will increase.
The largest increase was a shift from 2 and 3-days into the 1-day trips. We advocated for more 1-day flying and they built more 4 -leg one days (two turns). The sit time in between the turns has been reduced but there is still a significant amount of these trips with more than a 2-hour sit between the turns. The object of 4-leg one days is to do two quick turns with a short sit time. Charlotte has more short-haul flights than other bases because of our geographic location. The Company maintains they need to make 1-day trips that will be all hard time so they can remain productive. This has created most of the 4-leg one days with a medium turn and a short turn. This type of trip needs to be refined in the future. There are also several long haul 1-day turns to the West Coast worth high time and the usual 2-leg turns worth 5 hours.
The 2-days remain the largest group of trips. The general trip construction remains the same, they have programmed the computer to have a max connection time of 3+45. We have advocated this be reduced but the sit times are still there. While the “more than 3-hour sits” have been reduced, there are still high sit times when you go through bases such as Charlotte, Miami, and Dallas. This is due to the reduced banks of flying at many of the bases. Charlotte continues to operate 7 banks of flights, but many cities are only operating 5 banks, and this can vary by the day of the week. This makes it hard to build 1 and 2-day trips because many times you come in on one bank and building the next flight may take you to the next bank of flying that doesn’t depart for 3 or more hours. This is driving the high sit times, but they are necessary to build hard time days. This leads to longer duty days and more exposure time with shorter overnights. They must force the computer to build 1 and 2-day trips that are considered productive by the computer. We have pushed for a mix of later departure times for the 2-days, so it is more realistic to hold back-to-back trips. The 2-days do have a mixture of the departure times.
The 3-days have been reduced and as the system grows, we are seeing less and less 30-hour layovers. The 3-days have the same general problems as the two days with high sit times and multiple leg days. There are some 3-days that do one or 2-legs a day and the layovers are decent. 30-hour layover cities include CLE, EWR, PVD, JAX, MYR, SAT, TPA, CMH, DTW, ATL, YYZ, MEM, GRR, BDL. These are low frequency cities with few flights, the choice for many of these cities is to build an ODAN or have a 30-hour layover.
The 4-days were not bad trips overall; if you like doing 4-days. The commutability is slightly better but many of these trips are not commutable on one end of the other. We have the same distribution of 4-days with 9% and there are some 1-leg, 2- leg days that leave later or get in early. The number of 3/4-days have been reduced but there are a few to the low frequency cities much like the 3-days.
IPD is still limited to LHR still running on SUN, WED and Friday. April may see this flight go out daily with a schedule change on April 2nd. The niche flying is starting to come back with 2 Bullets, but the red eyes remain limited to the usual cities. The pink eye flying is still being built into the 3 and 4-day sequences. As the system comes back, we hope to see more of this type of flying set into their own categories as stand-alone trips. Many bases have no niche flying because of the limited banks. ODANs remain strong as set alone trips with 10% of the flying. The general rule of thumb with ODANs is “nobody likes to actually work ODANs, but everybody like how they work in their schedule”. Many bases are begging for ODANs where a year ago they didn’t want them. Our geographic location gives us an advantage on being able to have ODANs as we have more short haul cities to choose from. The key is to find the balance with traditional flying and with niche flying so we have variety and flexibility with our schedules.
Overall, we welcome the increase to the schedule and the additional time it will provide so we have enough flying for those returning from furlough. We have a long way to go to get back to a trip construction model that we can live with and doesn’t place our safety in jeopardy with increased exposures and cause high fatigue. We are actively pushing for the third extension of the PSP that does include a no-furlough clause and additional monies for the airlines. If this bill gets passed, the possible need to furlough again will be diminished and we hope this will equate to better trip construction and realistic staffing. In many ways we are right back where we were last summer with the progression of the pandemic setting the course.
The RDU Satellite base kicks off operations in March with 3,038-man hours slated. Keep in mind, when you bid in PBS, none of the RDU trips will populate UNLESS you physically click on CO-TERMINAL/SATELLITE AIRPORT under “pairings” even if you put in preferences like 2 -day/layover city/departure time. You will need to hit the CO-TERMINAL pairing property. In PBS, if you bid a satellite trip, it will ask you if you are sure you want this. When TTS and ETB open, be careful to look at the designation for the RDU trips, if you pick up one of these trips by mistake, you are expected to fly it or drop it on your own. RDU has a mix of trips and much like Charlotte, there are some good ones and there are some stinkers. This is the first month we will be operating RDU as a satellite and we are anticipating a smooth transition. If you are interested in getting on the RDU satellite list, send an email to Dee Dee Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
APFA Charlotte will continue to fight for better trips, better rest with safety as the number one concern. We are also pleased to welcome a few additional people as new reps and we are pleased to have our furloughed reps back into the fight. Welcome back!
Take care of yourselves and each other. ~ The Charlotte APFA Team
APFA CLT Base President
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