Sunday, June 6, 2021
Customer Assaults on Flight Attendants
I continue to read CERS reports where flight attendants are dealing with customers who refuse to comply with our instructions and basic safety requirements. These customers who verbally and physically abuse flight attendants should be held accountable. I want you to know that I will use whatever tools are at my disposal to help address this increase in assaults, working with our leadership, other labor unions, and the company. Please continue to submit your CERS reports. If you find yourself dealing with a customer that you feel may create an unsafe environment for you or anyone else, when possible, please protect yourself first. Unfortunately, sometimes we must rely on our colleagues to take over a situation we were never going to be able to resolve, and that is okay.
In our JCBA, we have language that is from the Redbook that speaks about flex moths. The company can flex the maximum line value by an annual amount of twenty-five hours, but no more than 5 hours in any given month. As you know, the company may set line averages anywhere between 75-85 hours but, when the month is flex, they can flex the maximum to 95 hours. Here at LGA, we have many high-time fliers, so the maximum only worries me for Reserves, who usually are expected to time out and be released at 85.01. During a flex month, you will not time out until the specific time the flex determines, for example, If the flex is 4 hours it will be 89:01, 2 hours 87:01, etc. The Flex will be known when PBS opens so you can adjust your TCR accordingly. Please familiarize yourself with JCBA Section 10.D.13.D.
JFK- SCL (Santiago, Chile) Flown as a Rocket for July 2021
JFK-SCL, Santiago, Chile. Once I had the facts on the conditions related to the pandemic in Santiago, I agreed to keep the pairing as a rocket with the Pilots. The decision was not seniority-driven. Some of our bases fly rockets as part of their allocations, but New York will not be one of those bases under my administration. No other destination we fly to currently or will resume service to is changing. Hopefully, that will put to rest some of the rumors I have received. If JFK-SCL starts to operate five days or more a week, that will completely change the dynamics, as the layover would be within the 30–40-hour range. I will contact the person in charge of pilot allocations on this issue, although my decision is not necessarily dependent on the pilots. Here are some of the facts I took into consideration that are posted on government websites:
- As of June 4, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 1,411,346 cases of COVID-19 in Chile.
- Chile is under a daily nationwide curfew from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am.
- Chile remains under the State of Emergency through June 2021.
- Across Chile, travelers should be aware that any health and safety measures currently in place, including restrictions on movement and gatherings in groups, may become stricter with little notice.
- U.S. citizens should exercise caution by maintaining social distancing practices, following quarantine and sanitary procedures as directed by the Chilean government (including curfew). Infractions could be subject to fines and potential arrest
As your APFA LGA Base President, I want to be transparent when I must make a decision related to your safety and health; I will not poll the base for feedback as safety and health come first. We all have our preferences when it comes to anything that affects us at work. I understand that some decisions I make will not meet with approval by every one of you. I assure you that the decisions about safety and health are made with every one of you in mind, and that will never shift in my order of priority.
I ask that those who fly the SCL pairing please send your feedback, good or bad, regarding the pairing to Sonja Hollen via email. Sonja may be reached at [email protected].
Hotel and transportation issues should continue to be sent to our APFA Hotel Department via the Hotel and Transportation Feedback Form.
Communicating with APFA
When you write to anyone at APFA, we highly suggest using your personal email to communicate with us. This is to help us protect your privacy, including HIPAA information, should you comment or mention anything confidential. Penelope and I never under any circumstance use our AA email to communicate with anyone in our capacity as Union Officers.
The Company notified us yesterday of the early airport closure of the MDE airport, forcing our departure to be moved up by approximately 15 minutes. You may have received a notice from the Captain about it; we are fully aware. If you have any issues, please send them to us directly to our emails. This is not an “early boarding issue” since the departure is moved up; the boarding times remain the same prior to departure.
During May, our JFK-TLV route brought a repetitive and inexcusable number of errors to the Hebrew speakers. Then non-speakers had to deal with the company’s mistakes after balloting and TTS runs. Thanks to our JCBA team at APFA HDQ, we survived MAY. I am hoping that these errors no longer manifest themselves in JUN. I am fully aware of how this impacted the Hebrew speakers beyond the contractual violations, and I am dealing with that through the proper channels.
I want to make sure we all understand that ALL speakers continue to have the same responsibilities as non-speaker Flight Attendants. There are two separate misaward forms on the bottom of the APFA landing page. One is for PBS, and one is for the Scheduling Tools (TTS/UBL/ETB/ROTA and ROTD). The PBS email is only monitored during the PBS bidding and award challenge window; please make sure you are filling out the correct form. When we experience difficulties with the scheduling systems, it can be frustrating, but sending the proper form is very important. Please remember that even if you suspect a misaward during the PBS run, we recommend submitting a PBS misaward form. This is the replacement for FABRC and the only way to assess an actual error.
On JFK-TLV, Position 10 was created by the company to address the mistakes during the MAY PBS run. This was not contractual nor set any precedent. A flight can go out staffed without a speaker when one is not in the order of ROTA/UBL or previously balloted for. The company reserves the right to hold and decide how they staff a speaker position on a flight based on operational needs. As a speaker myself, I fully understand the challenges that come with the benefits of holding pairings we would otherwise not be able to on just seniority. I served many years of reserve until recently under these rules and older ones that were much less forgiving, so I get it.
Team New York is Shaping Up
Please join me in welcoming Sonja Hollen to Team New York as our allocations BCR. Sonja will collect feedback from the New York flight attendants on anything related to the flying in the current month. Please only email your feedback, as we need this print information to track and address issues. Sonja brings a wealth of knowledge to the council, knowing the dynamics of our base and being a familiar and respected face at LGA. Sonja may be reached at [email protected].
Please remember to continue to report hotel and transportation issues to our Hotel Department at APFA via the Hotel and Transportation Feedback Form found on the APFA website. This is a critical step in getting issues resolved.
Please fly and stay safe,
Christian M. Santana
APFA LGA Base President
APFA LGA Base Vice President
Proud to Represent New York-LGA