Saturday, August 7, 2021
Hotel and Transportation Issues Continue
Last week, APFA filed a Presidential Grievance: Crew Accommodations and Transportation against the company, addressing their inability to contractually uphold Section 6 of the JCBA. The unprecedented challenges faced by our membership over the past eighteen months are inexcusable.
Several years ago, American Airlines decided to outsource their Hotel/Limo Desk operation to a third-party vendor, TA Connections (formerly Travelliance). TA Connections has proven to be incapable of providing the products and services needed to meet the demand and operation of our airline. TA Connections has offered their product, BizHero, as an optional tool to our membership in IROP situations. BizHero is not a solution to this company’s Hotel/Limo failures, and does not justify the inadequacies of TA Connections.
On August 14, 2019, APFA sent a special hotline to the membership titled, “AA’s BizHero Hotel link is NOT a Fix”. Two years later, with dismal and intolerable improvement, American Airlines should be embarrassed by their third-party hotel and transportation vendor selected to assist the Flight Attendants of American Airlines. The Company needs to terminate its contract with the third-party vendor and bring the Hotel/Limo Desk back in house. When our membership calls the Hotel/Limo Desk, we should speak with American Airlines employees, not outsourced individuals. APFA asks the Company to end its defective and failed partnership with TA Connections and be accountable to its vital frontline Flight Attendants and operation.
While it is important to keep you up-to-date on what APFA is doing to combat these failures, you need to know what options for help are available to you if and when you and your crew are faced with no hotel rooms, no transportation, and no answer from American Airlines Hotel/Limo desk. Here are some frequently asked questions to help:
Q1: Hotel/Limo is not answering the phone after an extended period, who can I call?
Flight Service Daily Ops is available 24/7, and can be contacted at 682-315-7070 or 888-222-4737.
Q2: Can I book my own hotel room, put down a personal credit card, and be reimbursed?
A. Yes. JCBA Section 6.B.4 states, “In the event that regularly assigned lodging is not available or if the crew is diverted to other than the scheduled layover, the Company shall provide other like lodging. If the Company is not able to secure like lodging, the Flight Attendant will be allowed reasonable, actual expenses for other like lodging, substantiated by a receipt.
Q3: BizHero is optional, and I refuse to use it. What’s an alternative?
Call the 24/7 Hotel/Limo Desk at 1-800-VIPCREW, #, 1, 9, or Flight Service Daily Ops. You may also follow JCBA Section 6.B.4 (see question 2 above), and file for reimbursement.
Q4. How long do I have to wait before arranging alternative transportation? I’ve been waiting with no definitive pick-up time. Can I just take an Uber or a taxi and submit a reimbursement?
Yes. JCBA 6.C.2 states, “At points other than the Flight Attendant’s crew base, where the Company’s scheduled or prearranged transportation is not available within twenty (20) minutes after such is requested by the Flight Attendant, the Flight Attendant will be authorized to take alternate transportation to the hotel. On overnights scheduled for less than ten (10) hours and thirty (30) minutes, transportation shall be available within ten (10) minutes and the twenty (20) minute wait set forth above shall not apply.”The JCBA further explains that the expense for transportation shall be paid by the hotel, or if the hotel refuses to pay for alternate transportation, the Flight Attendant shall pay for the transportation and be reimbursed by the Company, or the Company may provide a cab voucher.
Q5: My sequence has fallen apart, and I’m in my hotel room without information regarding pick-up time, and the outbound flight is cancelled, what should I do?
First, call Crew tracking for an update to your sequence. If an update is provided and you are at an airport hotel, check with the hotel front desk regarding provided transportation to airport. If you are at a downtown hotel, contact the Hotel/Limo desk to determine the new scheduled pick-up time and transportation to airport. If tracking does not have an update to your sequence, call the Hotel/Limo to extend you hotel reservation and check-out time.
If you encounter contract violations and need to report issues with your crew accommodations and transportation, please officially document via the APFA Hotel and Transportation Feedback Form.
- Lack of Day Room – Contact Tracking, #, 2, 9
- AA Hotel/Limo Desk – 800-VIPCREW, #, 1, 9
- Flight Service Daily Ops – 682-315-7070 or 888-222-4737
APFA insists that the Company ends this toxic partnership with TA Connections and be accountable to and for its own employees by having American Airlines employees staff the Hotel/Limo Desk, ending their reliance on an unprofessional third-party organization that struggles to handle its core tasks.
More updates to follow as APFA works to fix these contractual failures.
APFA National Hotel Chair
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