Wednesday, November 10, 2021
APFA PHX Base Brief – November 2021
Secorra and I would like to thank all of the PHX Base Flight Attendants for their continued professionalism during a very difficult time. While no one could predict a meltdown of the proportion we experienced the last week of October, there should have been a plan ready for implementation to protect our operation, our passengers and most importantly our flight attendants. We will continue to voice our concerns to Senior Flight Service Management with regards to rerouting Flight Attendants, no hotel rooms, being on hold with Crew Scheduling and Tracking for hours at a time and left with no direction as to our rerouted schedule. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE! And while we still strongly believe that all displaced Flight Attendants be returned to PHX as soon as possible, the numbers will not help if the Company cannot manage the operation when there are problems with weather, computer systems, or electrical outages.
The Holiday pay incentive is a step in the right direction. However, we need to ensure that there is sufficient staffing in Tracking/Scheduling and Hotel/Limo Desk to assist our Flight Attendants going forward.
Holiday Peak and Perfect Attendance Payments/
Positive Space Commuting
First, we would like to acknowledge every Flight Attendant’s sacrifices over the summer, especially towards the end of October. Reschedules, cancellations, lack of hotel rooms, and transportation plagued this airline with a frequency we had never seen. These disruptions affect our mental well-being, stress levels, family and personal relationships. APFA has an obligation to do everything possible to make our work lives as easy as possible. We are pleased to announce that we have negotiated incentives with American Airlines to bring some well-deserved relief to our Flight Attendants during the upcoming busy holiday travel season.
APFA has signed a Letter of Agreement with American Airlines that offers additional pay when working during holiday peak periods. The Holiday Peak and Perfect Attendance Payments/Positive Space Commuting Hotline explains how it works.
Booking Positive Space (A12) Travel During the Holiday Peak Periods
On Friday, the Company announced special holiday peak period and perfect attendance incentives. The Company will provide commuters with roundtrip A12 travel between their designated commuter city (the top city listed in a flight attendant’s HI17) and their base. If you are a commuter, before you call to request travel, here are some important points:
- To book travel, call the PHX Crew Service Center (CSC)/”Bubble” at 480-693-2945.
- You may call Flight Service Daily Operations at IOC at 888-222-4737. Keep in mind Flight Service at IOC supports the entire system, and only one or two managers may be on duty at a time. That’s why your first call should be to your base Crew Service Center whenever possible.
- To help expedite your booking, review available flights in Travel Planner ahead of time and provide the Crew Service Center the following information:
- Date of departure to base
- City pair
- Requested flight number
- Date of departure back to commuter city
- What is A12 travel?
- A12 travel is company business travel and is subject to capacity controls.
- A12 is not “must-ride” status. This means the flight must have sufficient seats available to book.
- The Company will not be able to overbook a flight.
- There may be cases where seats are available for purchase on your flight, but seats in A12 inventory are not available .
- If A12 seating inventory is not available, you have two options:
- The Company can waitlist you for the flight. If a seat(s) becomes available, you’ll be cleared by an automated system. The system will continuously attempt to clear you up until 48 hours before departure. If it cannot clear you, you’ll go on the standby list as an “RV” (revenue standby) when you check in for the flight. (RV standbys have higher priority over non-revs.); OR
- You can request to be booked on another flight – including connecting flights.
- The Company is currently booking travel for November only. They will begin to book flights for December starting Nov. 18 – after December PBS awards are posted.
Note: Positive space travel for November will be allowed for sequences and standby shifts that originate or terminate between Nov. 23 – Nov. 29. You may also request positive space to be in base for your first RAP in a work block, or to travel home at the end of a reserve work block within the holiday peak period. The same will apply for the holiday peak period of Dec. 22 – Jan. 2.
- If your plans change because you trip trade, drop your trip, call in sick, etc., you must cancel your reservation so your seat can be sold to another customer or given to a non-rev. It is a violation of the Company’s travel policy to “no show” for business travel when you’re holding a confirmed seat. To cancel your PNR, call the PHX Crew Service Center at 480-693-2945.
PBS and December Holiday Bidding
By Secorra Flowers, APFA PHX Base VP and Randi Scanlon APFA PHX Base Council Rep.
This December, we will be in uncharted territory. The recently announced Holiday Peak Day and Perfect Attendance Payments could potentially change the bidding behavior of our base. For December, the bidding behavior of the base was to complete flying as early as possible to be off for the end of the month. If a base’s bidding behavior is heavier towards one-half of the month, this can trigger a half-month logic.
Typically, there is usually more flying near the holidays at the end of December. During the Allocations call for December, the Company advised the flying was spread out evenly throughout the month. In past years, the allowed max has been in the first half of December; this year, the reverse could happen with the incentive.
If you are trying to maximize the amount of flying from December 22 to the end of the month, keep in mind at later layers, you may need to include trips at the beginning of the month. If you wish to be awarded trips within a small footprint, you may need to have Line waivers (ex: 30/7) to allow for trips to be awarded. Setting a custom work block size may be necessary if you want to work more than 6-days in a row. If your desired award has less than 11-days off, have vacation days, or CQ, you may also need to Waive Minimum Days Off. This waiver is found on the Days Off Tab. Please see the proration chart below from the PBS Guide.
In PBS, a work block is defined as “a series of back-to-back workdays which may consist of one or more pairings, training or SA days.” The default work block in PBS is a minimum one day to a maximum six days. Please use caution if you use the waiver Waive 24 hrs Rest in Domicile, which allows the FAR required 24 hours rest (free from all duty) per seven-day period to occur on a layover, as opposed to a calendar day in your home domicile. When “Waive 24 hrs Rest in Domicile” is used, the default maximum work block size of six calendar days will be removed and no limit will exist. This means that you can be awarded multiple back-to-back pairings as long as there are 24 hours of rest, either on an overnight or at home.
Please Note: This waiver does not apply to the last six days of the bid month when transitioning from a lineholder month to a reserve month. You must have a calendar day off, in domicile for PBS to adhere to the reserve scheduling pattern of no more than six consecutive days of duty. Keep this in mind if you would like a particular reserve pattern the following month.
Please be mindful of the upcoming holidays when bidding for December, especially if you are on reserve. If you have any questions, please reach out to the scheduling desk at APFA National 817-540-0108 or the Live Chat on the APFA website or call our local number 800-595-1471.
System Board of Adjustment (SBA) Department Town Hall
By Robyn Walters, Regional Representative PHX & ORD
On November 17, 2021 at Noon (PHX Time) the SBA Department will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall on the subject of Social Media. Questions should be submitted prior to November 17. Look for an email that will be sent out later this week. A link to submit questions will be in the email. Should you be flying or unavailable on November 17, it will be recorded and available for viewing on APFA.org.
Contract Action Team
With APFA and the Company actively negotiating our next collective bargaining agreement, it is more important than ever that we get the correct information out to our membership.
As Activists for the Contract ACTION Team, you will be a direct link between the general membership and our Negotiations Committee. You will be tasked with talking to your flying partners about communication sent out by the Union’s Negotiations Committee, directing Flight Attendants how to sign up for the hotlines, how to access information as well as how to participate in ACTION events such as: email campaigns, base, regional and systemwide events.
As we continue to build our movement, we encourage all PHX Flight Attendants to sign up as Activists.
Allocations and Staffing
On Wednesday, November 3rd at 0800, we had the monthly staffing call with the Company. In attendance for PHX were members of the APFA PHX Scheduling Committee:
As we do each month, we discussed the available headcount, and number/percentage of Reserves deemed necessary.For December, the preliminary numbers for the allocations call for PHX were:
- 988 Total Active Flight Attendants
- 666 Lineholders
- 322 Reserves (32.6%)
PHX has the highest percentage of Reserves. CLT is a close second with 31.7%. Once again, the high number of sick calls were referenced as to the percentage of Reserves needed. For the majority of October, PHX was not the highest in sick calls numbers. However, by the end of October we were either number 1 or 2, percentage wise. We feel this is directly attributed to the number of hours our Reserve Flight Attendants were flying, as well as the reroutes that both Lineholders and Reserves were experiencing on almost every sequence the last half of October.
The allocations call to discuss the sequence construction, type of trips (i.e. number of 1,2,3 and 4-day sequences, ODANs, red eyes, etc.), any contractual violations, the length of duty day and overnights, was held on October 3rd, also. For December, PHX lost 178 hours of flying. While we did not lose as much as CLT and LAX (both lost over 8,000 hours of flying) any loss of hours in undesirable. For December we maintain 22% turns but lost 6% of our 2 day and have a 6% increase in the 3 day sequences. 4-day sequences will remain at 4% of our flying in base. ODANs decreased from 6.1 to 3.5. This could be attributed to the schedule change.
As for the quality of the sequences, we are pleased the overnights are, once again, predominantly longer than the duty days we are working. We also have a reduction in Spanish Speaker sequences. We welcome the PIT, DTW and MSP turns the first half of December, and are hoping we will see more in 2022. There are also some JFK, BOS and EWR long overnights (1leg/1leg flip flops), as well as the desirable 1 leg/1leg with the shorter overnights (12-15 hours of rest) to PHL, DCA, BOS and EWR. We do send recommendations for sequence changes and types (increase in turns and 2 days, etc), however as a reminder, the Company uses one solution when building the sequences, which means that most of the bases must be requesting the same type of flying. We are pleased to see widebody flying is still in PHX for the next few months.
No definitive date has been given to the return of PHX-LHR. We are still being told that the projection is March of 2022. However, with Boeing not delivering the new 787’s American has ordered, as promised, the aircraft AA has on hand will continue to be used in PHL, DFW and JFK. For this reason, we could see a further delay in the resumption of our LHR flying. Nothing has been definitively said to us, except that Boeing has not met it’s promised delivery dates on the new wide bodies. We are simply putting 2 and 2 together. Hopefully, we are incorrect, and we will see our LHR resume in March, even for a few days a week. Also, we continue to request the opportunity to fly the SEA-LHR route.
Remaining December Bidding Timelines
Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT)
By Markus Korpi, PHX Team Base Coordinator
The Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program was developed as a collaborative program between American Airlines and the APFA EAP. The program is designed to help Flight Attendants cope with the adverse physiological and psychological stress that often occurs in the aftermath of a traumatic event. The program’s goal is to assist the affected Flight Attendant’s to move from distress to emotional stability after a traumatic workplace event.
The Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is notified by Flight Service, Daily OPS or APFA via CERs reports. Without a CERS report, Daily OPS & CIRT will sometimes not know of a critical incident. It is important to submit a CERS so CIRT is contacted of the event. CERS can be submitted on your tablet during the flight when internet is available.
Occasionally, Critical Incident Stress Debriefs (CISD) are needed after an incident. CISD Criteria are as follows.
- Aircraft accident / air disaster
- Severe turbulence
- Flight Attendants physically assaulted during flight or layover
- Fire on board
- Cabin prep for evacuation using the emergency checklist
- Death in flight or on a layover
- Medical emergency inflight with use of AED
- Fear of one’s own or another’s death
- Bomb Threat
CISDs are scheduled within 24-72 hours following an event and are designed to lessen or avoid the potentially negative impact of a traumatic event. Attending a CISD is voluntary, however Flight Attendants are encouraged to attend for themselves and their co-workers. The CISD is a confidential, closed session with only the co-leaders and involved employees in attendance.
If CISD is approved you are entitled to full pay protection for the remainder of the trip of the event, and any trip(s) up to/through the CISD.
If you were not scheduled to work the day of the CISD, you have an option for pay:
- Receive 5 hours of credit (SA), or
- Be removed from your next trip, or next three consecutive days of RSV, with full pay and credit. The trip or the RSV days must commence within seven days of the first day after returning from the trip with the event.
The Team is available 24/7 with Flight Attendant Peer Support Volunteers by calling 800-998-8194.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the Holidays
By Robin Rakiec-Jones, PHX Base EAP Chair & Base Council Rep.
We have a new licensed counselor for the PHX Base. Her name is Vicky Newsom. She can be reached at 763-340-7763. Her email address is Vicky Newsom@optum.com. Her address is 2021 Rio Salado Parkway Suite A111 Tempe, Az 85281. She also does telecommunication which is great if you are on an overnight or are not comfortable doing in person meetings. I have not yet met her personally, but we have spoken on the phone and I have received very positive feedback about her.
I also wanted to tell everyone if you are in any kind of substance or alcohol recovery we have a group of flight attendants who meet every Thursday from every base online. It is called FAIR which stands for Flight Attendants in Recovery. The EAP counselors from every base are present on various days for feedback if desired but it is a flight attendant group. It is a confidential meeting so you would have to reach me to get the zoom password and link.
Finally, I have started two groups on Facebook. One is Caring Crews PHX that was started with the help of Leslie Free five years ago and a new group that I started called The Flight Attendant Grief and Support Group. Feel free to join either one of these groups if you are on Facebook.
Please feel free to call me on my personal cell phone at 602-690-5345 with any questions or for the zoom link and password for FAIR.
Scheduling & Contract Reminders
Did you know that should you return to base between 2300 and 0600 due to late operation (delays) of your sequence, you are entitled to actual transportation charges “substantiated by receipts”? Should you feel you are unsafe to drive home, or you do not want to wake your princess parking driver, you can take an Uber, Lyft or a shuttle. It is in the JCBA in Section 6.C.4.
What is considered positive contact? If you look at Section 10.V.5. the list includes Crew Scheduling(Tracking), a Company designee (member of Management), an FSM or the Captain. It is not a voicemail on your cell phone, a Crew Coordinator or Gate Agent. A Gate Agent can tell you that Crew Scheduling wants you to call; but again it is not positive contact.
Section 11.H. – Minimum Days Off. A Lineholder shall be provided not less than eleven (11) calendar days off in the Flight Attendant’s crew base during each contractual month. Such provision may be waived by the Flight Attendant in PBS, TTS and ETB. However, it cannot be taken under eleven (11) days due to the Company assigning a Reserve sequence into the Flight Attendant’s Lineholder month.
Section 10.J.4. states that once a Flight Attendant crew has originated their sequence, the Company may reschedule such crew to maintain schedule or substitute another crew on a part of the sequence to maintain scheduled operations in accordance with published timetables. This is a mid-sequence reschedule and is legal. However, Section 10.J.7. states that at the time of the reschedule, the Company shall make every effort to schedule such FA crew to arrive back in their crew base no later than the time she/he was originally scheduled to return. In NO EVENT will the FA(s) be rescheduled beyond her/his originally scheduled return unless the Company has unsuccessfully made every effort to provide Reserve coverage to continue the sequence from that point without causing a delay or cancellation. What does this mean? If there are Reserves available, whether RAP or Standby, and the Company has sufficient time to put the reserve on that sequence without further delaying the sequence, then you should not be rescheduled from your original sequence.
On Thursday, August 5th an agreement was reached between Labor and APFA that Lineholders would NOT be rescheduled at the end of their sequence. Upon returning to base, the Lineholder is finished and cannot be “tagged” or given an illegal double up. As a reminder, if you are a Reserve once you are past your release time (block in plus 15 minute domestic debrief, or 30 minute NIPD/IPD debrief) you cannot be rescheduled. Rescheduling Issues Part VII: Forced Double-Ups
Per Section 8.G.1. of the JCBA, “A Flight attendant will not be required to work during a vacation.” And Section 8.J.4 “once awarded, vacation shall not be cancelled by the Company”. These two sections of the Contract are important to note, as in the last two weeks we have successfully kept three (3) Flight Attendants from being scheduled into their vacation due to flying added to the end of their sequence.
If you are on Reserve and get back from an assigned/awarded sequence later than originally scheduled, check your assignment for the next day. If it provides less than your contractual 12 hours rest, it is your responsibility to call Crew Scheduling.
Frequently Asked Contract Questions
We are still receiving quite a few questions regarding when you can be contacted/assigned a sequence. Per JCBA Section 12.G.3. – “Flight Attendants may be assigned sequences or Standby shifts that report within a RAP prior to the start of the RAP. At the commencement of a RAP, Flight Attendants are responsible for reviewing and acknowledging all assignments through the automated system.“
What this means is you can receive a One Alert prior to the start of your RAP, but you are not required to acknowledge the assignment till your RAP begins.
Which brings us to JCBA Section 12.H.1. – “A Reserve shall be required to report within two(2) hours from the time she/he is notified of a sequence by Crew Schedule.”
What this means is if you are sent a One Alert at 9:25 for a sequence that checks in at 12:05, and your RAP C (11:00 till 23:00) you do not have to acknowledge the assignment till the beginning of your RAP, or 11:00. That makes the latest you can check in at the airport 13:00.
If you have any questions, please call APFA PHX at 800-595-1471. You can also call the Contract/Scheduling desk at APFA National 817-540-0108, or utilize the Live Chat feature on APFA.org.
Airport Standby Assignment
JCBA Section 11.E. is the table used to determine the length of day. The report time of the sequence determines your duty day max, not the report time of the standby shift.
L. ON-DUTY ALL-NIGHTER DUTY PERIODS (ODAN) – (Domestic and International)
As an exception to Paragraphs E., ODAN sequences consist of a single, stand-alone duty period which shall not be incorporated with any other duty period. An ODAN sequence includes all of the on-duty hours between 0100 and 0500 HBT. The Company may schedule ODAN duty periods subject to the following restrictions:
1. The ODAN duty period shall be scheduled for a maximum of fourteen (14) hours of duty however, the Flight Attendant may be required to remain on duty up to fifteen (15) hours to complete an ODAN sequence.
Return to Crew Base
Many still ask if the Company has to return us to base within 4 hours of our originally scheduled release time?
No. The language from the 1999 AWA Contract changed with the implementation of the 2013 US Airways Red Book Contract.
If you look at JCBA 10.J.7. it reads “at the time of rescheduling, the Company shall make every effort to schedule such Flight Attendant crew to arrive back in their crew base no later than the time she/he was originally scheduled to return. In no event will the Flight Attendant(s) be rescheduled beyond her/his originally scheduled return time unless the Company has unsuccessfully made every effort to provide Reserve coverage to continue the sequence from that point without causing a delay or cancellation…”
Contract Reminders with the Holidays Approaching
JCBA Section 10.J.4 states that once a crew has originated their sequence, the Company may reschedule such crew to maintain schedule or substitute another crew on a part of the sequence to maintain scheduled operations in accordance with published timetables. This is a mid-sequence reschedule and is legal. However, JCBA Section 10.J.7. states that at the time of the reschedule, the Company shall make every effort to schedule such Flight Attendant crew to arrive back in their crew base no later than the time she/he was originally scheduled to return. In NO EVENT will the FA(s) be rescheduled beyond her/his originally scheduled return unless the Company has unsuccessfully made every effort to provide Reserve coverage to continue the sequence from that point without causing a delay or cancellation. What this means is that if there are Reserves available, whether RAP or Standby, and the Company has sufficient time to put the Reserve on that sequence without further delaying the sequence, then you should not be rescheduled from your original sequence.
JCBA Section 8.G.1. “A Flight Attendant will not be required to work during a vacation.”
JCBA Section 8.J.4. “Once awarded, vacation shall not be cancelled by the Company”.
These two sections of the Contract are important to note. Within the last two weeks, we have successfully kept three Flight Attendants from being scheduled into their vacation due to flying added to the end of their sequence.
If you are on Reserve and get back from an assigned/awarded sequence later than originally scheduled, check your assignment for the next day. If it provides less than your contractual 12 hours rest, it is your responsibility to call scheduling.
If your last leg is a deadhead, please refer to JCBA Section 16.H. “A Lineholder scheduled to deadhead on the last live leg of her/his trip sequence may choose not to take the deadhead. The Lineholder shall notify Crew Schedule of her/his election prior to the scheduled deadhead.” This does not mean you have to ask permission to be released from your scheduled deadhead as a Lineholder. It simply means you call and say, “Hi this is FA Robin and I’m not taking my scheduled deadhead. Thank you, have a nice day.”
JCBA Section 16.H.1. “With Crew Schedule’s consent, a Reserve scheduled to deadhead on the last live leg of her/his sequence may choose not to take the scheduled deadhead, provided that she/he is available for her/his subsequent Reserve assignment.”
This does mean as a Reserve you must have Crew Scheduling’s permission to be released from your deadhead.
As a reminder, per JCBA Section 12.F.17.:
“A Standby must be available for immediate contact and assignment while on Standby duty but is not required to be in the Standby room.”
Flight Attendants sitting Airport Standby do not have 15 minutes to call Crew Scheduling back as we do on a RAP. Not answering your phone, or immediately calling back, could lead to a missed trip.
Quarterly Web-Based Training Must Be Completed by November 15
As a reminder, the deadline to complete the third quarter combined Flight Service and Corporate Web-Based Training (WBT) program in Learning Hub is Monday, November 15, 2021, at 2359 (CST). This training is required of all active Flight Attendants, including those returning from EVLOA.
- Basic Data Security
- Becoming an Upstander
- Microaggression Themes and Types
- Preventing Sexual Harassment
- The Journey to Action
- What are Microaggressions?
- Welcome Back (EVLOA returns only)
Flight Attendants will receive $25 Training Pay for the completion of the modules. (JCBA Section 29.E.3.)
If you have any questions regarding the assigned WBT, please contact the Training Support Desk at 1-800-VIP-CREW Option 6 and then 1.
January 2022 PHX Base Town Hall
APFA PHX will be holding a virtual base meeting in January. We will send out a communication once we have the date. We hope that members of APFA’s DE&I Committee (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) will be on the Town Hall as well. We are hopeful that we will be able to resume in person base meetings after March of 2022.
APFA PHX Phone Number
- Ext. 1 – National Office and Contract & Scheduling Desk
- Ext. 2 – PHX Base President Robin Agee
- Ext. 3 – PHX Base Vice President Secorra Flowers
- Ext. 4 – Mandatory Meeting Representation
- Ext. 5 – Medical and Injury on Duty
- Ext. 6 – Reserves
- Ext. 0 – General Questions
Save the image below, for when you do not have access to the internet:
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.
APFA PHX Base President
APFA PHX Base Vice President