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12.05.21 – APFA CLT Base Brief – January 2022 Allocations

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Good Day CLT Flight Attendants,

Welcome New Hire Classes 2021-1 and 2021-2!

It has been over a year and a half since we have had new Flight Attendants join our ranks and we are happy to welcome the majority of the first new groups to Charlotte. For the past few weeks, we have had the pleasure of welcoming these exceptional Flight Attendants to our Charlotte family. Many of these Flight Attendants were slated to attend and finish training in 2020, their plans were put on hold through the pandemic, and they have been patiently waiting for the opportunity to join us. All of us have been through a lot during COVID and it says a lot about this group that they maintained a commitment to become AA Flight Attendants, even as the industry struggles to rebound. If you have a chance to work with any of them, or happen to run across them, please take a moment and say hello, and join us in welcoming them to our Charlotte family.

Allocations

We had our monthly call with the Company to discuss the trips for January. The good news is we will continue to get New Hire Flight Attendants for the first few classes of 2022. For 2021, we are slated to get 216 new hires this year. The first two classes came on board in November and 4 more classes will join us in December. Only three of these classes will be online before PBS opens for January, so they will be included in the reserve count for January, the remaining 3 classes will be online but will not be included in the reserve count. Those that come out after PBS will be plotted for days on duty over critical coverage days much like December, so this should allow for more flexibility when building reserve lines. The addition of these Flight Attendants, and with transfers, our total headcount will increase to 2,590 with 2,362 active.

Charlotte will see about a 10% increase in time to 126,535-man hours. The majority of the new time will be built into 3 days. Our reserve count remains high at 696 or 30%. (If you include the new hires after they come online, the reserve numbers are 32.2%) The reserve cut off will be March of 1987. They have always put a large number of Reserves in January just to cover the first week leading out of the holiday travel season and this year is no different. We voiced our opposition to this as we do every year, but they said they are worried that the absenteeism rate will climb after the incentive period is over and we have an increase in flying rather than the usual decrease after the first week. What the company doesn’t seem to grasp is the self-fulfilling prophecy they continue to create. When the numbers are high and the seniority is high, the absenteeism rate climbs. When a FA is placed on a confusing, complicated, and restrictive reserve system that doubles your chances for punitive action and takes away your seniority, many have physical reactions that prevent them from coming to work. We actively track the reserve usage each day and as expected because of the incentive program, the usage has dropped dramatically. We still have the peak periods around the middle of the month and the critical period to contend with, but our outlook for the remainder of the month is positive. No one wants a repeat of October where we had an influx of time but not personnel. Moving forward we will continue to push for reasonable reserve numbers and realistic line averages that work for everyone.

Vacation buyback was offered for January and very few people took advantage of it. When the company built the vacation matrix for this year, they placed a lot of vacation in the last 4 months. When a large amount of flight attendants have vacation in a given month, this actually creates a manpower shortage. The solution to this is to raise the line average (put more flying on those who are not on vacation). Our line average will be 82.4. This is a high line average for Charlotte and means more people will have trips assigned to them in PBS. Keep this in mind when putting in a targeted credit range in PBS and make sure you have enough trips in your bids to cover a higher line. To try and take some of the pressure off the higher line average, the company has agreed to extending vacation buyback until December 7th. For those of you who wanted the lump sum payout for vacation last summer and could not hold it, the next few months should afford you the opportunity to participate in monthly buybacks. The window is short, so keep an eye out for mobileCCI messages announcing when buyback is available.

The trip construction for January mirrors December in many ways. The highlighted changes to look for are:

  • An increase in overall time with more 3-days available
  • Reduced flying on New Year’s Day, a schedule change on the 4th and Martin Luther King Day on the 17th.
  • We will have the reduced banks of flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Sundays will eliminate the first bank of flights for January and Mondays will eliminate the last bank. Many of the other bases will have reduced banks and this is causing the sit times to increase.
  • We will be adding Frankfurt to the IPD system on the 4th (with a positioning trip on the 2nd) and Honolulu will discontinue on the 4th. Munich and London will run all month. Frankfurt is slated to have 2 speakers and Munich will have 1 speaker. (A little short on the GER speakers if anybody is interested in signing up)
  • No VLOAs
  • Flight Attendants will have mirrored duty days with the Pilots out of DFW, CLT, PHX and now ORD.
  • There will be 1,602 Lineholders (Dec had 1504) and 696 Reserves (Dec had 701)
  • 1-days will make up 16% of our trips (increase from December)
  • 2-days will make up 25% of our trips (slight decrease from December)
  • 3-days will make up 35% of our trips (5% Increase from December)
  • 4-days will make up 6% of our flying (same)
  • 2/3-days and 3/4-days have been cut in half to less than 1% of the trips.
  • ODANs saw a slight increase to 7%
  • Red eyes remain the same with 3.5% of the trips.
  • Pink eyes and bullets decreased and remain less than 1% of the trips.

 

The basic trip construction has not changed, and any significant improvements are not planned for anytime soon. We saw an increase in the sit times due to the elimination of some of the banks of flying in other bases. Seasonal decreases are hitting the system and the company is cutting flying on some days as a result. Most of the increases that can be seen around the system are only the result of wide body flying. Honolulu is being cut for seasonal reasons (demand) and also because we don’t have enough wide body aircraft to do all the IPD and long-range flying that is being added. We are back ordered by thirteen 787s with Boeing. As IPD comes back and there can be more yield in other long-haul markets, the seasonal markets in NIPD like Honolulu will have to wait.

The 1-day trips still have 4 legs, but we only saw a few trips with 4 legs built into one of the duty days. Almost half of the 4-days are still not commutable on one end or the other. We saw a lot of early check ins and some long duty days on the first day of the sequence, followed by short rest. As you can see, we still have a long way to go until our trips return to pre-COVID levels. The first step will be the return of the schedule and staffing levels. We are getting the new hires and they still have plans to slowly bring back the IPD flying. When we get further into the spring, we should see the return of the banks of flying as seasonal demand starts to pick up, with that we are hoping to finally get some of the improvements we have been waiting for.

January Bidding Timelines

Each month we have been given a new obstacle during this Pandemic. Our flight attendants have risen to each challenge. We still face an uncertain future with new COVID variants, new international restrictions, and an uncertain market for our product. Government requirements change from week to week, while our passengers continue to add in the frustration. AA continues with “Business as usual”, “we got your Back” while we patiently wait for real improvements. The Holiday incentive was a good start to try and return us to where we want to be and with the planned hiring and growth scheduled for the spring, perhaps we are on the road to recovery. Or maybe this is just more of the business as usual with more of the promises that things will get better down the road. Time will tell.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

The Charlotte APFA Team

In Solidarity,

Scott Hazlewood
APFA CLT Base President

shazlewood@apfa.org

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

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

 

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