Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Scheduling and Hotel/Limo Desk Failures Continue
Last weekend, American experienced another irregular operation, as large, slow-moving storms affected operations throughout Florida and the southeast. American Airlines and our competitors canceled and delayed thousands of flights in the region, which had ripple effects throughout the entire operation.
During large irregular operations, crew tracking, crew scheduling, and the hotel/ limo desk continue to fail many of our crew members. During this most recent irregular operation,
- Crews were abandoned in hotels, trying to reach crew tracking to receive information about sequence changes.
- Crewmembers were forced to sleep on the floor in the airport because they were unable to reach the hotel/limo desk.
- Flight Attendant crews were forced to sleep in one hotel room.
- Flight Attendants waited for hotel rooms over 6 hours after landing, after being on duty for a full day.
- Crews waited upwards of 12 hours for tracking to advise them of a reschedule, and flew home on their own after being asked to vacate the hotel. Upon arrival at home, sometimes 24 hours later, crew tracking attempted to issue ‘missed trips’ to Flight Attendants that had no repaired schedule, no hotel, and no transportation to the airport.
We still have no relief from the blatant contractual violations, lack of hotels and transportation, and inhumane trip construction. Why is our flight service leadership so unresponsive to the blatant contractual violations, inhumane sequence construction, and the basic human need for adequate rest while working?
From Marti McMillan, National Scheduling Chair, and Jeff Petersen, National Contract Chair
Last weekend, management again struggled to maintain the operation and repair sequences throughout this most recent irregular operation. As a result, we have documented and filed Notices of Dispute (NODs) on multiple contract violations throughout the system, including but not limited to:
- After experiencing a disruption, Flight Attendants were not notified with positive contact within the contractual 3-4 hour timeframe of the remainder of their sequence/assignment (10.J.3.d), only to be given ‘missed trips’ because they were no longer at the airport when scheduling finally called.
- Flight Attendants rescheduled to flying, which did not bring them back to base within the footprint of their trip despite ample reserve coverage, in violation of 10.J.7.
- Flight Attendants scheduled to fly a two-leg turn that included a deadhead on the last live leg were rescheduled to completely different flying, violating both 10.J.1. and 10.J.7.
- Flight Attendants experiencing a delay or cancellation prior to report were not notified of the delay in departure, in violation of 10.J.2.e.
- Reserve Flight Attendants assigned trips before their RAP began yet reported at the start of their RAP, in violation of 12.G.2.
- Reserve Flight Attendants placed on a modified RAP when their previous duty assignment did not provide them contractual crew base rest prior to the start of the originally assigned RAP, in violation of 12.E.4.
- Flight Attendants experienced severe delays in hotel assignments, in some cases languishing for hours in the airport without adjustments to their duty time or rest periods.
- Flight Attendants facing FAR illegalities were not automatically removed, requiring intervention by APFA (10.K.)
- New-hire Flight Attendants being coerced into accepting illegal reschedules because they are on probation.
National and Base APFA leadership were engaged all weekend, assisting Flight Attendants in resolving issues as they were reported. It is unacceptable that Flight Attendants and APFA continue to wrangle with crew scheduling/tracking to correct the violations enumerated above. After each recent irregular operations event, management has committed to reviewing what occurred, vowing to make changes so they can ‘do better next time’. These commitments ring hollow as each subsequent event unfolds and Flight Attendants see no improvement.
Please report any scheduling irregularities and violations, along with as much detail as possible, to firstname.lastname@example.org. During irregular operations, if you are unable to receive assistance from American Airlines for extended periods of time, please ensure your base representatives are aware of the violation so APFA can address the issue through the notice of dispute process.
APFA also offers the following live messaging options:
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(Link may be found on homepage of APFA.org)
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From Michael Malool, APFA National Hotel Chair
During irregular operations, Flight Attendants are still unable to connect with the hotel/limo desk within a reasonable amount of time and find themselves without transportation and/or contractually compliant crew accommodations.
Of notable importance, the company continues to blatantly violate parts of JCBA Section 6.D.3, which states:
“Hotels, hotel phone numbers, van/limo service providers, and van/limo service phone numbers will be listed in the bid packet and the Crew Management System. In the event there is a change in layover accommodations, the Flight Attendant shall be notified of the change as soon as possible. A Reserve Flight Attendant who has been advised to proceed directly to the gate area for a trip shall be notified of her/his crew accommodations and van/limo service provider prior to departure.”
This weekend, many Reserve Flight Attendants were assigned sequences without any accommodations or transportation information. If you received a reserve assignment without accommodations and transportation information prior to departure, please submit information to the Hotel Department via the Hotel and Transportation Feedback Form. These and all hotel and transportation official reports are being documented and used as further evidence in the upcoming Presidential Grievance.
BizHero remains an unreliable product and a subpar solution to our continuing hotel and limo desk failures, and only serves as an attempt to cover up the larger systemic issue in this department. The APFA Hotel Department is documenting, addressing, and escalating reports submitted through official APFA channels. Your submissions play a crucial and integral role in exposing the inefficiencies of the hotel/limo desk and BizHero.
Our new senior leadership at American Airlines has spoken recently about focusing on improving the culture at American and taking care of each other. Flight Attendants do not feel looked after by the flight service department. APFA Leadership will bring this to senior leadership, including incoming CEO Robert Isom, to make sure they are fully aware of the abuse and disrespect crew members face today.