Sunday, December 11, 2022
Here are some reminders before the upcoming holiday flying begins.
Critical Period and Holiday Pay
The critical period for Christmas is December 22nd through January 3rd. If you complete all operational assignments during this period, you will accrue an Incentive Credit/Bonus Point that can be used to mitigate future dependability events. Conversely, one point will be added if you call out sick (Without using FMLA) during the critical period. (An approved MLOA before the bid cycle for December will also not accrue the additional point) Please review the Flight Attendant Attendance and Performance Program if you have any questions.
Holiday Pay is separate from the critical period, the holiday pay dates for Christmas are, December 24th, 25th, 26th. December 31st and January 1st. This new contractual holiday pay has no perfect attendance requirement, you just need to fly on the applicable holiday day. You can refer to the APFA Hotline, dated November 23rd for frequently asked questions and an explanation of the new pay rates.
On December 2nd, the company implemented the FAR 10-hour minimum rest rules. Keep this in mind when trying to pick up trips on the ETB, TTS or UBL and when bidding for trips in January in PBS. The minimum home domicile rest between trips is set at 11+45. You may hit the waiver, but this will only reduce the rest to 11+30. Flying Multiple Pairings in the same calendar day (Such as ODANs and Red eyes) will now require longer rest. Much of our open time for December after the PBS award was ODANs and Red Eyes. If bidding on these types of trips, be mindful of the rest requirements. If these trips continue to be in open time in the future, the company may stop building these types of trips or reduce them significantly. If you are flying back-to-back trips, coming in from a trip on one day, and going back out on another trip the next day, keep the 11+45-hour rest in mind. Many people did not get exactly what they bid for in December because of the new rest provisions.
We will be in the crew room Monday, December 12th, from noon to 4 pm to help with PBS bidding questions and instruction.
Tracking Reserve Usage
Each month, your CLT APFA Team does a lot of work behind the scenes to better facilitate the local base. One of the tools we have created is the Reserve Utilization Report. We compile data each month on Reserve usage and present it in a spreadsheet. We have been doing this tracking for over a year now, so we can see any trends or misuses of our Reserves. With this report, your team tracks how many trips are run in ROTA/ROTD, and how many of these trips are systems trips. We also look at Standby usage. We use this data on the allocations calls to communicate our position for less Reserves or how the company trip construction model leads to higher Reserve utilization than what is needed.
Several things stand out when analyzing the data we have collected. The largest item is the number of daily systems trips that go to Reserves. This number fluctuates, and a higher percentage of systems trips would happen when weather disrupts the base. This is true, but we see more systems trips when the weather is not a factor. Any disruption can break trips with long duty days, which is happening more often. The entire system is linked as if it were one base, if a disruption happens in one base it cannot be isolated, and any disruption can have ripples throughout the entire system. The company is building trips with the anticipation that nothing will go wrong, as if it were a perfect world. Many trips are built to the contractual limits and fall apart as the ripples happen. We know there is rarely a perfect day in this industry, and the high number of systems trips reflects this. The high number of systems trips drives up Reserve usage and equates to larger Reserve numbers. It is unfair to have higher Reserves to cover a fragile system that can be corrected by changing the construction model.
Another thing that stands out is the number of trips available for the ROTA run. Only about one-third of the Reserves can utilize ROTA to obtain an assignment. The majority of Reserves are placed on a RAP and, after 40 hours, are at the mercy of assignment by crew scheduling. This shows an inability for Reserves to choose the trips they want and have the same flexibility Lineholders have.
We also track the standby shifts and the number of trips awarded to ensure these shifts are scheduled realistically and do not drive up the usage numbers.
One of the more interesting trends we see is the number of Reserves slated for each day in the PBS staffing numbers. We can see how many Reserves they are asking for each day of the month. We then look at the starts per day of the month (Where the time is stacked). When these numbers don’t match, we can almost predict when our Reserves will sit around and not fly. Only weather events knock this predictive model off. This is another factor that drives up Reserve numbers and needs to be addressed. The company uses historical data to set these numbers for Reserves, and the schedule we had last year may differ from this year. We believe if the company is going to build trips based on a perfect day, they should also set Reserve days off based on the data before them, not based on what went wrong on a particular day last year.
These spreadsheets and data are crucial to countering company arguments, and we use this approach on several subjects. We can see when something is a unicorn and when it is not.
From Your Safety Reports
Safety is Job 1. Knowing what is happening to other crew members in our base when it comes to safety is crucial for you to make good decisions when dealing with safety and security events. Tracking trends from the safety reports is another function of your local union. These are some of the total events we saw last month in Charlotte.
- Fume/Odor events- 6
- Number of flight attendants involved in fume/odor events – 21
- Passengers ILL on aircraft – 126
- Passenger Misconduct on Aircraft – 58
- Intoxicated – 26
- Smoking – 8
- Passenger fights – 1
- Passengers Removed – 22
- Passengers Videotaping Crew – 3
- Passenger Assaults on FAs – 7
- Passenger Injuries – 13
- Pets Removed – 5
- Damage to Passenger Property – 1
- Passenger Illness Transported to Hospital – 28
- Passenger Injuries (Non-Fume) – 13
- Flight Attendant Injuries (Non-Fume) – 10
- Turbulence Events – 18 (1 Passenger Injured, 1 Flight Attendant Injured)
- Aircraft Mechanical Issues (Non-Fume) – 4
- Passenger Lost/Stolen/Damaged Property – 1
- Possible Human Trafficking – 2
- Security Concerns – 2
- Medical Emergencies – 5 (Diversions -3)
- Minimum Crew Violations – 1
- Sexual Misconduct by Passengers – 2
- Gate Agent Issues – 2
- Pilot Issues – 1
- Hotel/Security/Safety Issues – 3
- Fire Containment Bag Used – 1
The data shows that the three most common safety issues are Passenger Illnesses, Passenger Misconduct, and Turbulence Events. We tend to see more turbulence events in July/August and January/February due to weather events. Most passenger misconduct involves passenger intoxication, so we should be vigilant during boarding. Medical issues are the most common reason for reports and involve the most crewmembers. This is also the most common reason for diversions.
Some of the areas we are keeping an eye on are:
- Mechanical issues and diversions continue to rise.
- Bird Strikes pick up during the migratory seasons in the Fall and Spring.
- Assaults on Crew members remain a problem.
- Smoke/Odor/Fume Events continue with increases in January (Temperature changes affect gauges and put a strain on equipment), and the summer (Higher usage of aircraft).
When you know the trends, you can be alert for early signs of trouble. Staying alert and proactive can prevent something small from becoming a more significant problem. Safety is always Job 1.
Save the Date – January 24th
Thank you to all who came out for our informational picket on November 15th. It was cold and wet, but we had a fantastic turnout, and the support we showed sent a message to management that we need change and want a contract that reflects our sacrifices and commitment to making American Airlines strong again. We are ready to show management our resolve has not wavered. We will hold another informational picketing on January 24th. Stay tuned for details by signing up for hotlines on the new and improved APFA.org, and keep an eye out for all our action events we are planning.
Next Monday, December 12th, your Charlotte Reps will be in the C concourse Crew Room to assist and help with PBS bidding questions. We will also be available throughout the airport to answer questions and recognize our flight attendants for your continued support as we work for a better contract. We will be available from Noon to 4 pm. Stop by and say hello.
Take care of yourselves and each other,
The Charlotte APFA Team
APFA CLT Base President