Skip to content

5.05.23 – APFA CLT Base Brief – June 2023 Staffing and Allocations

June 2023 CLT Staffing and Allocations

Friday, May 5, 2023

We had our monthly call with the Company this week to discuss the trips for June. As expected, there is little change between May and June as the ramp up to the summer schedule has been gradual for several months now. We actually have a few less trips but more flight hours. The flight hours are only rising a few hundred hours over May to come in at 167,685. The only real changes are the full schedule of IPD flights that will run the entire month of June with 9 IPD flights. IPD flying is long haul and adds hours to the system. The other changes are the simpler fluctuations that occur month to month as Crew Planning pushes on the balloon to make improvements in one category, only to see the balloon bulge in another category.

The most disturbing thing is the Reserve numbers. We are slated for 792 Reserves or 27%. While 71 of these will be new hires, the actual Reserve number is still way too high at 24%. Charlotte will have the second highest Reserve percentage in the system, next to PHX that will have 28%. We continue to hear the same excuses we have heard for years on this subject, so here is a breakdown of where we fit in:

  • Charlotte has average absenteeism (Not high like other bases).
  • Charlotte is one of three “catch all” bases where Reserves are called out to patch broken trips systemwide (80% of trips systemwide pass through Charlotte, DFW or MIA).
  • Charlotte Reserves are flying Charlotte trips.
  • 45% of trips awarded to Reserves in CLT are systems trips.
  • There is very little vacation in June.
  • Our line average is normal for this time of year.
  • The number of planned Reserves each day does not line up with the number of sequence starts.
  • The planned Reserves is not an accurate predictor of where the usage actually occurs throughout the month.
  • Last year, we had a huge dump of time into our base in June. AA was not prepared, and the operation suffered as a result. This year, they have gradually increased flying into the summer and have made significant preparations to handle the summer schedule. In other words, we are in a much better position this year to handle the increase in flying for the summer.
  • Our staffing is still a little short of where we need to be, but we have significantly more flight attendants than last year with about the same amount of flying planned.

So, why do we have such high Reserve numbers in Charlotte? Are we being punished for the management failures from last year? Will these numbers continue to rise?

Those are questions we have been asking for quite a long time and the answer changes month to month. As a Union, we have adopted several programming changes that were designed to decrease the Reserve usage– generic bidding in TTS/UBL and Reserve “look back” when bidding days off are just two of the items we have agreed to. We now have double low line constraints and watch each month as more and more flight attendants are assigned max hours in their PBS awards. Coverage Needed (CN) seems to be the norm each month, not just at the holidays. So, why do the Reserve numbers keep climbing in our base?

Remember, it wasn’t that long ago when the CEO said 20% was the new norm, now 25% is the new norm. The answer is staring them in the face and one we have been preaching for years, the system is broken. The system is reliant on massive amounts of Reserves to cover it, it was not designed this way, but we continue to see way too many Reserves used each day, not just when the weather goes south. We keep seeing schedule changes each month that pile flying on a few days at the beginning of each month. We see the Reserve shortages on the last few days of each month. The Reserve numbers are set by Scheduling each month before the number of Lineholders is set or the line average is set. The system is being driven by the need for Reserves to cover the fractures in the overall construction. It’s Occam’s razor; sometimes the simplest answer is the correct answer. The solution can’t be found until the answer is acknowledged. We encourage everyone to reach out to management and ask what solutions they have to bring the numbers down– our voices and ideas keep going unheard.

Our numbers will break down with;

  • Active Flight Attendants – 2,930
  • Lineholders – 2,138 (down from May)
  • Reserves- 792 (27%)  May had 666 or 23.4%
  • Line average – 81.6  (Lower than May)

The trip distribution looks much like the last two months. They had some difficulty creating one day turns for June, but there was not a heavy change to the overall distribution. The trips break down as:

  • 1 days will make up 21.5% of our trips (About the same)
  • 2 days will make up 29% of our trips (Slightly down)
  • 2/3 days will 8.3% of our trips (Up)
  • 3 days will make up 20% of our trips (Down)
  • 3/4 days will make up 2% of our trips (Same)
  • 4 days will make up 4.5% of our trips (Slightly up)
  • ODANs will make up 8.6% of our flights (Up)
  • Red Eyes will make up 4.6% of our flights (Up)
  • Pink Eyes, Bullets will make up less than 1% of the trips

The trip distribution was about what we have been seeing for several months now with no significant changes to the basic construction model. There were some improvements to the sit times and the four days did have better commutability on the front end of the trips. We will have nine banks of flights daily except Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the first two weeks and then we go to nine banks daily. The addition of the additional banks helps to create more ODANs. We will be at a full schedule midway through the month. The loaded schedule allows more flexibility by Planning to try some different improvements while still keeping the productivity requirements in place. The full schedule allows for more hard time trips as there are more daily departures to build around and more frequency to smaller cities. One of the biggest advantages we have in Charlotte is that we are still picking up “Express” flying as they have a Pilot shortage that won’t go away. Those small cities concentrated on the East Coast and quick jumps from Charlotte are still being serviced by mainline as a result of the Express shortage. Our geographic location has always been one of our strongest assets with quick hops out and back. This also makes it more desirable for the company to build four leg days. We did see a drop in four leg days, but they are still legal to build, and the computer wants to build them to maximize the hard time in a duty day. Planning tries to put penalties on the number of four leg days the optimizer builds, but eliminating them completely is not an option without a major change to all types of trips. The shorter turns that we have out of Charlotte have also made it harder to make one day turns with a hard time over five hours. This has hurt the one days for June making it difficult to cut the number of four leg days and at the same time keep a high percentage of one day trips.

The ODANs had a slight increase as we have the ninth bank back every day of the week in the second half of the month. We are doing better at covering the ODANs when bidding multiple pairings in PBS, but make sure you are leaving enough home base rest between trips when bidding in PBS. Be sure to hit the waiver to maximize your ability to fly multiple pairings in the same day. The red eyes are beginning to have the same problem with home-based rest. These red eyes are showing up in open time more and more. If these trips continue to be a problem, the company may choose to cut the number of red eyes as a solution.

The two days make up the highest percentage of our trips and remain the most popular trips. We are pushing for more late morning departures with the two days so there is less conflict with the home base rest when flying these back-to-back. With more late morning departures, it would keep rest legalities naturally in check if the preceding trip encounters a delay and gets in late.

The three and four day trips came in strong. Take a look at the 4 days; there were some good ones in the packet. With several special events planned throughout the month, there were a few nice 30-hour layovers built into these trips. Long layovers include VPS, SDF, AUS, OKC, RIC, MYR, CID, AVL, SJU, BUF, MKE, CMH, RDU, IND, BNA, CHS, BWI, PBI, ORF, OKC, GRR, SYR, ATL, TYS. Most of the commutability problems are on the backside of the trips. For those of you who drive your commute, this means there are later departures so you don’t have to get up at 3am to go to work, but you may have a late-night drive home at the end of the trip.

June 2023 Bidding Timelines

June will be a challenging month for the base. We will continue to have an influx of new hires that will provide relief to the Reserve seniority but without a check on the Reserve numbers. This could snowball into higher seniorities being on Reserve later in the summer and trickle into the holidays. The Reserve cut off will be August 19th, 2013. We do expect the PBS bidding process to bring down the line average a little and possibly pull some folks off Reserve. Remember to toggle on the LRD.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

The Charlotte APFA Team

In Solidarity,

Scott Hazlewood
APFA CLT Base President

[email protected]

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

Scroll To Top