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1.26.24 – APFA CLT Base Brief – 2024-25 Annual Vacation Bidding

2024-25 Annual Vacation Bidding

Friday, January 26, 2024

The annual vacation bidding process will begin next week and concludes on March 12th. It’s that time of year to bid your vacation for the upcoming May 2024 through April 2025 vacation year. The Company met with the Union this week, and we provided feedback on improvements we would like to see. The vacation matrix is driven by the contractual language in the JCBA Section 8. Here are some reminders on how vacation works:

  • Vacation is accrued from January 1st (2023) through December 31st (2023)
  • We bid on vacation January through March in 2 rounds, Primary and Secondary.
  • Vacation is used from May 2nd (2024) through May 1st (2025) – May 1st is part of the April bid month.
  • The number of days you have to bid is based on years of seniority and outlined in the JCBA.
  • Vacation is awarded in seniority order.
  • You may bid one block of 1, 2 ,or 3 days. The rest has to be a block of 4 or more days.
  • A vacation block of 7 or more days will pay 4 hours. A vacation block of less than 7 days will pay 3:30 hours.
  • Vacation must be taken within the vacation year barring unusual circumstances.
  • You may bid 20% (No more than 6 days) for filler days. Filler days may be bid during the vacation year (2024-25) one month prior and bid must be in by the 8th for the next month. The matrix for the filler days is identical to the primary matrix but is only 5% of the original matrix. Filler days pay 3:30 per day.
  • 14.1% of the flight attendants took vacation Buyback. Payment for the buyback will be in June.
  • You may pick up flying over your vacation through the ETB.
  • Vacation stays with you if you transfer.
  • If vacation days in the matrix become available due to another FA vacating the position, a leave of absence, or rebidding to other days, you may rebid for those days through the Monthly Rebid process.
  • Days not awarded in the primary round are available to bid on in the secondary round, any days not awarded in both rounds will be assigned.
  • Vacation Trades must be done through the ETB and accomplished by the 5th of the previous month.
  • If you have seven (7) or more vacation days, you may add up to four (4) VEX (Vacation Extension) days to the block. VEX days may be taken at the beginning or end of the block or split on both ends. You may request these days 2 months prior to the vacation.
  • Click here for APFA Vacation Bidding Basics

Your annual vacation summary is available through the Crew Portal > Monthly Bids > Vacation > Annual > Summary. Be sure you are looking at 2024-2025. You can also view your accrued sick and vacation days on the Crew Portal under the FOS screens- Last year SK/VC accrual (HISK/L). If you feel there is an error in your accrual for last year, contact [email protected].

To bid for vacation, go to the Crew Portal > Monthly Bids > Vacation > Annual > Bidding Ballots  

The vacation matrix is governed by the language in the contract. While the contract states that 5.5% of vacation be offered for buyback, the company awarded buyback to anyone who bid for it. 14.1% of the flight attendants took the buyback. Those days are now removed from the matrix. Our headcount determines the number of days available in the matrix.

Contractually, the company must place a minimum of 3% vacation time into each month except July, August, and December and must have a minimum of 4.5%. The company did not use the minimum constraints except for July where they only placed 4.5% of the vacation time.

The matrix is different from past years and is reflective to the current flying environment. We have not seen the huge pull-downs in time during the off-season. Our time in Charlotte has remained strong throughout the year with only slight dips in IPD and NIPD. Other bases have seen the decrease in flying and are still governed by traditional models. The matrix is one size fits all. It is the same for every base. We disagree with this approach as a matrix should represent each base’s needs. This year’s matrix mirrors a schedule for Charlotte, DFW, and Miami. It places other bases at a disadvantage.

This year, we will have peak flying starting in April. This means we will have a full schedule for five months (If not more), not just the traditional three summer months. As a result, the amount of vacation in March and April will be reduced for next year. Some of the May time has been moved to August, but this is negligible. Most of the vacation days will move to January and February of next year.

Here is a breakdown of the planned matrix year over year in percentage of vacation days per month:

The shift in vacation time reflects an anticipated increased schedule next spring that will mirror this year’s increased schedule.

We adamantly disagreed with this matrix. Dumping vacation into these two months rather than smoothing the days into several months creates different problems throughout the year. With January and February being top-heavy with vacation, the most junior flight attendants will most likely hold vacation in these months. With more junior flight attendants on vacation in January and February, the Reserve numbers for these two months will increase. This will drive up the rotation seniority for months afterward. This is the trickle effect on reserve rotation. The increased vacation will also put a strain on PBS line constraints. More people will be assigned more flying to make up for the larger number of people on vacation.

We proposed spreading these days over the summer, September, and even November. November has always been a popular month for vacation and is the largest month for vacation days. We generally do not have difficulty with staffing our airplanes in November or September. Spreading out the loss of 4% of the vacation time can be done through strategically rescheduling them gradually into several months rather than dumping them in just 2 months.

One of the more unique problems concerns those flight attendants who bid all their vacation in April to use the vacation throughout the year for caregiver FMLA pay. This means those vacation days are not taken in April.

One of the positive changes we have advocated for the past several years is still being built into the matrix. This is the concept of smoothing out the end of one month of vacation with the beginning of the next month. This allows for more people to bid seven days of vacation, but have it span over two months. The pay for seven days would be 4 hours a day but would allow a flight attendant to spread it over two months. This would also not affect your ability to bid down to reserve and still have the month count as a rotation month. There are only a few months this is possible due to holidays. Sept-Oct, Nov-Dec, Jan-Feb, Feb-Mar, Mar-Apr, Jul-Aug. The smoothing concept is still in place, and these months are fairly even on days from one month to the other.

37% of the vacation time is pushed to the last part of the vacation year. We advocated moving the time more evenly throughout the year for a general smoothing of all of the vacation time, but the company places the days where they want them, not where we would like them. Next year’s matrix has some of the usual problems and if you have never done so, it might be worth wild to bid filler days and try and take advantage of the monthly re-bid next year.

Getting a new contract with improved vacation language is crucial to improving any future vacation matrices that will improve our quality of life.

Flight Attendant Worldwide Day of ACTION
The Worldwide Flight Attendant Day of Action is February 13, 2024, at Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 11 am. Please join your APFA Base Leaders and CAT (Contract ACTION Team) as we band together with Flight Attendants from other carriers who are also in contract negotiations. We stand against corporate greed. For more information, read the latest hotline here.  Come out and show your support. RSVP here!

Take care of yourselves and each other.

The Charlotte APFA Team

In Solidarity,

Scott Hazlewood
APFA CLT Base President 

[email protected]

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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...

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