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2.06.24 – APFA LAX Base Brief – March 2024 Staffing and Allocations

March 2024 LAX Staffing and Allocations

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Notable is the continuing trend showing that the bases with the highest percentage of new hires (BOS, LGA) also have the lowest reserve percentages based on the relatively low incidence of new hire (probationary) flight attendants calling out sick.

Based on our LAX reserve percentages from October 2023 through March 2024, the Company heard my arguments for reduced reserve percentages.

LAX’s problem remains, however, our seniority distribution due to the Company’s refusal to return our displaced Flight Attendants to LAX. Once the displaced Flight Attendants return to LAX, the Company can begin processing transfers, followed by new-hire Flight Attendant assignments.

Reducing the Reserve percentages to the lowest three in the system is a welcome relief. Still, the next step is to give us the staffing we need. Our displaced Flight Attendants returning to LAX, followed by vacancy transfers and new hires, are what we need.

If AA were to return our displaced Flight Attendants, open up vacancy transfers, and send new hires to LAX…combined with the lower percentages…reserve seniority would drop dramatically.

APFA HDQ continues to press the Company for Reserve forecasts for several months out. The announcement of Reserve seniority only 27 days before the beginning of the contractual month makes it impossible for us to plan.


Allocations

  • LAX Total Block Hours: 97,815
  • Widebody Percentage: 47%
  • Widebody INT Hours: 39,981
  • Widebody Domestic Hours: 5,851
  • Narrowbody Hours INT Hours: 12,251
  • Narrowbody Hours DOM Hours: 40,002

Satellite and Co-Terminal Block Hours:

  • ONT: 3,665
  • SNA: 4,913
  • LAS: 1,584
  • SAN: 1,579

Trip duration distribution continues to be unsatisfactory.

  • LAX has a greater appetite for turns than 25% for March 2024, down from 26% for February 2024 and 29% for March 2023.
  • Two days increased by 1% from February 2024 to March 2024, but decreased from 31% in March 2023.
  • Three days increased by 5% from February 2024 to March 2024, and by 7% from March 2023 for March 2024.
  • Fortunately, four days decreased from 13% in February 2024 to 8% in March 2024, compared to 9% in March 2023.

March 2024 Bidding Timelines


Haneda (HND)

As we all know, AA was very recently awarded the authority to fly JFK-HND, resulting in many questions as to the source of the HND slots.

The new AA JFK-HND slot comes from Delta’s recently suspended PDX-HND slot allotment.

Frequencies for US carriers flying into HND are strictly controlled. They cannot be moved, sold or traded between cities or between airlines. The DOT makes the ultimate decision as to how the HND frequencies are apportioned between the airlines, and how they are used. In fact, AA flew JFK-HND years ago. Due to poor performance, and because HND frequencies cannot be moved by the airline possessing them, AA returned the JFK-HND slot to the DOT.

Earlier in 2023, Delta petitioned the DOT to allow it to move its PDX-HND slot to originate from another US city. The DOT refused Delta’s request, citing its  rule that HND frequencies can only be awarded by the DOT.

I was watching the DOT case closely. I knew that any relaxation of the DOT policy could potentially jeopardize an existing AA HND frequency, especially as AA Network Planning is known for its lack of commitment to specific routes, especially when faced with competition.

AA cannot move either of our LAX-HND frequencies to another US-originating city. HND authority is “use-it-or-lose-it.” If AA decided to end one HND flight, the frequency would revert to the DOT, which would then create a new HND route award for United or Delta.

To put the rumor to res, AA’s JFK-HND frequency comes from Delta’s old PDX-HND slot.


Haneda (HND) Carry-Over

As we are all painfully aware, a few months ago, the company moved a carryover LAX-HND sequence to DFW because PBS could not award it citing the fact that it reported in the previous month but departed in the new month.

PBS reads departure time…not report time. Therefore, it reads the LAX-HND which reports before midnight on the last day of March as an April sequence. This MUST change in these negotiations.

The same thing happened at JFK with the TLV trip a few months ago. The carryover was converted into a MIA base sequence. For obvious reasons, TLV is not currently being flown.

Rather than build a sequence out of another base, and because PBS cannot award it as an LAX trip, this sequence: 585/31MAR will be in LAX Open Time.

This resolution is definitely not optimal. The initial problem with awarding the LAX-HND a few months ago exposed a major deficiency that needs to be fixed via a reprogramming of PBS. While not optimal, we must do all possible to keep desirable flying in LAX. This benefits all seniorities.

We need many changes to PBS correcting the deficiencies that we have all reported over time.


AKL Base Grievance

Without even notifying the base, Doug Price in Allocations decided to build a February sequence for DFW flight attendants which includes DFW flight attendants working our final LAX-AKL flight.

The sequence that the DFW flight attendants will be flying is worth 30:45 with 17:12 in deadhead time. Meanwhile, I did the calculations and found that LAX could have flown the same 30:45 with only 3:37 deadhead time. LAX would have been more productive in flying that trip. I will be presenting my research at the hearing on February 14th.


DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Base Grievance

After years of past practice based on company policy, management suddenly decided that the drug and alcohol testing notifiers no longer had to meet our inbound IPD flights at the aircraft door.

At first, the company argued that LAWA would not provide third-party vendors with Customs seals for their badges. I was able to quickly disprove that assertion.

I reported this to APFA HDQ, and continued the dispute with local management.

Very quickly, a new CCI came out…covering all bases…saying that notifiers can meet us in the following locations:

  • At the aircraft door,
  • At the top of the jetbridge,
  • In the gate area or terminal, or
  • Just outside of the customs screening area on international flights if the person notifying you cannot enter the restricted area.

THESE UNILATERAL CHANGES ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE CONTRACT.

SECTION 33.B.7. of the JCBA states, “The Company shall meet and confer with the Union regarding any changes in the drug and alcohol testing policies or procedures not specified in this Agreement prior to implementation.”

They must negotiate with APFA on the National level in order to make amy changes. This did NOT happen.

I filed a Base Grievance in order to meet our time limits on filing. Also, I did not want the company to have the opportunity to argue that sufficient time had passed to make their new systemwide rules “past practice,” especially as illegal as they are.

I attended the hearing on January 23rd, and presented our case. The resolution was not granted at the base level, and now it is at the National level.

Ironically…I was drug tested upon arrival at LAX on December 30th. In my case, the notifier completely misconstrued the (illegally) changed policy, and refused to come to the aircraft door. The agent told our number one FA that there was a drug test for our flight but that he refused to come to the jet bridge door and refused to name the Flight Attendant.

I complied with the drug and alcohol testing, and then provided a complete report to APFA National to assist in the dispute with the company on this issue.

The ONLY way to accurately and definitively assure that flight attendants are notified of their drug test is by ONLY permitting the notification to take place at the aircraft door.

We need to feel secure that the notification can only take place in one defined place….not in a variety of places where notification might be difficult or impossible, potentially resulting in them trying to to blame us for evading a test.

In the interim…while this battle rages…please comply with all drug and alcohol testing requirements. AA is required to report every refusal to test to the DOT as a positive.

In my own drug testing  case, I added the following disclaimer to my report to APFA National and the Company:

“Please note that my compliance was done in accordance with my obligation as a Flight Attendant under DOT regulations. It does not infer or signify my agreement as an APFA representative to the unilateral changes to drug testing notification made in violation of my contract.”


Rumor Mill

Moving forward, and especially as, hopefully, we get closer to the opportunity to STRIKE,  keep in mind that the company is all too eager to feed the rumor mill.

This is a tactic we have seen repeatedly during  negotiations, especially those negotiations that came close to a strike. It is designed to undermine our unity of purpose.to make us doubt each other and doubt ourselves…to keep us unsettled…to diminish our expectations…and to ultimately divide and conquer us.

In 1993, before our strike, AA management surreptitiously spread rumors that they had some sort of “secret weapon” to ensure that strikers would never see their jobs at AA again.

We ALL know how THAT worked out for AA.

Remember…it is in THEIR best interests to keep us divided and fearful. The less WE ultimately get, the more THEY ultimately get.


Worldwide Flight Attendant Day of Action

The Worldwide Flight Attendant Day of Action on February 13 is fast approaching! Show up and join other unions in standing up and saying we are ALL tired and enough is enough!

For more information, read the latest hotline here. Come out and show your support. RSVP here!

In Solidarity,

John Nikides
APFA LAX 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

Virtual Quarterly Membership Meeting – July 11

July 11 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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

Virtual Quarterly Membership Meeting – July 11

July 11 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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

Virtual Quarterly Membership Meeting – July 11

July 11 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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