- Our AFA Hotel Committee Chairpersons met on Thursday, December 8 to discuss their ongoing program of work to protect and improve the quality of Flight Attendant hotel accommodations and ground transportation providers.
- The Committee met with representatives from management and the Company’s crew accommodations vendor to review current trends and concerns related to layover hotels and transportation.
- You can help the Committee by reporting hotel and transportation feedback (both positive and negative) through CrewCare. Feedback that is reported through CrewCare provides the Committee with important data to support keeping hotels that are Flight Attendant favorites or drive change when conditions are unacceptable.
On Thursday, December 8, our AFA Local Hotel Committee Chairpersons met to receive an update about current layover hotels and transportation providers and discuss concerns with management. Representing you at the meeting were Dori Marron (ANC), Jarod McNeill (SEA), Kelly Hepworth (PDX), Cassie Dole (SFO), Chris Cardenas (LAX), and Selwyn Morales (SAN). Also present were MEC Hotel Committee Chairperson Laura Hinojosa, MEC Hotel Committee Vice Chairperson Jodi Snow, MEC Hotel Committee Chairperson-elect James Bozanich, and MEC Vice President Brian Palmer. The committee met with Crew Hotels & Administration Manager Nichole Turner, Director of Crew Planning Mike Ostler, and Managing Director of Operations Staffing & Resource Management Brittany Audette from management. Representatives from the Company’s crew accommodations vendor Accommodations Plus International (API) and ALPA participated in the meeting as well.
Topics of Discussion
The committee reviewed a number of items during the meeting with management and API. Some items discussed include:
- Overview of new technology developed by API that will allow management to forecast the number of hotel rooms that may be needed for unscheduled layovers and secure those rooms in advance. This technology has been implemented and will hopefully keep crewmembers on unscheduled layovers at regular contracted crew hotels more frequently.
- Review of technology that API has available to provide additional hotel information, communication, and functionality to crew members. Management is working with IT to determine how the features can possibly be integrated into Alaska systems.
- Review of working relationship between API and Crew Scheduling, including how things are handled when crewmembers call in with a problem that needs immediate resolution.
- Statistics about API’s performance in handling unscheduled layover reservation requests.
- Ongoing issues with lack of room availability when crewmembers arrive at the hotel. Management and API are working to take action to prevent these situations from happening by taking action with problem hotels. If crewmembers have to wait for a hotel room upon arrival, it is essential to call Crew Scheduling to report the issue and follow up with a documented report using the feedback function in MyCrewCare.
- Review of hotel utilization statistics: top cities for hotel usage and spending, makeup of contracted hotels by brand, utilization over expected (relocations, unscheduled layovers, etc.)
- Issues with ground transportation provider challenges. The problem is industry-wide and is affecting all airlines. There is a shortage of drivers and vehicles which is compounding the problem. Management and API are working to build vendor contracts that focus on improving performance and delivering results.
- Review of CrewCare reports filed (both complaints and compliments). Top complaints by crewmembers are: noisy hotel, room assignment issue, no rooms available upon arrival, unclean room, and housekeeping disruption.
- Review of hotel van times, early/late arrivals to the airport and gate, and KCM-related issues that are causing crewmember delays in arriving to the gate on time.
- Review of the overall condition of the hotel industry and how the industry is recovering from the pandemic. The hotel industry continues to show strong performance when compared to where it was pre-pandemic and average rates and occupancy percentages have increased almost everywhere. The conditions make it challenging to find hotels that are interested in contracted crew business. Some cities have been and/or will be particularly challenging to find desirable hotels.
What The Committee Is Working On
- Conducting hotel site visits. Visiting hotels under consideration by management and advocating for management to select the hotel that will provide the safest and most comfortable layover experience for Flight Attendants. Our Hotel Committee has conducted site visits in over 25 cities in 2022 and more are anticipated in 2023.
- Investigating CrewCare reports. Reviewing CrewCare reports and working to hold hotel and transportation providers accountable through management and API.
- Advocating for an established process for bed bug exposure incidents. Together with the AFA Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC), working to address management’s lack of a published process for handling confirmed instances of bed bug exposure. The Committees are in the process of formulating an initial proposal to present to management.
We Want to Hear From You!
If you’ve had an unacceptable or substandard experience with a layover hotel or ground transportation provider, please report the issue! Our AFA Hotel Committee receives a copy of every CrewCare report filed and each one is read and reviewed. You can file a CrewCare report using the web app on your IMD home screen or by clicking here.
Do you have other feedback for the committee or items that you’d like brought up with management? Please let us know! Your Local Hotel Committee is your voice to management. You can find our contact information on the Hotel Committee page of the AFA Alaska website.