- Our AFA Scheduling Committee Chairpersons met on Tuesday, September 26 to discuss their ongoing program of work to represent Flight Attendants interests related to lineholder scheduling.
- The Committee also met with management to receive updates and discuss issues and problems that Flight Attendants are experiencing with scheduling, pairings, and bidding.
- Your Local Scheduling Committee is available to answer questions, provide clarification, or help to resolve any lineholder scheduling-related issues. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!
On Tuesday, September 26, our AFA Scheduling Committee Chairpersons met to discuss their ongoing work to represent our Flight Attendants and push for improvements in our workplace. Representing you at the meeting were Heather Reier (ANC), Rita Tillou (SEA), Melodie Anderes (PDX), Jaqui Bellenie (SFO), Natalie Codd (LAX), and Kitty Cohen (SAN). Also present were MEC Scheduling Committee Vice Chairperson—Pairing Construction Karen Ferrell, MEC Scheduling Committee Vice Chairperson—PBS Virginia Fritz.
The committee met with Managing Director Ops Staffing and Resource Management Brittany Audette, Director Inflight Crew Scheduling Sara Cook, Director of Crew Planning Mike Ostler, Manager of Crew Planning Trisha Bennett, and other management representatives from Crew Planning.
The Committee is next scheduled to meet on October 24, 2023.
Topics of Discussion
The committee reviewed a number of items both during internal AFA-only conversation and when meeting with management. Some items discussed include:
- Block hours reduction. For the fall of 2023 we will see line averages reduced. You should notice a difference when bidding your September schedule. Line averages could be 75-78 depending on the number of leaves offered by base.
- JCTE/Crew Access update. We are expecting a new update (7.4 MR13) for filters and “trade handshake” in September 2023. This was rescheduled for September 26, 2023. Please refer to the recent bulletin bundle for updates.
- Staffing Adjustment Leaves. Management has reviewed the anticipated block hours and decided to offer leaves. This is a change from last month’s update. If you are interested in a leave of absence please review the recent bulletin. Management is reviewing all options of SAL and Low Bid to determine the best business decision.
- Pilot Retiming Block In/Out. Management recently issued a bulletin bundle providing an update on this issue and a plan for implementation in a future crew access update. Please continue to file the appropriate forms until a permanent resolution is installed. As of today, there have been 873 inquiries and 163 approvals.
- Base Turns. Each month Flight Attendants are surprised they combine two sequences over 10 hours 30 minutes and that some of their contractual legalities are waived. If you are adding sequences together refer to Section 8.T. There are also issues with splitting base turns that require Crew Scheduling assistance.
- Vacation Bidding. Prepare for 2024 vacation bids. Find 1st round, 2nd round and Open Time dates in the applicable bulletin bundle. First round of vacation bidding is complete. Approximately 1500 Flight Attendants did not bid in the first round but will have an opportunity in the 2nd round for Slots 7 and 8.
- Section 11.E.1.c. “ISA” marker. Unavailable for self-assignment. When Flight Attendants trade into/out of trips with this label the premium will disappear. Flight Attendants can contact Crew Scheduling if they notice a trip in Open Time that is labeled as “ISA” but doesn’t show premium and request removal of the ISA or require the premium be added back onto the trip. Crew scheduling has the discretion to determine which action they choose. The ability to trade these trips was added to ADR for further discussion.
- Hotel wait times. If you are waiting in excess of over one (1) hour for a hotel, please ensure you are keeping in contact with Crew Scheduling and opening a ticket with AFA.
- Crew Scheduling Error. We do have approximately 39 schedulers in Crew Scheduling, some of whom are new to the position. Scheduling management appreciates Flight Attendants reporting contractual violations so they are able to coach/train. Please remember to fly now and grieve later. We’ve seen pre-cancellations, reassignments, domicile rest and other contractual provisions that were violated by accident and remedied through discussions with Crew Scheduling management.
- PowerPoint Presentations. Each month management from Crew Scheduling and Crew Planning provide the scheduling committee with updates. These are shared with your MEC/LEC officers. The information includes but is not limited to Reserve utilization, sick leave, sick leave by base, winter operations, personal drops, trip commutability, trip length distribution and what to expect in the near future. Some of the information contained in the presentation is under our non-disclosure agreements but AFA continues to engage in the topic discussions.
What The Committee Is Working On
- NavBlue. The PBS Committee is preparing to have more base sits and presentations for Flight Attendants. We will provide dates/times/locations in a future update – stay tuned.
- Pairings Survey. It’s been a few years since we submitted a survey on pairing construction. We are discussing survey questions and the possibility of a virtual session or town hall. Meeting with management was set for June 5, 2023 and a follow up meeting needs to be scheduled. There is no update or ETA.
- Teaming. Crew Planning is reviewing pairing construction and the optimization of teaming. Teaming attempts to keep costs low and crew together (pilots/Flight Attendants) for multiple segments within a sequence. The system currently teams around 10-15%. The new enhancements would increase this in the range of 20-35% for the winter operations. You will see this in December pairings. We’ve asked management to send out a communication about teaming.
- In and Backs. These are flights that follow the crew and aircraft. Network/Crew planning is reviewing initiatives that would help us restart the operation when crews are stranded and flights are canceled. Alaska management will start reviewing the 2023/2024 IROPs plan in September/October.
- Chime Communications. Flight Attendantss could chat with crew scheduling via app/Microsoft teams to alleviate phone calls. This would be Flight Attendant initiated contact. This is in the early stages of development and needs to be discussed with AS Labor Relations and AFA.
We Want to Hear From You!
Do you have feedback for the committee, concerns you’d like to share, or items that you’d like brought up with management? Please let us know! Your Local Scheduling Committee is your voice to management. You can open a support request on the AFA Alaska Online Support Center or contact us directly using the information on the Scheduling Committee page of the AFA Alaska website.