Crewmember fatigue is a serious issue facing pilots and Flight Attendants and has gained considerable media attention over the last several years. New federal regulations addressing pilot fatigue contained in 14 FAR 117 took effect January 4, 2014. Despite the advances being made for pilots, federal regulations addressing rest and fatigue for Flight Attendants continue to lag behind.
Our Fatigue Policy: There Isn’t One
Neither our contract nor the Flight Attendant Manual addresses the issue of Flight Attendant fatigue. No provision exists for a Flight Attendant to call in “fatigued”. Despite numerous requests from AFA to discuss a fatigue policy, management will not enter into a discussion at this time. This leaves us as Flight Attendants with very few options when we are too fatigued to continue working.
I’m Too Fatigued To Fly, What Are My Options?
If you are unable to continue flying due to fatigue, management’s position is that your only option is to call in sick online (SO). Calling in sick online will remove you from your trip and you will receive corresponding attendance points and, if you have available sick leave, be paid sick leave for any flying not yet completed on the pairing. You’ll have the ability to submit a point reduction form to mitigate any points if you haven’t already submitted one for the quarter.
Write It Up—File an ASAP
The ASAP Event Review Committee (ERC) has starting tracking fatigue-related events separately for reporting purposes. If you experience a fatigue-related event, please document it on an ASAP report. The Master Executive Council (MEC) is tracking the information from these reports in hopes that the company will see the importance of entering into a discussion and eventual development of a fatigue policy to help improve safety for our Flight Attendants, coworkers, and passengers alike.
If you have any questions about Flight Attendant fatigue, please contact one of your Local Executive Council (LEC) Officers. Contact information is available on afaalaska.org under the Local Council menu.
Your MEC—Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Gesch, Becky Strachan, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Sandra Morrow, Stephen Couckuyt and MEC Grievance Chairperson Jennifer Wise-MacColl