- Our AFA Scheduling Committee Chairpersons met on Tuesday, January 24 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, January 24, 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 Chairperson Jake Jones, MEC Scheduling Committee Vice Chairperson—Pairing Construction Karen Ferrell, MEC Scheduling Committee Vice Chairperson—PBS Virginia Fritz, and MEC Reserve Committee Chairperson Julie Thornton. The committee met with Director of Inflight Crew Scheduling Sara Cook, Director of Crew Planning Mike Ostler, Director of ITS Product Management Jacki Varela, Manager of Crew Planning Trisha Bennett, and other management representatives from Crew Planning and Crew Scheduling.
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:
- A Winter Storm debrief meeting was held with management on January 9, 2023. Most of the AFA Alaska Online Support Center tickets that were filed were resolved. There are a few outstanding issues related to compensation that need to be reviewed. Tickets included, but were not limited, to hotels/transportation, day rooms, over-duty, FDTY (FAR Flight Attendant on-duty time), reassignment, pre-cancelation, holiday pay, pyramiding premiums and long wait times on the phone.
- Stranded pay calculations and filing Rainmaker inquiries. Many Flight Attendants do not realize there is compensation for stranding into days on and days off, but the pay applications are different. If you need help understanding the pay, please open a ticket through the AFA Alaska Online Support Center and include screenshots of your inquiry, the response from payroll, your paystub and your Rainmaker detailed buckets.
- Issue with Crew Access filters still showing in UTC time. The Committee addressed this with ITS and asked for expediting a fix. The next Crew Access update is tentatively scheduled for February 28, 2023.
- Testing resources will be allocated to NavBlue to enhance future user experiences and accessibility. The Committee knows there are reports of slow logins and will continue to monitor progress.
- Crew Scheduling is reviewing with our phone vendor the artificial intelligence (AI) in relation to wait times. The system was taking into consideration each phone call, even when the caller was disconnecting. There were also instances of multiple users asking for several callbacks and tying up the queue.
- Day Rooms will be provided in out stations if the ground time exceeds 4 hours. This is not automated. Crew Schedulers will continue to monitor the alert system, but please be proactive in calling Crew Scheduling at the earliest opportunity if you require a day room when the ground time is showing in excess of 4 hours. It could take several minutes to hours to request a hotel depending on the location, events, and other mitigating factors.
- Crew Scheduling is adding three new Crew Schedulers next week who will start their training for the next several weeks.
- Sick leave is trending downward and per management this allows more personal drops, increasing the threshold sequence number (TSN) for dropping and flexibility.
- Crew Planning wants to discuss alternatives to providing Flight Attendants with an application that provides hotel, transportation, van times and other pertinent information related to layovers. The Committee believes this will reduce calls to Crew Scheduling.
- Crew Planning is looking at the cost analysis of 3-position and 4-position pairings, versus the 3-position and 1-position pairings we currently operate. The change would have A/B/C positions paired together on 3-position aircraft and A/B/C/D positions paired together on 4-position aircraft.
- Crew Planning will be offering more staffing leaves in March. The winter storm pushed back pilot training and the number of block hours they planned to execute during this time of year. We should continue to see increases as the training requirements to fly aircraft are fulfilled in the next few months.
- Internal audits of Crew Systems are being reviewed and management is researching continuity plans. Departments are ensuring the systems are strong, adequate and technology is advancing. This is in light of the technology breakdowns that some other carriers experienced during the holiday season.
What The Committee Is Working On
- Scheduling a meeting with Network Planning. The Committee would like to meet with Network Planning in 2023 to discuss our contract, legalities and suggestions. We want to provide management with the Flight Attendant perspective and in an effort to improve our quality of life.
- Review of JCTE/Crew Access transaction performance. Each month, ITS provides the Committee with data on performance and transactions within JCTE/Crew Access. The Committee reviews these reports to ensure our service levels are maintained at the appropriate thresholds.
- Scheduling Quality of Life Improvements. Reviewing ways to improve Trip Length Distribution (TLD) and other quality of life factors. Working with management to develop a quality of life survey to determine Flight Attendant scheduling priorities.
- Review of user guides and links of Flight Attendant website. Ensuring information is still accurate in existing resource materials, links are still active and working, etc.
- Updating Crew Access videos. Working with management and ITS to update the Crew Access instructional videos to reflect updates and changes to the user interface.
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.