- Our AFA Scheduling Committee Chairpersons met on Tuesday, October 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, October 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 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, Manager Inflight Crew Scheduling Goose Hlaingmyint, 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 in person on November 28, 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:
- Single Duty Pairings with three (3) legs are not desirable for some flight attendants. We are looking to see if there is a way to utilize the optimizer to reduce these types of sequences.
- Night rule flying discussions surrounding compensation. There are three (3) items that must occur which include: duty on 4:29 am local time, flying on duty past 8:30 am local time, and duty over 10:30. There is a special exception with 4k flying that includes a 4K nighter carve out. Compensation is not applicable until 12.5 hours because of the waiver.
- Crew Access bubble(s) that display report and debrief will be removed in a November 2023 release.
- Second Round of vacation bidding is complete. Awards are published this week. If you are assigned vacation it will be in reverse calendar year order. Vacation Opentime will commence on October 27, 2023.
- Staffing adjustment leaves will be offered in January, between 400-500 volunteers based on current block hours.
- Management has formed a new Hotel IROP Committee and Process team to assist during Irregular Operations. There are several processes outlined up to seven (7) days prior to an event, and event level determination with focus cities.
- Crew Planning continues to review commutability of departures and arrivals, and commute efficiency. SEA and LAX tend to have the best commutability, while SAN and PDX are the most challenging. This is based on departures between noon and 1800 and arrivals between 0600 and 1800.
- Increase in redeye flights is concerning. AFA has asked both Crew Planning/Crew Scheduling to monitor the trips as they relate to sick leave, reserve utilization, fatigue, and other mitigating factors.
- Pre-cancellations and Reassignments are still happening frequently – please refer to the flow charts as additional contractual resources.
- Pay related questions should be directed to payroll representatives, not crew schedulers. If you experience an error or have a potential grievance please contact your Local Scheduling Chairperson for resolution.
- Contactability with a no show or other points from Crew Scheduling is being investigated by the Performance Engagement Team. If you believe you received points incorrectly please file a ticket with AFA for research.
What The Committee Is Working On
- NavBlue. The PBS Committee spent time on base sits with Flight Attendants. In person and virtual meetings were available. We would like to hear your feedback on how the committee could better assist you with bid awards and understanding results.
- 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. For December 2023 flying approximately 23% of sequences will be teamed together while 52% of duty periods are teamed.
- 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. This creates opportunities to clear the flight schedules on day of operations.
- Chime Communications. Flight Attendants 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. The parties are still working on testing and implementation in the next few weeks.
- Crew Scheduling. Each month the committee reviews PowerPoint presentations related to reserve utilization for system/bases, detailed reserve breakdowns, sick leave week by week and year over year (YoY), premium, personal drops, and any other relevant agenda items.
- Crew Planning. Each month the committee reviews PowerPoint presentations related to the subsequent month staffing, trip length distribution, FA block hours, special initiatives such as IROPs, commutability, and any other relevant agenda items.
- ITS. A representative from ITS joins us at each scheduling meeting to review updates related to NavBlue, Crew Access, Internal systems and Block 2 Block. These include performance updates and data review as well as future release information.
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.