Vacation Open Time trading re-opened on Wednesday, November 2nd and went reasonably well despite several unresolved glitches affecting some Flight Attendants who transferred bases in the past couple years. The Master Executive Council (MEC) sincerely thanks Inflight Crew Administration and the Info & Technology (IT) department—and AFA MEC Scheduling Chair Jake Jones—for making it work on that day.
That being said, the MEC recognizes that all these efforts after the fact neither make up for TFP lost due to wasted schedule adjustments, nor for restoring open vacation days, nor for lost opportunity for those who could not adjust their schedules to be available for trading on November 2nd.
At the request of your AFA leadership, MEC President Jeff Peterson sent the following email to Alaska Airlines Vice President of Inflight Services Andy Schneider:
Due to the issues with Vacation Open Time trading in combination with all the other IT-related implementation challenges affecting flight attendants over the past couple years, AFA members and leadership are beyond frustrated. We strongly believe it is time for management to step up and address these frustrations in a much more concrete way than simply offering yet another apology.
Consequently, the Master Executive Council calls upon management to compensate every flight attendant with 4.0 TFP in recognition of these many inconveniences.
President, Alaska Airlines Master Executive Council | Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO
Jeff and the MEC,
Your frustrations are fully justified in this situation. I know that you get inundated with calls when things like this go wrong. I am sure you have heard from FAs who took time off with the goal of trading for prime vacation days that have been inconvenienced. And I know that the bidding date change was an inconvenience too. I have fielded many questions and I share the frustrations. The difference is that your members look to you to hold us accountable for our errors.
Your first response has always been to work with us to address and solve the immediate issues. I am grateful for your willingness to partner with us to find solutions and to help us troubleshoot and fix programming glitches and other errors. You know our systems much better than I do and your input is invaluable. I know Jake was helping the programmers in the middle of the night last night so that things would run better today. Thank you, Jake.
We honored any trade that went through on Monday and opened the trading today with the same number of slots that we had when we opened Monday. I had hoped that we could determine who was trying to bid on Monday to see if we could work schedules to get them time off for bidding today. Unfortunately there was no way to know who they were.
While I understand the goal of the “make whole” request, I can’t justify it. As we work to update our technology and provide better tools for our Flight Attendants, we will inevitably have problems. I have requested a detailed plan from our IT team to outline the steps they are taking to ensure issues are minimized and I will gladly share that with you and take your input. No one needs the headaches that these errors cause and I know that [the IT department leaders] are committed to fix their processes.
Jeff, let’s discuss more at our tie in tomorrow.
Although the issue was discussed further at their standing tie-in meeting, nothing substantive came from that conversation.
Are you as frustrated as the MEC is with this response? Feel free to contact Andy directly and respectfully share your perspective. If you are sending an email, make sure to copy in your AFA Local Executive Council (LEC) leadership (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Satterlee, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Tim Green and Brice McGee