After much anticipation, the wait is over. Cross-flying, referenced as “Full Integration” in the Merger Agreement, will occur in just a few hours. It is one of the most major milestones that we will pass in this merger. As you all well know by now, there has been so much change in so little time, and most Flight Attendants are understandably feeling varying levels of anxiety about cross-flying.
Safety first! Over the past several months, the Master Executive Council (MEC) has received increasingly concerning feedback from our Air, Safety, Health and Security Committee and from the line about not feeling adequately prepared for cross-flying due to a variety of safety-related reasons. Many if not most of those concerns were also shared with management. Although management collaborated with AFA to implement several additional cross-flying resources in response to the concerns, the MEC remains apprehensive enough about cross-flying that we feel obligated to communicate that sentiment to our members. However, please be assured that AFA and management will continue working together to identify and mitigate safety concerns.
The MEC recommends that Flight Attendants live the “Ready, Safe, Go” (login required) ‘mantra’ as you become more familiar with the new procedures and announcements and with the combined fleet. Management has affirmed that “Safety is our number one consideration, and always trumps on-time performance, customer satisfaction, or profits.” Please ensure the required Flight Attendant briefing occurs, complete a thorough pre-flight equipment check (when required) and confirm the aircraft doors are correctly armed and disarmed each and every time. Do not rush or be rushed. Be vigilant and alert and report any safety concerns to the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP).
It is extremely important for consistency that we make our best effort to familiarize ourselves with and complete the service as written. If you are not able to complete the required service due to turbulence, lack of supplies, etc., then write it up via Report It! so that management and AFA are aware of the challenges. Service levels and catering are constantly being evaluated and adjusted based on submitted reports.
No matter whether you started your Flight Attendant career at Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, Jet America, our sister carrier Horizon Air or somewhere else in the industry, we are now all Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants. We bring the uniqueness of our individual journeys, but we share many common interests, experiences and goals. Please be welcoming to all crewmembers and focus on getting to know each other better as the pre-merger groups begin to cross fly and transfer around the system over the coming months.
Have each other’s backs. If a crew conflict occurs, talk it out with the crew directly. However, another resource would be the AFA Professional Standards Committee (or alternatively your AFA local council officers) for peer-to-peer resolution.
Except for a few remaining transition items addressed via the Legacy Virgin America (L-VX) Flight Attendant Transition Agreement, e.g. uniform allotment and minimum flying requirements for various benefits, the remainder of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) will be fully implemented for L-VX Flight Attendants effective upon Full Integration (i.e. cross-flying) tomorrow. Contract documents and related resources may be found on the AFA Alaska Contract page, the Merger TAs and Information page, the Inflight Mobile Device in the Supplemental folder and on the Inflight webpage (login required) under the “Integration: Bidding, Scheduling, Pay, Contract” tab.
Management will be reviewing a cleaned-up JCBA document next week, and the parties are hoping to publish the electronic version as soon as possible once it is finalized. A printed version of the JCBA will go to press shortly thereafter. AFA will work on cleaning up and consolidating the contracts pages in the coming month.
Welcome all to the soon-to-be fully integrated Alaska Airlines!
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Linda Christou, Lisa Pinkston, Terry Taylor, Mario de’Medici, Melissa Osborne, Tim Green and Brice McGee