Pension Bill Passes In The House

You have reached the APFA Hotline for December 16, 2005. This is Tommie Hutto-Blake, APFA President.

Yesterday, a giant step was taken in the U.S. House of Representatives toward solid pension reform in this country that can secure the future growth of the four Defined Pension Benefit Plans for both the represented and non-represented employees on AA's property. House Bill #2830 passed with a vote of 294 yes and 132 no. During the debate, preceding the call for the vote, numerous statements by members of the House called for the protection of the airline provisions already provided in the Senate pension reform bill. These two bills will now go to conference with leadership from the House and Senate joining the language from their different bills into one final proposed form to ultimately be signed by the President into law. Representative Boehner who authored HR 2830 stated during this House debate that the final pension reform legislation must deal with the airline issues in the final version of this pending new law.

This is a very important and very positive step forward and there are so many representatives and members in our APFA community who took part in this leg of our journey to protect our negotiated Flight Attendant Pension Plan. We negotiated a fully funded pension plan in 1979, which was contained in APFA's first negotiated Contract. By reaching this goal in 1979 the AA Flight Attendant job became a career. Today, that negotiated provision is at risk without the new protections that have been written into the two bills in the current U.S. Congress. If your elected House and/or Senate representatives have been a part of moving this proposed legislation forward, I urge you to take the time to thank them. I want to publicly thank Joan Wages, Jill Frank, and Patrick Hancock, our pension team, who lead the way to this reform. Many others joined Joan, Jill and Patrick in this process. You may be one of those members and I thank you from all of your APFA community. We could not have done this alone. It was a real AA team effort, and the industry, media and Congress has certainly taken notice! AA's three labor unions and senior management, with the help of many employees, walking the halls of Congress together to ensure that AA is given the time needed to restore our four pension plans to their once fully funded status. This is an issue the entire country is watching. It is a good fight and we must stay focused on our success.

And now please stay on the line for the remainder of today's hotline, Leslie . . .

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, December 16, 2005. Please keep our 13 members serving full time in the armed forces and our 4,084 furloughed flight attendants in your thoughts. The reduced number of furloughs is due to attrition in the past month.

APFA News : The Performance Leadership Initiative (PLI) you’ve been hearing about has been completed and it's time to review the results of the data with all employees. System wide Base Briefings by APFA and AA will begin in January. This review was performed over the past several months by all work groups at AA - management, labor and non-labor employees - to identify areas of inefficiencies as compared with other airlines.

APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake, Vice President of Flight Service Lauri Curtis, and VP of Operations/Planning Bob Cordes will be in attendance along with other members of both union and management to participate in the discussions and answer questions.

Please plan to attend one of the meetings listed below. Exact times and locations will be available on the APFA Web site at www.apfa.org as soon as they are finalized.

  • January 10, 2006 - STL

  • January 11, 2006 - ORD

  • January 13, 2006 - DFW

  • January 17, 2006 - DCA

  • January 18, 2006 - MIA

  • January 24, 2006 - NY

  • January 30, 2006 - SFO

  • January 31, 2006 - LAX

  • February 8, 2006 - BOS

  • February 9, 2006 - RDU

Since all AA employee groups that work on the ground are able to attend their briefings while on duty, APFA requested that the Company offer compensation for Flight Attendants. Therefore, each Flight Attendant who attends these briefings will receive three hours of Special Assignment Pay.

As soon as times and locations are finalized, they will be announced on this Hotline and posted on the APFA Web site.

Many years ago when AA made PCFOS available to Flight Attendants, thousands of us signed up for this service and paid $5 per month. Since SABRE became available via aaflightservice , there is no longer a need to pay the $5 per month for access to the Flight Service Web site for SABRE. If you are still seeing this money deducted from your check each month, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include your full name, employee number and simply state that you request AA to terminate your PCFOS deductions. APFA would also like to remind Flight Attendants that even one dollar that you will be saving could be donated to the APFA PAC fund to get our voices heard in Washington, D.C., more effectively. For more information, please go to the APFA Web site and click on the PAC fund link .

There has been some confusion over the Reciprocal Southwest/AA Cabin Seat Agreement since the test began on November 15, 2005, primarily on the issue of where Flight Attendants from other airlines are to be ticketed on our flights. To be clear, only AA and AE Flight Attendants as well as AA Flight Service Directors are allowed to ride on AA jumpseats. All Flight Attendants from Southwest, America West or any other airline, for which we have a reciprocal agreement, must be ticketed and seated in a cabin seat. These details are available at www.apfa.org .

From the Contract Department: One of the provisions of the recent Settlement Agreement that resulted in improvements to layover rest also provided for improvements to trigger training. Effective December 15, Asia International Flagship Service (AIFS) training is now available as an on-line course. As a result Flight Attendants who wish to obtain this training will no longer trigger. You can simply complete the enrollment form on the Flight Service Web site. Any Flight Attendant who is International as well as 777 and IFS qualified can obtain the AIFS qualification. Training pay as specified in Article 3.H. will apply. Additional details are available on the web enrollment form.

Beginning in January of ‘06, initial 757 training will include 752 training. Whether you proffer or trigger for 757 you will receive both the 757 and 752 qualification. If you were 757 qualified prior to January 2006 and have not subsequently been trained on the 752, you would still need to proffer or trigger for 752 in order to obtain the qualification.

Bankruptcy Watch : United Airlines will be eliminating flight privileges for its furloughed employees due to anticipated tax laws that will require both United and the employee to pay tax on what are viewed as perks. 10,000 UAL employees will be affected by this decision. The benefits were scheduled to expire at the end of the year, however, this year, UAL has decided not to renew them.

Industry Watch : This week, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee conducted a hearing on the TSA's new passenger screening procedures. APFA’s National Safety Coordinator and a member of APFA’s Go Team were in attendance. This week Senator Clinton of NY brought forward a companion bill S. 2083. These bills have the potential of keeping the current list of banned items intact and keeping these items off the aircraft. We encourage each of you to click on the link entitled: 'Contact Your Congressperson About Weapons In The Cabin' . Ask your Congressperson to sponsor H.R. 4452 or S. 2083 today via this Cap Wiz tool available at apfa.org.

Fuel Watch : As of December 14, the price of a barrel of crude was up nearly $2 at $60.85 from last week’s price. The crack spread was also up more than $2 at $15.49. The price for a barrel of jet fuel as of Wednesday was $76.34.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for calling the APFA Hotline.

The APFA Hotline for December 16th reflects clarification on the Reciprocal Southwest/AA Cabin Seat Agreement and, in particular, the fact that employees for other airlines should only be ticketed in cabin seats - not jumpseats. America West was mistakenly referenced as one of the companies with whom AA has a reciprocal seat agreement. The companies with whom AA has reciprocal agreements are Southwest, American Eagle, Frontier and Skywest Airlines. Details on these agreements can be found in the Winter Skyword scheduled for mailing next week.