This is Greg Hildreth, APFA Secretary, with the hotline for Friday, April 8, 2005.
We've now seen the initial system wide impact for the F/A group from the simplification process with the April bidsheet. The APFA leadership has expressed its concerns to Lauri Curtis and senior management. In short, the simplification process reduces costs for the Company by having one type of aircraft at a city. This results in minimized costs for maintenance as well as possibly reducing the number of delays. While we appreciate the cost savings, we cannot help but express our concern over the impact this has had on our April bidsheets and other issues including more trips to the airport due to less-frequent 3-days, and the fact that the last of the STL force-transfers that have not been able to return to MIA. To address these concerns, APFA has been meeting with the Company in an effort to work through these problems and come to a workable solution for all parties involved. APFA will continue to discuss this issue with AA management again next week. We will update the membership on these discussions on next Friday's hotline.
Vacation bid awards are also a cause for concern. We have received Flight Attendant phone calls and emails regarding the vacation bid awards and the Company's intention to grant vacation slots closer to the contractual minimums of 4.5% for the months of August and December. In the past, the Company granted as much as 10% of the vacation awards during those months. This was due, in part, to Flight Attendants returning from PLOA's during August and December, which previously allowed for additional vacation slots during these two months. This year, however, no PLOA's were awarded. The reduced percentage of vacations for August and December had a ripple effect on awards in other months as well. The Company has been informed that in the future, notification to all Flight Attendants and the APFA is imperative in a situation such as this prior to bidding, not with the award announcement.
And finally, AA announced it will be eliminating 600 TWU jobs at MCI's maintenance center in June. Last week, 300 Pilots were furloughed. There are no plans to furlough any flight attendants.
Now please stay on the line for the rest of the APFA hotline. Leslie…
This is Leslie Mayo with the rest of the Hotline for Friday, April 8, 2005.
Please remember our 12 members serving in the military full time and our 4240 furloughed flight attendants.
Please go to www.apfa.org and click on the link: "We're Restless." Bag tags are available for download and this campaign is in full swing. Read the Declaration of Unrest written on behalf of the tens of thousands of APFA flight attendants who are suffering from Fatigue every day. There is also a link to sign up for the Lobby Day Fly-In on May 11th. Join us in Washington as we fight for F/A Fatigue, Pension reform and escalating fuel prices.
The FCC NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making) comment period regarding the use of wireless devices onboard airborne aircraft has been extended. The FCC has officially opened the docket for public comment on this issue. APFA has sent our comments regarding our Union's position on this issue. Now is your chance to let the FCC personally know your feelings or concerns. Visit www.apfa.org and click on the Cell Phone icon.
Due to operating problems that have arisen with Golden Touch and the Hotel Limo desk recently, APFA has re-entered into discussions with AA to streamline the late-night/early-morning courtesy transportation process; specifically other Flight Attendants seeking transportation whose sign-in/arrival times fall outside the pre-set timeframe. A solution is expected in the next two to three weeks. Until we have resolved this issue, only those flight attendants who are entitled to this transportation will be able to be accommodated. If you are not eligible we ask that Flight Attendants refrain from calling the Hotel Limo desk for van departure times until the issue is resolved.
The preliminary reviews from F/A's for the new long LA layover property have been very positive. Please remember that the rooms are entirely non-smoking. APFA always contracts for 100% non-smoking rooms but special requests for smoking rooms have been accommodated at other hotels. However, this hotel has no rooms available for smoking. There is an enclosed courtyard and a second floor veranda for anyone wishing to smoke. Please be advised that smoking in the rooms may very well jeopardize this Hotel contract. The hotel has informed AA and the APFA Hotel Department that the cost of cleaning a room that has been smoked in will be at the flight attendant's expense and can be as much as $400 or more.
Last week we began our stay at the new NYC layover hotel. APFA was advised just prior to start up that all crewmembers would be required to leave a credit card imprint at the front desk due to the hotel's inability to prohibit incidentals such as movies, long distance calls or restaurant bills from being charged to the room. Please remember that it is important that all crewmembers ensure their bills are paid at all layover hotels prior to departure.
This week APFA Scheduling and Contract Departments conducted training for interested Flight Attendants and Reps to learn more about their Contracts. APFA extended an invitation to Lauri Curtis and Taylor Vaughan who accepted our invitation to this training. It was a successful two-day session and we hope to hold many more training sessions like it in the future.
The Open Skies agreement between the US and India is about to be signed and with that, AA and Northwest received approval by the DOT to initiate the process of launching flights. We have received approval to fly to any Indian city any number of times. This is still pending the approval of the Dept. of Homeland Security and the Indian Government. AA anticipates beginning service to India beginning 2007-08.
The US Gov't has issued notice that all U.S. citizens traveling in and out of Canada and Mexico will be required to carry a passport beginning 2008. This is in attempts to tighten border security.
British Air is allowing metal cutlery back on its flights due to relaxed anti-terrorism rules in Britain. They say that improved security measures such as sealed cockpits, cameras and sky marshals render the ban unnecessary.
In rumor control this week, one Flight Attendant said she was hearing that 25% of the Flight Attendants at the bottom of the active APFA Seniority List will be branching off to a regional carrier with new uniforms sounding very similar to Southwest's khakis and polo shirts. Finally, that pay will be similar to Eagle. There is no truth to this rumor. At all.
Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.