|Friday, December 16, 2016
- No Phones on Planes - LAA/LUS
- When Do I Go Illegal? - LAA/LUS
- Interim Pay Protection Tips - LAA
No Phones on Planes - LAA/LUS
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has, once again, raised the issue of whether to allow voice calls during flight. Through Wi-Fi connectivity, it is now technically possible to use cellphones to make voice calls during flight without interfering with aircraft operation. It is anticipated that as airborne Wi-Fi connectivity increases and becomes more capable, the pressure to allow voice calls will increase. DOT is soliciting comments on a proposed rule by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and considering whether each air carrier must disclose their policy on phone use during flight to consumers.
APFA continues to oppose voice calls on planes for several reasons including inflight customer experience, passenger comfort, and most importantly, concerns for safety and security. With air rage already a problem, voice calls will likely contribute to increased irritation among passengers who are looking for privacy and rest. In a worst case scenario, inflight calls could be used by terrorists to coordinate an attack. Fortunately, we believe we have the support of the flying public including many members of Congress.
"APFA led the charge on this issue from the beginning, and we will continue this fight in the coming months. APFA will ensure the DOT and the FCC know where we stand." -- APFA National President, Bob Ross.
The DOT is likely setting the stage for the approval of inflight voice calls by the FCC in the relatively near future. If the FCC grants overall approval of the technology, it will be up to the individual carriers to establish their own policies. Some foreign carriers, such as Emirates, already allow inflight voice calls. American and other US-based carriers may consider offering the service in order to compete.
In 2014, APFA Government Affairs Representative, Julie Frederick, testified
before the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection in strong opposition to the proposal. APFA filed official comments with the DOT and worked to garner considerable opposition in both the House and Senate.
When Do I Go Illegal? - LAA/LUS
With winter upon us and the threat of inclement weather around the system, it's always a good idea to be familiar with your on duty legalities. One of the most common scheduling questions we get is "When do I go illegal?" Check out the APFA Scheduling Department Page
on the APFA website for handy formulas and tips for figuring out when you go illegal:
LUS - When do I go illegal.pdf
LAA - When do I go illegal.pdf
Interim Pay Protection Tips - LAA
The involuntary loss of time can be frustrating, especially after you have spent a lot time of carefully crafting your schedule to fly a certain number of hours, on specific days, in order to meet a personal goal. Having options to keep the original amount of time you had prior to a misconnection, illegality, or cancellation (MIC) can help you stay on track in meeting your goal.
Currently, these options collectively make up what is called, Interim Pay Protection (IPP). It is a form of sequence pay protection that bridges LAA Flight Attendants to the JCBA pay protection provisions.
Here are a few IPP tips you should keep in mind:
Call Crew Schedule (at sequence origination) or Crew Tracking (mid-sequence) as soon as you have realized or learned that your schedule has been altered by a MIC event.
- If you become aware of the MIC before 1200 Home Base Time (HBT), add your name to the Make-Up (MU) list and send a HISEND MU ballot for a trip that is scheduled to depart the next day, provided that you were originally scheduled to fly the next day.
- Ensure your name is on the MU list and that you participate in the 12 noon HISEND MU round for each day you were originally scheduled to fly (DOSTF)—even if you believe that you are not legal for any trips. Crew Schedule will not assign you a trip once it realizes that you are not legal for a specific trip(s). Rest assured you will not lose pay protection in these instances.
- You can send multiple HISEND MU ballots if you decide to change your preferences, but Crew Schedule only considers your last ballot sent.
- Make sure you include “plot to protect” remarks in all of your HISEND MU ballots. You may choose not to do so at the risk of forfeiting pay protection.
- You are not obligated to accept a trip that is proffered after the completion of the 1330 MU round.
- If you become aware of the MIC after 1200 HBT, call Crew Schedule between 2000 – 2400 HBT for a trip that leaves the next day, provided that you were originally scheduled to fly the next day.
- An assigned trip sequence may terminate on a "DO" but cannot conflict with a duty free period (DFP). Keep in mind that not all DFPs run neatly from midnight-to-midnight. Reference your schedule to see when your DFPs begin and end. Moreover, consider the debrief period, since it is also part of a trip sequence.
- If assigned a trip sequence at first point of contact about a MIC event, then your obligation is considered fulfilled for all DOSTF.
To learn more about IPP for Lineholders and Reserves on an OR/L2/CR as well as special rules pertaining to the Last 5 Days, consult the IPP language
in the On Duty Contract Guide.
Please note that the above tips pertain only to those Flight Attendants who have experienced a MIC and have elected to participate in IPP to protect the involuntary loss of time.
APFA is a strong and independent Union comprised of 25,000 hard-working Flight Attendants of American Airlines. Like any organization, opinions and interests are varied. What makes APFA unique, though, is its highly democratic process which allows members to make their voices heard through the direct election of their Union representatives and voting power on all Constitutional changes. APFA is proud of its membership’s diversity, passion, and advocacy.
(817) 540-0108 | www.apfa.org
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