E-Lines: January 13, 2017

E-Lines: January 13, 2017

Date: January 13, 2017
Type: Dear AFA

Aircraft Identification Error Results in Improper Assignment 

Consistent with the commitments made by AFA and the Company, and in the spirit of working together to ensure additions to the fleet are designated properly, monthly meetings have been taking place to review upcoming deliveries of new aircraft and their subsequent assignment between the pre-merger subsidiaries to ensure compliance with the Protocol Agreement. During these meetings and, in particular, over the holidays, AFA expressed a number of questions as to how certain 737-900 aircraft were assigned to the pre-merger United fleet.

Initially it was thought that the concerns expressed were unfounded.  However, discrepancies identified required further assessment.  In response to the Union’s questions and as intended by the process, representatives from the Company took on the task of pursuing the detailed responses to the questions presented to management.  

This week, through the diligent commitment to the process agreed upon in March of this year, Inflight management, Labor Relations and the Officers of the Union have learned, as a result of an administrative error, five 737-900 aircraft in service (#3895-3899) were improperly identified as aircraft to be assigned to the pre-merger United fleet.  One additional aircraft, not yet in service, was also incorrectly identified.  When this information became known, management acted swiftly to ensure the aircraft were properly identified and, overnight between January 9th and 11th, the aircraft were re-assigned to the pre-merger CAL fleet.

An administrative error of this significance justifiably not only raises a number of legitimate questions but also requires the implementation of a system of accountability that ensures, beyond any doubt, a similar error will never be repeated.  Initial conversations with representatives from Inflight and Labor Relations have included not only an apology for the error but also acknowledgement that these steps are necessary to ensure this never happens again.

Over the course of the coming days, discussions between the Union and management will continue as we work to obtain a better understanding of the specific actions that will require implementation, including a mandatory sign off before the designation of aircraft assignment by all parties involved in the assignment process, with additional sign off by Inflight, Labor Relations following a review with AFA.  Appropriately, discussions will take place on the impact of the misalignment of hours, if any, between the two pre-merger subsidiaries. These conversations are necessary to continue to build the Labor Management relationship as we work to build a successful company that will assure our collective future.

MEC Meeting to be Held January 17-19 in Houston

The 2017 Winter Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC) is scheduled to take place January 17-19, 2017 each day at 9:00 AM local time at the Hyatt Regency North Houston, 425 North Sam Houston Parkway East in Houston, Texas. Your Local Council President, joined by the 15 other Local Council Presidents from around our system, will address the business of our Union and the issues that are important to the Membership.

We encourage each Member to witness the democratic process by attending your Local Council meetings and join us for the MEC meeting if you are in the Houston area.  Scheduled times for your Local Council's meeting and the MEC Meeting Agenda and Advance Agenda Items are posted on our website. To view the agenda, you will need to login to the secure Members only area on our website. 

United Will Announce Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter 2016 Financial Results

United Continental Holdings, Inc. will post their full-year and fourth-quarter 2016 financial results on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 and will hold an investor conference call on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at 9:30am CST.  Those interested in listening can do so via United's live webcast. The webcast can be accessed on United's Investor Relations website at ir.united.com and will be archived on the website for 24 hours.

Profit Sharing - Section 4.N.4. 

As provided in Section 4.N.4. of our Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA), in the event United has more than $10 million in pre-tax earnings, the Flight Attendant Annual Profit Sharing Pool shall be based on two components:

  • 10% of Pre-Tax Earnings that are not in excess of the Pre-Tax Earnings for the previous calendar year; and 
  • 20% of Pre-Tax Earnings that are in excess of the Pre-Tax Earnings for the previous calendar year. 

Be mindful, pre tax earnings are defined as United consolidated net income excluding (I) federal, state and local income taxes (II) unusual, special or non-recurring charges or (III) charges with respect to grant, exercise or vesting of equality, securities or options granted to United and United employees and (IV) expenses associated with profit sharing contributions.

If our profit sharing program is triggered, each eligible Flight Attendant’s share of the pot will be a pro rata share of the Annual Profit Sharing Pool based on the ratio of the Flight Attendant’s Considered Earnings for the year to the aggregate amount of Considered Earnings for all eligible employees that year. 

This year Profit Sharing payments will be made to all eligible employees on February 27, 2017 in a separate pay check. You will be able to make your Profit Sharing elections beginning January 27, 2017 through February 12,2017, during which time you can decide to defer all, or a percentage of your Contractual profit sharing payment to your:

  • 401(k) retirement savings account or,
  • Roth 401(k) Plan account, if applicable.
  • UK Stakeholder Plan Account

You will be able to access your individual statement on United’s Flying Together website under My Info starting January 27, 2017

Please keep in mind that if NO election is made, you will receive your profit sharing as a cash payment subject to all applicable state, federal and local income tax withholdings.

United Airlines to Retire Our Beloved Queen of the Skies - The Boeing 747

The Boeing 747 is an aircraft of distinction, unique to the industry and part of our airline’s very identity.  Those of us who have spent any part of our career here at United know of the incomparable attributes of the Queen of the Skies whether working as Flight Attendants, Pilots, Ramp Service or Airport Operations personnel.  To all of us, her splendor is as well-known as her wingspan and as recognizable as her unique silhouette and we are all deeply connected to her.  It is because of this connection that the news of the advancement of her impending retirement is bittersweet for us all. 

Last March, management announced that this “venerable lady” would be retired by the end of 2018.  With the advancements in technology, there are more fuel efficient, cost effective and reliable aircraft in our fleet.  These new aircraft will provide a state of the art, updated inflight experience for those traveling and working on long-haul flights.   However, our affinity for this grand dame of an aircraft will never be diminished.  Our “lady” will be retired as of the fourth quarter of 2017.

Since United began flying this aircraft between California and Hawaii in the 1970’s, millions of passengers and employees have had the opportunity to experience the expansive interior and comfortable ride.   As we bid farewell to the Queen of the Skies we will honor her memory with an unforgettable retirement celebration that will recognize her many contributions to the success of our airline and will create an experience that will become a memory - in and of itself.

Management has prepared a Q & A document intended to address employee’s initial questions on her retirement.   However, because of our affinity for her, it may be difficult for many of us to understand and accept her retirement.  Time marches on and so must we.  And, as in all we do, we will do so together, remembering fondly our experiences with this grand aircraft.  And we will smile.

Section 4.B.1. - Incentive Pay 

Effective with the fourth quarter of 2016, Flight Attendants will be paid incentive pay on a calendar quarter bases. Payments for the fourth quarter of 2016 should appear on your January 16, 2017 pay advice. 


To keep track and view your incentive pay follow the information below for your pre-merger subsidiary: 


Drug and Alcohol Testing Pay 

Section 4.F of our JCBA, outlines the contractual provision for Drug and Alcohol Testing compensation. Compensation for testing will be administered on a calendar month bases verses bid month. For example, if you were tested December 30 and 31 you will see payment for the testing on your mid-month January pay advice.

(CMI) Three Hour Reserve Call Out for CMI Flight Attendants – Effective for March Schedule 

We are pleased to announce the company and AFA have reached an agreement that will provide CMI Flight Attendants with a three-hour call out notice to check-in time.   This agreement will become effective on the first day of the March 2017 Flight Attendant schedule month.  Additional information will be included in the March 2017 CMI Bid Package that will be published in February.

(CAL) Retro Pay for CQ CBT

If you as a pre-merger CAL Flight Attendant, completed a Continuing Qualification (CQ) Computer Based Training (CBT) in September, October, and/or November bid month and received only one hour of pay, you will see an additional 40 minutes of pay in your mid-month January paycheck. The additional pay can be found on your pay advice listed as “RETRO”. This is a one time retroactive payment and is a result of the JCBA implementation of Section 11.B.2. This provision entitled you to 1:40 minutes of pay instead of 1 hour of pay. 

One Month Special COLAs and Jobshares Offered for February

In accordance with Section 15.B. of our JCBA additional jobshares and one month Special COLAs are being offered for the month of February. These special COLAs are available for all pre-merger CAL and UAL Flight Attendants. It is not anticipated that Special COLAs will be awarded at the following bases due to manpower requirements: 


  • Pre-merger UAL: Unimatic command DSPFAI (UAL) - When completing the DIS page enter the schedule month dates of 01/30/17 - 03/01/17. Please also remove any unwanted requests by the deadline.Requests should be on file by Monday, January 16, 2017, at 0800 CST via:
  • Pre-Merger CAL: Filling out the form titled additional leaves/jobshare requests. This form can be found on United’s Flying Together website > Inflight Services > Crew Scheduling > S-CO and S-CMI > Partnership/Job splits and COLA > Additional leaves/jobshare requests.  Once you have completed the form please email it to: InflightCrewStaffing@united.com.

In the email subject line, please include your Base (for the month of February), Employee ID, and your name in that order. Deadline is Monday, January 16 by 08:00 Central Time

For additional information please see your base supervisor. 

Update to Samsung Galaxy Note 

While the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 continues to be prohibited on U.S. aircraft, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) no longer require air carriers to make pre-boarding or onboard announcements regarding the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, effective January 10, 2017. This mobile device may not be carried by a crew member or passenger in the cabin, placed in checked bags or shipped as air cargo.

U.S. Aviation Workers Sue Obama Administration to Reverse DOT’s Norwegian Air International Decision 

Latest Action in Fight to Defend U.S. Trade Agreements, Save U.S. Aviation Jobs

WASHINGTON––Organizations representing more than 100,000 aviation workers filed a petition yesterday, January 12, 2017 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit as a first step in a drive to overturn the Obama administration’s decision to permit Norwegian Air International (NAI) to fly to and from the United States under a business plan that runs counter to U.S. Open Skies agreements and threatens U.S. jobs.

Filed yesterday by the AFL-CIO, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, the Association of Flight Attendants—CWA, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, and the Allied Pilots Association, the petition calls for review of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) determination late last year that approving the NAI foreign air carrier permit was consistent with U.S. aviation statutes and the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement (ATA).

Visit our website to continue reading about this very important issue and find out what you can do to help.

Celebrating Martin Luther King Day

Monday, January 16, 2017, we celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. and reflect on our collective accomplishments as well as the work that needs to be done in advancing issues of equality for all.