Reserve Questions & Answers
Updated March 31, 2020
1. Say all the GF1 day Reserves are used up. Will CS go to the next bucket and look for the reserve with the most days available? Or will they follow the list in that next bucket and go top to bottom in order.
CS will follow the list from top to bottom in the next bucket in the same RAP. Within the same RAP, after all the GF1, go to the GF2/3, then the GF4+.
2. Will CS still be able to be pre-plot trips? And if so, how will that affect the list?
As soon as trips become open, they are assigned in order starting from the top of the appropriate (good for enough days) bucket in the earliest RAP. For example, if you are 2-2 GF1, #1, you get the first 1-day trip that comes open. If you are 2-2 GF1, #10, you get the 10th trip 1-day trip that comes open.
3. How will we be sure that CS is following the list and not hide trips and save that for double time FAs and not be given to Reserve FAs? How can we be reassured transparency?
Scheduling shouldn't be hiding trips to begin with. The contract requires all open flying to be listed and available for viewing by FAs. But a trip being listed in open time does not mean it will automatically go to a Reserve if scheduling is in recall mode. Scheduling still needs to cover the schedule, and assigning absolutely all Reserves leaves them at risk of having to cancel flights. That said, having clearly spelled out rules means Scheduling can explain why trips were assigned the way they were, and if they were incorrectly assigned, the Reserve who was skipped can potentially be pay protected.
4. Why can’t we request for any trips when we have more than the days available?
Actually, you can request trips when you have more days than required for the trip. Scheduling wanted Reserves to request only trips equal to their days of availability. But we were able to negotiate, and the system we agreed on allows Reserves to request trips that are equal to or one day less than their days of availability. It's not an unlimited ability, but it's an improvement on the current system where Scheduling gets to decide if you have enough days.
5. I feel like my seniority doesn’t come into play when I try to bid for say two 2-day trips when GF4. I want to work but I want to make it as efficient as possible. Not being able to bid for two 2-day trips back to back.
That is a limitation of the reserve SA process. The rules for SA were negotiated in 2017, when there were very few reserve Flight Attendants available on a daily basis and high levels of recall. The restriction of allowing a GF4 to only SA 3-day trips was the efficiency the company needed at that time. Since that time the company has increased reserve staffing. Allowing the GF4 to bid for 2-day trips is an improvement that we would look to add in the future.
6. I don’t understand what the difference is between “award” and “assigned” is? Isn’t it the same thing?
"Awarded" is when the FA was successful in Self Assignment and matched up with a trip they preferenced.
"Assigned" describes all other times when you are put onto a grouping.
7. Why isn’t everything just awarded by seniority? If I’m good for the days available and I want to work, why can’t I have two 2day trips if I’m GF4?
See #4 above.
8. The chart of what the standby list makes no sense to. Is that accurate? It doesn’t match what you guys are telling us?
The example standby list shows, from top to bottom, the three RAPs (2-2, 5-5, 11-11) and each bucket (GF1, GF2/3, GF4+) separated within each RAP. What the final version of the standby list looks like is still subject to programming, but there will be three RAPs, and three buckets in each RAP.
9. I feel like I’m not getting my questions answered when sending them to the AFA. What’s the point?
There have been an extremely high volume of emails sent to afacotnract2017 in the days since the first webinar on Wednesday, March 25th. Some of the questions are general in nature while others are very specific. Answers to the specific questions may take some time to process. Answers to some of the general questions have been posted on the Q & A. In order to give people more opportunities to have their questions answered the daily webinars which were originally scheduled to be Tentative Agreement summaries were converted to daily Q & A sessions. In addition, two Reserve focused webinars were added to the schedule to give people even more opportunities to have their questions answered.
10. So if bid FAs have to request by 1030am for their General Request trips and we have to by 130pm, does that mean we can only request during that time? What if I’m flying? So that only give us 3 hours to bid? How is that fair?
No, you can submit requests before bid requests are closed. You'll have more than three hours to submit your preferences. The Self Assignment bidding folder will be similar to current "General Request" folder, just with clickable menus instead of a text box.
11. I don’t understand ARC? I can request for it but have to be GF3 days? But CS can assign me if I’m GF2? It makes no sense.
CS wanted to ensure that people who self-assigned to ARC were able to cover 3-day trips. If on a given day all the ARCs were only available for 2 days, CS would not be able to cover a 3-day that had a last-minute vacancy. If CS needs to use people with only 2 days of availability they will do so, but they felt they needed to manage those assignments.
12. All of this (SA, understanding clawback, and look forward) seems like a lot more holes that CS can do to make it work for them and not us. Why is it so difficult?
Reserve scheduling is very complicated to begin with. On top of that, our contract provides additional control and protection for Reserves, typically not found in other airlines' contracts. These further complicate and often frustrate CS's ability to schedule Reserves the way CS wants to. That is why we negotiated a system that clearly spells out the procedures and rules in a way that everyone can follow, and that can be traced backwards if there is a perceived violation.
13. To help with hold CS to our contract, why can’t we see Assignments when then come available. It wouldn’t be such a problem if they called us when the trips became available and in order.
That was part of our original proposal but that was not agreed-to in the final version. But we heard the Pilots have a system similar to this, and we are researching if the company might make that available to us too.
14. Why can’t I be awarded a trip if someone got that trip I wanted rescinded? If they got it taken away, why can’t I have it if I was next in line? If I wasn’t next in line I get it. But if I was, why can’t I get it.
If someone is having their trip rescinded, that means there were no remaining Reserves, including you, left to assign.
15. I don’t understand what times all of these things will happen. It all sounds so confusing.
A PDF document has been posted here.
16. We can request our standby times on the list now, why are we giving that up?
That is not currently a contractual request. In fact, how do we know why anyone is currently assigned to their standby time?
17. I can request for ii with being GF6+ days now. And now I can’t. If I’m GF6 and request for ii for day 6 and 5, most of the time I’ll get it. And then I can request two 2-day trips for the last 4 day’s on R and now I can’t. What’s the point of trying to maximize my schedule if I can’t work what I want If it’s available and I’m senior enough to request it? It makes no sense.
See #5 above.
18. I feel like some rules are the same just reworded and the language moved around.
Actually, there were substantial changes and new language added to this section. And even if it were the case, in the world of contracts, rewording and moving language around is all that's needed to completely change a system.
19. I feel like this isn’t fair. Why give up what we have now. I get the transparency they are trying to correct on Scheduling's end, but if we as reserves can do “work-arounds”, then so can CS. How can we track that?
Using your seniority to get the schedule you want is completely legal, it is not a work around. That's how seniority and scheduling work. On the other hand, CS operating outside the rules is not legal. The new Reserve system has clearly spelled out, bright-line rules for everyone to follow, including CS. And once everyone learns the rules, you can say something if you see something wrong. Effectively e
enforcing our contract relies on everyone's participation.
20. I’m really annoyed I can’t request for ii when I’m GF3 days. We should request for things and then get them awarded in seniority regardless of days I’m GF. Seniority should have played a key factor in all requests. Given to FAs who participated in SA in seniority order. And then the RAPs be created after all trips been assigned to those who wanted it. That way seniority is still a priority.
Seniority is a key factor, but it not the only factor. Days of availability also needs to be considered, we have trips of varying lengths that need to be covered, and not every Reserve is legal to cover every flight. Not considering days of availability would leave Scheduling
21. I feel like they took all the power award from seniority and to senior reserves. Why can’t I request what I want and be awarded it. And the rest of the flights assigned after all requests are processed?
Of course it would be ideal for all Reserves to request what they want and be awarded it by seniority. But scheduling FAs is much more complicated. The new Reserve assignment system is designed to spell out the rules clearly to limit Scheduling's discretion when considering things like availability and the needs of the operation.
22. I’m a single mom. And my parents can only watch my child on the weekends so I can pick up. If I plan my days so I can work ii during the week, that means it lessens my days to pick up on the weekends since I’m only gf 2. I can’t pick anything up worth good credit because of time restraints. This isn’t fair. That’s what I look forward to making hours- picking up ER trips on weekends. Now I can’t.
See #5 above.
23. Is pre-plotting still going to occur? They are getting away with doing that now. What will stop them from doing it in the future? Why is pre-plotting even allowed?
See #2 and #3 above.
24. Would the company or the AFA be able to change the new Reserve “rules” after the TA gets approved if it’s not working for the company or the Flight Attendants?
The AFA could make changes if we thought it would help the reserves if the company agreed to do so.
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Additional Questions and Answers...
Q. Would the company or the AFA be able to change the new Reserve “rules” after the TA gets approved if it’s not working for the company or the Flight Attendants?
The AFA could make changes if we thought it would help the reserves if the company agreed to do so.
Q. What is the new system? How did it get to be this way? (3.30)
The new reserve system is similar to a PBS system for bidding monthly schedules, but used on a daily basis for self-assignment. In addition, it limits the number of Reserve Availability Periods (RAPs) that the company can create to call out standbys. Finally, there is a set order to follow when calling standbys for assignment from RAPs. There are now clear rules in place for awarding trips, creating and filling RAPs, and calling reserves out for flight assignments from these RAPs. These were the reserve Flight Attendants’ concerns when we conducted the survey prior to starting negotiations. There were complaints of favoritism about the awarding of trips prior to printing of the Daily Flight Schedule and when being called in for a trip off of standby. In addition there were a multitude of RAPs on the Daily Flight Schedule so people really didn’t know if or when they would be called out. The new reserve system addresses all of these concerns.
Q. It seems scheduling uses the term “for the protection of operational purposes” a lot to their advantage, specifically towards reserves. Has there been talks about eliminating or reducing the usage of that verbiage?
The new reserves provisions we negotiated are designed to reduce the amount of discretion exerted over reserves. The TA lays out a strict process of how reserve assignments are made and on what criteria and in what order.
Q. When saying it’s a preference for a reserve assignment can the company still use the operational needs card and not give the assignment based on seniority like they do today?
The new reserve language greatly increases the amount of control reserves have over their assignments to open flying, and gives them trip ownership once assigned. It spells out the order in which the trips will be assigned to reserves. We tried to spell out the rules as clearly as possible to maximize transparency and predictability for all users, both FAs and schedulers.