Dear fellow Flight Attendants,
The February build was negatively impacted by the loss of our Flight Attendant Crew Planner to Southwest Airlines. As you may remember, a Crew Planner was dedicated solely to our Flight Attendants in an effort to increase efficiency and variety once we ended co-pairing. As a result of this loss, the Pilot Crew Planner was suddenly tasked with building the pairings for both sets of crews. As a result, variety suffered more than usual due to the lack of attention we had been accustomed to over the past several months. The Director of Crew Planning is committed to the expeditious hiring and training of a dedicated Flight Attendant Crew Planner four our group.
It is important to remember that variety suffers primarily due to the schedules given to us by American Airlines. The “meat” of our flying is found primarily in the mornings and evenings thus resulting in long sits and layovers shorter than some of us would like. Further complicating the lack of variety is the fact that we still are seeing preferable flying given to the contract carriers operating as American Eagle. They receive longer stage length flying plus flying during the middle of the day thus allowing them greater average daily credit and greater duration of overnights. Envoy Air, inc. does not control the flying we receive from American Airlines. More importantly, the Company does not control the flying given to our competitors outside of AAG. Our stellar performance in 2015 leading us to be the top performer of all 10 regional carriers supporting American Airlines is what leads AAG to continue returning flying into our operation. (This monthly report will now include a table at the end listing all operators of “American Eagle.” I hope to soon be able to include numbers showing what percentage of AAG flying each carrier covers.) Variety should improve as we continue to assume more and more of the regional flying.
Base Specific Information
Overstaffing continues to be a problem for DFW, but this will soon settle with the introduction of additional Embraer 175 aircraft into our operation. Until this problem is corrected, we will continue to see an unusually high percentage of Flight Attendants on reserve. You should have noticed that Embraer 175 flying is available for bid in the February bid month.
For the month of February, the average daily credit on the ERJ is 4:18 hours. On the CRJ, the average daily credit is 5:13 hours.
Chicago has been welcoming new hires which means we should begin to see some movement in terms of increased seniority for each of us. It should be noted, however, that this is not a guarantee due to the changes in schedules each month. The pairing values on the CRJ have increased to such an extent that more flying can be covered by a slightly smaller number of flight attendants.
For the month of February, the average daily credit on the CRJ is 5:46 hours while it is 4:23 hours on the Embraer which are both above my ideal target for pairings.
Generally speaking, seeing the average daily credit of pairings higher than 4:41 per day gives me high confidence of finding the line between line awards and reserve awards. This math assumes 16 days off flying to reach a full 75:00 hours. Thinking in terms of four day pairings, this means only 4 of this value or higher are necessary to finish the normal line so long as people are entering bids for standard schedules.
Seeing the average daily credit of pairings higher than 4:13 makes me fair confidence that we should (for the most part) find the line between line awards and reserve awards. This math assumes 18 days of flying to reach 75:00 hours. Thinking in terms of four day pairings again, this means an average of 4 or 5 trips of these values or higher are needed to finish a normal line so long as people are entering bids for standards schedules.) When the number falls below this point, I become very nervous at the increased probability that the line between line awards and reserve awards will be difficult to find!
Not all pairings are going to create line awards! If you are picking pairings or specific overnights, be sure that you are watching pairing values! For instance, that overnight you love just might be connected to a very low value pairing! For those of you wanting an easier way to ensure that you are not receiving pairings worth too little, you can always enter a negative bid that reads, “Avoid Pairings if Average Daily Credit < 3:45.” We do not recommend those in the lower halves of our seniority lists to use this bid! In some cases, if pairings become less available, the availability of a low value pairing may give you those last few hours needed to kick your bid over 75:00 hours which is necessary to hold a line if you are not able to be awarded minimum credit. For those in the upper halves of your seniority lists, this type of bid should reduce any chances that your bid will be affected by Secondary Line Generation (SLG).
On the 18th of each month, I will begin working on projections for the upcoming month based on bids as they are entered at that time. The accuracy of this picture will be affected by the fact that not all bids will have yet been entered. We certainly do not want to rush our flight attendants during the bidding process simply to increase the accuracy of this report. If you can confidently enter a bid that you think you will use by the 18th, it will certainly move us in the direction of acquiring a more accurate picture of where people are falling in terms of their seniority numbers. Please check your emails by 12:00 pm on 19JAN15 for another report which may or may not have an impact on the way you enter your bid!
Take care of each other and fly safely!
John Carlos Metidieri
MEC Bid Planning Committee Chairperson
Joint PBS Committee Member
Association of Flight Attendants – CWA, AFL-CIO