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UA917 FRA-IAD Understaffed but 2 FA's sitting in 1st Class?

UA917 FRA-IAD Understaffed but 2 FA's sitting in 1st Class?

 
Old Aug 14, 10, 9:45 pm
  #1  
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UA917 FRA-IAD Understaffed but 2 FA's sitting in 1st Class?

So todays flight from FRA to IAD was announced to be short of 3 FAs and hence crew would appreciate understanding if service is a bit slow.

Interesting then that there are 2 United FAs in uniform sitting in 1st class. OK so they are likely deadheading or off duty but given that the flight was short you would think they would be co-opted to help. Or at very least not take up 2 seats in 1st??

What gives?
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Old Aug 14, 10, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by steviebas View Post
given that the flight was short you would think they would be co-opted to help. Or at very least not take up 2 seats in 1st??

What gives?
Most likely union rules.
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Old Aug 14, 10, 10:03 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
Most likely union rules.
The FAA is a strong union. No way if they had worked that day that they would be legal for that long of a flight.
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Old Aug 14, 10, 10:05 pm
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There are numerous reasons as to why the two flight attendants were sitting in First Class. Maybe they were ill and being positioned back to base. Additionally, there are quite a few flight attendants that are based in Frankfurt but commute to the States. UA policy prohibits "off duty" flight attendants from helping with the service. You must be listed as a working crewmember to perform crew duties.

-IFLYUA
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Old Aug 14, 10, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by steviebas View Post
So todays flight from FRA to IAD was announced to be short of 3 FAs and hence crew would appreciate understanding if service is a bit slow.

Interesting then that there are 2 United FAs in uniform sitting in 1st class. OK so they are likely deadheading or off duty but given that the flight was short you would think they would be co-opted to help. Or at very least not take up 2 seats in 1st??

What gives?
No, if they were off, they were off. I don't think FA's get FC DH's anyways, although not 100% sure. Could have been some NRSA's who wore their uniforms to ease transition through security or were commuting to or from work.

AD

Last edited by aluminumdriver; Aug 14, 10 at 10:54 pm
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Old Aug 14, 10, 10:40 pm
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They weren't on the job. They just happened to be heading home (or to work) on the flight. Why should they work for free?
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Old Aug 14, 10, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
The FAA is a strong union. No way if they had worked that day that they would be legal for that long of a flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration is a union?

Learn something new every day, I guess...
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Old Aug 14, 10, 11:51 pm
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Originally Posted by kcblakely View Post
The Federal Aviation Administration is a union?

Learn something new every day, I guess...
There was sarcasm. They regulate the duty days of crew members to ensure the safety of the flying public. Although they do have one, the "National Air Traffic Controllers Association". Take that Ronnie Raygun!
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Old Aug 15, 10, 12:55 am
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Originally Posted by steviebas View Post
So todays flight from FRA to IAD was announced to be short of 3 FAs and hence crew would appreciate understanding if service is a bit slow.

Interesting then that there are 2 United FAs in uniform sitting in 1st class. OK so they are likely deadheading or off duty but given that the flight was short you would think they would be co-opted to help. Or at very least not take up 2 seats in 1st??

What gives?

Hey I am a CO agent but started lurking over here with all that is coming to get a feel for UA. I haven't posted here till this.


I can't believe they would be sit there in uniform and not help out after such an announcement was made! It just looks really BAD, ok so maybe they were NRSA great, don't sit there on your ... in uniform when you just told a few hundered pax the service will be slow due to understaffing. I mean maybe they did not wanna help out, I get that CHANGE CLOTHES!!!!


and before you ask yes, I have helped out for 'free' at the airport (and I was based in an office at the time) , and I have seen off duty F/A help out unpaid on planes many times. Almost as a rules during the chaos of boarding, but sometime even during the service....if only to pass the time.


I am not saying they should or shouldnt have helped, but they def could have been more discrete
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Old Aug 15, 10, 1:14 am
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Originally Posted by TPARes View Post
Hey I am a CO agent but started lurking over here with all that is coming to get a feel for UA. I haven't posted here till this.


I can't believe they would be sit there in uniform and not help out after such an announcement was made! It just looks really BAD, ok so maybe they were NRSA great, don't sit there on your ... in uniform when you just told a few hundered pax the service will be slow due to understaffing. I mean maybe they did not wanna help out, I get that CHANGE CLOTHES!!!!


and before you ask yes, I have helped out for 'free' at the airport (and I was based in an office at the time) , and I have seen off duty F/A help out unpaid on planes many times. Almost as a rules during the chaos of boarding, but sometime even during the service....if only to pass the time.


I am not saying they should or shouldnt have helped, but they def could have been more discrete
+1 I agree, get out of those uniforms and wear something else, or just help. To be short 3 FA's and to sit on your hands. Sad.

BTW weclome to FT and to the UA board, I hope the the positive attitude you mention of other CO FA's blends to the new UA+CO
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Old Aug 15, 10, 1:47 am
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Originally Posted by TPARes View Post

aand I have seen off duty F/A help out unpaid on planes many times. Almost as a rules during the chaos of boarding, but sometime even during the service....if only to pass the time.
When I was new at United another F/A and I who were deadheading to LAS did just that (something we did quite frequently at my previous airline). When the working crew arrived they were not pleased with us and told us we should "be ashamed of ourselves."

The next day we got called in by our managers and told that the Union was going to file a grievance against us and the manager who asked us to do it. Nothing happened to us, but when we went to the union rep (who, ironically, was the one filing the grievance for the working crew) she told us the grievance was merely a formality, but that we should never, ever, never, ever....ever do anything like that again, since that was how "young flight attendants earn bad reputations for themselves."
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Old Aug 15, 10, 2:07 am
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Originally Posted by rkaradi View Post
+1 I agree, get out of those uniforms and wear something else, or just help. To be short 3 FA's and to sit on your hands. Sad.

BTW weclome to FT and to the UA board, I hope the the positive attitude you mention of other CO FA's blends to the new UA+CO
I on the other hand, hope that actions that may end up getting the next flight they may be working (If they were commuting to work) cncld by exceeding their duty times is not contagious.

It's the same thing with a deadheading pilot on his way to work giving up his cabin seat and sitting in the cockpit as an OMC for an extra passenger. Their are regulations that in certain circumstances (and we don't know the circumstances) that prohibit this to maintain the crew legality.

I have had a pilot who was waiting for an inbound crewmember (flight attendant) tell a deadheading flight attendant to "fill in" until she gets there (estimate was 10 min) so the plane could leave when the other arrived. I explained that I would not permit her to board the aircraft until the minimum number of WORKING flight attendants were on the aircraft(as is the FAA rule.) He told me that he is using his "captain's authority" to make her a working crew member. I explained to him that such authority does not exist in the gate room, and as a non-working crew member, he has no authority over her when not on the plane.

Long story short, I called crew scheduling. They made it very clear that if she did any work, that she would not be legal to fly the next flight she was being positioned for, and as it was not a flight attendant base, that flight would be cncld. And since, as a non-working crew member in the gate room, crew scheduling is her superior and not the pilot, they forbade her from doing as the pilot ordered. Oh, and in the end (not that we would have known in advance) the working crew member took not 10 min, but 90 min to arrive, so even if there was no legality issue, he would have boarded the passengers on the plane and made them sit for 90 min, for no reason at all.

Rules are not meant to be broken, that is why they are rules, not suggestions, recommendations, or guidelines, but rules. The industry is regulated. One cannot waive external rules, even if one thinks they are stupid rules.

Now we don't know the flight attendant's situation, but until one knows that it was ok for them to work (not that they needed to, but if it was even a possibility,) saying they should is a bad decision.

As fr the "dress code", that is a UA issue. If UA states it is acceptable, then it isn't up to the gen pop to pass judgement. One could write into UA and say that crew members in upper cabins wearing uniforms is something that you don't like, but until UA says it is unacceptable, and UA sets the rules on UA's planes, it IS acceptable.

One shouldn't worry so much about what other people that are not known to them do, one should worry about themselves and their loved ones. There is another thread on dress code that is at the top of the page right now. If PJ's are acceptable in overwater 1st, then what difference does it make to anyone what anyone else wears?

By the way JohnnyJet, this deadheading flight attendant was new as well, and was willing to do as the pilot said....until she spoke to her actual CoC, and realized that she should not take advice when new from others not in authority who do not know the rules or the reasons behind them. Lesson learned.

Last edited by fastair; Aug 15, 10 at 3:07 am
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Old Aug 15, 10, 2:52 am
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Originally Posted by JohnnyJet View Post
When I was new at United another F/A and I who were deadheading to LAS did just that (something we did quite frequently at my previous airline). When the working crew arrived they were not pleased with us and told us we should "be ashamed of ourselves."

The next day we got called in by our managers and told that the Union was going to file a grievance against us and the manager who asked us to do it. Nothing happened to us, but when we went to the union rep (who, ironically, was the one filing the grievance for the working crew) she told us the grievance was merely a formality, but that we should never, ever, never, ever....ever do anything like that again, since that was how "young flight attendants earn bad reputations for themselves."




I know! We hear so many storys like that. I am not inflight, but I have friends who are, other who work at the airport, other downtown at HQS, etc, etc. Honestly, we are all scared. We have heard the same kinda stories a 1000 times. It is alien to everything I have ever known in this industry. I am gonna wait and see, but alot of us are already looking to move on. But if that is the culture that wins out I'll finally go back to school and be a doctor like I was suppose to before my 'college job' ate my life.


I think the new airline looks AMAZING on paper, but God help Jeff pull it off in the real world



Originally Posted by fastair View Post
If UA states it is acceptable, then it isn't up to the gen pop to pass judgement.
Yes, you are right. But, they will and do pass judgement. If those F/A had any esprit de corps they would have recognized that. As their future co-worker that is what concerns me, and about 40k other people.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Aug 15, 10 at 11:04 am Reason: language
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Old Aug 15, 10, 6:09 am
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Not sure of union rules but I have seen in the past DH flight attendents helping out in a situation like this. Things happen in this fast-paced environemnt. They should be able to get paid for this. I have even seen FA's out of uniform not even DH, helping say making drinks.
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Old Aug 15, 10, 6:30 am
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When employees are around even if off-duty they should do whatever they legally can to help out when the employer is short staffed, and the employer should reward that.

That this doesn't happen and may not be permitted or is frowned upon points to just what's wrong with the culture and rules of the company and their workforce.

To the extent that some forms of assistance aren't permitted by government rule, that points to the flaws in those rules.

Now, I'm not saying that someone who worked a long-haul flight the day befor enad is scheduled to work a long-haul flight the next day ought to be performing safety-related duties, and there may be repercussions for performing such duties the next day (though in practice, I doubt it...), but that's precisely the kind of thing that the company ought to be able to figure out rather than following inflexible rules.

I'm not suggesting that these NRSAs should have behaved differently because this is United, they face rules from the union and the compnay and enforced by the culture not to mention any applicable govenrment rules.

But rather that the fact that they probably shouldn't have under the circumstances underscores how backwards the culture is.
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