Following the merger of United, Continental, and Continental Micronesia airlines, United management revised its policy which previously provided IAM Flight Attendants with access to the cabin jumpseat. As a result of that change, IAM Flight Attendants lost their access to the cabin jumpseats on the new United Airlines aircraft.
Today, AFA, the IAM and United Airlines are happy to announce an agreement has been reached that will provide a reciprocal opportunity for IAM-represented ExpressJet, CommutAir, and United Airlines Flight Attendants to occupy vacant cabin jumpseats on each other’s aircraft. Priority access will be given to the Flight Attendant(s) accessing the cabin jumpseat(s) on her/his own carrier. In addition, true to AFA’s Constitutional priority to establish jumpseat reciprocity, Flight Attendants at Mesa and GoJet Airlines, United Express carriers, will also benefit from this collaborative effort of our Unions.
More than two years in the making, this agreement is the result of meetings and intensive discussions with both United management and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), representing Flight Attendants at United Airlines. We are pleased to announce this agreement was reached through a combination of patience and persistence. Because access to the cabin jumpseat was subject to the terms of the pre-merger United AFA collective bargaining agreement (CBA), resolution to the issues that impeded other airlines Flight Attendant access to our cabin jumpseat was difficult if not impossible while we were negotiating a joint collective bargaining agreement for the three pre-merger airlines.
As soon as the joint collective bargaining agreement was ratified, discussions between the IAM, AFA, and United Airlines Senior Vice President of Labor Relations, Doug McKeen resumed in earnest. With the support of AFA, resolution was accomplished while, at the same time, extending access to AFA represented Flight Attendants at Mesa and GoJet Airlines, both United Express carriers, who will also benefit from this collaborative effort of our Unions.
There are currently no automation processes in place for Flight Attendants of other airlines to jumpseat on United metal. Therefore, United must implement process and technology changes based on specific contractual parameters agreed to with AFA. Details on the actual process and the date of implementation are being worked out, but all parties are in agreement that these benefits should be in place for Flight Attendants as soon as practicable.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.