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Vacation Information

Source: AFA

Date: Oct 23, 2017

Source: Elines

Over the course of the past several weeks, we’ve worked to provide you with an overview of the Vacation Election process and to introduce you to the new automation and familiarize you with the new CCS automation for vacation bidding.  In this edition of E-Lines, we will begin the process of introducing you to a number of the new vacation bidding rules.

The first round of vacation bidding is from October 23 to October 31, 2017, 0800 home domicile time.  Each pre-merger subsidiary will have an allocation of days available for viewing in CCS once the first round of bidding opens on October 23.

Once the first bid opens, Flight Attendants will be allowed to choose preferences regarding:

  • The number of days they want in each vacation period
  • The option to “slide” the vacation, up to three days in either direction of the start/end dates to ensure they receive the maximum number of days utilizing their initial bids
  • Whether they are willing to accept the vacation period with fewer days specified by number
  • The start date for each vacation period 

Note: *New for pmCO & pmCMI*: When reviewing the process for your first vacation bid, remember that start dates are no longer pre-set.  The new vacation bid process will allow you to bid for any start date for a vacation period, if it fits within the month being bid, or complies with the rules for “crossing months.”

It’s important to become familiar with the following vacation rules:

  • Flight Attendants may opt to split their vacation accrual into periods of not less than six days each. A Flight Attendant may have a maximum of five vacation periods. (Section 12.F.4.)
  • A Flight Attendant who has 11 or fewer days of accrued vacation, must bid their entire accrual in a single block. (Section 12.F.4.)
  • A partial day of vacation accrual will be rounded up to a full day for the purpose of vacation bidding, but shall be paid as a partial day. A partial day is always the last of the vacation period in which it is awarded. All hours must be bid in the same round.  (Section 12.F.5)
  • New for pmUA Flight Attendants this year – When a Flight Attendant has a partial day vacation, she/he will be relieved of all duty for that entire day, including any trip assignment or Reserve duty.  However, compensation for a partial vacation day will be paid on a pro-rata basis.  For example, a 12 hour partial day will pay 50% of the 3:15 value of the vacation day
  • A Flight Attendant may not bid more than 50% of their accrued vacation days, unless they have 11 or fewer days of accrued vacation. When a Flight Attendant has accrued an odd number of vacation days, the odd day may be added to the 50% maximum for the first round. For example, a Flight Attendant with 19 days of vacation may bid a maximum of 10 days in the first round. (Section 12.F.6.)

Vacation Bidding Options 

There have been a number of additional vacation rules put in place to give Flight Attendants the greatest opportunity to be awarded the vacation periods they desire.

Crossing Months

A Flight Attendant may bid for a vacation period that overlaps two different bid months provided their bid is for 14 or more days.  
Vacation Bids overlapping two scheduled vacation years, such as overlapping December of 2018 and January 2019, are not permitted. (Section 12.F.7.)

When using the Crossing-Month option, the following rules apply: 

Policy on Crossing Months using the 14,15 or 16 vacation day option:

Flight Attendants must have a minimum of four (4) full days in each month

Partial days cannot be counted as a full day for the purposes of meeting the four (4) day rule


Policy on Crossing Months using 17 or more vacation days option:

Flight Attendants must have a minimum of seven full days in each month

Partial days cannot be counted as a full day for the purposes of meeting the seven (7) day rule.


Date Slide Option

The Date Slide Option provides Flight Attendants the option to ‘slide’ up to three vacation days, in either direction, from the start or end date in order to be awarded the vacation period desired during the bidding process.

When using this option, awards are based on the ability of the program to award the vacation by sliding in the following days: the original bid +1day, -1day; +2days, -2days; +3days, -3days.

NOTE: if the bid overlaps into another month, the system will only process the slide that is valid. It will avoid the slide that leaves less than four days in one month on a 14 to 16-day vacation bid, or, less than seven days on a bid of 17 days or more. 

Also, if none of the slide options are awarded on your first bid, the process will be applied to your second bid, and so on. However, the program will not slide the bid in order to make it legal, your bid must be legal to start with. 

Fewer Days Option

The Fewer Days Option provides Flight Attendants with the option of accepting “fewer days” than the period of days for which they have bid, but only when these criteria have been met:

  • Flight Attendants must have accrued at least 12 full vacation days.
  • Vacations are awarded based on the ability to provide the longest stretch of available days within the first bid choice, in accordance with bidding rules.
  • The bid may be reduced to a minimum of (6) six days anywhere within the original bid.
  • If at least six (6) days of your first bid choice cannot be awarded, the process will be applied to your second bid, and will be continued throughout your bid choices.
  • Days not awarded will be added to the next round of bidding 

*Note: When combining the “Date Slide” and “Fewer Days” vacation options in the same bid, the computer is programmed to evaluate all options on the dates requested, prior to moving on to your next bid. 

Example: A Flight Attendant bidding 14 days, chooses both the Date Slide and Fewer Days options. The program will first try to slide the initial 14 days. If unable to award the 14 days, the program will reduce the bid to 13 days and slide the dates. The program will continue to reduce and slide until an award can be made, or the maximum reduction and slide is reached. It will then move on to the next bid. 

Also, when a Flight Attendant chooses to take fewer days in Round #1, the un-awarded vacation days are automatically rolled over to the second vacation bid in Round #2. 

Example: A Flight Attendant with 40 days of vacation, bids for 18 days, split into two vacation periods during round 1. The first bid is for 10 days. The Flight Attendant opts to accept 4 fewer days and is awarded 6 days. The second bid is for 8 days and is awarded. The 4 un-awarded days will be added to the second bidding round.


Initial Vacation Days

Fewer Days

Awarded Days

Un-Awarded Days

Vacation First Bid





Vacation Second Bid






However, during Round #2, all vacation days will be awarded.

What Happens if I Don’t Bid for Vacation?

If a Flight Attendant does not submit a vacation bid in the first round of bidding, they will be considered a No Bid. No vacation will be assigned during the first round.  You will be required to bid all of your accrued days in the second vacation bid round. If a Flight Attendant does not submit a vacation bid in the second round of bidding, she/he will automatically be assigned a vacation. Keep in mind, the vacation you are assigned will be after the second-round vacation awards have been completed for all Flight Attendants submitting a bid. The assigned vacation will be made in seniority order from December backward through January, with the largest block of days being assigned first. 

What if My Bid is Considered an Insufficient Bid?

When a Flight Attendant submits a vacation bid and is unable to hold any of her/his selection, she/he is considered an insufficient Bid.  In this instance, vacation is assigned in seniority order from December backward through January after that round of vacation has been awarded to all bidders.  The assignment shall be based on the number of days in your bid with the largest block of days assigned first. 

Unpaid Flex Vacation while on Reserve Status

Reserve Flight Attendants who opted to elect the Unpaid Flex as part of their 2018 Vacation, should be aware that when bidding for their 2018 vacation, any Reserve (R) days that fall within the unpaid Flex vacation period will reduce your Reserve line guarantee. 

For example:

A Reserve Flight Attendant having opted for a 7-day Unpaid Flex Vacation is awarded a Reserve line in a 30-day schedule month having the contractual 12 days off. Three days of availability are included in the awarded vacation period.   Each of these Reserve days is valued at 4:20.  Once vacation is applied to the Reserve line, the three days of Reserve availability are dropped by vacation.  The value of the Reserve line will be reduced by the value of the Reserve days dropped with vacation.  In this case, 3 X 4:20 = 13 hours.  The 78 hour Reserve minimum guarantee reduced is by 13 hours and will result in the Reserve’s new minimum being 65 hours (78 -13 =  65 hours.)

This reduction in guarantee occurs only in those instances where the Reserve opted for the Unpaid Flex option during the Vacation Election period that closed on October 18th, 2017. 

2018 Vacation Contact Information

For additional information contact the Vacation Team, refer to Vacation Booklet #2 or www.unitedafa.org.

Contact information and hours of operation for the Vacation Team are listed below:

Vacation Team

Telephone: U.S. 1-800-FLT-LINE (option 5, option 1)








Hong Kong




Narita (Tokyo)






TeamDays/Hours:Monday– Friday; 0800 to 1700 Central Time

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