The introduction of the two class 777 aircraft in the European markets from EWR as well as the two class 767 aircraft in certain international markets is raising questions on filling an open first class galley (premium pay) position on these aircraft. Section 9.F.7. of our Contract provides the guidelines to fill an open premium position.
Open premium positions are available to any qualified Flight Attendant on the crew. A Flight Attendant with less than one year of active seniority will not be allowed to assume a premium pay position unless no other, more senior Flight Attendant is on the flight. The premium position remains filled until the end of the original base ID, or until the person filling the position leaves the crew.
Section 12.C.7.h. provides that Flight Attendants assigned to Language Qualified positions shall work non-premium positions. (A specific exception was negotiated to provide that Flight Attendants who are language qualified and also purser qualified may be required to fill open qualified purser positions.)
Open premium positions are filled in the following order:
1. By the most senior qualified Flight Attendant who elects to fill the position
2. By the most junior qualified Reserve. If none is available, then
3. By the Flight Attendant who picked up the position through Open Flying process.
If the Flight Attendant was assigned the position involuntarily (through drafting or reassignment), she/he is not considered to have picked up the position through the open flying process. In that case, the position is filled by the most junior Flight Attendant on board with more than one year of seniority.
In the event there are no Reserves on board the most junior Lineholder will be involuntarily assigned to the open position. In an instance where you may have junior Lineholders and a senior Reserve, the senior Reserve will be involuntarily assigned to the open position based not on her/his seniority, rather this assignment occurs based on the Flight Attendant’s status as a Reserve.
Once Filled, Remains Filled
Once the open premium position is filled it is retained by the person assuming it at briefing until she/he leaves the crew, even in an instance where she/he has not yet completed one year of service. This means that a Flight Attendant who is more senior who joins the crew mid-sequence of an ID may not take the position from a non-qualified or more junior Flight Attendant who has assumed the position.