There have been a number of questions from Flight Attendants who have been awarded a Vacation Relief Line Award during a month in which they have a scheduled vacation period. In general, Flight Attendants have a number of questions on how this can occur given that a bid for Vacation Relief in a month in which you have vacation is not a valid bid. The answer to the question varies depending on where you are based – at either a North American or International base (with Reserve Rotation).
North American Bases
Flight Attendants at North American bases will be awarded a Vacation Relief line in a month during which they have vacation provided that at your seniority the only positions remaining to be awarded are Vacation Relief or Reserve and provided you have not bid any Reserve positions. If, at your seniority, all of the Regular lines have been awarded to those senior to you and the only lines remaining are Vacation Relief Lines, the system will award you a VRL line provided you’ve not bid any available Reserve position. However, you must proceed cautiously when submitting bid in this manner. If, at your seniority there are Regular lines that are still open, any line, you will be assigned that line before being assigned a VRL Line. If you have bid a Reserve position, the system will first verify there are no Reserve positions available on the line(s) you have bid before assigning a VRL line.
Not bidding to cover yourself with all Regular lines and Reserve schedules does subject you to assignment to a schedule you might not ever have bid. Be careful and always bid to cover yourself.
At International bases, Flight Attendants having vacation during a schedule month may be forced into Relief with vacation if the only line positions open are Vacation Relief Line positions and awarding the VRL is the only way to honor the Flight Attendant’s lineholder status for the month.
Similar to North American bases, VRL is not a valid bid in a month during which you have vacation. Flight Attendants who bid VRL positions in a month with vacation will not have those bids considered because they are on vacation. However, a Flight Attendant may be “forced into a Vacation Relief Line (VRL)” with vacation as a means of honoring your lineholder status in the given month.
Again, you must use caution in this circumstance because before you are forced into VRL with vacation, the system will seek an open position on any available line, including any language qualified line for which you are qualified. If there are no positions open on any line and you have not bid an available Reserve line, you will be forced into a VRL as a means of ensuring that a lineholder has a line in her/his lineholder month.
However, in a Reserve month at a Rotating Reserve location, you will be assigned a Reserve schedule recognizing your status as a Reserve.
If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council.