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Learning How Reserve Pool Coverage is Calculated Increases Understanding

Source: AFA

Date: May 29, 2019

Source: Elines 

We have previously communicated detailed information on the Bad Day/Worse Day process yet there remains much confusion concerning our instant trading provision, when Reserve coverage is insufficient and how Bad Day/Worse Day calculations are utilized to find opportunities for trades with Open Time even in circumstances where Reserve Coverage is not optimal. 

Section 7.I.17 of our JCBA defines the parameters under which Flight Attendants can enter into trades with open time. That is, “Trip trades with open time will be allowed only when sufficient Reserve coverage exists as determined by Scheduling.”

In order to understand if instant trades are possible, calculating the Reserve coverage on any given day involved in the trade is essential and this must be understood prior to submitting an open time trade request.

The first step in understanding the process of calculating Reserve coverage on any day is the use of a common terminology:  

1. Reserves Needed is the minimum number of Reserve Flight Attendants needed to staff flights, as determined by the Company (“MIN LVL” – available on the CMPD screen in CMS) 

2. Reserves Available reflects the actual Flight Attendant Reserves available for duty (“NET RESV” – available on the CMPD screen in CMS) 

The next step is to calculate Reserve Coverage for a particular day. This step is accomplished by subtracting the Reserves Needed from the Reserves that are Available. 

Now to determine Reserve Coverage for a trip pairing, you will need to add the cumulative sum of Reserve Coverage for each day of the trip pairing 

Example: Reserve Coverage for a sample three days (7, 8 & 9) of the Reserve pool. 

To calculate the coverage:
Start with the Reserve coverage for the 7thof the month and follow these steps:

Step 1

Look at Reserves Available under the 7th


Step 2

Look at Reserves Needed under the 7th


Step 3

Subtract Reserves Needed from the Reserves Available =

Reserve Coverage for the Date in Question – this can be a negative number


Repeat these steps for the remaining dates of the pairing in question.

















An understanding of these calculations is essential in order to take advantage of our contractual instant open time trades.


Note: Flight Attendants desiring to trade two (2) trips each of which contains one (1) or more days that are blocked due to minimum staffing coverage restrictions may do so if the trip being dropped has a greater cumulative sum Reserve Coverage than the trip being picked up, and: 

  • If the trip being dropped occurs later in the month, its lowest Reserve Coverage day can be no more than five (5) lower than the lowest Reserve Coverage day on the trip being picked up, or 
  • If the trip being dropped occurs earlier in the month, its lowest Reserve Coverage can be no lower than the lowest Reserve Coverage day on the trip being picked up. This trade must be executed at least seven (7) days prior to the first day of the trip being dropped.

The following additional publications are intended to assist in understanding and to contribute to your success in processing instant trades with open time:

Instant Trading and Pick-Ups when Reserve Coverage is Insufficient

Bad Day Worse Day Trades

Trip Trade and Adjustment Guide

JCBA Section 7.I.17 and 7.N

Contact your Local Council Representatives with any additional questions or concerns about Instant Trading with open Time. 

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