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One-month and Six-month Special COLAs available starting September 1, 2019

Source: AFA

Date: Jul 26, 2019

Source: Elines

Inflight Scheduling has determined that there will be an opportunity to award one month and six-month Special COLAs (Company Offered Leave of Absence) effective for the September 2019 bid month. These Special COLAs will offer medical benefits at active rates.

Bids Opened

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Bids Close

Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 0800 CT

Awards Posted

Prior to August 12, 2019







Our JCBA provides for Flight Attendants to have the ability to request applicable Leaves of Absence for a variety of reasons. Approved Leaves of Absence are outlined in the JCBA Section 15. When the company offers Special COLAs of any duration, the leaves must comport with the requirements of the language in Section 15 of our Contract.  

When a Flight Attendant utilizes these provisions, she/he is covered by the protections and benefits negotiated in our contract; such as continuous accrual of seniority for bidding and pass travel for the duration of any type of leave of absence.

The chart below outlines the included benefits of the Special COLA. 

Type of Leave


Bid Seniority Accrual

Pay & Vacation Longevity (Steps)

Vacation & Sick Pay Accrual

Insurance Benefits

Pass Travel Benefits

Special COLA

One Month &

Six Month duration


COLA or better

COLA or better

COLA or better

Online passes for duration


It is important to understand that once a Flight Attendant has been granted a Special COLA, it may not be rescinded and she/he may not return to work prior to the expiration of the leave unless otherwise approved by the Company as an exception. In a case of personal hardship, the Company may agree to end the Flight Attendants COLA early. 

Flight Attendants who are in their probationary period, that is during their first 180 days on the line, and who are awarded a Special COLA will have their probationary period frozen for the duration of the Special COLA. Her/his probationary period will resume upon her/his return to the line. 

Additionally, Flight Attendants who are in the International Purser program who elect to take a Special COLA will continue to accrue International Purser service toward the 12-month program requirement during the period of the Special COLA is awarded.

Unique to this Special COLA are the following features:

1.    If you are interested in both the one-month and six-month Special COLA, please preference the duration you prefer. The one-month and six-month Special COLAs will be awarded at the same time in seniority order. 

2.    The awards will be published before August 12th. 

3.    This Special COLA will include medical benefits at active employee rates. 

4.    Pay and vacation longevity are not impacted for step increases. 

5.    Flight attendants awarded the September one-month and six-month Special COLAs will be required to complete any overlapping assignments into the September bid month. If you do not wish to fly an overlapping trip you may adjust your schedule through the normal process. 

6.    Flight Attendants with Backstage Preference months of September or earlier who have not yet attended a Backstage session should pick up a Backstage event in September. 

Please refer to the Special COLA Program Information for details about scheduling a Backstage event.

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