Do you remember your first year as a Flight Attendant? We sure do! We started out, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; ready and excited to work whatever rescue flight Crew Services assigned us. The first year as a flight attendant can certainly be an exhausting and exciting roller coaster ride. We remember the first moment we challenged our knowledge of the work rules.
Sometimes, you can find yourself in a situation you feel is unfair and appears to go against the work rules. Your manager and Crew Services tells you one thing, but you know that the work rules say something different. What are you supposed to do? For many of us, it can feel like, if we don’t comply, we might be deemed a “bad flight attendant.”
Maybe Crew Services is telling you to rush to the airport, giving you less than 90 minutes to make it to your showtime, because they need to get the plane out on time. Perhaps it’s a sick call where you’re sure you were issued more points than they were supposed to give you. If you know your work rules, you can protect yourself and perhaps save yourself from discipline. You may also help avoid placing yourself, your fellow Crew Members, and our passengers in an unsafe situation. Always remember that whenever you feel like you are placed in a position where you have to challenge Management, remain calm and polite, and simply point out the work rule that applies in your situation. If they insist that you must do what they say, and you are not violating any FARs, you may have to bite your tongue, fly the changes, and address it after your trip. If that happens – contact your Union. We will help you address the problem.
These are the primary reasons why the union and a contract are important to our workgroup. A contract provides solid work rules that can alleviate grey areas of uncertainty. It can also provide a fair and consistent approach to issues faced in the workplace. A contract also ensures we will have a grievance process to hold Management accountable when the contract isn’t honored. Through the grievance process, the issue can be properly addressed in the present and avoided in the future.
Be aware of your work rules, memorize them, and use them to protect yourself, your co-workers, our passengers, and our company.