The IAM has been working to solve the issue of IAM Flight Attendants being denied access to United Airlines jump seats since the right was taken away by United management after the United-Continental merger. The IAM is happy to announce today that IAM-represented ExpressJet and CommutAir Flight Attendants will soon have the ability to occupy vacant jump seats on all United Airlines aircraft, with reciprocal opportunity for United Flight Attendants on unoccupied ExpressJet jump seats. Priority access will be given to the Flight Attendant accessing the jump seat on her/his own carrier.
The resolution comes after almost two years of pressing United management to reinstate benefits and working with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) which represents United Airlines Flight Attendants. Because access to jump seats is defined in the AFA collective bargaining agreement (CBA), a resolution to the issue was impossible while the parties were negotiating an amended CBA. As soon as their new CBA was ratified, the IAM, AFA and United management worked to resolve the issue.
Fair and truly reciprocal jump seat access has always been a priority for the IAM. It has been a repeated topic of discussion between the IAM, ExpressJet, United and AFA. Although we wish this resolution could have been reached sooner, ratification of the new CBA for United Flight Attendants allowed the process to move forward. Your patience, solidarity and meticulous cataloging of repeatedly being denied access to vacant jump seats played an enormous role in successfully resolving the issue.
There is currently no process for other airline’s Flight Attendants to jumpseat on United metal. Therefore, United must implement process and technology changes based on specific contractual parameters agreed to with AFA. Details on the actual process and the date of implementation are being worked out, but all parties are in agreement that these benefits should be in place for Flight Attendants as soon as practicable.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
PRESIDENT & DIRECTING GENERAL CHAIR
Sara Gonzales Melissa Brennan Marche’ Johnson-Cooper
GENERAL CHAIR SPECIAL REP. SPECIAL REP.