LODs need a raise, improvements, and protection of a union contract
Delta’s LOD Program has historically struggled to maintain numbers and it's no wonder why! Our work rules can be changed without our input, the EIG voting body is disproportionately non-LOD, and we’re often stuck unable to transfer bases or swap off undesirable trips (we know trip construction is another hot topic). I was part of the EIG for the last 4 years and understand firsthand how the EIG doesn’t have real power or say to change things.
What can our Flight Attendant union, Delta AFA, do to improve the LOD Program through monetary improvements and quality of life adjustments? Let’s break it down.
AKA clearing customs! At Delta, we’re paid with 15 minutes of release time even though we know customs takes much longer. At these AFA/Union represented airlines, Flight Attendants are given 30 min of release time on international arrivals (turns and multi-day trips):
- JetBlue (TWU)
- American Airlines (APFA)
- Spirit (30 min is their standard)
- Omni (30 min is their standard)
- DELTA PILOTS (30 min is their standard) 12.A.28 of PWA (search Deltanet)
Now imagine yourself with 15 extra minutes of release time. Especially if you fly turns! With 10 turns a month, that’s 2.5 hours of your time! With a contract, we can have those 2.5 hours PAID.
And while we are comparing contracts to our “work rules”…
WORK RULES THAT ACTUALLY WORK
At Hawaiian, LODs with more than 7 years of service and hired before April 2020 are PROTECTED from being reverse assigned LOD trips. (Section 10.M.3)
While AA’s LOD pay is only $2/hour, their international premium pay is $3.75/hour for International Premium Destinations or $3.00/hr. for Non-International Premium Destinations. Which makes $5.75/hour or $5.00 total! Far exceeding the $4.25/hour at Delta for LOD + International Pay. At 80 hours per month, that’s an extra $120 or $60 per month!
United’s LOD pay is an $2.50/hour, and their night pay is 0.50/hour (2200-0600 local base time)…Some routes that could qualify on our end are LAX- SJO/GUA/SAL, UIO-ATL, ATL-LIM. ATL-SCL-ATL, ATL-EZE-ATL, BOG-NYC, Europe, Asia, Africa.
At Spirit, their per diem is tied to the Consumer Price Index. It matches inflation, no need to beg management for more, or wait for the pilots to negotiate a better per diem (the reason for our March 1, 2023 increase). (Section 4.D.2)
United , Spirit, and JetBlue contracts provide require reimbursement for Global Entry ($100). (Section 26.D.3 (UA) & Section 4.F.1(NK))
NO CONTRACT, NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR MANAGEMENT
Sometime over the last two years in an FAWR update, LODs can no longer swap out of LOD positions (into regular, purser, flight leader) with Open Time. This was done with zero notice, before or after, to our LODs. This can be corrected and protected with a contract. JetBlue’s contract specifically states in Article 28.F.3. “Swaps - LOD IFCs assigned an LOD Pairing (where they are the only LOD IFC) may swap for a non-LOD Pairing in Open Time as long as they do not fall below their required minimum of two (2) LOD Pairings per month.”
As LODs, we do a lot of the same work as pursers do - announcements, building relationships with HVCs, and managing medical events onboard. While pursers recently saw another increase in pay ($1 more), LODs have not seen a raise in 5 years. In fact, we have only seen a 45 cent raise in the last TEN YEARS (Source: IFS EIG Partnership in Progress - April 2022). Meanwhile, during that same 10 years, Purser A pay has increased $1.25 and Purser B has increased $2.10. LODs simply can’t rely on the EIG to keep our program competitive and enticing.
On April 14, 2023, each eligible pilot received $207 from the settlement reached between ALPA and Delta for violating their scope agreement in regards to the Korean Air/Aeromexico joint venture. While it may seem like a small amount, imagine if we had the same scope agreement. We are just starting to grow the joint venture with LATAM, and a contract could help ensure that the network growth is equally shared amongst both airlines.
Per diem, release time, work rules, accountability. These are all areas that affect the income and quality of life of our LODs. They’re being championed at other airlines and they will be championed at Delta under an industry leading contract negotiated with the help of AFA.
Delta Flight Attendant & AFA Activist