Some of you guys should really try out crew scheduling for a day, it will really open your eyes. Combine the longer rest rules with the pilot/FA contracts, crew shortages, FA's/pilots who refuse/complain about assignments, and planes that don't touch crew bases and we are lucky if we can even get a bathroom break during our shift.
FA's seem to whine about getting more flight assignments, and I can understand that but pilots are the biggest babies, having extremely short windows we can call them before we miss a two hour callout/they refuse or accidentally calling during their "rest" and having them reset it. That's not even going into the FDP/RAP times for legality and God forbid they call in "fatigue". FA's at least with the current rules have more time we can play with/can callout.
I get what your are saying and I understand some of the criticism people have posted in response to your post.
Walking through the crew scheduling department here at Willis on some days when their is no weather its almost quite. But when we have 2 or 3 hubs impacted by weather those phones are on fire and UA's crew schedulers have their hands full trying to find crews to keep from canceling flights. Having said that I do think there is a need for mandatory FA rest rules.
At UA and I'm assuming at AA the union has negotiated work rules which allow FA's to refuse a flight if the flights hasn't pushed by a certain time internally its call FAMP (flight attendant must push) time. If the flight hasn't pushed by the FAMP the FA's can legally request the MCD be reopened and walk. Or at that point UA has to ask them to waive in order for the flight to leave. Flight attendants number one responsibility as far as the FAA is concerned is safety. Any job where your first priority is the safety of passengers there should be a required rest period (dispatchers have a required FAA mandated rest period).
Just over the past 2 week UA has made some miscalculations, last week weather was forecasted at both EWR and ORD but UA waited till the weather hit to respond which meant over 65 weather diversion numerous cancelations and crews out of place. It took almost 2 days to recover the operation do to aircraft and crews out of place. Then 2 days ago August 11th the weather service again forecasting thunderstorms with up to 3 inches of rain from 4pm through 11pm. They also forecast high winds, lightening for all of Chicagoland. UA preemptively canceled or overnight delayed multiple flights at ORD to avoid the mess we endured a week earlier and guess what the forecast was wrong
, all we had was a few light sprinkles, no 3 inches of rain, no thunder or high winds the weather system completely missed us. I said that to say thing during inclement weather when there are FA's sitting at airport across the system for 4, 5, 6, 7 even up to 8 hours waiting is it safe to then assign a FA who's been at an airport for up to 8 hours, a 4, 5 or 6 hour flight? If the contract allows it a crew scheduler would then schedule the FA for the flight if the flight does not push by the FAMP (even if the doors are closed) the FA's at UA and I'm assuming AA can have the MCD reopened that point can walk. However in DL's situation where there is no contract who makes that decision as to if an FA is legal to fly and when can DL's FA's walk? Wasn't there a situation earlier this year where DL forced FA's to work a flight even though it had been delayed for hours and they had been on the clock without rest for perhaps (my timing could be wrong) 10 or more hours? Wasn't it reported that DL management instructed the C.S. agents to close the door even though maintenance was still working on the problem and the flight sat there for an additional amount of time door closed while maintenance continued their work?
I'm not saying DL's or any other airlines FA's need a union especially if they are happy without one but what I am saying is the FAA needs to step in with mandatory rest rules for FA's because safety is their number one duty while on the aircraft.