Important Letter to United Pilots
June 30, 2008
To United Airlines pilots:
On behalf of the Jumpseat Committees representing all of the carriers flying as United Express, welcome aboard. Unfortunately, this letter has been provided to you because you will likely be affected by a difficult decision, reluctantly arrived at by the United Express (UAX) pilots. Over the last couple of years, United Airlines (UAL) has made changes to the gate jumpseating and priority software programs. Several of these changes have adversely affected not only the UAX pilots, but also the UAL pilots, as well. There is widespread confusion and frustration amongst many of the pilots regarding how the gate computer sorts priorities for jumpseat requests. Based upon the UAX agreement tables, jumpseat requests on UAX flights are supposed to be processed like this:
1. On their own flights, UAX pilots are sorted first, in order of their seniority.
2. UAL pilots and “other” UAX pilots are sorted next, in order of their check-in.
3. Non UAL/UAX pilots (“offline pilots”) are then sorted, in order of their check-in.
HOWEVER, the current software being used by UAL does NOT sort jumpseat requests in this order. Instead, all jumpseat requests are sorted as if the flight were a mainline UAL flight. This means that UAX pilots are being bumped by UAL pilots on their own UAX flights. The computer software also sorts some UAX pilots as if they were offline pilots, even on their own flights. Despite nine (9) months of repeated appeals to UAL management, and despite the fact that a minor software change would solve this issue (simply change the computers to recognize the carriers’ flight number) UAX carriers have recently been told that UAL will not fix this blatant degradation of our jumpseat agreements because to do so would not generate revenue for UAL. This position is untenable.
We have now sent a detailed letter to UALPA’s MEC, addressing these very important issues, and we have provided UALPA with specific examples of where UAL has made non-revenue generating changes to the gate software. The UAX pilots have respectfully requested that the gate jumpseat software be fixed within thirty (30) days. Regrettably, if UAL does not fix the jumpseat software within thirty (30) days, UAX pilots will be left with no other choice but to deny all UAL pilots any requests for the jumpseat, regardless of aircraft tail-colors beginning 08/31/08.
On behalf of all UAX pilots, we sincerely hope that we will not be forced to deny any UAL pilot a ride, as we are mindful of the fact that many UAL pilots will be negatively impacted. To that end, we are simply asking that you immediately call or email your MEC to let them know how important your UAX commute is, and to help us all obtain a fair and just resolution. Thank you for your professionalism and active cooperation.
Signed, the pilots of:
Go Jets Airlines
Mesa Air Group
This is exactly what I need to hear before heading to the airport to a full mainline flight for my commute. The way UAL has handled this is ridiculous, though--gate agents will give priority for the JS to a mainline pilot on a UAX flight even over that UAX carriers own pilots. Apparently, we've been resorting to emailing captains beforehand or having crew support patch us through to captains in order to establish proper priority.
A couple of interesting things...I'm not sure if TSA and Republic's JS committees were involved in this, but they apparently didn't sign. Also, it would be *excellent* if UAL pilots no longer had priority over UAX pilots on other UAX carriers. Currently, if a Mesa guy lists for the JS on a Skywest flight an hour beforehand, a UAL guy can show up 10 prior and bump him. It's been this way for a while, and I hadn't heard anything about trying to fix it, but maybe now it will be.