Standardized Process for Assigning Standbys to Pre-boarding Duties

Standardized Process for Assigning Standbys to Pre-boarding Duties

MEC Reserve Committee

In late 2021, based on various safety and security concerns raised by Flight Attendants, AFA became involved in identifying the potential risk factors arising from the Standby Reserve pre-boarding processes. A joint task force was formed, and its ultimate objective was to create a consistent pre-boarding Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that would mitigate safety and security risks as well as possible regulatory violations.

After an exhaustive review, we are pleased to share the following comprehensive procedure when assigning a Standby Reserve to pre-boarding duties:

  1. When there is a need for a Pre-boarding Flight Attendant (PBFA), Crew Scheduling identifies which Standby will be assigned, then provides the name to the Station Operations Center (SOC) Supervisor, along with whether it is likely the PBFA will ultimately work the flight (“Possible Go”) or if the Flight Attendant has a potential legality issue and may ONLY pre-board (“Pre-Board Only”).
  2. The SOC Supervisor will make positive contact with the Zone Controller and the Customer Service representatives at the departure gate and will provide the name and “possible go” information of the PBFA. The SOC will provide the same information via the flight’s EZ Chat.
  3. Crew Scheduling is responsible for making all assignment advisements to the Flight Attendant.
  4. If it is ultimately determined that the PBFA will work the flight, Crew Scheduling will assign a pairing to the Flight Attendant’s schedule before contacting the Flight Attendant to advise their working status.
  5. It is part of the SOP that all of this will be accomplished prior to main cabin door closure.

Note: Crew Scheduling has no control over door closure. If the Customer Service representative is ready to close the door before a pairing has been assigned to the PBFA, the Flight Attendant should inform them that this process has yet to occur.

This procedure began rolling out to the various departments throughout April and has now been fully implemented. Crew Scheduling will conduct audits over the next several weeks to ensure the new process is being followed. Local Base management should also be aware of the updated procedures. As with any new process, it may take time to become routine for all involved. If you are assigned to pre-boarding duties, maintaining open communication with everyone involved in the flight’s departure will help to ensure a smooth transition; that includes the Customer Service representatives, Local Base supervisors, and fellow crew members.

If you feel pressured to have the aircraft door closed before being assigned to a pairing, you should politely reiterate your understanding of the process. Comply with any directives given by management in the moment and follow up with your Local AFA Council. As always, we recommend submitting any safety or security concerns related to the Standby Reserve pre-boarding process in an ISAP report or an IOR with a copy going to AFA.

For more information, please contact your Local Council Office.