We would like to take a few moments to fill you in on some of the updates related to hotel and ground transportation issues in our worldwide network.
As many of you are aware, the world has once again re-opened its doors to travel. Most of our previous stations have now become operational. Not unlike the challenges many of us face on board, our hotels and ground transportation companies are also experiencing operational difficulties such as staffing and supply chain problems. We would like to ask everyone to remain respectful, patient, and courteous when interacting with hotel and transport employees.
STAY SAFE AND SECURE WHILE ON LAYOVER
Unfortunately, while away from home emergencies and accidents do happen. We would like to take this opportunity to point out a variety of ways you can protect yourself. Once you enter a hotel take a few moments to look around to notice fire exits, extinguishers, and the emergency evacuation plan that is placarded on the back of all guest room doors. A couple of minutes invested in precautions means you will be better equipped should the need arise.
Always ensure you use all locking mechanisms on the guest room door. Prior to opening your door, please make sure you know who is on the other side. Please know that if someone claims to be a hotel employee, you can call the front desk to verify before allowing someone to enter your room.
Many hotels have multiple entry points, at night please use precautions and always use the main entrance. Keep your hotel key close in and out of your room, the safest place is a pocket, wallet, purse or in your room always use the same location i.e., bedside table or desk.
NEW REGULATIONS FOR AIR CONDITIONING AND HEATING IN EUROPE
The energy crisis and new greenhouse gas reduction targets have forced governments in some European countries to introduce new laws. For the move forward you may find that many of our partner hotels will limit both heating and air conditioning temperatures. Each country is adapting its own temperature guidelines. In the event that you are unable to adjust the heating or cooling system in your room, please contact hotel staff for help to ensure your room is comfortable.
HOTEL SIGN-IN SHEET
Many of you have written to us with concerns related to the hotel sign in sheet, with crew members being listed in alphabetical order and the Service Director and Galley Position being at the bottom. Previously, the list was forwarded by Crew Scheduling to our layover hotels. This task has now been outsourced to API resulting in the change from a seniority-based list to one done alphabetically. We are in ongoing conversations with the company to have the list changed back to the previous format that is published in Globe. The committee will continue to update you as more information becomes available.
To date we continue to see a high number of displacements, which may impact your crew rest. This is due to multiple reasons such as hotel blackout dates, special events in cities limiting access to and from the hotel, construction, renovation, repairs, and job action, just to name a few. We have in place a back-up list for all cities in our network, which includes both downtown and airport layovers. It is the company’s responsibility to notify you of any change to your schedule and or layover hotel.
We have worked together with the Crew Administration team to secure additional inventory at all high-volume hotels in our domestic network during the busy summer operation. As we continue to experience operational challenges, this measure was implemented to cover any unexpected last-minute changes to our crew members schedules.
ROOM INVENTORY REQUIREMENTS
The Hotel Committee is a joint committee and we work together with other team members which include Crew Administration, Strategic Purchasing, ACPA and CUPE. All hotels in our network are inspected by the Committee and are required to be compliant in all areas related to both guest safety and security as well as guest comfort.
As a crew member you should expect a clean, quiet and safe place to rest while away from home on layover.
Some of the things that we can expect are rooms appointed in the most quiet areas of the hotel away from maids’ working stations, elevators, and vending/ice machines. Connecting rooms are only permitted in the case that the adjoining room is occupied by another Air Canada crew member. Generally, we have the expectation that only King, Queen/Queen or Double/Double inventory is allocated to our staff. To date there is no language in the Collective Agreement that prohibits twin bed inventory being used. Most of our hotels try to avoid allocating these beds to our crew members, however, there are some hotels in our system that have high levels of twin beds especially in Japan. This summer several last-minute additional flights were added to the schedule by our Marketing Department. This has resulted in operational challenges to our hotels, where they could not accommodate the additional numbers or were limited to using twin bed inventory. In some cases, such as Rome, we were forced to use a second hotel in order to meet our room number requirements.
We do realize that costs have gone up significantly everywhere. There is a complicated formula used to determine the meal allowances. It uses a combination of published NJC rates, CPI for food and non-alcoholic beverages and of course exchange rates. The outcome of the formula has to be greater than 5% in either direction for the allowance to either increase or decrease. This formula was agreed to as a settlement to a grievance filed by the pilots.
We would like to remind you that the Union’s official channel of addressing any of your concerns related to either accommodation or ground transportation is CrewCare. This is a valuable tool and helps us to identify and allow for changes if and when required.
Please know that CrewCare can be found in Globe > CrewScheduling and Planning. Your Hotel Committee is copied on and reviews all feedback as well each member receives a response via your Air Canada e-mail account.
In closing, we wish you all happy and safe flying, wherever your schedule takes you.
Melinda Allen & Karen Pritchard
Co-Chairs, Component Hotel Committee