Thank you for the numerous emails and calls regarding the April 4, 2023 IFS News from the Vice-President of Rouge and In-flight Service (Mainline), Andrew Yiu and the Managing Director of In-flight Service, Nathalie Lemyre regarding Last Sold Seats. We understand how important the intent of LOU 27 and LOU 55.31 are to our membership. Your swift response prompted discussions with the Employer, which ultimately led to the April 7, 2023 IFS news update, reverting to past practice.
As an update to the Component Bulletin “Last Sold Seat Violation” issued on June 9, 2022, the Union has filed Last Sold Seat policy grievances CHQ-22-44 for Mainline members and CHQ-rouge-22-14 for Rouge members. CHQ-22-44 was unsuccessfully mediated on January 18, 2023, and will be scheduled for an arbitration hearing, date to be determined. CHQ-rouge-22-14 was presented at the Rouge Quarterly Review on December 6, 2022, with no resolution; this grievance has also been referred to arbitration, date to be determined.
Ahead of arbitration, the Union is asking for your continued assistance as we build our case. The more evidence of violations we have to support our grievances, the better the chances of a successful outcome. The most effective means of reporting these violations is through the Last Sold Seat Violation Report, (https://accomponent.ca/last-sold-seat-violation/) found on the Component website. Your reports and supporting documentation go directly to the Union Executive and to the representatives working on these grievances.
We feel it important to reiterate what does or does not constitute a violation. These are the published and long-standing policy criteria. Please note, Customer Experience Specialists (CES) agents are not required to upgrade passengers to PY or J class to leave the last sold seats vacant. To avoid conflict with our CES colleagues, please do not ask this of them.
A last sold-seat violation occurs when the following conditions are met:
- One or more passengers have been assigned to the designated last sold seats (last row left side for all Mainline aircraft, except B787 which is last row middle. Rouge is last row left for A319/A320 and last row right for A321)
- There are sufficient empty seats in the Economy (Y) cabin to accommodate ALL passengers assigned to the designated last sold seats.
- The violation is reported to the CES agents working the flight, and a request must be made to re-assign the passengers in that row to other Economy (Y) seats. If the passengers are not moved, and all three conditions are met, a violation has occurred.
*It is very important as the first step, the Service Director or Lead must bring the issue to the attention of the CES agents for rectification before departure. This is a long-standing practice.
- At the gate: When crew first goes down to the aircraft, the Service Director or Lead should ask the CES agents if anyone is seated in the last sold seats and what the expected load is to see if it changed since printing the preflight briefing package. If passengers are seated in last sold seats, please ask the CES agents to reseat if other seats in Y are available.
- During boarding: If crew members notice that passengers are seated in the last row, ask the CES agents to reseat the passengers in the last sold seats if other seats in Y are available.
If a violation occurs, the following information should be gathered and reported on the Component website link HERE. A report with full documentation carries a lot of weight, so please include as much of the following documentation as possible:
- Pre-flight briefing package: This will indicate whether or not at check in time the flight was showing as full or oversold. This will assist in determining whether or not the last sold seats were initially blocked off on a flight that is not full or oversold. The important sections are the total forecast load and passengers assigned the last sold seats ahead of time.
- Written statement: Please take note of all observations and interactions with the CES agents (who, what, where, when, etc.). This information should be included in the violation report.
- Final Passenger Information List (PIL/OSL): The final PIL/OSL will provide proof of final seat occupancy. The most valuable information is the header showing the final load, the actual seat occupancy and the vacant seat list. Please take photos.
- MoveMe app: Screenshots of home page showing final load and actual seat occupancy are most helpful.
- eOBR report (Mainline) or AQD report (Rouge): Please document the issue in a report that goes to AC/ Rouge management, take screenshots to attach to your report and keep a copy for your files.
We are also documenting every time the system awards the last sold seats, even if the passengers assigned them are ultimately moved. This is being done with the intention of illustrating that the seat assignment is not being handled as the programmers intended. Please again report on the link, including the words ‘not a violation – sales agents relocated passengers’ in the comments section. We are gathering as much information as we can to advocate on your behalf.
These seats are a contractual entitlement. We must preserve what has been bargained. They are not something we should have to demand. We should not have to argue with our colleagues in other departments, nor should we have to grieve this. Unfortunately, this issue has not subsided. Now is the time for our membership to stand together, to be the professionals you are, and to report these violations to build our file for arbitration. With your assistance, we will achieve our goal.