days until our Collective Agreement expires, we are preparing, we are united and we will make change.

Reserve Committee Update – Winter 2024

Spring is around the corner, and with that in mind we have just welcomed our latest group of new hire flight attendants to our family. In the next several months we will also see two classes of new Service Directors come online based in Vancouver and Toronto. We know there are bound to be lots of reserve-related questions, so we’d like to take the time to share a few updates pertaining to our committee.

New Reserve Committee Members
Education remains at the top of our priority list, and we know that we need to build up more subject matter experts for reserve as our membership continues to grow. First and foremost, we are grateful that Chanelle Serra has officially returned to the Component Reserve Committee as Co-Chair and will be a valuable asset for the reserve membership at all bases.

Component Reserve Committee Co-Chair Jesse Matthews has been working closely with Local 4094 (YVR) to train two new local reserve committee members to assist the YVR reserve membership. We are pleased to introduce Tzvi Gomberg and Stephen Galandie; both of them have begun to answer emails with reserve-related questions from our Vancouver members, while we at the Component Reserve Committee oversee their progress in building up experience in addressing your questions. This is a big step forward for both of them; we hope you will join us in showing them a warm welcome.

Future Committee Plans
Now that the pandemic is firmly behind us, we are strategizing for more in-person forms of outreach to our membership at all bases. In YVR there have been in-person Reserve Committee Meet & Greet events conducted as a local initiative through their local Reserve Committee, and these events have been warmly received by the membership at large. We are currently in talks involving the Reserve Committees at other locals, with the goal of collaborating with them to replicate the Meet & Greet events in YVR at other bases as well. We look forward to having announcements related to these events in the months to come.

Commuting on Reserve
As you likely already know, commuting is the practice of traveling to/from your home base (usually by air) for work purposes. At the mainline operation we have specific contractual language to address this practice; the primary language in the Collective Agreement related to this can be found in Letter of Understanding 47: Commuter Policy.

Let’s break it down, starting with the second paragraph:

“Commuters are expected to report for duty as scheduled. All flight and other costs incurred as a result of commuting will be the sole responsibility of the Commuter.”

Let’s talk about what “report for duty as scheduled” means in a reserve context: being available at your home base prior to 0001 on the first day of a reserve pattern.

It’s important to note that you must officially enroll in the commuter program. This is done through your local base manager.

What must you do to avoid any unavailability where you would be considered at fault and avoid any disciplinary action? The Collective Agreement provides the following criteria:

“A Commuter must have at least one original and back-up flight option. The original flight option must be scheduled to arrive at least two (2) hours prior to scheduled check-in time. The back-up flight option must be scheduled to arrive at least thirty (30) minutes prior to scheduled check-in time. The foregoing shall not relieve a Commuter from exercising good judgment when choosing flights on which to commute. Examples of a failure to exercise good judgment include choosing to travel when adverse weather conditions are forecast or where oversold flights are foreseeable.”

There are very specific time-related criteria provided in our commuter policy. The subsequent language also places the onus on commuters:

“Commuters who are unable to report for duty as scheduled are required to immediately notify Crew Scheduling and report to a Base Manager upon arrival at their Base.

In the event that a Commuter is unable to report for duty as scheduled, he/she shall be required to provide a Base Manager with a copy of his/her boarding pass for both the original and back-up flights immediately upon arrival at his/her Base.”

Most of the procedural language provided above should be fairly straightforward; that said, we would like to draw your attention to the language regarding boarding passes. We would personally recommend always having a paper boarding pass rather than a digital one, as this easily facilitates your ability to demonstrate the flights on which you attempted to commute.

“Commuters will not be paid or credited for any portions of the duty periods for which they are unavailable, as contemplated by Article 5.11.04.”

In the context of reserve, the above language indicates that you will lose 2:25 of your Minimum Monthly Guarantee for each affected reserve duty day as you will be considered unavailable for duty if you are not at your home base for your first day on a reserve pattern.

“Commuters who are unable to report for duty as scheduled due to commuting problems (for example: unforeseeable irregular operations, aircraft maintenance problems, day-of-flight aircraft downgrade and short-crewing or weight restrictions) will not be subject to discipline or have their unavailability count as an event or occurrence under the Corporate Attendance Management System (“CAMS”).”

The main portion of the above paragraph we’d like to draw your attention to is “unforeseeable irregular operations”.

“Commuters who are unable to report for duty as scheduled and who fail to comply with this Letter of Understanding shall be subject to disciplinary action or CAMS.”

If you are not formally listed as a commuter then the default assumption by the company is that you are stating you will be reliably available at 0001 on the first day of your reserve duty patterns should you be called for a flight or an airport standby.

Finally, we are once again able to commute using jumpseats and flight deck observer seats (this was paused during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic). Please refer to 2.9.1 in your FAM for full details re: cabin jumpseat occupancy and refer to for full details re: flight deck observer seat occupancy, but note that you will need to have your RAIC with you in order to occupy any cabin jumpseat (for flight deck observer seats your company ID is considered sufficient) and also that the use of jumpseats or flight deck observer seats is ultimately at the discretion of the pilot in command. There is a specific order of priority for occupancy of these seats that can be found in your FAM in the respective sections.

Good luck to all of you who are commuting, and happy travels!

In solidarity,

Jesse Matthews & Chanelle Serra
Co-Chairs, Component Reserve Committee