Pass Travel UPDATE               October 25, 2018

     1) employeeRES: major improvements coming!

2) Access to important UPDATES

3) Merged! Flying as One 

4) FAA bill passes; new inflight regs coming

5) Open enrollment for retiree Healthcare Oct 29-Nov 9

6) Not getting premium seats?

7) NEW United flights announced

8) RAFA’s website

1) employeeRES: major improvements coming

A new employeeRES coming later this fall will look/feel like  It will be mobile-friendly and has been beta-tested by thousands of employees. Look for some cool new features like:

Flight Watch: monitor up to 10 different segments

Open Search: see flights with most available seats to a destination 

Potential Misconnects: how many revenue passengers may miss your flight

myUAdiscount: prices displayed right in employeeRES!

2) Access to important UPDATES

Before you go to the airport, view the latest updates for flight cancellations, travel waivers, airport construction and other items that could affect your travel with this link:

Smart idea: Save that link to the home screen on your mobile device(s).

3) Merged! Flying as One 

Implementation of the flight attendant joint collective bargaining agreement (JCBA) on October 1 marked the final milestone in the United and Continental merger.“Common Metal” that unites all 24,000 flight attendants plus new boarding times for passengers are in this Oct 1st news article: “Flying as one United”:

Scroll down the articles to read about new checked baggage fees for passengers that went into effect 8/31/2018. Keep in mind that pass riders flying standby or on myUAdiscount tickets get two free checked bags on United :-).

4) FAA bill passes; new inflight regs coming

10 hour (instead of 8 hr) minimum rest between flights, no bumping pax off planes, no pets allowed in overhead bins, FAA will set minimum seat sizes & pitch, no inflight mobile phone calls or e-cigarettes allowed and other rules have been approved by the Senate. Also, drone regulations & Space Ports… read more here:

President Trump signed the bill into law on October 5th. Full text of H.R. 302 (Division B):

5) Open enrollment for retiree Healthcare Oct 29-Nov 9 

Go to “Your Benefits Resources” to review retiree Healthcare 2019 options.  Make changes for 2019 between October 29th and November 9th. Visit FlyingTogether > Employee Services > Health & Insurance (YBR).

6) Not getting premium seats?

Standbys rarely get premium seats on domestic flights because all MileagePlus (MP) passengers are upgraded for free. Internationally there are better chances since MPs have to pay for upgrades. But, don’t get your hopes up for those FC or BF seats until you actually get your boarding passes. Here are two retiree standby stories:

SYD-SFO 787 2-class: we were #1 & #2 standbys for 6 available BF seats. No upgrades were displayed at check-in; CSRs said “you’ll get seats at gate”. No names appeared on upgrade list, no announcements made for upgrades. We were given Y seats and all standbys junior to us got Y seats. Agents apparently asked MP customers individually at check-in if they’d like to upgrade to BC for a fee.

IAD-CDG 777 3-class: we were #2 & #3 standbys for 4 available FC seats. EmployeeRES showed 4/-3/5 available seats and 6 upgrades. Boarding totals showed “capacity” to be 8/40/221 and “authorized” to be 0/48/222, meaning BC can be oversold. All standbys got Y seats when the over-sold revenue BC pax were upgraded to FC and BC filled with MP upgrades. 

Understand that United needs to make money and it’s just harder to get those coveted premium seats these days, even when it looks like a “slam dunk” you’ll be seated in luxury. Be aware of negative (oversold) numbers, “authorized” numbers and  upgrade numbers just before boarding. Check both employeeRES and the United app’s “flight status” info for the latest data to avoid last minute disappointment at the gate. Pass riders’ best strategy: list for premium, expect economy and be pleasantly surprised (once in a while).

7) NEW United flights announced

Travel to snowy resorts this winter with over 100 flights to 12 ski destinations:

Aspen, Big Sky, Crested Butte, Jackson Hole, Mammoth, Reno/Tahoe, Salt Lake City, Steamboat Springs, Sun  Valley, Telluride & Whitefish

Then check out these new routes/increased flying for 2019:

NEW flights coming in March:

IAD to HHH (Hilton Head)

LAX to EUG (Eugene), MSN (Madison), PSC (Pasco)

NEW flights coming in April:

EWR and ORD to HHH

NEW flights coming in June:

DEN to CHS (Charleston), ACV (Eureka), FAI (Fairbanks)

EWR to PNS (Pensacola)

SFO to CMH (Columbus)

Increased flying from EWR to:

  ANC (Anchorage), DTW (Detroit), STL (St Louis), MCI (Kansas City),

OMA (Omaha) and RIC (Richmond)

Read “New Routes Galore” Oct 15th news article for more info:

8) Have you seen our RAFA website?

Check out the Travel Benefits tab here:

  Read the Pass Travel Program Summary, helpful links, phone numbers & more.

For other Pass Travel Topics: Previous Travel UPDATES

Compiled by Kirk Moore, RAFA Travel Benefits Committee             October 25, 2018

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