Contractual Maximum Domestic Duty Time

Working in excess of maximum duty times may create a situation that fosters fatigue and potentially compromises your personal well-being as well as that of your flying partners and the passengers in your care. As we continue to fight on Capitol Hill for improvements in rest provisions and address Flight Attendant fatigue, we must be vigilant about protecting Contractual legalities and current Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). In most cases, our Contract provides greater protections than the FARs. In addition to our Contract Education regarding RIGs, having an understanding of Domestic Duty Time is an important consideration of legal rest in our Contract.  Adequate rest is a critical part of our role as a Safety Professional and our well-being.

In our Contract, the maximum time a Flight Attendant may remain on duty for a Domestic ID is determined by the hour of the day in which the duty period begins:

For duty period starting Scheduled Actual
0500 - 1859 13 14 1/2
1900 - 0459 11 1/2 13

Based on your home domicile time.

Duty Time Starts at Check-In
Duty time starts at check-in, which includes all flight, deadhead and sit time and concludes after a period of debriefing at your layover or home domicile (Section 2.X.).

The actual duty times apply only once you have checked in for the first flight in the duty period. Any rescheduling must be done without exceeding the maximum actual duty time based on the original commencement of duty.

Take Action When Approaching Duty Time Maximums
Section 7.I.4.b. provides under no circumstance shall a Flight Attendant be required to remain on duty in excess of the maximum duty time hours, including deadhead, in any 24 hour period. In the actual operation, when you find you are approaching your duty time maximum you should, advise the crew desk of the legality so they can make appropriate arrangements for a replacement Flight Attendant.

Published DSL Flight Time Must Be Used for Duty Time Calculations
When calculating maximum duty times, the published DSL flight time must be used; not the estimated flight time based on that day’s operating conditions. We recommend you carry a copy of your DSL ID from the key pages to have for reference throughout your trip. Your key pages contain your scheduled duty time and the start of your duty day, which begins at check-in. Your DSPID contains your updated duty time within the actual operation. The maximum actual should include this scheduled DSL time and any associated debriefing.

Duty Time and Additional Staffing Required by FAR 121.467
When any member of the crew is rescheduled into a duty period exceeding 14 hours, the requirements of FAR 121.467 must be met. This important FAR requires augmented (or additional) staffing beyond the FAA minimum staffing required by aircraft type. This augmented staffing becomes “part” of the FAA minimum staffing requirement and increases based on the length of the duty period involved. The FAR applies differently if you are working your original schedule or if you become involved in a reassignment.

FAR Review:

  • If the entire crew is on their originally scheduled ID and flight, a delay may not trigger the augmented staffing requirement.
  • If the delay results in any single member of the crew being reassigned to a duty period in excess of 14 hours, the company must comply with the FAR and add the additional crew member(s) to the remaining flights in the duty period.
  • Crew scheduling personnel and Flight Attendants are both responsible for compliance with the FARs. Details of the FAR are explained on FAOM pages 2.185.

FAR Example: Three Flight Attendants are working their flight as originally assigned in their ID when they started their duty day on an Airbus 320 aircraft. The FAA minimum crew for this aircraft is three. Their flight is delayed and the duty time of the ID is projected to 14:20. Augmented staffing would not be required on this flight.

In contrast, if these same three Flight Attendants were reassigned to work a segment that was not part of their original ID and the reassignment projects any member of the crew beyond 14 hours, augmented staffing would be required. In this case, the company would be required to schedule one additional Flight Attendant as a member of the working crew.


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