What is a "Walk" in the hotel/crew layover business?

Date: March 24, 2006
Author: Julie Miller

Walk signA walk happens when a flight attendant is moved from a scheduled layover hotel to another hotel.  The hotel, United, or a Flight Attendant, may initiate a walk.  One should always check their local Hotel Hot board for possible hotel changes and a print a hard copy of their ID before leaving the domicile. 

Most commonly, a hotel will initiate the walk.  Although United has “pre-booked” our rooms, a hotel might overbook, anticipating no-shows.  Just like United does when booking flights, they will sometimes play the “odds.”  They’ll hope for enough cancellations or no-shows to optimize room utilization.  United does have penalties in place to dissuade hotels from this practice, but some will try it anyway.  Some hotels will have guests that do not leave as scheduled and, because of state law, cannot be forced out of their rooms.  This, along with citywide conventions, meetings, or events, can lead to oversell situations.    

Sometimes, United has to agree, in advance, to a walk.  This might happen if, for example, United signs a contract with a hotel that might already have sold out dates on its’ calendar for the upcoming year.  When this happens, United’s Crew Accommodations department can coordinate with the hotel as to where the crews will be walked.  They will look at the overflow list to see if there is an AFA approved hotel that has availability.  Hotels are contractually bound to move Flight Attendants to a hotel which is “as good or better” than theirs.  It’s important for you to know this, if a hotel or United tries to send you to a substandard motel.

When a walk is planned, the Company has the responsibility to post it on the domicile Hotel Hot board.

When a walk is planned, the Company has the responsibility to post it on the domicile Hotel Hot board.  You will also be alerted to the change through the IBS and an updated ID with the “H” designator checked.  You can also verify the change with the Hotel Desk via FLT-LINE.     

A Flight Attendant can walk themselves to another hotel when the assigned hotel room is not ready within thirty (30) minutes of arrival.  If a hotel that the Flight Attendants have been walked to doesn’t provide the basics of Section 3.K.1. (“safe, clean and quiet accommodations with adequate and available eating facilities”), then you can utilize self-help in finding appropriate accommodations.  You must, however, call the Hotel Desk and request assistance with your problem.  Oftentimes, the Hotel Desk can save time and energy by contacting an overflow hotel. 

Ultimately, you must evaluate and take responsibility for your particular situation.  The conditions for when it is appropriate for a Flight Attendant to walk themselves may vary, but may include such things as no hot or cold water, no power, no heat or air conditioning, broken door locks, bugs or vermin of any kind, absolutely no food availability, noise that prohibits a restful layover or any situation which threatens personal safety or well being.  Remember, you must first try to resolve the problems with the hotel (or transportation vendor) itself.  If there is no positive solution after attempting to fix the issue with the vendor, contact the Hotel Desk through FLT-LINE.  Failing the above options, you have the right to use personal resources to utilize another hotel and/or transportation company.  Once at another hotel, it is your responsibility to inform the crew desk immediately to provide new contact information.  You should also update OPBSK on transportation arrangements for the return to the airport for your next duty period.

If self-help is used, you should use the United Company expense report and attach a copy of your Flight Attendant Report along with copies of all hotel/transportation receipts, and turn them in to your domiciles supervisor to start the reimbursement process.

Finally, and most important, ALWAYS submit a TVLLOG report via Unimatic to ensure that both the Company and AFA will have a report of the incident.  TVLLOG should be used any time a hotel or transportation irregularity occurs which interrupts or hampers your layover experience.  Be concise and specific.   Don’t forget pertinent information such as room numbers, ID numbers and dates, inbound flight numbers and names of hotel or transportation employees spoken to during the ordeal.  As always, your AFA Local Council office is available should you have any further questions.


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