Vacation Bidding

Revised: November 22, 2017


To review the process details, Click here to download pdf.

(pmCO) Beginning December 15, 2017 - Vacation Slide Request Page Available in CCS, Click here for detailed information.

We encourage all Flight Attendants to review the following vacation trade options:


JCBA- Section 12. The following key dates are critical components of the vacation timeline:

Event Date
Begin vacation buy back & Flex election period By September 25
Close election period On October 15
Begin first vacation bid period By October 23
Close first vacation bid period On October 31
Post first vacation awards By November 4
Begin second vacation bid period By November 8
Close second vacation bid period On November 17
Post second vacation awards By November 20
Vacation allocations published By November 24
Trades awarded by seniority On November 30
Final vacation allocations published By December 4
Instant trading opens On December 5

The JCBA vacation bidding process includes changes for Flight Attendants from all three of the pre-merger airlines.  It is anticipated that Flight Attendants will have more flexibility than ever before for bidding, buybacks, splitting, and trading. We encourage you to begin the process of reviewing the language in Section 12 of the JCBA for additional information regarding vacation accrual, pay, and processes..

2018 Vacation Seniority Lists

Council 6 pmCO EWR, pmCO NLS, pmCO NTA, pmUA EWR
Council 7 pmUA LHR
Council 8 pmCO ORD, pmUA ORD
Council 9 pmCO DEN, pmUA DEN
Council 11 pmCO SFO, pmCO SFI, pmCO SLS, pmUA SFO
Council 12 pmCO LAX, pmCO LAI, pmCO LLS, pmUA LAX
Council 14 pmUA HNL
Council 20 pmUA FRA
Council 21 pmCO IAD, pmCO WLS, pmCO WTA, pmUA DCA
Council 25 pmUA LAS
Council 26 pmUA HKG
Council 27 pmUA BOS
Council 38 pmUA NRT
Council 42 pmCO IAH, pmCO HTA, pmCO HOS, pmUA IAH
Council 63 pmCO CLE
Council 65 pmCMI-GUM, pmCMI-ISM, pmCMI -TAL, pmCMI - JPN, pmCMI GML,

2018 Flight Attendant Schedule Months

  2018 Flight Attendant Schedule Months
Month Start End Days
JAN Dec 30 Jan 29 31
FEB Jan 30 Mar 01 31
MAR Mar 02 Mar 31 30
APR Apr 01 May 01 31
MAY May 02 Jun 01 31
JUNE Jun 02 Jul 01 30
JULY Jul 02 Jul 31 30
AUG Aug 01 Aug 30 30
SEPT Aug 31 Sep 30 31
OCT Oct 01 Oct 30 30
NOV Oct 31 Nov 29 30
DEC Nov 30 Dec 29 30

First Vacation Bid October 23 - October 31, 2017

Note: First Bid - Round One awards available on CCS. Select Reports and then select Annual Vacation Award.

For assistance with your First Bid see you Local Council Representatives, Vacation Booklet #2 or contact the Vacation Team.

The first round of vacation bidding is from October 23 to October 31, 2017, 0800 home domicile time. Each pre-merger subsidiary will have an allocation of days available for viewing in CCS once the first round of bidding opens on October 23.

Once the first bid opens, Flight Attendants will be allowed to choose preferences regarding:

  • The number of days they want in each vacation period
  • The option to “slide” the vacation, up to three days in either direction of the start/end dates to ensure they receive the maximum number of days utilizing their initial bids
  • Whether they are willing to accept the vacation period with fewer days specified by number
  • The start date for each vacation period.

Note:*New for pmCO and pmCMI*: When reviewing the process for your first vacation bid, remember that start dates are no longer pre-set. The new vacation bid process will allow you to bid for any start date for a vacation period, if it fits within the month being bid, or complies with the rules for “crossing months.”

It’s important to become familiar with the following vacation rules:

  • Flight Attendants may opt to split their vacation accrual into periods of not less than six days each. A Flight Attendant may have a maximum of five vacation periods. (Section 12.F.4.)
  • A Flight Attendant who has 11 or fewer days of accrued vacation, must bid their entire accrual in a single block. (Section 12.F.4.)
  • A partial day of vacation accrual will be rounded up to a full day for the purpose of vacation bidding, but shall be paid as a partial day. A partial day is always the last of the vacation period in which it is awarded. All hours must be bid in the same round. (Section 12.F.5)
  • New for pmUA Flight Attendants this year. When a Flight Attendant has a partial day vacation, she/he will be relieved of all duty for that entire day, including any trip assignment or Reserve duty. However, compensation for a partial vacation day will be paid on a pro-rata basis. For example, a 12 hour partial day will pay 50% of the 3:15 value of the vacation day
  • A Flight Attendant may not bid more than 50% of their accrued vacation days, unless they have 11 or fewer days of accrued vacation. When a Flight Attendant has accrued an odd number of vacation days, the odd day may be added to the 50% maximum for the first round. For example, a Flight Attendant with 19 days of vacation may bid a maximum of 10 days in the first round. (Section 12.F.6.)

Vacation Bidding Options

There have been a number of additional vacation rules put in place to give Flight Attendants the greatest opportunity to be awarded the vacation periods they desire. Flight Attendants should become familiar with the following vacation options prior to bidding. Click on the title listed below for detailed information on each option.

Crossing Months Option

Date Slide Option

Fewer Days Option


What Happens if I Don't Bid for Vacation

If a Flight Attendant does not submit a vacation bid in the first round of bidding, they will be considered a No Bid. No vacation will be assigned during the first round. You will be required to bid all of your accrued days in the second vacation bid round. If a Flight Attendant does not submit a vacation bid in the second round of bidding, she/he will automatically be assigned a vacation. Keep in mind, the vacation you are assigned will be after the second-round vacation awards have been completed for all Flight Attendants submitting a bid. The assigned vacation will be made in seniority order from December backward through January, with the largest block of days being assigned first.

What if My Bid is Considered an Insufficent Bid?

When a Flight Attendant submits a vacation bid and is unable to hold any of her/his selection, she/he is considered an Insufficient Bid. In this instance, vacation is assigned in seniority order from December backward through January after that round of vacation has been awarded to all bidders. The assignment shall be based on the number of days in your bid with the largest block of days assigned first.

Unpaid Flex Vacation While on Reserve Status

Reserve Flight Attendants who opted to elect the Unpaid Flex as part of their 2018 Vacation, should be aware that when bidding for their 2018 vacation, any Reserve (R) days that fall within the unpaid Flex vacation period will reduce your Reserve line guarantee.

For example:

A Reserve Flight Attendant having opted for a 7-day Unpaid Flex Vacation is awarded a Reserve line in a 30-day schedule month having the contractual 12 days off. Three days of availability are included in the awarded vacation period. Each of these Reserve days is valued at 4:20. Once vacation is applied to the Reserve line, the three days of Reserve availability are dropped by vacation. The value of the Reserve line will be reduced by the value of the Reserve days dropped with vacation. In this case, 3 X 4:20 = 13 hours. The 78 hour Reserve minimum guarantee reduced is by 13 hours and will result in the Reserve’s new minimum being 65 hours (78 -13 = 65 hours.)

This reduction in guarantee occurs only in those instances where the Reserve opted for the Unpaid Flex option during the Vacation Election period that closed on October 18th, 2017.


The information listed below began the 2018 vacation process. From September 25 - October 18 Flight Attendants were able to CHOOSE their 2018 Vacation Elections.


As part of the next step in the process, 2018 Reserve Letters for pmUA Flight Attendants are expected to be available on or around September 23. This is the Contractual Reserve letter list that is required to be available in the month prior to the start of the annual vacation bidding process.  As we have every year, Reserve Letters will be assigned to every pm UA Flight Attendant with the exception of those in the top 25% of the domicile and those who have not yet achieved their fifth-year anniversary. 

A vacation instructional booklet containing the recommendations of the Joint Implementation Team (JIT) has been published. These publications include specific bidding details and emphasize important dates for the process. All Flight Attendants' 2018 vacation accrual will be based on the vacation accrual year from September 2016 – August 2017. Everyone will have the ability to "practice" the new vacation system via CCS, by the end of August.

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2018 Vacation Bidding postcards listing the Contractual Vacation Timeline have been distributed and placed in Flight Attendant mail files to highlight the upcoming activities, deadlines and bid open, close and award dates.

Part One of the new Vacation Bidding Booklet - Accrual and Electionshas been published and is now available for your reference.  This publication includes the recommendations of the Joint Implementation Team (JIT) on information that all Flight Attendants will need in order to better understand the various aspects of the 2018 Vacation bidding process.

This is the first of three booklets published addressing our Contractual Vacation Bidding. Parts 2 & 3 will focus on the process of vacation bidding and monthly vacation options.

Part One of the Vacation Booklet focuses on vacation accrual and outlines the various election options available to Flight Attendants during the Vacation Election period.  These options include:

  1. Vacation Buy Back
  2. Deferral of Vacation as an employee 401(k) contribution
  3. Optional Flex Vacation Program

2018 Vacation accrual for all Flight Attendants is based on an evaluation of hours flown during the vacation accrual year which is defined as the Flight Attendant schedule months of September 2016 through August 2017.

In anticipation of the upcoming vacation bid, everyone will have the ability to "practice" using the new vacation bidding program that will be available in CCS.  This "practice" environment will be available by the end of August.

You are strongly encouraged to review all of the upcoming vacation publications.  If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council Office.

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Vacation Election Process Extended to October 18, 2017. Local Domicile Time.

Click here for details

Also see: Step-by-Step Vacation Election Process

The Vacation Election period opens on September 25, 2017, and closes on October 15, 2017, twenty (20) days later.

The 2018 Vacation Bidding Booklet was published August 4, 2017 and contains information intended to guide Flight Attendants through the contractual vacation bidding process based on recommendations from the Joint Implementation Team (JIT). 

Everyone will have the ability for hands on experience with the new vacation bidding platform that will be available via CCS.  This "practice" environment is expected to be available by the end of August and will remain available until a few days prior to the opening of vacation bidding.

For additional information please, contact your Local Council representatives.

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Also see: Vacation Options

Clarifying the Vacation Buy Back Option

Shortly after Reserve Letters are published, the Vacation Buy Back and Flex Election period will open on September 25, 2017 and will remain open for twenty (20) days through October 15, 2017.  Why is this period twenty days long?

Prior to the annual vacation bid, the company shall offer a vacation buy back option that will provide Flight Attendants the opportunity to elect to take pay in lieu of accrued vacation that would otherwise be available for use in the next Scheduled Vacation Year. Section 12.D.1 of our Contract requires Flight Attendants be provided this twenty (20) day period to submit the vacation buy back request. In order to be awarded a vacation buy back request, a minimum of six (6) days of accrued vacation must be "sold".  Those Flight Attendants electing to sell vacation will receive their buy back payments in the first quarter of the Scheduled Vacation Year in which the vacation was to have taken.  That is, sometime during the period from January 2018 - March 2018.

It is important to note, if you elect to sell vacation through the vacation buy back program, you may not participate in the annual Flex Program in the same Scheduled Vacation Year.

Section 12.E. of our Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) provides for the Optional Flex Vacation Program where, prior to the annual vacation bid, the company must provide Flight Attendants with a twenty (20) day period to submit a Flex Vacation request.  The Flex Vacation program provides Flight Attendants with the ability to elect to take an additional seven (7) days of vacation.  These seven days are unpaid unless the Flight Attendant elects to have 1:54 of pay deducted from her/his earnings each month to set aside the pay for this Flex vacation week. 

In addition to the Flex and Buy Back Vacation options, a Flight Attendant may also elect to contribute a minimum of seven (7) and a maximum of fourteen (14) days of paid vacation accrued for use in the following Scheduled Vacation Year to her/his 401(k) Savings Plan account or the UK Stakeholder Plan, or equivalent.It is important to note that these contributions will be treated as employee contributions, and are subject to Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(17) limits, or equivalent regulations.

All three of these optional election “choices” Flex, Vacation Buy Back and 401(k) deferral must be exercised during the twenty-day period from September 25 to October 15, 2017 required by our JCBA.

For additional information please, Contact your Local Council Office.

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Also see: Vacation Accrual While on Occupational Leave and Occupational Extended Illness Status

A Flight Attendant's (base) vacation accrual is established by her/his completed years of service with the Company and may be adjusted in accordance with paid activity during the vacation accrual year.

Completed Years of Service Base Vacation Accrual
1-4 12 days
5-9 19 days
10-16 26 days
17-24 33 days
25+ 40 days

As a newly employed Flight Attendant, how do I accrue vacation?
Newly employed Flight Attendants accrue one (1) day of vacation for each full month of continuous employment during the remainder of the Vacation Accrual year after the date of their initial employment. If employed prior to the 15th day of the calendar month, vacation credit shall be given for the full month.

What is the Vacation Accrual Year?
The Vacation Accrual Year is defined as the 12-month period beginning with the September 2016 bid month through the August 2017 bid month.  This is the "look back" period over which paid activity is evaluated to determine vacation accrual eligibility.

What are the vacation accrual quarters for the 2016 – 2017 Vacation Accrual Year?
For 2016 – 2017, vacation accrual quarters are tied to pre-merger affiliation and contractual bid months in effect for last year.


First Quarter Second Quarter Third Quarter Fourth Quarter
08/30/16 - 11/29/16 11/30/16 - 03/01/17 03/02/17 - 05/31/17 06/01/17 – 08/29/17

pmCO & pmCMI:

First Quarter Second Quarter Third Quarter Fourth Quarter
08/29/16 - 11/29/16 11/30/16 - 03/01/17 03/02/17 - 06/02/17 06/03/17 – 08/29/17

How does paid activity affect vacation accrual?
Your annual (base) vacation accrual will be reduced when the paid activity in each quarter of the Vacation Accrual year does not meet either the 60-hour – 119:59 hour or the 120 hour or greater metric for accrual as follows:

  • A Flight Attendant who completes one hundred twenty (120) hours or more of paid activity in each quarter of the 2016-2017 Vacation Accrual Year, will receive full vacation accrual (100% of base vacation accrual).
  • A Flight Attendant who completes fewer than one hundred twenty (120) hours but at least sixty (60) hours of paid activity in each quarter of the 2016 - 2017 Vacation Accrual Year, will receive fifty percent of vacation accrual (50% of the Base Vacation Accrual.)
  • A Flight Attendant who completes fewer than sixty (60) Hours of paid activity for each quarter of the 2016 – 2017 Vacation Accrual Year will accrue no vacation.
  • The following chart illustrates accrual based on Paid Activity:
Years of Completed Service Annual Base Vacation Accrual Accrual per Quarter
(<60 hours of paid activity)
Accrual per Quarter
(60 – 119:59 hrs.
of paid activity)
Accrual per Quarter
(120 hrs. or more of paid activity)
1-4 12 DAYS 0 1D 12H 3 DAYS
5-9 19 DAYS 0 2D 9H 4D 18H
10-16 26 DAYS 0 3D 6H 6D 12H
17-24 33 DAYS 0 4D 3H 8D 6H
25+ 40 DAYS 0 5 DAYS 10 DAYS

Vacations can also be reduced as a result of Leaves of Absence.

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A Flight Attendant on a Leave of Absence (except occupational), furlough or disciplinary suspension will have her/his vacation reduced by 1/12th for each thirty (30) days or major portion on a prorated basis.

What happens to my vacation accrual if I take a Company Offered Leave (COLA)?
A Flight Attendant on a Company Offered Leave of Absence (COLA) will have her/his 2018 Vacation reduced for the period she/he is on the COLA.

What happens to my vacation accrual if I take a Special COLA?
A Flight Attendant on a Special COLA will not have her/his 2018 Vacation reduced for the period she/he is on the Special COLA.

Pre-merger CAL & CMI Flight Attendants - Evaluation Period
The evaluation period for the reduction due to leave of absence for the 2018 Vacation year will be December 30, 2016 - August 29, 2017.  (The period was shortened in order to bring all Flight Attendants into a single evaluation period.)

Pre-merger UAL Flight Attendants - 30 Day ANP
Flight Attendants on 30-day ANP will not have their 2018 Vacation reduced for the period while on ANP.  However, two (2) periods of 30-day ANP, back to back or 30-day ANP in conjunction with any other leave of absence or ANP will result in the 2018 Vacation accrual reduction.

Pre-merger UA Flight Attendants who have taken Day at a Time (DAT) Vacation
Flight Attendants may take up to ten (10) vacation days "borrowing" these from the next year's allotment. Day at a time (DAT) taken during the accrual period of August 30, 2016 – August 29, 2017 will reduce the 2018 Vacation on a day-for-day basis.

The following chart illustrates vacation reductions due to Leave of Absence:

  Scheduled Vacation Days
Months on
Leave of






1 1 DAY 1D 14H 2D 04H 2D 18H 3D 08H
2 2 DAYS 3D 04H 4D 08H 5D 12H 6D 16H
3 3 DAYS 4D 18H 6D 12H 8D 06H 10D 00H
4 4 DAYS 6D 08H 8D 16H 11D 00H 13D 08H
5 5 DAYS 7D 22H 10D 20H 13D 18H 16D 16H
6 6 DAYS 9D 12H 13D 00H 16D 12H 20D 00H
7 7 DAYS 11D 02H 15D 04H 19D 06H 23D 08H
8 8 DAYS 12D 16H 17D 08H 22D 00H 26D 16H
9 9 DAYS 14D 06H 19D 12H 24D 18H 30D 00H
10 10 DAYS 15D 20H 21D 16H 27D 12H 33D 08H
11 11 DAYS 17D 10H 23D 20H 30D 06H 36D 16H
12 12 DAYS 19D 00H 26D 00H 33D 00H 40D 00H

The following is an example of a Flight Attendant who had a leave of absence and did not receive full accrual based on paid activity.  In this example, the Flight Attendant has completed thirty (30) years of service and has an annual base vacation of forty (40) days.  For each quarter where the Flight Attendant completes 120 hours or more of paid activity, the actual per quarter accrual is ten (10) days.

Quarter Paid Activity Accrual Total Days
1st 240 hours 100% 10 days
2nd 270 hours 100% 10 days
3rd 160 hours 100% 10 days
4th 115 hours 50% 5 days
Total Vacation Accrual based on Paid Activity 35 days

This same Flight Attendant was also on a non-occupational Medical Leave of Absence for ninety (90) days during the third (Q3) and fourth (Q4) quarters.  As a result of this Medical Leave of Absence, the vacation accrual is reduced by 3/12, that is, 1/12 reduction for each 30 days or major portion thereof.  The vacation accrual is reduced by 10 days.

The vacation accrual based on reductions for Leaves of Absences is a total of 30 days.

NOTE: When the base vacation for a Flight Attendant is reduced for paid activity and leaves of absence, the greatest reduction is applied.  In the above example, the 40-day vacation for the Flight Attendant is reduced to 30 days.

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On September 25, 2017, Vacation Accrual Letters will be available for viewing by all Flight Attendants in CCS.  To access your personalized Vacation Accrual Letter in CCS:

Go to Bidding > My Vacation.

What is a Vacation Accrual Letter?
A vacation accrual letter is a personalized communication to each Flight Attendant consisting of the following information:

  • Your vacation accrual seniority date and the number of adjusted days, if any, for leave of absence (LOA).
  • Based on this seniority date, your 2018 base (annual) vacation accrual
  • Your paid activity for each quarter of the 2017 Vacation Accrual Year
  • The number of 2018 Vacation days reduced for any applicable leave(s) of absence
  • Your total 2018 Vacation accrual in days and hours

 From the Vacation Accrual Letter webpage, you are able to proceed to the Vacation Election options.

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In preparation for the 2018 Vacation Bidding process, we will be publishing the 2018 Vacation Booklet in three (3) separate parts to help familiarize Flight Attendants with important information.

The first part of the Vacation booklet, which focuses on Vacation Accrual and Elections was published on August 3, 2017.

The second part of the booklet focuses on the Vacation Bidding Process, and will address:

  • How to bid
  • Bidding options
  • Splitting your accrued vacation
  • Vacation day allocations
  • Vacation bidding for Reserves
  • No bid/insufficient bid
  • Vacation Pay

Part two of the vacation bidding booklet can be downloaded here.

The third and final part of the booklet, focused on the Monthly Vacation Options, 2018 Vacation Booklet Part 3 Monthly Vacation Options is now available for your reference.

Part three of the vacation bidding booklet can be downloaded here.

This publication includes the recommendations of the Joint Implementation Team (JIT) on information that all Flight Attendants will need to better understand the various aspects of the 2018 Vacation bidding process.

To date, the Joint Implementation Team (JIT) has published all 3 planned vacation booklets. These booklets form the basis of a vacation bidding reference guide. Together these three vacation publications coupled with hands-on practice and the soon to be published vacation guides will assist Flight Attendants through the entire vacation process. If you have not reviewed the information we encourage you to so.

The 2018 Complete Vacation Guide can be downloaded here

1.Part 1 Vacation Accrual and Elections

2.Part 2 Vacation Bidding Rules

3.Part 3 Monthly Vacation Options


To assist Flight Attendants in becoming acquainted with bidding and navigation of the vacation bidding process, a simulated vacation bidding environment has been created and is now available for your use.Through October 20, 2017, Flight Attendants will have the opportunity to practice vacation bidding using the following hands-on bidding scenarios:

Bidding with a partial day off

Bidding with less than 12 days

Accrual of Maximum Days (40 Base + 7 Flex)

Adjusted Accrual

Adjusted Accrual + Flex Vacation

Less than one (1) year of service

Unpaid Flex Vacation

Various Seniority Levels for Bidding



Step one the Election Process - Download the pdf

Step two the Bidding Process - Download the pdf

Return to Schedule home page

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