There’s a lot to learn when you become an Inflight Crewmember. Figuring out how to pick and manage your schedule is among the most important.
“It’s a quality of life issue,” TWU International Special Projects Coordinator Angelo Cucuzza said. “Making the right decision can result in you having 48 hours at home with your family instead of just 12.”
With that in mind, the Transport Workers Union has created a new committee —the Scheduling Committee—to help IFCs get the pairings and days off that best suit their needs and desires, including level of income.
Veteran IFC Tena Melcher, who has developed an expertise in JetBlue’s various scheduling platforms and systems, is the new committee’s chair.
“There is a real need here,” Melcher said. “There hasn’t been a place where you can go seek help and guidance. We will provide that needed assistance to all Crewmembers, not just new Crewmembers.”
JetBlue previously had a program to guide IFCs in this aspect of their work life but the company dropped it after the vote to unionize.
One of the Committee’s top priorities at this time is encouraging Crewmembers who are continuing to use the old bidding platform to switch over and start using the new Navblue Preferential Bidding System (PBS) that was introduced about 14 months ago, Melcher said.
“This new web-app is more enhanced and has more capability than the previous one”.
The company will be shutting the older system down, although company officials have not given a specific date, Melcher said.
NavBlue is not part of the airline but a business partner. The platform is used primarily for IFCs to bid and secure trips, setting up their monthly schedules. But there are other features that even IFCs who have been at the company for a few years may not be fully aware, Melcher said. She recently explained to a co-worker complaining about his vacation that he could have used the Slide Vacation feature to move up his vacation a few days so it started on the weekend instead of midweek.
“So there are features and functions that can benefit Crewmembers if you know how to use them and you know how PBS processes them,” Melcher said.
The committee also plans on approaching the company to provide input on the creation of pairings themselves, Melcher said.
The committee’s assistance program will be up and running Nov. 1 when the bidding for December trips begins.
If you need assistance or have any questions for the Scheduling Committee, please use the form on their page.