How you are paid
There are many misconceptions on how flight attendant pay is calculated. This document is meant to dispel some of the myths and explain the basics of the way crew pay processes our compensation. Should you have additional questions, please email CrewPay@Spirit.com or your AFA scheduling committee at Scheduling@SpiritAFA.com.
Part 1: To understand your paychecks, it is first necessary to understand how pairing pay is calculated. According to Section 3 of your CBA, pairings are paid in one of three ways: Actual or Scheduled Block, Trip Rig, or Duty Rig; whichever is the greater. Also, our pairing pay protections are no less favorable than the pilots, so our pay calculations have changed slightly since the pilot’s new contract has gone into effect. It can get confusing; but below is a detailed examination of the three ways that pairings are paid…
Actual or scheduled block: This is what you actually fly or what you were scheduled to fly, whichever is greater. (This will ONLY matter if this the greatest of the three items listed here.)
Trip Rig: This is 1 credited hour for every 4.35 hours you are away from base. (4.35 hours equates to 4 hours and 21 minutes.) So, for every 4:21 you spend away from base on a pairing, you will get 1 hour of soft credit. (This will ONLY matter if this is the greatest of the three items listed here.)
Duty Rig: This is the biggest change from what is in the CBA, due to the pilot contract. You receive a four hour minimum for any pairing that contains only one duty period (turns). That hasn’t changed. But now, for pairings that contain more than one duty period, the minimum pay increases to 4.5 hours (4 hours, 30 minutes). Also, any layover you have that exceeds 22 hours now counts as a duty period for pay purposes. So you will get an additional 4.5 hours for these layovers as well. (Again, this will ONLY matter if this is the greatest of the three items listed here.)
As I mentioned, I understand that this can be confusing, so I have listed some examples below:
1 311 ACY-MCO 0630-0833 (2:13) :40 turn
1 138 MCO-ACY 0913-1129 (2:16)
Total Block: 4:29 TAFB: 6:39 Total Pay: 4:29
Remember, the 3 ways to calculate the pairing are actual/scheduled block, trip rig, and duty rig.
Scheduled block is 4:29
Trip Rig is TAFB divided by 4:21; so this pairing’s Trip Rig is 1:39
Duty Rig, since this a turn, is 4:00
Scheduled block is the greatest of the three, so this pairing is paid by scheduled block (or actual block if it becomes the greater, i.e. the crew over blocks).
Let’s look at another example:
1 316 DTW-LGA 0721-0900 (1:39) :40 turn
1 475 LGA-DTW 0940-1150 (2:10)
Total Block: 3:49 TAFB: 5:59 Total Pay: 4:00
Now, this pairing contains 11 minutes of soft credit. Using the three ways we use to calculate a pairing’s pay, let’s find out why.
Scheduled block is 3:49
Trip rig is the TAFB (5:59) divided by 4:21, that equals 1:22
Duty rig, since it’s a turn, is 4:00
With this pairing, duty rig is the greatest of the three, so the pairing is paid the minimum 4 hours. Should this crew over block above 4 hours, actual block would become the greatest, so it would be paid on actual instead of the duty rig.
Now, let’s try a little more complicated example:
1 417 DTW-FLL 0635-0925 (2:50)
Layover in FLL for 27:46
2 809 FLL-MBJ 1431-1514 (1:43) :54 turn
2 270 MBJ-FLL 1608-1854 (1:46) 1:26 turn
2 380 FLL-DTW 2020-2315 (2:55)
Total block: 9:14 TAFB: 42:10 Total Pay: 13:30
This pairing has over four hours in soft credit. Where does it come from? Let’s work it out.
Scheduled block is 9:14 (2:50 on the first duty period, 6:24 in the second)
Trip rig (TAFB divided by 4:21) is 9:41
Duty rig is 13:30 (first day is 4:30, second day is 4:30, and 22+ hour layover is another 4:30)
So, thanks to the pilot’s contract, this pairing is now paid at 13:30, due to duty rig. (In order to increase the value of this pairing, the crew would have to over block more than 4 hours, which isn’t realistic. This pairing is pretty much stuck at 13:30 no matter what…)
We’ll try one more… Let’s make it a kind of hard one.
1 808 FLL-LGA 0505-0753 (2:48) :42 turn
1 381 LGA-MYR 0835-1030 (1:55) :40 turn
1 842 MYR-ORD 1110-1219 (2:09)
Layover in ORD for 32:20
2 457 ORD-LAS 2159-2359 (4:00) :56 turn
3 456 LAS-ORD 0055-0630 (3:35)
Layover in ORD for 21:55
4 409 ORD-FLL 0545-0943 (2:58)
Total block: 17:20 TAFB: 78:08 Total Pay: 18:36
Taking the same steps as before:
Scheduled block is 17:20
Trip rig (TAFB/4:21) is 18:36
Duty rig is 18:00. Why 18:30? Because the one layover that’s over 22 hours adds 4:30, plus the three duty periods (even though it’s 4 days, there are only 3 duty periods… tricky).
This pairing is paid on trip rig. It doesn’t happen that often; mostly when you have long layovers with a medium amount of block. Most pairings are paid now with duty rig or actual/scheduled block.
I hope this clears up some confusion about the way pairings are paid. Practice these steps with your own pairings. You will see that you will usually get the correct credit. (Remember to use a calculator that can calculate TIME should you attempt to calculate your trip rig or you will be a little off each time.) And again, should you have any specific questions about your pay; you should always contact crew pay first, and as early as possible.
Some common misconceptions about our pay are as follows:
Part 2 on Flight attendant pay will be coming soon.