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Many members of our AFA family have been faced with difficult choices recently. Among those, may have been whether to take an unpaid or partially paid leave of absence or a voluntary furlough. With your help, we were able to pass the CARES Act which provides for a continuance of paychecks for those who remain at work, however, there are some of our flying partners who were not given a choice but were instead notified that they’d been involuntarily furloughed.

This is an unprecedented time in our Union, and we’ve received many questions related to membership status and payment of dues. This Q&A is intended to help answer most of these queries. The answers are derived by using our AFA Constitution and Bylaws as the guiding resource document and reflect our current policies and procedures.

*** Throughout this document you will find reference to "Voluntary Furlough,” which is used in a generic sense to apply to all unpaid voluntary time-off plans at the various airlines.  It is the same as a Leave of Absence (LOA), or any of the unpaid convenience leaves that are available.


QUESTION:  If I owe dues, what are my options?

ANSWER:  For whatever reason, if you owe dues it is very easy to make secure payments online or by check. Visit to the AFA website to review your options:


QUESTION:  What are my dues obligations if I accept a Voluntary Furlough?

ANSWER:  When members accept a Voluntary Furlough (i.e., a leave of absence or LOA) from their airline they are obligated to pay dues for the first 90-days of that unpaid leave of absence, in accordance with the AFA Constitution & Bylaws {Article II.C.2.b (1) & (2)}.  If the leave is extended from the end date of the previous leave, then a new 3-month dues obligation is not owed.   

Only one 3-month obligation is required for any one continuous leave.  


QUESTION:  When do the 3-month LOA Dues Obligations start?

ANSWER:  The 3-month obligation period while on Leave or Voluntary Furlough begins when the flight attendant is no longer receiving any compensation from the airline, and a “no-pay” status begins.


QUESTION:  When must the 3 months of dues obligation be paid?

ANSWER:  The dues obligation may be paid on a monthly basis.  A Flight Attendant on a Voluntary Furlough (LOA) may seek to defer their dues balance in accordance with Article II. C.1.b.(4).  Upon their return to active status, any outstanding dues obligations would be due and payable.


QUESTION:  What are my dues obligations if I am placed on an involuntary Furlough?

ANSWER:  Any member will become inactive with AFA if involuntarily furloughed and not receiving furlough pay. Article II.C.6.a.(1). The member does not have a dues obligation unless they are receiving furlough pay (Section V.J.1.).


QUESTION:  What if a member on Involuntary Furlough has an outstanding balance?

ANSWER:  An involuntarily furloughed Flight Attendant who has a dues balance before the involuntary furlough can request a deferral from the MEC, Article II.C.1.b.(5). The balance will remain in their account until they return to a paid and active status.


QUESTION: I am on an unpaid Voluntary Furlough so I have no paycheck to deduct dues from. If I owe dues for 90 days how can I pay my dues?

ANSWER:  It’s very easy to make secure payments online or by check. Visit to the AFA website to review your options:


QUESTION:  If I’m receiving pay while on leave, do I owe dues ?

ANSWER:  Yes.  Dues are owed whenever a flight attendant is in any “paid” status or receiving payment from the airline.


QUESTION: I have taken a paid leave so my dues will just be deducted from that right?

ANSWER:  If your dues are normally deducted because you’ve executed a dues check-off form then your airline should continue to deduct your dues and remit them to AFA. However, in the case of some reduced pay leaves, there may not be sufficient funds to cover all of your deductions (Social Security, health care, 401(k), etc.). Dues monies are deducted last and if there is insufficient funds to cover the cost, the monies will not be deducted. In this case, you may select one of the easy and secure forms of payment found on the AFA website in order to satisfy the monthly obligation. (


QUESTION: My airline is offering 30 days at a time leaves, We have to bid for one each month. If I’m awarded a 30-day leave three months in a row (90 days), then go back online for one month and subsequently go back out on leave, what is my dues obligation?

ANSWER:  Only one 3-month obligation is required for any one continuous leave.  In the example cited above, there is a dues obligation for the first three 30-day leaves (90 days). Next, when you go back online for the next 30 days, you are in a paid active status and will also have a dues obligation. Following this period in an active status should you go back out on leave again, there is yet another 3-month or 90-day dues obligation.