We have had a few enquires lately from members regarding your entitlements whilst on Duty Travel. Specifically, some LAMEs have been provided an economy boarding pass upon check-in when departing for, or returning home from, either a posting or training, even when a confirmed business class ticket has been issued.
LAMEs are entitled to a business class seat (upgradable to first class if entitled and available) whilst on duty travel. Two exceptions to this are; last minute requirements to have a LAME accompany a Domestic flight (e.g. MEL maintenance procedures), or Charters for VIP’s. This is dealt with in S38 of our EA.
I understand that in some cases, you may just want to get home as quickly as possible due to family commitments etc, but please remember that the right to a business class seat, as with many other conditions that we enjoy today, was fought for and won by our predecessors. The decision to accept a downgrade on duty travel (except in the circumstances described above) is entirely at the discretion of the LAME and only allowable on a Domestic service. LAMEs are not permitted to accept a downgrade on an International sector and would themselves be in breach of our EA if they did.
I hope this provides some clarification on this issue, as it seems to be a constant source of frustration and confusion for many of our members. If you experience what you believe is undue pressure being placed on you to accept a downgrade whilst on duty travel, or are threatened in any way, please contact an ALAEA representative, or the office, to seek further advice.
Assistant Federal Secretary