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Time off (Bereavement Absence) for a death in the immediate family is covered in the collective bargaining agreement. It is listed in several different sections, including details about Bereavement Absence as well as Bereavement Pay. Normally, you notify your Fleet Captain or Duty Officer of the death of the family member, and then you are released from duty. The Pilot Administrative Center may call or email you about Bereavement Pay.
Check the CBA for details, however, “immediate family” normally includes your spouse, child, parent, sister, bother, father in law, mother in law, grandparent or grandchild, including half and step relations.
It is possible that the remains of a deceased pilot, pilot’s spouse, pilot’s children, and the pilot’s parents may be shipped at company expense over the lines of the company. Contact your Fleet Captain for information, as this requires special permission.
Death in the family and grief can be major source of stress that can affect your fitness to fly. Taking time off from work might be necessary depending on the situation. Make sure you seek out friends, family, and professionals for emotional support. ALPA has several resources to help you get through this difficult time, including:
Pilot Assistance Team Hotline (PATH): Provides a source of support for pilots during difficult times. A trained ALPA pilot volunteer can be reached at 1-866-FDX-ALPA. All calls are strictly confidential.
Aeromedical: According to the Aviation Medicine Advisory Service (AMAS), ALPA’s Aeromedical Office, psychological issues account for approximately one-third of the pilots who use their services. Most pilots return to flying after evaluation and treatment. AMAS has a program that maintains the medical privacy of pilots and is free of charge to all ALPA members in good standing. Contact ALPA Aeromedical at 303-341-4435.
Finding a Counselor:
Here are some ideas for seeking a referral and choosing a counselor:
- Contact AMAS, the ALPA Aeromedical Office, at 303-341-4435.
- Ask for a referral from a medical professional you already work with and trust, such as a primary care physician.
- Ask friends or family if they can recommend someone.
- Search the list of in network providers on your health insurance website. Typically, you can specify gender, location, specialties, modality (online, skype), and more.
- Contact CARE (Confidential Assistance & Resources for Everyone), formerly EAP, at 866-621-0130 (outside the U.S. call 44-208-987-6230, or visit anthemEAP.com and enter FedEx Pilots to log in.
- Search “behavioral health board providers” for your state or country.
- Contact your local community mental health center, university, church, or school.
- Shop online directories hosted by national organizations, such as
Update your beneficiaries with your current family situation, including but not limited to, life insurance, pass privileges, and 401(k).
Remember: You are not alone. Reach out to trusted pilots, neighbors, family, and friends to seek recommendations. Additionally, ALPA is here to help you through good and bad times.
PILOT ASSISTANCE SUPPORT
If you need further assistance, contact Pilot Assistance at FedEx-PA@alpa.org, or call the Pilot Assistance Team Hotline, 866-FDX-ALPA.