American’s Flight Attendants Have Just Screwed Themselves

Airline labor contracts can get extremely complex, and when it comes down to a vote, there are usually good arguments for both sides. Every so often, however, a vote comes up where there is clearly one right answer. That was the case with the American flight attendant combined contract vote, yet somehow, they voted against their own interests. It is incredible how badly they just screwed themselves.

American Flight Attendants Vote No

As part of the merger and the exit from bankruptcy, the new American’s flight attendants (among other labor groups) agreed to a process for integration. The process that was agreed upon meant it would be a smooth transition, far easier than we’ve seen in other mergers. It was pretty simple. They’d come to a single seniority list (which is already done), and then they would enter into a short period of negotiations with the company on a combined contract. If they all agreed upon a contract, then it would go into effect. If not, then it would go straight to binding arbitration. Binding arbitration produces results that have to be accepted by both sides, so the process would be finished quickly no matter what.

With that backdrop, the flight attendant union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), went into negotiations to get the best deal possible for the flight attendants. What came out of that negotiation was surprisingly good for them, bringing $193 million in annual economic improvement over what they have today. That made for an industry-leading contract, and it beats what binding arbitration would provide.

How do I know that? Well, the rules for binding arbitration were set so that the average of the United and Delta contracts would be used to create the American contract. That provided an economic improvement of only $111 million a year. Even though the way you reach that number can vary (and would be decided in arbitration), that number is fixed. APFA came in with $82 million per year over that amount through negotiations.

This seemed like a no-brainer since the alternative was clearly set (unlike you usually find in airline/labor negotiations). The union pushed it out to the flight attendants to vote, and the results came back over the weekend. It lost by 16 votes. This is one bad move by the flight attendants, or at least the ones who voted against it.

It was extremely close, but even if it had gone the other way, that means nearly half the group still voted against what should have been an easy “yes” vote. Looking at how it broke down by base, it’s clear that the Miami and New York bases sunk this on the legacy American side. Only 37 percent of Miami flight attendants and 39 percent of New York flight attendants voted for it. Meanwhile in Dallas, Chicago, and LA it passed. On the US Airways side, Charlotte narrowly voted against it and so did the small base in Washington DC, but Philly and Phoenix approved (with US Airways as a whole approving it). Possibly the most insane group here is the 4,000 flight attendants (around 20 percent) that just didn’t vote. Apparently they don’t care about their future. If only this prevented those people from ever complaining again.

How the heck did this happen? As usual, I’m sure it was a combination of things that pushed the “no” vote to (Pyrrhic) victory. Here are just a few thoughts.

1) Some flight attendants will always vote no
You’ll always have that group that refuses to accept anything short of $10 million a year with a maximum of 5 hours a month flying. That’s a fringe group, but it still counts.

2) Some flight attendants didn’t understand or didn’t want to believe how this worked
Usually, if you vote down a tentative agreement, you just go back to the bargaining table and try again. I’m guessing that somehow a bunch of flight attendants simply never bothered to learn that this process was completely different. The union’s leadership put out a ton of communication on this subject, and it was incredibly clear. But it’s safe to assume that there are some people who don’t read anything the union puts out. There are others who read it but just don’t believe it. I’ve seen some things floating around disparaging union president Laura Glading. That alone could cause people to irrationally distrust her when she said this was the best thing they were going to get. (It was.)

3) Some flight attendants received bad information
There’s also the issue of front line rumors. When you see two bases voting sharply negative while the other big bases approved, you have to assume that something is happening specifically at those bases. My guess is that a lot of anti-contract misinformation was circulated in those cities, and the flight attendants got onboard. But I can’t know that for sure.

4) Some flight attendants wanted profit-sharing.
This contract did not include any profit-sharing, and that’s something that many flight attendants wanted. Instead, it included more money in the contract to make up for the amount of profit-sharing paid out by other airlines (notably, Delta). But some people were just not going to be happy without profit-sharing. Of course, turning this down still isn’t going to get them profit-sharing.

5) Some flight attendants didn’t like the work rules
Labor groups are never going to get perfect work rules. In this case, there’s no question that this contract is going to make flight attendants work harder than they did in the pre-bankruptcy contract. Some may have voted no because of that, but if they think they’re going back to pre-bankruptcy work rules, they’re mistaken. Really, if they think they’re going to make any big gains over what was just voted down, it’s not going to happen.


Now, what happens? Well, binding arbitration starts on December 3. It won’t take all that long. I’d expect we’ll see the final contract around the new year. The two sides can in theory keep negotiating in the meantime, but why would they? They both agreed this was a good contract and the membership voted it down. There didn’t seem to be a clear mandate on what was missing, so further negotiations won’t help much. Besides, management doesn’t want to set a precedent for other labor groups. The pilots should have a new agreement presented by the company toward the end of this week and they’ll be in the same process as the flight attendants. If management decides to delay the process with the flight attendants further and keep negotiating, then it will defeat the entire purpose of this whole process as it relates to the other workgroups.

The incredible thing here is that from the company perspective, this rejection is a good thing financially. Annual costs will now go down by $82 million – money that the flight attendants put right back into company coffers. Other than that, there won’t really be an impact on things except to slow the contract process down by a couple months. The integration isn’t affected.

The flight attendants, however, have a problem. The entire flight attendant group will be pissed. The half that voted “yes” will be really angry that the other flight attendants made them lose money. The half that voted “no” will be livid when they realize that they screwed themselves, and their dreams of a better contract aren’t happening. Even though none of this anger is the fault of the airline’s management, you know it’ll get directed that way eventually.

But first, they’ll probably direct their ire at union leadership which is really a shame. I don’t say this often, but this union leadership team actually did a good job of going back and forth with the company to make sure that flight attendants would come out in better shape. It was just about to pay off. Oh sure, the flight attendants will still be better off than they are today, but they won’t be as well off as they should have been. It doesn’t impact me personally, but it still makes me mad that they squandered the opportunity.

[Original flight attendant photo via Shutterstock]

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145 Comments on "American’s Flight Attendants Have Just Screwed Themselves"

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Xnuiem
Member

Yet another reason for the grumpiest group in the sky to remain so. It really is a shame and I hope AA, as a whole, can pull it together.

Anonymous
Guest

I sure hope not…

Sassy Stu
Guest
Have you read the Tenetive Agreement (TA)? Not just the highlights, but the full TA? Are you in the habit of signing open ended documents that are riddled with clauses such as “at the companies discression” or “to be disclosed” or “to be determined”? Many people on the outside, are absolutely unaware of what we were presented. We were unable to view what our union was presenting to the company, instead we were presented with the final draft and told “this is as good as it gets”. Then mid vote, one of the largest work related obsticals, was eliminated. After… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Totally agree with you. Our union sounds like they’ve given up because Fa’s didn’t agree with them. They’re still suppose to be representing us in the arbitration & be on our side but everything we hear from them is doom & gloom because we didn’t agree with them. There were too many unanswered questions. I sent emails many times regarding loopholes & asking for answers & never once heard back. We’re still paying union dues so support the FA’s who more than half didn’t agree with you & stop siding with the company who has taken from us for 10… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

And did you read that now in arbitration, you are getting all those work rules anyway?

Anonymous
Guest

I hope I see you on my flight. ;)

anonymous
Guest

Perhaps the No voters needed to spend some time being furloughed for 10 years to appreciate the job they have…..but these are the, “union,” people who stapled another union work group to the bottom of their seniority list and then forced them to pay dues while on furlough.

Neil S.
Guest

Profit-sharing is a huge deal. I’m forced to fly DL due to corp contracts, and I know we all hate Skymiles, but I can’t tell you how many FAs in the past few weeks have talked to me about the 1.2B that DL just paid out to them – or I heard them talking to each other about it. That is one happy crew.

I’m glad I don’t fly AA right now. Those planes are going to be angry for a while.

Cory
Guest
All APFA had to do is put out a health insurance comparison between DL and AA. The current best health insurance plan at Delta for a family costs $300 per month, has a $3,900 deductible, and a $9,000 co-insurance max. That’s well over $16,000 in medical costs for a DL flight attendant. The executives at DL are quite smart…they give them a little with profit sharing ($3,000 take home average) and then they just save all that money and then some on health insurance alone. I bet if many AA flight attendants knew this they’d stop saying how much better… Read more »
Susy
Guest

Actually our PS is relative to your earnings. For most fa’s that work between 85-100 hs at the top of the scale (75% at DL) It will be around 8K, which can be all put in our 401K and not be taxed.

Cory
Guest
Susy, In 2015 the Delta profit sharing is projected to be around 15%. 5% they already received and they were NOT able to put it in their 401k since the company threw it out at the last minute. The remaining 10% in February you will be able to place in your 401k, but you’ll still pay about 10% in taxes…but what good does it do you if you need the money now? Top pay at DL is $51 per hour now. Working 85 hours a month that comes out to $52,000 per year. So 15% of $52,000 is $7,800. If… Read more »
Chase
Guest

Great, we are going to have some turbulent skies ahead…

Regarding your last paragraph though, I’d probably disagree with you. From what my AA FA friend has told me, this union leader is nothing more than a thug in a cocktail dress. Something about them getting higher priority pass privileges (like AA execs), and when asked about it the union leadership didn’t deny it. The whole situation is a mess both on the leadership and membership side! I’m shocked at how this went down, but somehow they’ll find a way to blame passengers or AA management, not themselves.

Marshall Jackson
Guest

FWIW, union leadership at AA has had A5 travel privileges for…well…as long as I can remember. It’s not a new thing. Was certainly in place before I started there in the 90s, and probably long before that.

Ben in DC
Guest
I’m the furthest thing from a contract lawyer or a union negotiator, so my knowledge here is limited. But I don’t understand why the airline and the flight attendants didn’t agree to less money up front with profit sharing. Do you think this was something management didn’t want? Or the union wouldn’t lower their demands enough to make it work? It seems like profit sharing is such a simple way to reward employees when times are good, and make things easier on the airline when times are tough. Plus, it sounds like it might motivate the people at Delta to… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

Ben,

To answer your question, the membership were surveyed and told the union that they would prefer “profit” in wages, not on some theoretical stock profit. So, that’s what the union negotiated. No pity here.

Anonymous
Guest

You do realize the AA FA’s already took a 33% cut in 2003. We were promised to be compensated when the company was again profitable…..1.2 billion is profitable!!! Our TA (tentative agreement) that was voted down, was done so because, there were of too many grey areas and open ended statements. Please try to understand, this would have tied our hands for another 5 years. This means we would have suffered with this current abomination of a contract for a total of 18 + years!!!

nicholas.irving
Member

I chatted yesterday with a good friend that is MIA based for AA that also voted no. Her first comment was she needed a lawyer to review it since it was more complex than any of the other contracts she has worked under. She also said the union and company did a horrible job about telling people the next step was binding arbitration and even what that meant. It was too confusion, and if you don’t understand the contract many decided it was a no vote. Sad for them, but they did make this happen.

bandito
Guest

Cranky some times this comes down to station union leadership. I know when the fleet service contract negotiations for legacy US came down the union leadership did a horrible job of keeping people up to date especially on the night shift. They never really even directed us to sources that had more information and we relied on transfers that had contacts with stronger union stations to keep us up to date.

DesertGhost
Guest
This is sad. Not only have American’s flight attendants screwed themselves, they’ve also left potential money on the table for their counterparts at United and Delta. In the last two earnings calls, the American management team has consistently mentioned that they felt higher base pay and benefits provided more security for workers than “profit sharing” (especially when there may be no profits). Management, especially at the top, is used to having part of its pay “at risk.” Most workers aren’t. Maybe some of these people thought they could get paid more AND get profit sharing without the risk. But, of… Read more »
Jared Hanner
Member

Plus, when you figure that this is usually an unprofitable industry, in the past 10 years, how many times would profit sharing have been been paid? I’d take more guaranteed money as well.

Ben in DC
Guest

I get that in the past, but this industry seems to be in a lot better shape these days. With all the fees, and less competition, it’s going to be easier to make money than in the past. Although I suppose airlines are great at letting history repeat itself. It just seems to me that if that is what held up the deal with flight attendants, then management should have tried to work it into the deal, in exchange for less money up front.

Trent880
Guest

AA FAs and pilots have always been a little extra insane versus the rest of the industry, especially now that US East is joining the fold. Sure, a lot of it has to do with AA’s dreadful management over the last decade, but why the self destructive choices above and beyond that? And why is it often centered around MIA? Is this shadows of EA?

Frank of America
Guest

People vote against their own self interest despite the available evidence all the time – just look at the mid-term elections. Doesn’t surprise me a bit.

Anonymous
Guest

Spot on

Leslie in Oregon
Guest

Voting wisely, and/or in accord with one’s own best interests, requires an electorate/employee group that bothers to inform itself, difficult as that may be. Has anyone done research on the effect of the fast-paced, skimming-over-the- surface life of flight attendants (I say this as an ex-F/A) on the ability of flight attendants to sustain focus while doing a task that requires concentration and analysis?

DTB
Guest

Without a doubt. Look at the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections for a better example.

Sean S.
Guest
Number 5 is probably the most substantial; people often presume that union contracts are primarily about wages and retirement. In alot of industries, especially airlines, that is significantly less important than work rules and the bidding process for work. As someone in a workplace whose union was decertified, the biggest changes have not been wages or retirement (which have remained flat or unchanged) but work rules and the bidding process for internal positions. They have completely re-written the rules on the internal bid process, and work rules have become significantly more onerous, and the ability to mandate employees for overtimes… Read more »
MeanMeosh
Guest

So I just have to ask, any chance this goes full-on nuclear like the US Airways pilot union spat? In other words, the contract goes to arbitration, the FAs don’t like the outcome (they won’t), and so they just decide to de-certify and refuse to accept? Or has that option been killed entirely in the interim? I vaguely remember you discussing this in a previous post, and the answer was the law was changed to where this can no longer be done.

BTW, the gremlin with the name and e-mail address of the prior commenter is back again…

Anonymous
Guest

Hey Cranky…the site is showing the private name and email of the last person to comment again. It needs to be fixed ASAP.

Test
Guest

test

Kyle
Guest

“…so that the average of the United and Delta contracts would be used to create the American contract.”

Delta FAs have a contract? Since when?

Also, remember the old saying “Reject the first offer?”

southbay flier
Guest

I was wondering the same thing. DL avoids unions better than anyone else in the industry.

Cory
Guest

What APFA should have done is put out a comprehensive comparison with the DL crews to show if indeed they take home more when you consider everything. I’ve seen the health insurance plans of both AA and DL, and I can tell you for a fact that with the out of pocket maximum some DL flight attendants will be paying over $12,000 in health insurance expenses alone. The profit sharing take home there is going to be maybe $3,000 on average. You do the math…

Alex Rousseau
Guest

Laura Glading, et. al, may have negotiated a great contract, and kudos to them for doing that, but ultimately they failed in working hard to see it voted in. That kind of leadership is just as important as what you show at the negotiating table.

I sense a major upheaval in APFA ranks, perhaps enough to get AFA back involved and looking for a union merger/takeover.

There’s no way around it: Laura failed to get this thing done, and American FAs (and, by association, FAs in the entire industry) are going to suffer longer for it.

John E.
Guest

The name Test appeared in the name field of my browser. For a minute there Cranky I thought it might have been a competitor … Testy Traveler wanting to write something snarky :)

A
Guest

I’d like to see American bring in some ex-NWA management for some real union busting chops! I’ve heard their move with the mechanics union is standard curriculum in business school classes these days.

AA Emp
Guest

The AA SVP of ops came from NW along with quite a few other current AA officers/Sr. Leaders so I think they have that covered.

gersov
Member
What am I missing here? Do any of you expect the arbitrator to deviate significantly from the agreement that was voted down? What is the intellectual basis for offering the union more than the company gave, or to award less than the company was ready to offer? Arbitration isn’t likely to change work rules, or create profit-sharing, but it won’t “screw” the workers either, not with a framework already approved by negotiators for both sides. As often happens with close votes either way on tentative contracts, they end up being implemented, either by resulting in another membership vote or by… Read more »
D-ROCK
Guest
The arbitrator is not going to give them near as much as the company was offering as the Union and AA already agreed previously that if it went to arbitration that the offer was capped at what the market aggregate was (the UA/DL contracts), which is significantly (83 million) LESS than what AA offered. Thus the arbitrator is not going to be allowed to give them the same offer as the one that they turned down. AA won’t allow this to be changed as the other union negotiations will be affected, AND the AA FA’s agreed to this process initially,… Read more »
woohoo
Guest

It seems like the negotiations protocol agreement that the union signed was the big mistake. I don’t know any background on it but I don’t understand why a union would settle for something written that the arbitrators can give no better than market aggregate. After that what incentive does the company to negotiate any better than this? Even though they did.

Bebe
Guest

Exactly.

Bebe
Guest

That was directed at Woo hoo. You are exactly right. That was the huge mistake.

testing
Guest

Still buggy – for me, the ‘Name’ field was pre-filled with “D-ROCK”

Not requiring the email address was the right choice in this scenario – that will alleviate the concerns somewhat.

JuliaZ
Member

I can still see it and I restarted my machine and flushed my cache. I had to manually change bandito’s name and delete that person’s email address.

Sorry about the bad vote here for these flight attendants, but glad to be an Alaska MVP now. Those crews are happy and it’s a pleasure to fly that airline.

wileki
Member

CF said: It doesn’t impact me personally

Wanna bet?
That can only be true if you don’t fly or sell the carrier.
Service was nothing to write home about before and it sure won’t be better now.

Jim
Guest

Perhaps they actually felt that the limitations in work rules wasn’t worth the extra money. Some people value their lifestyle and quality of life, especially the more senior ones. Salary isn’t the only consideration.

Sara
Guest

Bingo! It wasn’t about the $$. It was about the work rules and the fact that the contract was ambigous and had many TBD’s. It also has changed after voting begun. The union tried their best to impose a yes vote, but their strong arming tactics failed.

Bebe
Guest

Now the hard 40 sticks and all the no fliers either have to work or leave.

Anonymous
Guest
Our contracts are extremely detailed and have a lot more than money issues in them. It was basically a zero sum contract. What raises we were offered would of been eaten by the cost of insurance. So, we would not have received anything in actuality . The most heinous part of the contract came in the form of TBD (to be determined), meaning we were signing a contract with many issues to be determined by the company. Things like how long you had to hang around the airport caring for passengers and not getting paid for it. Our pay is… Read more »
Sara
Guest

Absolutely. $53 an hour at top pay sounds like a lot of money for someone who is not in the aviation industry, and works more than just the guaranteed 71 hours a month. The benefits in working for an airline is in flexibility, good work rules, and seniority. All which would be harmed. The TA offered a lesser if a lifestyle. I guarantee you, no one ever tries to get an airline job for the pay. Do the research!

JK
Guest

amen :)

Joshua Eichorn
Guest

Comment caching test

Bebe
Guest

Clearly you are an idiot blogger with no idea what you are talking about.

Anonymous
Guest

I second that!!!!

Coach737
Guest

Clearly, you don’t live in reality. The process was made abundantly clear to those who wanted to listen. Now we’ll have to live with the consequences.

Bebe
Guest

Are you a no flyer? Now you have to work. How much did I lose? About $177/mo before taxes minus healthcare increase cost. So, to vote for an incomplete contract was my issue. Sorry but that was my right and I wasn’t selling out for that small wage increase.

Bebe
Guest

You really don’t have a clue Of course you didn’t read the 260 pages of this TA with its vague and incomplete language, no timeline of implementation, missing sections, etc. Forget about the lies from the junkyard dog; “Best of both contracts,” “This cannot be changed (hard 40),” “I didn’t realize this was so important to the membership. We do have a lot of work ahead of us!!”

Try to do a little more research before you write.

Coach737
Guest

I read the TA cover to cover and attended a roadshow. While there were things that I did not like, I understood that because of the unique nature of these negotiations, we will be getting these things either way. Most of this TA is not changing. A few items will be changed – for the worse. Maybe you should have done a little more research before you voted…

Bebe
Guest
I left exactly $177/mo on the table. Sorry, I do not agree to incomplete contracts. And I did my homework. Attended more than one of the dog and pony shows. Was disgusted by the way Laura spoke down to the membership. And as for town hall meetings, management obviously thinks what they are doing is the greatest thing since sliced bread. By the way, I did ask Parker several questions face to face. Didn’t like his reply either. Half the voters agree with me. Be pissed at the 4000 who could care less and didn’t cast a ballot. I exercised… Read more »
Anon
Guest

THANK YOU JIM!!!! Finally someone who gets it. You can always get more money, but once you give up a work rule, it is GONE. Perhaps we will end up with the same contract or maybe even one that I like even less. But will I vote against my own best interests for a contract I know to be inferior? I absolutely will not.

Alfonso White
Guest
You can clearly see some of the emotion that clouded this vote seeping into this comment section. Resorting to personal insults and vague accusations! The TA had mostly US Airways work rules which AFA often touts as “industry best” along with higher wages than any competitor. Maybe some US Airways FAs were upset about changing over to a more expensive healthcare plan but to say that the new costs eat up all the wages is patently false. And besides, the current US Air plan is a “cadillac” plan which means it was going away ANYWAY! The contract language was complete… Read more »
JK
Guest

^^^ union

Bebe
Guest

Alfonso, I have an aviation degree with a minor in business. I understand what I read and couldn’t read because it was incomplete. I also understand the process. I also know that my no vote cost me personally about $177/ mo before taxes and deducting any healthcare costs. It didn’t really cost me a thing.

Melissa
Guest
try looking at whole picture. We have given up 340 million in 11 years. Even when the executives gave themselves bonuses with that money. Even when they filed bk with 4 BILLION in the bank (unheard of)….now, with the company more successful than any time in history, we are printed with a zero sum contract…yeah, 82 million in theoretical increase….but they dint tell u about the 82 million is cuts that go with it…or that part of that 82m was 3k for each us air flt attendant…or the 18k a year aa was giving to the union for trip removals….so… Read more »
Obvious
Guest

Melissa – If you want more money, try seeking one of those Executive positions. Based upon your spelling, there isn’t much of a chance but good luck. In the meantime I’ll take a gin and tonic please.

Bebe
Guest

^…In your lap. Ass clown.

Anonymous
Guest

They have actually agreed to go into mediation. APFA had the Fa group to believe it would go straight to binding arbitration. Lies. Apfa is full of lies and greed.

DesertGhost
Guest

I wonder how the voting broke down among age groups within the work force. From what I assume (a dangerous endeavor to be sure), it seems that older Flight attendants were the ones who largely voted “no.”

JK
Guest

no, the most senior flight attendants, especially the international one’s, primarily voted yes. It was a nice jump in pay for them and most wouldn’t live under the full duration of the contract due to many expecting to retire in year or two. Don’t try to make this an age issue. Thanks

neil
Guest
‘Sometimes all you have in front of you are bad choices. But you still have to choose.’ That sums up my thoughts on the NO vote. Voting NO wasn’t an easy choice, but it was one based in principle. There was no real substance to this TA. And we would have been locked in for FIVE years. Between the work rule changes, added insurance cost, etc, there wasn’t much of a pay increase. Keep in mind that we haven’t had a raise since wages were slashed 11 years ago. And, yes, no profit sharing. Add that to the multiple TBDs… Read more »
Ignacio
Guest

Big mistake and wrong information the 82 million that we decide to loose is not per year it on the duration on the contract that is 5 or 6 year that at the end is less than 100.00 dollars per moth taking the taxes out.

Thomas
Guest
I recently accepted an early retirement from American Airlines. I was a flight attendant there for 24 years and before that an Eastern Airlines stew for 7 years. I can tell you from my own personal experience that your average flight attendant at AA is totally unaware of the FACTS when it comes to contractual dealings. Only a small percentage attend the Union Roadshows where the information is disseminated and the issues discussed. Most rely on “galley gossip” and unfortunately, there is a highly negative faction (anti-union) on the property that is reactionary and destructive. This group usually includes the… Read more »
JK
Guest
that is a completely false assertion. The no voters are as diverse as the yes voters. Believe me, I have seen very lazy and bitter yes voters. Just look at the aftermath of this vote. Throwing your ex-coworkers under the bus is more a reflection on you than anyone else. And it puts in into the same category of passengers who think their opinion is the only right one. I’m glad you retired. Skewing the truth to promote your agenda is more of a Tea Party approach than any no vote argument. Enjoy your retirement and the $40,000 that you… Read more »
Bebe
Guest

Not true! And it is exactly like the Democratic Party ( which I am not a member)! The party of “give me more”. But glad you’re gone. No one needs to work with a co-worker like you.

Hokie
Guest

Cranky – I believe the responses to this alone prove your website is a valuable and influential tool. Thank you for everything you do. While I understand it is an opinion based upon vast experience, your posts are always knowledgeable and precise. I enjoy reading (except Wednesday – boo) and will continue to do so.

Fly safe.

Bebe
Guest

Not precise at all and lacking in research. Credibility Zero.

Joe
Guest

What will be the duration of the new contract from the binding arbitration? Will it be less than 5 years? If it is only a year or two, that could have influenced a few no votes.

JK
Guest

we don’t know. they are usually shorter than normally ratified contracts.

JK
Guest
this was not an easy decision for anyone. The union has lacked real leadership for a long time. This ta, the bad and the good, was reflective of the increasing value our firm has placed on the flight attendants. The implementation schedule was just as bad. The ta was front loaded with pay increases but the rest was to be determined, as soon as practicable, or applied only when preferential bidding is implemented. Not to mention the value concessions in work rules, insurance and no profit sharing. This contract did not have annual gains of $193 million. When pressed for… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

There are thousands of folks in need of a job who would’ve accepted what was turned down. As a frequent AA/US flyer, I think many FA’s can be replaced with people who want the job and are happier in doing so. I’m sad for the employees that gave away what was a good contract but I’m more upset for the customers who pay your wages that will surely receive worse service.

JK
Guest
Not that you would care, but I am vert good at my job and no one would ever suspect my feelings about my contract. It is called professionalism. Don’t assume that you can predict the outcome. It’s not your fight. You do not pay my wages. You purchase a product. You do not determine anything, other than your own attitude while flying. Most of our premium passengers are not unhappy with the flight crew. They are angry at the reduction of actual service items that are more than a little embarrassing to serve. They are upset that my firm reduced… Read more »
JK
Guest

fas =faa

Bebe
Guest
I am a professional. My service is always professional. I promise you you get what you give with anyone in the service industry. And that old rebuttal, “many people would want your job”…. Fabulous. I have done more in my life than this one career. I deserve a decent raise and decent work rules. I don’t need to take any offer put in front of me because you, the passenger deem I should. I don’t sit around chatting about what you should do at your job. Why don’t you just mind your own business and stick to what you know.… Read more »
vasukiv
Guest

JK,
So now you have to live with a contract (through binding arbitration) that will pay you even less money, with the same conditions you didn’t like in the first place. Sounds like you let emotion overrule logic here.

JK
Guest
Vasukiv, If that is all you got out of my post, I can’t help you understand. It’s easy to say emotion overruled logic. Each vote was emotional. Yes and no. Don’t presume to know one thing about me. Unless, you are a psychic, you do not know how this will end. You can assume, you can guess and you may think you know. But, my vote stood on principle that we will not say yes, another time, to a ta that has more concessions than perks. None of us are asking to be rich. Since I suspect you are a… Read more »
Diego
Guest

There is an interesting letter to the Dallas Morning news aviation blog explaining the reason for a “no” vote. According to the letter, other airlines are paying the same as American, plus profit sharing.

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/11/we-talk-more-about-the-rejection-of-the-flight-attendant-contract-at-american-airlines-and-us-airways.html/

Disappointed
Guest
What Thomas said is correct. There were roadshows at each base, but relatively few people showed up. There were town halls with AA executives at many bases during the voting period, and they’re available online if one couldn’t attend in person to ask questions, etc. At every single one, Doug Parker made it clear that if the TA is rejected, the resulting arbitration is NOT going to result in more concessions from the company. Yet, there were still many FAs who were victims of the “galley gossip”, and believed many rumors that were being spread by other FAs. Again, the… Read more »
JK
Guest
you didn’t see the same arguments that I did if that is all you can say about no voters. All of the no voters I know are highly educated. They dissected the TA. There was a ton of conversation. Because the majority voted no, you find it ok to label them so derogatorily? You whole post is bitter and insulting to your fellow flight attendants. Why? because we don’t agree. I’ve seen such childish behavior from the yes voters, some have actually made me concerned for their mental state. And we are the ones that are accused of voting emotionally.… Read more »
JK
Guest

(sorry, glitch posted this before i meant it to.)
continuing, you can stay bitter and wallow. it’s your choice.

Disappointed
Guest
Lol. Re-read your post. I’m not the one who sounds bitter. Trust me, that wasn’t anywhere near ‘all I can say about the No voters.’ I was trying not to have my post turn into 5 pages. But my post was based on conversations that I had with many FAs who as Thomas mentioned in his post, seem to have been “pissed off for a decade”, and viewed this as their chance to get back at the company. Tell me that spite for spite’s sake is a good way to vote on anything… You asked, “Because the majority voted no,… Read more »
Bebe
Guest

Is it really any of your concern if we voted it in or not? How does this pertain to you in any way? I love passengers who live to tell us what to do, how to do our job, and think they know everything about it.

Bebe
Guest

Sorry that reply was for Anonymous!

chris
Guest
Bebe, sorry my friend but you’re crazy. As an Exec Platinum, let me clarify something for you: 1) we “your premium passengers” you mentioned above, as a rule don’t sympathize with you. We tend to be business people who understand rational contract behavior, which your band of merry bandits did not exhibit. 2) we may nod sympathetically on board when you and your band bring this up- trust me, i’ve had some quasi unhinged angry flight attendants take digs at the company when i step up from my first class seat and am waiting for the lav, but with your… Read more »
John g
Guest
Seeing a whole lot of “we gave up XXX in 2003”. Well, a check of the calendar reveals that it is in fact 2014. This is now. That contract is not coming back, and voting no thinking it will just cost you money. Don’t you folks understand that? Here is a hard reality for you. Your job does not require any special skills. Sorry, it just doesn’t. There are lots and lots and lots of people who would do your job for what American is offering, and they would like it. See how easily they replaced all the folks that… Read more »
James S
Guest
Well said, John. The number of comments about 2003 are really eye-opening. The economics of the industry have completely changed since then. To vote down an industry-leading contract because you’re obsessed with going back to the way things were 11 years ago is myopia of the first degree. I’m not an AA flight attendant, but I’m one of their planes as a passenger, usually in the front cabin, each and every week. The majority of crews are hard-working, friendly, and generally professional. There’s a minority who hate their jobs and act like they’re doing passengers a favor by being on… Read more »
John g
Guest

What the job takes is some training on how to handle passengers, first aid, and safety procedures. Its not that hard.

It’s not just serving drinks but it doesn’t take any special skills or experience. Just becauss you’ve done it a long time doesn’t make it specially skilled.

AA
Guest

Profit Sharing is a big deal to everyone in any company and specially in Airline Industry its a standard and it keeps employees motivated….

I think if Profit sharing is added to the contract everyone will be happy and it will be a go.

If Profit sharing is not a norm than all the higher management should not get it either.

Bingo
Guest

Oh brother.

Just face it. A group of employees just voted for a contract that will be less valuable than what was offered. Imagine this: I’m selling a car. A purchaser comes to my house and says that he’ll pay me $5000 or $10000 for the car- my choice. I choose $5000. Sound silly? Well…that’s what you just did.

Sarah Smiles
Guest

It is such a shame that there are idiots, such as yourself, that are allowed to print such crap. You clearly have not done your research, and your “blog” is full of misinformation. I’m truly sorry that you felt you needed to post something about a subject that you clearly have no understanding of. Good luck with your next piece. I hope you are able to do better than this one…

Rusty Shackelford
Guest
While I won’t get involved in whether or not the FA’s make the wrong decision, I do believe that they deserve better. I’m actually kinda happy they turned it down. As a Legacy US (LUS) non-contract employee, every decision the company made for the combined benefits has always been to benefit the company and not the employee (tripling health care, less sick time, no time for express to mainline transfers, no profit sharing except for Mangers and above). Doug seems to have forgotten who helped him get to the position he’s in now. We worked hard with low wages because… Read more »
Diego
Guest
hartdot
Guest

good ole unions will eventually destroy the company and the brain dead vote for them////sad that all think they need a union to waste their $$$ on dues that goes to politicans

C Fly Girl
Guest
I saw a few people say to stay away from AA because of grumpy Flight Attendants, but that is NOT the case. As an AA/USAirways Flight attendant I can say with complete certainty, we are happy with our jobs, most of us love what we do. We are trying to get the details right on working together. The details of our work rules were not clear in this contract, that was one of the reasons it was voted down. As a “yes” voter I am disappointed it did not pass, but am still happy I have a job that I… Read more »
Random Flyer
Guest

To be completely self-centered, what’s the risk of a strike disrupting my travel plans?

chris
Guest
the level of toxicity and irrational behavior displayed by F/A’s in this thread saddens me. I’m a heavy traveler, Exec Platinum on AA and Platinum on DL, and it’s simply shocking how much nicer the DL flight attendants are- yes they’re just as “senior” but when i’m in Biz Elite internationally vs. AA’s Biz Class, the DL flight attendants are welcoming, engaging, and all-around charming. I just returned from LON on a new AA 777-300 in Business Class (full fare) Sunday, and the hard product is just outstanding, probably the nicest bed i’ve been on. The cabin was fabulous. The… Read more »
John G
Guest
Interesting, I was on the same flight from London to DFW on Monday, on a 77W. I was in coach on the way back this time, and I had the same experience with AA FAs as you did. With one exception they were cold and disinterested. There are some really good American FAs. I fly enough to understand that FAs get beat on from all sides, by unpleasant or drunken passengers and by management that doesn’t value them enough, and they have to be away from home a lot. So it can be hard, and after a 10 hour day… Read more »
Bobby McGee
Guest

The difference in attitudes between Delta employees and other employees is like night and day. Delta takes care of their employees (mainly to keep them from unionizing) but regardless of the reasons passengers see this. It becomes the company image. If they’re going to turn AA into the “greatest airline” again, start with the employees.

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