American CEO Doug Parker Goes Across the Aisle to Discuss The Most Important Part of His Job

When I went up to the Bay Area a couple weeks ago to speak at Stanford, I had an ulterior motive. Doug Parker, CEO of American, was speaking earlier in the day and I was hopeful I could get some time with him. The last time I did an Across the Aisle interview with him was in April 2013 when he was CEO of US Airways (part 1), (part 2). I think it’s safe to say a lot has changed since then.

Our interview was broken up into a couple of different pieces because of the demands of the day, but I was able to get enough time with him to fully discuss what he considers the most important part of his job. Here’s our full discussion, edited just to make the pieces fit together.

Planeline

Cranky: The last time I spoke to you for the blog was nearly 3 years ago at the last US Airways leadership conference. I remember you said you spent most of your time on employee communications. Is that still the case?

Doug Parker: Absolutely. Maybe even more.

Cranky: Even more?

Doug: Well it depends how you define employee communications. If I’m not out talking to employees, everything we’re doing is designed to figure out how we Across the Aisle From American Airlinescan communicate with the team and pull people together. It’s more important now. We have two different airlines we’re trying to pull together. There’s so much change going on which is hard, so you can’t communicate enough. We have people on the corp comm team that do the real work, but the things I’m thinking about are almost entirely employee communication activities.

Cranky: So it’s not true what the anonymous internet commenters say that you’re specifically sitting at your desk trying to screw them?

Doug: *laughs*

Cranky: …because I find that anonymous internet commenters are generally totally right.

Planeline

Cranky: But seriously, what do you find is different about employee communications at American. Obviously the scale is bigger, but what are the challenges?

Doug: It’s not so much American vs US airways, but really it’s just the merger itself. The integration is hard work and it’s not particularly fun work. It’s a grind. Projects that in a normal environment would be the biggest projects of someone’s life… we have 50 of ’em going on. And the result when they’re done is simply ok, now what used to be two is now one and it still works.

The hardest part is not so much American vs US Airways. There’s just so much change for everyone, you need to make sure you’re out there explaining it. There’s a transformation that’s happened in our industry that I know that everyone hasn’t embraced or figured out is that this industry is now capable of standing on its own two feet. We have a business model that can work.

But back to transformation, we can’t forget the past. And it’s really hard to get people to let go, realize the world’s changed, and move forward. A big part of the challenge is just trying to convince people that everything they’ve learned up until now isn’t going to [be the case] in the future.

Specifically to American, the biggest challenge so far vs what I’ve been used to is the labor-management history. That is just hard for people to recognize is behind us. We’ve brought in a lot of new management, and the people who couldn’t quite get there went and did something else, but it’s really hard with the employees. It’s really hard to trust management that the world has changed and that we shouldn’t view each other as enemies instead of as on the same time. It’s going really well, I’m not discouraged by it, but it’s just fascinating on how that history is so hard to get past. But we will.

Planeline

Cranky: What’s more interesting to me is it’s not even just management vs labor in the historical context of it. It’s also labor vs itself. You can look at what’s been going on with the flight attendants where their previous leader they think has gotten too close to management and they don’t even trust their own. [Ed note: Here’s the union’s missive against its former president, Laura Glading.] So how do you rebuild that? Is it just time?

Doug: Yeah, it’s time, but you can’t simply let time happen. You have to be out talking all the time. This Laura [Glading] issue is fascinating. It’s a real symbol of what I was trying to describe. Laura left the union and is now helping the company as an independent consultant on an issue that’s important to the company and to all our flight attendants, which is this Middle East issue. But some of the flight attendants got upset both at management for retaining her and at her for working with us as if somehow we’re enemies.

That wouldn’t have happened at US Airways. At US Airways we hired Bill McGlashen who was an [Association of Flight Attendants] national leader and former America West union leader. And no-one said a word. But it happens at American because there’s still this view that union and management are enemies, and it doesn’t seem right in that culture for someone from the union, once they’re out of the union, that management might want to have them help them to learn from them. So anyway, we’ll get past all that. That was eye-opening to me. I thought we were further along than that. I mean, you follow the industry closely enough, guys like Lee Moak, [former] head of [the Air Line Pilots Association].

Cranky: Yeah, I was talking about him yesterday.

Doug: Yeah, he worked really closely with Delta while he was there, got really good things done for Delta pilots while he was there as a result, and is now working as a consultant on the same [Middle East] project.

What I’ve been telling the team from the time I showed up is I’ve never seen… I haven’t been in a company for a long time where the union is mentioned so much among the management team instead of employees. This isn’t trying to be pejorative, there’s a big history that created all this and it’s well-documented. But it had gotten to the point where it was management and union, not team, not management and flight attendants and pilots and mechanics.

Nonetheless, we’ve gotta get past that. The management has to get past that too. What I tell our team is that unions are a positive thing. They represent our employees on things like contracts so our employees don’t need to worry about it. They represent our employees on things like grievances vs the contract so individuals don’t need to worry about it. But from managements’s perspective, there should be 5 people on the management team that are dealing with union employees. When you have contract negotiations, grievances… but very few of us should talking about the union unless we’re in a negotiation. So at any rate, we’re getting there.

Planeline

Cranky: This is an employee communication question but also an industry at large question. You hear a lot of times [front line employees] saying “well, we’re still not where we were in 2000.” It was a different industry back then, things were different. But you do see some of the same things today. You see tremendous profits, you see labor asking for more and more as you’d expect, and then you see frills creeping back in in a variety of different ways. How do you avoid getting to the point where the economy falls off the edge and you go back to your loss making ways? And how do you explain that to your employees? Is it really different now?

Doug: It’s really different. And what you’re getting at is the same struggle we’re getting at with our team trying to show them it’s different. First, you can just look at the numbers. Again this is the history problem. It gets characterized the way you just did. There were years in the past where you made money and then you do things like give it to labor, add airplanes, and all of a sudden you lose money.

Cranky: And that’s why I say this is a communication question. So how do you explain it?

Doug: It’s a really challenging communication problem. Because the reality is now you’re making money again and now you’re seeing employees get increases, and now you’re seeing older airplanes being replaced with newer airplanes, but just look at the numbers for goodness sakes. In the past, the most American Airlines ever made in one year was a billion dollars, might have been two. In 2014 we made $4 billion. In 2015 we’re going to make… something a lot more than that. [Ed note: Since our interview, American announced earnings of $6.3 billion for 2015 excluding special items.]

That’s the big difference. The world where we’re producing proper returns. You start to make decisions for the longer term. We’ll be competing much more on product going forward than the old days when we were all just trying to survive. All of this is largely related to consolidation because at least 3 of us have networks that can take people all over the world. What’s going to determine which airline you fly is who can deliver a product that the customers value.

Because of that too, the way you think about labor relations is just so different from how it was in the world. And it’s hard to get people to forget the old world. That’s part of the transformation. What’s really interesting about it is because some of the things we need to do in the new world are exactly the things that at US Airways we said “we don’t need to do that.”

Cranky: Like product investment?

Doug: Yeah. We didn’t need to have the same product as those guys, because [customers are] not going to avoid US Airways because we don’t have the same wine. But now you know, we’re all competing on that level and it’s important. The same token, we lived at US Airways telling our people “I hate it but we can’t pay you what American, United, and Delta pay because we don’t have the same revenue generating capability.” We can’t say that anymore. It’s a bigger change than I would have thought. It just keeps coming up. We talked about the Laura [Glading] thing, and it’s like, “wow, we’re so far past that,” but we keep getting pulled back.

Planeline

Cranky: And you talk about the history, but labor, they see the profits come in and they want a larger piece, which is naturally how it works and how bargaining has worked. Then they end up having to give it up when times get tough again. So how do you get to a point where you say “look, we can’t give you all of this, but we can give you some of this and it’s sustainable.” Is it the same thing, you have to just keep saying it over and over?

Doug: Yeah, this was another one of these aha moments for me. We gave our agents, it was something like a 30 percent pay increase for the new contract. And one of the team came back and reported that they were talking about this and telling people it’s great, and it’s great to be able to work for a company that can do this now. But one of the employees said “I’m just waiting until you take it away.” And you’re like, “what?!”

Cranky: Because that’s how it’s happened before.

Doug: I know. Nothing about what we see going forward is ever about taking that away. That’s the old world. And you feel sorry for that person because you want them to be excited and they say “oh, you’ll just take it away.” But we’ll get past that. But the history is so deep and it’s been so long. That’s another one of these examples….

I’m not trying to make it sound like I’ve figured it out and others can’t see it. It’s just a perspective you can’t see unless you’re looking at financials over time. But I’m telling you it’s nothing like we’ve seen before.

Cranky: But if you’re on the front line, even if you see it, you don’t have that trust.

Doug: Exactly, and that’s the right point.

Cranky: Even if they could see… well, they can… you do show them the spreadsheets. That’s what you did with the merger, right? But they’re still like, “wellllll….”

Doug: Right. I know, so we’ve gotta earn the trust. You do that by doing trustworthy things and you do it by doing the right thing and we’ll keep doing that.

Cranky: Thanks Doug. Have a good flight.

Planeline

And with that, Doug was off to the airport for his flight back to Dallas/Ft Worth.

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Greg
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Greg

Great interview and candid responses.

His comments about the mentality at legacy AA sound similar to the deep seated legacy UA memories that have undermined things at United. Both legacy mgmt and labor with a lot of focus on reparations rather than progress.

Actually surprised Parker is so surprised by it.

1js7371
Member
1js7371

Well, if I’m an AA employee, I’m saying to myself: “United, Delta and Southwest all have profit sharing, but we don’t. So that $6 BILLION profit is essentially meaningless to me. I have no skin in that game.” Altering that mentality may prove to be Mr. Parker’s highest internal hurdle.

noahkimmel
Member
noahkimmel

but that same employee says in a down time, “AA Management ran the company into the ground while I was on time, safe, and accomplished my job. Why do I bear the burden of cost?”

It is always a tricky balance of aligning incentives. And that AA employee is now looking to get a higher “guarunteed” portion of pay than UA, DL, and WN. Can’t have it both ways.

Jim
Member
Jim

Big miss, Cranky. Tim Campbell. Who is he? Where did he come from? Who he replaced. Who answers to him. How well is he doing? How well is he known or respected by those who answer to him? Are you aware In Flight Service for over 25 years was not even in Operations? They stepped on the airplane with no link to the pilots up front, (team leaders-should you want to call them that. Not what the FAA calls them), in fact being told, “Don’t do Cockpit”. You don’t work for them. Today the working relationship is still a mess,… Read more »

Richard
Member
Richard

What are you talking about?

Jim
Member
Jim

If you are with the publication, let me know. jim

CC
Guest
CC

He can’t figure out why AA employees are so distrustful? He is no different (and perhaps even worse) than the former CEO’s.

Nick Barnard
Member

Oh, I think he’s saying the exact opposite. He gets the history that L-AA employees (and to an extent L-US, and a lesser extent L-HP) have gone through, and his team is working on how to address that distrust.

He’s perhaps a bit blinded by the embrace the US team got from the unions before the merger went through.

southbay flier
Guest
southbay flier

Didn’t Parker start off at AA back in the 80’s?

Nick Barnard
Member

Yup, though he wasn’t anywhere near executive level at that time.

JackG
Guest
JackG

This management team has lost the trust in all of it’s employees. They had a genuine opportunity to make this a great airline but failed by going cheap and being distrustful. They are parking airplanes, removing first class seats and outsourcing at a time when our competitors are adding aircraft and premium cabins. Various labor groups are upset while Parker tries to nickel and dime this airline. Even our competitors know AA will never be like Delta because they will never invest in their people! As an employee with AA I tell perspective applicants to go with Delta first if… Read more »

Timothy
Guest
Timothy

Vomitius! He is where he js because of llabor. To exclude all employees from a share of profits during a time of historic profit is uncomsionable.

Timothy
Guest
Timothy

Unconsionable.

AF
Guest
AF

unconscionable!

Kaye
Member
Kaye

This is one delusional CEO. Communications and trust, he knows nothing about either. If you want the real scoop of what’s happening inside of AA, talk to the customers, employees and retirees. Doug Parker is the most out-of-touch CEO of any corporation because he does not value the customers, employees, or the retirees that came before him that made AA the best airline. Wake-up Mr. Parker; these are the people making you billions in profits and in stocks so you can line your pockets.

Teri
Member
Teri

Amen!

Teri
Member
Teri

As an 30 year employee, I have never felt so embarrassed and discouraged! He is completely out of touch with his employees. He has taken a golden opportunity and squandered it. Ms. Gladding did not “leave” the union, she was forced out by her membership! He continues to benefit daily from the work of many non-management work groups do that he claims “does not effect the bottom line”! In a word, delusional!!

drek
Guest
drek

Oppurtunities to build trust does not happen every day when your in a relationship…time in history when record profits are being made,,and now you say no profit sharing for employees,,,hahaha,,,this is foolishness at its highest….when all other major commercial airlines are sharing profits with its employees…..sometimes you make moves in business to save face for your future….you do things to make sure your relationship stays on solid ground with those who are making you the money,,,,,ok,,,,all these major airlines employees are receiving $5…$7..*$8..raises…….and guess what…there also receiving some percentage of there profits…it may be a small percentage ….but there are… Read more »

Nick Barnard
Member

A question to toss out to all the AA Employees, especially those who are unionized, what do you see as having changed since before the time since before the merger?

Kaye
Member
Kaye

No meaningful communican between Management and all the front-employees. A culture of dividing work groups because of a lack of consistency in disseminating and applying the “same” operational information and procedures to the work groups. Doing things on the cheap in every department and for the customers. Nickel and diming every customer without providing good customer service. Ignoring the fact that airport agents have to use such outdated equipment (computers and printers) to try and get a hectic job done. In the very near future, AA will be requiring all airport agents to use the QIK overlay on Sabre instead… Read more »

Sky
Guest
Sky

30 year LUS employee here. Negotiations didn’t happen with the flight attendant union. It was all pre ordained by Parker Gladding and weir. They took profit sharing and healthcare off the table. Gave us a raise but then decimated our healthcare making it a wash. With the loss of profit sharing we are well below Delta. Parker states he has a signed contract, but in truth it was only signed by him and Gladding. We voted it down. He also has told us that we will not get anything until our next negotiation because he can’t opening contract. I’m here… Read more »

Nick Barnard
Member

This sounds a whole lot like buyers remorse.

if you’re an employee do your best to advocate for control of your union, or do what everyone else does in situations like this: quit.

Kaye
Member
Kaye

Nick — Employees with 25, 30, 35, 40 yrs. are not going to quit AA. Actually, employees of Legacy AA have never been quitters. Change is a better option than giving up, or trying to take control of the unions, because they are way too close to AA.

Nick Barnard
Member

Unions are employee’s representatives and bargaining agents to management. And AFAIK the leadership of unions are elected by the rank and file, from the rank and file. If you think your union isn’t working for you, get into leadership of it. Thats how these things are supposed to work.

Affecting change means being directly involved with it and advocating for it. Not whining from the sidelines.

Kaye
Member
Kaye

Nick —- if you read any airline industry news whatsoever, the unions did not do a good job in negotiating their members’ contracts. Sure, raises were given (wages employees gave-up to save their airline). What I’m a referring to are the new work rules and the eroding of employees’ benefits which is continuing to happen in every contract negotiation. Changing union officials and/or taking over union leadership is not as simple as you infer. Have you read the letter by Captain Keith Wilson, President of APA which he sent to AA? It’s a real eye-openin view inside AA. Based on… Read more »

Ryan K
Member
Ryan K

I am sorry but aren’t nearly everyone’s benefits, especially healthcare, eroding regardless of industry? The system is not sustainable and many companies are shifting more of the burden to the employee.

Nick Barnard
Member

Do you have a link to letter from Keith Wilson? I’m not getting a clear winner when I google it.

sha
Guest
sha

WE VOTED NO!!!! That’s not buyer’s remorse…IMHO

donna
Guest
donna

he is AA disgusting CEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

southbay flier
Guest
southbay flier

After reading about labor, it must be nice to be Delta management that doesn’t have to deal with unions.

Carol
Member
Carol

DP is the most incompetent CEO I have ever witnessed since my employment date. 1978. Did he never hear that history repeats itself? Is he delusional about being a “new world”? I’m truly embarrassed that he is CEO of AA. He is classless to say the least and not an effective leader.

Charlie November
Guest
Charlie November

Delusional. His employees do not like the way he’s operating. Record profits and refuses to give profit sharing. Stated the front line employees have no effect on the bottom dollar. Well, he lost a majority of the employees respect just for that one comment. Time to find another CEO that values his people.

Ryan
Member
Ryan

Employees want profit sharing but only when there are profits. If there is a loss, then they should have to share in the loss. The argument is that “we should be rewarded when the company does good, but we shouldn’t be punished when the company does poorly”. It’s silly. I invite anybody who is pro-profit sharing to try and convince me otherwise.

Nick Barnard
Member

If employees really want profit sharing, they should buy some stock.

IMHO, I’ve gone in on this koolaid for the companies I’ve worked for, and I think its a bad idea. If the company tanks, and your pay goes down (or away) your stock is also not worth as much.

I’d have a bit more sympathy if employees were asking for more of a windfall profit sharing, not a first dollar profit sharing or something similar.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

You honestly think that AA jobs and employees will be spared from pay cuts and job losses when the profits dry up? There is zero gain to AA employees with no profit sharing.

And how is 6 billion not windfall? AA employees would be happy with any reasonable and comparable profit sharing at this point.

Sean S.
Guest
Sean S.

I’ll do that about the same time management does that. Considering that many in executive positions are guaranteed certain bonuses based on metrics AND also have a backstop in the form of guaranteed payout upon termination, I don’t see any reason why labor shouldn’t have atleast the former especially they aren’t receiving the latter.

Personally, I am not a fan of profit sharing, as it is too easy to bargain away and mess with the metrics that dictate disbursement. Consistent COLA or wage/step increases is a toughter, but I feel ultimately more useful means of creating economic stability amongst the workforce.

Kim
Guest
Kim

“We want profit sharing but don’t want to share in the loss..” We already shared in the loss. Massively. Employees lost 20-30% of their pay, benefits and vacation in 2003 because of the losses suffered by American. It was part of the “pull together, win together” plan to keep the company out of bankruptcy. Then we ended up in bankruptcy anyway and took further cuts. Employees at American HAVE taken the loss. And now that American is finally making a profit, the very people that enabled Parker and his team to take over (because DP would NEVER have been able… Read more »

Mona
Guest
Mona

The issue but no one seems to understand here is that when profit-sharing goes down because profits go down guess what? All those other airlines’ employees will THEN be making the same $$ that AA employees are now making. If DP had actually replaced profit sharing with higher wages that will be one thing, but he didn’t. His “communication” consists of telling people, including this article, the same lines over and over and refusing to listen or admit the truth. For example, the profit sharing is something companies meet up in bankruptcy. That’s not true. Profit sharing existed way before… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

From this customer’s perspective, Parker seems like a highly competent CEO. He’s overseen a huge merger that went off essentially without a hitch – far better than the DL/NW and UA/CO mergers. Kudos to him for that – many managers wouldn’t have handled it as well.

That’s about all I can say about him, because I don’t know Mr. Parker personally (and I’m assuming most, if not all of you above who are spewing personal vitriol at him, haven’t either).

Kaye
Member
Kaye

Andrew — you are not reading all of the Executive Platinum, or Platinums’ review of AA lately. While they may not know Mr. Parker personally; they sure are experiencing the airline for which he makes all the decisions (through his management teams). This should be a wake-up for him. AA was last in over-all service this last quarter, behind Spirit. Do you follow airline industry news and ratings. You are one customer, I engage in many, many conversations with customers, employees, and retirees, and none think the merger has gone well, other than, the integration of systems. However, if you… Read more »

Nunya Bidness
Guest
Nunya Bidness

Sabre managed the PSS migration? In what world is that? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Thanks for crapping all over your IT department. We’re the ones doing system integration. We’re the ones who made changes to the hundreds of PSS interfacing applications and tested them and rolled them out. We’re the ones who kept it from being a disaster. We’re the ones who executed the plan and stood by 24 hours a day to address any issues during the cutover. Sabre had very little to do with it. The rest of you shouldn’t pay so… Read more »

Kaye
Member
Kaye

Nunya — I mis-spoke, Sabre was the system chosen, rather than, the company to manage the integration. However, you may want to re-examine the Qik overlay to Sabre because that’s not working so well. Have you heard any feedback about the issues? I will never understand when employees provide feedback, some of you consider it bitching; that’s exactly the attitude I am referring to and no one said their life sucks. They would just like the environment of their work-life to improve with better two-way communication instead of hearing the words “just get over it”.

Nunya Bidness
Guest
Nunya Bidness

QIK isn’t designed to make life harder for you, and sometimes the limitations that people complain about are built into Sabre’s interface and not something that can be controlled. Sometimes they are things that can and should be fixed. Maybe Sabre just wants to push everyone towards native so they make more money because there’s more transactions. Maybe they just don’t care about making one airline’s interface work better unless we write them a big(ger) check. The primary reason for QIK is to make sure agents who are working under time crunches don’t make mistakes like not carrying checked bags… Read more »

Kaye
Member
Kaye

Thanks for your explanation. If QIK is supposed to save on costs that is great. However, I don’t know if you have ever worked at an AA hub; if not, you should spend at least one day at a hub (like DFW) and see what really happens at the gate and during an OSO, perhaps, then the QIK system could be improved not only to save costs but help provide overall better customer service and resolution of issues at the gate, than is currently happening with QIK. Agents using QIK have had to ask agents using native Sabre to fix… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Kaye – I am one of those Executive Platinums, and I’m quite happy. And I didn’t mean that customers don’t know Doug Parker – that comment was directed at all the employees who go on about how horrible, awful, etc. that he is, as though they have breakfast with him each morning and actually know him. I think most employees who are saying these things probably don’t have a clue what kind of guy he is, because they’ve never interacted with the man. Overall point being, I find it highly amusing that so many people heap such emotion on this… Read more »

Kaye
Member
Kaye

Andrew – it’s good to get another customer’s prospective. When morale is at its lowest point within a company; who should you look to as contributing to and creadting that enviroment? Generally, it comes straight from the top. I don’t personally know Mr. Parker but I have met him and been in meetings with him. Based on my observations he cannot engage his audience because of his nonchalant attitude and his lack of knowledge of the subject matter. You don’t have to like a person to respect them as a leader. Generally, its their leadership qualities that garner employees’ respect… Read more »

Seth
Guest
Seth

I wonder why the employees feel this way?

drek
Guest
drek

AHHHHHHHH….OOOOHHHHHHHH…….DOUG….SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE A PROBLEM…………………………………….BUT THE QUESTION IS,,,,,,,,,,,ARE U LISTENING???????

Fly happy
Guest
Fly happy

We have heard it all before. Management seems to reward themselves financially .
With pay raises and bonuses . It may be their ideas that improve a company but it is the rank and file that implement those ideas and make them work. Yes a bonus program is the best way to raise and maintain moral ! It is a proven business practice.
In many arenas around the world. mr PARKER that is the only way you will change
Americans culture. If they feel left out they will behave accordingly…that’s capitalism !

Seth
Guest
Seth

It probably doesn’t help moral when AA crews are staying at the same hotels as Delta’s crews. During the morning all crews drink a cup and coffee and talk “shop.” I had a Delta pilot tell me he’s expecting 60k from profit sharing on Valentines Day. A flight attendant chimed in that she was expecting 18k. Not exactly a great way to start your day. Especially when management wants you to believe that you’re working for the “biggest” and “best” airline in the world. Obviously Richard Anderson uses a different approach with his employees. Wonder which approach AA employees would… Read more »

Anon
Guest
Anon

Seth – I do not know you personally. I fly on AA a decent amount (~75K miles last year, 80% for work). I find that my flights on DL and WN have substantially friendlier FAs for the most part. The flip side of it is that in the last 2 months, I’ve written 3x about amazing flight attendants and have not received any response from Customer Relations. There are obviously lots of intertwined issues but I wonder if one of them is that the Best FAs do not get recognized and all the bad apples get treated the same creating… Read more »

David M
Guest

Yeah, those profit sharing check numbers sure sound nice. But the question you should be asking is, how much are they being paid before those profit sharing checks compared to you (after adjusting for obvious variables like years of service)? In theory, AA employees should be making more than their DL counterparts, before profit sharing, and potentially rather close to the same amount over the full year when DL’s profit sharing checks are added in. Plus don’t forget, if the airlines have a bad year, DL’s employees won’t be getting those profit sharing checks, while AA employees will be getting… Read more »

Kaye
Member
Kaye

Where are you getting your information about Delta’s wages? You need to do some research on what DL is paying their employees. If it’s not the same as AA, it is very damn close. With what DL employees are being paid, and with what they are receiving in profit sharing, AA can’t come close to the annual income of their employees. Do some research.

David M
Guest

Nowhere. I’m going off of the idea that AA is paying a higher base wage than DL/UA to make up for a lack of profit sharing, but I could be mistaken as I have neither the time nor the inclination to attempt to read the contracts and figure it out. And don’t forget that when you’re having breakfast at the hotel with the DL crews, to adjust for length of service. You can’t directly compare pay unless you have a similar date of hire. If they’ve been working for DL a lot longer than you’ve been working for AA, then… Read more »

CrankyDoug
Guest
CrankyDoug

David M. Delta has better insurance, extremely close to AA wages, delta stays at nice hotels (AA gets ramada’s fyi…). Delta has more productive trips, pay protections, days off, happy employees. The list goes on and on. So your comment of AA should be making more before profit sharing is bogus, they should be but they aren’t.

Sky
Guest
Sky

Delta flight attendants got a 14.5% raise a while back so they make approx 10% more than us in base pay. Then add the profit sharing. See why we are mad? Doug has said in hi crew news that he knows this doesn’t resonate well with the employee groups. Why would it. You are screwing us again

Nick Barnard
Member

And the other side of collective bargaining vs individual employment is when an airline hits financial trouble within collective bargaining there are specific steps the airline is allowed to take, and its spelled out how they are to take them.

However Delta could cut its flight attendant pay with next to no notice. American can’t do that with their flight attendants.

Joey Jaidee
Guest
Joey Jaidee

Delta get less in profit sharing, really? Is that something that kicks in NEXT year because my source at Delta was crowing about his 21% profit sharing check they are getting soon or just got.

realist
Guest
realist

Any of you trying to convince Cranky that Parker is anything other than the best airline manager who ever lived should just save your breath. Cranky was shilling for his hero, Parker, before the merger and nothing you say will change his mind. He went so far as to say that the merger would “solve all the labor problems”. That was a huge miscalculation judging from the comments in this thread and conversations I’ve had with flight crews. Also, $30 / bbl oil is making a lot of airline executives look brilliant right now and $3 / gal jet fuel… Read more »

Kaye
Member
Kaye

I can see how impressed Cranky is with Mr. Parker.  The thing is thousands of employees, retirees and customers are not impressed.

Douglas Scott
Guest
Douglas Scott

Two words; horse shi*.
What trustworthy things? What doing the right thing? Screwing up pbs? Switching back to the hard 40? Not shAAring? All he is doing is proving he is a liar.

AAintsuperior
Guest
AAintsuperior

Cf, you believe everything doug says? I have a limited time offer on a credit card just for you! Hurry this offer is ending soon! Trash airline offering a subpar product. NEVER will catch Delta.

RichardAnderson
Guest
RichardAnderson

Doug Parker is an asshole.

Nick Barnard
Member

Says the Delta bully.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

If you compare American’s reviews to, say, Qantas’, then it’s clear they’ve got a bit of a problem…

For example, http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-reviews/american-airlines/ .

Kaye
Member
Kaye

CF – You are certainly misunderstanding my comments. I have not made one accusation. Mr. Parker has all the details of the secret meetings with the unions, unbeknown to Tom Horton because he knew that was the only way he could accomplish the merger. I can specifically state that in retirement contracts signed by the retiree and American Airlines that retirees were guaranteed D2 travel; yes I have reviewed them. I am certain Mr. Parker has as well, so your assumptions are not correct that this would not be something explicitly stated in an agreement. Assets and cash “DO” mean… Read more »

mirabella
Guest
mirabella

American was an attractive target, once inside the Chapter 11 process, because the restructuring lowered its operating costs significantly; moreover, its cash position meant that secured creditors’ claims were unimpaired and the payment waterfall to equity interests was highly favorable.

ORD
Guest
ORD

Nick are you management? If so tell DP to fix this shithole

Nick Barnard
Member

Nope. Don’t work for AA or any airline.