seatback
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Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:49 pm

I thought this was an excellent letter Robert Crandall sent to a pilot who had asked him a question about the current situation at AA.

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/
 
timboflier215
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:13 pm

Crandall's letter is flipping brilliant - it needs to be mailed to every single pilot at AA immediately.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:16 pm

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 1):
Crandall's letter is flipping brilliant - it needs to be mailed to every single pilot at AA immediately.

   Along with a CD single of "Man in the mirror".
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
seatback
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:29 pm

Scroll down http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/ and you'll also see an entry American = Eastern Air Lines commentary by Ray Neidl. Quite interesting.


Senior aerospace analyst Ray Neidl, who’s been around long enough to remember these things, wondered out loud Tuesday whether the American Airlines standoff with pilots is following the path of the Eastern Air Lines’ flight with its unions.

Or, in Neidl’s words in a report out Tuesday from his firm, Maxim Group:

“The dispute with the pilots recalls how the pilots at Eastern Airlines killed the already weakened airline two decades ago in a labor dispute. The unions led by the pilots have strongly indicated that they do not wish to work with the AMR management, which is of concern to begin with. As a result the dispute here seems to now be going beyond economic considerations to the emotional level, which is always dangerous since rationality for all parties can become secondary as was in the case of Eastern.
 
seatback
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:33 pm

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 1):
Crandall's letter is flipping brilliant - it needs to be mailed to every single pilot at AA immediately.

Completely agree!
 
FlyHossD
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:41 pm

Quoting seatback (Thread starter):
I thought this was an excellent letter Robert Crandall sent to a pilot who had asked him a question about the current situation at AA.

Would you expect anything different from the former CEO?

What would expect the Chairman of the A.P.A. to say, given the same opportunity or platform?
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:45 pm

I would love to know what his thoughts are in the idea of merging with US. Does he support it or no?
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
timboflier215
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:46 pm

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 5):
What would expect the Chairman of the A.P.A. to say, given the same opportunity or platform?

No idea - why don't you write and ask them?
 
Bobloblaw
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:47 pm

AA is not EA. EA never made money in deregulation and had frank borman who knew nothing about business.
 
eastern747
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:49 pm

Every employee at American should seek out a former EASTERN,PA,BN employee and see how their careers were cut off because of the "us verses them" atitudes. I FULLY expected to have spent my work years at Eastern. I would have had 44 years this year. Instead, I had 25. So think about AA employees, your next job could be revolved around "do you want plastic or paper" Also think about your families!!!!!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:56 pm

But the pilot's union will reject Bob's letter outright. It doesn't fit their agenda.
 
B757Forever
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:19 pm

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 5):
Would you expect anything different from the former CEO?



No I would not. This is also what I would expect from a rational businessman who has a proven record of building a successful organization. Crandall's assessment is spot on, weakening the company will not advance anyone's agenda.
The Rolls Royce Dart. Noise = Shaft Horsepower.
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:21 pm

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 5):
What would expect the Chairman of the A.P.A. to say, given the same opportunity or platform?

Something outlandish.

Crandalls letter was well thought out and rational.
It is what it is...
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:23 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):

But the pilot's union will reject Bob's letter outright. It doesn't fit their agenda.


Nothing ever seems to please ANY union these days......which is kinda sad.....
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:29 pm

He actually admits that union relations started to change in the late 1980s/early 1990s, which was on his watch. So he has identified that some of the issues go back to his watch. There are a few other comments that whilst not overtly critical of the management team in the 2000s do acknowledge that maybe some decisions made then are not paying off now, i.e. staying out of bankruptcy when the competition did not, management perceived to be taking rewards not available to frontline staff. As an outsider it actually reads as quite balanced.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
MSPNWA
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:34 pm

Good response by Crandall, but if I were a pilot it probably wouldn't be the answers I'm looking for. The problem (and this is industry-wide) is why pilots are being asked to take such a large hit when their share of the total costs of AA is actually quite small. That's been a source of contention over and over.
 
gegarrenton
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:34 pm

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 14):
He actually admits that union relations started to change in the late 1980s/early 1990s, which was on his watch. So he has identified that some of the issues go back to his watch. There are a few other comments that whilst not overtly critical of the management team in the 2000s do acknowledge that maybe some decisions made then are not paying off now, i.e. staying out of bankruptcy when the competition did not, management perceived to be taking rewards not available to frontline staff. As an outsider it actually reads as quite balanced.

I think it's very balanced personally. I also think both sides of the fence will take it completely differently in a way that suits their predefined notions!
 
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par13del
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:50 pm

If I start at the top, why exactly would an AA pilot be writing to Crandall in the first place, what exactly did he expect, a blasting of the current management?
Crandall retired from AA and presumable got a decent separation / retirement package. Management is management, and they stick together unless one is working for another company, example if a hostile takeover is on the way.

As to the specifics of the letter itself, it is basically the same as everywhere else, workers are to do what management says and the company will be fine, we have all heard and understand this party line.

One negative I take from the article which posters in other threads mentioned, is that AA wants to take their employee compensation below that of their competitors so that they can "catch up", so in a nutshell, rather than catching up by running their plan longer, or being agressive or more creative, they have determined that everybody is the same, products and service is the same, AA will not be able to do any better than their competitors so they must have their staff work for less.
Fine and dandy.

Now what happens when DL, UA and others see that AA employee compensation is lower than theirs, AA will be setting the new cmpensation standard which the others must match, and if they are healthier than AA, expect the dance to start again in 2 to 3 years.

How the hell WN was able to be profitable these last few decades is beyond comprehension, if they were an oil company nothing stopped the other's from following suit. WN rates are supposed to be among the highest in the industry, yet they are successfully, can we truly say that the issue is only pay scales / rates?
 
PPVRA
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:54 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 6):
I would love to know what his thoughts are in the idea of merging with US. Does he support it or no?

". . .everyone needs to understand that it’s management’s job to identify and weigh alternatives, and to recommend a course of action."

He might offer you some opinions, but would probably balk at an actual recommendation given that he is not actively dealing with AA.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:00 pm

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 5):

Would you expect anything different from the former CEO?

True. but, what particular point would you take exception with?
 
aluminumtubing
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:04 pm

All this arm chair quarterbacking is really mute. The bottom line, is that the pilots are going to do what they are going to do, agree with it or not. It may destroy this airline, I can't argue that. But if management holds their line, it's gonna get bad. Plain and simple.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:05 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 18):
He might offer you some opinions, but would probably balk at an actual recommendation given that he is not actively dealing with AA.

He wouldn't balk, I dont think. He's no longer at the beck and call of AA, so he has a right to an opinion.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
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STT757
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:13 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 6):
I would love to know what his thoughts are in the idea of merging with US. Does he support it or no?

He mentioned a possible merger a couple times.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
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glideslope
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:36 pm

Brilliant Response. Can't rebut it.   
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
blueflyer
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:39 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 17):
As to the specifics of the letter itself, it is basically the same as everywhere else, workers are to do what management says and the company will be fine, we have all heard and understand this party line.

And what is the alternative? Rank-and-file running the company by consensus?
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no clothes.
 
ROSWELL41
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:48 pm

Bottom line is that Horton is no Bob Crandall. I think that is the takeaway from the letter.
 
AirCalSNA
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:04 pm

Wow ... so the company is at risk because someone used the words "brick" and "unit," which wasn't respectful? It makes the pilots sound oblivious to the economic realities we are all facing. Bizarre.
 
ExL10Mktg
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:05 pm

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 15):
The problem (and this is industry-wide) is why pilots are being asked to take such a large hit when their share of the total costs of AA is actually quite small. That's been a source of contention over and over.

Salary and benefits are only part of the picture. Many of the pilots work rules (which they negotiated for) cost the company tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars every year. Virtually every transatlantic flight carries one and sometimes two relief pilots that are unnecessary on almost all of them. In addition to paying them salaries to sit there, AA loses the revenue from the First Class seats they occupy! The company is also restricted in the size of aircraft that Eagle can operate -- a clear case of featherbedding. These are just two that come to mind -- there are others that in the aggregate do indeed have a major impact on operating costs.
 
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par13del
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:24 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 24):
And what is the alternative? Rank-and-file running the company by consensus?

Alternative is what is taking place now, just because the inmates don't like their current rulers does not mean that they want to rule. Management is essential, unfortunately some management think workers are not.

The mindset is similar to the NFL owners and the referees and the last player lockout, no question that the game is hurting but management has a number in mind and the integrity of their negotiating position trumps the integrity of the game. Since the fans are not going to abandon the game integrity counts for nothing, unfortunately for AA, pax can and will abandon ship so the similarities will differ when that reality rears its ugly head.
Remember these guys locked out the players while trying to share 9 billion in profits, profits, imagine what AA is willing to do to trim losses.
 
xdlx
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:38 pm

Quoting Bobloblaw (Reply 8):

One thing I have observed about the "state of mind" of the AA employees. The same denial that was pervasive in PA/BN/EA...etc is alive and well; It will not happen here! This is not like BN! It is different than EA!

Really?
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:12 am

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 20):
All this arm chair quarterbacking is really mute. The bottom line, is that the pilots are going to do what they are going to do, agree with it or not. It may destroy this airline, I can't argue that. But if management holds their line, it's gonna get bad. Plain and simple.

But who is Management supposed to negotiate with? The APA says that there is no job action and that the pilots are doing nothing wrong. YOU have said that there is no job action and that pilots are just doing their jobs.

If the APA and the pilots themselves deny that any action is occurring, then how is management supposed to negotiate to end the action that everyone denies is occurring?

Quoting par13del (Reply 17):
As to the specifics of the letter itself, it is basically the same as everywhere else, workers are to do what management says and the company will be fine, we have all heard and understand this party line.

Because, believe it or not, Management's job is to manage! Pilot's job is to fly the plane. FA's job is to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers. Etc.

I'm not saying that everyone who has a management over them should just do whatever they're told without question, but most management types sit in meetings and do business all day because they're good at it and some of them even enjoy it. Do YOU enjoy that sort of thing? I sure don't, which is why I'm not management at my company.

As Crandall pointed out, the pilots clearly felt that their business judgement was superior to that of management. That does show a profound lack of respect for management. Respect, like so many things, is a two-way street.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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ldvaviation
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:24 am

Quoting xdlx (Reply 29):
One thing I have observed about the "state of mind" of the AA employees. The same denial that was pervasive in PA/BN/EA...etc is alive and well; It will not happen here! This is not like BN! It is different than EA!

Really?

What does similarity in mindset have to do with anything?

Pan Am eventually failed because they had no credible exit strategy from bankruptcy and because they financed their existence both prior and during bankruptcy by selling off almost all of their prized assets. No wonder they had no credible business plan.

EA was forced into bankruptcy by a chain of events. First, Lorenzo locked out the mechanics, after the union refused to accept deep cuts in pay/benefits; then, there was a sympathy strike by the pilots and FA's, which pretty much shut down the airline. When the crisis was not resolved, the airline declared bankruptcy with very little cash on hand, no DIP financing, and negative cash flow. To finance Eastern's existence, Lorenzo subsequently sold the the Shuttle service to Donald Trump and in a cynical move other key Eastern assets to sister carrier Continental (which Lorenzo also controlled). Depleted by those moves even more, Eastern was eventually forced to liquidate.

How are the facts in the Pan Am and EA cases at all similar to AA's case? There have been no sale of assets. There have been no lockouts and/or sympathy strikes. Cash flow remains positive. AA is self-financing its bankruptcy. There is a credible plan for existing bankruptcy. The only outstanding question is whether that plan will include a merger or not. There are even private equity firms in discussions with AMR to provide exit financing for the new AA. Just this week, those firms were recognized by the bankruptcy court, which permitted their advisors to be paid by AA during the due diligence process.
 
seatback
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:33 am

Quoting LDVAviation (Reply 31):
How are the facts in the Pan Am and EA cases at all similar to AA's case? There have been no sale of assets. There have been no lockouts and/or sympathy strikes. Cash flow remains positive. AA is self-financing its bankruptcy. There is a credible plan for existing bankruptcy. The only outstanding question is whether that plan will include a merger or not. There are even private equity firms in discussions with AMR to provide exit financing for the new AA. Just this week, those firms were recognized by the bankruptcy court, which permitted their advisors to be paid by AA during the due diligence process.

I think you're right. I think we can only make a connection from an emotional perspective. AA is far healthier than probably any other airline that ever went through the BK process.

The current stife will too pass. AA and it's peers have all had at one time terrible labor issues. Everyone is still around.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:33 am

I have long realized that any company that employs me deserves to receive my best efforts to do whatever job I was hired to do. It is in my best interest to give them this, as the company cannot give me more pay and/or benefits unless it prospers, and I have to do my part to promote that prosperity. Also, I only have the amount of input into company decisions as the leaders of the company are willing to give me, and that includes working conditions and work rules. If I do not like them I am free to leave, and if the company wants my services then they will have to modify them to the point that I can live with them. But my only leverage is the threat to leave. This is very clear in my present situation, working for a company consisting of six people (including me), but it is no less true for a giant company like AA complete with unions. In my case my boss owns the company, and he is running the company and paying my salary with his own money; and therefore he gets the final say on all decisions. In AA's case the stockholders own the company (or did before BK), and they have hired a board of directors to run it. But the principles are the same; the problem is that the unions have done a very effective job of making the employees forget it, and to convince them that they have a lot of "rights" that really do not exist. If AA is not competitive then it will go out of business, and all of the workers who are out of work can blame management, the unions, or whatever, but ultimately they will have to look in the mirror to really find out who to blame. The pilot who wrote the letter is a classic case, which is really what Robert Crandall was saying in a very gentle and indirect way; the closest he came to an outright declaration is when he stated the reasons for his departure.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
qqflyboy
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:45 am

Quoting ExL10Mktg (Reply 27):
Virtually every transatlantic flight carries one and sometimes two relief pilots that are unnecessary on almost all of them.

This is factually incorrect. Any time a flight time (gate to gate) exceeds eight hours, the FAA requires a relief pilot, as no pilot can be at the controls longer than eight hours. While some eastbound flights transatlantic only require two pilots, the return leg requires three. Since pilots get paid whether they're deadheading, or flying, they're scheduled to work both ways (this is true on just about every carrier). AA has only a handful of flights with three pilots (never four, as you state, on TATL) that aren't federally required: two JFK-LHR flights and one BOS-LHR. That's because those flights operate outside of normal circadian rhythm, and from a passenger prospective, I'm going to assume they would much rather the airline err on the side of caution, and crew the additional pilot. So, almost "all of them" as you state boils down to two flights in AA's entire TATL schedule.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
Max Q
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:52 am

Quoting ExL10Mktg (Reply 27):

Salary and benefits are only part of the picture. Many of the pilots work rules (which they negotiated for) cost the company tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars every year. Virtually every transatlantic flight carries one and sometimes two relief pilots that are unnecessary on almost all of them. In addition to paying them salaries to sit there, AA loses the revenue from the First Class seats they occupy! The company is also restricted in the size of aircraft that Eagle can operate -- a clear case of featherbedding. These are just two that come to mind -- there are others that in the aggregate do indeed have a major impact on operating costs.

These 'unecessary' relief Pilots are their for your safety and mandated by FAA rest requirements.



Your 'Featherbedding' statement is completely inappropriate and shows a lack of knowledge systemic of those out side the industry.


Crandall's letter was a typical, long winded self serving management response.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
aaexecplat
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:00 am

The response from Crandall is simply excellent. It's what any sane senior manager would say and how he would rationalize the situation. It is also what I and several others on this board have been saying and advocating for quite a while here. But rational thought is no longer in vogue. The pilots will single-handedly cause this airline to fail and I suspect they won't shed a tear for the company or the other 70,000 employees.
 
AA94
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:58 am

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 15):
Good response by Crandall, but if I were a pilot it probably wouldn't be the answers I'm looking for. The problem (and this is industry-wide) is why pilots are being asked to take such a large hit when their share of the total costs of AA is actually quite small. That's been a source of contention over and over.

The pilots need to understand that they are going to need to meet AA management in the middle, and likewise, AA needs to realize that it needs to meet the pilots in the middle. A compromise needs to be reached. AA and the pilots have been playing tug-of-war, and each side wants to emerge the victor. That is why nothing has worked thus far.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 16):
I think it's very balanced personally. I also think both sides of the fence will take it completely differently in a way that suits their predefined notions!

  

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 33):

  

Quoting ExL10Mktg (Reply 27):
Virtually every transatlantic flight carries one and sometimes two relief pilots that are unnecessary on almost all of them. In addition to paying them salaries to sit there, AA loses the revenue from the First Class seats they occupy!

Incorrect. As others have noted, any flight longer than eight hours requires a relief pilot. Even on eastbound flights where a third pilot may not be needed, a pilot still needs to be positioned at the outstation for the westbound leg, which requires deadheading.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 35):
Crandall's letter was a typical, long winded self serving management response.

I disagree. I think that the letter was well-balanced and didn't alienate either current management nor the pilots. Crandall obviously put some thought into his letter, and didn't just spew rhetoric that no one could understand.
If you can't take the heat, you best get out of the kitchen
 
bigjku
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:01 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 17):

One negative I take from the article which posters in other threads mentioned, is that AA wants to take their employee compensation below that of their competitors so that they can "catch up", so in a nutshell, rather than catching up by running their plan longer, or being agressive or more creative, they have determined that everybody is the same, products and service is the same, AA will not be able to do any better than their competitors so they must have their staff work for less.

This is pretty silly. Be more aggressive or run your plan longer? You realize there are objective realities in this business and that on the vast majority of routes what AA offers is a commodity that can be provide by several other carriers? How are they supposed to be creative?

The creditors might not grant them time to stretch out their plan. Changing their service model as you suggest takes money. That money has to come from the current operation spinning off cash. That only happens if their cost come down.

Management can't spin cash our of thin air.
 
ckfred
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:48 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 17):
If I start at the top, why exactly would an AA pilot be writing to Crandall in the first place, what exactly did he expect, a blasting of the current management?

Why? Because a lot of pilots believe that Crandall, despite his run-ins with the unions, was a sharp guy who made AA a growing, profitable business, and that none of the CEOs since Crandalls have been as successful.

Here's what I don't understand.

If you read press releases, information hotlines, and other comments from the APA over the years, it often reads like the rhetoric from the likes of the UAW, the SEIU, the UCFW, AFSCME, the Teamsters, and other unions.

Yet, there is a difference between pilots who are highly skilled and college educated (and a good number were officers in the U.S. military) and people hanging fenders on SUVs, people cutting meat in a grocery store, and the people giving eye tests at the DMV.

I know a number of airlines pilots, many of who are retired, and probably a 60-40 split between AA and UA. Several of them have side businesses that they run, when they aren't flying. Many play the stock market, reading the WSJ and watching CNBC. A good number lean Republican and watch Fox News and/or listen to Rush Limbaugh and other conservative radio pundits. I've heard a few say some very unkind comments about unions, whether it's teachers, auto workers, or even professional athletes.

So, why the typical union attitude? After a pilot told me how Gerard Arpey was a horrible CEO, I aksed him why he wasn't on Jim Cramer's Wall of Shame? I got no answer.

Another made a comment that the bakery workers at Hostess needed to accept wages cuts, if they wanted to stay in business and not see Twinkies, Butternut bread, and Zingers sold off in an auction to competitors. When I commented that the pilots needed to make concessions in order for AA to get out of Chapter 11, he got a little irritated.
 
comorin
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:08 am

I was very impressed with the letter, a great example of clearly communicating ideas in easy to understand terms. Crandall was obviously held in high regard in his time, or otherwise that pilot would not have written to him in despair.

What is oft forgotten in this age of the MBA is that the Art of Management is the Art of Leadership. There is no business where you can motivate your people to give their best without their buying in into a cause and trusting in their management for a common good.

As Crandall also implies, cost structures in the industry tend to level across competitors, so just focusing on costs will not make you a great airline. When people love to come in to work, you have happy and loyal customers: two necessary ingredients of success.

It could be said that when mainline American industry was starting to feel the pinch a decade or so ago, bean counters masquerading as CEOs took over, discarding the relationship between profit and employee well-being. But equally to blame are unions, who in the name of 'collective' bargaining inject themselves and interfere with the company-employee relationship.

In their defense, it could be said that the worst culprit of all are the financial markets, which with ruthless efficiency requires specific financial goals to be squeezed out in the shortest period of time, never mind the consequences.
 
strfyr51
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:20 am

Everybody NOT at WN want's to hold WN up as a matter of Example in Pay and compensation when EVEN WN's boss RECENTLY said their costs were getting out of line. Also, What do WN's Pilots Do that the AMR,UAL, pilots Don't Do???
Well for One they don't refuse Deferrals that are Legal and IAW with the Company MEL (Minimum Equipment List) and Dispatch Deviation guide on which he MEL is Based. If the Pilot's did at Least That then they can gain respect hey deserve No more, No LESS. Second. If you Want respect than be prepared to RENDER respect. I worked for UAL as a controller During summer of 2000 as my first summer as a controller. Pilots REGULARLY sought to disrespect who we were and our function as what we did. to the point that NOW?? I could care LESS what their concerns are.
Their choice is FLY? or Don't Fly? I don't go out of my way to abuse them BUT!! I don't CARE if they're happy.
If the airplane is Legal? They can sit in "B.F. Egypt" until Hell freezes over before i'll do anything to the particular airplane. Thirdly??, Once you Start crying "Wolf" and there's no Wolf?? It's pretty Hard for anyone to Ever believe you again.
I'm speaking ONLY form the standpoint of a Maintenance controller to whom Pilots and Dispatch are my Main internal Customers. I'm NOT senior management, I have NO dog in their Fight. And my ONLY concern is ACTUAL Safety of Passengers and crew. I can't DO Jack about their contract and Have NO say in the matter.
NOR their Perceived Ideas of "Safety". I do have the authority to kill an airplane Wherever I choose. But that's when I see a REAL problem. and Neither THE PILOTS NOR Management can tell me WHEN Nor WHAT that is.
It might do well for APA At American to consider that Scenario. "Teasing Tigers with one hand might leave you SHORT that hand when you need it. to choke the Chicken"
The FAA is the ONLY arbiter of airworthiness that I Care about, Because when I'm On duty I am the Arbiter of airworthiness for the Company anf Fleet I'm working , and whether any Pilot agrees or Disagrees Is of little or NO concern to me .
And?? Their concerns used TO Matter to me. until they Abused that Privilege.
That's the Capital that APA at American is presently Wasting . And once they Use it UP?? It's going to be a cold day in HELL before they regain it. It should be a Partnership amongst us. But if you refuse to be a reputable Partner?
Bad DEAL!!
 
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:37 am

Quoting Bobloblaw (Reply 8):
AA is not EA. EA never made money in deregulation

Check your facts; EA posted strong earnings in 1979, and the year prior to the union forcing Borman's hand in the sale to Texas Air, EA was also profitable in 1985.

Having said that, the situation at AA is very similar to the one at EA; the pilots have the ability to help the airline survive and thrive, or let their emotions get the better of them and take the whole company down as they stage unproductive work actions.

I hope the AA pilots wise up and don't allow history to repeat itself.

[Edited 2012-09-27 01:39:35]

[Edited 2012-09-27 01:43:17]
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:58 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 35):
Crandall's letter was a typical, long winded self serving management response.

  

Sorry, but Bob Crandall was spot-on in his assessment of things; he acknowledged that all employees deserve respect and courtesy and that the pilots are an integral part of the company, but didn't hesitate to point out that management, despite what any one work group thinks, is the sole group of employees empowered by the stockholders to make strategic decisions about the direction of the company.

Have all those decisions been bad? Some have, yes. But again, the BOD, elected by the stockholders, put management in charge. Not pilots. Not flight attendants. Not CSAs, res agents, mechanics or rampers. MANAGEMENT.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:04 am

What irks me about Crandall's letter is that he states the following:

"Since the decisions being made are very important, and will impact every employee, their (management's) opinions should be given careful consideration...Management should listen carefully, but employees need to understand that it’s management’s job to decide and that acting in ways intended to undercut management’s role can only be counter-productive."

Yes, Daddy.

So, basically, because management's decisions are important and affect the employees, one should defer to them? I don't agree. The entire point of a collective bargaining agreement is that two parties have come to the table to negotiate something. That means they both have power. There is no reason in the world why management should be made out to be the "good guys"; they can and will make decisions that may harm the employee if nobody is looking out for the employees. I strongly recommend that AA's rank and file tread carefully around such comments; they're very common, especially in a day and age when people love to say "Shut up. You're lucky to have a job". There is NEVER a reason to sacrifice the benefits of organized labor just because you're scared to lose your job.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:22 am

That was a very lucid, logical, well thought out and presented letter. Agree or disagree....that guy can write.

What I don't get is why would anybody work for a company and management they feel doesn't respect them? Do they feel that they will ever get respect? That's never happened in my experience, to me or anyone I knew.

I decided long ago not to work for someone who doesn't respect me and I can't respect. So since respect, once lost, is rarely earned again, the only option is to take my good work habits to somewhere they will be appreciated.

Bottom line; it's not my company. The owners/managers get the final say in everything....within the bounds of the law. If there are problems, I try to fix them. If they can't be fixed, ,I don't bang my head against rocks trying to move mountains; I move to a different mountain.

Do the AA pilots really think that unofficial yet very real job action and the vitriol being aimed at management will earn them the least amount of respect from US? If so, they're dreaming. No doubt US loves the AA troubles but if workers are willing to turn on their current employers, US surely expects the same thing to happen to them if those workers are unhappy at US, should the merger take place.

As long as you're paid by someone, that's where your loyalties should lie. If you can't do that, it's time to leave because if you're willing to betray one boss, you'll never be trusted by any boss.

Word to the wise; the best time to look for a new job is while you still have your old job.
What the...?
 
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:25 am

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 44):
What irks me about Crandall's letter is that he states the following:

"Since the decisions being made are very important, and will impact every employee, their (management's) opinions should be given careful consideration...Management should listen carefully, but employees need to understand that it’s management’s job to decide and that acting in ways intended to undercut management’s role can only be counter-productive."

Yes, Daddy.

Pretty much, yes. And there's nothing wrong with that; despute what you may believe, while the management and labor work relationship is and should be a partnership, it isn't a democracy.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 44):
The entire point of a collective bargaining agreement is that two parties have come to the table to negotiate something.

Yes - benefits, work rules, wages and step increases, etc.

Contrary to what you may think, it doesn't give the work groups the right to dictate what strategic direction or steps the company takes (unless doing so somehow violates the CBA, at which point the union can file grievances).

Sorry, but having a CBA doesn't give the workgroup the right to a say in marketing, planning, finance, and so on; all those strategic decisions are ultimately made at management's discretion. Again, they're the ones empowered by the stockholders to make those decisions, not the workgroups covered under the CBA.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
aaexecplat
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:28 am

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 44):
What irks me about Crandall's letter is that he states the following:

"Since the decisions being made are very important, and will impact every employee, their (management's) opinions should be given careful consideration...Management should listen carefully, but employees need to understand that it’s management’s job to decide and that acting in ways intended to undercut management’s role can only be counter-productive."

Yes, Daddy.

So, basically, because management's decisions are important and affect the employees, one should defer to them? I don't agree. The entire point of a collective bargaining agreement is that two parties have come to the table to negotiate something. That means they both have power. There is no reason in the world why management should be made out to be the "good guys"; they can and will make decisions that may harm the employee if nobody is looking out for the employees. I strongly recommend that AA's rank and file tread carefully around such comments; they're very common, especially in a day and age when people love to say "Shut up. You're lucky to have a job". There is NEVER a reason to sacrifice the benefits of organized labor just because you're scared to lose your job.

You fundamentally misunderstand what he was trying to say....he wasn't arguing against organized labor or that unions should always defer to management simply 'because'. He was saying that any union is trying to get the best deal for its own members. Even if that can hurt other employees and other unions and their members. He wants the pilots to consider that while they are focused on one thing only (namely getting a better deal for themselves) management has far MORE stakeholders to satisfy, including the UCC, the board, shareholders, creditors, other work groups, and passengers. Because management has a 360 degree view of the company and all its stakeholders, Crandall asks that their "opinions should be given careful consideration."

What the pilots are currently saying in effect is "Management are hacks, we can do what they do far better. We know exactly what it takes to run this company and how to make it profitable and how to manage it, therefore, we want management ousted at all costs."

Does that sound like a sane, humble and rational group of professionals? I don't think so.
 
sankaps
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:56 am

Quoting comorin (Reply 40):
I was very impressed with the letter, a great example of clearly communicating ideas in easy to understand terms. Crandall was obviously held in high regard in his time, or otherwise that pilot would not have written to him in despair.

What is oft forgotten in this age of the MBA is that the Art of Management is the Art of Leadership.

Um... Bob Crandall has an MBA too, from Wharton, no less!  
 
comorin
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RE: Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:17 am

Quoting sankaps (Reply 48):
Um... Bob Crandall has an MBA too, from Wharton, no less!

Thanks but I'm an admirer of Bob Crandall as a leader  

My problem is that there are certain career paths where leadership is expected; I find with the proliferation of MBAs beyond the top five schools, the only places that emphasize leadership are Annapolis, West Point and perhaps the Air Force Academy. In the good old days you went to Harvard or Sloan to learn how to be a CEO, today's Wharton grads seem to be poring over spreadsheets with green eye shades - captains of industry or highly paid financial clerks?

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