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flyboy80
Posts: 2142
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 8:10 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:19 pm

Need to be on west coast for meetings next week and specifically booked away from AA despite the best non-stop schedules. These headlines of summer staffing mixed with the potential operational challenges of summer weather and pilot staffing- no way. I guess this is a benefit living in a non-hub and having similar options on U.S. plus WN.

The mergers of the 2000s and 2010s have seriously produced what have become monsters. When things go south (no pun intended) you couldn’t pay me to be at the mercy of AA in DFW or CLT or DL in ATL. Terrible.
 
AMALH747430
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:29 pm

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 1:26 pm

DaCubbyBearBar wrote:
AmericanAir88 wrote:
Lot of non-avgeek friends and family asking me what to think of all of this.

Is this AA story exclusive to the airline or is every aviation company going through this? I know WN and DL had issues lately.

Will there really be mass cancellations every day or is it news being news?

As a frequent AA flier, I am interested in knowing. A crew shortage/mechanical delay on Saturday did cause me to miss my connection in CLT.

According to FlightAware, for 6-21-21, WN had 212 cancellations while AA had 200. On delays, WN had 1172 and AA 969. Although flights are still operating on 6-21, the stats are now adding on 6-22.


This brings up another interesting point. I perused the news several times yesterday. There were a plethora of articles about AAs woes but nothing about WN except one NYT article that pretty much lumped WN in and couched it as an “all airlines are having trouble” type of thing. All airlines are having issues, just some (WN and AA) way more than others. However, since teflon WN are the darlings of the press they’ve moved on and are running stories congratulating them on their 50th anniversary. WN had just as bad of a day as AA yesterday (according to the stats, a bit worse) but they won’t be called out near as much for it.

During the WN meltdown last week the Colorado Springs Post Gazette ran an article that just lumped WN in with the other airlines. It seemed like they wanted to cover the story, but didn’t want to offend WN.

AA created this situation and they deserve what they’re getting. Problem is, WN created their own mess too but they’re not being held to the same standard.
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 1605
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:47 pm

AMALH747430 wrote:
DaCubbyBearBar wrote:
AmericanAir88 wrote:
Lot of non-avgeek friends and family asking me what to think of all of this.

Is this AA story exclusive to the airline or is every aviation company going through this? I know WN and DL had issues lately.

Will there really be mass cancellations every day or is it news being news?

As a frequent AA flier, I am interested in knowing. A crew shortage/mechanical delay on Saturday did cause me to miss my connection in CLT.

According to FlightAware, for 6-21-21, WN had 212 cancellations while AA had 200. On delays, WN had 1172 and AA 969. Although flights are still operating on 6-21, the stats are now adding on 6-22.


This brings up another interesting point. I perused the news several times yesterday. There were a plethora of articles about AAs woes but nothing about WN except one NYT article that pretty much lumped WN in and couched it as an “all airlines are having trouble” type of thing. All airlines are having issues, just some (WN and AA) way more than others. However, since teflon WN are the darlings of the press they’ve moved on and are running stories congratulating them on their 50th anniversary. WN had just as bad of a day as AA yesterday (according to the stats, a bit worse) but they won’t be called out near as much for it.

During the WN meltdown last week the Colorado Springs Post Gazette ran an article that just lumped WN in with the other airlines. It seemed like they wanted to cover the story, but didn’t want to offend WN.

AA created this situation and they deserve what they’re getting. Problem is, WN created their own mess too but they’re not being held to the same standard.

I think we all have short memories…

In the 2013-2017 “pilot shortage” era, this was the NORM for everyone when the summer storms season hit. It is always the peak season, which means peak scheduling, which means little to no recovery margin when the weather breaks down. Canceling a two hundred flights or more in a day at ORD, LGA, or Newark was not at all unusual. We just shrugged our shoulders, and said it was business as usual.

Training bottlenecks are contributing to the current issues, for sure, but five years ago it was much worse, especially at the regional levels.
 
DualQual
Posts: 752
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:10 pm

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:23 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
But then why would management do this? The C-Suite folks aren't stupid.


Stupid? Not necessarily. Capable of doing extremely stupid things? Absolutely. It wouldn’t shock me in the least if this is again a time when the C-Suite (or whatever higher level minion was tasked by them) came up with such a plan and carried on with it even in the face of the knowledgeable stakeholders (flight ops, airport ops, training, scheduling) telling them repeatedly that there is no way in hell we can do this. It certainly isn’t the first such instance and its a cycle that repeats itself every few years at every operator. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 8906
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:59 pm

In many companies, it’s cultural, and when you have the sales side telling the operations side...”I don’t care, just make it happen”

You can find tons of examples where this happens in companies all over, then the ops side is always in an “I told you so..and everyone goes into CYA mode”. Then either some internal tiger team or external consultants are parachuted in to identity and solve the root cause of the problem.

S&OP is always a battle of the loudest voice in the room
 
737MAX7
Posts: 218
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:26 pm

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:22 pm

alasizon wrote:
slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
kngkyle wrote:
Final tally is over 300 flights cancelled this weekend. Monday already has over 100 cancellations and 77 for Tuesday so far. Lot of apologists here for AAs poor decision making.


Best post on a.net.

This was all avoidable.

This is accurate. AA causes alot of pain and frustrations for thousands of people and this was all avoidable. So much for giving people notice! AA can't even handle their check in counters right now so people can't even make flights. AA specifically can't handle check in , all other airlines just seem a little stressed or normal and AA is like total chaos. This is AA problems not industry problems


WN has been chaos as well for the past couple weeks at their mega stations too. This is by no means an AA only problem. WN has no ramp staffing in most of their megas.

Yup, we are about 45 people understaffed at BNA. Add in vacation time, normal off days and sick calls the mandatory ot is through the roof. Due to language in the CBA (can’t be hit for mando 13 days in a row/ can’t be forced to work more than 3 mando doubles in a row/ must have 10 hours of rest between a mando shift and your regular shift) it makes things much worse. Add in agents calling out on mando/refusing mando and it’s an absolute disaster right now.
 
IFlyVeryLittle
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:31 pm

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:32 pm

Parking fleets, retraining pilots, recalling customer service people. I get it. Can't be done in short order. No fault of American. But it is the fault of American for selling seats they were not in a position to have. Surely businesses have to look ahead and make assumptions for the future, but no measure of A.net apologizing can account for this colossal bungle.
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 1605
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:04 pm

IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
Parking fleets, retraining pilots, recalling customer service people. I get it. Can't be done in short order. No fault of American. But it is the fault of American for selling seats they were not in a position to have. Surely businesses have to look ahead and make assumptions for the future, but no measure of A.net apologizing can account for this colossal bungle.

In a perfect world, I would agree.

But in a world of uncertainties, mounting debts, planning requiring months in advance notice, Yada yada, now adding weather into the mix, it just isn’t going to work that way.

The staffing issues, at this point, are what they are, they have to deal with. Add in weather issues burning crews and hours that would create nightmares in a normal year, government incentives not to work, etc, and the recipe just gets worse.
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 1605
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:10 pm

737MAX7 wrote:
alasizon wrote:
slcdeltarumd11 wrote:

Best post on a.net.

This was all avoidable.

This is accurate. AA causes alot of pain and frustrations for thousands of people and this was all avoidable. So much for giving people notice! AA can't even handle their check in counters right now so people can't even make flights. AA specifically can't handle check in , all other airlines just seem a little stressed or normal and AA is like total chaos. This is AA problems not industry problems


WN has been chaos as well for the past couple weeks at their mega stations too. This is by no means an AA only problem. WN has no ramp staffing in most of their megas.

Yup, we are about 45 people understaffed at BNA. Add in vacation time, normal off days and sick calls the mandatory ot is through the roof. Due to language in the CBA (can’t be hit for mando 13 days in a row/ can’t be forced to work more than 3 mando doubles in a row/ must have 10 hours of rest between a mando shift and your regular shift) it makes things much worse. Add in agents calling out on mando/refusing mando and it’s an absolute disaster right now.

I can’t speak for your CBA, but in a normal year, people being people, a large percentage use up their days out almost as soon as they get them. These would normally be the folks stuck accepting the mando’s, unable to call out. This year, most of those people have already been on reduced hours, or even laid off. They have the days to do it. Let’s face it, the government incentives have turned the employment market market upside down.
 
32andBelow
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:01 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
Parking fleets, retraining pilots, recalling customer service people. I get it. Can't be done in short order. No fault of American. But it is the fault of American for selling seats they were not in a position to have. Surely businesses have to look ahead and make assumptions for the future, but no measure of A.net apologizing can account for this colossal bungle.

In a perfect world, I would agree.

But in a world of uncertainties, mounting debts, planning requiring months in advance notice, Yada yada, now adding weather into the mix, it just isn’t going to work that way.

The staffing issues, at this point, are what they are, they have to deal with. Add in weather issues burning crews and hours that would create nightmares in a normal year, government incentives not to work, etc, and the recipe just gets worse.
are they like running the sim 24/7 or is Just business as usual for the training department?
 
N649DL
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:11 pm

wjcandee wrote:
AA will figure it out.

The pilot situation at AA is a simple matter of requalifying pilots, which AA can likely handle in a predictable way. (I don't mean that the process itself isn't involved, but it's a known animal; it's not like they're trying to hire pilots in the market; they're just trying to requalify existing ones.) Apparently, the biggest issues is with 737 pilots. Maybe they'll get creative and get more 737 pilots back on the line sooner.

As far as ground crews are concerned, look for prompt improvement in the following states this week: AS, IA, MS, MO. Look for incremental improvement in AL, ID, IN, NE, NH, ND, WV, WY. So ANC, FAI, MCI should already be improving.

After next Sunday, employment should pick up dramatically in certain major states: AK, FL, GA, OH, SC, SD, TX, UT. That will have big effects in ATL, DFW, SLC, GSP, CVG, MIA, FLL, MCO, etc.

And a shout out to the NY Post, which ran an article about AA's pilot shortage on the 737s, and actually used a photograph of an AA 737 to illustrate!! (Not a 767, 787, or DC10, like many outlets would have done.) https://nypost.com/2021/06/20/american- ... -shortage/


Curious though: What happened to the pilots tied to aircraft that AA retired completely like the 757 and 763? They did retire with them, get put on temporary furlough, or have the opportunity to train up to another aircraft type?

AA seems like it might be in the roughest shape when comes to staffing shortages. They were the largest of the "Big 3" before COVID and made some drastic layoffs (may have been mostly permanent) whereas I think at UA they were somewhat temporary or offered buyouts to old employees who wanted to retire. I think DL did this as well, but I think tried to avoid layoffs as best as they could. They did have some odd cutbacks such as almost entirely cutting First Class meal service on domestic routes, offering limited beverage options and blocking out all middle seats.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:20 pm

The pilots rebid equipment and many of those where very senior (B757 & B767 & A330), Some might have got the B787 but most I bet ended up on B737, bumping a bunch of qualified B737 pilots to airbus. So now you have twice the number of pilots you have to retrain.
 
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PITingres
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:37 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
Let’s face it, the government incentives have turned the employment market market upside down.


Easy to say, eliminates the need for too much thought. (Nasty stuff, that.) It's pretty clear that a big part of the employment issues can be directly traced to people realizing, having been kicked off a job that barely kept them afloat anyway, that they really aren't in such a big rush to get back to the same rat-race. They're looking for something better. Most people actually do want to work, not sit around and get handouts.

But I suppose this should continue in non-av.
 
Varsity1
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:00 am

AA is running into schedule issues on the ground now. Flights are arriving on time and no gates available in CLT and DFW.
 
graham697
Posts: 427
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:47 am

Varsity1 wrote:
AA is running into schedule issues on the ground now. Flights are arriving on time and no gates available in CLT and DFW.


Welcome to our lives in DCA circa 2015-2016. :twisted:
 
travaz
Posts: 1125
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 1:03 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:53 am

Varsity1 wrote:
AA is running into schedule issues on the ground now. Flights are arriving on time and no gates available in CLT and DFW.


Every time I have made a connection in CLT I have sat on the tarmac waiting for a gate. I try and avoid CLT.
 
IADCA
Posts: 2363
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:32 pm

graham697 wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
AA is running into schedule issues on the ground now. Flights are arriving on time and no gates available in CLT and DFW.


Welcome to our lives in DCA circa 2015-2016. :twisted:


Or currently, too. I waited for a gate at DCA for ~15 minutes at 9 am on Sunday at the new concourse, not exactly the busiest time there.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:07 pm

Interesting report on American Airlines from the rating service Fitch. Might explain why they are trying to run as many flights as possible. https://www.fitchratings.com/research/c ... 16-06-2021
 
ozark1
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:15 pm

Varsity1 wrote:
AA is running into schedule issues on the ground now. Flights are arriving on time and no gates available in CLT and DFW.

Apparently this is a problem that will never be solved. I’ve waited for gates for 40 years. There has also been a noticeable increase in waiting for an agent once we get to the gate. So, very typically, we land a half hour early, wait for 40 minutes, pull in, and no one to work the jet bridge. Noticeable increase in these incidents after the AA agents unionized (US agents already were). I do understand how frustrating it must be to coordinate scheduling a ramp up with the fluidity of mask usage, virus variants, MAX problems, duty periods, heat temps above normal, thunderstorms etc. etc. Sure it is GREAT when we land early and pull right in to a gate that is staffed and ready. We just don’t count on that happening
 
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lightsaber
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:23 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Interesting report on American Airlines from the rating service Fitch. Might explain why they are trying to run as many flights as possible. https://www.fitchratings.com/research/c ... 16-06-2021

That brings up why there is a problem with staffing (money) and why AA must earn as much as possible while controlling costs.

But stable means AA may borrow and thus likely to pull out of their issues.

Lightsaber
 
FURUREFA
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:45 pm

Sounds like this is mostly on the 737 fleet? Any sense of why the Airbus fleet is less impacted?
 
travaz
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:54 pm

If AA can deleverage it's balance sheet they will be in a much better position. I wish I had the smarts to figure out the shell game of Airline finances!
 
usflyer msp
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:37 pm

Varsity1 wrote:
AA is running into schedule issues on the ground now. Flights are arriving on time and no gates available in CLT and DFW.


This is not something new.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:04 pm

Management is walking a fine line - get as much revenue as possible without a complete system meltdown. Everything has to go right to pull this off - i.e. keeping Ratings above junk and thus impacting stock price. They really have no choice.

Rising fuel costs aren't making this easier. Would be interesting to know if AA is allowing as much overtime work from hourly employees as needed to work thru these operational issues. If they are stingy that tells you something.

Late edit - The Fitch report used $1.95 avg fuel price per gallon in 2021 in their report. This morning prices for July delivery of Fuel Oil (comparable to Jet maybe a bit less) is $2.16 per gallon
 
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lightsaber
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:20 pm

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Management is walking a fine line - get as much revenue as possible without a complete system meltdown. Everything has to go right to pull this off - i.e. keeping Ratings above junk and thus impacting stock price. They really have no choice.

Rising fuel costs aren't making this easier. Would be interesting to know if AA is allowing as much overtime work from hourly employees as needed to work thru these operational issues. If they are stingy that tells you something.

Late edit - The Fitch report used $1.95 avg fuel price per gallon in 2021 in their report. This morning prices for July delivery of Fuel Oil (comparable to Jet maybe a bit less) is $2.16 per gallon

I 100% agree with your post. AA is over-managing a chance to dig themselves out of a hole.

I think they'll survive. I am of the opinion they are intentionally running lean to look good for the bond sale. Everything is being done to pump 2Q numbers as this is a dire financial situation for AA the bond sale will help them survive.

To others
Customer satisfaction... I have a different opinion. This will be a brutal summer gor AA employees.

Was there an answer on flight sim training? I'd like to know when the pilot part of the equation is resolved.

Lightsaber
 
AABusDrvr
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:48 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:25 pm

32andBelow wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
Parking fleets, retraining pilots, recalling customer service people. I get it. Can't be done in short order. No fault of American. But it is the fault of American for selling seats they were not in a position to have. Surely businesses have to look ahead and make assumptions for the future, but no measure of A.net apologizing can account for this colossal bungle.

In a perfect world, I would agree.

But in a world of uncertainties, mounting debts, planning requiring months in advance notice, Yada yada, now adding weather into the mix, it just isn’t going to work that way.

The staffing issues, at this point, are what they are, they have to deal with. Add in weather issues burning crews and hours that would create nightmares in a normal year, government incentives not to work, etc, and the recipe just gets worse.
are they like running the sim 24/7 or is Just business as usual for the training department?


Simulators cant run 24 hours a day, they need down time for maintenance. According to my neighbor, who is a pilot for AA, there is also a shortage of check airman right now.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:56 pm

AABusDrvr wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
In a perfect world, I would agree.

But in a world of uncertainties, mounting debts, planning requiring months in advance notice, Yada yada, now adding weather into the mix, it just isn’t going to work that way.

The staffing issues, at this point, are what they are, they have to deal with. Add in weather issues burning crews and hours that would create nightmares in a normal year, government incentives not to work, etc, and the recipe just gets worse.
are they like running the sim 24/7 or is Just business as usual for the training department?


Simulators cant run 24 hours a day, they need down time for maintenance. According to my neighbor, who is a pilot for AA, there is also a shortage of check airman right now.

Yep…. They paid them all off to go away last fall. Most, even if non-flying, are considered senior. And it just isn’t AA facing this issue, everyone is.
 
32andBelow
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:40 pm

AABusDrvr wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
In a perfect world, I would agree.

But in a world of uncertainties, mounting debts, planning requiring months in advance notice, Yada yada, now adding weather into the mix, it just isn’t going to work that way.

The staffing issues, at this point, are what they are, they have to deal with. Add in weather issues burning crews and hours that would create nightmares in a normal year, government incentives not to work, etc, and the recipe just gets worse.
are they like running the sim 24/7 or is Just business as usual for the training department?


Simulators cant run 24 hours a day, they need down time for maintenance. According to my neighbor, who is a pilot for AA, there is also a shortage of check airman right now.

I thought the whole point of the bail outs would be so they would be ready to go when it was over
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:49 pm

32andBelow wrote:
AABusDrvr wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
are they like running the sim 24/7 or is Just business as usual for the training department?


Simulators cant run 24 hours a day, they need down time for maintenance. According to my neighbor, who is a pilot for AA, there is also a shortage of check airman right now.

I thought the whole point of the bail outs would be so they would be ready to go when it was over


Yes! They were supposed to use the money to be ready for full scale operations when demand returned.

AA was more interested in protecting it's stock price and executives benefits then planning for smooth operations when demand returned
 
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lightsaber
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:54 pm

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
AABusDrvr wrote:

Simulators cant run 24 hours a day, they need down time for maintenance. According to my neighbor, who is a pilot for AA, there is also a shortage of check airman right now.

I thought the whole point of the bail outs would be so they would be ready to go when it was over


Yes! They were supposed to use the money to be ready for full scale operations when demand returned.

AA was more interested in protecting it's stock price and executives benefits then planning for smooth operations when demand returned

I think AA is more concerned about surviving. While bad, this seems to be too common now. No one planned on it taking this long so the companies that reduced fixed costs will be better off long term.

If everyone has issues, fares will go up and that is good enough.

Lightsaber
 
32andBelow
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Thu Jun 24, 2021 3:40 am

lightsaber wrote:
slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
I thought the whole point of the bail outs would be so they would be ready to go when it was over


Yes! They were supposed to use the money to be ready for full scale operations when demand returned.

AA was more interested in protecting it's stock price and executives benefits then planning for smooth operations when demand returned

I think AA is more concerned about surviving. While bad, this seems to be too common now. No one planned on it taking this long so the companies that reduced fixed costs will be better off long term.

If everyone has issues, fares will go up and that is good enough.

Lightsaber
if the market didn’t come back they just would have gone bankrupt and got more bail outs
 
LexPassenger
Posts: 65
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:31 am

My brother is a res agent for AA, started with Piedmont in the 80's. He says this is the worst he's ever seen. He says res agents were required to work four hours of overtime EVERY DAY until this last weekend, when the union told AA it was killing them. He says new deal since Monday is everybody takes 8 hours a week extra but can pick when. Maybe this will rest enough people to make them more productive, or maybe this will just cut back res even more. Any true grift from you AA res dudes?
 
OKCDCA
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:36 am

ozark1 wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
AA is running into schedule issues on the ground now. Flights are arriving on time and no gates available in CLT and DFW.

Apparently this is a problem that will never be solved. I’ve waited for gates for 40 years. There has also been a noticeable increase in waiting for an agent once we get to the gate. So, very typically, we land a half hour early, wait for 40 minutes, pull in, and no one to work the jet bridge. Noticeable increase in these incidents after the AA agents unionized (US agents already were). I do understand how frustrating it must be to coordinate scheduling a ramp up with the fluidity of mask usage, virus variants, MAX problems, duty periods, heat temps above normal, thunderstorms etc. etc. Sure it is GREAT when we land early and pull right in to a gate that is staffed and ready. We just don’t count on that happening

I've had this happen numerous times lately too and it makes me wonder why this has not become an automated process as well. If we can have a system that directs an airplane into the gate, why can we not have a system that guides the jet bridge to the aircraft door without an operator? The FA's can open the door and the door from the jet bridge to the terminal can be opened by the passengers. If there's a security issue then make it part of the FA's duty to open the door to the terminal and monitor until the agent arrives.
 
alasizon
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Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:02 am

OKCDCA wrote:
ozark1 wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
AA is running into schedule issues on the ground now. Flights are arriving on time and no gates available in CLT and DFW.

Apparently this is a problem that will never be solved. I’ve waited for gates for 40 years. There has also been a noticeable increase in waiting for an agent once we get to the gate. So, very typically, we land a half hour early, wait for 40 minutes, pull in, and no one to work the jet bridge. Noticeable increase in these incidents after the AA agents unionized (US agents already were). I do understand how frustrating it must be to coordinate scheduling a ramp up with the fluidity of mask usage, virus variants, MAX problems, duty periods, heat temps above normal, thunderstorms etc. etc. Sure it is GREAT when we land early and pull right in to a gate that is staffed and ready. We just don’t count on that happening

I've had this happen numerous times lately too and it makes me wonder why this has not become an automated process as well. If we can have a system that directs an airplane into the gate, why can we not have a system that guides the jet bridge to the aircraft door without an operator? The FA's can open the door and the door from the jet bridge to the terminal can be opened by the passengers. If there's a security issue then make it part of the FA's duty to open the door to the terminal and monitor until the agent arrives.


We have several automated jetways throughout the system but like DGS on the ramp, it still requires someone there to start it and monitor it and be there to hit the e-stop. A large number of the jetways are not able to be retrofitted with that technology though due to the differences in design over the years which would require all new electrical systems (not cost effective).
 
graham697
Posts: 427
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:59 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:26 pm

alasizon wrote:
OKCDCA wrote:
ozark1 wrote:
Apparently this is a problem that will never be solved. I’ve waited for gates for 40 years. There has also been a noticeable increase in waiting for an agent once we get to the gate. So, very typically, we land a half hour early, wait for 40 minutes, pull in, and no one to work the jet bridge. Noticeable increase in these incidents after the AA agents unionized (US agents already were). I do understand how frustrating it must be to coordinate scheduling a ramp up with the fluidity of mask usage, virus variants, MAX problems, duty periods, heat temps above normal, thunderstorms etc. etc. Sure it is GREAT when we land early and pull right in to a gate that is staffed and ready. We just don’t count on that happening

I've had this happen numerous times lately too and it makes me wonder why this has not become an automated process as well. If we can have a system that directs an airplane into the gate, why can we not have a system that guides the jet bridge to the aircraft door without an operator? The FA's can open the door and the door from the jet bridge to the terminal can be opened by the passengers. If there's a security issue then make it part of the FA's duty to open the door to the terminal and monitor until the agent arrives.


We have several automated jetways throughout the system but like DGS on the ramp, it still requires someone there to start it and monitor it and be there to hit the e-stop. A large number of the jetways are not able to be retrofitted with that technology though due to the differences in design over the years which would require all new electrical systems (not cost effective).


This technology is definitely not used on the new Eagle concourse at DCA - the poor piedmont folks are struggling with the jetways.
 
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smithbs
Posts: 578
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 6:09 pm

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:33 pm

UpNAWAy wrote:
The pilots rebid equipment and many of those where very senior (B757 & B767 & A330), Some might have got the B787 but most I bet ended up on B737, bumping a bunch of qualified B737 pilots to airbus. So now you have twice the number of pilots you have to retrain.


I'm losing a colleague now to AA to become a pilot. He'll be off the street and getting his commercial wings for the first time. :)

DualQual wrote:
MohawkWeekend wrote:
But then why would management do this? The C-Suite folks aren't stupid.


Stupid? Not necessarily. Capable of doing extremely stupid things? Absolutely. It wouldn’t shock me in the least if this is again a time when the C-Suite (or whatever higher level minion was tasked by them) came up with such a plan and carried on with it even in the face of the knowledgeable stakeholders (flight ops, airport ops, training, scheduling) telling them repeatedly that there is no way in hell we can do this. It certainly isn’t the first such instance and its a cycle that repeats itself every few years at every operator. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.


Don't forget, many colossal failures of mankind needed extremely smart people to pull them off.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 9883
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:59 pm

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
Yes! They were supposed to use the money to be ready for full scale operations when demand returned.


That's an interesting interpretation but certainly not what was required under the law(s). Maintain stations (or seek a waiver). No dividends or buybacks. No invol layoffs isn't be ready for full scale operations.
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 5205
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:03 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
Yes! They were supposed to use the money to be ready for full scale operations when demand returned.


That's an interesting interpretation but certainly not what was required under the law(s). Maintain stations (or seek a waiver). No dividends or buybacks. No invol layoffs isn't be ready for full scale operations.


No that's what the airlines and unions said. It wasn't required by law because it's impossible to enforce or track but why they said why they didnt want to do layoffs. The whole point of not laying people off was to get full scale operations when demand picked up. Ie why those employees didn't go thru the normal unemployment channels
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5644
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:59 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
Yes! They were supposed to use the money to be ready for full scale operations when demand returned.


That's an interesting interpretation but certainly not what was required under the law(s). Maintain stations (or seek a waiver). No dividends or buybacks. No invol layoffs isn't be ready for full scale operations.

If you aren’t laying peuple off then why aren’t you keeping them ready to go?
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15174
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:57 am

9w748capt wrote:
slider wrote:
After having been in the airline universe for a few decades plus, I still shudder to think of how many utter imbeciles run airlines.

AA is fully to blame.


Yup. Though you have to give it up to Dougie too. Even after continually cutting and degrading the onboard product to absurd levels, suckers like me continue to give him money. If AA knew weeks ago that they'd be having these issues, again good on them for conning us. They knew they'd get our money one way or the other.

That’s why I feel not so bad about finding crazy mileage deals where I have a family of 4 flying transcon RT in F going out and J on a 77W coming back for 45k each. I like to use miles to max value. Sure it’s not quite as good as when I used 110k CO miles on QANTAS for LAX-SYD/F, SYD-PER (Y as no seats in J available), PER-MEL-LAX J/F. That included access to all the F lounges of course.
 
USAirKid
Posts: 867
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:42 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:48 am

ikramerica wrote:
CobaltScar wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Time for the airlines to increase their pay or benefits to get people. Make non revving good again to start


non revving is neigh impossible because everyone is taking turns having meltdowns and sending their canceled pax to ride on other airlines

FlyEndeavorAir wrote:
There are still many airline positions, including those at AA's subsidiary companies that pay minimum wage, and that's union jobs as well.


As someone else said, you can make more at Bucees and be in the air conditioning all day. Also more and more businesses are starting out at 15+ per hour, Universal Studios being the most recent one to come to mind. Who in their right minds would want to be a gate agent making 2/3rds of that? And have to clean planes between turns on top of that??

We aren’t supposed to be political, but the $15 per hour laws passed around the country kicked many unions in the teeth in the short term. In the long term, the next round of contract talks will be brutal. When McD’s is starting at $15.75 near me, with benefits, who is going to want to do something more difficult for less?


I don't know for every union, but I know IAM/AW's contract with McGee Air Services/Alaska Airlines, has the option for higher local wages in certain areas.

FWIW, at least in Seattle, if a company is paying the $16.69/hr for Seattle, or the $13.69/hr for the rest of the state, they're going to have trouble getting employees.. Pay just doesn't tend to be that low for jobs here in the Seattle area.
 
Varsity1
Posts: 2316
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 4:55 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 6:00 am

smithbs wrote:
UpNAWAy wrote:
The pilots rebid equipment and many of those where very senior (B757 & B767 & A330), Some might have got the B787 but most I bet ended up on B737, bumping a bunch of qualified B737 pilots to airbus. So now you have twice the number of pilots you have to retrain.


I'm losing a colleague now to AA to become a pilot. He'll be off the street and getting his commercial wings for the first time. :)



If he's a new pilot he will be working for a regional, not AA.
 
ContinentalEWR
Posts: 4663
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 2:50 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:05 am

It looks like AA's JFK long haul operation is seeing operational issues on what seems to be an almost daily basis. AA 94 (JFK-MAD) from 6/24 has been delayed to 3:30pm this afternoon, the JFK-EZE flight has also taken 12 or 16 hour delays. The TLV flight has also seen some massive delays on a few days. JFK-ATH, JFK-FCO, JFK-MXP and JFK-LHR seem to have had a more stable operational history in terms of on time performance.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10939
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:15 pm

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
Yes! They were supposed to use the money to be ready for full scale operations when demand returned.


That's an interesting interpretation but certainly not what was required under the law(s). Maintain stations (or seek a waiver). No dividends or buybacks. No invol layoffs isn't be ready for full scale operations.


No that's what the airlines and unions said. It wasn't required by law because it's impossible to enforce or track but why they said why they didnt want to do layoffs. The whole point of not laying people off was to get full scale operations when demand picked up. Ie why those employees didn't go thru the normal unemployment channels

So the government should have had some additional stipulations in the stimulus package that specifically targeted airline operations and FAA rules and regulations. The pilots were kept employed but the airlines spent little to no money keeping them current with flying time either in the air - rotating more crews on cargo trips - or spending funds / resources on simulator time, the icing on the cake was retiring fleets and having to go through the rebid process. Here is where I think the fault lies and they have no excuse, since the union contracts allow and or mandate the rebid process and the seniors get priority, additional funds should have been spent then to get all involved recertified on their new a/c as soon as possible.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5644
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:43 pm

ikramerica wrote:
CobaltScar wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Time for the airlines to increase their pay or benefits to get people. Make non revving good again to start


non revving is neigh impossible because everyone is taking turns having meltdowns and sending their canceled pax to ride on other airlines

FlyEndeavorAir wrote:
There are still many airline positions, including those at AA's subsidiary companies that pay minimum wage, and that's union jobs as well.


As someone else said, you can make more at Bucees and be in the air conditioning all day. Also more and more businesses are starting out at 15+ per hour, Universal Studios being the most recent one to come to mind. Who in their right minds would want to be a gate agent making 2/3rds of that? And have to clean planes between turns on top of that??

We aren’t supposed to be political, but the $15 per hour laws passed around the country kicked many unions in the teeth in the short term. In the long term, the next round of contract talks will be brutal. When McD’s is starting at $15.75 near me, with benefits, who is going to want to do something more difficult for less?

What do you mean the unions? They aren’t responsible for hiring. If anything they have more leverage to ask for money. Wages are gonna have to go up to keep up
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 5205
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:30 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:28 pm

32andBelow wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
Yes! They were supposed to use the money to be ready for full scale operations when demand returned.


That's an interesting interpretation but certainly not what was required under the law(s). Maintain stations (or seek a waiver). No dividends or buybacks. No invol layoffs isn't be ready for full scale operations.

If you aren’t laying peuple off then why aren’t you keeping them ready to go?


Yes. The excuses are really reaching this time. AA failed here. They should have been much more ready to go when demand picked up. AA didnt seem interested in having their staff ready and its showing right now. Terrible planning and AA is paying the price right now
 
BA777
Posts: 2052
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:40 pm

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:38 pm

I'm a 737NG check airman in the UK and out of work, I'd happily come over for 6 months to help.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5644
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:56 pm

kalvado wrote:
slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
If you aren’t laying peuple off then why aren’t you keeping them ready to go?


Yes. The excuses are really reaching this time. AA failed here. They should have been much more ready to go when demand picked up. AA didnt seem interested in having their staff ready and its showing right now. Terrible planning and AA is paying the price right now

Union contracts definitely play a role in the mess, though - and not at AA only; and there isn't much what airline management can do about it.Union hurting the company - it never happened before, so why it happens again and again?

Please explain what a Union has to do with the airline paying less than fast food? You think the Union would not accept a mid contract salary increase for their members?
 
kalvado
Posts: 3231
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 6:01 pm

32andBelow wrote:
kalvado wrote:
slcdeltarumd11 wrote:

Yes. The excuses are really reaching this time. AA failed here. They should have been much more ready to go when demand picked up. AA didnt seem interested in having their staff ready and its showing right now. Terrible planning and AA is paying the price right now

Union contracts definitely play a role in the mess, though - and not at AA only; and there isn't much what airline management can do about it.Union hurting the company - it never happened before, so why it happens again and again?

Please explain what a Union has to do with the airline paying less than fast food? You think the Union would not accept a mid contract salary increase for their members?

Maybe unions have something to do with pilot re-training mess, though?
 
ckfred
Posts: 5200
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

Re: AA Facing Summer Cancellations and Crewing Issues

Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:06 pm

Drive past any store or restaurant, and there is a help wanted sign. I think people grew accustomed to how organized labor lay-offs work. When the Big Three laid off hourly workers during an economic downturn, they started with the least senior people and worked up the seniority ladder, until the number of workers designated was reached. As the economy picked up, workers were called back, starting with those with the most seniority.

People assumed that if a retailer or restaurant laid off people, they would go back when restrictions allowed more hours, or business picked up. But, many workers either found other work, are biding their time with unemployment, or are making wholesale changes (shifting industries or going back to school).

I've read that the travel industry (airlines, hotels, rental cars, etc.) are all seeing stronger bookings for this summer than were anticipated. Many hotels don't have enough staff and are booking fewer rooms than capacity. Rental car companies are short of vehicles. The airlines are dealing with staffing shortages and the usual summer weather problems.

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