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747fan
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:21 am

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 90):
There have been a few specific incidents regarding our crew members and the FAA and maintenance issues. I won't go into that here on this site for obvious reasons. Trust me when I say that we have been warned to be very careful out there. As I said, oversight is way up and professional aviators have their licenses on the line each time we go to work. I had the FAA ride in the cockpit both ways the other day. They were very nice and complimentary, but I can assure you that we are being very careful. They also stated their presence was just routine due to the bankruptcy and assured me that there were no suspicions on their part. If you want to draw conspiracy theories, I can't stop you.

Interesting. This certainly explains a lot.
I've been digging through Sabre investigating what these delays have been coded to and the large majority seems to be maintenance. Just that at my station, it seemed most of the inbound flights were delayed due to awaiting crew. But being short by about 400 pilots certainly explains that.
So its obviously a combination of several different factors causing the recent operational issues.

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 77):
mean the cockpit crew being hard-asses and having us call contract maintenance to get something written up or fixed that is normally MEL'ed

Some MEL's can be placarded inoperative by the flight crew and we have procedures for that. Many other items, while they can be placarded, must be placarded by maintenance to deal with specifics to that particular MEL that the pilots are not legally or able to comply with.

Thanks for the explanation on that, I've been curious as to how that process works. I didn't mean to initially come across the wrong way; it was a combination of false assumptions & frustration in dealing with these delays that lead me to post/fire away.
 
crAAzy
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:40 am

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 82):
AA is now claiming pilots are calling in sick and that that is the cause of many delays. Every pilot I know, due to all the scrutiny, is not calling in sick unless they have proof of a doctors visit verifying they are in fact sick. In fact, APA has advised us not to call in sick unless we have proof via a doctor. APA also tracks sick time and they are saying the sick list is below historical norms.

Glad you posted this for some facts as I think many people are getting confused with the pilot action here. It doesn't appear that they are calilng in sick or doing anything illegal for AA or a judge to take any action against them.

At the same time, let's face it, this IS a union action as one posted above ...

Quoting par13del (Reply 92):
Work to rule is called a union action but at any airline today and most business houses with extensive rules and regulations, if staff follow them to the T one will get delays.

RIght or wrong, these actions are getting noticed by the media more as each day passes, are dragging down operations, appear to be having adverse effects on other AA employees, are definitely affecting AA customers.

I echo other's when I say your balanced voice and insight into difficult matters/times are much appreciated. Employees like yourself are one of the main reasons that many of AA's loyal flyers remain with the company.
 
AAAL
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:39 am

I flew out of DFW yesterday and was strolling down terminal C. As I was walking down, I noticed every flight was delayed about two hours. I have never seen anything like this before unless weather or ATC. Obviously not the case yesterday...


I think it's a combination of a lot of factors. I do think there are those pilots that are doing this on purpose, but not at high rate that people are claiming. Long maintenance delays have accounted for crews that have gone Illegal in duty time. This has forced crew scheduling to use reserves and those trips have also been interrupted leading to the operational mess AA is in now. Today AA only had a couple of maintenance cancellations and more of operational cancellations. AA is slowly recovering, but it will take some time.
 
Mir
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:34 am

Quoting norcal (Reply 55):
This is the schizophrenic world we operate in as pilots. If we follow the letter of the law, yes we are safe from the FAA but then we have management breathing down our backs and threatening us because we aren't on time anymore. So we bend the rules some because it's the only way to make things work in the real world.

However the second something happens you better believe the company will throw you under the bus and say, "Your honor, the pilots shouldn't have been taxiing that fast, should have written that up, etc. etc. it says so right here in our manuals!!!!" Then they walk away patting themselves on the back because they are no longer liable.

It really is ridiculous, and it's a failure of the airlines to write manuals that say what they mean, and a failure of the FAA to regulate properly. It sucks if a captain has to delay a flight so that they have time to check a flight attendant's manual for currency, but if the FAA is going to ding him if he doesn't, then I completely understand. No amount of good service you can provide passengers is worth your license - without a license, you're not going to be providing service to any passengers.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
norcal
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:36 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 103):
It really is ridiculous, and it's a failure of the airlines to write manuals that say what they mean, and a failure of the FAA to regulate properly. It sucks if a captain has to delay a flight so that they have time to check a flight attendant's manual for currency, but if the FAA is going to ding him if he doesn't, then I completely understand. No amount of good service you can provide passengers is worth your license - without a license, you're not going to be providing service to any passengers.

Exactly, most airline manuals are written ambiguously to allow the company an out in the event of legal action. In one section it will say something to the effect that all policies and operating procedures will be strictly adhered to. Then in another section it says these policies and operating procedures should be deviated from if in the best judgement of the captain it is necessary for the safe completion of the flight.

That way the "monday morning quarter backing" the lawyers can absolve the company of any wrong doing and throw the pilots under the bus.

If you weren't following SOP because the book didn't cover the scenario then they can blame you. If you were following SOP to the letter and something bad happens they can say, "well the Captain should have used his best judgement," then they can blame you. I've seen very good pilots lose their jobs before because of this. The company is the first one to try and feed them to the wolves instead of backing them up. That practice alone is the reason we still need unions.
 
aaexecplat
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:54 pm

Quoting norcal (Reply 104):
Exactly, most airline manuals are written ambiguously to allow the company an out in the event of legal action. In one section it will say something to the effect that all policies and operating procedures will be strictly adhered to. Then in another section it says these policies and operating procedures should be deviated from if in the best judgement of the captain it is necessary for the safe completion of the flight.

That way the "monday morning quarter backing" the lawyers can absolve the company of any wrong doing and throw the pilots under the bus.

If you weren't following SOP because the book didn't cover the scenario then they can blame you. If you were following SOP to the letter and something bad happens they can say, "well the Captain should have used his best judgement," then they can blame you. I've seen very good pilots lose their jobs before because of this. The company is the first one to try and feed them to the wolves instead of backing them up. That practice alone is the reason we still need unions.

Agreed 100%. Any employee manual and training should be 100% unambiguous. You deserve nothing less.

That said, let's remember one thing...namely that the operational issues didn't start until after the APA contract was abrogated. So we can speculate about all sorts of reasons for the current operational issues, yet the fact remains that none of this started until last week. And while the action by the pilots appears legal in and of itself, it is obvious that the pilots are not as productive now as they used to be, nor as productive as their peers at DL, UA, and US are.

And before anyone trots out the "FAA oversight" and "fear of losing ATP license" lines, let me say that I am not so sure I buy this because something would have had to change abruptly in the regulatory environment the day after the pilot contracts were abrogated for this to make any sense. Since I don't fundamentally believe that, I dismiss the notion. And I have asked about how many AA pilots lose their license annually and nobody here or elsewhere seems to know the figures. I suspect that's because the number of revoked licenses is infinitesimally small. That doesn't mean the threat is present and real, but in the absence of data and anecdotal evidence, I question the pervasiveness of this problem (the loss of license as opposed to the threat of loss of license).

I know the pilots can't say it like it is for legal reasons, but let's please be honest here. The change in operational reliability on AA is ENTIRELY due to work to rule implemented by the pilots right now.

While that is within their legal right, this will definitely impact AA's bottom line at a time when AA can least afford it, and it has the real prospect of backfiring for the pilots as a group (if it hasn't already).
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:32 pm

No one wins in these situations. The employees are irreparably harmed, passenger service plummets because of unhappy front line employees and the airline's reputation sufffers. Eventually passengers vote in their own best interests and switch loyalties to another carrier. If you have to be somewhere at a certain time are you going to risk booking with an airline suffering massive cancellations or with one that has a reasonable chance of getting you where you want to go on time?

Laying off employees right before the holidays is a terrible PR move but it seems that present AA management is immune to public opinion and criticism. My heart goes out to those affected.

I sincerely fear that if AA does not get its act together quickly we could see the end of a proud piece of aviation history. Eventually the creditors will get antsy as they see revenue plummeting and will push for a Chapter 7 liquidation. Employees get so frustrated and angry that many will see "the nucleur option" as the best choice. Remember Eastern?
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
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N62NA
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:49 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 106):

Laying off employees right before the holidays is a terrible PR move but it seems that present AA management is immune to public opinion and criticism.

It's not just AA or the airline industry. Since the consolidation of the radio industry into just a few mega-owners, thousands of people have gotten their pink slips during the Thanksgiving - Christmas period over the past few years.
 
PHX787
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:59 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 107):
Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 106):

Laying off employees right before the holidays is a terrible PR move but it seems that present AA management is immune to public opinion and criticism.

It's not just AA or the airline industry. Since the consolidation of the radio industry into just a few mega-owners, thousands of people have gotten their pink slips during the Thanksgiving - Christmas period over the past few years.

It's nothing that people can control sometimes either. People are going to get laid off if a business is heading south and there's nothing management can do otherwise.
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
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par13del
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:17 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 96):
I'm also not sure how hiring airlines would learn who the "less hire-able" ones are, and what risks they'd be taking by trying to gather such information.

References are one, if the new company requires and verifies, some HR people do have an informal network, may or may not be legal.

Quoting Mir (Reply 103):
and it's a failure of the airlines to write manuals that say what they mean, and a failure of the FAA to regulate properly.
Quoting norcal (Reply 104):
Exactly, most airline manuals are written ambiguously to allow the company an out in the event of legal action.

So when a work to rule takes place the dark side of the issue raises it's head.
A no win situation, based on past experience which almost did in the AA pilots union, they will be working real hard to ensure that there is no hint that this is an organized union action, unfortunately, it only takes on bad apple saying to the authorities that the union suggested it to start a whole mess of trouble. Once the investigation starts, it almost gets to the point where it is irrelevant whether its true or not, the instigators will have caused their damage.

Now that the layoff number have been posted as per the labour laws, I see a number of "politicians" are now getting interested, including the governor of Florida as MIA is due to get a hit.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:30 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 109):
References are one, if the new company requires and verifies

References are provided by the candidate, who is not likely to provide a bad reference!

Quoting par13del (Reply 109):
some HR people do have an informal network, may or may not be legal.

Nor should it. Such a network could easily pick up bogus gossip.
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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gigneil
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:31 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 109):
References are one, if the new company requires and verifies, some HR people do have an informal network, may or may not be legal.

Its very interesting in the US, and does vary from state to state - but most employers have a strict policy of only providing, officially, your income and dates of service.

NS
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:56 pm

Any update on today? It's sad to see how far AA has fallen, let's just hope they bottom out soon (and recover)
 
PRAirbus
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:57 pm

The APA Pilots union is risking a court injunction or a fine if a work slowdown is proven...they're shooting themselves in the foot! Did they forget about a fine they got in the past similar tactics??? :O
 
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Revelation
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:45 pm

Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 113):
The APA Pilots union is risking a court injunction or a fine if a work slowdown is proven

According to the postings above, they're risking putting themselves all out of jobs, so what's a mere fine compared to that?

Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 113):
Did they forget about a fine they got in the past similar tactics???

I suspect they did not forget, and so I doubt any proof of a slowdown will be found.

If it is, we'll all be calling them idiots.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
windy95
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:58 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 26):
I am flying AA in about 3 weeks. I have been a loyal AA flyer but every year things seem to get worse and worse. If I have a bad experience in my next trip I will have to seriously consider staying so loyal to them.

The Business travel editor from the WSJ had put out a warning to flyers to cancel their trips with AA because it is only going to get worse.

Book Away From American This Fall; Pilot Feud Has Made Airline Too Unreliable
http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2012...d-has-made-airline-too-unreliable/

This was posted yesterday..
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:16 am

Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 113):
The APA Pilots union is risking a court injunction or a fine if a work slowdown is proven...they're shooting themselves in the foot!

This is the APA we're talking about, it's what they do. I'm surprised they have any feet left to shoot.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 114):
I suspect they did not forget, and so I doubt any proof of a slowdown will be found.

The USAPA didn't leave any "proof" either, but their fingerprints were all over every one of the zillion metrics US monitors, and the jump in delays/sick calls/writeups/etc was clear as day and earned USAPA their very own injunction to enjoy and treasure.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
NWADTWE16
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:05 am

What should be of interest is that the cancellations are occurring 4-5 days out from the actual operating date of the flights. According to AA Sales it is a 'thinning' of routes with no further explanation. They are labeled as crew in Sabre
I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list!
 
Mir
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:54 am

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 105):
And I have asked about how many AA pilots lose their license annually and nobody here or elsewhere seems to know the figures. I suspect that's because the number of revoked licenses is infinitesimally small. That doesn't mean the threat is present and real, but in the absence of data and anecdotal evidence, I question the pervasiveness of this problem (the loss of license as opposed to the threat of loss of license).

Let's say it's three people out of all the pilots at AA - an incredibly small percentage. But if you're one of those three, you'll likely be finding a new career. And if I were an AA pilot, I'd be doing everything I can to not be the fourth. Yes, the chances are incredibly small. But it's just not worth it.

Hell, I'm not an AA pilot, I've never been line checked or ramp checked, and I still do everything in accordance with the manual to the best of my ability because I'd feel like an idiot (and would be one) if I got violated for not doing everything properly because I figured the chances of me getting caught were so small.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
flyfree727
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:36 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 118):
Hell, I'm not an AA pilot, I've never been line checked or ramp checked, and I still do everything in accordance with the manual to the best of my ability because I'd feel like an idiot (and would be one) if I got violated for not doing everything properly because I figured the chances of me getting caught were so small.




Absolutely! We've even seen a major increase in FAA inspectors on board for cabin/ FA inspections. Ask a FA what the FAA fine is if a STAPLE is found still on a page in our manual.. Or if carry-on bags are not stowed in compliance. Or if we FAIL to advise a passenger the seat belt sign is turned on. There is certainly an increase presence of FAA on the property. For ALL departments.

AA ORD
 
aaexecplat
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:48 am

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 119):
Ask a FA what the FAA fine is if a STAPLE is found still on a page in our manual..

Are you serious? That is absurd!
 
norcal
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:31 pm

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 120):
Are you serious? That is absurd!

I've got another one for you. I saw this back on Airline Pilot Central last year in a thread where Eagle pilots were warning each other about a recent FAA action. It had to do with AMR transferring the registrations of all the aircraft from Eagle to a holding company. The registration transfer resulted in a temporary registration being issued until a final one was ready.

While the plane had a temporary registration it wasn't allowed to fly internationally, only domestically. If a crew accidentally took an aircraft outside the US then they and the company would be fined an absurd amount of money by the FAA. This was literally a piece of paper that just said who the aircraft belonged to. Nothing to do with safety or records and the FAA got all up in arms about it.

That is the kind of b.s. we deal with that can end up on our records or in worse case cost us our licenses if the FAA really wants to make an example out of you.

So during bankruptcy with increased oversight by the FAA you better believe I'd be doing everything by the book if I was an AA or even an Eagle pilot. An over enthusiastic FAA ramp inspector could ding the pilot for not writing up a paint chip if he/she really wanted to. Worn placards, a broken armrest, etc. There are all kinds of things out there that we have to protect ourselves from all while trying to operate a very tight schedule.

[Edited 2012-09-20 05:33:02]
 
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STT757
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:07 pm

The FAA has nothing to do with AA's current turmoil, anecdotal examples of increased FAA scrutiny, while worthy of discussion, are just background noise to the real issues:

Employee dissatisfaction, disruptions, distractions
Older aircraft
Poor communication (Management-Employee-Customer)
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
DashTrash
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:22 pm

Quoting NWADTWE16 (Reply 117):
What should be of interest is that the cancellations are occurring 4-5 days out from the actual operating date of the flights. According to AA Sales it is a 'thinning' of routes with no further explanation. They are labeled as crew in Sabre

Telltale sign of a short staffed airline.

Quoting norcal (Reply 121):
While the plane had a temporary registration it wasn't allowed to fly internationally, only domestically.

It's more restrictive than that. You can operate the aircraft outside of the contiguous 48 states. Many domestic routes will put you over Canada. Hell, some of the departures out of DTW will have you bust in a pink slipped aircraft.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 122):
The FAA has nothing to do with AA's current turmoil, anecdotal examples of increased FAA scrutiny, while worthy of discussion, are just background noise to the real issues:

....and you know this how? Bankrupt airlines have additional eyes watching. That's a known fact. Those additional eyes force you to cover your six a lot tighter than you would normally.
 
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par13del
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:36 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 122):
The FAA has nothing to do with AA's current turmoil

Well, if pilots following FAA rules and regulations are leading to a slowdown in AA operations I would say it does have something to do with it. Inspections are one thing, so far no one has claimed increased inspections.
The reality that we are looking at is that airlines have been having their staff play free and loose with the rules and regulations to run what we as pax call an efficient operation, these are their own rules plus those of the FAA and other regulators.
Lets suppose pilots at DL and UA to show support for their AA brethren start doing the same working by the book, if that action creates massive disruptions does that mean that the rules, their implementation or the persons carrying them out are a problem?
Rules and regulations are made to be followed, so far I have not seen it mentioned publicly that the workers at AA are violating the rules / regs or doing anything illegal, that is the problem, AA does not appear to have sufficient resources available for efficient operation if persons do exactly what they are told to do.
Slow taxi is an issue which can be addressed, but then again, whose rule says that a pilot is responsible for the speed during taxi? If the rumours of AA pilots at DFW doing slow taxi's to frustrate competiting airlines to leave DFW, who was behind that and who allowed it to happen, if beneficial then now we see the dark side.

A no win situation right now needs to come to a head sooner rather than later, dragging this out does no one any good.
I honestly have no answers but what I stated in the other thread, the creditors need to act, it is in their hands.
 
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STT757
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:48 pm

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 123):
Those additional eyes force you to cover your six a lot tighter than you would normally.



Are they on the taxiway with a radar gun?

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 123):
and you know this how?



Experience with Unions, and passive resistance by "going by the book". I'll use the example that Pilots are similar to law enforcement officers in that both have discretion to make decisions on the job, when police officers use their usual everyday discretion the level of arrests, fines etc.. are at one level. When they are influenced the levels of arrests, fines etc.. change, either up or down depending on what they are trying to accomplish.

A law enforcement officer may increase their arrests, fines etc.. to try to meet "quotas". It's not that crime has increased and thus arrests and fines are increased, but rather the police officer is not relying on discretion and going more "by the book".

Conversely when law enforcement officers are involved in protracted union negotiations or trying to express other types of dissatisfaction with municipal/state leaders they may use their discretion much more which leads to a plummet of fines, citations that are issued. Again crime has not changed, the way the law enforcement officer is using their discretion has changed.

Pilots in this case are similar to police officers in that they are affecting the operation of the airline by changing how they use their discretion, going by the book, nothing has changed at AA other than how the pilots are executing their decisions. And they use the "going by the book" argument to protect themselves.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
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par13del
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:31 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 125):
Pilots in this case are similar to police officers in that they are affecting the operation of the airline by changing how they use their discretion, going by the book, nothing has changed at AA other than how the pilots are executing their decisions. And they use the "going by the book" argument to protect themselves.

I think everyone agrees with your description of what is taking place, the big question is now what?
So far in multiple threads we see pressure being bought to bear on the employees to not follow the book and use their discretion to the benefit of the jobs that they are in the process of loosing and or having their wages / benefits decreased, are we expecting too much?
 
Mir
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:55 pm

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 120):
Are you serious? That is absurd!

Welcome to the world of the overbearing FAA inspector. Their numbers are few, but they can really ruin your day. So it's advisable to act as if every single FAA inspector is one of them.

Which sucks. Not just because you always have to be on your toes, but because most of the people at the FAA are reasonable, rational people who won't throw the book at you if you make an honest mistake - forget about some minutiae in the manual, for instance. And they can have valuable information to impart, if you get the chance to talk to them. But you don't talk to them beyond what's absolutely required, because of the fear of self-incrimination. So the few idiots create an unnecessarily adversarial relationship for everyone else.

Quoting STT757 (Reply 125):
Are they on the taxiway with a radar gun?

Probably not with a radar gun, no. But they might be watching the taxiways. Or they might be in the cockpit, watching the speed.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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Revelation
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:00 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 125):
Pilots in this case are similar to police officers in that they are affecting the operation of the airline by changing how they use their discretion, going by the book, nothing has changed at AA other than how the pilots are executing their decisions.

But you are presuming they are doing so due to labor actions, when there is now evidence that there is additional oversight.

Does police management ride along in the cop car during periods of financial stress?
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
93Sierra
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:27 pm

AA pilots have had the short end of the stick this past decade, with lower than average pay scales and a slow fleet modernization. Slow taxi times and lower altitudes are just the start.....burn some fuel boys. AA should/needs to keep the pilots happy, they have been pounding sand for a while.
 
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N62NA
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:07 pm

Is AA 277 MIA-LAX today a victim of the slowdown?

It was supposed to depart at 10:45am and now shows "Delayed - Estimated Departure Time: 3:30pm"

Probably with such a huge delay, they'll end up cancelling (just a hunch).
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:21 pm

AA277 - Broken plane. Waiting for replacement equipment.



APA out with a press release:

Allied Pilots Association: Decline in American Airlines’ Operational Performance “Management’s Own Making”
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/allied...on-decline-american-130000686.html

basically they say --
Old fleet + not enough mechanics = more delays
Insufficient number of pilots = cancels as schedule cant be covered


Also in addition to informational picketing at ORD the other day, APA will picket at LAX on Friday timed exactly to the Space Shuttle arrival. Should be lots of media on around.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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STT757
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:41 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 128):
Does police management ride along in the cop car during periods of financial stress?



No they get cameras on the dash.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 128):
when there is now evidence that there is additional oversight.



What evidence? Is there something that can be pointed to other than anecdotal examples.
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LAXintl
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:50 pm

FAA as policy increases oversight of carriers in when in financial distress, labor disputes or during major operational changes (eg merger).

These periods are considered "high risk".

Below excerpt from inspectors handbook that specifically addresses air carrier surveillance during bankruptcy or labor disputes.

http://fsims.faa.gov/wdocs/8900.1/V0...llance/Chapter%2009/06_009_018.htm

=
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par13del
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:13 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 133):
Below excerpt from inspectors handbook that specifically addresses air carrier surveillance during bankruptcy or labor disputes.

http://fsims.faa.gov/wdocs/8900.1/V0...8.htm

Thanks for the link.
The other side of this is the changes that were made to the Chpt.11 process, what UA, DL and NW accomplished in their filing cannot be done today, at least not in the same way, the landscape has changed, AA was unable to simply dump their pensions.
 
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N62NA
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:20 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 131):
AA277 - Broken plane. Waiting for replacement equipment.

I see it FINALLY left at 4pm - 5 hours and 15 minutes late.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 131):
Old fleet + not enough mechanics = more delays

In the case of AA 277, this is a 772 so not at all part of the "old fleet" so once again I'm wondering if this horrendous delay was due to a "broken coffee maker in F class" or something similar.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:02 pm

As of 3pm central - 77 cancels today at mainline.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 135):
In the case of AA 277, this is a 772 so not at all part of the "old fleet" so once again I'm wondering if this horrendous delay was due to a "broken coffee maker in F class" or something similar.

AA has reduced spare part inventory and has shown the door to some 1,700 mechanics. End result is not good especially when you run an older fleet. But even a brand new bird without parts of someone to work on it, wont be going anywhere.
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N62NA
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:09 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 136):
even a brand new bird without parts of someone to work on it, wont be going anywhere.

Yep, understood. Just wondering if this is due to a "coffee maker malfunction."
 
tommy767
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:24 pm

I'm late to the party -- just got out of the hospital after 6 days of treatment.

Wow....This situation is making UA look good.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
aluminumtubing
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:29 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 137):
Yep, understood. Just wondering if this is due to a "coffee maker malfunction."

Remember Air Canada and Swissair...... Electrically powered convenience items..... Lav and entertainment system.
 
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N62NA
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:42 pm

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 139):
Remember Air Canada and Swissair...... Electrically powered convenience items..... Lav and entertainment system.

Yes.  
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:54 am

http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2012...d-has-made-airline-too-unreliable/

WSJ says it is a pilot action. Not sick-out, but being extra-picky about rejecting aircraft.

AA has a ~50% on-time rate for this week.

Quote:
If you’re making travel plans for this fall, avoid American Airlines. American has become too unreliable.

The carrier, reorganizing in bankruptcy court, has begun implementing cuts in pay, benefits and time off and outsourcing more flying to regional airlines. Pilots at American are doing what they (and pilots at other airlines) have done before — reacting angrily and hurting passengers. Pilots are calling in sick, moving airplanes slowly and grounding flights for broken parts that wouldn’t normally delay a flight. The pilots’ union denies any orchestrated action and blames management for operational problems.
-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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futureualpilot
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:02 am

I came across this, and was told it was written by a 737 FO at AA. I know this will probably encourage the a.net crowd to further crap on pilots but my hope is that it serves to enlighten some to consider it isn't the big bad pilots and their egos doing all the damage here.


"I'm just here to do a job, my job.

5:00 AM show for a 6 o'clock go in SFO this morning. Took the 4:40 shuttle from the short layover, and after 4 stops, got through security at 5:10. Straight to the jet which sat all night.

Parking brake pressure sat around 2,000 PSI, in the orange band.
3 of the 4 main tires with low pressure.
A chip in a fan blade in the left engine.
Cracked taxi light.
2 of the 3 exterior emergency exit placards under the FO window deteriorated.
Exterior Evacuation Slide placard on the forward galley door deteriorated.

Did I mention this thing sat all night at a maintenance base?

Anyway, a MX team showed up to work. Then they quit. Apparently AA schedules a maintenance shift change right at the morning push with all the so-called critical flights. New team shows up. Work is being done with all the passengers politely watching from their assigned seats. Departure time keeps getting pushed back. At 7:00, the #1 tells us the flight is canceled and they're deadheading on the 7:10 flight to DFW. So are we. Maintenance tells me the jet is OTS because 2 brake metering valves are leaking.

We gather our stuff, (well most of it, my CA left his earpiece in the jet), and head to the new gate. A manager, Kevin, is working the 7:10 flight. He's stressing. Tells us he's putting us on the next flight, not this one, and to leave him alone. No problem, just means we will be late for our return flight, but we aren't in charge of manning, deadheading, scheduling or SFO, so we sit in those cool round red chairs out of the way and watch the show. Long lines, cell phones out everywhere, agents gate checking bags, and the manager running around trying to keep up.

7:10 comes and goes. The gate door is shut. A gate agent makes the following page in the terminal, "Kevin, return to gate 57. The captain (working the flight) wants to talk to you." Kevin refused to talk to him. The door opens again, and agents are sending down more passengers. Important-looking people are talking to their respective travel departments and jockeying for position at the gate to get the last few seats. Apparently, they tried to close the flight out with 20 empty seats and a long line at the gate from our canceled flight. The captain called bull[Content Deleted].

Our names are called. We weave through the important people to the gate. The agent looks at us, "What's up?" "We don't know, you called our names." "Oh, you're deadheading?" Again, we don't know. "Go sit down." OK.

5 minutes later, our names are called again. "You're on. We're checking your bags." "How will we get our bags in DFW?" They are "Escort Tagged". They will be brought up the jet bridge in DFW with strollers and wheel chairs. "OK, cool". All middle seats in coach, my favorite! We push at 7:33, 23 minutes late. Critical flight canceled and another D+23... We arrive in DFW A+8...

On a side note, our crew breakfasts were not provided on the deadhead, so we hadn't eaten since the night prior.

Our departure back to SFO was scheduled at 12:40, so we figured AA had the flight boarded and ready. We are standing on the jetbridge waiting for our bags. Passengers are deplaning. They're done. The crew leaves and another shows up. Still no bags. Oh , and no keys or vests to go find our bags. We wait. After all, baggage handlers know how to do their jobs, and it's not my job to prod everybody along. We're all highly trained professionals. They board the next flight so we clear the jetbridge into the gate area. They finish and the agent asks us what's going on. We tell her the story. She goes to check. At that time, almost an hour after we arrived, crew tracking calls. "Why aren't you at the next flight?" Captain tells her our story. Here we are. No bags, no manuals, no keys, no nothing. Oh and by the way, we haven't eaten since last night. Tracking says nourishment's hotels and limos' arena.

Tracking calls back. She called the ramp manager. The ramp manager gave her the crew chief's cell phone number. She asked the chief about our bags with the "Escort Tags" on them. He told her no way was he going to carry them up the jetbridge stairs so he left them on the ramp. After a while, he took them to baggage claim. She said he was pissed. We told her that's fine, just have them delivered to the departure gate, which did board on time, ready to go at 12:40. It's now 13:40-ish.

Nobody can deliver our "escort bags" to the new gate, so we go outside security and grab 'em. Come back through security in D, catch the train over to C and to the new gate. No agent, door shut. (Remember when a key would allow us to get to the jet? Not my problem anymore.) Screw it. I walk to McDonald's. Did I mention we hadn't eaten since the night before and it's 14:00 now?. I get back to the gate. The captain's studying the 18-foot-long flight plan. The agent lets me down the jetbridge.

Upon entering the jet, the flight attendant says, "Can you make a PA and tell these passengers why you're late?" She's standing next to a first class passenger in the galley. I say, "Well hi there, I'm Bill. How are you?" Eyeballing my little McDonald's bag, she says, "I'm not getting paid, we boarded over an hour ago, and I can't get off to get food like you have." "Hey I'm sorry, we haven't eaten since yesterday. We deadheaded in and AA lost our bags." I look at the passenger and say, "Hey there, how are you? Can you believe AA would lose our luggage?" He understood and was in a good mood. No problem with him. Just the FA.

I walk around the jet. The captain comes down and we start making our nests. "Cabin's ready." SLAM. Ahhhh, peace behind the cockpit door. I've come to really like that door over the years. We're loading the box, flipping switches, all that cool stuff we do before we get paid. DING, DING. Captain answers, Yes? "Why aren't we moving yet?" Well, we just got here. Now we're running all those checklists we do before we go fly. A few minutes later, DING, DING. Yess? "Can you make a PA and tell these passengers why we're still sitting here?" I'm not making this up.

Finally time to push. 14:50 local. D+130 minutes. BANG. The tow bar breaks. DING, DING. Yesss? "What was that??" Don't worry about it. We have it under control. Please let us do our jobs. MX inspects the jet. No problem. Meanwhile, the agent lets PAX off - without their bags... We can't leave without them. We finally push at 15:52 local. D+192.


After the flight, one of the passenger got in the captain's face as he was deplaning, pointed his finger in his face and said, "You're a THUG! A union THUG! The captain replied, "Sir, you don't know me, but I assure you I'm nothing like that." Yes you ARE! A union THUG! and left.

Maintenance came on and asked who the thug is. Captain fessed up. He laughed. Then he talked about a flight that canceled this morning because the crew "wrote up 19 items 20 minutes before departure". He got a bull[Content Deleted] look from the captain. Then he said, "Of course, the jet did sit here all night with our night shift."

We get to the hotel and on the elevator. A guy says, "Hey, you're not the pilots that just came in from Dallas..." We braced and admitted it. No punches, but he said, "We heard you went to lunch before coming to the plane." He knows that not to be true now.


The hardest part about this day was refraining from repeatedly stepping into the other departments and telling fellow employees what needs to be done. It is engrained in usto anticipate and fix problems we see coming. Once I overcame the urge to tell others how to do their jobs, it actually became quite entertaining to watch the operation."
Life is better when you surf.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:59 pm

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 11):
If this spirals out of control they might be looking at having no job instead.

That needs repeating. Passengers need to be on time. I often take an early morning AA flight instead of the night prior to spend more time with my kids. If AA takes away that option of making my meetings on time (most of the time), suddenly quite a few competing flights become competitive...

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 37):
RFP for flying up to 88 seats go out, you would be pissed too

Wait... AA *needs* more small jet flying and mainline just doesn't have the economics. There is no way to revise the mainline to handle that size of jet efficiently. I'm sorry and I understand why pilots are unhappy, but there is a reason everone talks about a hundred seater at AA, they are needed.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 46):
Mgmt could realize that its employees are humans instead of numbers...

Actually, AA needs to become more numbers run. That will let them get out flights more efficiently once this passes.

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 52):
but right now AA is the safest airline in the country

  

Quoting caliboy78 (Reply 57):
r I must admit that in the past couple days coincidence or not we've gotten more at departure time maintenance calls than usual and airplanes coming with heavy write ups than usual.

Interesting..

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 138):
Wow....This situation is making UA look good.

And DL, WN, B6, F9, US, AS, HA, and the minors too.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 141):
WSJ says it is a pilot action. Not sick-out, but being extra-picky about rejecting aircraft.

That article will be read by decision makers who will 'book away.'  
Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 142):
"Can you make a PA and tell these passengers why we're still sitting here?" I'm not making this up

First, I really enjoyed that read. But the pilots made some pretty big decisions to do nothing during that post at numerous occasions. Oh, it points out other flaws at AA, but the 2nd flight was delayed several hours by the pilots being stubborn and everyone knows that. Maintenance is certainly at fault too...

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 142):
"You're a THUG! A union THUG! The captain replied, "Sir, you don't know me, but I assure you I'm nothing like that." Yes you ARE! A union THUG! and left.

I applaud the passenger for speaking out. I hope the pilot realizes many of those people will not be flying AA if they can avoid it for the next six months. (I do not pretend Jon Q public has an ounce more attention span, if that long...)

From DocLightining's WSJ link: "Either way, it’s a dangerous game. Angry passengers can be slow to return. Sometimes important business-travel accounts are lost to competitors for years. Unreliable airlines have to cut prices and offer deeper discounts to win back travelers. That means fewer profits and shrinking airlines–so less money to pay pilots and fewer jobs for pilots."

This can go on a few more weeks and not be a big deal. But if it is a long term issue, I have one word: EASTERN. The public is not on the unions side. Like it or not everyone is hurting in this economy.


Lightsaber
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Mir
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:43 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 143):
I'm sorry and I understand why pilots are unhappy, but there is a reason everone talks about a hundred seater at AA, they are needed.

Then they can get them. I'm sure Embraer would love to sell AA some E195s. Or they can call up Bombardier and order the C Series. The aircraft are out there for mainline to operate.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 143):
the 2nd flight was delayed several hours by the pilots being stubborn and everyone knows that.

How? Their deadheading flight arrived late because the gate staff in SFO couldn't figure out who they were putting on the flight. Their bags didn't show up at the gate because the ramp staff at DFW didn't want to bring them up. Nobody will bring them from baggage claim to the gate, so they have to go get them themselves (I can understand this somewhat due to TSA rules and the like). Thus, they get to the gate late. I fail to see how any of that is due to them being stubborn.

-Mir
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jfklganyc
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:01 pm

"I applaud the passenger for speaking out. I hope the pilot realizes many of those people will not be flying AA if they can avoid it for the next six months. (I do not pretend Jon Q public has an ounce more attention span, if that long...) "

If a passenger got in my face, he/she would be arrested before he/she even knew what hit him.

Do not get all high and mighty on an airplane...the laws are very much against you.

The best way to speak out is to walk off the AA jetway and walk down the UA (insert other airline) jetway
 
phxa340
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:18 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 143):
The public is not on the unions side. Like it or not everyone is hurting in this economy.

   Very well said , any I think that sometimes certain industries lose site of this. I know 3 Fortune 500 companies that have put up alerts to avoid traveling on AA and in addition to rebook travel if traveling on time critical business trips. I would argue the damage has been done.

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 145):
If a passenger got in my face, he/she would be arrested before he/she even knew what hit him.

Wow. Just wow. Its nice to know pilots out there do exist with this sense of superiority. I am not justifying what the customer did but if you don't like dealing with customers , sit in the cockpit instead of greeting them. I take heat everyday from upset customers ... its part of working in an industry that deals with customers. Its nice to know that someone like yourself in a position of power would throw down the book on someone so quickly .... its empathy my man ! That customer could have been visiting a dying relative ....

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 145):
Do not get all high and mighty on an airplane...the laws are very much against you.

Right , but look what has happened when pilots get all high and mighty .... doesn't really turn out well for anyone involved.
 
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b727fa
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:22 pm

While I am quite sympathetic/empathetic for the employees and the story posted here by the FO is a good read and in many ways, spot on, I find it interesting that the only employee with whom he has a beef is the FA who was short with him. "Kevin" was frazzled, but that's cool. Tracking said "not my job" but ok. Rampers are "highly trained professionals" and no problem. Crew Chief was "pissed" but it's fine. FA's are frazzled, asking the FO to make announcement, highly trained professionals and pissed: but THEY'RE the only ones with whom he had a problem. Hmmm. Not trying to start a pilot/FA war here...just an observation.
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
DashTrash
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:44 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 145):
If a passenger got in my face, he/she would be arrested before he/she even knew what hit him.

I've had passengers get in my face maybe three times. One resulted in an intoxicated passenger being denied boarding, the other two calmed down and boarded after we discussed their problems. Professionalism goes a long way when dealing with frustrated customers.
 
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N62NA
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:51 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 143):
I often take an early morning AA flight instead of the night prior to spend more time with my kids. If AA takes away that option of making my meetings on time (most of the time), suddenly quite a few competing flights become competitive...

Huh? You STILL rely on flying out in the morning to get to a meeting that same day?!

I gave up on that long ago and whenever I have a meeting in NYC, I hop the Amtrak the day before here in Miami and arrive at my meeting the next afternoon on time and as expected.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 143):
I applaud the passenger for speaking out.

The passenger had no idea what was going on, especially with the pilots. Also, the passenger had no idea whether the pilots are supportive and/or sympathetic to the union or not, whether the pilots are pleased with the union or are not. Totally wrong thing for the passenger to do.

After posting this, I just received this in my Inbox:

Dear XXXXXX,

At American, we always do our best to provide our customers with a smooth travel experience. You may have seen recent media reports about American's operational challenges or even experienced a service disruption yourself. Whatever the circumstance, I am truly sorry for any inconvenience to you. I also want to let you know what's going on and assure you that we stand ready to help.

Prior to recent issues, American has been running an extremely good operation, with reliability measures at their best levels in many years. The recent delays are due to the increase in maintenance write-ups by our pilots, many right at the time of departure. Our maintenance teams are responding appropriately to such reports, which may cause interruptions in our schedules. I know you will agree that nothing is more important than running a safe and reliable operation. Ensuring the safety of our customers is always our highest priority.

We are taking several immediate steps to improve our service during this period. We are proactively reducing the rest of our September and October schedule by approximately one to two percent. These schedule adjustments will enable us to provide our customers with more reliable service while minimizing impact to travel plans. Additionally, we are increasing staffing of maintenance, reservations and airport personnel to offer you more flexible travel options.

As always, our goal is to get you to your destination safely and on-time. Because you are a valued elite member, should you find that on your day of departure these issues will cause you to arrive more than one hour late at your final destination, all you have to do is ask and we'll do our best to arrange an alternative. We will seek out the best available reaccommodation, whether that is on American or on another carrier — or if you prefer, we will let you cancel your reservation and receive a refund. Your needs are our primary focus.

Above all, I want to thank you for your business and your support. We do not take your loyalty for granted and are working hard on your behalf.

Sincerely,

Suzanne L. Rubin
President
AAdvantage® Loyalty Program

[Edited 2012-09-21 08:59:22]

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