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DocLightning
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:19 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 144):
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.

At some point, I need to start scratching my chin and asking why all these issues popped up very suddenly after the Court voided the APA contract. Here we have AA pilots on this board saying: "it's not us." They are telling us stories about aircraft that are so poorly maintained (like the SFO aircraft) that it makes me actively worry for my safety flying AA if these stories are true.

OTOH, did all these non-pilot issues just coincidentally crop up right after the contract was voided? They have to understand that the flying public (and especially those who work in corporate travel departments) aren't going to ignore a coincidence like that.

If AA loses more business, the Ch. 11 can turn into Ch. 7. If that happens then the TA with US goes out the window and the most senior pilots at AA become the most junior pilots at whichever other carrier (almost certainly US) that buys AA's assets.
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ckfred
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:24 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 145):
The best way to speak out is to walk off the AA jetway and walk down the UA (insert other airline) jetway

First of all, you couldn't pay me to fly that miserable excuse of an airline. I flew UA in 1996 and had such a miserable experience that not only won't I fly United, I won't even enter contests for free trips, if the air travel is UA.

Besides, UA is still screwed up from the merging of computer systems.

Second, I have lifetime Gold status. So, why would I pay to check bags, pay to sit in the front of the plane, and pay to go to elite security, when I can get that for free at AA?

Everyone at AA needs to just suck it up and do there jobs for AA, and not US.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Doug Parker is just another Bob Crandall wanabee. The last three Crandall wanabees (Carty, Arpey, and Horton) have not been anywhere near as good as Crandall. Crandall was a great CEO, but the management culture he created at AA has not turned out great corporate leaders. You might say that AMR is the opposite of McDonald's, since McDonald's has had a number of talented CEOs who came up through the ranks.

The pilots need to take the T/A, work with the APFA and the TWU to find sympathetic creditors/furture shareholders to create a majority, create a new BoD for after Chapter 11 exit, and hire a new management team with no connection to AA.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:03 pm

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 146):
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.

I'm not surprised. Once it hits the WSJ, the impact spreads.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 149):
Huh? You STILL rely on flying out in the morning to get to a meeting that same day?!

If AA isn't good enough for time critical travel, book away. I did so dozens of times in 2012 on AA with no disappointment and minor delays within my time budget. I was 20 minutes late for *one* meeting thanks to AA punctuality and the one late meeting was Budget's fault (but they were so good the other times, they received a pass. How could I know that convention would sell so many rental cars that day...). LAX-DFW morning flights were run like a machine early this year. On one flight the 752 pilot ran the oddest flight profile (Up and down in altitude) to get us to DFW on time in bad turbulence to go with the right winds to get us there *quick*. So I know AA pilots have 'the stuff.'

That is one way AA was winning back customers. The service on those flights was exceptional. I am so glad I'm not flying this month.

Let me say that again. For the first 5 months of 2012, AA was *exceptional*. I hope they return to that shortly.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 72):
So they should just roll over and accept whatever mgmt imposes because of the pax?

Where is the money coming from? AA is in BK as they are too bloated. Cuts must happen. I'm sorry.   I do hope the A319s come with paperless cockpits to cut the pilot work load and shorten their work day.

Quoting Mir (Reply 144):
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.

AA couldn't operate a hundred seater at a profit. That is a non-starter. Seriously, how could they do it within their current union structure and costs? The job must go to 88 (or less) seaters by the RJ vendors. The MRJ will be here soon. It is perfect for AA's route structure.

Quoting Mir (Reply 144):
How?

Re-read the link. They could have taken initiative and been to the aircraft far earlier. Unfortunately, the pilots have lost the customer's 'benefit of the doubt.'

Why do unions fail to do better PR? I understand the pilots are frustrated, but this isn't being well done from a PR standpoint.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 149):
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.
Quoting N62NA (Reply 149):
The passenger had no idea what was going on, especially with the pilots.

People can tell when someone is hustling and slowing down. I've been on flights with fast taxi, F/As still securing the cabin, with a flight profile obviously done to cut time. I'm well aware AA MD-80 pilots used to use the landing gear as an inflight speed break to cut a minute or two (you can hear that alarm pretty far back in the cabin).

Passengers are being inconvenienced. By maintenance and the pilots. Why shouldn't they speak up? Most won't say anything and will just 'book away.' Do you really think DL isn't trying to grab every AA frequent flier they can right now? Most will switch without saying a word. It is better the pilot know the cost of the actions.

Note: If the passenger did anything besides words, I abhor that (even a threatening move). But calling pilots out on a wildcat strike? Yes. Bummer the pilots are being blamed for maintenance delays too. But again, passengers knew AA pilots used to hustle. The difference is obvious.

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N62NA
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:17 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 152):
If AA isn't good enough for time critical travel, book away.

I see your example is DFW-LAX. Mine is MIA-NYC. I should have been a bit clearer in my earlier post and my difficulties flying into NYC have been a combination of mx / delayed inbound AA aircraft AND the mess that is trying to fly into NYC on any day when it isn't sunny with winds below 10 kts.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 152):

People can tell when someone is hustling and slowing down. I've been on flights with fast taxi, F/As still securing the cabin, with a flight profile obviously done to cut time

But sitting in the cabin, you really can't tell WHY the taxi isn't as fast as you would think it should be.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 152):

Passengers are being inconvenienced. By maintenance and the pilots. Why shouldn't they speak up?

In general, perhaps, but to call out a single flight crew for a "slowdown" that they may or may not be contributing to - because you just don't know the facts - is rude.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 152):
It is better the pilot know the cost of the actions.

See above.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 152):
But calling pilots out on a wildcat strike? Yes.

See above above.

I will ALWAYS give the benefit of the doubt to the crew operating my flight.

BTW... I see you have a respect rating of 100 - WOW!  
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:36 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 150):
At some point, I need to start scratching my chin and asking why all these issues popped up very suddenly after the Court voided the APA contract.

   Exactly. AA was a well run machine before.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 153):
I see your example is DFW-LAX. Mine is MIA-NYC.

That makes a difference.  
Aerospace is moving from California to Texas...

I would not take the risk to NYC (JFK or LGA). But AA has impressed me in 2012. I could not say the same about them 1999 to 2002 (when I stopped flying them for just under a decade and went to CO/HP/B6/WN and UA).

Quoting N62NA (Reply 153):
In general, perhaps, but to call out a single flight crew for a "slowdown" that they may or may not be contributing to - because you just don't know the facts - is rude.

Very rude. What's funny, is normally I'm a stickler for manners. However, people who fly often know. This wildcat slowdown is very frustrating for passengers.

What was quoted wasn't over the top. As long as only words (no implied violence) was exchanged. There have been days my job could have been on the line due to the importance of a meeting. I can understand customer frustration at a work slowdown.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 153):
BTW... I see you have a respect rating of 100 - WOW!

Thank you. I've been on a.net a while and what I know (engines and flight test) I KNOW. This... is just my opinion (obviously).

I'm ok with union action. This is just being run with poor Public relations.

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Mir
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:45 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 152):
They could have taken initiative and been to the aircraft far earlier.

Without their bags? The plane isn't going anywhere if they don't have their stuff with them.

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kgaiflyer
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:51 pm

Waited at BWI until nearly 3am today for AA1642 to arrive from DFW.

I'm told it was held at the gate -- waiting for late connecting flights from the west coast.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:55 pm

The union must step up their PR. They are losing customer support in this slowdown:

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2012/0...ot-want-to-fly-american-right-now/

If you have plans to fly American Airlines this fall you may want to reconsider.

As American works through its bankruptcy proceedings, labor strife between the pilots and management is starting to heat up --and passengers are beginning to pay the price.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2012/0...-american-right-now/#ixzz277zeFu7L


While the article was fair, the title and initial conclusion show unions need to become better at public relations. In particular with AA providing statistics (e.g., on pilot sick out).

If you do not like fox, go to the WSJ article or any of the blogs linked in the fox article.

I would LOVE to know the stats on WN, DL, and UA ticket sales right now.
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XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:20 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 152):
Where is the money coming from? AA is in BK as they are too bloated. Cuts must happen. I'm sorry.   I do hope the A319s come with paperless cockpits to cut the pilot work load and shorten their work day.

If anything, that writeup by the FO showed how cumbersome their operation is. AA has the most cumbersome overall operation of any US carrier- from mx even down to the procedures to fly the airplane. Compare a DL 757/767 checklist to an AA checklist of the same type and you would be amazed at how much extra crap there is on there. But that's the way flight ops mgmt wants it..

Needing keys and vests to go pick up your bag and then the ramper won't bring it up the stairs? That would never happen at my carrier. If we're in uniform we can plod down the stairs any time.

A paperless cockpit actually won't shorten the work day and won't do much to reduce workload. It really only saves weight and gives the ability to access MORE information.

The fact is that AA is systemically crippled- and a lot of it has to do with the fact that they are running at least 400 pilots short right now and have handed out thousands of pink slips to mechanics. An operation run like that will come crashing to a halt when put under the least bit of stress, and that is what you are seeing.
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:57 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 158):
If anything, that writeup by the FO showed how cumbersome their operation is.

Be that as it may, why did it suddenly get more cumbersome right after the APA contract was voided? The pilots claim that they aren't doing anything. AA has numbers that strongly suggest otherwise.

Did a group of evil gremlins infiltrate AA's airports and start trashing their planes?
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HPRamper
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:04 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 159):
Be that as it may, why did it suddenly get more cumbersome right after the APA contract was voided? The pilots claim that they aren't doing anything. AA has numbers that strongly suggest otherwise.

I think the mounting crew shortages along with more stringent - or anal - FAA oversight exacerbate the situation. Cumbersome operations can often be overcome by throwing bodies at them which AA seemingly cannot do anymore.
 
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:05 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 160):
I think the mounting crew shortages along with more stringent - or anal - FAA oversight exacerbate the situation. Cumbersome operations can often be overcome by throwing bodies at them which AA seemingly cannot do anymore.

Again, what changed on 9/17 that wasn't the case on 9/16?
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:11 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 158):
The fact is that AA is systemically crippled-

I think we can agree on that.  
Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 158):
A paperless cockpit actually won't shorten the work day and won't do much to reduce workload. It really only saves weight and gives the ability to access MORE information.

B6 used a case study comparing time after the last flight and when the pilot was done with the paperwork to justify going to a paperless cockpit. Good software puts the information straight into a database so the engineers deal with what pilots used to. It would be very poor IT if the paperwork work load wasn't reduced for the pilots.

and maintenance...

I've automated away a few of my prior jobs. That is just the reality.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 159):

Did a group of evil gremlins infiltrate AA's airports and start trashing their planes?

   Someone fed them after midnight and they changed how they inspect the planes.  

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HPRamper
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:13 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 161):
Again, what changed on 9/17 that wasn't the case on 9/16?

I haven't seen any solid numbers on the stats prior to 9/17. It would be interesting to see a good two weeks' worth of delay/cancellation numbers in chronological order. It might be true that it all started happening after 9/17, or there just may be more media attention on it now. I know personally I never heard a single blurb about AA's on-time or cancellation numbers until this week.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:14 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 161):
Again, what changed on 9/17 that wasn't the case on 9/16?

It didn't change overnight. The operation has had high cancellations since August and has been a mess for years. Pilots out sick is down from summer. It has just snowballed into the mess that you see now.

Combine the cumbersome operation with handing out pink slips to piles of mechanics and pilots who likely aren't as motivated to bend over backwards for the company due to be given the finger by them... well, there you have it.

Reminds me of the statement "The beatings will continue until morale improves."

[Edited 2012-09-21 12:15:52]
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XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:23 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 162):

B6 used a case study comparing time after the last flight and when the pilot was done with the paperwork to justify going to a paperless cockpit. Good software puts the information straight into a database so the engineers deal with what pilots used to. It would be very poor IT if the paperwork work load wasn't reduced for the pilots.

I could have been clearer on my statement   What I meant was that the things we have to look at and check will not go down. The paperwork things we basically at and check on every flight are the mechanical condition and legality of the airplane, the flight plan (how realistic it is with the legality of the fuel load and weather), and the NOTAMs for the airports.

A paperless cockpit can not change that we look at those things, and those are all still paperwork at the gate.

A paperless cockpit actually involves the nav charts and better direct interfacing with dispatch and real time weather availability. That reduces the work load while underway by making it more efficient and taking some guess work out, but does not change preflight workload.

Better?  
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:32 pm

The "I don't give a f**k" attitude displayed in the FO write-up above is pathetic. Is AA management perfect?, probably not; but if the pilots think this behavior is going to solve their problems I suspect they are in for a rude awakening.

I know I've booked my last trip on AA, fortunately my FF account balance is quite low, so I'm not giving up much.

Best of luck to everyone involved.
 
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:41 pm

Quoting mcg (Reply 166):
The "I don't give a f**k" attitude displayed in the FO write-up above is pathetic. Is AA management perfect?, probably not; but if the pilots think this behavior is going to solve their problems I suspect they are in for a rude awakening.

Is the FO supposed to start jumping up and down getting hotheaded over situations he/she has no control over? The flight crews in the anecdote sounded like the least of the problems illustrated. No keys/vests to be able to walk 30 feet down to get their bags is dumb but that's policy and it is enforceable. The issue there was the ramp crew simply being unwilling to burn two calories to bring the bags up to the jetway.

Then there is the maintenance issue which started the entire snowball. Maybe what is going on is many members of various work groups already know the layoffs are coming, in which case, they aren't going to break a sweat helping the company that is giving them the axe. Why would they? I know if the company I worked for deemed me expendable enough to lay me off right before the Christmas season, I would suddenly feel much less motivated to do anything more than the absolute minimum for them.

AA is now lying in the bed they made for themselves.
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:42 pm

Quoting mcg (Reply 166):

""The "I don't give a f**k" attitude displayed in the FO write-up above is pathetic. Is AA management perfect?, probably not; but if the pilots think this behavior is going to solve their problems I suspect they are in for a rude awakening.

I know I've booked my last trip on AA, fortunately my FF account balance is quite low, so I'm not giving up much.

Best of luck to everyone involved.""



What you don't understand is that attitude comes from experience. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to help resolve issues only to be scoffed at, ignored, yelled at, etc. After years of this you learn what you can control and what you can't. You do what you can to help and try not to stress about the rest because you can't change it no matter how much you try.

[Edited 2012-09-21 12:46:52]
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XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:48 pm

Quoting mcg (Reply 166):

The "I don't give a f**k" attitude displayed in the FO write-up above is pathetic. Is AA management perfect?, probably not; but if the pilots think this behavior is going to solve their problems I suspect they are in for a rude awakening.

I know I've booked my last trip on AA, fortunately my FF account balance is quite low, so I'm not giving up much.

Best of luck to everyone involved.

Curious- what do you think he could have done to resolve any of the situations that he encountered that day?
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:48 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 37):
"Actually, MORE than 1/2 the cancellations today were mechanical. 61 were maintenance, 47 were crew related."

An angry pilot can refuse to fly a plane with an inop reading light. It's happened before and it's happening right now.
 
ckfred
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:50 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 152):
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.
AA couldn't operate a hundred seater at a profit. That is a non-starter. Seriously, how could they do it within their current union structure and costs? The job must go to 88 (or less) seaters by the RJ vendors. The MRJ will be here soon. It is perfect for AA's route structure.

Before the bankruptcy filing, this was one of the issues being negotiated. A friend of mine is a 737 Captain. Pilot pay is based on aircraft weight. If you were to make a graph with pay rates on one axis and aircraft weight on the other, the line would be fairly linear from MD-80 to 777-200.

According to my friend, he knew more than a few pilots who were willing to drop pay rates below the line on planes like the Embrear 190/195 or the Canadair C-Series, in order to get more mainline flying. Whether this concept was ever discussed during negotiations before Chapter 11 or after is unknown.

Just to make the discussion more interesting, I was listening to an Eagle F/A talk to a passenger back in March. She was saying that the plan was to eventually retire the Embrear 135s and 140s, as well as a fair number of 145s. Then, AMR would order Embrear 170/175s and 190/195s. Eagle or whatever commuter carrier AMR contracts with would fly the smaller Embrears, while mainline would fly the larger ones. The idea was that with the Boeing and Airbus orders and the larger Embrears, AA would increase mainline flying. This was the carrot and stick that management was using to get the pilots to accept a contract.

Granted, crew rumors are just that, rumors. But what the F/A said did have a ring of logic to it.

One other thing to remember is that pay itself isn't the issue. An AA 737 pilot with same seat and same seniority makes about $40 an hour less than a Southwest pilot. Obviously, the problems are minimum hours, pension, health care, and various other benefits and work rules, and that AA has a much older group of pilots than other carriers. Get the average age down to match even Delta or United, and get the benefits in line with UA, DL, and WN, and the costs of mainline flying 100-seat jets isn't a problem.
 
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 143):
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...

The pilots have decided that it's gotten to the point where their terms and conditions come first, even if that means customers get mad and go to the competition. I'm not surprised it's gotten to this point.
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XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:57 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 171):
An AA 737 pilot with same seat and same seniority makes about $40 an hour less than a Southwest pilot.

Southwest pilots are paid so much more than AA pilots, it's almost hard to grasp. Southwest captains easily clear 300,000 a year (due to their work rules and how much "soft" pay is built into their trips), while AA 737 drivers have a tough time clearing 200,000... typically closer to 180.

[Edited 2012-09-21 13:05:52]
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par13del
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:00 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 150):
At some point, I need to start scratching my chin and asking why all these issues popped up very suddenly after the Court voided the APA contract. Here we have AA pilots on this board saying: "it's not us." They are telling us stories about aircraft that are so poorly maintained (like the SFO aircraft) that it makes me actively worry for my safety flying AA if these stories are true.
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 152):
Re-read the link. They could have taken initiative and been to the aircraft far earlier. Unfortunately, the pilots have lost the customer's 'benefit of the doubt.'

Why do unions fail to do better PR? I understand the pilots are frustrated, but this isn't being well done from a PR standpoint.

The unions cannot do PR on an action which they are not allowed to do, the only thing that the union can do is to claim that it is all management's fault, who is really interested in hearing that? By law, there can be no union action, it is probably smart of them and under their lawyers advise that they perform no PR as the judge in the Chpt.11 case may take that as am implicit acknowledgement that there is a union action taking place.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 154):
Exactly. AA was a well run machine before.

When the workforce was willing to go the extra mile for management, now that they have had the contracts terminated and new work rules / conditions / wages forced upon them, the extra mile is not being done.
Now one wonders how much credit the work force should have received for the good operation in addition to the blame for the out of control cost.

In a nutshell they are acting up and showing management how much power they have to affect the operation, the creditors are on the sideline looking on, one has to wonder what will happen if concessions are made and AA emerges as an ongoing entitiy. Human nature is that a price will have to be paid, at present customers are hoping the price is not AA itself.
 
mcg
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:14 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 173):
Quoting ckfred (Reply 171):
An AA 737 pilot with same seat and same seniority makes about $40 an hour less than a Southwest pilot.

Southwest pilots are paid so much more than AA pilots, it's almost hard to grasp. Southwest captains easily clear 300,000 a year (due to their work rules and how much "soft" pay is built into their trips), while AA 737 drivers have a tough time clearing 200,000... typically closer to 180.

$180k?, man that's pretty tough!

Sorry, I just have a hard time feeling really sorry for the poor 737 driver who can only clear $180K.

For the record, I appreciate the skill and airmanship of the pilots who get me where I need to go. I understand that not all of the leadership at is without blame, and somebody needs to look at management to ensure that the right leaders are in place. It's also without question that the pre-bk cost structure at AA was simply not sustainable. Something has got to be done and whatever it is is unlikely to be pleasant.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:19 pm

Quoting mcg (Reply 175):
$180k?, man that's pretty tough!

Sorry, I just have a hard time feeling really sorry for the poor 737 driver who can only clear $180K.

For the record, I appreciate the skill and airmanship of the pilots who get me where I need to go. I understand that not all of the leadership at is without blame, and somebody needs to look at management to ensure that the right leaders are in place. It's also without question that the pre-bk cost structure at AA was simply not sustainable. Something has got to be done and whatever it is is unlikely to be pleasant.

I love the comment on the 180k, and then you say you appreciate the skill and airmanship.

If you appreciate it, pay up. That's how professionals work. WN finds ways to pay their captains at times twice as much as AA pilots. If AA can't find a way to function appropriately and compensate its employees commensurate to other carriers, they don't need to be in business.
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:44 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 171):
If you were to make a graph with pay rates on one axis and aircraft weight on the other, the line would be fairly linear from MD-80 to 777-200.

Interesting. Empty or MTOW? A fair scheme. I believe that is marxist 'value of labor' economics at play.   Although Marx preferred passengers (he has a bus example) as the basis of pay.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 171):
According to my friend, he knew more than a few pilots who were willing to drop pay rates below the line on planes like the Embrear 190/195 or the Canadair C-Series, in order to get more mainline flying. Whether this concept was ever discussed during negotiations before Chapter 11 or after is unknown.

If that is the case, the union should be broadcasting that.

But its not just pilots. It is the cost of 'out stations' that might not see enough passengers, etc. It also takes the F/As and others. I do not blame the pilots for AA not having a hundred seater, I blame the AMR cost structure.

I couldn't make a hundred seater profitable with a large fleet flown by mainline pilots, crewed by mainline crew, and serviced by the AMR mechanics/dispatch. Not against DL and their incoming horde of 76 seaters...

Quoting Revelation (Reply 172):
The pilots have decided that it's gotten to the point where their terms and conditions come first, even if that means customers get mad and go to the competition. I'm not surprised it's gotten to this point.

I'm sad it has gotten to this point. I rather like AA.

Quoting par13del (Reply 174):
The unions cannot do PR on an action which they are not allowed to do

Nothing stops them from talking and putting out pretty powerpoints.

Why hasn't the union broadcast that the dispatch reliability hasn't really changed if it hasn't? If this is a 'tempest in a teapot,' then show (or allude to) the prior issues that have nothing to do with the union.

There is so much the union could do. This isn't a surprise. They should have researched.

The union isn't sanctioning this, but they could 'spin' the media 100X better than they are today.

Quoting par13del (Reply 174):
In a nutshell they are acting up and showing management how much power they have to affect the operation, the creditors are on the sideline looking on, one has to wonder what will happen if concessions are made and AA emerges as an ongoing entitiy.

Now there is good PR. Have the union saying 'we want to work with management and make AA work.' Play up that numerous pilots were given pink slips and are sadly acting contrary to the goals of the AMR family. Note how laid off pilots are just cashing out sick days and it will get worse once they are gone from the AMR family.

Then put out information on the fraction AMR pays for overhead versus competition such as WN or B6!. How low the profits are versus executive compensation and how that is out of line for the (future) stockholders.

Pilots are smart. Come up with a scheme to cut costs (or at least transfer the costs out of the pilots group). Sell a hundred seater plan with splashy graphics. Propose ways to increase aircraft utilization.

Quoting mcg (Reply 175):
It's also without question that the pre-bk cost structure at AA was simply not sustainable. Something has got to be done and whatever it is is unlikely to be pleasant.

That is the sad fact.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 176):
WN finds ways to pay their captains at times twice as much as AA pilots.

WN pilots fly more than AA pilots. The WN pay is ~ a third more than the AA pay. The rest is added hours flown. If one is flying more hours, than more hours pay for the training so the per hour pilot cost is probably less at WN! With benefits, insurance, and training, the pay difference could easily be less than the cost difference for the airlines.

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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:46 pm

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

My comment is completely separate from anything related to AA, but is a generalized response.

Not a smart move. Anytime a passenger is polite and asks a question, I will be more than happy to explain honestly and in as much detail as the person wants as to exactly what the situation is.The passenger deserves nothing less. However, the last time a passenger got in my face, I very calmly, politely and patiently listened to his rant. Then, I promptly had him escorted off my flight. I think he swam to Ft Lauderdale. All the passengers who witnessed the disrespect, came up and supported me. The CAPTAIN is by law, the sole person responsible for the safety of passengers, crew and cargo. Period. Nothing changes that fact, and never will. And disrespecting the Captain won't get you very far.

Quoting fxramper (Reply 170):
An angry pilot can refuse to fly a plane with an inop reading light. It's happened before and it's happening right now.

Uh, no! Let's be real.
 
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:53 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 177):
ow there is good PR. Have the union saying 'we want to work with management and make AA work.' Play up that numerous pilots were given pink slips and are sadly acting contrary to the goals of the AMR family. Note how laid off pilots are just cashing out sick days and it will get worse once they are gone from the AMR family.

Pilots aren't getting laid off in this mess because AA is running the operation already with admittedly fewer pilots than is operationally viable. (around 400, which is a LOT)

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 177):
WN pilots fly more than AA pilots. The WN pay is ~ a third more than the AA pay. The rest is added hours flown. If one is flying more hours, than more hours pay for the training so the per hour pilot cost is probably less at WN! With benefits, insurance, and training, the pay difference could easily be less than the cost difference for the airlines.

WN pilots can fly more than AA pilots and in many cases do, but they are paid royally for doing so. There are all sorts of premiums and bonuses for flying a bit above and beyond, plus their rigs and standard soft pay are the best in the industry. Including benefits, even if an AA pilot flew to their absolute FAR limit, they would be unable to reach what a WN pilot that didn't bust their butt and flew many less hours than them would. A WN pilot flying to the FAR limit on the other hand would pull in about 350-400k.

See the difference?  

Treat your employees well and pay them well.. the operation runs very smoothely. AA on the other hand is trying their hand at treating their employees like crap and cutting their pay after they've already taken pay cuts (while upper mgmt gave themselves massive bonuses). The result should not surprise anyone.

[Edited 2012-09-21 13:58:37]
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:01 pm

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 178):
I promptly had him escorted off my flight.

That is your right and I would support that too. I would be ok if this passenger had been escorted off. That doesn't change that what he said needed saying.

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 178):
And disrespecting the Captain won't get you very far.

Agreed. Disrespecting passengers won't get pilots very far either; this slowdown is doing just that to the passengers.

Seriously, the union could be doing some great PR. Why aren't they? They are practically giving management a freebie in the press.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 179):

Pilots aren't getting laid off in this mess because AA is running the operation already with admittedly fewer pilots than is operationally viable. (around 400, which is a LOT)

Then this slowdown makes even less sense to me. Pay, benefit, and work rule changes were known to be coming. Since November of last year all the talk has been of AA cutting costs.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 179):
WN pilots can fly more than AA pilots and in many cases do, but they are paid royally for doing so. There are all sorts of premiums and bonuses for flying a bit above and beyond.

Then the AA pilots union to campaign for those bonuses.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 179):
See the difference?

Sure! WN has the money.   Seriously, thank you for taking the time to detail a reply.

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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:05 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 177):
Now there is good PR. Have the union saying 'we want to work with management and make AA work.' Play up that numerous pilots were given pink slips and are sadly acting contrary to the goals of the AMR family. Note how laid off pilots are just cashing out sick days and it will get worse once they are gone from the AMR family.

Good points but in today's workplace we are talking about high priced employees, if they were to start putting stuff like that out in the media AA management would be forced to react, no one is going to take labours side, especially if it is organized labour, regardless of whether their points and solutons are 100% right and workable.
Unfortunately, we are in an environment today where the worker if his pay is high is essentially the enemy.

Take an example of the NFL, during the lockout it was all about greedy players, during the bounty gate and punishment it was all about management looking after the safety of the players, now with the replacement refs bothcing up the game we are assured that safety is not a concern.

I am not saying that they should not try, blessings on them if they do, but I think the environment today is so toxic against anyone making what are considered to be considerable sums of money that the results would be opposite of what is expected.
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:08 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 180):
Seriously, the union could be doing some great PR. Why aren't they? They are practically giving management a freebie in the press.

They put out some stuff yesterday, but the press likes to focus on how evil unions are. Very easy scapegoat instead of getting to the root of the issue.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 180):
Then this slowdown makes even less sense to me. Pay, benefit, and work rule changes were known to be coming. Since November of last year all the talk has been of AA cutting costs.

They could have recalled some of the thousands still out on furlough, and should have... but it is routine for mgmt when under negotiations to try to "pressure" the pilots into worse working conditions and by intentionally short staffing.

They kept straining it, and now it's finally broken. It easily snowballed into this mess, and they are looking for a scapegoat. Had the airline been normally staffed, even with an unmotivated work force, the result would have been probably a 50-80% improvement from what you see now.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 180):
Then the AA pilots union to campaign for those bonuses.

They did. Instead AA wants to reduce it to much less and take away all bonuses for anything, thus widening the gap even further.


edited for grammar...

[Edited 2012-09-21 14:11:06]
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:12 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 181):
I am not saying that they should not try, blessings on them if they do, but I think the environment today is so toxic against anyone making what are considered to be considerable sums of money that the results would be opposite of what is expected.
Imagine a bunch of heart surgeons going on strike for better work conditions

It has happened. But they were smart about it. I believe it was South Carolina (but don't hold me to that) back in the 1990's, surgeons' malpractice rates were getting so high that they literally were paying out of pocket to go to work.

The surgeons went on strike. They said that they would cancel all but emergency cases. Within 24 hours, the state congress had passed a bill to fix the problem.

The important thing is that they did not let anyone die from lack of surgery. They canceled all elective and scheduled cases. By definition an elective/scheduled case is not an emergency.

I also remember back when the NW pilots went on strike in 1998 (or so). They were very professional about how they did it and I really respected what they did. There were no job actions until the strike deadline. At the strike deadline, all aircraft that had left the gate continued to their final destinations (and I even heard of a few aircraft pushing back just after the strike deadline; the pilots weren't going to force the passengers to disembark).

The issue here is that, while this action is going to hurt AA, it is also hurting AA's passengers. AA's passengers are not the problem but they are going to get hurt a lot more than management is.
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:48 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 181):
no one is going to take labours side, especially if it is organized labour, regardless of whether their points and solutons are 100% right and workable.

It can be done. I don't believe in defeatist mentalities. It is why I have a good reputation of 'fixing the unsolvable.'

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 182):
They put out some stuff yesterday

They could have had much better prepared. re-read what I suggested. What the union put out was weak in the 'I'm sorry you made me run over your pet cat' type of weak.

SELL TO THE CREDITORS/FUTURE STOCKHOLDERS!
Talk costs, plans, growth, customer service.

Instead of a slowdown have the Captain come on "A moment of silence for our pink slipped members of the AMR family." Have AA complaining about PA abuse, not slowdowns.

TARGET!
This slowdown isn't targeted, is is a brawl and that is why the passenger called this thuggery.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 182):
Had the airline been normally staffed, even with an unmotivated work force, the result would have been probably a 50-80% improvement from what you see now.

Ummm... I thought part of the issue was work rules that required more pilots than other airlines.

AMRs management definitely gets a "C" grade (or maybe worse). But that doesn't give this work slowdown a pass.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 182):
They did. Instead AA wants to reduce it to much less and take away all bonuses for anything, thus widening the gap even further.

Ok, that is just stupid of management. No carrot? Seriously?

Time to replace union and company management at the negotiating table.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 183):
I also remember back when the NW pilots went on strike in 1998 (or so). They were very professional about how they did it and I really respected what they did. There were no job actions until the strike deadline. At the strike deadline, all aircraft that had left the gate continued to their final destinations (and I even heard of a few aircraft pushing back just after the strike deadline; the pilots weren't going to force the passengers to disembark).

Exactly! It can be done better. Oh, this is more of an emotional response than a planned action, but the union could talk to their members and turn the perception.

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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:54 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 143):
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...)

The passenger took his anger out on an AA employee who is just as much a victim of the disaster at AA as he was. The passenger is an idiot.

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 146):
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 ....

It's not just pilots. If I had a customer say that to me as a CSA, I would've immediately called the police (and the company encouraged us to do so). With all the crap in the industry, none of us working in it have the time to put up with passengers' temper tantrums, nor are we required to.

Quoting B727FA (Reply 147):
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.

I guess it might have something to do with the fact that the FAs are up there with them. If one station's a mess, then they leave it behind and hopefully go to a destination where everything's under control, but the cabin crew goes with them.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 152):
People can tell when someone is hustling and slowing down. I've been on flights with fast taxi, F/As still securing the cabin, with a flight profile obviously done to cut time. I'm well aware AA MD-80 pilots used to use the landing gear as an inflight speed break to cut a minute or two (you can hear that alarm pretty far back in the cabin).

You can't do those things when the FAA is breathing down your neck. Everything has to be exactly by the book.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 168):
What you don't understand is that attitude comes from experience. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to help resolve issues only to be scoffed at, ignored, yelled at, etc. After years of this you learn what you can control and what you can't. You do what you can to help and try not to stress about the rest because you can't change it no matter how much you try.

   It's also a respect thing. I know the pilot is trained and would therefore never try to do his job for him as a CSA, and the pilot reciprocates by not interfering with my work as a CSA.
 
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:20 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 167):
I know if the company I worked for deemed me expendable enough to lay me off right before the Christmas season, I would suddenly feel much less motivated to do anything more than the absolute minimum for them.

Especially if it involved putting my license on the line in order to help keep things moving by letting slide things that I'm really not supposed to.

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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:07 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 163):
I haven't seen any solid numbers on the stats prior to 9/17. It would be interesting to see a good two weeks' worth of delay/cancellation numbers in chronological order. It might be true that it all started happening after 9/17
Here are some "solid numbers."

AA's operation may not have been running flawlessly pre-1113 abrogation, but the numbers above, which don't even include the worst of what has occurred in the last week, show what has happened recently, and point rather clearly to why it's happening. Common sense would dictate that an airline going from ontime numbers in the low-to-mid 70s to the high 40s to low 50s in the span of 48 hours, without any major discernible weather cause, indicates that this is obviously intentional.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 164):
It didn't change overnight. The operation has had high cancellations since August and has been a mess for years. Pilots out sick is down from summer. It has just snowballed into the mess that you see now.

Again, the operation may not have been running flawlessly, but it was obviously running dramatically better two weeks ago. Now, what has changed in that time? Old planes and short staffing? Please. The planes didn't get appreciably older, and the staffing didn't get appreciably shorter, in the span of two weeks.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 164):
Combine the cumbersome operation with handing out pink slips to piles of mechanics and pilots who likely aren't as motivated to bend over backwards for the company due to be given the finger by them... well, there you have it.
Quoting HPRamper (Reply 167):
Maybe what is going on is many members of various work groups already know the layoffs are coming, in which case, they aren't going to break a sweat helping the company that is giving them the axe. Why would they? I know if the company I worked for deemed me expendable enough to lay me off right before the Christmas season, I would suddenly feel much less motivated to do anything more than the absolute minimum for them.

And now we have our winner. I'm not even really sure why anybody is still pretending that this isn't intentional. I'm not even commenting on whether this labor slowdown is legal, ethical, justifiable, or anything else - there are no doubt many who would argue both sides of any one of those. But to somehow argue that this isn't being done intentionally is just ridiculous.

Alas, the statements of the pilots union itself essentially as much as confirm what anybody being honest already knows. The public statements taking pains to emphasize that there is "no job action of any sort that is organized, supported or sanctioned by the Allied Pilots Association" is exactly the kind of slippery statement any amateur politician could make. In other words, "we're not saying this isn't a labor action, we're just saying the union isn't officially supporting it." In addition, the APA's implication that the pilots are uncertain about policies and procedures since their contract was abrogated, and thus are calling in every little maintenance check they can find, is essentially admitting what we are all discussing - they are intentionally slowing the operation (ostensibly to protect themselves).

Again - why is this even being debated?

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 167):
AA is now lying in the bed they made for themselves.

It is a 2-way street. I agree that AMR management could have handled this entire situation, to say nothing of the "situation" of the last five years, differently and better. But then again, when it comes to "making" this "bed," the unions - and probably the APA most of all - definitely had a role to play.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 171):
According to my friend, he knew more than a few pilots who were willing to drop pay rates below the line on planes like the Embrear 190/195 or the Canadair C-Series, in order to get more mainline flying. Whether this concept was ever discussed during negotiations before Chapter 11 or after is unknown.

That would make infinite sense.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 173):
Southwest pilots are paid so much more than AA pilots, it's almost hard to grasp. Southwest captains easily clear 300,000 a year (due to their work rules and how much "soft" pay is built into their trips), while AA 737 drivers have a tough time clearing 200,000... typically closer to 180.

Anyone paying attention and being realistic knows this isn't going to last forever. Southwest's labor costs are now so out of line with the industry that there is inevitably going to have to be a "reset" of some sort at some point in the future.

Quoting par13del (Reply 174):
one has to wonder what will happen if concessions are made and AA emerges as an ongoing entitiy.

Well, if this labor slowdown is to subside at some point in the next few weeks, and things return to some state of normal (and I would say that on-time above 70-75% and completion factors about 99.5% would qualify as "normal") then I think many of AMR's stakeholders are going to like the fact that AMR's labor costs are now going to be dramatically lower than most of their competitors. I don't even think the unions would probably contest that argument too much - indeed, I think the unions' entire arguments in this process could easily be summed up in that they believe AMR is asking too much from employees, to the point that, following that argument to its logical end, the company would be excessively profitable.

I'm not necessarily advocating for one side or the other - I can honestly see both sides - but I think the new union contracts (or non-contracts, in the case of the pilots) that AA is now working with are going to dramatically lower labor costs, which of course is bad for labor, but may be welcomed by creditors.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 176):
WN finds ways to pay their captains at times twice as much as AA pilots.

And other airlines in America "find ways" to pay their captains far less than AA's pilots get paid - even after 1113. So what does that tell us about the value the market places on a pilot's labor? Do passenger pay Southwest more than they pay AA to fly on planes flown by Southwest's higher-paid crews? Do passengers pay AA more than they pay SkyWest to fly on planes flown by AA's higher-paid crews?
 
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:44 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 177):
I couldn't make a hundred seater profitable with a large fleet flown by mainline pilots, crewed by mainline crew, and serviced by the AMR mechanics/dispatch. Not against DL and their incoming horde of 76 seaters...

As I said, I was discussing this probably 9 months if not more before the bankruptcy, and before Delta had the horde of 76-seat aircraft ordered.

But, I've always heard the make or break issue on whether to fly mainline or commuter is the cost of the pilots, because the disparity between commuter pilots and mainline pilots is far greater than the disparity in pay between commuter F/A and mainline F/A, commuter and mainline mechanics, and commuter and mainline ground crew.
 
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:07 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 184):
Instead of a slowdown have the Captain come on "A moment of silence for our pink slipped members of the AMR family." Have AA complaining about PA abuse, not slowdowns.

PA abuse would give the company an excuse to punish the pilots as that is a violation of their FOM. No bueno and not legal. The fact is that the only tool the employees have in this is to hit management in the pocketbook with their own shortcomings in poor operational planning/staffing.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 184):
TARGET!
This slowdown isn't targeted, is is a brawl and that is why the passenger called this thuggery.

It can't be targeted as a coordinated action is not legal since management went around the NLRA via bankruptcy to cut pay and such.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 184):
Ummm... I thought part of the issue was work rules that required more pilots than other airlines.

Their work rules require staffing similar to the current US air operation and a hair more than DL. It's about in line with the other legacies. Their pay and benefits is also about average.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 184):
Ok, that is just stupid of management. No carrot? Seriously?

They've behaved like this for years. Cut cut cut, they get the bonuses and no carrots for the employee groups. Once again, the beatings will continue until morale improves. I can't imagine why such a well thought out plan could fail!

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 184):
Exactly! It can be done better. Oh, this is more of an emotional response than a planned action, but the union could talk to their members and turn the perception.

Actually, this cannot be done better as the 1998 NWA thing was a legal strike via the NLRA. As I stated before, AA has circumvented the NLRA via bankruptcy and there is no legal group action that can be done other than bend over and take it.

A better comparison would be the "summer of love" at NW in 2005. NWA held a gun to everyone's heads via the bankruptcy and cut drastically. The employees (particularly pilots) fought back with similar complete chaos in the operation. Their management team quickly realized they had cut too deep and came back to the table. We'll see if AA management has at least that much brain on their shoulders.
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:15 am

As far as the way the AA operation has dramatically run worse- it should be no surprise that employees getting raped aren't particularly motivated to help move along an already poorly run operation. Without the little above and beyond nudge.... it just comes grinding to a halt, which shows that there is a systemic problem.

Quoting commavia (Reply 187):
Anyone paying attention and being realistic knows this isn't going to last forever. Southwest's labor costs are now so out of line with the industry that there is inevitably going to have to be a "reset" of some sort at some point in the future.

Southwest continues to print money and will continue to do so. Their pilots will continue to be paid well because, despite the latest faltering, their company wants to run a good operation and treats their employees well first. Take care of your employees and profitability "magically" becomes a lot easier. I wonder why??

Quoting commavia (Reply 187):
And other airlines in America "find ways" to pay their captains far less than AA's pilots get paid - even after 1113. So what does that tell us about the value the market places on a pilot's labor? Do passenger pay Southwest more than they pay AA to fly on planes flown by Southwest's higher-paid crews? Do passengers pay AA more than they pay SkyWest to fly on planes flown by AA's higher-paid crews?

Funny, my airline has been through that, is printing money, and pays me a lot more than AA as well. Maybe because they are motivated to run a good operation instead of cutting from the very people that fuel it?

UA/CO has lost focus and continued to pay their employees at 9/11 bankruptcy levels. Look at how poorly that operation has done.

And yes, passengers do pay more for those various carriers as that cost is in the ticket.   Pilots get what they can negotiate.
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:53 am

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 190):
it should be no surprise that employees getting raped aren't particularly motivated to help move along an already poorly run operation.

No, it shouldn't be surprising. A lot of people are suffering a lot of economic hardship and dislocation as a result of AMR's bankruptcy. No question about it, and it should never be forgotten.

But it also shouldn't be surprising, or for that matter forgotten, that many of these changes are, indeed, necessary. The unions may question the necessity for the severity of some of the cuts, and I think they have some fair and reasonable points. But regardless, many of these changes are simply, to one degree or another, matching the cuts and concessions that Delta, United and USAirways were able to achieve during their bankruptcies. AMR's inability to gain these competitive efficiencies and flexibilities is no small part of why they are in bankruptcy today to begin with.

And as for getting "raped," let us not forget that the pilots chose to vote down a TA that was vastly better than the terms now being imposed upon them unilaterally. I'm not criticizing pilots for the way they voted. Indeed, I think many of the troubles pilots had with it - its lack of specificity, etc. - were fair and well-founded. And of course, it's their contract, and they have to live under it. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in perspective that pilots had a very clear choice between (1) a horrible contract, or (2) an even more horrible term sheet.

Some pilots seem to have believed, and apparently still believe, that either through negotiation at the bargaining table or through destroying the company's finances in the field they can get a third option, better than (1) or (2). They may well be right. We'll see.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 190):
Without the little above and beyond nudge.... it just comes grinding to a halt, which shows that there is a systemic problem.

That's obvious. That's called optimization. Any company that optimized its operation for the worst case scenario would soon be out of business. I'm not disagreeing with you that AA may well have been optimizing their operation for too optimistic a scenario, planning poorly, understaffing, etc. All that may well be true. But nonetheless, it's rather meaningless since that isn't by and large what's going on here, and the APA has essentially acknowledged that.

AA's operation didn't go from "poorly run" with 70-75%+ on-time arrivals to sub-50% on-time overnight because of any material changes in the way management ran or optimized the business. Contrary to the comical missives of the APA President attempting to explain what is happening, any alleged understaffing, poor planning, aging aircraft, etc. didn't all magically occur on September 4. Management didn't simply wake up on September 5 and say "let's lay off 1,000 AMTs and magically make every one of our MD80s 10 years older."

This is, by and large, because of the intentional behavior of pilots. The union claims it is because if pilots do not write up every non-critical, non-safety-of-flight maintenance issue, they fear the company will fire them. I suspect it is because they want to make sure that if they can't have anything else, nobody else can either. Whether you agree or disagree with the actions of these individuals, let's at least dispense with this ridiculous pretending that this isn't what's really going on.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 190):
Southwest continues to print money

Really? Have you seen their margins lately? And - I guess more importantly - have you seen their CEO's recent letter hinting at the inevitable?

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 190):
Take care of your employees and profitability "magically" becomes a lot easier.

I'm all for treating people well. It's also all about balance.

People should be fairly compensated, and publicly-traded companies should deliver competitive returns to shareholders.

AA and the APA - both - have gone to the absolute extremes in the last decade. Balance needs to be restored on both sides. To that end, I will be interested to see what the results are of the APA's "survey" to gauge the membership's "priorities" for the next contract that airline and the union are theoretically going to "negotiate." If the APA comes back and says "Delta or United's current contract or nothing" (a la "restore and more" circa 2008), I will be curious to see how that turns out.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 190):
And yes, passengers do pay more for those various carriers as that cost is in the ticket.

Right - and does Airline X get away with charging more for their ticket as result of their higher-paid pilots? Of course not. Consumers are willing to pay Airline X more than Airline Y for a wide range of things - including product and service experience, schedule frequency, frequent flyer program, etc. Labor cost is most definitely not one of them for the vast majority of travelers.

If Airline Y could get away with charging a fare $5 cheaper as a result of lower labor costs, many price-elastic consumers would book with them without giving it a second thought. It happens every day, and to suggest otherwise strikes me as a bit delusional.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 190):
Pilots get what they can negotiate.

Yep they do. Some AA pilots are now negotiating through sabotaging the operation, driving away business, destroying value, and implying that AA is unsafe.

I wish all sides the best.

[Edited 2012-09-21 19:56:09]
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:10 am

Quoting commavia (Reply 187):
Quoting ckfred (Reply 171):
According to my friend, he knew more than a few pilots who were willing to drop pay rates below the line on planes like the Embrear 190/195 or the Canadair C-Series, in order to get more mainline flying. Whether this concept was ever discussed during negotiations before Chapter 11 or after is unknown.

That would make infinite sense.

I dont' think you could get the FAs and mechanics to agree to a dropped pay rate just because they're flying on smaller aircraft, though (or fixing them).

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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DocLightning
Posts: 22031
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RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:28 am

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 189):
Actually, this cannot be done better as the 1998 NWA thing was a legal strike via the NLRA. As I stated before, AA has circumvented the NLRA via bankruptcy and there is no legal group action that can be done other than bend over and take it.

It's called a legal appeal. That's the legal group action.

Heck, informational picketing.

But not taking it out on the passengers.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
strfyr51
Posts: 5106
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:48 am

Welcome to the Disgruntled Pilots Club Guys!! You abrogated the Pilots contract and thought they were JUST going to fly merrily along?? You'll Soon see what the Summer of LOVE was like at United in 2000. They'll pick those MD's APART.
Airframe Vibration, Door leaks, Air Conditioning Problems, Trim Problems, Slow Taxiing, Refusals for Petty Minimum Equipment List Issues, Scratchy radios, Windows with Obscured vision, Inter phone Problems, ACARS faults, High fuel Burn All Kinds of stuff because they CAN. You haven't SEEN troubles yet !!.

It would have been FAAAAR Better that AMR NOT go down the road they went ! Because when the flight crews are unhappy?? They DON'T work Overtime, They Fly to the rule of whatever contract you Foisted upon them. And worse??
When they Do stick it to you?? They can do it !! you'll KNOW they're doing it TO you, And you'll ALSO know there's Not a Darn thing you can DO about it while they're looking you in the eye to SEE if you like what they're Doing!! It's the CODE of the FALCON #242, Play ball with us ?? or we'll shove the bat up your Wazoo ! Sideways!! The Code of the FALCON is Rough!!

[Edited 2012-09-21 22:09:21]
 
strfyr51
Posts: 5106
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:51 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):

Whether it is or it Ain't How would YOU Prove it ?? If they don't get silly and Blatant? You'll never be able to know or PROVE it one way or the other!
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:52 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 193):
It's called a legal appeal. That's the legal group action.

Oh no! A legal appeal! I'm sure the management people cringe at the thought of a legal appeal. That would certainly make the news and cause national attention!

Come on....
Chicks dig winglets.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 18401
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:14 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 195):
Whether it is or it Ain't How would YOU Prove it ?? If they don't get silly and Blatant? You'll never be able to know or PROVE it one way or the other!

The APA is as dumb and self destructive as it is vocal, which is unfortunate since I'm sure the overwhelming majority of AA pilots are level headed, even if understandably angry, and understand the situation. US had no problem proving a labor action by the USAPA, and AA could do the same, winning the APA an injunction so fast it'd make their head spin.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
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DocLightning
Posts: 22031
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:21 am

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 196):
Oh no! A legal appeal! I'm sure the management people cringe at the thought of a legal appeal. That would certainly make the news and cause national attention!

You don't want this kind of national attention. This sort of unprofessional tantrum just cheeses off the public. It screws your co-workers. It screws the middle-management who have nothing to do with this. It does NOTHING to screw the guys at the top who have millions of dollars in the bank and who could all lose their jobs and live comfortably for the rest of their lives. And most importantly: it doesn't get you your contract back.

This is idiocy. I wish the APA would denounce it.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 18401
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: Lots Of AA Cancellations Today 9/17

Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:27 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 198):
I wish the APA would denounce it.

They just pretty much blamed lightning strikes on management so good luck with that.  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/allied...ation-pilots-cannot-231600161.html
" Here’s a sampling of the substantive maintenance-related issues our pilots have documented in the past several days:

A left engine generator failed in flight
An aircraft sustained a lightning strike "
I don't take responsibility at all

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