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readytotaxi
Posts: 7684
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:10 pm

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 98):

Thanks for the link.  
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Growing older, but not up.
 
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N62NA
Posts: 4496
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:43 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 75):
If you have to be in CHI on Tuesday morning, you should not be leaving on Monday afternoon/evening. Monday morning will probably give you enough buffer.

How far we have fallen that this is the state of the airline industry in the USA.
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:47 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 101):
How far we have fallen that this is the state of the airline industry in the USA.

People want cheap fares. You simply can't cut costs down and expect to run as reliable an operation. The airlines have to run fuller planes, which means fewer seats available to absorb passengers from a flight that might cancel. The airlines have to run fuller schedules per aircraft, which means that delays are more likely to cascade throughout the day. The airlines have to get more productivity out of their crews, which means fewer crews on reserve, and more crews stretched out close to their duty limits and thus less able to absorb delays before they time out.

There's nothing wrong with flying the night before if you're willing to take the chance that your flight will have an issue and you might not be able to get on another one - chances are extremely good that that won't happen, and you'll get to your destination pretty much as scheduled. But if you really, absolutely, positively HAVE to be somewhere, you're playing with fire. And sometimes you'll get burned. And it might not even be within the airline's control - sometimes unfortunate things do happen.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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DeltaMD90
Posts: 8928
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:52 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 102):
Quoting N62NA (Reply 101):
How far we have fallen that this is the state of the airline industry in the USA.

People want cheap fares. You simply can't cut costs down and expect to run as reliable an operation.

Not to mention weather. Or the fact that even perfectly maintained planes break. The airlines are doing pretty well in their on-time rates I do believe
 
quiet1
Posts: 324
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:58 am

Quoting commavia (Reply 51):
"The system" - including crew scheduling, maintenance manning, spare parts, facilities utilization, and on and on - is optimized for a certain amount of maintenance traffic in a given day. When certain pilots are now causing an increase in maintenance traffic by refusing to push until minor, trivial and/or non-safety-of-flight maintenance is addressed, that obviously pushes the entire system - again, crew scheduling, maintenance manning, spare parts, facilities utilization, etc. - beyond what it is optimized for
Quoting commavia (Reply 62):
Nobody is suggesting that any maintenance issue should be "overlooked." However, several weeks ago, it appeared that such issues were routinely deferred until an RON or light check, rather than requiring immediate attention, delaying a flight and screwing up the operation.
Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 64):
That's because they were being overlooked when legally they should have been taken care of right when it was discovered.
Quoting commavia (Reply 65):
The company - and the pilot - were legally required to "take care of" these minor maintenance issues immediately upon discovery? Does this mean the company and the pilots have not been complying with the law in the past?
Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 66):
Yep, happens all the time. It's for the convenience of the customer and reliability of the operation.

I'm glad to read that little dialogue as I think it's not widely known how maintenance reporting is handled. I always thought the captain, by FAR or some other regulation, was required to submit maintenance reports ASAP, i.e. when the defective/broken item was brought to his/her attention. I also knew that sometimes, in the interest of simplicity or an on-time operation, some things were discreetly not reported to maintenance until later, even if such an action were a violation of some sort.

Now, however, with FAA inspectors popping up on board more frequently, is a pilot going to risk his/her license by doing that "illegal" act of delaying reporting? As has been mentioned, when an airline is in bankruptcy, FAA policy dictates much more frequent and strict inspections.

So, if at the last minute a F/A notifies the cockpit that XXXX is not working (coffee maker, reading light, seat back recline, whatever) I suspect the AA pilots are simply passing that maintenance item along to maintenance when it is received by the cockpit, just as is required by regulation. And, yes, with tight turaround times and/or late inbound crews, I suspect many maintenance items in the cabin won't be noticed until the last minute. Ditto for a late walk-around aircraft inspection due to a late-arriving inbound cockpit crew.

Now, a lot of items, like an inop reading light, are not on the MEL (Minimum Equipment List) and can legally be deferred for repair until a later time. But other things, such as a chipped engine fan blades, might not. It is Maintenance's job to defer the item, not for the pilots. In this current AA situation, I have not heard of a report of pilots refusing to take an airplane with a deferrable maintenance item, but perhaps buried in these long threads there have been such cases?

Is my understanding basically correct on how the maintenance reporting is supposed to work?
 
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par13del
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:33 am

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 104):
It is Maintenance's job to defer the item, not for the pilots.

FAA and company regulations also require the Captains approval of the deferred items, in every airline there are pilots who simply want to fly, maintain their schedule and work with the mechanics / engineers, those are their priorities, there are others to whom the book and "safety" is first.
In a large operation like AA with so many crews moving around, it becomes a crap shoot for engineers to get to know the crews to know what they will accept or refuse.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:18 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 102):
People want cheap fares. You simply can't cut costs down and expect to run as reliable an operation.

Who are these "people?" Most business travelers - I'm certainly in this group - would gladly pay a couple of hundred dollars more for scheduling certainty. No one offers that product, though.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
DashTrash
Posts: 1328
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:38 pm

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 104):
Now, a lot of items, like an inop reading light, are not on the MEL (Minimum Equipment List) and can legally be deferred for repair until a later time.

Anything that can be deferred is on the MEL. Inop reading light is a good example of something that IS in there.

I see the confusion. It appears the term "Minimum Equipment List" would be the minimum equipment you need to operate the aircraft legally, but it's not quite the case. MEL is a list of what's on the airplane, how many, how many can be inop, how to disable the system, and how to placard the system inop.

If it's NOT on the MEL, it's required for flight.
 
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Revelation
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:36 pm

A few comments on your excellent post.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 83):
But let's not spin what is going on with the standard union rhetoric, please. Is there an illegal job action? No. Is there a union led job action? No. Is there a HUGE change in pilot behavior since the abrogation of their prior contract? You bet your fanny.

Right, but this is no surprise. Management / big business has taken away the union's ability to openly strike and/or openly have a labor action, otherwise there'd be an open labor action. Look for example what has happened with LH. Strike of fixed duration during announced times. Labor gets to make their point. Management gets to blame labor. Customers get angry, but can prepare at least a little bit. Instead, here we have this insidious destructive situation where the airline's ability to maintain their planes and to have a productive relationship with their workforce gets raised and customer's plans get randomly nuked. How can this be better?

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 83):
If the pilots seriously believe they don't need to make some concessions, then they need a reality check.

Do you believe otherwise? Plenty of evidence to the contrary out there.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 83):
But along with those raises, AA should be able to get higher productivity from the pilots, more lenient codeshare and scope agreements, more autonomy with regard to what equipment to fly where without having to get pilot approval in each instance and whatever else will bring AA to parity with its peers. If any of that is concessionary and therefore frowned upon by the pilots, then it is time to put the big boy pants on and deal with reality....you want to make more money? No problemo, but you will have to be more productive and will to concede some of the work rules that have made you the least productive pilot group in the industry.
Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 83):
Why they chose to then impose the most stringent terms possible though is beyond me. If you a mired in a labor dispute, the last thing you want to do is to impose draconian terms on a work group that can make your airline implode. Imagine how things could have gone if they had simply imposed the LFBO? That would have signaled the intent to do the right thing. To abide by the negotiations that have already taken place and communicated that while AA could do better in the short term, they are willing to live with a temporary solution that is better for the pilots while continuing to negotiate for terms that are mutually acceptable.

The two points highlight the dysfunctional relationship between the two groups.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 83):
I will conclude by going in an esoteric direction....happiness for the pilots will not be determined by how big their paycheck is. Generally, what makes people happy is a sense of balance, the ability to be oneself, and to be true to one's personality.

I'd add to that the belief that they have some input on their future, and that input gets listened to. Note I didn't say it gets implemented, only that it gets listened to.

AA management has chosen the thermonuclear option, with entirely predictable results. They may win the war, but their conquest will be a nuclear wasteland for decades to come.

[Edited 2012-09-26 06:37:19]
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aluminumtubing
Posts: 342
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:39 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 108):
They may win the war, but their conquest will be a nuclear wasteland for decades to come.

The fist statement is 50/50.

The second is spot on.
 
commavia
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:43 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 108):
AA management has chosen the thermonuclear option, with entirely predictable results.

Well let's hope - beyond hope, perhaps - that this extremely toxic negative situation can be turned into a positive. A new negotiation that produced a more reasonable contract versus the 1113 terms now imposed, might well provide a psychological boost to all sides. What the company really needs is not to "punish" pilots, but just to get a competitive labor contract. If the company were smart, they would try and engineer a deal that satisfies their goals and yet gives the APA the appearance of a "victory." That might, in a sick way, provide a psychological and morale boost to members who think they are screwing the company, and that - in this situation - might actually be a good thing.   
 
ckfred
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:36 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 108):
Right, but this is no surprise. Management / big business has taken away the union's ability to openly strike and/or openly have a labor action, otherwise there'd be an open labor action. Look for example what has happened with LH. Strike of fixed duration during announced times. Labor gets to make their point. Management gets to blame labor. Customers get angry, but can prepare at least a little bit. Instead, here we have this insidious destructive situation where the airline's ability to maintain their planes and to have a productive relationship with their workforce gets raised and customer's plans get randomly nuked. How can this be better?

What needs to happen is that the Railway Labor Act is amended, so airlines are no longer subject to it. It made sense in the days of regulation, when any given route only had 1, 2, or 3 carriers. If one carrier went on strike, it may have been all but impossible to get from A to B.

If you were flying ORD-SLC, and UA went on strike, then your choices got somewhat thin. If you couldn't get on an AA non-stop, then it was CO to DEN, connecting to the original Frontier. Or, you could take AA or TW to SFO or or LAX and try to connect to Hughes Air West or Western. You could also take NW to MSP or SEA and connect to Western.

You get the idea.

Now, with 4 legacy carriers that have multiple hubs across th U.S., plus WN and B6 serving a number of large and mid-size cities, the only issue becomes how soon an airline can accomodate you.

So, instead of both sides waiting for a federal mediator to declare an impasse months or years after a contract ends, the end date of a contract becomes the strike date (or the date that a bankruptcy judge imposes a contract under Section 1113).
 
FlyHossD
Posts: 2135
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:10 pm

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 7):
Or .... have your pilots and mechanists take things into their own hands and screw the passengers .... well that's what happens.
Quoting commavia (Reply 41):
And apparently said Senators simply asked the pilots point blank what was causing the delays and the pilots of course said it had nothing to do with a "work to rule" slowdown, and instead was entirely the fault of AA, and the Senators took said pilots at their word. I find that interesting.

Hmmm...

I find it interesting that the majority on this board are more than willing to accept AA's word without proof - yet NOT accept the pilots at their word.

Let's not forget that AA has been short-staffed of pilots since before the bankruptcy declaration and have yet to recall any pilots. Do you remember when 100+ AA pilots were retiring each month BEFORE the bankruptcy?
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
HPRamper
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:48 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 111):
What needs to happen is that the Railway Labor Act is amended, so airlines are no longer subject to it. It made sense in the days of regulation, when any given route only had 1, 2, or 3 carriers. If one carrier went on strike, it may have been all but impossible to get from A to B.

Completely agree with you. It makes no sense whatsoever in these days.
 
justplanenutz
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:12 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 111):
What needs to happen is that the Railway Labor Act is amended, so airlines are no longer subject to it. It made sense in the days of regulation, when any given route only had 1, 2, or 3 carriers. If one carrier went on strike, it may have been all but impossible to get from A to B.

Not sure I agree with you there. Had this been done in conjunction with deregulation, then yes. The industry was much more fragmented then.

However, 30 years later, an oligopoly has been allowed to replace the CAB. Due to high fixed costs (airplanes) and an inelastic labor market (at least short-term due to training requirements), a protracted strike would almost certainly result in liquidation of any of the carriers. And, given that we are likely soon to have only 4 major carriers in the nation, that would be disruptive to interstate commerce. Thus, we have the RLA, which establishes a political process to protect the national interest.
 
justplanenutz
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:52 am

Heck, you can make a better case for repealing the RLA for railroads than airlines! Since WW2, railroad employment has fallen from 1.5 million to 225,000 (while the population doubled). Only 3% of commercial freight moves by railroad today versus 69% by truck. Other than commodities, there is not much freight that can't move efficiently by other means.

Can't say that about airlines, at least not prior to last week.
 
aaexecplat
Posts: 511
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:53 am

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 112):
Hmmm...

I find it interesting that the majority on this board are more than willing to accept AA's word without proof - yet NOT accept the pilots at their word.

Let's not forget that AA has been short-staffed of pilots since before the bankruptcy declaration and have yet to recall any pilots. Do you remember when 100+ AA pilots were retiring each month BEFORE the bankruptcy?

That's all riveting stuff, but it doesn't explain why cancellations and delays have skyrocketed since the pilot contracts were abrogated...
 
HPRamper
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 4:22 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:05 am

Quoting justplanenutz (Reply 114):
And, given that we are likely soon to have only 4 major carriers in the nation, that would be disruptive to interstate commerce. Thus, we have the RLA, which establishes a political process to protect the national interest.

4 major carriers, whose networks are/will be so massive and comprehensive that almost every market sees or will see service by all of them at the local airport or within driving distance. That's not even counting smaller players like AS and B6 who fill in gaps quite nicely. In a theoretical situation, suppose WN liquidated tomorrow. What market (not airport)would lose all air service?
 
flyfree727
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:11 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:07 am

Quoting justplanenutz (Reply 115):
That's all riveting stuff, but it doesn't explain why cancellations and delays have skyrocketed since the pilot contracts were abrogated

Because their pissed! DUH
Just like AA was pissed when they voted NO and decided to spank them with the 1113.


AA ORD

[Edited 2012-09-26 19:09:17]
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:19 am

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 118):
Because their pissed! DUH
Just like AA was pissed when they voted NO and decided to spank them with the 1113.

And ... we're there. Simple, eloquent, accurate.

There is so much baggage on both sides - and in both cases for some legitimate reasons - that both sides will have a lot of hatchets to bury, and a lot of water to bridge over, to reach some sort of a peaceful deal.

Call me a naive optimist - I hope they can do it.
 
justplanenutz
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:19 am

The argument would be that the system could not easily absorb the loss of capacity from one of the "massive networks" and that that would be disruptive to commerce.
 
aaexecplat
Posts: 511
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:49 pm

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:20 am

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 118):

My question was of rhetorical nature...the point I was trying to counter was that the pilots were not engaging in some form of self help...
 
ckfred
Posts: 5189
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:34 pm

Quoting justplanenutz (Reply 114):
However, 30 years later, an oligopoly has been allowed to replace the CAB. Due to high fixed costs (airplanes) and an inelastic labor market (at least short-term due to training requirements), a protracted strike would almost certainly result in liquidation of any of the carriers. And, given that we are likely soon to have only 4 major carriers in the nation, that would be disruptive to interstate commerce. Thus, we have the RLA, which establishes a political process to protect the national interest.

But, going back to my ORD-SLC route, if UA goes out, there is AA (non-stop or via DFW), DL (non-stop or via MSP), US (via PHX) or WN out of MDW (non-stop or a myriad of connecting points).

Labor gets frustrated, because mediators are loathe to declare an impasse. Management gets frustrated, because they may be in a position to weather a strike for several weeks and are willing to shut down to see if labor has the resolve to picket for an extended time.

The poor customer buys a ticket several months in advance, only to see that an impasse is declared about 30 days before leaving for a trip, or while on a trip.

I've know people who have pushed up buying a car by several months, knowing that the UAW is neogtiating with the Big Three automakers.

If a strike is creating serious problems for people getting from A to B, the president still has Taft-Hartley to send people back to work, if the airlines are removed from the RLA.
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:21 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 106):
Who are these "people?"

The general travelling public.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 106):
Most business travelers - I'm certainly in this group - would gladly pay a couple of hundred dollars more for scheduling certainty. No one offers that product, though.

First of all, while I'm sure you feel that way now, I have my doubts that when push came to shove, that would actually be the case. That's nothing against you, it's just human nature to think we'd react one way in a hypothetical situation, and then find that we don't act that way when the situation actually presents itself. I feel pretty confident in saying that for every person willing to pay an extra 30-50% (which is what a couple of hundred dollars more generally amounts to for current domestic airfares) to have 95% on-time reliability, there are four or five who will not pay that, and stick with the carrier that offers 85% on-time reliability (the current national average). Can you run an airline on that one out of four or five? Probably not.

Airlines cannot deliver absolute scheduling certainty. Mechanicals happen, weather happens, crew issues happen. There comes a point at which the more airlines spend to try and ensure on-time performance, the less and less return they get. Eventually, it's just not worth it. And the airlines have people looking at this, watching bookings and figuring out whether they need to focus more on on-time performance due to fading ticket sales. Unless they're just out of it, you have to figure that there is at least some method to the madness.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
justplanenutz
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:31 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 122):
If a strike is creating serious problems for people getting from A to B, the president still has Taft-Hartley to send people back to work, if the airlines are removed from the RLA.

I am not a labor lawyer, so I won't hold myself out as one. I have however been involved in the RLA process before. My view is that Taft-Hartley is a much more distant process that would not change the outcome (liquidation) of most prolonged airline strikes. I believe T-H was the legal basis for the Boeing SC 787 complaint by the IAM. While it did lead to resolution, look at the time it took. Boeing was already building 787's in SC while the NRLB had only filed a complaint. It just don't think that process works for airlines strikes. And, I don't think Congress can ultimately impose a contract as it can under the RLA.

It bears noting that the last time the President acted under the RLA (Clinton on the APFA/AA strike in 1997), labor supported his action.
 
FlyHossD
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:32 pm

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 116):
That's all riveting stuff, but it doesn't explain why cancellations and delays have skyrocketed since the pilot contracts were abrogated...

Actually, it might.

The pilot staffing at AA hasn't remained static. Post bankruptcy, the company has continued to allow pilot attrition due to retirements and medical issues to diminish; the staffing shortfall is getting worse each month. Combined with the relatively old age of the AA fleet, the maintenance delays are forcing an ever smaller number of pilots to reach legal duty and/or flight time limits.

I've seen it before - at my (former) carrier, we went for a few years with fewer and fewer pilots. We were lucky for a while - and a relatively new fleet helped - but eventually, we reached a "critical mass" and dozens of cancellations started occurring in the second half of each month as pilots reached legal (F.A.R.) limits. The company's response? It must be a pilot "sick-out!" And the press never asked for the evidence - nor did the company provide it in the first place.

AA's management is conducting a classic example of what NOT to do in a crisis - it's time to rally the troops, not blame them for your failures. But go ahead, keep kicking the dog some more - but be warned, you're going to get bit.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
justplanenutz
Posts: 593
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:48 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:58 pm

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 125):
The pilot staffing at AA hasn't remained static. Post bankruptcy, the company has continued to allow pilot attrition due to retirements and medical issues to diminish; the staffing shortfall is getting worse each month.

But hasn't AA reduced capacity along the way as well?
 
HPRamper
Posts: 5134
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 4:22 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:57 pm

Quoting justplanenutz (Reply 120):
The argument would be that the system could not easily absorb the loss of capacity from one of the "massive networks" and that that would be disruptive to commerce.

The market would not be able to absorb the loss of capacity but it wouldn't need to. It would adjust to demand - meaning coach prices would skyrocket to more closely mirror business-class prices. There would be much less leisure travel but business and government travel would be largely fine. Amtrak would love it.

Now, if one of the big cargo integrators were to fold, that would be a much larger harm to commerce, in my opinion. For one thing it would result in a literal monopoly and for two, the majority of what is being shipped is needed in some form of industry or commerce, and is not personal package volume.
 
FlyHossD
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:45 pm

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:32 pm

Quoting justplanenutz (Reply 126):
But hasn't AA reduced capacity along the way as well?

Good point. It's my understanding that the pilot staffing shortfall has exceeded the schedule or capacity reductions.

How many pilots does AA have on furlough?

Going back to the large number of retirements each month before the bankruptcy, AA didn't re-staff the Training Department; rather they chose to let the (pilot) numbers steadily decrease. And it's still dropping according to my sources.

I don't have the exact numbers, though. Could someone from AA post the pilot "head count" for each of the last ten years?

So, again, how many pilots does AA have on furlough? These pilots could be brought back with minimal training since they've already been trained before. Yet AA choses not to do this...
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:01 pm

At AA management and the APA are turning into Israel and Palestine. Eventually they have both wronged each other to the point that its pointless to blame just one without blaming both.

Im starting to warm up to the idea that Doug Parker should be in charge. Not because I think Horton is a bad leader, but the APA will never give him a chance. The end result is going to be the same whether Parker or Horton is in charge in terms of what labor will get long term. If this chaos will stop, let Parker run it.

However, the APA will hate Doug Parkers guts within 3 years of him coming on board. It doesnt matter who will be in charge, they will be hated by the APA. They have to be able to grasp that the airline cant afford to pay them pensions and that changes to the scope have to be made so that the airline can be more agressive in expanding new opprotunities. By the same token, we need somebody other than a bunch of bean counters running AA. AA's management since 9-11 gets a D- in vision, charisma, and being able to unify the company.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
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par13del
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:19 pm

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 128):
So, again, how many pilots does AA have on furlough? These pilots could be brought back with minimal training since they've already been trained before. Yet AA choses not to do this...

How does AA bring them back, are they under contract or some obligation to report to work, what would be their compensation, the same as when they went on furlough or the conditions that AA is putting in place now?
If they have been off for a number of years, how many would actually heed the call to return to work in the current environment, and if the situation is eventually resolved, how would their working relationship be with the current pilots?

I guess the simple question is, how easy is it for AA to beef up its pilot workforce.
 
aaexecplat
Posts: 511
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:49 pm

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:22 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 127):
There would be much less leisure travel but business and government travel would be largely fine.

You are delusional if you think that business travel would not be impacted if fares skyrocketed. I am pretty sure my employer would tell me to get used to using the phone and Skype more and I know I am not alone. Companies can't have their travel budgets balloon without it impacting their own bottom line. Are you guys in the business really that clueless?
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 6226
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:37 pm

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 131):
You are delusional if you think that business travel would not be impacted if fares skyrocketed. I am pretty sure my employer would tell me to get used to using the phone and Skype more and I know I am not alone. Companies can't have their travel budgets balloon without it impacting their own bottom line. Are you guys in the business really that clueless?

Some will, some wont.

I work with a company that (at least 8-10 times a week) spends $1200 per person to fly from Dallas to Cedar Rapids. I work with another that often pays $1400 to fly from Dallas to Memphis.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
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b727fa
Posts: 1079
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:21 pm

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:43 pm

Keep in mind with flights being CX'd: if there is flight on the SAME CALENDAR DAY as your original flight; even an EARLIER flight, you will ONLY be booked on those flights. The only time they'll hold you over to another day is if THEY don't have a flight avail on the same day. They don't care if you have plans earlier in the day; you want a seat, you'll take this one and be happy.
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
aluminumtubing
Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:14 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:46 pm

Remember, I am just the messenger and currently I am unarmed.

Apparently after the "letter" from Denise Lynn and another letter from her underling indicating they would continue to press additional onerous work rules in November, APA said that while they were willing to meet the company as early as tomorrow, they now are saying AA can screw themselves until they back off.

AA just keeps poking the pit bull in the nose and can't figure out why he keeps biting back. It doesn't really matter which side is right or wrong, it just doesn't take a doctorate in Astrophysics to figure this stuff out. Or maybe it does and that is the problem.
 
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N62NA
Posts: 4496
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:00 pm

It seems to me (at least looking at the MIA airport flights) that the number of horrendously delayed flights and cancelled flights have dropped off quite a bit in the past few days. Has something changed?
 
xdlx
Posts: 968
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:58 am

I really do not understand something. What did DP offered that the AA guys liked so much.
Are the AA guys going to the top of the seniority in a AA/US merger scenario? How does the US/East folks and the US/West folks feel about this.
 
aluminumtubing
Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:14 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:13 am

Quoting N62NA (Reply 135):
I really do not understand something. What did DP offered that the AA guys liked so much.
Are the AA guys going to the top of the seniority in a AA/US merger scenario? How does the US/East folks and the US/West folks feel about this.

I can only speak for the AA pilots. We are just desperate for a change in leadership. Once Crandall left, no one here feels that any of the top leadership, and I use the term loosely, has had the interest or ability to LEAD this airline long term. We just feel that Parker, while not perfection, would put someone in charge that wants to run a world class airline. The merger would not be a panacea, but right now, it is the only thing that gives us any hope for the future.
 
B757Forever
Posts: 909
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 3:23 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:58 am

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 129):
However, the APA will hate Doug Parkers guts within 3 years of him coming on board.


Or much sooner if the alledged promises are not fulfilled...
The Rolls Royce Dart. Noise = Shaft Horsepower.
 
davidca
Posts: 69
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RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:03 am

APA's President has apparently written to his members to tell them to knock it off (although he admits to nothing). Will this make a difference or will the delays continue?
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:53 am

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 137):
I can only speak for the AA pilots.

Correction please. You are repeating the APA public relations talking points. Nobody can "speak for the AA pilots"... especially APA. The AA pilot group has not been a unified group for more than 2 DECADES. Thanks to the internal politics of.... APA. The AA pilot group and the union that is known as APA have different demographics.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
ckfred
Posts: 5189
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:54 am

Quoting justplanenutz (Reply 124):
It bears noting that the last time the President acted under the RLA (Clinton on the APFA/AA strike in 1997), labor supported his action.

The pilots I know who fly for AA were madder than hops at Clinton (even though most of them had voted for Bob Dole in 1996), because they lost their leverage. Shutting down AA was the only way, they felt, they were going to get a decent contract.

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 137):
I can only speak for the AA pilots. We are just desperate for a change in leadership. Once Crandall left, no one here feels that any of the top leadership, and I use the term loosely, has had the interest or ability to LEAD this airline long term. We just feel that Parker, while not perfection, would put someone in charge that wants to run a world class airline. The merger would not be a panacea, but right now, it is the only thing that gives us any hope for the future.

But, Doug Parker is just another airline executive who got his start at AA. My father-in-law is a retired business professor who also spent about 20 years in various white collar positions (including GM), before going into academia. His usually taught classes on organization.

There are a number of studies that show a manager/executive's style is most influenced by the culture of his first employer.

While Bob Crandall was a great CEO, the culture he created at AA does not turn out great leaders.

A couple of companies who do turn out top-notch leaders are GE and McDonald's. The culture created by Jack Welch has turned out a number of highly skilled managers and executives. My wife works for a VP who worked for a number of years at GE. She would run through a brick wall form him. McDonald's just seems to keep turning out great CEO after great CEO, often after something very sudden (Jim Cantalupo dying of a heart attack, and Charlie Bell resigning because of terminal cancer).

So, why would you want to get behind Doug Parker, who, in my opinion, is another protege of Bob Crandall who will furtther screw up AA? He tried to buy Delta. He tried to buy United. He seems more interested in buying a second airline (after buying US and merging it with HP) than in trying to run the airline he has. Remember that UA got into some trouble in 2000 and 2001, in part, because management was focusing on trying to get the merger with US approved and setting up the framework for putting the two carriers together, while ignoring the day-to-day issues of running a very large carrier.

A lot of pundits on Wall Street and in the travel industry thought the merger was doomed from the start, and that UA would have been better served focusing on making itself a better airline.

My wife was flying UA a coupld of weeks ago. The computers are still having glitches, even though the UA and CO systems were merged in March. In a span of 10 minutes, my wife's flight went from showing a delay of 1:15 to 4:05 to 1:20. Meanwhile, passengers were lining up to rebook, calling UA to rebook, calling travel agents, and calling family members, only to undo everything 10 minutes later.

She heard several people swearing off UA, because problems like this have been commonplace.

People have started to swear off AA, because of the delays and cancellations that they are blaming on the pilots. If AA merges with US and goes through the problems that UA is dealing with, you will see people defect to either Delta or Southwest, or back to United.

I've said this many times on various blogs. The pilots, if they take the T/A and the 13.5% of the stock, the APFA, and the TWU will have nearly 20% of the stock. They should be able to ally themselves with creditors/future shareholders to take control of the company upon exit from Chapter 11, elect a board of directors, and recruit a new senior management team.

Here are some places to look for a CEO and other senior officers:

A) Southwest. Considering that their culture stresses great customer service and great labor relations, there must be someone there who feels that by the time Gary Kelly retires, the board will want somone younger to be CEO. Someone would probably love to try a turnaround at AA.

B) Continental executives who learned under Gordon Bethune. Bethune did an amazing job after CO came out of bankruptcy, and the CEOs who followed him kept CO out of bankruptcy after 2001.

C) A hotel chain. Hotels still seem to understand that they have to take care of their guests, and hotel rooms aren't viewed as commodities the way airline seats are. Yes, hotels are starting to charge fees beyond the room rate, but they haven't taken it to the degree that airlines have.

Remember that years ago, the CEO of UAL Corp. never came up through United Airlines. He always came up through its hotel chain, Western International (now the Westin hotel chain, owned by Starwood Lodging). The board always felt that airline operations was more about getting planes from A to B, while the hotel side was more about treating guests well.

D) A cruise line. Again, this is a business the focuses on taking care of its passengers.

And for pete's sake, don't hire someone with a finance degree. Horton is a finance guy. Arpey is a finance guy. Finance guys don't understand that you sometimes have to spend money to make money, and they are clueless about marketing. Read Bob Lutz's last book and you will learn how finance guys make life miserable for the people who really understand a business.
 
b377
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:51 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:55 am

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 137):
I can only speak for the AA pilots. We are just desperate for a change in leadership. Once Crandall left, no one here feels that any of the top leadership, and I use the term loosely, has had the interest or ability to LEAD this airline long term. We just feel that Parker, while not perfection, would put someone in charge that wants to run a world class airline. The merger would not be a panacea, but right now, it is the only thing that gives us any hope for the future.

And yet if you read Crandall's letter in response to one of your fellow pilots questions located in another A-net file, you will find that the reason for his decision to retire from AA was due to his inability to move forward with new ideas or implement new programs. Why? At every turn, the unions challenged every move with wanting something in return, disregarding the overall improvement to AA.

No different than now. The pilots who are causing the current disruptions to AA are in turn destroying it. Sure, the entire APA organization wants the current management gone. But what would it do? You would just get another management team that even if it is Parker, will in no time at all be the next APA target for removal.

If the APA would only support the management to make AA the best run company for its customers and fellow employees, there would be an excellent opportunity to improve individual financial status. A successful company is composed of people who pride themselves on supporting the goals and objectives of the senior management. When that is attained, then you pocketbook will see some substantial improvement.

All this being said, I see at last, APA management has sent out a strongly worded message to its members to basically cease and desist on practices which are damaging AA flight operations. https://public.alliedpilots.org/apa/AboutAPA/APAPublicNews/tabid/843/ctl/ArticleView/mid/1983/articleId/1939/Our-legal-responsibilities.aspx

Somewhat late, but better than never. >

[Edited 2012-09-27 21:57:19]

[Edited 2012-09-27 21:58:47]
 
futureualpilot
Posts: 2406
Joined: Thu May 25, 2000 10:52 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:27 am

Quoting B377 (Reply 142):

The problem is if labor gives an inch, management takes a mile, stuffs their pockets with money and calls labor the problem because they could only get a mile out of them. AA management has a bad track record with promise keeping. Shared sacrifice turned into forever lost wages and benefits while management compensation rose ever higher. From thee respective of the rank and file I would wager it has become a "fool me once" scenario and they refuse to fall for the same yet again.

Further, the fervor over Crandall's letter is ultimately pointless. He isn't running AA, he has an opinion consistent with that of executives, but you know what they say about opinions. What matters is the actions of both parties involved right now, not a CEO of years past. Why a pilot chose to write a letter to him is beyond me.

[Edited 2012-09-27 22:30:48]

[Edited 2012-09-27 22:32:42]

[Edited 2012-09-27 22:36:11]
Life is better when you surf.
 
silentbob
Posts: 1625
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:26 pm

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:42 am

Quoting ckfred (Reply 141):
And for pete's sake, don't hire someone with a finance degree. Horton is a finance guy. Arpey is a finance guy. Finance guys don't understand that you sometimes have to spend money to make money, and they are clueless about marketing. Read Bob Lutz's last book and you will learn how finance guys make life miserable for the people who really understand a business.

I could not agree more. Stop looking at the next quarter and build the company for the long term.
 
blueflyer
Posts: 4352
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:17 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:51 am

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 131):
Companies can't have their travel budgets balloon without it impacting their own bottom line. Are you guys in the business really that clueless?

Guys in the business know that businesses will adapt. Some will continue on flying as if nothing had happened because it is essential to generating sales and/or a marginal part of their expenses overall, others will learn to love video-conferencing (if they can) or Skype.

Quoting xdlx (Reply 136):
I really do not understand something. What did DP offered that the AA guys liked so much.

He is the new guy they haven't learned to hate yet.

Quoting silentbob (Reply 144):
Stop looking at the next quarter and build the company for the long term.

Better take AMR private then, because Wall Street cares only about the next quarter...
 
aluminumtubing
Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:14 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:39 am

Quoting davidCA (Reply 139):
APA's President has apparently written to his members to tell them to knock it off (although he admits to nothing).

He is doing what the lawyers are telling him to do.

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 140):
Correction please. You are repeating the APA public relations talking points. Nobody can "speak for the AA pilots"... especially APA. The AA pilot group has not been a unified group for more than 2 DECADES. Thanks to the internal politics of.... APA. The AA pilot group and the union that is known as APA have different demographics


Let me clarify. I am saying what the guys I know and fly with are saying.

Otherwise, I can't say I disagree.

[Edited 2012-09-28 01:44:51]
 
justplanenutz
Posts: 593
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:48 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:46 am

Quoting ckfred (Reply 141):
The pilots I know who fly for AA were madder than hops at Clinton

Are you sure the pilots were mad about Clinton intervening in the FA strike? Far be in from me to suggest something at AA didn't make somebody mad, but at least the FAs viewed it as a victory:

"Union officials immediately hailed the action as a victory, but Mr. Crandall said he was disappointed; arbitration would mean splitting the difference, he said, a sacrifice that American could not afford. On Sunday, he rejected a request from the flight attendants' union for emergency Federal mediation."

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/11/23/us...teps-in.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
 
HPRamper
Posts: 5134
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 4:22 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:04 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 141):
He seems more interested in buying a second airline (after buying US and merging it with HP) than in trying to run the airline he has.

US is running fine. Tell me what Parker should be doing right now, instead of pursuing this deal. And if it has anything to do with union squabbles, that doesn't count.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 145):
He is the new guy they haven't learned to hate yet.

The grass is greener in Tempe, apparently.
 
justplanenutz
Posts: 593
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:48 am

RE: AA Cancellations Continue

Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:22 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 141):
I've said this many times on various blogs. The pilots, if they take the T/A and the 13.5% of the stock, the APFA, and the TWU will have nearly 20% of the stock. They should be able to ally themselves with creditors/future shareholders to take control of the company upon exit from Chapter 11, elect a board of directors, and recruit a new senior management team.

Agreed. An entrepreneurial pilot group would serve AA/APA well right now. You can talk about WN's current wage leadership all you want, but you can't ignore how they got there. The 10-year pilot contract in 1994 allowed WN to grow their fleet from 178 to 388 737s. Today's industry-leading wages were the product of a long-term bet by SWAPA on growth and stock ownership, not wage parity:

http://southwest.investorroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1515

I imagine this conversation happening in AA cockpits today:

(after 2 hr delay to replace coffee maker/reading light/put wings back on a 25-year old MD80)
FO: "PAX seated, door shut, I guess we need to fly this thing somewhere."
CA: " Yes, but nobody can tell us how fast."
(during 57 minute taxi and upon passing DL/UA/B6 CRJ9/E-190)
CA: "This place will be a smoking heap before Horton get his hands on one of those"
(fist-bump)

Instead, that conversation in few years could be:

(at scheduled departure time on brand new A-319)
FO: "PAX seated, door's been shut for 5 minutes, ready for departure."
CA: "Let's go make 13.5% off this puppy."
(during 7 minute taxi upon passing OO CRJ9 in Eagle livery)
FO: "That new Eagle livery is growing on me."
CA: "That 13.5% off that flight is growing on me."
FO: "Huh?"
CA: "We don't just own 13.5% of AA, we own 13.5% of AMR."
(fist-bump)
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