American Airlines Agrees to Deal with Pilots’ Union

July 28, 2023

The union the Allied Pilots Association said Thursday it had secured a tentative agreement with American Airlines. 

The deal, which union pilots must vote on, includes a 40% pay raise—same as a deal struck by United Airlines’ pilots—and increased contributions to 401(k)s.

The agreement is reported to be a nearly $1 billion increase over the offer made to Americans’ 15,000 pilots by the airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Robert Isom, last week.

Meanwhile, American Airlines’ 26,000 flight attendants were set to begin voting Friday on whether or not to allow their union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, to call a strike.

The flight attendants’ vote is scheduled to go on until August 29, with the result announced August 30. 

“Our contract became amendable in 2019, and American’s Flight Attendants have not received cost-of-living increases or any other quality-of-life improvements, even as they played an essential part in keeping American in the skies both during and after the pandemic,” said Flight Attendants union president Julie Hedrick in a statement.

Negotiations between the airline and the union paused due to the Covid pandemic, but resumed in 2021. The two sides applied for federal mediation in contract negotiations back in March.

Among its demands, the flight attendants union is asking for an immediate 35% increase in wages, followed by a 6% annual increase in subsequent years. It’s also calling for 82 guaranteed paid hours per month for reserve flight attendants, up from 75, and a higher 401(k) contribution and match.

Strike authorization votes are a fairly routine part of contract negotiations at airlines, and don’t inevitably lead to a walk-out.

American Airlines is the second largest by capacity in the U.S., after United. American says it flies about 6,700 flights daily to more than 350 destinations around the world.

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