APA News Digest

March 3, 2023

Editor’s note: Some links in this message will work best if you log in to AlliedPilots.org before clicking them.

In This Edition ...

Our Patience is Finite; Our Resolve is Not

APA President CA Ed Sicher and APA Vice President CA Chris Torres sent a video message to all members on Wednesday, after ALPA announced that 78 percent of voting Delta pilots had ratified a four-year deal with their airline.

Click the image to watch the video.

“CEO Robert Isom has told me that he is committed to expediting a deal,” CA Sicher said in the video. “While we’re encouraged, we’re far from convinced. He needs to follow through on his stated commitment. We’ve been here before. I have directed the STOP Committee, the Communications Committee, the Contract Compliance Committee, National Communications Network, and Legal to help us ‘march’ forward in March so that come April 1st, we won’t be April Fools. I need each and every one of you to figure out how YOU can help march forward to an agreement.”

Delta Versus American: By The Numbers

Because Delta pilots ratified a new contract, the gap between the value of our respective pilot groups’ pay, quality of life, and benefits widens every second. We have added a running tally to the member home page of AlliedPilots.org that shows the cumulative difference between the value of our current contract and the value of Delta’s new contract.

Join your union leadership in making a commitment to eliminating this unacceptable disparity. Your participation is vital to our ultimate success in Section 6. Your next opportunity to participate is the Pilot Unity Building Event in DCA on March 8.

The value disparity illustrated in the tally does not reflect the quality-of-life enhancements in the new Delta contract, any retro payments, or any profit-sharing payments. As a reminder, the Communications Committee recently compared the profit-sharing payouts that Delta pilots received on Valentine’s Day to what we estimate American pilots will receive in May.

For more details, see “Don’t Expect as Much Profit-Sharing Love.”

APA Negotiations Highlighted in Coverage of Delta Deal

Multiple media outlets sought comments from APA when writing about the ratification of the Delta contract.

Forbes – American pilots react to Delta deal: “Who walks into negotiations saying, ‘I just want to be like the next guy’?”

  • American pilots, still in negotiations for a new contract, say they expect to do better than Delta’s pilots, who signed for a 34% increase in pay over the life of the contract, as well as improvements in quality of life, vacation, and benefits. The Delta contract becomes amendable Dec. 31, 2026.
  • “Who walks into negotiations saying, ‘I just want to be like the next guy’?” asked Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association.
  • Tajer said the goal is not just higher pay but also improved working conditions. “The Delta template has to be adjusted to fit the needs of our pilots and the way our airline runs,” he said. “We know Delta money is coming. But we want American Airlines to also work smarter.”

Reuters – Delta pilots ratify new contract, raise “the bar” for rival airlines

  • Both American Airlines and United Airlines have promised an “industry-leading” contract to their pilots. As a result, their pilots say that any proposal seen as inferior to Delta’s will likely have no takers.
  • “Delta has raised the bar,” said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for American’s pilots union. “Repairing a pilot’s work life balance and the scheduling practices under which they are flying are the core issues along with the compensation.”
  • Delta’s new contract provides a 34% cumulative pay increase, a lump-sum one-time payment, reduced health insurance premiums, and improvements in holiday pay, vacation, company contributions to 401(k), and work rules.

United MEC Chair: “We Are Not Close”

On Thursday, United MEC Chair CA Garth Thompson sent a message to his fellow United pilots regarding the status of negotiations. Here are a few excerpts:

  • “We are not close.”
  • “Most importantly, I stated [to management] that our proposal reflects membership direction and that Company proposals far apart from our own would be a problem, as it would be a waste of time discussing something our membership will soundly reject. Nevertheless, we received counter proposals that aren’t conducive to an imminent agreement.”
  • “There is a very real disconnect between the pilots and Company leadership.”

Volunteers Fan Out for Concourse Conversations

MIA Domicile Chair CA Thomas Copeland (third from left) was among the volunteers participating in Concourse Conversations this week.

APA members nationwide are talking about the Delta deal and its impact on our own contract negotiations. On Thursday and Friday, volunteers from APA’s National Communications Network, the national Strike and Tactical Operations Planning (STOP) Committee, and the Board of Directors were at every domicile airport for Concourse Conversations. These volunteers reminded pilots of CEO Robert Isom’s commitment to uninterrupted negotiations. The 15,000 members of APA are encouraged but stand unified in understanding that actions speak louder than words. We expect Mr. Isom to follow through on his stated commitment to expediting a deal.

Join Us for PUB Event in DCA Next Week

LGA Domicile Chair CA Lawrence Cutler (right) will be at the PUB event on March 8.

If you would like to have face-to-face conversations with APA leadership – including the National Officers, the Board of Directors, and the chairs of several national committees – make plans to be in DCA on March 8. That’s when APA will host a pilot unity building (PUB) event in accordance with Section 1.01.D of the APA Policy Manual:

A pilot unity building (PUB) event will be held at least once each year in conjunction with a Special Board of Directors meeting or a BOD caucus. Such event shall be rotated so that each year it is conducted in a different domicile, not repeating any domicile location until each other domicile has hosted one.

The special Board of Directors meeting is scheduled to begin at 0900 Eastern on March 7. (You can review the agenda here.) The PUB event is scheduled from 1800 to 2200 on March 8 at The Alexandrian hotel in Alexandria, Va.

Click here to RSVP and reserve a hotel room.

Prepare Yourself for TDY

This is a new message from the APA Compass Project.

Management has been using TDY at a high rate for quite some time now, and we don’t expect them to back off any time soon. As we gear up for summer flying, it’s likely that we will see even higher TDY numbers to plug holes in staffing across the system. With that being said, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Pilots can be subject to involuntary assignment (once in 12 months) in inverse seniority order.
  • All bid statuses are affected by TDY. Be aware that senior inbounds can negatively impact your relative bid position.
  • A full month at a TDY hotel does not guarantee it is at a desirable location (i.e. Miami Beach, Manhattan). Hotel preferences are requests only and are not necessarily granted.

TDY bidding is open monthly for 48 hours (1200 Central on the 5th to 1200 Central on the 7th), which may not be enough time to decide if TDY makes sense for your situation. If you are junior in your bid status or if TDY is appealing to you, please take a few moments to review the Compass TDY Guide. You’ll find information on bidding, A-pass travel, hotels, transportation, pay information, and much more.

The APA Compass Project is an industry-leading pilot mentoring and support program. Compass offers one-on-one support from experienced line-pilot sponsors, as well as tutorial videos and an extensive database of stage-based documents covering a number of helpful topics that are beneficial to all pilots. Click here for more information.

Replacement Flying Assigned During Rest Period

This is the latest in a series of Q&As from the APA Contract Compliance Committee.

Q: I experienced an Illegality with my next sequence because I required an FAR 117-compliant, 30/168 rest period (7D). My follow-on sequence was removed with a “5B” code. While I was in my FAR 117 rest period, I was assigned RO with a sign-in after the conclusion of the rest period. How can I be assigned Replacement Flying (RO) while I’m in a rest period? Is this contractual?

A: The contractual language in Section 4.C.4.d. allows for the assignment of RO during DOTC (1000-1500 HBT). According to Attachment 3 of the Global Settlement Agreement, a pilot will receive notification of any RO assignments made during DOTC via the “H number only” (home) listed on their HI1.

How can a pilot receive this RO assignment when they are in a 30-hour rest period during DOTC? Under Current Process, Crew Scheduling must make the RO assignment during DOTC. After the conclusion of the 30/168 break, the Company must then provide notification of the RO assignment via a pilot’s listed H number. This phone call must also provide at least 10 hours of rest prior to the sign-in of the RO assignment. If Crew Scheduling fails to place an RO assignment during DOTC or fails to call a pilot on their listed H number, the assignment is not compliant RO.

Section 4.C.4.d. Cancellation Post Sign-In at Domicile (prior to departure of first leg, or mid-sequence): the pilot will remain promptly available for assignment to replacement flying for four (4) hours after the originally scheduled sequence sign-in time (after originally scheduled departure time, if mid-sequence), or one (1) hour after the cancellation is known, whichever is later. If not assigned replacement flying within the window above, the pilot shall be released for that day.

(1) The pilot may only be assigned replacement flying during the next and subsequent DOTC window(s) from the start of DOTC until 15:00 HBT except as provided for in Section 4.C.4.f.

More questions? Make plans to join one of our Contract Compliance Town Halls at 1600 Central on March 7 or at 1000 Central on March 29. More details are available at AlliedPilots.org/Calendar.

An Update on Skyview 6, aka The Landing

This is a new message from the APA Hotel Committee.

We continue to get feedback about the new AA hotel, aka The Landing or Skyview 6. Many of you have been very happy with the property and find it conducive to your training schedule and lifestyle. Others do not feel comfortable staying there due to policies in place and have been requesting relocation through the AA Service Center. The Service Center has been working to move crews from The Landing to our offsite hotels. In order to prioritize longer course relocations, the Service Center will consider and process those requests as soon as they are received, while shorter course relocation requests (five nights or fewer) will be considered two days prior to the reservation.

If you are considering requesting a relocation and you have questions, please contact the Hotel Committee. Pilots who are uncertain about trying The Landing have reached out to us prior to their stay and, ultimately, have provided positive reviews of the property. APA supports your choice, and the national Hotel and Training committees want you to be as comfortable as possible during training.

The AA Service Center can be reached at 682-278-9355 and 682-278-9339.

For more information, see the QRH – Quick Reference Hotels document, which should answer 99 percent of all hotel and transportation questions while providing helpful solutions.

Form 1099-B Now Available

This is a new message from the APA Retirement and Benefits Committee.

If you are a legacy AA pilot who was eligible for the equity distribution of May 9, 2022, your IRS Form 1099-B should now be available via Computershare.

As a reminder, because a portion of the distribution was withheld and sold to cover required tax withholding, this is a reportable taxable event; hence the need for an IRS Form 1099-B.

Our Recommended Reading List

This is a new message from the APA Aeromedical Committee.

In an effort to improve our members’ health, we have created a recommended reading list. Each month, we will highlight a book that has helped in the prevention of, treatment of, or recovery from an injury or illness, or has elevated a member’s education. Feel free to send your book recommendations to aeromed-committee@alliedpilots.org.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when it is absent. Compared to the other basic drives in life – eating, drinking, and reproducing – the purpose of sleep remains more elusive.

In this book, neuroscientist Matthew Walker provides a revolutionary exploration of sleep, examining how it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. Charting the most cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and marshalling his decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; and increase longevity. He also provides actionable steps toward consitently getting a better night’s sleep.

Disclaimer: This recommendation is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine or other professional health care services. Always consult with your medical provider when making health care decisions.

Can You Spare a Few Hours for Pilots on LTD?

This is a new message from the Disabled Pilots Awareness Subcommittee.

The Disabled Pilots Awareness Subcommittee (DPASC) provides administrative and peer support for APA members experiencing a medical issue that may require entering Extended Sick Leave or Long-Term Disability (LTD).

How does DPASC provide this support?
Our dedicated APA Aeromedical staff, including a full-time LTD Coordinator, works with a highly motivated, trained team of APA pilot volunteers.

But I am a young, bulletproof pilot – why should I care?
About two-third of all pilots will experience a medical condition requiring Extended Sick Leave or LTD at least once during their career. This happens to pilots of all ages and levels of fitness. Our 41 volunteers are sponsoring more than 750 pilots on LTD.

What can I do?
If you have thought about becoming a local APA volunteer, but have limited time, consider becoming a DPASC sponsor – one or two hours per week can make an enormous difference. Call 848-APA-CREW, option 5, to volunteer today!

Volunteers Needed to Assist Grieving Families

This is a new message from the Sudden Grief Response Program.

The Sudden Grief Response Program is a subcommittee of the APA Aeromedical Committee that was created in 2022 to assist members’ families after unexpected deaths. It is our honor and privilege to provide initial support to grieving families and continue that support as needs arise. We also follow up after the funeral to see what other assistance we can provide.

If this is something that you would be interested in doing, please contact Deputy Chair FO Vern Reaser at vreaser@alliedpilots.org. We look forward to hopefully working with you.

Join Us at These Fini Flight Parties

This is an updated message from the APA Family Awareness Committee.

CA Matt Jaeger was honored at ORD on Feb. 26.

Family Awareness and The Grey Eagles have teamed up for a new initiative known as “Fini Flight.” The goal of Fini Flight is to ensure that every retiring American Airlines pilot who wants a sendoff as part of their last flight receives one. (You can see more photos on APA’s Facebook page.)

Please join us at one of these upcoming parties if your schedule allows.

  • March 6 at BOS: CA Rob Smith is scheduled to arrive at 1620 on Flight 2293.
  • March 11 at MIA: CA Chris Krieger is scheduled to arrive at 1100 on Flight 2211.

We need volunteers who can contact retiring pilots and their significant others to help determine individual preferences. If you’re willing to be one of those volunteers, email finiflight@alliedpilots.org.

Pigs of the Week

APA commends American Airlines’ hardworking aircraft maintenance technicians for their outstanding work. We believe they are the best in the business. When repetitive problems do arise, they’re often due to managerial decisions that fail to properly prioritize tasks and to management’s decision to outsource a significant portion of the airline’s maintenance to offshore, third-party repair stations.

  • Since Oct. 31, A321 aircraft 887 has been written up 17 times (and been out of service seven times) for a flight control aileron servo fault. It returned to service on March 2 with a TAC restricting it to AA maintenance stations.
  • UPDATE 1: A321 aircraft 170 has been written up for MLG brakes pulsating two more times since last week, bringing the total to 19 since November. The plane has a TAC restricting it to AA maintenance stations.
  • UPDATE 2: The L1 door indication on B737 aircraft 3BY has been written up 27 times since June. At the time of this writing, it remained out of service.

APA Welcomes New Pilots

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

Click the image for a closer look.

The APA Membership Committee welcomed the following pilots during a barbecue dinner on Feb. 28: Caleb Bauer, Chad Carns, Matthew Conlon, Cory Courchesne, Timothy DeYoung, Christopher Draves, Bryce Esbenshade, Jeffrey Feinstein, Jeffrey Garcia, Daniel Grace, Travis Hadfield, Xavier Heim, Richard Hollinger Jr., Marc Hudson, Joseph Ince, Thomas Johnson, Mikhiel Kabbabe, Michael Ketcham, Patrick King, Frank King III, John Lee, William Lese, Tyler Linn, Courtney Marshall, Weston McElroy, Robert Meischen, Dylan Molitor, Gary Morneault, Austin Niederhauser, Sarah Patel, Anthony Quadrani, Michael Rech, Juan Restrepo Carvajal, Stephen Rising, Gianntod Rubini, Adam Springmeyer, Gregory Taylor, John Tiefel III, Jonathan Tighe, Nicholas Westmoreland, Matthew White, Thomas Wick, Patrick Wysor, Michael Yarbrough, and Xiaodong Zhang.

APA Welcomes Captains’ Leadership Class

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

On March 1, the APA Membership Committee hosted a barbecue dinner for the following pilots who were in Fort Worth for American Airlines’ Professionalism, Leadership, and Mentoring class: Jeffrey Bixler, Robert Hofmann, Justin Ingersoll, Fabian Johnson, Ryan Neff, Anders Odnakk, Michael Spasiano, Shane Vaughn, and Nicholas Viggiano.

Gone West

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of these pilots, whose deaths we learned of last month: Joe Crosby, 82, on Jan. 24; Jamie Dawson, 78, on Jan. 14; Brooks Dyer, 85, on Feb. 12; Ernie Maresca, 84, on Jan. 30; Bill Oates, 87, on Jan. 31; William “Oz” Osborn, 86, on Jan. 27; Ed Streight, 80, on Feb. 7; Don Walsh, 86, on Feb. 16; and Bob Zemaitis, 92, on Feb. 9.

Week in Review

The following messages were sent since last week’s News Digest was published.

Domicile Elections

BOS, LAX, and ORD pilots will elect a Chair and a Vice Chair to represent each domicile on the APA Board of Directors. The elected pilots’ two-year terms will begin on May 1.

Election Round ballots listing the following candidates will be mailed on March 9 and tallied on March 30.

BOS Chair
CA Charles Hill
CA Paul McFarland

BOS Vice Chair
CA Gemma Meehan
FO Matthew Poisson

LAX Vice Chair
CA Ed Cook
CA Tim Dick
CA Juli Zabos

ORD Chair
CA DeWayne Geoghagan
CA Jon Glenna
CA Wes Smith

ORD Vice Chair
FO Thomas Hickson
FO Chris Lawson
FO Paul Meyers

CA Bill Evans was unopposed in his bid for LAX Chair.

If necessary, Runoff Round ballots would be mailed on April 6 and tallied on April 27.

For more information, visit AlliedPilots.org/Elections.

Domicile Events

Get more details about these upcoming events at AlliedPilots.org/Calendar:

  • BOS: Pilot Retirement Party on April 16
  • CLT: In-person domicile meeting on March 22
  • DFW: In-person domicile meeting on March 21
  • MIA: MSY commuter party on April 15
  • ORD: Concourse Conversations on March 16; Family Awareness event at a Blackhawks game on March 26; Pilot Retirement Party on April 28
That calendar also includes details about these upcoming Grey Eagles luncheons:
  • DFW: March 1
  • EWR: March 15
  • PBI: March 8
  • RNO: March 7

Are You Willing to Serve?

Each of these national committees or subcommittees has the indicated number of vacancies:

  • Aeromedical Committee (0)
    • Disabled Pilot Awareness Subcommittee (3)
    • Human Intervention Motivation Study Subcommittee (1)
    • Pilot Occupational Health Subcommittee (2)
    • Project Wingman Subcommittee (4)
  • Captain’s Authority Committee (4)
  • Communications Committee (0)
    • National Communications Network (7)
  • Compass Project (6)
  • Grey Eagles Liaison Committee (1)
  • Hotel Committee (3)
  • Professional Standards Committee (4)
  • Retirement & Benefits Committee (2)
  • Safety Committee (0)
    • Air Traffic and Procedures Subcommittee (3)
    • ASAP (1)
    • Environmental Sustainability in Aviation Subcommittee (2)
    • Flight Operations Quality Assurance Subcommittee (1)
  • Scheduling Committee (9)
  • Training Committee (3)
  • TUL/Tech Liaison Committee (1)

If you would like to serve on one or more of these committees, visit the National Committee Volunteer Portal.

Professional Standards FAQs

Do committee volunteers receive any kind of training?
New committee volunteers receive an extensive two-day training course that includes more than 16 hours of classroom instruction. The training includes modules such as Conflict Resolution, Mediation, Mentoring, Pilot Personality, Generational Issues Affecting Cockpit Performance, Resources, and Communication Skills. Committee members also receive instruction on the Professional Standards process, the APA Policy Manual, and the importance of confidentiality. These concepts are reinforced through multiple role-play scenarios.

To read all of the FAQs, click here.

Professional Standards’ 24/7 hotline: 817-402-2181

If You’re 50, Join The Grey Eagles

Are you a pilot for American Airlines, at least age 50, active or retired? Please join The Grey Eagles for food, fun, and fellowship. We offer cruises, conventions, monthly luncheons, retirement dinners, professional mentoring, and assistance to surviving spouses – all for a one-time lifetime fee.

Pilot Job Fairs and Future Pilot Seminars

Future & Active Pilot Advisors’ next Pilot Job Fairs and Future Pilot Seminars are scheduled for March 18 at ATL followed by April 22 at MIA. Click here for more information.