APA News Digest

Oct. 20, 2023

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In This Edition ...

LiteSabre Connection

Twice this week, LiteSabre lost its primary connection through AA and switched over to the APA feed without notifying APA in either instance.

The result – with more than 9,000 LiteSabre users being switched to our servers to execute thousands of connections through a single IP address – mirrored a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. It overloaded our systems and made AlliedPilots.org and our mobile services inaccessible for members and staff.

We terminated the connection as soon as we identified the source of the problem. The responsibility for finding a solution to the connection problem between American Airlines and LiteSabre lies with those two parties. APA cannot allow the integrity and accessibility of our systems to be adversely affected.

Contract Administrators Scheduled for Training on Wednesday

APA’s Contract Administrators will be in training between 0900 and 1600 Central on Oct. 25. Contract Administration phones will be answered that day from 0700 to 0845 and from 1615 to 1900. During the training, pilots are encouraged to leave a message or submit their questions in writing.

This training is ongoing education regarding the 2023 CBA and is intended to improve pilot services.

If you’d like to receive the same training, which will be provided by the Contract Compliance Committee, click here to attend via Zoom.

APA Board of Directors Approves Electronic Balloting

This message was originally published in Tuesday’s edition of the APA Information Hotline.

The APA Board of Directors received a briefing from Sequent, a company that has facilitated electronic elections for cities, universities, and professional associations primarily in Europe and Canada. CEO Shai Bargil and CTO Eduardo Robles explained how their encryption software ensures ballot secrecy, and they also demonstrated what a voter sees when using Sequent’s platform.

General Counsel Joshua Shiffrin then summarized a conversation the APA Electronic Voting Election Ad Hoc Committee had with Joseph Kiniry, a member of Sequent’s Advisory Board who helped draft compliance tips for the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. Mr. Shiffrin said Dr. Kiniry explained how Sequent’s system was designed to satisfy those standards.

Following a closed-session discussion with the Electronic Voting Election Ad Hoc Committee – which is chaired by former BOS Vice Chair CA Curtis Detzer and also includes APA Secretary-Treasurer FO Patrick Clark, BOS Vice Chair CA Gemma Meehan, and PHL Vice Chair CA Kevin Wilkes – the Board approved R2023-37, “Electronic Balloting,” as well as a motion to approve the Secretary-Treasurer’s recommendation to engage Sequent to be APA’s electronic vendor for the spring 2024 domicile elections, subject to reaching an agreement for the provision of such services.

“Positive Rate” Episode 17: An Interview with Marsha Reekie

In the latest episode of our “Positive Rate” podcast, Communications Committee Deputy Chair FO Tami McBride interviews Marsha Reekie, APA Medical Advisors Manager. As a longtime resource for APA members dealing with health care-related issues, Marsha offers a series of practical, how-to suggestions for making the most of the services her team has to offer.

Each episode of “Positive Rate” features various APA leaders and the subject-matter experts working on the membership’s behalf. The podcast is available through popular streaming services, including Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify – you can search for “Positive Rate” or “Allied Pilots Association” on your platform of choice to subscribe and download. Your first opportunity to listen will be via AlliedPilots.org/Podcasts.

We welcome your feedback on this format. If you have a question or a comment, please send it to Communications Director Gregg Overman via goverman@alliedpilots.org.

APA Board of Directors Advances Governance and Reform Proposals

This message is based on content originally published in Tuesday’s and Thurday’s editions of the APA Information Hotline.

The APA Board of Directors conducted a governance caucus on Wednesday. The Governance and Reform Ad Hoc Committee, which is chaired by APA Vice President CA Chris Torres, prepped the Board on Tuesday by reviewing previous related efforts and presenting a series of initial recommendations.

During the caucus — with each Board member participating in one of four separate, facilitated working groups — the Board reviewed approximately 60 different proposals based on the membership feedback pollster Phil Comstock gathered in the most recent round of membership polling. These proposals represent a “bottom-up” approach, with membership preferences driving the Board’s decision-making. After further discussion and debate on Thursday, the consensus of the Board is to advance approximately two-thirds of those proposals for further consideration in the coming weeks. The proposals are primarily concentrated in three key areas: strategic planning, strategic communications, and APA’s approach to negotiations. Thursday’s communications synopsis enumerates the specific proposals that the Board will be considering.

American Reports Record Third-Quarter Revenue

This week, American Airlines reported its third-quarter financial results. Among the highlights:

  • Record third-quarter revenue of approximately $13.5 billion.
  • Quarterly net loss of $545 million.
  • Excluding net special items, third-quarter net income of $263 million.
  • Record third-quarter completion factor, best among U.S. network carriers.
  • Ended the third quarter with approximately $13.5 billion of total available liquidity.

“The American Airlines team continues to produce strong results,” CEO Robert Isom said in a news release. “Our team is delivering record-setting reliability and operational performance.”

How to Handle an Unsuitable Room

This is a new message from the APA Hotel Committee.

Is your hotel room “unsuitable”? If you arrive at your layover hotel and find that it is unsuitable for any reason – location, noise, food availability, your inability to get FAR 117-required rest, etc. – you have options available.

The following guidance reflects the official position of the APA Hotel Committee:

  • If there are issues with your hotel room, request a change of room from hotel management.
  • If there are issues with the hotel itself, speak directly with the Hotel/Limo Desk and request a change of hotel. If you require further assistance or can’t get through to the Hotel/Limo Desk, call your Chief Pilot (normal business hours) or the IOC Duty Chief (after-hours telephone number is 682-315-4333). There is no requirement to wait for extended periods on hold.
  • If you are in an OSO (IROPS) event, and/or you have not been assigned a hotel in a timely manner, our CBA provides the provision for pilots to secure reasonable accommodations and expense them to the company.
  • If transportation to/from the hotel is not available, or it is not timely, secure transportation and expense it.
  • If you are unable to obtain required rest, call in fatigued.

Please provide feedback early and often. Submit APA Hotel Debriefs, CERS Reports, and Fatigue Reports. (Remember, you don’t have to call in fatigued to file a Fatigue Report.)

While not a contractual part of a flight duty period, the time spent securing accommodations and transportation should be factored in when assessing one’s rest requirements and subsequent fitness for duty.

For more information, see Section 5 of the QRH – Quick Reference Hotels document, which should answer 99 percent of all hotel and transportation questions while providing helpful solutions.

Tech Tip – How do I Delete Multiple Notifications at Once?

This is a new message from the APA Information Technology Steering Committee.

A common question we receive from pilots is, “How do I delete multiple notifications at once?” Fortunately, this functionality exists in the APA Pilot app.

Follow the steps below to bulk delete messages. This same functionality works to mark notifications read/unread.

  • Long press on a notification to enter selection mode.
  • Either tap “Select All” or select individual notifications to delete.
  • Tap the delete icon (trash can) to delete the selected notifications.

As always, please use the feedback link found in the side menu for the quickest response. More useful information can be found in the FAQ section of APA Pilot, located in the bottom half of the side menu.

SWAPA Pilots Need Our Support Next Week

This is a new message from the APA Strike and Tactical Operations Planning Committee.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) will conduct informational picketing outside their airline’s Dallas headquarters from 0715 to 0900 Central on Oct. 26 and from 1645 to 1800 Central that same day. If you can stand with your fellow union pilots that day, click here to RSVP.

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 Sept. 13, the VHF 1 on A320 aircraft 679 has been written up nine times and has been out of service eight times. It was flown under a special flight permit to a maintenance base for repairs, but it has repeated since then. It was most recently signed off on Oct. 19 and is restricted to AA maintenance stations.
  • In the last three weeks, the right engine bleed air on A319 aircraft 712 has been written up 11 times and been out of service five times. It was most recently signed off on Oct. 17 and is restricted to AA maintenance stations.
  • UPDATE 1: Since Sept. 2, the right engine thrust reverser on B737 aircraft 3NC has been written up 12 times, has been out of service six times, and has been on MEL five times. At the time of this writing, it remained on MEL.
  • UPDATE 2: Since the beginning of October, A319 aircraft 837 has been written up 20 times and has been out of service five times for poor flight deck cooling. It was most recently signed off on Oct. 20.

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 casual dinner on Oct. 17: Jacob Banasiewicz, Anthony Barbato, Charles Bassett, Mark Bell, Parker Boney, Alfredo Bouchot, Brian Caruso, Ethan Cockerham, Michael Crivello, Mohammed Defrawy, Jason Dymond, David Eriksson, Mohamed Erwa, Shawn Gray, Aramis Herrera, Jason Howell, Noah Howle, Christopher Hurst, Fredrik Johansson, Wade Johnson, Ariel Kemp, Charles Ketner, John King II, Jesse Kruse, Mark Lister, Tomas Lopez, Meradeth Masters, William McCrink III, Zauris Monsalve, Christopher Morrison, Ezekial Odom, Evan Pardo, Maria Perez, Ryan Quibodeaux, Jon Tyler Ratz, Leo Ricciotti, David Ricketts, Kelley Ryan, Daniel Schermerhorn, Michael Schultz, Matthew Seavitte, Ryan Sittig, Maxwell Snaza, Eric Sobecki, Frank Trenti, Bryan Valentin Acevedo, Agustin Valido, and Luke Wilcox.

APA Welcomes Captains’ Leadership Class

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

Click the image for a closer look.

On Oct. 18, the APA Membership Committee hosted a casual dinner for the following pilots who were in Fort Worth for American Airlines’ Professionalism, Leadership, and Mentoring class: James Aden, Ronald Armstrong, Darshan Dohle, Danny Flaherty II, Bryan Hamilton, Kevin Harmon, Joshua Hicks, Christopher Karling, Christopher Kelly, Michael Lee Sr., Clifford Lovin Jr., Jacques Melbeuf, Ruman Memon, Jerome Morgand, Emmanuel Orona Cruz, Tory Pilgeram, Christopher Rieken, Osama Salah, James Salvia, Bryan Salyer, Clyde Stover, Seth Talbot, and Karen Woods.

Cody Sicher (1992-2023)

This is an updated version of a message that the APA Communications Committee sent to all members on Tuesday.

We are sad to report that Cody Sicher, son of APA President CA Ed Sicher, has passed away at the age of 31. Please keep CA Sicher and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

The funeral Mass happened this morning at Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

Donations in Cody’s memory can be made to the Broward House in Wilton Manors, Fla.

Domicile Events

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

  • BOS: Wreaths Across America on Dec. 16
  • DFW: Contract Compliance training on Oct. 25; Family Awareness event at Chicken N Pickle on Oct. 25; Retirement Party on Nov. 11
  • LAX: San Diego Yacht Club party on Nov. 2; Dave & Buster’s event at LAS on Dec. 5
  • LGA: Retirement Party on Oct. 28
  • PHX: IMAX training via Zoom on Oct. 24

Domicile Elections

CLT pilots will elect an interim domicile chair who will serve through Oct. 31, 2024. Submissions for nomination will accepted on the APA Elections webpage from 0001 Central on Oct. 9 until 0001 Central on Oct. 30.

If you have any questions, contact the APA Elections Department via 817-302-2175 or elections@alliedpilots.org.

Week in Review

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

Are You Willing to Serve?

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

  • Aeromedical Committee (1)
    • Disabled Pilot Awareness Subcommittee (3)
    • Human Intervention Motivation Study Subcommittee (2)
    • Pilot Occupational Health Subcommittee (1)
    • Project Wingman Subcommittee (3)
  • Captain’s Authority Committee (2)
  • Communications Committee (0)
    • National Communications Network (7)
  • Compass Project (4)
  • Grey Eagles Liaison Committee (1)
  • Jumpseat/Non-Rev Committee (1)
  • Retirement & Benefits Committee (2)
  • Safety (0)
    • Environmental Sustainability in Aviation (2)
  • Scheduling Committee (6)
  • Training Committee (3)
    • Checkmate (1 on 777 and 1 on 320)

If you would like to serve on one or more of these committees, visit the Member Engagement Portal.

Professional Standards FAQs

Is Professional Standards a step in the traditional discipline process (Section 21)?
No. The Professional Standards program is an APA volunteer committee that does not involve discipline. A call to domicile Professional Standards volunteers should be considered as the first step: First call? Union first! Resolved issues submitted to the Professional Standards Committee cannot be used by management to support other disciplinary actions at any time in the future. The objective is to facilitate a change at the lowest possible level to prevent the need for a traditional discipline approach.

To read all of the FAQs, click here.

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

Sharing the Holiday Spirit with Christmas Epaulets

This popular, long-running program benefits the families of our nation’s fallen heroes and young people seeking ways to further their education.

CA John Knutson – U.S. Army veteran and a pilot for North Central, Republic, and Northwest Airlines – lost his battle with cancer in 1997 at age 56. To honor his memory, John’s widow, Mary, decided to start making Christmas epaulets. Mary originally directed all proceeds to the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Scholarship Foundation, since John was a 1959 graduate of Chetek High School. In an acknowledgement of John’s love of country, the proceeds have been shared between the Gary Sinise Foundation/Snowball Express and the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Scholarship Foundation in recent years.

You may buy your epaulets here for $20 plus $5.50 for shipping and handling. They’re also available at Crew Outfitters stores at DFW and IAH. If you have any questions, please contact CA Tim Knutson via info@christmasepaulets.com.

Thank you for supporting this worthy cause.

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 Fair and Future Pilot Seminar are scheduled for Nov. 18 at FLL followed by Dec. 9 at PHX. Click here for more information.

Industry News

For more about what’s happening in the industry, be sure to visit the Industry News page on AlliedPilots.org.

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