APA News Digest

Jan. 12, 2024

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In This Edition ...

APA President Addresses State of the Union

In this short video update, APA President CA Ed Sicher acknowledges the recent progress our profession has made and enumerates APA’s priorities for 2024, which include protecting the margin of safety and increasing our pilots’ scheduling flexibility. CA Sicher also addresses the need for APA to be prepared for the unknown, including a potential merger with American’s wholly owned regional carriers and a possible change in pilot retirement age. “Certainly, 2024 is likely to present its share of challenges, and we must be prepared to act decisively and nimbly,” he said. “To that end, we always welcome volunteers who want to make this the best union it can become.”

If You’re on TDY, Let Compass be Your Guide

This is the latest in a series of articles highlighting the work done by APA’s national committees. Read the rest on our Armed With the Facts webpage.

During our careers at American Airlines, many of us will change bases and equipment. Some will sit on reserve, and some will hold lines. We may also find ourselves doing TDY, either voluntarily or involuntary. With all the new changes in the contract, there is a lot to learn quickly if you find yourself awarded TDY. Our Compass Project Committee has an entire team of volunteers dedicated to just this topic, and they are here to help you as you plan for a month at a different base.

“With the ratification of our new CBA, there have been numerous changes to policies and interpretations,” said FO Scott Newman, who maintains the Compass Project’s TDY Guide. “It’s our job to have the most current information available to the pilot group before TDY bidding opens each month.” He added that many pilots mistakenly assume the company will handle all the logistics for you. “If you are awarded TDY, you will need to schedule your travel. With the APA Pilot app, it is very simple to enter your deadheads to and from your home base.”

FO Newman said it is important for pilots know what has changed regarding TDY as a result of the 2023 CBA. Click here for the highlights.

YOUnion 301: Captains’ Development Seminar

The Compass Project and APA Vice President CA Chris Torres will host a 45-minute “YOUnion 301” meeting via Zoom at 1100 Central on Jan. 17. This “Captains’ Development Seminar” is intended to help new captains and soon-to-be captains understand the possible hazards and resources of their new roles.

Click here to register for the Jan. 17 seminar.

Next Contract Training Set for Feb. 1

This is an updated message from the APA Contract Compliance Committee.

The Contract Compliance Committee wants to do everything we can to ensure that all APA members are well acquainted with the 2023 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Join us on Feb. 1 in DCA for a full day of training on the new CBA. This training will be conducted in hybrid fashion, with members welcome to participate in person or virtually via Zoom.

Please take a few moments before the training to familiarize yourself with the Electronic Document Index. You must be logged in to AlliedPilots.org for the links to be accessible. This Index connects you to a vast array of APA documents that we will reference. It is equally useful in the daily operation as a line pilot, so we recommend you retain the Index for future reference. During the training, it may be helpful to have two screens; one to run Zoom and one to reference these documents.

Help us help you! The Contract Compliance Committee’s goal is for you – the membership – to be informed, educated, and knowledgeable. Every single pilot should strive to be a contract expert or, at the very least, strive for continued learning and engagement. Knowledge is power, and it will assist you in employing and being a watchdog of your negotiated work rules.

How to Handle an Unsuitable Room

This is an updated message from the APA Hotel Committee.

Is your hotel room “unsuitable”? If you arrive to your layover hotel and find that it is unsuitable due to 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 off-schedule (IROPS) event, and/or you have not been assigned a hotel in a timely manner, our contract 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.)

Sometimes, while suitable upon arrival, the suitability of your room changes during the stay. For example, the water or power may go out. In these cases, the process does not change. If the hotel cannot move you to an acceptable room, call the company and ask to be relocated. We have had crews need to be relocated in the morning for a couple of hours so they could get ready with water/power available. Typically, reaching out earlier is best, as the hotel is often not aware of when the utilities will be up and running again, and you take the brunt of a “rolling delay”!

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.

Suggestion: Download this QRH document to your AA iPad for easy access in the future.

Bringing APA to Commuter Cities

This is a new message from the APA Family Awareness Committee.

This week, your national Family Awareness Committee hosted events in two commuter cities so that pilots and their families can get to know their neighbors better while learning more about what the union provides.

On Sunday, we threw a Kansas City Chiefs watching party at a Topgolf near MCI (above). On Thursday, we hosted a gathering at a restaurant called Easy Tiger near AUS (below).

If you have suggestions for which commuter cities we should visit next, please email cmte-familyaware@alliedpilots.org.

Don’t Come to Work Sick

This is a joint message from the APA Professional Standards and Aeromedical committees.

Tis the season … the cold/flu/RSV/COVID season. We have a year-round professional obligation to report “Fit for Duty” – that means we shouldn’t come to work sick. The CBA provides for the inevitable by having the sick pay provision; use it when necessary.

There has been an uptick in pilots reaching out to Professional Standards about coworkers being sick on the flight deck or in the cabin. Our coast-to-coast workspace exposes us to the cold/flu “hot zones,” no matter where we live. Be personally accountable and respectful of others by keeping the bugs at home. Don’t come to work sick!  

Most of us are not medical professionals, so how do you have the polite conversation with coworkers who present with symptoms? As always, professionalism is the obligation of a professional.

For additional info, see the following resources:

FAA’s I’M SAFE Checklist
I – Illness (Do I have an illness or any symptoms of an illness?)
M – Medication (Have I been taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs?)
S – Stress (Am I under psychological pressure? Worried?)
A – Alcohol (Have I been drinking within eight hours? Within 24 hours?)
F – Fatigue (Am I tired and not adequately rested?)
E – Eating (Am I adequately nourished?)

COVID Letters of Agreement between APA and American

CDC’s Flu View Map

Hands-Free Undergarment Breast Pumps

This a joint message from the APA Professional Standards Committee and the APA Compass Project Committee’s Family Navigation team.

The recent FOM revision includes a provision confirming our pilots’ ability to help effectively navigate their family planning. This new provision allows the accommodation of nursing mothers to use hands-free, undergarment breast pumps worn under a uniform shirt while on duty and on the flight deck. This new FOM provision formally addresses an important physiological need for pilots who are new mothers and allows women to continue to breastfeed after returning to work, which has presented a significant challenge in the past.

These devices are worn under a pilot’s clothing. In most cases, these devices will not be noticeable by other pilots on the flight deck. This FOM provision establishes acceptable device criteria and use parameters to ensure a safe flight. The provision does not require a pilot to disclose to the rest of the flight crew that they will be utilizing this device. The provision is also designed to maintain the professionalism expected of each crew member and to promote healthy and respectful working relationships amongst the crew.

The policy can be found in FOM 3.g.6.5 under Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs):

If you have any questions about this policy, please feel free to reach out to the APA Compass Project Committee’s Family Navigation team via familynav@alliedpilots.org.

Flight Attendants Need Our Support on Feb. 13

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

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants will conduct informational picketing at more than 30 airports on Feb. 13. This event has been billed as the Worldwide Flight Attendant Day of Action. If your schedule allows, please make plans to stand with them that day.

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 October, B737 aircraft 3HA has been written up 10 times and has been out of service eight times for an L2 door air leak. It was most recently signed off on Jan. 11.
  • Since Jan. 1, A321 aircraft 579 has been written up and out of service four times for the left engine bleed air. It was most recently signed off on Jan. 6 and is restricted from all ETOPS.

APA Welcomes Captains’ Leadership Class

This is a new message from the APA Membership Committee.

Click the image for a closer look.

On Jan. 10, 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: Thomas Ahonen, Manfred Arias, Peggy Cavanaugh, David Daugherty, Jeffrey Geeding, Lewis Gillett IV, Bogac Guney, Justin Holt, Francis Hoskin, Jared Johnson, Garrett Keaough, Kenneth Kovac, Stephen Lopez, Russell Mainor, Ryan Michon, Andrew Moore, Ronald Murtha Jr., John Owens, Carl Pachmayer, John Pavlock, Roland Redfield, John Rempe, Stephen Sims, Daniel Skelskey, Tami Smith, Aleksandar Stefoski, David Stroup, Christopher Tang, and Scott Watsey.

APA Holiday Schedule

APA headquarters, including Contract Administration, will be closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Contract Administration will be open from 0700 to 1900 Central on Saturday and Sunday.

As always, your APA support team remains available 24/7. When Contract Administration is closed, calls will be forwarded to a phone service operated by Contract Compliance Committee and Flight Time/Duty Time Committee volunteers. Please note that call-back times may be longer than normal due to limited staffing. If your call is not urgent, we encourage you to wait until normal business hours resume.

You may also want to consult the pilot volunteers on your domicile’s Contract Compliance Committee. Almost every domicile has one, and some of them have larger rosters than the national committee. Contact your local committee by visiting your domicile’s page on AlliedPilots.org and clicking the “Domicile Committee List” link.

To reach a contract administrator, call APA HQ at 1-800-323-1470 and press Option 3. If you prefer to e-mail your question to the contract administrators, click here. For specific FAR 117/fatigue issues requiring immediate attention, you can also call the Emergency Help Line at 682-738-6670 manned 24/7 by Flight Time/Duty Time Committee volunteers.

Domicile Events

Visit AlliedPilots.org/Calendar to RSVP for any of these upcoming domicile events:

  • BOS: Telephone Town Hall Meeting on Jan. 23
  • DCA: Washington Capitals game on Jan. 16; Contract Compliance training on Feb. 1; IMAX training on Feb. 2
  • DFW: Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo on Jan. 24
  • LAX: Domicile Meeting at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 7
  • LGA: Telephone Town Hall Meeting on Jan. 23; Winter Warmer event at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Jan. 26
  • PHX: Domicile Meeting on Jan. 26

CLT Domicile Election

Election Round ballots listing the following pilots in alphabetical order were mailed to all CLT members on Jan. 9:

CLT Domicile Chair
FO Russ Blackwell
FO Erik Knauff
CA Dan Scola

They will be tallied on Jan. 31. The winner will serve as Interim CLT Domicile Chair through Oct. 31.

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

Week in Review

Here are a few recent messages you may have missed.

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 (2)
    • Project Wingman Subcommittee (3)
  • Captain’s Authority Committee (2)
  • Communications Committee (0)
    • National Communications Network (7)
  • Grey Eagles Liaison Committee (1)
  • Jumpseat/Non-Rev Committee (1)
  • Retirement & Benefits Committee (2)
  • Scheduling Committee (5)
  • 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

How long are terms for committee members?
There is no set term. Due to the length of time it takes to train and release a volunteer to handle cases individually, we encourage a minimum one-year commitment. The current volunteer longevity average is seven years; some have been volunteering for more than 25 years.

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.

FlightSafety Seeks New Instructors

FlightSafety International is seeking experienced pilots to work as flight instructors at its Dallas North Learning Center at DFW. A hiring event has been scheduled from 1100 to 1700 Central on Feb. 1. Click here to register.

Pilot Job Fairs and Future Pilot Seminars

Future & Active Pilot Advisors’ next Pilot Job Fair and Future Pilot Seminar are scheduled for Feb. 9 at DAL followed by March 15 at SAN. 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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