New Parents Can Count on Our Family Navigation Team

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.

With so many new pilots joining the ranks at American Airlines, we are seeing more need for information about family planning. While adding to your family is a very exciting time, it can also be stressful. That’s why the Compass Project Committee is here to help each step of the way.

The Compass Project features a Family Navigation Team whose goal is to reassure pilots with young children that they have support at this stage of life. The Family Navigation Team is led by FO Kailey Gonzalez.

“My primary role is to ensure our pilot group has the resources needed to answer their questions and concerns,” FO Gonzalez says. “I help find ways to bring awareness to our pilot group that not only do we exist, but to also let them know that they have options, and they are not alone as they navigate those options.” 

If you are expecting, contact the Family Navigation Team through their joint email address: Even if you are only in the planning stages, this group of volunteers is available to help.

“There are many benefits, like fertility coverage and childcare coverage for example, that some pilots may be interested in learning more about,” FO Gonzalez says.

The Family Navigation Team also assists pilots who are adopting a child. CA Marc Needham is the Family Navigation Team’s lead volunteer regarding parental leave support, which includes the ins and outs of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Pilots who adopt are eligible for leave under that federal law, allowing them the time they need to handle legal paperwork as well as bond time with their new child.

“Starting or growing a family can be both challenging and stressful,” CA Needham says. “Reach out to Family Navigation early on so we can help you make informed decisions early.”

Those decisions can include:

  • How to bid for vacation to ensure the most time off around birth.
  • Whether to delay bidding for a vacancy.
  • Whether to switch bases to take advantage of your seniority.
  • How to access state programs that offer paid leave and other options.

“Let us help you understand the benefits and drawbacks in choices,” CA Needham says. 

Pilots who are planning to have or adopt a child will often start their research on the company’s website, but the Compass Project has all the information such pilots will need. While our flight offices have very helpful administrators, our team of APA volunteers will make certain that you are getting all of the benefits available as well as the necessary information to make informed decisions. 

The Compass Project’s Family Navigation Team always welcomes new volunteers who want to participate and help our peers in a very exciting time of their lives. “The time commitment is minimal, but the impact is huge,” CA Needham says.

Reach out to the Compass Project Committee if you would like to be get involved as a sponsor: or 817-302-2401.