American/APA Relations: American Rejects APA’s Offer


You didn’t really think American Airlines (AMR:NYSE) was going to come back to the Allied Pilots Association with an unqualified “yes” to their list of “cost-free” or “low-cost” goodies they asked for in return for the changes the airline needs in their contract in order to fly DFW-Beijing non-stop …now did you?

If you’ve not kept up with this drama, American Airlines is bidding, along with Northwest, United, and Continental, for the next China route from the DOT. American is the only airline that does not have its pilots fully online with the deal — as the pilot union needs to agree to amend its current contract if the long flight is to be flown non-stop.

Almost two weeks ago the APA gave American a laundry list of “no-cost” items it would like to see added to its current contract — in return for the agreement to fly the longer flights.

In that list, which included such things as free broadband at all crew hotels, there was also a request that pilots would receive priority for jump seats — a request that did not sit well with the airline’s flight attendants.

But as far as I know, there was no stipulation that the airline pay to have a pilot’s piano tuned if the airline asks them to move to another domicile. (Yes, that was a part of an actual pilot contract with an airline which shall remain nameless at this time.)

Yesterday American responded to the pilots’ proposal. Their response? A resounding “no.”

Or, as Captain Fury puts it in this latest set of cartoon panels — it wasn’t just a no, it was a “bitch-slap.”

Don’t know who Captain Fury is? We’ve mentioned him in PlaneBusiness Banter before, but I’m not sure if I’ve talked about him here or not.

Captain Fury is a well-connected American Airlines’ pilot with a wicked sense of humor, and an even-more wicked ability to capture personalities in pen and ink. Captured above are the Captain’s renderings of Jeff Brundage, American’s SVP of Human Relations on the left, and Denny Newgren, a negotiator for American.

Below — one panel which incorporates a shot across the bow at the airline’s Chief Pilot, Mark Hetterman, a dig at the airline’s Fall Leadership Conference and a slam of the legendary PUP bonuses that management has received. And yes, “management” includes Hetterman.

If I was Gerard Arpey, Jeff, or (god forbid) Mark Hetterman, this guy would be my worst nightmare.

You can catch the Captain’s latest take on the continuing APA/AA drama here.