Tag Archives: AirTran pilots

AirTran MEC Meeting on SWA Seniority Agreement Now In Progress in Atlanta


An update on the situation involving the AirTran ALPA MEC that I posted earlier this week.

The Southwest Airlines SWAPA Communication Committee has issued an update today to the Southwest Airlines‘ pilots in which they say that the AirTran MEC is now meeting in Atlanta to discuss the Side Letter 9 — that’s the pilot seniority agreement to you lay people out there.

This, after earlier in the week, the AirTran MEC had notified SWAPA leadership that the meeting had been “postponed indefinitely.”

Hmmmm. Sounds like somebody came to their senses.

I don’t care what the AirTran ALPA MEC eventually decides — that is their call — but I think they need to make a decision one way or another — which will then allow the process to continue. If the AirTran ALPA MEC decides to send the agreement to the rank and file for a vote, then we’ll see a roadshow start almost immediately.

From the SWAPA Communications Committee, August 11, 2011:

Fellow SWAPA Pilots,

Late yesterday evening, the AirTran MEC Chairman informed SWAPA president, Steve Chase that their MEC was in ATL and had started their MEC meeting originally scheduled for this week. Notice was given earlier in the week that they were postponing their meeting until some internal items and language was received for their review.

With their MEC convened in ATL, we expect their MEC vote on their equivalent of our Side Letter 9 at some point during their meeting, and we don’t know how long it may run. If their MEC votes to send the agreement to their membership, we have an extensive roadshow schedule planned to visit every pilot base in the next three weeks. In the meantime, we continue to wait on their MEC to determine if we are going on the road. As soon as we have more information we will pass it along.

Thanks for your continued patience and please stay tuned.

Hot and Heavy: AirTran Pilot Union Message Board Shut Down


One of our very long-time PlaneBusiness Banter subscribers who also happens to fly for AirTran tells us that “things are very hot” in Atlanta as pilots there debate the proposed agreement between AirTran and Southwest Airlines pilots.

So hot that the AirTran ALPA MEC issued this letter this afternoon:

“July 24, 2011

Fellow Pilots,

During a special meeting today, the Master Executive Council voted to temporarily suspend the union web forum. This step was not taken lightly, as the MEC feels that pilots should be free to debate the topics that impact all of us. However, the discourse has become too uncivil at times, and policing the posts too difficult.

The MEC officers and status representatives are still available to answer questions or take feedback, either through their e-mail addresses or cell phones. A complete list of contacts is available at www.airtranpilots.org<http://www.airtranpilots.org>.

Thank you for your understanding.

The AirTran Master Executive Council”

Doesn’t matter what negotiation it is. Or what airline. There is no such thing as a “slam-dunk” when it comes to pilots, contracts and …. questions of seniority.

PlaneBusiness Banter Is Now Posted!

Hello everyone.

This week in PlaneBusiness Banter I sit down for a PBB Lounge Lizard Interview with one of my favorite people — Dave Hilfman. Dave is the SVP of Global Sales at the “new” United Airlines. Prior to his current gig, Dave held the same position at Continental Airlines.

We talk corporate sales, red Mazda RX-7 convertibles, Eastern Airlines, Gordon Bethune, Larry Kellner, why some corporate clients are not happy about sharing contract performance information, the United/Continental merger, and you’ll meet Dave’s son Marshall too.

Tonight, we’re waiting to hear the news from AMR in regard to 1) American Eagle and 2) new aircraft. The pilots at American Eagle and AMR came to terms on some sticking points regarding how the pilots would be treated if there was a change of ownership at the airline today. That points to an announcement tomorrow about what AMR intends to do with its regional subsidiary.

The AMR board of directors was meeting today in advance of the airline’s second quarter earnings roll out tomorrow. If we were betting, we’d bet that Airbus/Boeing decision was probably made today at that same board meeting.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, it was announced that the Southwest Airlines and AirTran pilots had come to terms on a new seniority agreement. Still have not seen an “official” summary of that agreement. Clearly this is a big deal for the airline. More after we see the fine print.

Airline stocks? Horrible week for them last week.

In the government fun and games division, the DOT rolled out a list of 16 fees it thinks the airlines need to keep track of and report to the government last week. Of course they did this under the guise of it being “passenger friendly.” Hogwash. It’s so the DOT can force the airlines to account for ancillary revenues in a more clear and concise manner. The easier to tax those revenues — down the road.

Then we had the bipolar fare increase/fare sale activity over the last couple of days. First United and Delta began an attempt to raise fares last week. It continued through the weekend — and then Southwest balked.

Then this week Southwest and its new subsidiary AirTran rolled out a new fare sale!

Just another wacky week in the industry we all know and love.

All this and more — in this week’s PlaneBusiness Banter. Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.