32% Of American Airlines Flight Attendants Are Behind In Their Union Dues

According to the American Airlines flight attendants union 32% of members are behind in their union dues.

The union is doing two things to collect,

  1. Sending flight attendants to collection

    My account has been sent to collections. How do I make payments?

    Reach out to our outside collections agency, Diversified Credit Systems, at [redacted], to further discuss your account.

  2. Threatening to have them fired

    If you are in dues arrears, you will receive an “alert” letter with your dues status and how it will impact your employment at American Airlines….you can be terminated for not paying dues.

It’s shocking to learn that 32% of flight attendants aren’t current on their union dues, since union dues generally come out of pay. Some of this is recent. Flight attendants who were furloughed in October and November 2020 and not paid for those months wouldn’t have been paying dues but my understanding is that those are forgiven once the crewmember returns to work. Flight attendants on leave wouldn’t have dues withheld, but that doesn’t make up the bulk of this.

Interesting most of the issue seems to be with legacy American Airlines flight attendants. When crew were merged into the APFA, legacy dues in arrears to the US Airways flight attendants union wouldn’t have carried over to APFA dues. Much of this does appear to be legacy dues from American Airlines flight attendants, from past leaves and furloughs involving furlough pay, though it’s surprising to see a strong showing by Charlotte. In some cases American may have just failed to withhold dues, or didn’t have the required dues withholding form on file.

So what could happen here? After formal notification and a 30 day period in which to become current, a flight attendant still in arrears is supposed to face the start of discharge proceedings.

If, upon the expiration of the thirty (30) day period, the Flight Attendant still remains delinquent, the APFA National President shall certify, in writing, to the Vice President of Labor Relations, copy to the Flight Attendant, that the Flight Attendant has failed to remit payment within the grace period allowed and is, therefore, to be discharged. The Vice President of Labor Relations shall then take proper steps to discharge such employee from the service of the Company.

That’s challenging because in the fall American Airlines lacked sufficient crew to operate flights, which is why they paid massive attendance bonuses and premium pay for picking up trips over the Thanksgiving through New Years period.

  • It’s a tough spot to be in for the flight attendants union to try to get its members fired. The union reports it plans to seek “[t]he ability to pay arrears via payroll deduction..in negotiations” which isn’t a key item in improving compensation or working conditions for flight attendants as much as for the convenience and budgetary health of the union itself.

  • Meanwhile it’s the airline that will be looking out for flight attendants, slow-walking any such discharged procedures, because they can’t afford to lose large numbers of crew.

It’s particularly galling to send flight attendants to collections and threaten termination over their dues within days of reporting to those same flight attendants that their former union president misappropriated their dues for personal gain. And doubly so since the union flight attendants are paying for is so weak.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Delta management must be laughing their asses off. They now have proof that they are better off being non union vs a union that will work to get you fired.

  2. “Meanwhile it’s the airline that will be looking out for flight attendants, slow-walking any such discharged procedures, because the can’t afford to lose large numbers of crew.”

    Oh, the irony. So much for the thought that unions are looking out for their members’ interests more than their own.

  3. Would American Airlines flight attendants be friendlier and offer more services to the passengers if the passengers started a “Go fund me” campaign to help pay off overdue AFPA flight attendant union dues?

  4. Are workers covered by Railroad labor conditions exempt from state right to work laws? Given past Supreme Court decisions on the right of state and local government workers to opt out of union membership, there is a good chance of mandatory union membership under federal law to be declared unlawful.

  5. “Are we going to have a problem here?”

    Great to see them treating each other with the same courtesy as they treat pax.

  6. Gary Leff hate unions!! Less than 10% of the American private workforce is unionized, but Gary never misses an opportunity to whack a union. Probably something about his nightly nightmares in which Sara Nelson does her job. Weird.

  7. Mark, DCU, according to Wikipedia is Pryor Field Regional Airport south of Athens, Georgia…..

  8. The average arrears per FA is $380 to $450 on some of those listed locations. I didn’t average them all out. Good question Gary, these dues come out of their check so how did this happen? Maybe the union is scrambling for cash since their gravy sucking pig of an ex leader stole so much (and man did he suck up the gravy!). Agreed, Gary, it’s a bad look.
    And where are the criminal charges for that ex leader (can’t remember his name)? Any AA union members care to comment?

  9. This is such an ironic racket! Can’t help but chuckle at this when you see the numbers clear as day. What I want to know is where the *enormous* amount of money paid by those current 68% of FAs actually goes…“Leadership” perhaps???

    Sure doesn’t seem to be much of that going on here!

  10. Is American Airlines prepared should thousands of flight attendants be terminated for not paying required union dues? Isn”t it the unions job to protect its workers? Sounds like a real mess.

  11. It’s impossible to find a union that isn’t corrupt and is a leach to its members…..

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