American Airlines Flight Attendants Take The First Step Towards A Strike

American Airlines flight attendants have been working towards a new contract since before the pandemic. The union says they’re far apart, and that they have filed for federal mediation. That’s the first step towards a strike.

  • Under the Railway Labor Act, a union first has to engage in mediation, then be released from mediation after the process is deemed to have failed, and then go through a 30 day ‘cooling off period’ prior to striking.

  • They’d also need a strike vote of their membership, though that is usually forthcoming – they promise that a strike vote doesn’t mean a strike, it’s just a threat to get the company’s attention, but it is also a step closer to actually striking.

One a federal mediator is assigned they will set the schedule for contract negotiations. This is not arbitration – they have no power to decide any of the terms of an agreement.

Ironically, the flight attendants union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, tells their members that they’ll continue bargaining even while waiting for the media because discussions with the company has been “productive” and they have “worked through many issues.”

APFA will present our comprehensive economic proposal to the company on March 7th. This proposal, along with the remaining unresolved issues, will provide the basis for the remainder of the contract talks.

A strike remain far off, but got one step closer. Meanwhile, American Airlines has open negotiations with its pilots – that has predated the pandemic as well – while it signed a new deal with mechanics , negotiated just before the start of the pandemic, after that work group decimated the carrier’s operations during summer 2019.

The mechanics engaged in an illegal job action, working-to-rule and refusing overtime, in order to hamper the ability of American to fly. A court got involved to enjoin the action. Flight attendants are being told not to engage in a work action on their own – I flew in January where a flight attendant instruction other crewmembers to “work to rule” because of “contract negotiations.”

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, 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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  1. It is almost certain that all of the big 4 flight attendants will get boarding pay since Delta’s non-union flight attendants now get it.

  2. The F/A’s should indeed Work to Rules…that’s doing exactly what their current contract states and
    there is nothing illegal about it ~ They deserve better for all they deal with these days!

  3. They’ll still be the nasty to us after the contract. I hope they do strike and AA hires replacements.

  4. Whoever wrote this obviously doesn’t speak English as a first language.

  5. I read another story that quoted both sides as saying the negotiations had been productive. What’s the truth?

  6. Took 4 days to get where I am. Should have taken one but delay after long delay, no help filling out forms, no alerts for changed flights. Good luck filling out forms with incirrect flight numbers. Passengers are now expected to know more about an airline’s policies than we are likely to know. Lies: go talk to that office for a hotel room. Reprimands: You should have said you wanted a hotel room when we talked to the one who gave you boarding passes. As if the airline won’t claim nothing is their fault. I have traveled a lot but transportation has become more problematic, especially on this major carrier that acts like a discount carrier ( pay for meals on long flights then they don’t have what you order).

  7. I was coming from vacation with Sandals shorts and tantop The soonest I learn on the house. I gotta text With my Door number for the next flight that was gonna take me home. I got 4 hours wait. They never Text they change my door without my knowledge. A lost a flight back home. I did call customer service 3 times. They never help me out. I start walking until I found open door with customer serv this people. Are you talking to them about they decide not to help me out? They decide not to give me bouchers for food and hotel. They gave me a ticket for the next fly. They left me stranded waiting 15 hours for my next fly. I am disable senior Citizen I asked for my money back and they denied it. Never ever again.

  8. Happens every single negotiation AA just drags this to 1159pm then say oh ok here ya go!!! Stupid!

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