Here’s What’s In The American Airlines Pilot Deal (Wow) [Roundup]

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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. The AA contract will not be “wow”. I have a feeling it will be tough to sell. Still many missing items. Wow?? For retro pay. You know that retro pay is nothing close to what would have been paid if a contract were in force and that doesn’t even account for years of quality of life loss. Wait for the pilots to vote … then say wow

  2. @SMR – this is a huge raise, it follows the Delta contract on comp and offers quality of life improvements that are very costly to the airline. They get retroactive raises *for the pandemic years* of 2020 and 2021. And this is happening (a) with an airline that’s far less financially sound than Delta, and (b) as the country may be headed into recession.

    To be sure, things would get nasty, but if they don’t take this contract and if the economy does sour that’s not a great spot for pilots to be in. The pilots’ own negotiators think this is the best they can do and should take it.

  3. I think it will pass but not easily. If you don’t work in this industry … you simply don’t and can’t understand. I thought we would be in this recession already :). Everything is media imposed. Let Washington figure out their crap.. they will. Pilots won’t settle in a contest just because the company torture them for years. I have lots of friends at AA … they aren’t whiny … they have been used and abused, especially the junior guys.

  4. The AA pilot deal is very generous and will cost AA as much or more than DL’s in part because AA pilots were making less than DL pilots so bringing them up to comparable pay scales and benefits will increase AA’s costs more.

    Second, AA does not have a weak outlook. They have a very strong southern US presence which is propelling their revenues – and those strengths aren’t going away. AA has stopped flying alot of the markets that lost money and now just have to extract themselves from the NEA which was also costly to AA. AA has a very small order book, is paying down debt at a fairly rapid clip and they are generating margins as good as DL and UA in aggregate. DL will maintain an advantage because of the strength of its non-transportation revenue.

    AA can afford this pilot contract and their willingness to beat UA and WN is indication of that reality

  5. A couple of things about Budget car rental & credit card dispute.
    1) Budget is notorious to backstab customers, mostly because they run on a franchising model. Not only they are known to overcharge like in this case, but also to bill for car damage when there is none.
    2) Always use Amex cards to pay for rentals, not only because of the insurance but mostly because Amex will always stand for their customers in a dispute while Mastercard stands for the businesses pushing the burden of proof to the customer. I have a complete 100% success in all my disputes with Amex since my first Amex 22 years ago. I have low success disputes on VISA/Mastercard when I had them, why would you pay a huge annual fee to get a card that will give you the finger when you have a big problem like here?
    3) Always take a snapshot of the mileage and the fuel or battery level when you pick up the car and when you return it and also do a video walk-through of the car to document any damages.

  6. Acela F has always been better than any US domestic airline F, but this looks like an improvement.

  7. @SMR Hopefully the pilots can take yes for an answer. Tough to claim they have been abused when taxpayers paid over $50B in the Cares Act to keep pilots employed and with a salary when in any other industry they would have been furloughed or have the company go bankrupt.

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