Layoffs This Week at American Airlines

In June American Airlines told employees to expect layoffs among management at the director level and above.

In any merger of this size there are initial promises of cost savings, and personnel is one area where those need to be delivered.

A year ago airline CFO Derek Kerr shared that they planned to “further eliminat[e..] post-merger redundancies” and that we’d begin to see those in 2018.

A correspondent shares that layoffs took place this week among frontline managers,

AA has been doing massive layoffs this week with their airport leadership. They took out 12% of DFW operations frontline management [Thursday], and that number is only supposed to rise tomorrow as those that were off..come into work. The number floating around is 21 people from the operations leadership team at DFW alone.

Some smaller stations are rumored to be losing 35% of their customer service managers, which could leave the remaining employees extremely over taxed given the current workload.

This is being called a reduction in force, but I’ve already seen two positions that this happened with that were reposted to be back filled.

I’m separately told the number is “almost 50” at Dallas Fort-Worth with today’s numbers between customer care, operations, cargo and administration.

Looking into this it appears some of the positions are part of what was announced in June and others are a mass of layoffs based on performance where staff will be replaced.

I’m surprised to be seeing many merger redundancies at Dallas Fort-Worth because US Airways simply hadn’t had a large station there to begin with. LAX by the way is largely spared this knife, as they’re generally considered to be understaffed, though there are performance-based terminations there this week.

There’s across-the-board analysis of where American can cut staff — not just areas where legacy US Airways staff and legacy American staff were no longer both needed five years into the merger. It’s hard enough to find a customer service manager as it is, though the reductions are a small percentage of staff.

Employees always seem busy as work expands to fill available time. After the merger there were duplicative staff. American said that they were going to reduce headcount, so that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The airline has publicly promised cost cuts. We’ll see how that manifests itself in front line experience soon.

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. I wouldn’t mind seeing AA getting rid of ExPlat customer service who don’t deserve that “customer service” job. 7 out of 10 calls I made with Elite Desk were the bad apples. They are rude and helpless. They should just go back flipping burgers.

    On a side note, I always tried to leave a survey after the call. These bad apples realize that they are rotten, they didn’t want to hang up! Meaning I wouldn’t be able to complete the survey. They know the trick! These employees are sneaky!

    To be fair, I always left a positive feedback when they went above and beyond. Sadly, in this care, that rarely happens.

  2. The United States government has created such a comfortable situation for their coddled oligopoly airlines that they feel no need to deploy any risk capital and are better off shrinking. This is the farce that passes for capitalism in the USA today. The US domestic air market is much more similar in its regulation to China than to practically any other OECD country. Absolutely pathetic.

  3. The cuts and/or changes need to come from the *board* of directors. Of course, removing Parker would be great for customers and morale as well.

  4. What about getting rid of the horrible gate agents (who are a small percentage) that have rotten attitudes and multiple complaints against them? Why not clean house there too?

    Or am I the only former passenger who have constantly run into the same agents time and time again? Toxic RIF survivors do not change their behavior.

    And yes, I know there’s bad employees in all areas. But I’ve seen most inflight crews act lazy and indifferent while some AA gate/ticket agents are outright hostile. This is one of the main reasons why I’ve abandoned AA this year going forward.

  5. As a 3MM ExPlat I abandoned AA in 2018 for UA, not expecting too much. But my experience as a UA 1K has been surprisingly superior to ExPlat AA. Which tells you how far AA has slid.

  6. Laying off customer service managers, hmm? Try laying off the multiple layers of mid and upper management? Some stations have so many managers, that there seems to be more managers than hourly employees. Typical Parker bullshit management…..

  7. Thanks a God, I retired back in 2011, I saw all this news coming, even when Mr Parker took over, I said not good future for my awesome airline, he had not a good background as a CEO, so I always reading all this newt, some is in between the Board and him.

  8. Why would you lay off the front line mid level management, they are the ones on a daily basis that talk to the irate passengers. Those passengers who are sick of the way the airline is going yet these mid level management people have no say in those decisions. It’s time to take a serious look at senior management because many of the decisions they have made have the customers irate. No legroom, narrow seats, tiny restrooms, and now the entertainment systems are no longer on the new aircraft.
    Someone forgot to tell the senior management that airlines are suppose to be in the “CUSTOMER SERVICE INDUSTRY” and this operation today is very much lacking customer service. It has evolved into make wall street happy and give me my millions for running this airline into the ground.

  9. Fire Doug Parker !!!!!!! His track history should speak to his inability to run a airline … America West for example !!!! Get rid of Doug Parker!!!

  10. The company is very top heavy.
    Biggest mistake was when US Airways bought AA. AA policies and procedures and some of the worse in the industry

  11. Not a problem. The kiosks and gate readers are being reprogrammed right now as Managers, so if any issue arises, relax, a machine is at the ready,and nothing will go wrong, go wrong, go wrong…

  12. I think Parker should step down
    The morale is so low
    They don’t want customer service they just want to fill planes
    The days of American Airlines classic are gone

  13. To D Tho
    Oh so Us air bought AA really and Usair a company that Delta did t even want and and airlines that was in bankruptcy 2 times you believe that if it gives you comfort
    D Parker has taken AA us down a slippery slope sad

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