American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) flight attendants will now have a joint collective bargaining agreement and contract. The dispute went to arbitration and the arbitration board issued its decision.
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) issued this statement about the decision:
On December 13, the seven member Arbitration Panel, established in accordance with the Negotiations Protocol Agreement, issued its decision on the terms of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement. The JCBA will consist of the pay, work rules, and benefits outlined in the APFA arbitration proposal. Unfortunately, the award does not include the “me too” clauses for health plans and profit sharing for which APFA argued. The award also does not provide retroactive pay raises for Flight Attendants. APFA had argued for the wage increases to take effect December 2, 2014. Instead, the increases will take effect on January 1, 2015. The effective date of the JCBA is December 13, 2014.
First, APFA proposed that the value of $112 million is the amount that the arbitrators must add to our combined contracts to equal market based in the aggregate, which is the standard provided for in the NPA. AA stipulated to this value.
Second, APFA argued for a “me too” for health insurance, meaning that if the company were to offer another work group health insurance that differs from the health insurance in our JCBA, APFA would have the option of replacing our current insurance with such other health insurance beginning the following year. The company argued against a “me too” for health insurance.
Third, APFA argued for a “me too” for profit sharing, meaning that if another workgroup on AA’s property were given a profit sharing plan, APFA would have the option of reducing the wage rates by $50 million per year (the value allotted for profit sharing in our proposal) and adopting such profit sharing plan. The company argued against a “me too” for Profit Sharing.
Finally, APFA asked for pay rates retroactive to December 2, 2014. The company argued against retroactive pay rates.
A majority of the Panel denied APFA’s request that the JCBA contain “me-toos” regarding the medical plan and profit sharing. In both cases the Panel found that the inclusion of these provisions would push the added value of the JCBA beyond the market-based aggregate of $112 million.
A majority of the Panel also rejected APFA’s argument that the new wage rates of the JCBA be retroactive to December 2, 2014. It held that starting the pay increases prior to the effective date of the JCBA would result in its value exceeding the $112 million cap.
The two union-appointed members of the Arbitration Panel dissented from the Panel’s decision denying the “me-toos” and the retroactivity of the new wage rates.
The effective date of the JCBA is December 13, 2014, the day the decision was issued. A link to the updated contract language including the implementation letter will be uploaded to apfa.org in the next several days. The new pay rates will go into effect on January 1, 2015.
In other news, American Airlines issued this statement today about a mileage promotion:
American Airlines will reward its customers with a bonus mile promotion in 2015, making the AAdvantage program the most generous in the industry. The promotion will offer AAdvantage® and Dividend Miles® members more miles based on the distance flown, the fare purchased and the member’s elite status level.
President, AAdvantage Loyalty Program Suzanne Rubin said: “As the largest airline in the world, with a global network that spans 54 countries, our frequent flyer program must also be the best in the business. A mile flown continues to be a mile earned in AAdvantage, and now we’re going to reward customers even more when they purchase a First or Business Class ticket.”
Beginning January 1, 2015 American will reward customers that are members of either the AAdvantage or Dividend Miles programs with bonus miles for purchased First or Business Class tickets on all eligible flights marketed or operated by American or US Airways. The promotion applies to all travel between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2015.
Eligible flights for AAdvantage members include all AA and US-marketed and operated flights (including codeshare flights between the two carriers), and AA or US-marketed, partner-operated flights, including British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qantas. Until the company merges the frequent flyer programs in the second quarter 2015, eligible flights for Dividend Miles members will include all AA and US-marketed and operated flights (including codeshare flights between the two carriers).
The airline’s promotion provides bonus miles in addition to base mileage and elite status/class of service bonuses that customers normally earn. The amount of bonus miles earned will depend on the customer’s elite status level and the length of the flight.
Registration for the promotion is not necessary, as all bonus miles will be automatically added to members’ accounts after the eligible flight is complete. Additional details about the 2015 AAdvantage bonus mile offer are available at aa.com/moremiles.
As previously announced, also beginning January 1, bonus miles for AAdvantage members on Business Class tickets on American and US Airways will increase from 25 to 50 percent to align with what Dividend Miles members receive today.
Over the past year, American has rolled out enhanced benefits to members flying on either airline, including:
The opportunity to earn and redeem miles on American or US Airways, with all eligible travel on either airline counting toward elite status qualification in the program of that member’s choice
Reciprocal benefits for elite status members when flying either airline, including First and Business Class check-in, complimentary checked bags and priority security and boarding
More lounge access, with reciprocal club access for Admirals Club® and US Airways Club members
Easy access to the combined company’s expanded network through the codeshare between American and US Airways, which allows the ability to sell seats on both airlines’ flights
Bringing US Airways into the award-winning oneworld® alliance, offering more options across the Atlantic and an easier and more rewarding global travel experience to Europe and beyond
The ability to easily stay connected while customers fly with Monthly Traveler and Daily Wi-Fi passes, valid on both American and US Airways
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Boeing 757-23N N204UW (msn 30886), now in American colors, exits the runway at Amsterdam.
American Airlines-US Airways aircraft slide show: