Tag Archives: Piedmont Airlines

Piedmont passenger service agents ratify a new contract

Piedmont Airlines passenger service agents represented by the Communications Workers of America ratified a new five-year contract today.

The agreement covers 6,000 agents in 28 states at the American Airlines subsidiary, and provides significant improvements in the collective bargaining agreement, including wage increases across the board and new defined pay scales.

Contract highlights include:

  • Defined pay scales with guaranteed 3 percent increases. Wages at the top of the scales in the first year of the contract range from $16 to $20, depending on location. In the final year of the contract, the top wage range is $17.25 to $21.75.

●     A lump sum payment equal to 6% of the employee’s 2017 W-2 earnings for agents with at least one year of completed service.

●     Improvements in shift trade, mandatory overtime and training policies.

●     Enhancements to vacation time policies for part-time employees

  • Stronger healthcare benefits.

Piedmont Agents have been in negotiations for a new contract with the company since November 2016. The new agreement was reached with the involvement of the National Mediation Board after agents voted against ratification of an earlier tentative contract.

“I’m proud of our bargaining team and our members who were determined to fight for improvements at American Airlines,” said Richard Honeycutt, Vice President of CWA District 3 and Chair of CWA’s Passenger Service Airline Council. “We must build on our progress and strengthen our union so that the company treats passenger service agents with the respect they deserve.”

All photos by Piedmont Airlines.

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Piedmont Airlines to start Embraer 145 training in Charlotte as it transitions to an all-jet fleet

american-eagle-piedmont-erj-145s-piedmontlr

Piedmont Airlines, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group, will begin training pilots at the American Airlines Training Center in Charlotte to fly its fleet of Embraer 145 regional jets. The expansion comes as Piedmont transitions from turboprops to an all jet fleet.

Piedmont has added Embraer 145 desktop training stations in Charlotte and purchased a full sized Embraer cabin trainer for pilots and flight attendants. An E145 full motion simulator will be installed in Charlotte in 2017. Piedmont recently introduced a new pilot pay package that includes nearly $60,000 in pay and bonuses for first year pilots and an additional $20,000 in first officer retention payments.

Piedmont takes delivery of its twelfth jet in November, and will continue to add jets to the fleet through 2017. Pilots hired by Piedmont move to American Airlines in seniority order under a collective bargaining “flow” agreement. Piedmont currently employs approximately 470 pilots, but will expand that number to more than 600 in 2017.

Photo: Piedmont Airlines.

ag-a-fresh-new-way

Joel Chusid’s Airline Corner – March 2015

Joel Chusid’s Airline Corner – March 2015

Assistant Editor Joel Chusid

Assistant Editor Joel Chusid

By Assistant Editor Joel Chusid

The Clampetts are Back

In the past few months, the global media has breathlessly reported on a series of incidents in China where passengers did seemingly unthinkable things on board commercial airliners. These ranged from throwing hot noodles at a flight attendant on a Thai AirAsia flight enroute to Nanjing over a seating dispute to numerous cases of passengers opening emergency exits on a number of different airlines at various stages of flight, before takeoff, while taxiing to a gate after landing and, thankfully unsuccessfully, in midflight. The reasons varied, to protest an extended delay, to “get fresh air” or “get off quicker” or inebriation. A rural farmer lit up a cigarette in the lav on a Cathay Pacific flight. Most, if not all, of these passengers ended up in jail, and the Chinese government introduced a “National Uncivilized Travel Record”, a sort of no-fly list for bad behavior, on which the errant passengers names were recorded. Why? Well, as living standards in China have risen, more and more passengers have taken to the air for the first time whereas in the past the train was the most common mode of inter-city transportation. China does have an enviable high speed rail system, but train tickets now can sometimes cost the same as an air ticket. This brings back memories of American Airlines’ introduction of “Value Pricing” in 1992, which resulted in a fare war that made flying too cheap to pass up for people who hadn’t previously flown. Those passengers new to air travel, were called, in airline speak, “FIRID” (for “first time flyer”), although they became known as “The Clampetts” and that summer of full flights was labeled “The Clampett Summer”. The Clampetts were a fictional family on a US situation comedy called “The Beverly Hillbillies” that ran in the late 1960s who had struck it rich, but were unfamiliar with creature comforts of living in a mansion. Stories that summer about passengers unfamiliar with airline travel, such as not opening a window, smoking, not knowing what to do with a seat belt and much more emerged among the employee ranks. These kinds of incidents also happen elsewhere, due to the unfamiliarity of an airplane in emerging nations. Although these incidents are far from comical; they can result in expenses, inconvenience to others and, yes indeed, a threat to safety. In the meantime, when flying in China, keep an eye on your fellow passenger as this era, too, shall pass, as air travel becomes more routine.

Speaking of Smoking

Why do airplanes still have no smoking signs lit up? Can you believe it’s been 25 years since flights (of six hours of less) became no smoking in the U.S.? Not long after that, all flights were smoke free. The rest of the world soon followed. The American Heart Association and other health organizations celebrated that anniversary on February 23 of this year. There are some of us who remember upon check-in, being asked “smoking or no smoking” and when boarding passes reflected that option and yellow nicotine stains were obvious around air vents – and seats had ashtrays. Most airlines relegated smoking to the rear of the cabin, which meant the back of the economy class section but also the last row or two of first class. Essentially, after takeoff, when today the announcement about electronic devices is made, it used to be the “smoking is now permitted” PA. Some passengers in the non-smoking section would congregate near the rear galleys to grab a smoke. On some airlines, such as Lufthansa, as I experienced, “to be equitable”, smoking was permitted on one entire side of the aircraft.

Noah’s Ark

Yes, the “Ark” is coming to New York’s JFK International Airport. Not quite Noah’s, but it’s for animals and their travel experience. The new $48 million, 178,000 square foot transport and quarantine “terminal” will handle 70,000 domestic and wild animals annually when it opens next year. The Ark is designed with its customers in mind to reduce the stress of travel, with an animal arrival and departure lounge, gourmet food, showers, an overnight pet resort called “Paradise 4 Paws” and veterinarian services. The facility is being designed out of the former Cargo Building 78 and will feature climate controlled vehicles for transfer to and from aircraft. For horses, planes can taxi directly to the terminal. Of note is the livestock handling section which has been designed with the input of famed animal welfare advocate Temple Grandin.

Copyright Photo Above: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Up-close nose view of Icelandair’s special Aurora Borealis color scheme on Boeing 757-256 TF-FIU (msn 26243).

The Northern Lights, Outside and Inside

Icelandair, in recognition of the Aurora Borealis, has introduced a new livery on one of its Boeing 757s that flies back and forth between Europe and North America, via Iceland, of course. But in addition to the paint job of the plane named Hekla Aurora, the airline has fitted the interior with blue and green LED lighting that brings the natural phenomena inside. The company says it celebrates the Icelandic stopovers they are known for, since it is one of the places in the world where the Aurora Borealis can be seen most often. Actually Reykjavik is a cool (as in fun, not temperature) place for a stopover, where 365 days a year, one can breathe clean air, eat fresh seafood, or swim in one of the many naturally indoor or outdoor heated pools or relax in the man-made Blue Lagoon, which is right near the airport.

Copyright Photo Below: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. A side view of TF-FIU.

Amenity Kit Retro

American-Piedmont amenity kit (MBI)(LRW)

Above Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The Piedmont Airlines version of the new American Airlines legacy carrier amenity kits.

Since we’re talking liveries, American Airlines has introduced special liveries of its predecessor companies. That’s not unusual, but now it’s taken the same idea to its amenity kits, which are distributed to first and business class passengers on long-haul international routes. The kits, which contain the usual items like eye masks, moisturizer, toothbrush and toothpaste and such, are sized to be used as a cover for mini tablets. They’ll be debuted over several months.

AG Hang one of our framable prints

The battle of amenity kits; American Airlines introduces heritage airline amenity kits

American Airlines Heritage Amenity Kits

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has unveiled its new 2015 version of its premium amenity kits for international flights. The airline issued this statement:

Starting this month, American Airlines will be upgrading the premium experience for its customers and paying tribute to the proud history of its employees around the world with all-new amenity kits for most international and transcontinental flights, featuring special, limited edition kits that honor nine airlines that laid the foundation for the new American. Every First Class and Business Class kit contains an improved collection of personal care products selected specifically for the modern traveler.

“We have more than 100,000 employees, each with their own unique story, and these retro amenity kits are a small tribute to the heritage of their careers and their legacy carriers,” said Fernand Fernandez, American’s vice president – Global Marketing. “Customers will also identify with the historic logos and colors of the companies that now form the fabric of the modern-day American Airlines. The all-natural, boutique toiletry products from red flower, a New York-based, eco-friendly beauty and lifestyle brand complete the experience.”

The new amenity kits represent the latest in $2 billion in investments as American continues “going for great” with fully lie-flat seats; international Wi-Fi; more in-flight entertainment options and power outlets; a new, modern design for Admirals Club lounges worldwide; and an upgraded assortment of complimentary healthy food, cocktails and more.

The heritage kits serve as a reminder of American’s beginnings and the many men and women who forged together to form the world’s largest airline. Each individual carrier brought with it thousands of employees and a proud history. The collectors’ items will revive the colors and logos of the following airlines, past and present:

American Airlines (historic logo)

PSA-Pacific Southwest Airlines

AirCal (Air California)

Reno Air

Allegheny Airlines

Trans World Airways (TWA)

America West Airlines

US Airways (USAir)

Piedmont Airlines

Customers can experience the retro-themed heritage amenity kits through January 2016 when they travel in international Business Class or transcontinental First Class. They are contained in a stylish, felt case inspired by designer bags, sized specifically to be re-used as a mini-tablet computer case. The legacy themes will debut in batches of three every four months.

American Airlines Heritage TWA Amenity Kit

Above: The TWA amenity kit.

While these kits play up American’s retro branding, the airline took a forward-looking approach to selecting the personal travel products contained inside. The heritage amenity kits in international Business Class contain fabric lining, a pair of socks and an eye mask styled with the colors of a specific airline, a toothbrush and toothpaste, Scope® mouthwash, covers for Bose® QuietComfort® Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headsets provided with each seat, earplugs, a pen, tissues and hand lotion, lip balm and wipes by red flower.

The heritage amenity kits in transcontinental First Class contain the fabric lining, socks and eye mask with airline branding, a toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, and the trio of red flower products.

International First Class customers will receive new, larger kits, containing a pair of plush socks and an eye mask, Scope® mouthwash as well as covers for Bose® QuietComfort® Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headsets, a toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, pen, tissues and the three red flower products in addition to red flower’s face lotion. Customers will also receive upgraded pajamas in a color-block pattern and non-skid, 100 percent cotton terry slippers.

In addition, for the first time, American is rolling out amenity kits in Business Class on its transcontinental service between New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as Miami and Los Angeles. These kits contain a pair of socks and eye mask, a toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, and the trio of red flower products.

Photos: American Airlines.

AA Heritage timeline poster - FINAL - 24x36.pdf

Above: The American Airlines heritage family tree (American Airlines – photos supplied by AirlinersGallery.com):

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

AG Slide Shows

US Airways to operate a special farewell “flight 767” from Philadelphia to Charlotte and return on February 12 as the last Boeing 767 flight

US Airways (Phoenix) as we previously reported, will operate the last regularly scheduled Boeing 767-200 ER revenue flight on February 11.

However the carrier (like it did with the last Boeing 737-400 flight) is now scheduling a special “farewell flight”. Flight US 767 will depart Philadelphia on February 12 at 9:00 am (0900) and arrive at Charlotte at 10:44 am (1044). Flight US 767 will turnaround after special celebrations and depart Charlotte at 12:30 pm and arrive back at Philadelphia at 2:05 pm (1405). This will be the last passenger flight for the Boeing 767 with US Airways.

Piedmont Airlines (1st) took delivery of the first 767-200 ER, specifically 767-201 ER N603P (msn 23897), named “The Pride of Piedmont”, on May 21, 1987. The type entered service on June 15, 1987 on the Charlotte – London (Gatwick) route. The type migrated to USAir (later US Airways) with the merger.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 76702B7 ER N256AY (msn 26847) departs from Charlotte.

US Airways aircraft slide show:

US Airways to retire the last Boeing 767-200 ER on February 11

US Airways (Phoenix) is planning to operate the last Boeing 767-200 ER revenue flight on February 11 per Airline Route. The aging type currently operates from the Charlotte hub to Cancun, Orlando, Philadelphia and St. Thomas.

Piedmont Airlines (1st) took delivery of the first 767-200 ER, specifically 767-201 ER N603P (msn 23897), named “The Pride of Piedmont”, on May 21, 1987. The type entered service on June 15, 1987 on the Charlotte – London (Gatwick) route. The type migrated to USAir (later US Airways) with the merger.

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Boeing 767-2B7 ER N255AY (msn 25257) arrives back at the Charlotte hub.

US Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Below Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-2B7 N656US (msn 26847) taxies in Paris (CDG) painted in the 1997 livery.

 

Below Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-2B7 ER N651US (msn 24764) taxies in the 1989 USAir color scheme.

 

American Airlines Group to move 50 Envoy Air Embraer ERJ 145s to other American Eagle carriers

American Airlines Group (Dallas/Fort Worth) has informed subsidiary Envoy Air (formerly American Eagle Airlines) (Dallas/Fort Worth) that will it transfer 50 Embraer ERJ 145s to Piedmont Airlines (2nd) (Salisbury, MD) and Trans States Airlines (30 aircraft) (St. Louis) starting March 2015. One other carrier that has not been specified will also receive Envoy aircraft. The number of pilots at Envoy has been declining. The pilots of Envoy did not accept the last contract offer from the AAG.

Yesterday Sam Pool, Envoy MEC Chairman, sent the following message to the pilots of Envoy:

November 21, 2014

My Fellow Envoy Pilots –

Today management announced the long-anticipated news that AAG is moving aircraft from Envoy to other carriers. Starting in March 2015, 30 of our Embraer 145 series aircraft will transfer to Trans State Airlines and another express carrier at the rate of 2 aircraft per carrier per month. In 2016, another tranche of aircraft will transfer to Piedmont.

While we are clearly disappointed at the thought of losing four aircraft per month, and the 10 pilot jobs each aircraft represents, the harsh fact is that Envoy is currently losing pilots at an even faster rate as our colleagues seek more rewarding careers elsewhere.

We are beyond disappointed that the sacrifice of economic and operational flexibility that this workgroup provided to our parent corporation during the darkest hours of bankruptcy are now considered insufficient and we again find ourselves facing the demands of concessions in exchange for a viable future.

That said, our disappointment should not cloud the reality that we face today. Our reality is that other pilot groups in our segment of the industry have demonstrated their willingness to accept concessions in exchange for new and larger aircraft, and have subsequently agreed to reduce the pilot costs. If we wish to compete in this market, we simply have no choice but to recognize that reality and decide a course of action.

While it is true that AAG is honoring our bankruptcy contract, the unpleasant fact is that they believe that they can obtain lower cost regional flying from other carriers, and have demonstrated that they will award new aircraft and new flying to those other carriers, leaving our contract and our pilots in an awkward status quo.

AAG’s senior management has made it clear that they desire the new aircraft be flown by the pilots of Envoy. And they have also made it clear that they believe we should cost less. For these reasons, they have remained quietly engaged with your MEC in an attempt to effectuate a mutually acceptable agreement that gently nudges our forward looking economics closer to the perceived market in exchange for the enhanced career security sought by our workgroup.

The entire MEC remains committed to working with the company to find an agreement that satisfies the needs of both parties, and which we can endorse as the best path forward. We believe that such an agreement is within reach.

Thank you for your professionalism and patience, and as always don’t hesitate to contact your representatives.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/Airlinersgallery.com. Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N928AE (msn 14500911) operated by Envoy Air arrives in Baltimore/Washington.

American Eagle-Envoy Air: