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American Offers Flight Attendants ‘Unusual’ 17% Pay Bump as Negotiations Heat Up

The union called the offer a 'PR move in the face of a strike deadline.'

AA B789 LAX William Derrickson (1)

An American 787 Dreamliner in Los Angeles. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

American is offering a 17% raise to its flight attendants as contract negotiations continue to heat up. The Fort Worth-based airline told flight attendants that the raise comes with no strings attached and also includes a change to increase flight attendants’ profit-sharing.

“We will be back at the table with APFA leadership next week and a deal is within reach, but I don’t know how long it will take to get to the finish line and I don’t want another day to go by without increasing your pay,” the airline’s CEO Robert Isom told flight attendants in a video message on Wednesday.

Isom said the airline presented the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) – the union representing American’s 28,000 flight attendants – with the proposal on Tuesday. In a statement, the APFA called the offer a “PR move in the face of a strike deadline.”

The airline and union are set to begin a ‘last ditch’ round of federal mediation next week. If a deal isn’t reached, it is possible that the National Mediation Board (NMB) could release the parties into a 30-day cooling-off period, paving the way for a potential strike action.

“This means we’ve offered increased pay for all flight attendants and are not asking your union for anything in return,” added Isom. “This is unusual. But these are unusual times.”

The APFA board is set to review the offer on Wednesday. “We believe that AA management underestimated the determination and resolve of Flight Attendants to achieve the contract we deserve,” a statement from the union said.

Earlier this year, Southwest flight attendants inked a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Dallas-based airline, which included a 33% pay increase over four years. Flight attendants at both Alaska and United are also in the process of negotiating new contracts.

Flight Attendants Reject Offer

On Wednesday, the APFA’s board unanimously rejected American’s offer, adding that the company should focus on reaching a full agreement.

“The APFA Board of Directors unanimously rejects management’s proposal and encourages, in the strongest way possible, the company to put all of its attention towards reaching an agreement with our Union and avoiding a crippling strike,” the union said in a statement.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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