Home Featured American Airlines Flight Attendants Vote to Strike—What That Means for Your Flights

American Airlines Flight Attendants Vote to Strike—What That Means for Your Flights

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American Airlines Flight Attendants Vote to Strike—What That Means for Your Flights




<p>It's been a summer of strikes, with workers making waves across multiple industries. The <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href=" target="_blank">writers' and actors' strikes</a> are shaking up the entertainment sector, while the postal industry has faced <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href=" target="_blank">USPS protests</a> and a potential <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href=" target="_blank">UPS strike</a> averted at the last minute. Your travel plans may be at risk now that American Airlines flight attendants voted to authorize the strike. Discover what it means for future flights.</p>
<p><strong>RELATED: <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href=" target="_blank">Travelers Are Boycotting Southwest Over Boarding Change</a>.</strong></p>
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<div class="title">American Airlines flight attendants are pushing for pay raises.</div>
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<p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-498496" src=" alt="Passengers aboard an American Airlines flight from Washington, DC to Phoenix, AZ, September 9, 2018." width="500" height="333" /></p>
<p>The Association of Professional Flight Attendants is currently trying to negotiate better pay for over 26,000 American Airlines flight crew members. Their five-year contract became amendable in Dec. 2019, and the union <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href=" target="_blank">started negotiations</a> with the carrier in 2018 before they were shut down because of the pandemic, <em>Forbes</em> reported.</p>
<p>Talks resumed in 2021 but an agreement has not yet been met, and now they're at a "heated point in negotiations," Charlotte APFA President <strong>Scott Hazlewood</strong> told the magazine on Aug. 30.</p>
<p>On March 7, the APFA Negotiating Committee presented their <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href=" target="_blank">economic proposal</a> to American Airlines. The proposal indicates that the union is demanding an initial 35 percent raise for flight attendants, which could range anywhere from $40 to $93 more per hour depending on a worker's years of service. The APFA also wants a 6 percent increase each year after the initial raise.</p>
<p><strong>RELATED: <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href=" target="_blank">American Airlines Slammed for "Bad" New Upgrade Policy</a>.</strong></p>
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<p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-379206" src=" alt="Five American Airlines planes sitting at their gates and one plane taxiing on the runway at an airport" width="500" height="334" /></p>
<p>American Airlines flight attendants have been trying to increase pressure on the airline to approve pay increases for nearly six months. In an Aug. 30 <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href=" target="_blank">press release</a>, the APFA announced that 99.47 percent of participating flight attendants had just voted in favor of authorizing a strike.</p>
<p>"Today, we sent a clear message to American Airlines management: We are fired up and ready for a contract. They ignore this strike vote at their peril," APFA National President <strong>Julie Hedrick</strong> said in a statement. "Our contributions to the success of American Airlines must be recognized and respected."</p>
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<div class="title">A walkout is unlikely to happen anytime soon.</div>
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<p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-418671" src=" alt="boarding american airlines flight" width="500" height="333" /></p>
<p>That doesn't mean you're going to see American Airlines flight attendants walking off planes tomorrow, however. Instead, the vote simply authorizes APFA leadership to call for a strike "if contract talks do not yield significant improvement," the union explained in its release.</p>
<p>Even then, the walkout wouldn’t be immediate. Federal law makes it difficult for airline unions to <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href=" target="_blank">conduct strikes</a>, according to CBS News. As the news outlet explained, the Railway Labor Act requires that federal mediators decide that further negotiations are pointless before a strike can occur—and that rarely happens.</p>
<p>"We cannot strike until released by the National Mediation Board and following a thirty-day cooling-off period," APFA stated in its release. "But if management continues proposing concessions coupled with meager improvements to compensation and retirement, we will not hesitate to request a release to strike if necessary."</p>
<p><strong>RELATED: <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href=" target="_blank">TSA Issues New Alert on What You Can't Bring Through Security</a>.</strong></p>
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<p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-406639" src=" alt="An American Airlines jet taking off in the sky" width="500" height="334" /></p>
<p>The 26,000 American Airlines flight crew members who are unionized and if there is no agreement reached, they can strike after 30 days if the National Mediation Board has released them from the negotiations. But that would likely be done through <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href=" target="_blank">targeted job actions</a> and not an actual full strike, View from the Wing reported.</p>
<p>The APFA has made it clear that a strike can "take on many forms," according to <a rel="noopener noreferrer external nofollow" href=" target="_blank">an FAQ section</a> on its website. "A traditional strike includes all workers walking off the job, however intermittent strikes targeting certain flights provide management with less certainty and have proven more effective," the union states.</p>
<p>According to View from The Wing, the union is more likely to strike on specific days and not all flights. The majority of flight attendants will still be on the job most of their time, so a strike would not have a major impact on their finances.</p>
<p>Nevertheless, such an action could still severely impact American Airlines' profits by creating uncertainty over potential flight cancellations—causing customers to book flights with a more stable carrier instead of American.</p>
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<div class="title">American Airlines said it expects to reach an agreement with the union.</div>
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<p><img decoding="async" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-464056" src=" alt="american airlines plane" width="500" height="334" /></p>
<p>A strike will not occur at all if an agreement is met—which is what American Airlines is anticipating. When <em>Best Life</em> reached out to the carrier, a spokesperson provided a statement indicating that the carrier is continuing to meet regularly with the APFA, and is working to reach a fair agreement with the union.</p>
<p>"We're proud of the progress we've made in negotiations with the APFA, and we look forward to reaching an agreement that provides our flight attendants with real and meaningful value," American Airlines said in its statement.</p>
<p>The airline added, "We understand that a strike authorization vote is one of the important ways flight attendants express their desire to get a deal done. The results don't change our commitment or distract us from working expeditiously to reach an agreement."</p>

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