Perturbed Pilots Picket at American Airlines HQ

Pilots for American Airlines are picketing outside company headquarters in Fort Worth. | Image by Alan Scaia, 1080 KRLD

American Airlines pilots advocating for industry change plan to picket outside the company’s Fort Worth headquarters throughout Labor Day weekend.

A number of American Airlines pilots lined up Thursday morning to picket outside the carrier’s headquarters. They carried signs that read, “Our Passengers Deserve Better” and “We Have Earned It.” Pilots have been demanding an end to the months-long scheduling conflicts at the Fort Worth-based airline.

“We want our airlines’ management teams to end the scheduling bottlenecks that cause chaos for passengers and pilots,” the Allied Pilots Association (APA) statement said. The APA is the labor union representing more than 14,000 American Airlines pilots.

American Airlines has had a turbulent year. The airline has been marred by frequent scheduling problemsflight cancellations, and an industry-wide pilot shortage.

To highlight the pent-up frustrations felt by American Airlines pilots, the APA put up billboards near DFW Airport, which read: “Frustrated with American Airlines? So are we.”

“Management’s history of serving up crisis after crisis has impacted us to the point that fatigue calls have skyrocketed,” APA President Capt. Ed Sicher said in the release. “Margins of safety are clearly being compromised.”

Airline officials claim the picketing event will not impact Labor Day weekend business operations and that pilots’ picketing for better conditions is not out of the ordinary.

Earlier this summer, American Airlines officials agreed to increase pilots’ wages by nearly 17% by the end of 2024. Under the new contract, new pilots will start at around $90,000 annually. First officers will make about $150,000 after a couple of years on the job. Experienced captains will earn roughly $200,000.

The airline issued a statement Thursday morning saying they are in ongoing negotiations with pilots and are committed to reaching an agreement.

“We’ve put forward an industry-leading proposal that would provide immediate and significant improvements in pay, benefits, and quality of life provisions for our pilots,” the airline said Thursday. “We continue to meet regularly with the APA and are committed to reaching an agreement.”

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