American Airlines pilots vote to authorize a strike

Photo (c) Chuyn - Getty Images

Travelers shouldn’t be impacted in the short term, but that could change

Flying on American Airlines (AA) anytime soon? You better keep tabs on your flight because the 15,000-strong Allied Pilots Association (APA) has voted in favor of authorizing a strike.

This push-come-to-shove couldn’t happen at a better time for those pilots. They have a busy travel schedule around the corner and that will no doubt give them some leverage in working out an agreement.

“The summer travel season is almost here, and we’re all wondering whether this will be another summer of uncertainty for American Airlines,” said Ed Sicher, APA President. “Fortunately, there is an alternative. By embracing the win-win scheduling and work rule improvements APA has presented at the bargaining table, management can take steps to improve the airline’s operational reliability and efficiency.”

In a demonstration of their resolve, APA members will conduct informational picketing today at all 10 of the airline's major hubs: Boston (BOS), Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (LGA), Philadelphia (PHL), Phoenix (PHX), and Washington, D.C. (DCA).

"We remain confident that an agreement for our pilots is within reach and can be finalized quickly. The finish line is in sight," American Airlines said in an email to ConsumerAffairs.

"We understand that a strike authorization vote is one of the important ways pilots express their desire to get a deal done and we respect the message of voting results. Importantly, the results don’t change our commitment or distract us from working expeditiously to complete a deal. We remain focused on completing the handful of matters necessary to reach an agreement our pilots deserve."

What American customers need to know

A spokesperson for APA said that there shouldn’t be an immediate effect on travel plans, but that all depends on what happens at the negotiating table. 

The APA spokesperson said the 67 canceled and 92 delayed AA flight interruptions currently shown on FlightAware are not related to the picketing and that all of the pilots participating in the picket line were already scheduled to be off-duty on Monday. 

Anyone holding a ticket on American flights should frequently check their AA app or the airline’s website for any changes in their scheduled departure.

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