American Airlines Pilots Union Rejects Bonus Pay Aimed at Fixing Understaffing Problems The union is rejecting the holiday offer in favor of more permanent changes.

By Chloe Arrojado

COOPER NEILL | Getty Images

With holiday travel ramping up, airlines are desperate to alleviate staffing problems that have plagued the industry over the past few months.

American Airlines has aimed to address this labor shortage by offering a 50% pay increase to pilots who work during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's season. However, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), which consists of more than 14,000 American Airlines pilots, rejected the offer.

"The Board received a full briefing from the Negotiating Committee and thoroughly considered all aspects of the proposed [letter of agreement] before voting 20-0 to reject it," the APA wrote in a statement on Tuesday. "While understanding that its rejection creates a disparity among our fellow work groups that have accepted management's proffered incentives, the Board concluded that the need to achieve meaningful permanent improvements in a new collective bargaining agreement must remain APA's focus."

Related: Southwest Pilots' Union Sues Airline Over COVID-19 Response

Union spokesperson Dennis Tajer told CNBC the extra pay was "lazy" and "a clear admission you mismanaged the airline." Instead, the union said it wants more permanent improvements, like with how the airline creates its schedule.

"We are, of course, disappointed, especially since we have holiday pay programs in place for all other frontline groups at the company," Kimball Stone, American's senior vice president of flight operations, and Chip Long, vice president of flight operations, wrote in response, according to CNBC. "But we will continue to look for opportunities to work with APA to support you during the holidays, as well as explore our options to maximize availability of existing premiums."

American Airlines isn't just extending the holiday bonus to pilots in its attempt to fix its staffing problems. It's also offering to pay flight attendants triple for trips during select periods this holiday season, along with extra pay for perfect attendance between mid-November and January. In addition, the carrier is offering other employees $1,000 for perfect attendance between November 15 and January 2.

American Airlines has already exemplified how holiday disruption can descend to disaster. Over Halloween weekend, it was forced to cancel more than 2,000 flights after turbulent weather created staffing issues.

Related: American Airlines Pilots to Picket Over Staff Shortages, Fatigue

Wavy Line
Chloe Arrojado

Entrepreneur Staff

Editorial Assistant

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
Lock
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Lock
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Lock
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

'All Hell Is Going to Break Loose': Barbara Corcoran Issues Warning About Real Estate Market, Interest Rates

The "Shark Tank" star appeared on FOX Business' "The Claman Countdown" this week.

Science & Technology

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.

Angelina Tsuboi, a full-stack mobile and web developer who also happens to be a pilot, has always been solution-oriented.

Branding

How I Made Money From My Book Without Selling a Single Copy

Did you know you can make money with a book without selling copies? Here's exactly how I did it.

Business Plans

How to Change Careers: A Step-by-Step Guide

Want to make a career change without compromising your finances or future? Check out this step-by-step guide on how to change careers to learn more.

Leadership

How do You Turn Employees Into Problem-Solvers? Follow This 3-Step Leadership Formula.

As leaders, we need to solve company problems effectively. We often have the urge to fix everything quickly, but is this system of problem-solving really sustainable?

Growing a Business

Subscribers Exclusive Event: Discover How These 2 Founders Turned Their Side Hustle into a Million-Dollar Lifestyle Brand

Learn how you can transform your personal brand into a thriving business empire with co-founders of The Skinny Confidential