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Thread: AA FAs to be reduced system wide

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    AA FAs to be reduced system wide

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    A note from Jill Surdek to all flight attendants

    1 July 2020

    Dear flight attendants,

    Understandably, many of you are concerned about what will happen in October and beyond and have been anxiously awaiting news. Thats why Im outlining in this note what we know today about our staffing situation. This is a lengthy update, but I wanted you to have all the information, so you can make the choices that are best for you.

    Its no secret that COVID-19 has drastically reduced the demand for air travel. Earlier today Network Planning shared news about our fall and summer 2021 flying, which will still be well below where we have been historically, particularly with international flying. You can read the full announcement here. Additionally, every part of our company is going to need to operate more efficiently going forward, given the massive financial losses it is experiencing and the long-term impact this pandemic will have on our debt level.

    In Flight Service, this means we are evaluating all aspects of our business, including flight attendant staffing complements, how schedules are built, how flying is allocated and even which flight attendant bases make economic sense in this new landscape.
    And I know the question on everyones mind is when will we know if we need to furlough? The short answer is, we dont have an answer yet. While our surplus is evolving based on our schedule plans and the items Ill outline below, we expect to have an overage of between 7,000 and 8,000 flight attendants this fall. This does not mean well furlough that many flight attendants, but it is an overage we will need to address. Our goal is to reduce this number as much as possible through voluntary options and working with the unions.

    Today were announcing the following measures:
    1. We will close our bases in St. Louis and Raleigh/Durham effective with the Feb. 2021 bid month, and we will convert them to satellites effective with the March 2021 bid month. This is a difficult decision affecting wonderful flight attendants well-known for their great service. But with a smaller network and the environment in which we expect to operate in the long-term, our SLT and RDU bases are no longer economically viable. And were working with the APFA on options for transitioning those crews to other bases. To lessen the impact on our SLT and RDU flight attendants, both will become satellites of DFW and CLT, respectively. We notified flight attendants in SLT and RDU in a separate communication earlier today.
    2. Additionally, the smaller network means we will have to adjust our relative base sizes to match our reduced schedule in early 2021. We will need to do some rebalancing when it comes to the size of our bases. Base size targets will change as the schedule adjusts and we know results of additional leaves of absence and early-out programs. However, from what we know right now, even with a reduced schedule in 2021, we expect flat to moderate growth in DCA, SFO and BOS base sizes. We expect modest decreases in in DFW, LGA, PHL, CLT, and ORD. And we expect notable decreases in PHX, MIA and LAX due to network changes.

    There will be opportunities later this year for flight attendants to voluntarily move via the vacancy transfer process. If we wind up with not enough voluntary transfers into bases where we need to grow, we, unfortunately, may need to displace flight attendants from bases that need to shrink by early 2021. We will continue to share updates in the coming months.

    With our smaller international network, we expect our Latin American bases to be proportionately smaller. Weve achieved some of these reductions through recent flight attendant retirements, and, per country and local laws, were also working with our teams there to offer new voluntary leave and early out programs previously unavailable to our Latin American colleagues. Each countrys labor laws are different, and were evaluating options accordingly.

    We will reduce staffing on international widebody and transcon flights to FAA minimums + 1 flight attendant (except on the Boeing 787-8, where we currently operate with FAA minimum crew), effective Oct 1, 2020. These new staffing models will make us more cost-efficient and are in line with recent changes implemented by one of our largest competitors. These changes to crew complement on widebody aircraft will begin with the Oct. 2020 bid month. We will be sharing the revised position assignments before the October bid month.

    Aircraft Staffing
    Boeing 777-300 11
    Boeing 777-200 9
    Boeing 787-9 9
    Boeing 787-8 8
    Airbus A321T 5
    Note: As required by FARs, we will add staffing on longer flights (e.g., DFW-HKG).

    In cases where we fly a widebody aircraft in a transcon market, well staff it with FAA minimum crew. We will operate all other narrowbody aircraft with minimum crew, which is our current staffing level except in a few cases.

    The revised schedule from Network Planning and reduced staffing complement translates into about 30% fewer IPD trips next summer compared to how many we had in 2019.

    We will close the FABRC (flight attendant bidding resource center) effective Oct 1, 2020. This has been an incredible resource comprised of amazing flight attendants dedicated to helping their peers bid and trade. Unfortunately, it is an expensive channel to maintain in these times. Given the amount of time thats passed since FOI and the PBS cutovers, resources like online reference guides and more automated processes will ensure youll still have support and avenues to get information about your bids/trades.

    Moving forward
    To reduce our overage, the company is working to finalize new early out and leave programs for frontline team members including flight attendants. We should be able to share more information in the coming weeks. And while it may be scary to see overages this large, please know were doing everything possible to mitigate or potentially eliminate the need for involuntary reductions while keeping our costs manageable. The outcome will depend on the appetite for voluntary options.
    While we hope our customers continue returning to the skies in the coming months, the reality is that this pandemic has changed our business for years to come. Things like less international flying, lower crew complements and fewer crew bases are part of our new reality.

    Through these last few months, one of the things I have heard from many of you is please be straight with us about what to expect. While I know this communication is a lot to take in and raises many questions, we want to provide you a holistic look at what is on the horizon as you are making decisions about your future. And I recognize that for some of you, these new realities may not be compatible with the career you were expecting.

    We know youll likely have questions. Thats why weve set up a dedicated email address and will be communicating even more frequently in the days and weeks to come. Ill also continue hosting virtual town halls in the coming days for you to ask questions the first of which will be tomorrow.

    Thanks for everything youve done and continue to do when it comes to taking care of our customers and each other during this challenging time.

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    American can't sustain current employment levels and 'survive this'

    American Airlines' CEO Doug Parker told employees the industry "fully believed by Oct. 1 this would be over with.

    -Doug Parker-
    July 2, 2020

    Not Only FAs - ALL Departments

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