View Full Version : American Pilots view of TWA Pilot merger.

Ignition Override
11th Aug 2001, 05:08
Do many American Airlines pilots feel that most TWA pilots should go to the bottom of their seniortiy list, whether the TWA pilots are given five or so years of "seat protection" or not? Maybe such protection would prevent any downward displacements later.

I chatted last Wednesday night with an American crew in a Nashville Doubletree Hotel, and one of the pilots felt that such a situation would be fair to the TWA pilots because "we saved their butts", or similar words. What he meant was that any job for the TWA pilots was fair, because TWA, having been drained of vital cash flow by Carl Icahn, was about to go out of business. AMR agreed to purchase TWA, but one condition was that TWA file Chapter 11 (bankruptcy). Maybe some AMR pilots feel that the previous 40% pay cuts taken by TWA pilots, in order to help save their company, does not count for anything. That same American captain did not mention that AMR gained many aircraft and valuable gates/slots at numerous airports. Maybe that counts for nothing, in the eyes of some line pilots.

Interesting rationale is often used to justify shafting your fellw pilots. Many "redbook" NWA pilots wanted to do this to Republic's pilots, and it actually happened when Piedmont Airlines bought Empire. Years after the NWA/Republic merger, the NWA company paper, "Passages", finallt admitted that NWA needed the Republic hub feed, in order to survive.

Do most American pilots feel the same way about TWA, or are they just nervous about the seniority of many TWA pilots? It is interesting how so many pilots believe in seniority by date-of-hire, but only if it benefits their own career progression, i.e. widebodies...never mind that after mergers take place everyone at Brand X Airlines receives a paycheck from the same company and wears the same uniforms, in exchange for contracted services worked out under a joint contract.

[ 11 August 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

flite idol
11th Aug 2001, 05:17
Don the tin hats.!

Blue & White
11th Aug 2001, 06:23
I like most American pilots feel that TWA is asking for way too much. Being only hours from hitting the street is not my definition of a premier airline.
Yes at one time they WERE a good airline and I know the guys have paid their dues, but that doesn't mean an American guy should give up his/her seniority to give them a job. Look what TWA is gaining!!
Nearly a 75% increase in pay, retirement, job security and better work rules.........and they want seniority to (I don't think so). Staple their butts to the bottom of the list....enough is enough. If they don't like it, then hit the streets and find another job. BTW, American is not taking a lot of their aircraft. If the shoe was on the other foot, they would treat us like they did Ozark.

[ 11 August 2001: Message edited by: Blue & White ]

11th Aug 2001, 07:35
I can understand the feelings of the AA guys, however, remember a few truisms:

What goes around, comes around. and

Be nice to the people you pass on your way up, you'll meet them again on your way down.

So keep the inflamatory rethoric to a minimum .

dallas dude
11th Aug 2001, 07:35
From an AA pilot's view, here's a little perspective...

To quote the original TWA merger committee Chairman when offered the possibility of a career length fence around TWA's fleet (i.e. TWA pilots would "fly" their career as a TWA pilot) the guy said "No way. We don't want to be stuck in a St Louis pilot ghetto!".

So, basically, they no longer want a TWA pilot's career, they want an AA pilot's career.

Their "rightful place" merger is based on neighbourhood scenarios. AA's neighbourhood is Saks 5th Avenue (or Harrods). TWA's neighbourhood was Walmart (or Woolworths).

I don't blame them for asking for the moon. If you don't ask you WON'T get.

A little realism would be nice, though.

TWA's pilots are in no way second rate. Their airline certainly was though. They'll hit the jackpot wherever they end up and make no mistake!


dallas dude
11th Aug 2001, 07:39

Be sure and apply that phrase to the TWA folks that hosed the Ozark pilots.

It may well apply!


11th Aug 2001, 07:40
.....just about what you would expect from an AA pilot. He of course wants the senior TWA Captains' position.
And this from the guys that nearly bankrupted their own (APA) union with the court ruled illegal action.

11th Aug 2001, 19:57
Actually AA could have waited until TWA ground to a halt. Then pick the carrier's plum assets at bargain prices without absorbing TWA's debts. The costly headache of integrating unionized employe groups would have been avoided. Shrewd business decision. But the new AA management was kinder. :cool:

Norman Stanley Fletcher
11th Aug 2001, 20:05
The real and dreadful side of human nature is on display here. All talk of unity, justice, brotherhood etc etc..... all worth nothing when the mighty dollar is up for grabs. This is the same mentality that saw first class passengers on the Titanic stand gratefully by as steerage passengers were chained below decks to ensure the 'right' people got to the life boats.

A deeply unpleasant spectacle - made all the worse by the fact that the TWA guys would have done exactly the same in the position as AMR pilots. As an earlier contributor said - what goes around comes around. Bewarned!

11th Aug 2001, 20:15
If our airline were to be taken over tomorrow (or saved to be more precise) I would not have a problem going to the bottom of the seniority list of the saviour company. Indeed I beleive most pilots would be greatful to keep their job and livelihood intact.

A quick reality check may be in order here.

Blue & White
11th Aug 2001, 21:17
You hit the nail on the head. The airline business is a dog eat dog world and you have to protect your position. I did work for Atlas Air for two years and some of us thought FedEx would buy us out. In turn, we fully expected to go to the bottom of the seniority list.......which was better than the position we were at Atlas.
For the TWA guys, just sit back and look at what you're gaining. Remember you were ACQUIRED not merged......be thankful you have a job. What are the A/A guys gaining in this deal.....(zippo). Remember, you could be operated separate like Eagle and negotiate your own contract........food for thought.
We know most of the TWA guys are happy to be at American and we welcome you. However, the radical TWA MEC and ALPA can simply go look for dues at another airline.

11th Aug 2001, 22:41
How 'bout the 3 (that I know of) TWA pilots who were terminated by AA because they left previous AA Eagle (chickenshit) employ under unhappy, but by no means illegal, or professionally unqualifying terms...will this get ironed out one way or another...

11th Aug 2001, 23:20
The ideal solution is at hand....actually two solutions.

1. Keep TWA separate and lower paid and use as a negotiating chip in the upcomming AA union contract talks, or...

2. Immediately transfer ALL of the senior international TWA Captains and F/O's to AA's international routes. TWA was flying overseas long before any AA pilot could spell "international".

11th Aug 2001, 23:31
Thrown in on top of this there’s aa-alpa (http://www.aa-alpa.org)

dallas dude
12th Aug 2001, 03:27

Have you ever actually thought something through before you hit send?

You berate AA pilots, yet your "solution" would harm former TWA pilots much more.

APA's solution offers AA payrates with full TWA length of service (on average 35-48% more than they made IF TWA was still in business). You, however, suggest they keep the same B division salary. And work rules. And health benefits. And hubs. And the now worthless retirement paychecks and benefits to those who toiled sweat for TWA and retired when it was a world great. You see where I'm going?

They WILL now receive a retirement check that can actually be cashed. It's unlikely they would, if AA hadn't shown up with its lifeboat.

Now, on to your other brilliant point. The TWA airline WAS indeed a leviathon many years ago. Just as George Best WAS a great soccer player, Billy Jean King WAS a great tennis player and Reggie Jackson WAS a great ball player. It might be news to your cloth head but if these once greats showed up for a game now it probably wouldn't be playing at the highest level, as they did in their prime. Times change. Sad I know but that's reality (which I realise doesn't exist on your planet).

I can't stress enough, APA pilots DO NOT consider TWA's pilots as anything less than capable. The simple fact is for the last FIFTEEN years TWA has been dying a slow death . The one's that stayed made that choice. No one held a gun to their head. Many left of their own free will to join other viable airlines including AA. They obviously made a tough but correct choice.

Former glory will not sustain anything other than fond memories. It certainly won't pay the bills.

With APA's plan TWA folks will be quids in!

For you to suggest that TWA be kept separate so it may be leveraged against APA demonstrates just how little you know. Great plan, piss off ALL the pilots!

No wonder you've had to build a career in the sandbox. With you and McCain that's two Arizona villages missing their idiots.

NSF......There's never enough Porridge on US TV!


[ 11 August 2001: Message edited by: dallas dude ]

12th Aug 2001, 05:16
Hold your water, Dallas Dude, I was merely suggesting tongue-in-cheek in my usual sarcastic fashion. Keeping TWA on a B scale would be of benefit to AA management to leverage a better deal later on. Do not for one minute think that this very subject has not been discussed at AA board level.
A more practical solution would be say, a six AA to one TW mix in the seniority list.
Suspect however this will not appease the junior AA guys who have visions of a rapid command in their dreams at the expense of the TW "joiners".
Can we send McCain down your way for awhile?
I personally would like to see him go away from Arizona and never come back. He would make a good dogcatcher, .....somewhere else.

Ignition Override
12th Aug 2001, 06:40
Interesting comments, and I am not with either TWA nor AMR. My intention with the original topic question was not to provoke anyone personally, just find out how people feel and try to see if their thinking could take place with sort of objective detachment-which seems impossible for many (maybe for me too?), as I had suspected. It also happened to many in our merger, and the pilot arbitration lasted a few years.

My main question is this: at which levels of corporate debt are the pilots to be held accountable for the degrees of bankruptcy or near bankruptcy? Regarding financial health, debt-to-equity etc, as an example, how unhealthy should MY airline be in order for me to be expected to go the bottom of a seniority list, in order to let a 6-year FO go ahead of a 15-25 year FO, when both want to bid captain on a narrowbody jet, which both were very close to holding with their respective companies, before a merger was announced?

Should corporate health be ranked with ten degrees, with the uppermost (as if it were all to the pilots credit or discredit) level allowing strict seniority with several years of seat protection?

Come on guys and gals, does the Golden Rule only apply to those whose companies were not either: mismanaged and/or drained of cash (via many assets sold...) by Mr Icahn or Lorenzo? Why are the pilots held responsible for what the greedy sharks do? Apparently, line pilots subconsciously become upper mgmt VPs in a merger, in order to justify their own expectations.

[ 12 August 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

Blue & White
12th Aug 2001, 07:45
Let's take another perspective. Take for instance that 6 yr FO at AA you were referring to. Say that same FO left TWA six years ago when he was one number junior to the 10-15yr FO at TWA. So the 6yr/FO came to American, went thru probation, sat in crash pads and years of "B" scale/low wages and has paid his dues at Amercian.
All the while his buddy stayed at TWA, held a line, no crash pad/reserves and had decent wages.
Now does anyone think that the FO that stayed at TWA deserves to come over at American and be senior to the 6yr/Fo that made all the sacrifices.
Ladies and Gentlemen, seniority is the years of service at a "SPECIFIC" company........not just any company.

Ignition Override
12th Aug 2001, 09:19
Yep Blue & White: you made an interesting point, although there might be very few such cases. My intent was to point out that if all line pilots and Merger Committee members in any merger, not just the AA/TWA acquisition etc, could somehow be detached from their personal desires, however naiive this sounds, and if each merged list had many years of category seat protection, then might some adjusted date-of-hire (without being knocked down like that EP-3 near China) or ratios prevent hindering the normal progression? There are infinite combinations of ratios, freezes or whatever.

Incidentally, my original company never had widebodies, and many of us have never wanted to fly the "other guys'" widebodies anyway, therefore never bid for any of those seats.

Maybe because my progression on our smallest jet (and options of bidding the larger narrowbodies for a while) was hindered both by our very long arbitration and my employee number which began with the "wrong" number, but lived in the base which never shrank much, thank goodness, it never occured to me to have a personal attachment to what my resulting seniority could hold. I must be in a very small minority. It took so long anyway to move up the FO list on our most junior equipment. I'll describe our situation in better detail if someone wants to e-mail me.

It's often difficult to see major issues from another person's viewpoint.

[ 12 August 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

12th Aug 2001, 13:19
There has never been a NATIONAL seniority list. By national I don't mean national airlines <G>...

Since there is no national seniority list, date of hire is irrelavant. What is taken into account is "Career expections". No matter how you slice the award even if it is an outright staple, the dollar value of their career has just been enhanced for every TWA pilot. The same cannot be said of every American pilot.

The hiring practices of the two airlines were very different, with American tending to hire much older pilots than TWA did. Indeed there are people at TWA with 10 more years seniority than me that are younger than me. Such is NOT the case at American.
I had expectations of finishing at a seniority number of just under 500 in NY flying the 777. That was my career expectation. Now that may not happen.

I passed repeatedly on a job at TWA because the job I had was better than TWA (more money and Better lifestyle)and waited till American called me.

If the merger was done via date of hire, Because I may not be able to hold the 777 till later in my career and because even if I do hold it I will have lost a large amount of seniority, my income for the calculations of my pension have been reduced. (A fund is highest 5 of last 10 years, and b fund is 11 percent of earnings). Therefore I have lost.

So ALPA's own merger policy which says nothing about date of hire but does say one group cannot gain at the expense of another would seam to back me up.

My favorite piece of history though is the GILL AWARD. For those not familiar with the Gill award, it dealt with PANAM and National Airlines. Basically even though Pan Am BOUGHT National lock stock and barrel (which incidentally killed Panam, and was forever known as Seawell's Folly, General Seawell ran PANAM at the time) when the arbitratator looked at the two airlines, PANAM was The incredible shrinking airline for the past decade. That was their career expection, and all the national pilots were pretty much placed infront of the PANAM pilots even though the PANAM pilots were fossils. This was because the epectations of growth were much higher for Healthy National than they had been for shrinking PANAM.

So what is really going on is that the TWA MEC is unfairly raising the expectations of their membership. But at the end of the day, money talks and Bullshit walks so eventually most of the rank and file will get their raises on Jan 1 when they switch to the GREEN BOOK (AA's contract) which APA got for them now instead of 05 like managment wanted and buy themselves a bigger boat or car and get over it.

Welcome aboard guys. Inspite of everything we are still growing at a nice clip. since the buy out almost 1000 pilots have been hired. atleast another 1000 are on the way. Even in a worst case staple (which even APA isn't advocating) every single TWA pilot is already a 767/A300 copilot making as much as a TWA captain, with no stress about how long it will last.

Nobody is looking to take away length of service. Everyone will get date of hire for pay purposes. That will equate quite a nice check.


12th Aug 2001, 20:14
B scale??? have you lost your mind?
I think you should go and apply for a job with TWA and hope for the ( b scale.)

12th Aug 2001, 23:49
Well, compared to AA pay, TW pay is certainly B scale....what else would you call it?

13th Aug 2001, 04:16
Would it not be simple and fair to merge seniority lists based on hourly pay at the time of the buyout? So if the TWA 717 Capt made $120/hr, he would go just behind the American 757 FO making $121. We make it so complicated and create animosity for generations.

13th Aug 2001, 05:23
Another interesting angle on things:

Why is it, if the TWA guys had such great career expectations before the buyout, that we were holding on file applications from literally hundreds of them? They were prepared to start at the bottom if they'd been called by us then, so what's changed now?

411A: you have attacked UA, Cathay, Delta, ComAir, Lufthansa and now (again) AA. That's just in the past few weeks. What is bugging you? Let it out here, so we can all help you, because I think you need it.......

To the TWA folks that may be reading this: Welcome aboard - I personally am glad that Christmas's may be a little rosier for you in future... :)

Ignition Override
13th Aug 2001, 10:03
BrokePilot: I'm not contradicting your comments on TWA's lack of a B-scale, but when my Dad retired at TWA about seven years ago, I had never asked him how much the total pay cut had been, not wanting to remind or embarass him. Someone else told me that the TWA pilots ended up with about a %40 pay cut which lasted for years. Former owner Carl Icahn also got a piece of everyone's retirement pension! Maybe this helps explain why some of our folks live in Mexico, partly in order to stretch the stolen retirement money. The salaries at that time as a TWA 30-year MD-80 Captain were comparable to a 12-year DC-9 First Officer at the larger major airlines. I've mentioned this several times on Pprune while apparently crying wolf (no pun intended re US Airways) like a broken record and won't deny it, especially when people out of whatever motivation choose to portray Icahn or Lorenzo as airline builders.

Even people outside the industry often realize that Icahn and his lawyers bankrupted TWA. The unionized employees helped to save it, voluntering (out of the will to survive) to take huge salary cuts-and not just for one or two years.

Carl Icahn's company, until recently, ALSO owned about %20 of ALL the TWA ticket stock, which means that his firm pocketed all of those ticket profits, which should/could have been revenue for TWA. Next to this type of ruthless carnivore, great white sharks and crocodiles are pussy cats-these predators eat only when they are hungry.

Was this still news to anyone in the world of US (un)civil aviation?

13th Aug 2001, 10:24
Seniority list integration is always contentious at best and openly acrimonious at worst with the potential for a seemingly endless series of legal actions becoming part of the circus.

This is hardly a merger of equals though. TWA over the years has withdrawn from all international routes, sold off the heavy metal and given the pilots a remuneration package that draws little envy from the rest of the industry. Continual downsizing has consistently failed to yield any profit, it doesn't take a fortune teller to see where this was eventually going to end up.

The TWA pilot group were facing near certain bankruptcy and loss of employment. As a consequence they're playing this particular game of seniority shuffle with no aces. Hopes of integration by date of hire, one for one or anything approaching it appear to be born from wishful thinking rather than a dispassionate look at the facts.

Interesting solution proposed by Ben There. Integration of seniority based on $s does have a certain logic to it.

13th Aug 2001, 12:42
If American arrogantly staples TWA then may they reap what they sow, specifically an ongoing inter-company world war III. This is not like swallowing some backwater company like Reno. This is aquiring a peer and should be addressed as such. On the other hand, this may play well into my company's hands. :D

Ignition Override
14th Aug 2001, 09:05
Brad737: Isn't it interesting how the TWA pilots, according to many, should not receive even an adjusted date of hire-but only because their company is financially very shaky. If the company had been getting by ok, they might have hoped for a better deal.

Some people seem to think that the TWA pilots are going to American without numerous planes and valuable gate assets/slots. Some airline pilots seem to have much more in common with the Lorenzo and Icahn view of airline labor than the pilots realize. What a shame. Didn't Lorenzo staple Peoples' Express below Continental? What a paradox.

turbine trip
15th Aug 2001, 01:36
Guys, quit yer b*tchin'... at least you have jobs...and good ones, too...

Harry Wragg
15th Aug 2001, 20:00
What goes up, must come down. Companies such as TWA and PANAM were top of the tree in the past. Now other companies such as United and AA are at the top. However, and this is my point, noone can be too smug, as the same fate may very well befall those who are currently on top. Only two things are certain in life, death, and a hostie!!

Just a though, but what happens to the ground based mortals in this aquisition, as they are unencumbered with the seniority system.


p.s. I have been in a non-airline company that went from first in it's field to fifteenth, all in the space of five years. It was interesting to watch the demise. Enjoy the ride.

dallas dude
15th Aug 2001, 20:21
Brad 737,

Agree with most of your other posts but I'd like to remind you what your DAL MEC said when Comair (which DAL already owned) asked to be placed on your seniority list.

Funny how, as this doesn't apply to your situatuion, you can offer a "detached" opinion regarding AA/TWA.

This isn't meant as a slam, just pointing out human behaviour!

As far as merging via W2's the junior FO's at TWA would be "windfally" advantaged over the junior FO's at AA because the B scale doesn't expire until Aug 31st,2001. TWA's junior FO's make a couple of bucks an hour more over the first three or so years then AA makes significantly more. The AA FO's already paid full price for entry into AA in the form of less now, more later. The senior TWA Captains would actually be hosed the most. That's not fair either. I'd rather them be able to retire in the seat they're in, at full AA payrates and benefits. These CA's are the guys and gals that SHOULD get to win-win and fulfill their TWA career goals/expectations.

APA's solution benefits ALL TWA folks across the board (as it should).

Lastly, if you enter through the front door, it's always going to be hard giving something up to someone else who slips in through a side door, especially when they impinge on your "view". TWA was offered a fence around "their" property so they may finish their career, as originally projected, and their reply was "...No way do we want to be stuck in a STL pilot ghetto!".

In other words, "We don't want a TWA pilots career, we demand an AA pilots career!".

Brad, read ALL about TWA /Ozark and then reconsider your statement.


By the way, AA has over 100 former TWA pilots that saw the writing on the wall and resigned TWA to start over again at AA.

15th Aug 2001, 21:05
Dallas, your well thought out and informed reply is appreciated but misses my original point about TWA's "peer" status. Are you advocating seniority integration of all wholly owned subsidiaries, ie comair, asa, horizon, american eagle, etc..? A Major buys it's commuter(non-pc)connector to guarantee dedicated feed, managerial control, schedule control, fleet control, economies of scale savings on purchasing, and a host of other reasons. This relationship benefits both airlines. I assume that you would also insist on seniority integration of all the subsidary's employees into the parent company's roster. F/A's, mechs, agents, bag handlers, the whole shootin' match. I must assume that you don't favor of the very existence of wholly owned subsidiaries. I am a bit confused about where this goes.

16th Aug 2001, 09:47
Ignition Override: if 'Passages', the company newspaper of Northwest Airlines, is your definitive source of information as to whether Northwest would have survived without the "merger" with Republic then heaven help all PPruners who may rely on information you post. The truth so often seems to rely on one's perspective as opposed to one's information.

Ignition Override
17th Aug 2001, 09:30
Michael 744: Your points are certainly valid. I was hired by Republic as a DC-9 FO in '85, just months before the wonderful merger was announced. Both merger committees made mistakes at the beginning. The Republic Merger Chairman E.J. got things off to a bad start with an abrasive, demanding approach, no doubt about that, and I don't give a hoot whether any former Hughes Airwest guys like that comment or not. But the three and a half year (record?) seniority arbitration certainly allowed one pilot group to move up at the expense of others despite guys with more years unable to go to captain on the most junior jet, but it never bugged me. It was irritating for me that sob former CEO (who later lost his golden parachute due to alleged "rewards" from Airbus for ordering the first A-320s in either the US or North America: he was "allegedly" the buddy of a certain Bavarian coalition leader in the Bundesrepublik government [CSU, FDP or CDU?] who was on the Airbus board) to keep one group on the pay cuts which were a concession to Mr. Wolf.

Anyway, NWA would have had serious problems without another carrier to feed its lean hub system, as you might be well aware. Too bad it had no experience with large hub traffic, and gradually re-invented the wheel over the years, having also discovered the benefits of computerized flight planning-no more filling out all flight releases/plans etc by hand and with the "whiz wheels"!

Got an exotic trip tomorrow with layovers in LAN and MSN and I don't miss the long 757 legs at all. I was sorry to hear about shutting down the old SEA base and the DC-10 in Honolulu, and for the families involved.

Don't forget to flush the lavs over Lake Minnetonka. Hasta la Vista

[ 17 August 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

[ 17 August 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

17th Aug 2001, 16:23
For whatever reason , AA wants what TWA has, don't repeat past mistakes of whining pilots of the past, Date of Hire period!

Blue & White
17th Aug 2001, 17:38
Date of hire, you have got to be on drugs. This is not a MERGER of two peer group airlines. This is an ACQUISITION by a major carrier of a bankrupt, minutes-from-the-street-no-hope-for-survival-out-of-date airline.
Again, TWA should just be thankful for a job and forget about AA pilot's job expectations. If this integration drags on, TWA will bring little assets, if any, to the table. TWA pilots can keep their date of hire while standing in the local unemployment line. That's where their true job expectations are.

[ 17 August 2001: Message edited by: Blue & White ]

17th Aug 2001, 20:18
Don't think the TWA pilots are loosing anything by accepting APA's proposal:
The TWA guys that fly captain will continue as AA captains on same type at much better pay.
Thee TWA F/Os will get a huge pay increase and get 1000 AA pilots behind them.

Seems like the deal of the century to me.

Been in the same boat as the TWA guys:
Got laid off from Tower Air last year. Then lost the job altogether when company went out of business a few months later.
Had to compete on the open market and did get a job, but started on the bottom of the pay scale and seniority list. Gonne take me a few years to recover financially. The TWA guys however gets to keep their pay year from TWA. Hell of a deal.

Any TWA guys on PPRuNe? Anything to complain about?

Don't think so.

17th Aug 2001, 23:45

If AA wants what TWA has, how come it is TWA that keeps refusing the permanent fence? They would gain quite a bit as there would have to be hiring to bring their side up to AA manning requirements and they can keep all their routes and planes, and AA would keep all of theirs!.

Yet it is TWA that objects to the fence. It is they whow are greedy and what what AA has.

Remember DOH in not mentioned anywhere in ALPA merger policy. It says one side should not gain a windfall at the expense of the other. Well TWA is doing all the gain here.

TWA is the incredible shrinking airline, and except for some pre 71 hires, that is there career expectation.


20th Aug 2001, 03:50
If you have suffered through working at a failing airline, you know that one is no less a pilot for working there than those employees of an airline at the top. The situation of TWA/AA calls for American pilots to put themselves in the TWA pilots shoes and think about what they would, in that case, see as equitable. "Stapling" is the worst outcome possible for the TWA pilots, the company, and I believe, ultimately for the AA pilots. There is plenty of opportunity to go around without creating the long term acrimony an unfair integration will create. All American pilots will make enough money to live handsomely regardless of the settled outcome. Why not do the right thing as opposed to the most lucrative?

dallas dude
21st Aug 2001, 03:21
Been There,

APA has NOT suggested stapling every TWA pilot.

If you read TWA's "rightful place" masterplan you'll soon realize who's trying to hose who.

I don't blame anyone for asking. Just make it realistic. For TWA to come up with a plan and say essentially, "DoH or we'll sue" is beyond ridiculous.

Put yourself in an AA pilot's shoes. Give me truthful answers to these questions; what do I have to gain, what does TWA have to gain? Now ask yourself which group (having showed up with a lifeboat that those rescued now want to commandeer) assumes the most risk. What does TWA have to lose (nothing), what does AA have to lose?

Now tell me what's fair. I'm all ears!


21st Aug 2001, 21:02
I think what's fair is to place seniority IAW hourly pay at time of buyout as I previously suggested. Make adjustments for B-scale, if you must, but don't make your new brothers second class citizens. It doesn't matter to me where they came from (sinking lifeboat), but where they are. They are AA pilots.

21st Aug 2001, 22:14
Brad737 forgetteth from whence he came....

23rd Aug 2001, 08:39
Ignition Override: The best thing to come from the Republic/Northwest merger, from my perspective, was the large plastic garbage bag in the cockpit to replace the airsickness bags used up to that point. Just kidding. Many good things came from the Republic culture and the "red book" people benefited greatly. Especially the training department. You cannot imagine what it was like in the 60's, 70's and early 80's. Enjoy your postings...forgive my cyncism of the company rag. I really kind of like it.

Ignition Override
24th Aug 2001, 07:22
Dallas Dude made some very interesting observations, especially if the facts as stated are accurate.

Michael744: I sure sympathize with folks who worked under Mr Nyrop for many years, although some say that he was very straight forward and "up front" etc, and produced an airline with the best debt/equity ratio in the US industry. Some people thought he was an ok guy. And Mr Rothmeier could have developed so much more service potential if he had taken an interest in his people, instead of using his cold, abrasive approach.

A large batch of MD-80s (at discount) would have been so much more more efficient than the DC-9, and could serve DTW-DFW, IAH, or MSP-MIA/FLL,DEN,SLC markets etc without limiting (or selecting a questionable alternate) fuel in favor of revenue...but didn't AA CEO Crandall plan so well that he ordered most of the MD-80s which were available? Had the narrow body planes been produced much sooner, maybe Airbus would have offered him a financial "incentive" to buy the brand-new A-320?

Government subsidies to a civilian and military sector (Airbus) can certainly increase market share, when the competition (Boeing) is only subsidized on the military side. I wonder how much it cost the British and European taxpayers, in order to market planes at or below cost?

25th Aug 2001, 03:45
you completely failed to answer any of DD's valid points. Please try again. Then answer: why did so many of the TWA pilots have apps in at AA?


28th Aug 2001, 00:10

So many TWA pilots had AA aps in because it is an outstanding airline with better career potential, better pay, better everything than TWA. To suggest these pilots have no right to expect improve their situation with the merger doesn't stand up. What did an American new hire have to gain versus what American gained by the hire? A lot versus a little. So what? My main point is by creating a second class with "staples" and long-term "fences", you create an abiding, long-lasting anger in the victims, and an arrogance in the winners that is no good for either side and, I think, can even have a CRM/Safety implication at some point in the cockpit ...(oops)... I mean flight deck. Look at Northwest. Republic pilots are still fenced after 15 years and there are three different groups at play there still, Northwest, Republic, and after-the-merger pilots. Why not put everyoone on the same footing now and get it over with? I submit that W-2 is the fairest way, accounts for different status of airlines at merger time, and avoids the long-term problems by putting everyone on the same team. I have no personal interest in the TWA/AA outcome except that I hate to see a fellow pilot (and ALPA) group get a raw deal that will linger and fester for years.

28th Aug 2001, 05:13
It seems to me, being an outsider, that the TWA pilots are asking for the moon and are getting into a feeding frenzy. If I was an AA pilot, I would say DOH my behind and so they have.

I thought the world of TWA, but they were a faltering airline, no not using Compton for this. They barely manage to post a profit, even though all the other airlines were going like gang busters. I never considered applying to them, since it was only a matter of time. Luckily, AA saw something they liked and aquired the company, aquired not merged.

All TWA pilots will get a windfall, simply by being on AA property, even if they were stapled (Which they wont be IMHO). Working for a financially sound carrier as opposed to one who has declared CH 11 more times that I can remember and this time I believe CH7, sure beats being unemployed.

Now I see this BS from TWA pilots, who believe they should get rewarded for years at TWA, while not giving a seconds thought to how many AA pilots are going to see their career expectations set back 3-5 years.

If I get aquired on the doorstep of CH7, I know where I will end up, but if I can still pay my bills, I will be a happy camper.

Might it all come down to ego's at play here. "Sonny, I flew the pond before you could spell Int'l, I do not care what you think". If so, sad.

28th Aug 2001, 05:55
Ben there,

Even in the case of a staple, they will still be paid for LENGTH OF SERVICE FROM TWA.

Their paychecks are going up even with a staple. What you are proposing is worse than a staple.

The staple is only for purposes of bidding, they will be paid based on the number of years back to their original date of hire at TWA.


28th Aug 2001, 20:21
Career expectations, compensation, and strength of the carrier ARE key components of fair seniority integrations, and have been over the years - and will stand up in civil court. Unfortunately, TWA had no expectations of having a career beyond March, had industry trailing compensation, and was weak to the point of complete failure.

29th Aug 2001, 03:09
That, Roadtrip, sums it up better than I could put it.......sad, but true.

Ignition Override
30th Aug 2001, 10:49
Interesting observations up there-the TWA Merger Committee might have made aggressive proposals when they knew that their jobs were fairly secure, but on the otherhand, just why is it the TWA pilots' fault that the airline was ruined by Mr. Carl Icahn, and certain individuals before him?

He owned a serious fraction of wholesale TWA ticket stock for years and none of that profit went to TWA, not including some retirement fund money (from all the employees) and huge chunks of vital cashflow which ended up in Icahn's pockets years ago. And so this was also the pilots' fault?

If every so-called US airline merger were between "peer airlines", not many mergers would have taken place, due to the much larger financial debt loads involved? If true, the concept of actual peer airlines could not exist, in terms of mergers. And if this is also the case, then the Pilot Merger Committees at airlines which are bought out could never expect even an adjusted seniority date/ratios, could they? Any pilot group, whose company buys another airline (despite the resulting airline being a new legal entity...), almost always try to justify ways to limit the other pilot groups' career options.

Back to the point: why are pilots responsible for a corporate shark's greed and corporate destruction? Were Pan Am pilots responsible for the downfall of that great airline?

[ 30 August 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

30th Aug 2001, 14:06
Never heard of an airline in the usa where pilots' mismanagement of their assigned responsibilities brought down a whole airline..few planes maybe...