American Flight Attendant Contract to Provide ‘Industry Leading’ Pay and Benefits

Delta Announces Early Profit-Sharing Payout and Raises

By Paul Riegler on 25 September 2014
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American and Delta aircraft at LAX

American and Delta aircraft at LAX

On the same day that the executive committee of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants gave its stamp of approval to a proposed “industry leading” contract covering both American Airlines and US Airways flight attendants, Delta Air Lines announced plans to give its frontline employees a significant raise in pay in 2015.

The agreement, which came just ten months after the merger of American and US Airways, covers more than 24,000 flight attendants.  It raises the “top of scale” pay to $53.52 an hour, an increase from $49.05 for AA cabin crew and $47.62 for those at US Airways.  That amount will increase to $58.50 for most flights and $62.25 when flying to Europe, “deep” South America, and Asia.  Flight attendants working the lead position on narrow-body trips on American will get narrow-body lead pay, something that US Airways crews already enjoy.

The proposed contract has yearly pay raises for the duration of the contract (2% for the second, third, and fourth years and 3% for the final year) and the pay ladder has been shortened from 15 to 13 years, something that will not affect the majority of flight attendants, who are already very senior.  There are also improvements in vacation benefits, holiday pay, and training pay, as well as how much flight attendants will be paid when deadheading.

The flight attendants union says that the package provides “[I]ndustry leading total economic value combined with the best work rules in the industry.”

Delta Air Lines, which is in a battle with American for industry leadership, said it will distribute part of its 2014 profit-sharing payout early, instead of waiting until February 2015.  In a letter to employees, a copy of which was obtained by Frequent Business Traveler, CEO Richard Anderson wrote that the airline will make the 5% profit-sharing payment, which is a percentage of current salary, in October.  The balance, “based on our actual profit and your individual earnings,” will be paid in February 2015 and that “[W]e expect those profit-sharing checks in February to be our biggest ever.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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