TWA Flight Attendants Lose Seniority Case against American Airlines on Appeal

By Paul Riegler on 17 February 2016
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The long, strange saga of the former TWA flight attendants’ attempt to regain the seniority that was lost after American Airlines acquired TWA’s assets in April 2001 may be over.

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that American had no duty to restore the TWA flight attendants’ seniority. The U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit dismissed a lawsuit filed by flight attendants who claimed that their union failed to grant them the appropriate level of seniority following the merger.

The ruling upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss the suit, which had been filed against American and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. The suit had been filed by four flight attendants, all U.S. Airways employees who had previously worked for TWA and were dissatisfied with their seniority level following the 2013 U.S. Airways merger with American.

The plight of former TWA employees in part led Congress to pass the McCaskill-Bond Act in 2007, which required “the integration of seniority lists in a fair and equitable manner” in such cases. The court ruled that nothing in the 2007 amendment required the union or the airline to “revisit seniority decisions that preceded the statute’s enactment.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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