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7.17.12 – (LAA) – Negotiations, Reciprocal Cabin Seat Agreements, AMR Bankruptcy, 1114 Process, IOR Vice Chair Election, TWA Flight 800

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with an APFA Hotline Update for Tuesday, July 17, 2012.

As we reported on Thursday, the APFA Negotiating Team discussed, in detail, the company’s last best and final offer (LBFO) with the APFA Leadership. In the event that an LBFO is submitted to the membership for a vote, only members in good standing (those who are not more than 60 days in dues arrears) will be eligible to vote. If you are a member in bad standing, you must act as soon as possible without further delay, in order to make your vote count in any upcoming balloting. To do so, you must become in good standing no later than the 5th day prior to a ballot count. If you are in bad standing because of dues owed for a period you were on unpaid status, you may be eligible to set up a payment plan with APFA at least 30 days prior to the date the ballots are counted. To become a member in good standing, contact the APFA Dues Department at 817.540.0108, ext. 8151, or send an email to

Reciprocal Cabin Seat Agreements
This week we received some good news on the reciprocal cabin seat agreement front.  Effective immediately, three new agreements have been added to the list for reciprocal cabin seat travel.  Those agreements are with US Airways Express, Virgin America and CommutAir.  Travel on US Airways Express will be for all regional carriers flying as US Airways Express. Since agreements and procedures for travel with each carrier may vary slightly, please review the information for each carrier posted on the Members’ Resource page of the APFA website. APFA will continue to pursue the expansion of reciprocal cabin seat agreements on behalf of our members. If you have any questions, please contact APFA’s Contract Coordinator Brent Peterson.

AMR Bankruptcy
Although AMR laid out the changes it expected to make at Eagle in March, employees were presented with actual Term Sheets on Friday. Click here to read the American Eagle Term Sheets.

Rumor Control
We’ve received a few questions from FAs inquiring about the difference between extending the Exclusivity Period and extending the Judge’s 1113 Ruling. The Exclusivity Period is the period during which American Airlines, as the debtor, is the only party that can file a plan of reorganization. AA has requested an extension of the Exclusivity Period until December 28, 2012. Judge Lane’s decision to postpone his ruling on AA’s Section 1113 motion to abrogate our contracts is a determination that has nothing to do with the Exclusivity Period or its extension.

AA vs Retirees and the 1114 Process
On July 6, 2012, American Airlines filed suit against its retirees, asking the Court to declare that it had the right to unilaterally take away the medical and life insurance benefits that retirees earned when they worked for American Airlines. The Retiree Committee, which the Bankruptcy Court appointed to represent all of American’s 40,000 plus retirees, intends to vigorously defend against this lawsuit. The Court has scheduled an initial status hearing for August 22, 2012 on the suit. At that hearing, the Court will likely set a schedule for the litigation.

In the meantime, American Airlines is still providing medical and life insurance benefits to its retirees and has told the Committee through counsel that it will continue to do so until this litigation and the Section 1114 process are resolved. Our expectation is that the Bankruptcy Court will reject American Airlines position and require American Airlines to meet the standards set forth in Section 1114 of the Bankruptcy Code, before modifying any of the benefits provided to retirees. Under Section 1114, American would be required to show, among other things, that it is necessary to change retiree health and life benefits to allow it to reorganize and that it is treating its retirees fairly and equitably. We do not believe that American Airlines can make that showing. The Retiree Committee has hired counsel, and other advisors, to help it defend against American Airlines lawsuit.

APFA has designated retired F/A Jill Frank-Smoak to represent retirees on the 1114 committee along with APFA President Laura Glading and Retirement Rep. Patrick Hancock. The 1114 committee is dedicated to fighting for the benefits promised by AA to retirees.

IOR Vice Chair Election
As a reminder, ballots were mailed on Wednesday, June 26, 2012, to IOR-based Flight Attendants for the position of Vice Chair. Voting closes on July 26, 2012 and all votes must be cast by 10:00 a.m. Central Time that morning. Please email Cindy Horan, APFA’s National Balloting Committee Chairperson or call 817.540.0108, ext. 8311 with any questions.

TWA Flight 800
Today marks the 16th anniversary of the crash of TWA Flight 800. Eighteen crew members perished on the flight that exploded 12 minutes after takeoff from JFK Airport. The anniversary of this crash is still difficult for family members and our colleagues – please keep them in your thoughts.

We currently have 211 members on furlough.

Leslie Mayo
APFA National Communications Coordinator
AmericanAirlines + US Airways

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