American Airlines is the largest airline in the United States by passengers carried, fleet size, and destinations served. Its position in the aviation industry is in part due to a merger with US Airways which allowed American to consolidate its position as a market leader. The American Airlines Group is second to the Lufthansa Group in total revenue but in every other regard, American is considered the largest airline in the world.
American Airlines is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. With its regional partner American Eagle, American offers 6,700 daily flights to 350 destinations in 50 countries. The airline is a founding member of the Oneworld alliance. Its membership status allows the airline’s patrons to earn AAdvantage miles with 13 other airlines. American Airlines’ employees rate working there very highly, and the airline’s management team continuously invests in improving organizational culture.
- Year Founded: 1930
- CEO: Doug Parker
- Airline Type: Major international carrier
- Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas
- Size: Largest U.S. based airline by revenue, fleet size, passengers carried and destinations
- Hubs: Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Phoenix
- Number of Employees (2017): 126,600
- Destinations served: 350
- Passenger enplanement (2017): 197 million
- Airbus A330-200
- Airbus A330-300
- Boeing 767-300
- Boeing 777-200
- Boeing 777-300ER
- Boeing 787-8
- Boeing 787-9
- Airbus A319
- Airbus A320
- Airbus A321
- Boeing 737 MAX
- Boeing 737-800
- Boeing 757-200
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) has a remarkably interesting story. Founded in 1977, it has grown to represent over 27,000 flight attendants at American Airlines in addition to representing flight attendants from 20 different airlines.
APFA has certainly experienced its share of growing pains throughout the years. In 1993, amidst disagreements with American Airlines over policy and healthcare, 90% of members went on strike nearly shutting down the airline at the start of the Thanksgiving travel rush. The strike lasted 5 days before both parties agreed to arbitration.
American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in November 2011 threatening APFA members with drastic cuts to wages, benefits, and jobs. During this time, The US Trustee instated the Unsecured Creditors Committee (UCC). The purpose of the UCC was to represent everyone who was owed money due to American Airlines filing Chapter 11, as well as those who were lacking collateral to their claims.
The APFA was given a seat on the committee and the UCC became the de facto Board of Directors throughout the restructuring process. While the other members of the committee chose to send delegates to represent them at the UCC, Laura Glading, then president of APFA, made the decision to sit on the committee herself.
Several months later in 2012, American Airlines released its plan to void their labor contracts. The APFA objected to that action and countered. Within a few months American Airlines agreed to freeze pensions instead of terminating them. Full benefits accrued before the time of the freeze went into effect and remained available to employees.
Shortly thereafter, the APFA reached an agreement with US Airways and gave their support of a merger between American Airlines and US Airways with US Airways being in charge. The new agreement allowed for Voluntary Early-Out Program where flight attendants can take a single payout and retire while the US Airways’ plan allows for the merged airline to have better opportunity for industry growth and long-term job stability. The merger came into effect in February 2013.
The current agreement is in effect until 2019 when flight attendants can once again lobby for better benefits.
American Airlines Flight Attendant Minimum Requirements
- High school diploma or GED equivalent required
- College education or two years’ customer service experience preferred
- Prior airline experience is not required
- Must be at least 20 years of age
- Must be in possession of a valid US or Foreign Passport with applicable VISAs
- Must possess the legal right to travel unrestricted to/from all countries that are served by American Airlines
- Travel documents must remain valid throughout all phases of training and employment
- Must have the right to work in the United States
- Must be willing to work any shifts including nights, weekends and holidays.
To learn more about becoming a flight attendant at American Airlines go here.