There’s been quite a bit of news surrounding what is going on with American Eagle and its pilots. We learned today that the pilots have rejected the last contract offer from management by a very respectable margin. According to the awesome Airline Biz Blog, with 91 percent of pilots voting, the contract was rejected by a vote of 70 percent against and 30 percent for.

What does this mean to the average AA flyer? Probably not much, at least in the near term. Over time, I fully expect management to make good on its promise to wind down Eagle (soon to be known as Envoy Airlines) operations, as there are hungry regional operators out there who will find a way to meet American’s regional feed needs. There are rumors about a pilot shortage, a rumor I’ve heard time and again since I took my first flying lesson at age 15. That would be almost 30 years ago for those who are counting. I expect the real shortage is of anyone willing to work for what regional airlines pay, but I digress. As the only Boardingarea blogger who has actually flown for American Eagle, I can say that I am not surprised by the contract rejection. The only thing that will surprise me is if the pilots’ gamble actually works.

It’s a new day in the airline industry for everyone, not just mileage junkies. Delta changed the equation for regional airline agreements with its Pinnacle Airlines (now Endeavor Air) arrangement. I’m having a hard time seeing an upside in this for the American Eagle pilots.

MJ, March 28, 2014

PS In case you were wondering what I looked like before I got old and fat:

photo

And yes, there was hair under that hat. 🙂