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Question for AA/CAL furloughed guys.....

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I respect that you don't want to argue about it, and I certainly don't either. I think there are violations of the agreement on both sides all over the place. The more I study the whole thing the more I realize it is a huge mess. No matter how you cut the thing up, pilots are gonna get screwed. You are halfway correct in your assumption that I work for Eagle. I workED for Eagle, and I desperately want my job back. I don't want to screw any AA pilots over in the mean time though. This mess is a reason why I believe in the 1 list concept.

You are correct that letter 3 (in our agreement.) does not say anything about the 3000 hr. requirement, but a 121 operator has to operate by their FM. I still think AE could easily extend the double time to AA, which would qualify many more pilots.
Yeah, Skywalker, I just did, it looks like they're somehow trying to use section IV.C.1 to allow AA pilots to fill vacancies, but I'm having trouble getting my mind around how. It says that an AA furloughee who is diplaced from a CJ CA position can bid a vacancy with his AE seniority in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. I'm not sure exactly how in this case that furloughee is being displaced... "In the loop" said something about artificial displacements...? It's confusing. By the way I love that "IN the loop" if it weren't for that, we furloughees would be really in the dark.
Boz – see what you started!

There’s a lot of confusion and unhappiness in general at AMR over the flow agreement. Remember, we have four separate groups (AA, AE, APA, ALPA), all with different goals trying to come to an agreement on interpreting our infamous Side Letter 3, which is the flow through agreement. By the way, for the two Eagle guys (?) – you don’t need a copy of “the Green Book”. Our Side Letter 3 is identical to AA’s Supplement W (I do have a copy); and that only makes sense – it must be, since it’s a JOINT agreement signed by all four parties.

Which means that as long as AE complies with it’s own contract, and in this case specifically Side Letter 3, it has also complied with all the applicable parts of the AA contract as well. There are some restrictions on “commuter air carrier” flying in the first chapter of the AA contact (“Recognition and Scope”) – normal scope stuff – that’s where our ASM lock comes from; but besides that there’s nothing in the AA contract that applies to AE except the flow agreement itself.

That doesn’t mean we at Eagle feel that the company is complying with Side Letter 3 – we’ve submitted plenty of grievances on various aspects of this, and I know that APA has submitted a few as well; and the arbitration process has started. But AE isn’t sitting around just ignoring AA’s contract – they’re dealing, effectively or not, with the only section that applies to them, and it’s the same as in our contract. Nobody is happy.

As to the 3000-hour minimum – AE didn’t “institute” anything; that’s always been a part of the FM-1, as approved by our POI. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the AA-APA collective agreement or not (it’s not, of course) because when the AA pilots flow back to Eagle, they are governed by Eagle’s operating rules, not AA's.

That requirement could be changed, but why should it? If it was a good idea before Sept. 11th, then it’s probably still a good idea today; the recent E-145 incident in Roanoke being an example why. Certainly Eagle is not the only regional with this type of requirement.

Likewise, the 2:1 credit for Eagle time – similar exemptions are also found at other regional airlines. I spoke with the training department way back in my new-hire days – it hasn’t been used in quite some time, but it exists to allow the company the option of crediting experience at the airline level after probation, when they run out of eligible pilots with the required 3000 hours. With Eagle’s notoriously slow upgrade, they’ve had plenty of pilots who meet the requirement, so the exemption hasn’t been used, and probably won’t be.

And as for adding “0.2” – although that sounds familiar, I couldn’t find it in a computer search of the FARs and the FAA FAQs. Still, that doesn’t really matter – because even if it is allowed, there’s no requirement that Eagle or anyone else actually add that or any other conversion to their company requirements. Certainly, different airlines have different policies; this is one that Eagle’s ex-military pilots have had to live with, just as civilian pilots have to live with higher minimums at AA compared to their military brethren, and just as many Eagle pilots have been blocked from the flow-through because of AA’s age 50 rule (Ironically they’re now some of the “Eagle rights” pilots blocking the flow-back).

Finally, Claudette Carrol is a very, very nice lady – but she is nowhere near an official source of information on flow policies. She runs the recruiting shop and is only relaying whatever information she’s been given from those that make the decisions somewhere in crew resources and/or the training department and/or flight operations/management. If she has a different answer from day to day, it’s not a surprise, and it’s definitely not some sort of conspiracy - they’re so far “out of the loop” sometimes that last spring they were still telling new-hires the upgrade time was one year, long after it had gone up to three. And if the answer is different from day to day, it could also just be because as APA, ALPA, AA and AE continue to wrestle the answer is actually changing.

Anyway Boz, it’s pretty messy, and there’s a lot of infighting, but here are the basics:

AA furloughees can displace into jet captain seats only, and then only if they’re qualified and have the seniority – those are the two catches that have this thread all tied up. There are some provisions for further displacement outside of the jet, but practically speaking that wouldn’t happen. Otherwise, the contract allows AA to furlough into any jet seat captain spot not held by an “Eagle Rights” captain; there is no 1:1 flow-through to flow-back restriction in the contract.

You’ve already read about the 3000-hour qualification issue. Seniority is more complex – because Eagle pilots receive there AA seniority number at the end of IOE, there are pilots still flying the RJs at Eagle with as much as two years (or more now) seniority at AA. When an AA pilot flows back, he can only displace an Eagle pilot junior to him on the AA seniority list – which essentially means he can only displace an RJ pilot that completed IOE at AE after he completed his IOE in his aircraft at AA. The Eagle pilot that’s been in the left seat of the RJ for six months is senior, for AA displacement purposes, to the off-the-street AA pilot that’s been flying the right seat of the B737 for three.

Couple that to the ratio of AA new-hires to Eagle RJ captains. AA was hiring about 100 per month through the summer, while Eagle was only upgrading 20-30 captains per month in the jet. Since all the AA new-hires and Eagle captains that finish IOE in the same month have essentially the same seniority – if AA sends 100 out on furlough, there will be only corresponding room for 20-30 at Eagle; after that, the next most junior Eagle pilots are a month ahead in seniority and can’t be displaced by the rest of that group of AA pilots. (In reality, seniority dates are a little more complicated than just class or month, because of AA’s Occupational Seniority system and how Eagle fits within that.)

It becomes even more complex because as AA furloughs a group of pilots because within that group are a handful of ex-Eagle guys. They have an 18-24 month head start in AA seniority, so they come over and move to (or near) the top of the seniority list in the RJ, displacing some of the junior RJ captains – which means the new junior RJ captain is now a little more senior with a correspondingly higher AA seniority number – which means that among the rest of the AA furloughees (the off-the-street guys), not as many will be able to displace him.

Clear as mud?

Here are the numbers so far:

AE has about 550 jet captain slots, with 132 of those “Eagle rights”, so at most there are about 420 spots available now; that number will increase by close to 200 over the next year. So far, of the 593 pilots furloughed from AA, 127 are currently on Eagle’s payroll sitting at home, with 48 others scheduled to start training (the first half dozen are supposed to be in Dallas already).

The rest will be paid to stay at home for the time being, which seems like a good deal for everybody concerned - it keeps more AE pilots working, and the AA pilots are still getting paid. Since they already have AA seniority numbers, they don’t need the flight time anyway – after all, it’s not going to affect when they return to AA.

The 48 who are starting training are supposed to be from the first AA furlough in October and were themselves displaced by the November AA furlough. AE is required to train them – it appears that when offered a recall they either have to accept it or else they lose all recall rights to AE; and it also appears that they can bid to vacancies. Specifically, from Supplement W/Side Letter 3 IV.C.2: “The rights and obligations of a furloughed AA pilot who relinquishes a position at AMR Eagle, Inc. will be the same as any other furloughed AA pilot, except that such pilot shall have a right of recall for ten years to any vacant CJ Captain position in the reverse order of displacement....”

This is a particularly painful issue because LAX is probably Eagle’s senior base overall, and a lot of Saab captains have been waiting for the jet to come west. We’ve just announced a jet base at LAX, so now that the jet is finally coming, because of the timing the first positions are going to AA flow backs, who are actually the most junior pilots at Eagle except for the their jet CA seats. Obviously there are plenty of unhappy pilots in LAX.

The answer to your other question about the cockpit environment is yet to be seen, since we’re still probably two months from seeing the first flow-backs on line. Hopefully it will go well, but honestly I can’t imagine it not being at least somewhat difficult; while they’re exercising their rights to job-protection via AE as they’re entitled, just as we’ve exercised our right to job opportunities at AA, their presence has a more direct effect on us than did ours on them, and will in all likelihood still be a source of tension. The good news is that as a prop FO I won’t have to fly with any of them, so I won’t have that particular problem. The bad news is that sooner or later I’ll probably end up flying with an unhappy prop captain who used to fly the jet…

It would be nice if a CAL or CoEx pilot could explain their flow system and how it works, or is working so far; I’ve sent a PM to a friend who’s a CoEx captain and he may post if he gets a chance. He’s told me in the past that as many as 900 pilots could be eligible to flow back into a CoEx pilot list of around 2000; compared to AE’s 400 into 2400 (2700 including those already furloughed) it could be a much more serious issue over there. Hopefully he’ll get back to us.
CAL Flowdown (My View)

I am one of 72 furloughees from CAL that wasn't offered a flow down to Express because the flow down was limited to around 900 pilots. CAL's furlough stopped well short of the original 1200, so after the next system bid I should be offered a flow down.

If you are a prior Express pilot who flowed up to CAL then the deal is great for you. You keep most of the seniority you had at Express and can hold RJ Capt position in the base of your choice.

Those of us that were off the street to CAL hold seniority based on our date of hire at CAL. In other words we are senior to anybody hired after us to include Express employees.
Re: CAL Flowdown (My View)

CAL to T-1A said:
I am one of 72 furloughees from CAL that wasn't offered a flow down to Express because the flow down was limited to around 900 pilots. CAL's furlough stopped well short of the original 1200, so after the next system bid I should be offered a flow down.

If you are a prior Express pilot who flowed up to CAL then the deal is great for you. You keep most of the seniority you had at Express and can hold RJ Capt position in the base of your choice.

Those of us that were off the street to CAL hold seniority based on our date of hire at CAL. In other words we are senior to anybody hired after us to include Express employees.

CAL To T-1A,

As a CALEX EMB-120 Captain who is going back to ERJ FO because of the flow-back, I am also negatively affected by these hard times. I was supposed to be in ERJ CA training next month.

I am sorry to hear about your furlough, but I have to clear up an error in your post. You were not offered a position at CALEX, not because of the 933 who are allowed to flow back but rather, because your date of hire at CAL would not hold a position at CALEX. We have furloughed back to the Feb 19, 2001 class. Your class date is after Feb 19 obviously, and thus, if you were to flow back, you'd be immediately furloughed at Express also, which is in effect, what already happened. Once our recalls begin, you will be offered a position at CALEX based on your CAL DOH. Your place on our list will also be determined by your CAL DOH. A true merged list.

The 933 number comes from the amount of pilots who have flowed up or gone over to CAL from CALEX, under both the PDP and the FTA programs. These started in 1989 I believe for the PDP and 1997 for the FTA. The FTA clearly states that the amount of pilots allowed to flow back to Express is predicated on the number of pilots who have flowed over to CAL via the PDP/FTA programs. As of now, only about 380-400 CAL pilots are going to flow back. It might be less, given that some have taken the COLA. Those that chose to flow back do not accrue longevity for pay purposes. Kind of a bummer. If you take the furlough, you do accrue it.

I'm sure you read www.calforums.com, but if you don't , check it out.

Good luck....

Jetpup said:
Gracias for the post (practice for SJU). Sorry to hear about the bump, are you coming back to EWR?

Once my lease ends here in H-Town, yep, back to EWR....can't wait. No more busses and stairs in EWR. We're actually fully integrated into the CAL operation at EWR as of a few days ago. 777 one jetway....ERJ on the next...737 on the next one, etc. New crew room, underneath the food court!

I got my first hour in a Bonanza the other day. I had heard all the hype previously but now I know it to be true. That is the sweetest flying single I have ever flown. Crisp, and snappy, both in roll and pitch. And oh how smooth.......grr, since I can't afford one, does good old Patton C still have his? :D

Well, we're sort of integrated at JFK - we can see the terminal and the B777s through the dust from the far side of our construction area, but it's like that old New England saying - "can't get theyuh from heyah..."

Anyway, they don't let us get too close to the other planes here in "the land of the giants" or else we get mistaken for a Swedish wheel chock.

PS - we don't call 'em busses anymore - it's "premium motor coach service" to the terminal.

"Once our recalls begin, you will be offered a position at CALEX based on your CAL DOH. Your place on our list will also be determined by your CAL DOH. A true merged list."

Where did you get this info?? I asked Lex if I would be called in to Express if they start hiring before CAL and he said 'NO.' He told me the only way I would go to Express from the street was to apply and interview like anyone else.


Also, I'm unclear of your statement concerning pay longevity. I am on the street and am NOT gaining longevity for pay purposes. If I return to CAL in three years, it's like I am returning October 2, 2001...still on first year pay.


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