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The latest on the AWA and AAA seniority

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Well-known member
Mar 9, 2003
Its long overdue, but I had to post a great post from Capt. Underpants

Here it is.


West seniority proposal to Nicolau was to place 935 active East pilots below the bottom West pilot. (Thats when then list came out in 2007)The bottom West pilot is now furloughed due to the poor economic performance of the West operation with little hope of recall. The bottom West pilot brings no job to the pilot integration. The West proposal instead of his current furloughed position would have had him now at 50% relative position on the East list holding an Airbus Captain position ahead of East Captains with over 23 years seniority. The Nicolau award has the bottom West pilot above 735 active East pilots placing him equal to East widebody F/O’s . The West seniority proposal to Nicolau was so extreme it could only have resulted in unintended adverse consequences such as the collapse of ALPA and failed pilot integration.

80% of the original East pilots will reach mandatory retirement age (or have already retired) within the next 13 years. USAirways has 37 widebody aircraft on order including 15 A330 and 22 A350. These aircraft if delivered to replace 37 smaller aircraft would bring over 900 NB to WB upgrade positions. Without pilot integration the thousands of East pilot attrition openings and East based widebody upgrades will all be filled by East pilots and East new hire pilots.

The worst case scenario for the West pilots would be to win a DFR ruling in the Arizona lawsuit. A DFR ruling would by law require the return of the West pilots to the position prior to the alleged breach which is back to the ALPA gridlock. None of the parties including the Judge, USAPA, USAirways or the NMB has the authority to unilaterally negotiate or force a joint contract containing the Nicolau award. USAPA will negotiate a contract that is acceptable including a fair and equitable seniority integration that can be ratified by the USAPA pilots in good standing regardless of how long it may take. It makes little difference to the East pilots whether there is a joint contract with DOH and conditions and restrictions or continued separate contracts with no pilot integration.

The best case scenario for the West pilots is to lose the Arizona DFR case which would clear the way for a fair and equitable seniority integration and contract improvements for all pilots. It would allow the West pilots to integrate and obtain more than their fair share of East attrition openings and widebody upgrades and for the East pilots to share the pain of the economic collapse of PHX and LAS.

The law in this case clearly favors USAPA although a successful outcome for USAPA does require a thorough understanding of the law and the negative consequences for all pilots of an incorrect finding of a DFR violation. The primary risk for the West pilots is no pilot integration which provides the East attrition inheritance and East wide body upgrades exclusively to East pilots and East new hire pilots building to the rate of over 300 positions per year as mandatory retirements resume. No pilot integration also exposes the West pilots to 100% of the risk of West base economic contraction. Any seniority integration method including straight date of hire even without conditions and restrictions would be ultimately better for the West pilots than separate operations locked into the declining AWA route network with little attrition. USAPA has proposed a solution that facilitates pilot integration enhancing seniority gains and providing contract gains for all pilots. The USAPA proposal like the ALPA Nicolau proposal is negotiable.

The ALPA path which required separate joint contract ratification votes made using either a modified or unmodified Nicolau award impossible to ratify and guaranteeing permanent separate operations which would be the most damaging to the West pilots of any seniority proposal. The law clearly allows USAPA to deviate from the ALPA process as long as the action is not arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith. This means USAPA’s action must have reason, not violate civil rights laws, and must have been done to benefit the pilot group as a whole and not only for the purpose of advantaging one group at the expense of the other. The law allows unions a wide range of reasonableness in determining policy and judging fairness. USAPA knew in advance they would be sued by the West pilots and created a solution to comply with the law.

The USAPA proposal obviously benefits the East pilots but also not so obviously benefits the west pilots as well. USAPA had a duty and obligation to all pilots to extricate the pilot group from the ALPA induced gridlock which exposed the West pilots to the imploding West operation and cost the pilot group as a whole at least $120 million per year of contract gains. The West pilots never had any contractual guarantee to implement the Nicolau list, only a pledge from ALPA to try to defend the award. ALPA realized it would be impossible to ever implement the Nicolau award unmodified and established formal negotiations to compromise the award. The evidence is overwhelming that the West pilots never had any chance of implementing the Nicolau list unmodified under the contractual agreements in place.

Any change to the Nicolau award is effectively discarding it as it would no longer be the original document signed by Nicolau. Modifying the Nic award to fair and equitable under ALPA policy or USAPA policy gets to exactly the same end result which is DOH with conditions and restrictions or its equivalent. The difference is USAPA gets there faster sparing the West pilots years of separate operations and lost career opportunities that would be gained through a timely fair and equitable pilot integration.

Having sat on a jury for a liability trial I can say for sure the outcome of jury trials is quite unpredictable. The jury room is much like this board with each juror bringing his own bias and opinion based on his own life experiences, personality and intellect. They will all hear the same testimony but they will all hear it differently and will vote based mainly on which side they want to win. The outcome is almost completely dependent on which 12 jurors are picked much like if you picked 12 pilots at random from this board to decide the case. The burden of proof is by law on the Plaintiffs and the jury must find at least 51% probability of liability with a supermajority of 3/4ths or 2/3rds for a guilty verdict depending on the court rules.

The jury will decide if USAPA’s actions were necessary, reasonable, and fair to all pilots. Although very unlikely USAPA could be required to return to the ALPA status quo and hopeless gridlock by a finding of a DFR violation by the jury and the court issuing the injunction that the West attorneys have requested. A DFR loss for USAPA would make little difference to the East pilots but would be devastating to the careers of the West pilots.
I highly doubt a company would hire off the street pilots when pilots are furloughed from another side of the operation.

East pilots were allowed to be recalled to the West operation before they hired. This will surely happen to the West guys. But then again I know very few people who will fly with a PHL pilot.

The US Air pilots have tried to take 777 and 747 jobs at UAL and now they are trying to take all the jobs at US Airways.

Just so everyone is clear at US Airways, both East and West, but especially East, their are people that want to fly out West. UAL, SWA, Alaska, and AMR to name a few have bases and fly people West and East of the Mississippi. The East seems to forget this. They think everything exists out east. This is why the model failed once and probably will fail again.

The United States have vast territory with business located on both coasts. I would have to say the New York business market right now is in the toilet. I highly doubt Wall Street is doing the amount of flying they used too.
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Capt. Underpants is funny. And delusional.

The fact that someone spent that much time making a post of fantasy rantings is scary.
Nice spin, a DFR loss for USAPA is bad for the West!!! Keep getting your info from only USAPA and have the CIRP team on standby for early May.
The best case scenario for the West pilots is to lose the Arizona DFR case which would clear the way for a fair and equitable seniority integration and contract improvements for all pilots.
"Mork calling Orson. Come in, Orson. Mork calling Orson. Come in, Orson."

I can quote from sitcoms too.
Just more irrelevant blather. Despite a herculean effort by USAPA not never set foot in a court room, they've lost. They're going, kicking and screaming on April 28th, 8 day trial, verdict shortly thereafter.

The Judge has indicated that in no uncertain terms, this issue will be resolved to it's full conclusion in his court room. USAPA will be unable to pull any delay, bad faith negotiations, BS. It's going to be over once and for all very soon...despite what the fake union fools have been espousing for over a year now.

Everything they've promised, has been either an unmitigated failure or an all out lie.

The bell tolls for thee USAPA. Can't wait to watch the conflagration.

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