The drama at American isn’t over yet.

On Thursday it looked like American had averted a chapter 11 filing for now.

Now, with all the hubbub over their executive compensation, the flight attendants union has backed out of its concessions and revote.

This could get ugly in a variety of ways.

On the one hand, American could throw them a few more bones and then they’ll just revote for the concessions.

On the other hand, they could vote the concessions down and then the airline could declare chapter 11. The airline might then retaliate against the union by asking the bankruptcy court to impose even more cuts on the flight attendants, as a way of making an example of them.

American’s labor relations could really tailspin from that. Their labor relations could also take a nosedive just by having the flight attendants turn down the concessions after the other unions accepted them — because those unions would have taken their paycuts without even succeeding at averting a chapter 11 filing.

And American’s other unions could be forced to accept even lower wages after Chapter 11 — which could have been avoided had the flight attendants voted for their contract.

This had all better be wrapped up quickly, or the current management may even have to go in order to succeed in turning the airline around.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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