The flight attendant who runs the ‘Flight Service Official’ Facebook page made up of American Airlines employees says the group’s number one question is whether they’ll “ever see profit sharing numbers competitive with other airlines like Delta and Southwest.”
American’s President Robert Isom lays out in a Crew News Q&A session that their profit sharing is a 5% pool of pre-tax profitability. However,
- American’s profit is down year-over-year so profit sharing is down
- American made less money last year than Delta, so profit sharing pays less
- American pays out a lower percentage of profits than Delta as well (Delta is paying 10% of pre-tax profits up to $2.5 billion then 20% after that).
Of course American “layered on profit sharing” outside of collective bargaining. They’ve unilaterally increased wages about 4%, too. All without asking for anything back from their unions.
Delta on the other hand is largely non-union. As JP Morgan’s Jamie Baker pointed out “it still takes considerably more American employees to get the job done than at Delta.” American’s costs are higher regardless of comparable pay or not.
American should offer to match Delta on pay and profit sharing on equal terms with Delta. That means they have to solve their separate work forces. It also means they need to provide the level of service that Delta offers. And getting there will take both leadership and work rule changes that American’s unions will never agree to. They want a less efficient work force that makes more.