Marco Rubio Tweets about American Airlines delays, confirms sickouts aren’t really happening…

As most of you guys probably know, American pilots have been staging “sickouts” and delays over the past week that have caused huge problems with American’s reliability. It’s completely apparent that it’s happening, and I’m not trying to take sides here, other than to point out that it is happening.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio was trying to get back to Washington last night, and Tweeted about his experience with American (Tweets are in reverse chronological order, so you might want to start at the bottom):

Politics aside, I have to wonder what the fact that the pilots are believers of the constitution and lovers of liberty has to do with the flight being on-time.

This is pretty funny to me cause he’s convinced they were delaying flights for late arriving passengers and not due to sickouts and other “maintenance” issues. And I guess the sickouts aren’t happening, since both of the pilots said so. The guys over at Airline Pilot Forums hint otherwise:

Like this one:

And as always, the way to go is follow the FAR’s to the letter, as well as company rules… like giving T-storms 20 nm space, thorough pre-flights, conscientious write-ups, economical taxi and flight speeds, meticulous check list procedures, no-fault go-arounds, etc etc etc.

Of course, fatigue is a hot-button topic w/NASA and the FAA. Got to wathc those mental health issues too. And it’s a good time to finally get that carpal tunnel surgery.

Or this one:

They are about to implement “overfly shall be cancelled by underfly” policy. Gee, wonder how pilots will get around that?Ā šŸ˜‰ My understanding is that NWA tried that and their pilots started “BOB” (Block Or Better) and management stopped it shortly thereafter.

To which someone else responds:

Underfly? What the hell is Underfly? There shall be no such thing!

To clarify the above, “underfly” is when the actual flight time is less than scheduled, and I assume as of now they still get paid for the scheduled flight time. If they’re late, on the other hand, they get paid for the extra time. “Overfly shall be canceled by underfly” would mean that if the first flight is 15 minutes early and second flight is 15 minutes late, they would just get normal pay (as opposed to pay for an extra 15 minutes).

Or this one:

IF you are a member of the traveling public and NOT management, then allow me to just state that the cheap airfares (subsidized by employee wages…….of course, just like the high fuel bills that the airlines are/have been facing) have caused us to lose a lot of sympathy towards the flying public. Although, I sense that again IF you are part of the traveling public and not management, then most of your travels involve business and not the $199RT to FL.

Or this one:

Remember to always run the IMSAFE checklist. Are you prepared mentally? Feeling stressed due to BK? Emotionally unstable?


Or this one:

Well ya know sometimes you have to double check that flight plan. Especially on those RNAV departures. You don’t want to cause a potential mid air collision. Safety first.

Or this one:

Instead of DIRECT anywhere, just request “FLIGHT PLAN ROUTE”! šŸ˜‰

Or this one:

Got a good laugh the other day when center said to an American flight “I noticed you guys are declining short cuts a lot lately, is there a reason for that?” They came back with “hmmm dunno;)”.

The most apparent thing must be that the taxis I’ve had on American over the past week have been the slowest of my life. I don’t think I passed five miles an hour on the taxi to the runway or gate this week. I guess that’s what they call “economical?”

Anyway, here’s to hoping operations smooth out for everyone’s sake.

(Tip of the hat to David)

Filed Under: American
  1. File this under the category of “meh.”

    I have utmost respect for the pilots and the F/As, but there’s no doubt in my mind that “sickouts” are happening across the system. Just because these two pilots aren’t doing it / don’t believe in it doesn’t mean that they speak for everyone.

    Marco Rubio should stick to being a passenger, and he should let the airline do its job. No armchair CEOs needed, this isn’t of course šŸ˜‰

  2. First of all, I feel bad for the pilots and FAs who are taking the brunt of the cost savings measures with pay cuts, retirement funds being thrown in the rubbish, etc.

    However, this does not excuse what the pilots are doing and wrecking havoc on their passengers lives. Not everybody is flying just for fun, and there are some people rushing to see a loved one before they die, some are going to a funeral, some have to attend a very important meeting that will impact the lives of thousands of people (I am not talking about politicians), etc.

    This behavior is no better than me telling a customer who is on the verge of losing his/her house to the bank (matter of days), because I have to take my sweet time to do the accounting on their trust fund or estate to ensure it’s accuracy before submitting to have the fund liquidated and paid to the beneficiary.

    To AA pilots/FAs why are you still in the airline industry when you know you are going to be screwed, seriously consider a career change for your sake. You will be much better off, my uncle used to work for CO in the 80s and after one year he left for greener pastures. My entire family, including myself, works for the private sector and what the pilots are going through with AA is routine. I guess it is time to welcome them to reality, the world where greed guides the executive team’s decisions with respect to finances. My company (a Fortune 500 company) does not even pay for water!

  3. The man is clueless. He needs to realize that AA is in trouble and the pilots are not helping. AA should have declare bankruptcy after 9/11. It would be in much better shape than now.

    Mr Rubio, get ready to bail-out AA if things continue this way.

  4. Hmmm, seems as though this is a service industry. If there are no more passengers because they all leave for other operators, how does this help the company or its employees?

  5. Evening flights from TPA to MIA last night were all delayed by at least one hour…..reason given was T-storms between Tpa/Mia. Thought it was funny that the pilots were extremely apologetic and kept reiterating that the delay was due to the weather…..wonder if that was sincere or just crap. Regardless, AA made an extra $75 off me because I switched to an earlier flight to ensure no misconnects in MIA.

  6. I can’t believe a senator can’t think of something more important to tweet about than how late his flight is. 9 times. In 1 hour.

  7. Liberal pilots would have striked, mooched a little social security/medicare/welfare/unemployment/other favorite government-dole-mooch program and split. We would have a completely (as opposed to partially) dysfunctional country without those patriots hovering over our autopilot programs. #godblessmurrica

  8. @ Michael T — Obviously the topic was political, though I’m saying putting side any individual reader’s politics.

    @ Carl — Interesting, you think he was being sarcastic? Doesn’t seem like that was the case to me, but I certainly could be wrong.

  9. let’s just say, like some of us, I think he was just killing time while waiting for his flight to depart and having some fun with it.

  10. Regardless of political affiliations this man is clueless about the country. I think AA should revoke his account and get him flying on US via Charlotte or schlep all the way from Dulles on UA (with its great new merger of equals. or best idea, make him fly WN.
    So he gets his trips paid for by the govt or his reelection funds or the NRC, and gets to EXP and then is abusing the very company that helps his life the most?

  11. Step one: Selectively quote anonymous bulletin board posts. Consider this evidence.
    Step two: Add in anecdotes. Consider this evidence.
    Step three: Determine, based on evidence, that sick-outs are/aren’t happening.
    Step three: Bash unions/management according to one’s political beliefs.

  12. Please keep in mind that we are flying to support the workers; why else would we put up with such nonsense and not switch to another carrier? Why else do elites thank the pilots after every flight or praise the flight attendants for the work that they do? Why else do we pay higher fares than on many other airlines? The people who fly American, the elites who stay loyal, the supporters of those who fly and care for us, do so to keep the airline solvent, to support the jobs on the front lines, and to keep everyone working while you all work out a way to stay in business. Loyalty works both ways. I’m happy to stay with you but wanted to point out that the delays and in-fighting does, in fact, hurt the very people who want to support the pilots and crew the most. I believe in American Airlines!

  13. Marco Rubio has Executive Platinum status?!?!

    I am assuming his travel has all been at taxpayers’ expense, and he gets EP perks on Amarican?


  14. To whoever commented THIS crap: “IF you are a member of the traveling public and NOT management, then allow me to just state that the cheap airfares (subsidized by employee wagesā€¦ā€¦.of course, just like the high fuel bills that the airlines are/have been facing) have caused us to lose a lot of sympathy towards the flying public.”

    I am a pilot and an ERAU grad who decided NOT to fly for a living because of how arduous and financially taxing it is to work your way thru being a CFI, hours building, flying for a regional, and eventually getting on a good route with a major.

    But it has never been a secret! Airline pilots fly because they love to fly, get hours that they don’t have to pay for, and get to deadhead all over. And hopefully, they make captain for a major carrier flying heavies back and forth to Europe and get the big $$ for sitting in the left seat.

    Nobody, especially not the flying public, put a fucking gun to your head.

    By saying that you have no sympathy for the flying public, you simply make it clear that you have ZERO understanding of customer service.

    And the airlines are a customer service industry, NOT a transport or infrastructure indusrty, no matter how much you like to this it is.

    We will gladly start paying highre fares and subsiding your union mandated pay raises if you cockbags will arrive and depart on time and maybe give more that a bag of peanuts and a hearty “Fuck you.”

    ALPA can suck my ass.

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