American Airlines’ Very Long India Flights

American Airlines’ Very Long India Flights

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American Airlines recently started flying to India. The airline is having some unique issues with this route, which is leading to very long flight times. One of those problems contributed to the flight having to divert to Gander today, so let’s go over the details.

American Airlines’ Russian airspace issue

American Airlines recently launched a route between New York (JFK) and Delhi (DEL) using a Boeing 777-300ER. At ~7,320 miles, this is a long flight to begin with, but it’s even longer because American Airlines doesn’t have the right to use Russian airspace on this route.

The always knowledgable @xJonNYC reports that this is because there are only certain periods where the Russian government accepts applications for airspace use, and I guess American didn’t make the request at the right time. This is strange, because this route has been in the works for a long time. Apparently American management thought it would be easy to get these airspace rights since the carrier uses Russian airspace for other routes, but not so much.

American Airlines’ typical route between Delhi and New York

American’s inability to use Russian airspace has caused flight times to & from India to be about 90 minutes longer than needed. For example:

  • United Airlines flies between Newark and Delhi using a Boeing 777-300ER, and in the past week the eastbound flight time has been 12hr30min to 13hr18min, while the westbound flight time has been 14hr23min to 14hr46min
  • American Airlines flies between New York and Delhi using a Boeing 777-300ER, and in the past week the eastbound flight time has been 14hr21min to 14hr41min, while the westbound flight time has been 15hr37min to 16hr6min

As you can see, that’s a significant difference in flight times.

https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/1460365706734837762

American Airlines’ pilot union isn’t happy

American Airlines pilots aren’t pleased with this new India flight. Eric Ferguson, the president of the Allied Pilots Association (APA), recently wrote a letter to fellow pilots about how management is again “trying to fix its failures on our pilots’ backs.” As the letter starts:

“Poor planning on management’s part does not constitute an emergency on our pilots’ part.”

Ferguson claims that the new route has caused a series of contract violations and “egregious abuses” of flight crews. These failures are largely due to the carrier’s inability to obtain Russian overflight permission.

Flights of this length have four pilots, but American’s contract requires that flights of over 16 hours have two captains and two first officers (rather than one captain and three first officers). All pilots are fully trained to fly the plane, so this is all about money — captains earn more than first officers, so the more captains there are, the more money union members are being paid.

American has allegedly been staffing this flight with one captain and three first officers, claiming the flight is under 16 hours. The union claims that isn’t fair, since the flight is often taking over 16 hours due to lack of Russian airspace rights.

American Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER first class

The other claim is even more interesting:

“To compound these blatant errors, just this morning, Crew Scheduling called out an entire reserve crew — pilots and flight attendants — and assigned them to deadhead to Bangor, Maine, to sit reserve in the middle of the night for days on end just in case the Delhi flight ran into delays on departure and needed to stop in Bangor to re-dispatch in order to continue on to JFK. Our contract does not permit airport reserve, let alone airport reserve away from base — period, stop.”

For those who have no clue what this is referring to, essentially if there’s a delay beyond a certain threshold, the crew wouldn’t be able to operate a flight this long. That means the flight would either need to be canceled, or would need to operate to a closer destination, where there could be a crew change. The latter is generally the more preferable solution.

I’m not sure what exactly to make of this:

  • Does American really not ever require pilots to be on reserve at the airport? And if so, why would the pilots have even agreed to this assignment?
  • Why would sending crews to Bangor for days on end be necessary, since it’s only a few hundred miles from New York? In the event there’s a delay, it seems like they could just send a crew after the flight leaves Delhi…
https://twitter.com/xJonNYC/status/1465240110161608708

American Airlines’ Delhi to New York flight diverts to Gander

Today’s American Airlines flight from Delhi to New York (AA293) has had quite an adventure. The flight was initially scheduled to depart at 12:55AM, but the flight was delayed by around four hours on departure. As a result, the crew wasn’t able to operate the flight all the way to New York, and of course that’s made worse by the longer than necessary routing due to lack of Russian airspace rights.

The choice at that point was to cancel the flight or have it divert, so the decision was made for the flight to divert to the (usually sleepy) airport of Gander… not to be confused with Bangor. The plane landed there at 10:24AM local time, and it’s scheduled to continue to New York with a new crew.

It looks like the relief crew will be arriving on AA9783 from New York, a flight that’s operated by an Airbus A321T (at least the crew will be comfortable, as the plane has 30 flat beds). That flight is only due to arrive at 12:15PM, so it looks like the Gander to New York flight will be delayed even further.

Talk about a costly diversion — American is having to fly an A321 roundtrip to Gander just to ferry the crew that will work the last few hours of the flight to New York. Presumably the crew that worked on the Delhi flight will get on the A321, and they’ll deadhead to New York on that.

American Airlines’ A321T first class

Bottom line

American Airlines’ flight from Delhi to New York diverted to Gander today. A significant departure delay meant that the crew would time out, so the choice was to either cancel the flight or to divert to an intermediate point and have a crew change. American chose the latter option.

The issue is only exacerbated by American’s inability to use Russian airspace, which is making flights significantly longer than usual. And that’s also making pilots cranky.

These ultra long haul flights sure are challenging, because any sort of significant departure delay can have serious implications for a crew’s ability to work the entire flight.

Tricky stuff, eh?

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  1. Maxpower Guest

    Hey Lucky, I hope you'll write an article about Delta flying JNB-ATL without a plane that can make it consistently after this article.

    1. Chandra Guest

      Any info on when American gets the permission Russian airspace

  2. ashu Guest

    I am from India and live a few hours away from Chicago, these long direct flights are a big advantage for me as they cut total travel time from 24hrs to 16 hrs eliminating several hours of transit.
    All these issues are 'Operations' related which seem strange for a experienced airline like AA, I hope they resolve them quickly.
    I am also surprised by challenges since this is not the longest flight, US to AUS / NZ is 17hrs. + if I'm not wrong.

  3. John Guest

    Anyone who flies American deserves what they get. Flying a long distance American is just stupid.

  4. Farid Gallyamov Guest

    Of course, it is necessary to fly on a shorter route, in all respects it is more profitable and safer. And for pilots, this flight is easier and calmer. In addition, if these flights are carried out on a Boeing 747-400, which is faster than the Boeing -777, then you can reduce the flight time by almost an hour. At such distances, the Boeing-747-400 can hold 0.85- 0.89 M. depending on the wind.

  5. Chris Guest

    Now I know why I did not book a flight from Amritsar to Philadelphia on AA. Could find no reason for this already tedious journey to be so much longer than other airlines.
    Thankfully, we are booked on Qutar Airlines. Should have just done that in the first place. Fares are high right now. Just have to go with it. And Quatar is the best way to go.
    Shame on AA. Sounds like good old union busting to me. Greed trumps safety here.

  6. Emily Guest

    These routes may be challenging, but this is the business that companies the like of AA play in. I don't think AA deserves any benefit of the doubt in this case, when their competitors operate such routes without difficulties.

  7. Kelcy Guest

    My favorite line:
    “Poor planning on management’s part does not constitute an emergency on our pilots’ part.”
    I wonder how much time they had to apply for the Russian air space.

  8. Luke Guest

    Dont know why on earth today's flight AA293 DEL-JFK is headed to Bangor, ME according to flightaware when it more or less left almost on time:

    https://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/AAL293/history/20211130/1925Z/VIDP/KBGR

    Getting worried about being scheduled for this same flight on December 12th (My inbound flight to Delhi AA292 on Thanksgiving day went smoothly)

  9. FlyOften Guest

    America West is still a bad airline, in spite of the name changes.

    1. Leigh Guest

      Though I’m AA loyal…

      Your comment was clever and made me laugh. Well done!

  10. A Jain Guest

    AA293 departing Nov 26th was also severely impacted. Flight departed gate then returned because it had been delayed enough to violate crew work limits. After sitting on the tarmac for hours in the middle of the night, everyone was deplaned and flight rescheduled to 8pm on Nov 26th. This flight too departed the gate, and returned due to delays. Finally 36hours later it finally departed DEL on Nov 28th at 3pm. My family was on...

    AA293 departing Nov 26th was also severely impacted. Flight departed gate then returned because it had been delayed enough to violate crew work limits. After sitting on the tarmac for hours in the middle of the night, everyone was deplaned and flight rescheduled to 8pm on Nov 26th. This flight too departed the gate, and returned due to delays. Finally 36hours later it finally departed DEL on Nov 28th at 3pm. My family was on this flight and they spent hours at the airport in the middle of the night with very little information about when they might actually depart.

  11. Maxpower Guest

    The Russia overflight rights aside, I actually think aa did the right thing. This flight takes place amid the backdrop of Omicron being announced, borders closing again, and quite a bit of hysteria about the new Covid variant.

    India wasn’t central to the Omicron news but you have to imagine that the passengers would much rather get to the USA, even with a stop in Gander, than be stuck in another country for 24 hours...

    The Russia overflight rights aside, I actually think aa did the right thing. This flight takes place amid the backdrop of Omicron being announced, borders closing again, and quite a bit of hysteria about the new Covid variant.

    India wasn’t central to the Omicron news but you have to imagine that the passengers would much rather get to the USA, even with a stop in Gander, than be stuck in another country for 24 hours while countries were closing borders (including some to the world like Israel or Australia).
    AA did the only thing they could do, get passengers home as quickly as possible within the bounds of safety even when it meant dispatching a crew to Gander to get the 777 and the Delhi crew all the way home.

  12. Sonny B Guest

    This is not the first time AA has done this. If you review the history, they have cancelled the flight AA293 DEL-JFK twice on November 26th stranding all the passengers in Delhi with AQI of 384 for two and a half day. I was happen to be on that flight and it was a nightmare to board the flight two times and getting cancelled right prior to take off. Sitting in plane for 3 hours...

    This is not the first time AA has done this. If you review the history, they have cancelled the flight AA293 DEL-JFK twice on November 26th stranding all the passengers in Delhi with AQI of 384 for two and a half day. I was happen to be on that flight and it was a nightmare to board the flight two times and getting cancelled right prior to take off. Sitting in plane for 3 hours before letting off due to mismanagement. Collecting baggage every single time from the belt. Not a single person from AA was on the ground to help the passengers either rebook or answer their questions. I received an email from AA offering me 20000 miles for this inconvenience and I was in Business Class.

  13. Saad Khan Guest

    I was on that flight that Diverted to Gander. Spent 24 hours on that plane. Not fun. Everything was communicated late and I honestly am not sure If I'll use American for another flight to india.

    1. Jordan Member

      Yeah, you will ;-)

  14. FlyerDon Guest

    Seems like the simple solution for now would be to crew the flight with two captains until they receive Russian overflight rights. Also, when a flight is operating late out of DEL I would plan an enroute landing at LHR. American would have a lot more options in London, crew and aircraft wise, as well as other flight options to potentially re-accommodate passengers if needed. If there were curfew issues at LHR they might be...

    Seems like the simple solution for now would be to crew the flight with two captains until they receive Russian overflight rights. Also, when a flight is operating late out of DEL I would plan an enroute landing at LHR. American would have a lot more options in London, crew and aircraft wise, as well as other flight options to potentially re-accommodate passengers if needed. If there were curfew issues at LHR they might be able to use Paris or Frankfurt. Either would be a better choice than Gander.

  15. William Alford Guest

    So what you're saying is, American failed to get the required permits to fly over Russian airspace which makes the flight time longer and inconveniences the crybaby pilots who want everyone to kiss their asses despite the fact that they make a lot of money and have benefits packages that are unimaginable to the average person?

    1. Sherry Burgell Guest

      Excuse me but unless you are a union pilot or union representative don’t comment on things you are truly uneducated on. Pilots deserve every dollar they make and it is up to protect their schedules in order to prevent pilot fatigue. Airline management is to blame not your highly skilled pilots who get you there safely from point A to point B. The FAA simply doesn’t care about protecting contractual regulations that are set to...

      Excuse me but unless you are a union pilot or union representative don’t comment on things you are truly uneducated on. Pilots deserve every dollar they make and it is up to protect their schedules in order to prevent pilot fatigue. Airline management is to blame not your highly skilled pilots who get you there safely from point A to point B. The FAA simply doesn’t care about protecting contractual regulations that are set to protect the public and have alert rested pilots and the airlines executives are not following FAA mandated contractual procedures. You have no idea what you are talking about and shame on you

  16. Aman Aggarwal Guest

    As a passenger, seems as is missing/messing a lot more.
    - Bags at Delhi arrival took 1.5 hrs, extending the long flight even further
    - smallest seat pitch I have flown on this sector (except may be United- which I don't take for the same reason even if cheaper).
    - food caterer just doesn't know the distributuin of portions to pack for the meal

  17. John Guest

    Before they bash current management too badly, the pilots should remember that they brought Parker and the America West management team in at AA in the first place:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/tedreed/2013/02/14/how-labor-made-the-usairwaysamr-merger-happen/?sh=593beb0278f3

  18. Stafford Guest

    Hey Hans,
    Try to work for a company that treats people like numbers or robots... "abolish unions"? You show your lack of knowledge and empathy with unknowledgeable comments like that. The crews flying these 16 hour flights to/from India are comatose after a day like that. Hans, how many 16 hour days do you put in a week? And how many lives are at risk if/when you do? No union?! You really want to...

    Hey Hans,
    Try to work for a company that treats people like numbers or robots... "abolish unions"? You show your lack of knowledge and empathy with unknowledgeable comments like that. The crews flying these 16 hour flights to/from India are comatose after a day like that. Hans, how many 16 hour days do you put in a week? And how many lives are at risk if/when you do? No union?! You really want to risk your life in a plane when the people working that flight aren't represented by a union to keep some form or legality and human factors in the equation? Hans, before you make blank dumb statements like that have a bit of knowledge about what's going on...

    1. Just another crew Guest

      I agree with you, until you work a flight for 16 or more hours. I know I’ve done 21 hours due to a diversion. Working a flight is not like being a passenger sitting a seat. As far as unions are concern the airlines would love to fly crews 20 hours with a 7 hour rest break between flights minimums.

  19. Tim Dunn Gold

    It's mind-numbing that some people do not understand the issue here.
    The 777-300ER is not the issue; American used it on their DFW-Hong Kong flight which was over 16 hours (now suspended due to covid) and they properly staffed that flight according to FAA requirements and the AA pilot contract. Other than burning more fuel than any other aircraft type in the US passenger fleet, the 777-300ER is a very competent ultra long haul...

    It's mind-numbing that some people do not understand the issue here.
    The 777-300ER is not the issue; American used it on their DFW-Hong Kong flight which was over 16 hours (now suspended due to covid) and they properly staffed that flight according to FAA requirements and the AA pilot contract. Other than burning more fuel than any other aircraft type in the US passenger fleet, the 777-300ER is a very competent ultra long haul capable aircraft.

    Unions aren't the problem. AA signed a contract that specifies how its flights are to be crewed and they are clearly capable of doing that on other flights.

    The US or its airlines aren't the problem; all major countries have crew duty limitations - and you should run, not walk, from any airline that doesn't abide by those rules. They are there for safety. Delta and United operate similarly long flights and don't have problems.

    Emirates and other Middle East airlines most certainly do have crew duty limitations and they have had fairly public events (including covered on this site) where they had to juggle to get passengers to their destination due to operational problems that extended their flights beyond crew duty regulations.

    The problem, and the only problem, is that American failed to get overflight permission for its India flights so the flight time has been extended. Under the extended flight times, American is not staffing its India flights correctly according to FAA regulations and their union.

    1. Leigh Guest

      You simplified the issues in a logical/factual way...well done.

      Anyone know when the next Russian overflight applications can be submitted?

      I assume if the routing caused a financial loss, the launch would have been delayed. I also assume several in Network Planning had to provide explanations to the higher ups (or what other department might have been responsible for this paperwork oversight).

  20. Shishir Guest

    I was an unfortunate passenger on this flight. Not only American managed to mess up, they didn’t explain anything to passengers and had to book many passengers on Jetblue for connecting flights. Talk about cost overruns.
    Are there any remedies for passengers in these cases ?

    1. Corrado Guest

      Are you the spreadsheet guy?

  21. Eric Guest

    Lucky, please be careful with your wording. It is not that aa management does not requires pilots to serve airport standby , they aa/ pilot union does not allow airport reserve standby. The pilots can flat out refuse the flight.

  22. KK13 Guest

    Why would I fly by AA (or United and Delta for that matter), when I can use my AA miles to fly by Qatar QSuites?

    1. Robert Guest

      It seems miles used for partner tickets is the only reason to care about AA anymore

  23. Steve Diamond

    A slow reversion back to hub and spoke is coming especially with all these labor and flight cancelation issues.

    1. Leigh Guest

      Since when did the hub and spoke network strategy disappear in the first place?

  24. Icarus Guest

    It also happens to airlines that have frequent service to and over Russia.

  25. UCLAbadger New Member

    My father-in-law was one of the captains on this flight that was diverted to Gander; will be really interested to get his perspective on everything once he is back home. That's one heck of a trip.

  26. 767 Guest

    AA pilots do not do airport reserve. I was on a JFK-PUJ flight on Saturday. They pulled one of our pilots to work a flight to CUN and canceled ours since there are no airport standby reserve pilots. I was fortunate to get to PUJ the same day via JetBlue after refusing connections via MIA and CLT as I pointed out this was totally AA’s fault.

    1. Bill in Rochester Guest

      I just retired from AA, and yes, AA does have reserve pilots. In normal times, there are pilots waiting to be called for a sick or missing pilot, but these are not normal times for staffing levels. Around the holidays staffing is always difficult, but due to labor shortages in all industries, covering all shifts has been more challenging.

    2. 767 Guest

      Congrats on your retirement. You got out at a good time. Re: reserve, I have spoken to many pilots and have an idea how reserve works with pilots and flight attendants. What surprised me is that while there are reserve flight attendants available at the airport to cover sick calls, lateness or no shows, that is not the case for pilots who are subject to reserve.

    3. CKF Guest

      Thankfully. Sitting reserve at the airport is something that should never be allowed in any pilot contract without hefty additional compensation and iron-clad rules. I’ve had my share of airport reserve days at an AA wholly-owned regional carrier and am glad my current major airline does not allow it. I’ll ONLY vote for a CBA with that provision again if the timeframe is limited to 4-6 hours AND it pays a minimum of 300% OVER...

      Thankfully. Sitting reserve at the airport is something that should never be allowed in any pilot contract without hefty additional compensation and iron-clad rules. I’ve had my share of airport reserve days at an AA wholly-owned regional carrier and am glad my current major airline does not allow it. I’ll ONLY vote for a CBA with that provision again if the timeframe is limited to 4-6 hours AND it pays a minimum of 300% OVER guarantee. These are my bare minimum requirements to even consider it… The airline would still save money by not canceling, etc so they can pay us if they want this type of flexibility.

  27. Tee Guest

    Agreed Hans! Unions are useless and just make a lot of complainers. Nobody wants to work anymore! If these pilots don't want to work they should just find a new job. Bet they won't find anything that pays as much to sit around and do nothing except complain! Delta doesn't have a union and there's never any complaints from their crews. Happy company, happy crews, happy passengers! Shows you that nobody benefits from a union....

    Agreed Hans! Unions are useless and just make a lot of complainers. Nobody wants to work anymore! If these pilots don't want to work they should just find a new job. Bet they won't find anything that pays as much to sit around and do nothing except complain! Delta doesn't have a union and there's never any complaints from their crews. Happy company, happy crews, happy passengers! Shows you that nobody benefits from a union. Qatar and UAE doesn't have unions and they're the best airlines in the world. Quality of life in those countries is high. South Korea too. US can't even compare!

    1. Jorge Paez Guest

      So I guess you live there.....

    2. Stafford Guest

      Tee, the unions don't make up the rules for flight time limitations that's a job for the FAA.. do you really want to get on a plane that has a guy working over 16 hours?! Tee, when did you last work over 16 hours in one day? And did you have 200+ lives at stake? Delta Pilots DO HAVE A UNION! Delta flight attendants don't have a union.
      The "leadership" at AA is a...

      Tee, the unions don't make up the rules for flight time limitations that's a job for the FAA.. do you really want to get on a plane that has a guy working over 16 hours?! Tee, when did you last work over 16 hours in one day? And did you have 200+ lives at stake? Delta Pilots DO HAVE A UNION! Delta flight attendants don't have a union.
      The "leadership" at AA is a broken mess. They kept the CEO of America West (an alcoholic, with 2 convictions) when AA and US Air (a combination of US Air and America West merger) merged 7 years ago. Doug Parker has no clue how to manage people much less an airline. Doug Parkers idea of managing people effectively is to say: "Thank you for your good work". He's been spouting that phrase for over 10 years and the people at AA/USAir are sick of it. He treats the employees like they're cattle and have no reason to sleep, eat or otherwise function like human beings.

    3. Alex Guest

      What are you talking about? Delta pilots have a union… They’re represented by the ALPA Union.

    4. EBWaa Guest

      I guess that’s why the construction workers who worked on the sites for the World Cup in Qatar were treated so well.

  28. wpcoe Member

    I think the inbound crew to Gander will lay over, not deadhead on that A321. Deadhead time is duty time, and I can't imagine that their maximum duty time would allow them to continue to JFK. There are strict FAA rules about that.

    1. FlyOften Guest

      Knocking back Jack's while deadheadung is A-OK.

      It's the "working" part that pi&&es of America West crew.

  29. AJH Guest

    I remember back in 2008 I was on an American flight from DEL-ORD. We had to divert to Goose Bay as our plane was running low on fuel due to the fact that the Afghan air space was closed due to military operations, and our flight ended up being close to 18 hours from take off in Del to touchdown at ORD. This isn't a new problem for American, as the flight attendants then said it was a recurring issue due to the war in Afghanistan.

  30. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Member

    Another post that shows everything that is wrong with unions. Ignoring the automatic us v. them mentality, never a good thing for the teamwork need for a strong workplace, these pilots are effectively saying "That's not my job!" which is usually not a good career move for those without a union to cover their behavior. If these crews were not getting paid, that would be one thing, but I have little doubt they are. If...

    Another post that shows everything that is wrong with unions. Ignoring the automatic us v. them mentality, never a good thing for the teamwork need for a strong workplace, these pilots are effectively saying "That's not my job!" which is usually not a good career move for those without a union to cover their behavior. If these crews were not getting paid, that would be one thing, but I have little doubt they are. If my boss tells me I am going on a business trip, I indeed may not like, but I am going to put on a smile, make the best of it and get on with it. I certainly am not going to get on social media - or have someone do it on my behalf - to attack my employer and the management. This is why I prefer to patronize non-union businesses, all else being equal.

    1. Tim Dunn Gold

      you clearly don't realize that the FAA, not unions, govern pilot crew duty times.
      The only issue is whether there are 2 captains and 2 first officers or 1 captain and 3 first officers because that is contractual behind AA and its pilot union.
      There are virtually no global international airlines that do not have pilot unions so you might be staying at home if you expect to fly w/ airlines w/o pilot...

      you clearly don't realize that the FAA, not unions, govern pilot crew duty times.
      The only issue is whether there are 2 captains and 2 first officers or 1 captain and 3 first officers because that is contractual behind AA and its pilot union.
      There are virtually no global international airlines that do not have pilot unions so you might be staying at home if you expect to fly w/ airlines w/o pilot unions.

      The issue is why airlines like Delta and United, which also operate ultra long haul flights and also have unionized pilots, manage to avoid these types of confrontations but American cannot.

      They screwed up planning for the flight and expect everyone else to pay the price for their incompetence. I am not pro-union but the unions didn't just show up at American; AA knew their pilot staffing requirements from the day they scheduled this flight.
      They also knew the implications for properly staffing their flights according to their pilot contract (it is a contract - American and its pilot union both signed it) once they realized they would have to take a longer route but have chosen to ignore it.

    2. Max Guest

      I bet world-leading global airlines such as Qatar, Emirates and Etihad do not have this unnecessary union-trouble unlike these rundown airlines in the US.

    3. flyingrohit Guest

      Is 16 hours an issue for the 777-300ER? I regularly fly United EWR-BOM/BOM-EWR flight (which until recently has always been 777-300ER operated for the last few years) and the westbound is consistently between 15.5 and 16.25 hours and there’s never a issue with crew or the pilots. Is this something unique to AA or what’s going on?

    4. flyingrohit Guest

      Oops sorry this was meant to be a global reply, not specific to your comment @Tim Dunn

    5. DMNYC Guest

      AA's 77W's are fine. It's not an issue with the plane. It is an issue with AA management's poor planning and failure to get Russia overflight rights, requiring costly and time-consuming re-routings that:

      (1): Result in crews timing out and hitting FAA maximum legal duty times, necessitating diversions.
      (2) Even when not diverting, regularly puts the flights over 16 hours, which requires AA to staff them with 2 captains and 2 FOs, but they...

      AA's 77W's are fine. It's not an issue with the plane. It is an issue with AA management's poor planning and failure to get Russia overflight rights, requiring costly and time-consuming re-routings that:

      (1): Result in crews timing out and hitting FAA maximum legal duty times, necessitating diversions.
      (2) Even when not diverting, regularly puts the flights over 16 hours, which requires AA to staff them with 2 captains and 2 FOs, but they are instead choosing to violate their contract and staff it with 1 captain and 3 FOs.

      It's about how AA management is incompetent.

    6. Jorge Paez Guest

      Again we conveniently forget history. Are Unions a pain sometimes? Sure, but thanks to Unions we have living wages, insurance and retirement benefits, compensation when the employer mails or kills us on the job, etc. Did you ever ask your grandpa (or his buddies) what it was like to live in a Union free world 100 years ago? I bet you wouldn't like it.....

    7. Jorge Paez Guest

      Once again we forget history. Are Unions a pain sometimes? Sure but thanks to Unions we have living wages, insurance and retirement benefits, compensation when employers kill or maim us on the job, etc.
      Go back 100 years and study a union free world. I bet you wouldn't like it.....

  31. Corrado Guest

    I only kept AA status to fly on partners mostly.

    With alaska joining OW, I no longer need to fly american domestically. I matched my Plat Pro status yo 75k gold yesterday!

  32. Waiting for the new AA to arrive Guest

    Not that they had a spare Airbus Transcon sitting around at JFK. Probably explains todays cancellation of JFK- SFO AA76 and the return leg SFO-JFK AA16 as that A321 had other plans. Guess the costs of the mistakes keep piling on!! Own a few airline stocks…..AA is not one of them!!

    1. Mark Guest

      Not enough seats on the transcon bird.

    2. JP Guest

      That will be a long wait... It's already here. It's called USAir.

  33. Luke Guest

    I'd guess the recent reopening of India for tourism and sky high airfares on sold out flights to India (like $3k RT in Economy for this route which normally should be closer to $1k) through the end of this year is causing AA to break even or make a profit on the new JFK-DEL route which explains why they didnt want to cancel the delayed flight.

    Nonstop flights between USA/India are at a premium...

    I'd guess the recent reopening of India for tourism and sky high airfares on sold out flights to India (like $3k RT in Economy for this route which normally should be closer to $1k) through the end of this year is causing AA to break even or make a profit on the new JFK-DEL route which explains why they didnt want to cancel the delayed flight.

    Nonstop flights between USA/India are at a premium since flights that involve transiting Europe/UAE/Qatar can trigger mandatory on arrival test/home quarantine requirements.

  34. shoeguy Guest

    The heart of the America West/US Airways's competent and seasoned management team hard at work at AA continuing to make a mess of a once much better airline. The fuel costs, crew costs, and labor aggravations will weigh heavily on this new route's profitability, and probably result in the much rumored JFK-BOM service to see a delay in EIS. It is mind boggling how AA is run and how it seems to outdo itself each...

    The heart of the America West/US Airways's competent and seasoned management team hard at work at AA continuing to make a mess of a once much better airline. The fuel costs, crew costs, and labor aggravations will weigh heavily on this new route's profitability, and probably result in the much rumored JFK-BOM service to see a delay in EIS. It is mind boggling how AA is run and how it seems to outdo itself each time with attracting unwanted and unecessary negative publicity while its next two competitors are increasingly running circles around it.

  35. Mak Guest

    I very rarely have any sympathy for usually self-serving positions taken by Unions, but this seems like a shocking bit of incompetence by AA management. How AA chooses and plans its routes seems to be a totally ad hoc affair.

  36. Tim Dunn Gold

    This is yet another example of the American management’s inability to execute its own strategies.

    And long-haul international crews cannot sit reserve at the airport and then be expected to fly a flight.

    American’s new flights to India already had a tough chance of making it; only makes it tougher

    1. Maxpower Guest

      What a surprise… Tim Dunn hops on an AA bashing thread and says a lot while knowing nothing.

  37. Gary Leff Guest

    American's messed up pilot reserve system... I am hearing about all sorts of contractual violations and ineptitude. Reserve pilots can't be re-assigned to different trips mid-sequence without a flight cancellations, American does it anyway and Crew Tracking tells them just "to grieve it." When pilots are reassigned mid-trip to open jaw between airports, they're told but the outsourced limo desk is not so there's no transportation automatically set up for them. When pilots volunteer for...

    American's messed up pilot reserve system... I am hearing about all sorts of contractual violations and ineptitude. Reserve pilots can't be re-assigned to different trips mid-sequence without a flight cancellations, American does it anyway and Crew Tracking tells them just "to grieve it." When pilots are reassigned mid-trip to open jaw between airports, they're told but the outsourced limo desk is not so there's no transportation automatically set up for them. When pilots volunteer for a specific trip, American changes the trip, and they have to fly something other than what they volunteered for which keeps many from volunteering to pick up trips.

    American is indeed working on the Russia overflight issue, as Brian Znotins told employees at a Q&A last week. But this sure does seem like the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

  38. Hans Guest

    American can't seem to figure out how to fly India. It's hard for airlines sometimes. /s.

    I feel bad for those passengers.

    Also, abolish unions. All they do is complain and no one likes complainers.

    - Hans

    1. LarryInNYC Member

      Indeed, Hans. Nobody likes complainers. . .

    2. Unhoeflich Guest

      More time to enjoy the lavish AA hospitality!

    3. Claire Guest

      Hans I am a union represented employee of American Airlines. No one wants the airline to succeed more then th union represented employees. No one cares about passengers comfort and safety more than the union represented employees.
      Casually suggesting to "ban the unions" is kinda facist.

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Gary Leff Guest

American's messed up pilot reserve system... I am hearing about all sorts of contractual violations and ineptitude. Reserve pilots can't be re-assigned to different trips mid-sequence without a flight cancellations, American does it anyway and Crew Tracking tells them just "to grieve it." When pilots are reassigned mid-trip to open jaw between airports, they're told but the outsourced limo desk is not so there's no transportation automatically set up for them. When pilots volunteer for a specific trip, American changes the trip, and they have to fly something other than what they volunteered for which keeps many from volunteering to pick up trips. American is indeed working on the Russia overflight issue, as Brian Znotins told employees at a Q&A last week. But this sure does seem like the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

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KK13 Guest

Why would I fly by AA (or United and Delta for that matter), when I can use my AA miles to fly by Qatar QSuites?

2
Tim Dunn Gold

you clearly don't realize that the FAA, not unions, govern pilot crew duty times. The only issue is whether there are 2 captains and 2 first officers or 1 captain and 3 first officers because that is contractual behind AA and its pilot union. There are virtually no global international airlines that do not have pilot unions so you might be staying at home if you expect to fly w/ airlines w/o pilot unions. The issue is why airlines like Delta and United, which also operate ultra long haul flights and also have unionized pilots, manage to avoid these types of confrontations but American cannot. They screwed up planning for the flight and expect everyone else to pay the price for their incompetence. I am not pro-union but the unions didn't just show up at American; AA knew their pilot staffing requirements from the day they scheduled this flight. They also knew the implications for properly staffing their flights according to their pilot contract (it is a contract - American and its pilot union both signed it) once they realized they would have to take a longer route but have chosen to ignore it.

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