Skip to main content

For All American Agents: Questions Answered

23 Mar, 2020


This is a challenging time for employees at American Airlines. Your CWA/IBT association recognizes the challenges you face every day to do your jobs. You'll find below answers to questions that you have asked. Some of the information is new and in some cases is different from what you may have seen previously. These answers are up-to-date and correct as of April 6, 2020. Please submit your questions by filling out this form and we will respond to them as soon as possible. Be safe.

Please also see the new Information for Reservations Agents here.

Q: Will American be providing face masks for employees? (updated April 6, 2020)

American will start providing face masks for those front line team members who choose to wear them at work. Masks will be sent to stations throughout the week of April 6, with more added as supplies increase. Please look out for communications from your local leadership team for updates.

Q: What can we expect during the VLOA or VEOA process? (updated April 5, 2020)

Once the window closes on April 6, 2020, at 11:59 pm CST, the Company will begin the process of awarding both VLOAs and VEOPs by location. These will be determined by location, based on operational need. All front line VLOAs and VEOPs will be awarded by seniority order within a location. American’s goal is to grant as many VLOAs and VEOPs as possible.

Once awarded, location station leadership teams will meet individually with team members to advise them of the award and provide letters. Team members will be required to sign their letters in the presence of a member of station leadership. Team members will also be provided general information related to their VLOAs or VEOPs.

VEOPs will not be implemented until April 14, 2020. Once VEOPs are implemented, team members will also be provided a legal document, which they will need to review, sign, and return to the company. Each team member will be given seven calendar days to return the fully executed document to the Company.

Q. On the EO why is the company not paying out sick time?
A. Sick time payout is paid at retirement. If you decide to retire after the early out, your sick bank will be paid out at $8.65 per hour which is in accordance with the JCBA.

Q. If you take three months and want to come back at the end of the three months, can the company extend you without your agreement?
A. No, the leaves are voluntary and therefore would not be extended beyond what you were initially granted.

Q. If you take a VLOA and then there is a furlough, would you get furloughed?
A. Should there be any furloughs during your voluntary leave of absence they would be handled in accordance with Article 12 of the JCBA just like any other leave of absence. Per the JCBA, furloughs would be in accordance with your passenger service seniority.

Q. If the VLOA was taken and they currently just covered the employee for medical, could they switch to family coverage due to life event (job for spouse)?
A: If during the time you are out on VLOA, you have a qualifying life event (which includes your spouse losing coverage) you will be able to add new dependents to your medical coverage. You may have to go through a verification process before they are added.

Q. Can you combine the early out with the one-year VLOA?
A. No. At this time we are offering the Early Out or the Voluntary Leaves. You will need to choose what works best for you and your family.

Q. If you take the early out, will you still be able to choose family medical coverage and would the rates be the same as for the active employees for the following year?
A. You can only continue the current coverage that you have on the voluntary leave. You could also choose to drop your coverage. You will not be able to add dependents unless you have a life event. You can participate in annual enrollment for 2021 if you continue to be on leave and will get the same rates as active employees for the duration of your voluntary leave.

Q. If you choose the three- or six-month VLOA can you elect to drop your vacation weeks to whatever may be available after your return to work? Can this be available to all, not a station option?
A. Vacation periods that occur during leave can be rebid on available slots upon your return. If no slots are available, the unused vacation would be paid out early the following year.

Q. If someone signed up for the three-month VLOA can they change it to a longer VLOA, and if so, how?
A. At this time we are asking that you choose the duration of VLOA that you want. At the end of your VLOA, if additional leaves are available, your request will be considered.

Q. Why is the company giving money to the pilots to take VLOSA but no one else?
A. The pilots have different provisions in their collective bargaining agreement which include pay protections for canceled flying.

Q. When they close one of the clubs, what options do those employees have?
A. All passenger service employees have the option of VLOA or Early Out. If there is a club closure, the company will outline the options available to those team members. At this time, we are looking to find work that can be done. Unfortunately, this is a time of uncertainty, so this may change.

Q. Can we get the company to increase the number of swaps so the people wanting to take off but not for a long time can give their hours to those that need them?
A. The Company is currently looking into this and discussing it with the union.

Q. If you take a 12-month leave, how would you be able to use the vacation from this year? Is there a buyout of the vacation time or could we bid it?
A. If you take the 12-month leave, any remaining unused vacation from this year would be paid out after the first of next year.

Q. If someone takes a longer VLOA and is still on VLOA, will they get to bid VC for next year when it is time to bid VC?

A. The contract has a provision for those on leaves of absence to bid for vacation as long as they advise their station admin by October 10th that they want to participate in 2021 vacation bidding.

Q. If you have people on a VLOA and on a furlough and there is a recall, who comes back first?
A. If the company were to furlough employees, it would be in accordance with passenger service seniority regardless of whether you were on voluntary leave. Recalls are also done in accordance with the JCBA and by passenger service seniority.

Q. If a member goes on a VLOA and is furloughed, do the insurance benefits start all over or does the time on the leave count toward the 90 days of benefits?
A. The 90 days of benefits would begin on the effective date of the furlough, if eligible, per the JCBA.

Q. About probationary employees: Will they get cut before furloughs? Can they take leaves?
A. Probationary employees are eligible for the voluntary leaves.


Photo Gallery


Get the answers to a few of the most Frequently Asked Questions about Unions

CWA's e-Newsletter

At CWA, we're building a movement for economic justice & democracy every day. Stay involved by signing up to receive CWA's weekly e-Newsletter.