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American Airlines is closing its San Francisco crew base and asking 400 flight attendants to leave California or leave the airline

American Airlines is closing its San Francisco base, potentially displacing 400 flight attendants. Two-thirds have worked for the airline for 13 years or more, according to union calculations. 10 flight attendants told Insider a myriad of factors make it difficult to leave the Bay Area. The mass email hit some flight attendants' inboxes mid-flight. "Today it's with great regret that I let you know about our decision to close the SFO flight attendant base," American Airlines… ( More...

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darjr26 9
This is old news that came out in September. SFO/SJC fell off of American’s radar a long time ago and the American West management, that now runs American, thinks they are better served using PHX as a hub. With the exception of DFW, American’s hubs and focus cities, like LAX, ORD, JFK and LGA, are disappearing while it’s American West/USAir management team concentrates on their familiar hubs of PHL/CLT/PHX. California has one of the strongest economies in the world which is why Delta, United and Southwest are expanding while the crack team at AA pulls away. My guess is the sharp leadership team at AA didn’t know they had a crew base in SFO or they would have closed it sooner.
hwh888 8
The primary reason I chose not to enter the commercial piloting career. Low starting pay, a long climb up the seniority ladder, poor choice of routes and the standby was just not worth the pain to my wife and children. An advanced degree and a stable career was much more rewarding. Flying I could do anytime I wanted in a C172.
David Beattie -4
This was true in the 80s-2018 but now at least at UA, pilots are upgrading to Capt. in one year. Starting pay is over 100K and Wide Body Captain is close to $500K. I’m not sure what job out there, that only requires a HS degree, pays that well. Times have changed.
Juan Jimenez 8
There are no senior wide body captains at any airline making $500k with a mere high school diploma. That is total BS.
SkyAware123 3
bullshit much ?
patrick baker 11
this article is less about california law than it is about american airlines obligations to employees when closing a crew base and job security and transfers that result from same. If these flight attendents are really that senior, then they could bump other folks in other hub cities, especially LA .
sonecdave 8
American specifically told the flight attendants being displaced that LAX was not an option. There is a strong rumour that LAX is next on the chopping block. All because of California labor laws.
Brian James 3
Which labor laws specifically?
John Taylor 2
Did you read the article? It said one reason is that the Supreme Court ruled that a California labor law mandating that all California employees are to receive a mandatory break every few hours applies to airlines also. That means potential flight delays due to mandatory breaks at the gate or anywhere enroute. That would cause a cascading effect throughout the rest of flights scheduled.
chugheset -3
How about this one? In California it’s illegal to discriminate against someone for the style or texture of their hair. So if a FA chose to wear their hair in a ridiculous style that offended passengers, AA would not be able to discipline them or ask them to change it.

Or this one, in CA employers are forbidden from checking criminal history on a background check. So if you choose to lie about that on your application, there is no way to know.

(Yes, these are real examples.)
Juan Jimenez 6
What BS. Since when do passengers have any right to take offense at anyone for a hairdo in ANY state?
John Taylor 1
Then why can passengers take offense to any other passenger's hairdo or attire?
sbirch 18
@Chugeset you must be working for an economic development agency in a red state, because you are dead wrong on all accounts. California "ban the box" rule prohibits employers from asking about criminal history on an APPLICATION. Once an offer is made, they can run as many background checks as desired and rescind said offer if contrary to their hiring policies.

Second, you listen to too much Fox News, because your hair comment is also BS. The style of one's hair is one factor of many that can determine discrimination based on race. Dredlocks, corn rows and tight weaves were used against numerous employees in a landmark case and therefore was added as a factor to determine whether someone may have been discriminated against.

Take your dog whistles and go elsewhere. As an employer of 190 aviation workers in California, I have no issue with my state protecting workers. You are free to live anywhere you like, but do not criticize something you know nothing about or clearly do not stand up for workers rights.
linuxranch 2
They probably won't be able to get a TWIC id for airport access with a criminal record.
Dale Johnson 1
And only a couple. California is radical. Anybody who has a chance to set up a new life OUT of California should jump at it, especially SanFrancisco.
pjshield 2
I don't know AA's displacement procedures, but the surplussed F/As may be required to fill vacancy openings in other domiciles before they can bump or displace anybody else out their current spots.
Brian James 8
I find it interesting that american has made this decision, yet some of the discussion here is blaming California, including equating the reason for this to same sex bathrooms. California labor and equality statutes have been in place for decades so this decision is not based on some draconian new laws. And if the labor laws are an issue for American, why aren't they firing everyone else that works in California?
chugheset 16
Having run a business in CA, I can tell you from personal experience it is typically about the cost of understanding and meeting the myriad of regulations that only exist in that state. California is the most employee friendly state in the country from a labor law standpoint. Most other states are more balanced or pro-employer. The latter approach is used to attract business to a state to lower unemployment or increase tax revenue.

While CA is great if you are an employee, the employers are the ones offering the jobs. As such it becomes a business decision and in most cases they will put the jobs in places more friendly (economically) to them. There is nothing wrong with that and it does not make the employer the bad guy. CA needs to understand there are consequences to their actions.
chugheset 7
Additionally, as far as laws being on the books for decades, not true. There are a number of laws that have recently gone into effect that have a profound impact on employers. Many of them have to do with COVID, but also AB 1041 states an employer must provide eligible employees up to 12 workweeks off in any twelve month period for family care and/or medical leave. The bill also expands the definition of "family member" to include just about anyone. That is a lot of time off. Hard to schedule around that.
sbirch 0
It is called statutory alignment with the FEDERAL Family Medical Leave Act. Come on man.
Valerie Scott -2
That is until employers move your job to Mexico, China, India where there are few employee benefits,labor or environmental laws - similar to TX or FL..
dmedders 0
Where in Amerika do you live?
Tim Brink 5
It's the cost of massive amount of regulations that's running many businesses out of state, not just AA. I don't blame companies for relocating to more business friendly states, I just wish any employees that follow those great jobs learn what's causing people and companies to flee California.
Dale Johnson 2
Exactly. California politicians think they are invincible and can do no wrong. Eventually if this attitude continues more large companies will flee. California will become a service economy of grocery stores, malls and recreational venues...that will be it. If I lived in California, I'd move.
John Taylor 1
Don't forget all the empty office space in SF and LA thanks to Covid's proven work from home. More and more companies are going to down size their office space thus less people in the business districts to keep local business alive and less corporate presence means less tax revenue for the cities. But hey, keep California California...
John Taylor 1
Same reason a bunch of big companies are moving out of Illinois. Super high business taxes, high crime rates, poor pool of potential employees, etc.
steven iltz 8
No crew base is made in stone. Airlines add and subtract crew bases on changing aircraft overnights, and economics. As a retired airline worker, commuting is a daily function of getting to your crew base to work. That's the beauty of airline careers that you can live anywhere you want, and commute to work. Too bad for those that elect to refuse to move or commute.
Boris Biggins 3
Well booo-fracking-hoooo. My wife and I didn't like ti when her company closed and we had to move to Virginia to make retirement. We didn't like it, but we did it. Grow up and get a pair, sometimes as an adult you have to do things you don't necessarily want to do. What, American is supposed to keep a hub open that no longer works for them for the sake of 10 people?
Chris B 4
AA hopefully has already bumped up hiring at other bases to accommodate the likely loss of these FA. Otherwise we're going to have mass flight cancellations.

Smart Unions saw this coming if that was happening.
1mooneymite 10
I hate the thought of older workers being forced to commute, or move. However the airline serves no one well by ignoring financial realities in a competitive world.

I also hate that CA flight attendants will move to other states, then vote in the same type of people and policies that have made CA an unattractive place to do business, keep the mess and the short sighted voters all in the same state.
Larry Kreuger 4
AA’s troubles inheriting TWAs legacy debts started their downhill slide decades ago. Their lack of competitive management has exactly zilch to do with politics in CA or anywhere else. Amazes me how folks who obviously quit reading in the fifth grade glom onto these silly media tropes about red state or blue state politics to explain away topics they are so uninformed about. Sad really.
Valerie Scott -7
Seems CA is trying to get the dead wood out of CA and into more suitable red states ( TX, Fl, AK, etc.).
Sebastian Phoenix 12
Leaving California is always a good idea, especially San Fran 3rd world s -hole
Juan Jimenez -8
Compared to what, the racist latrine that is DF/W? LOL!
dmedders 0
Stop projecting your Marxist/fascist values on us!
Thomas Francl 3
What took them so long? I moved out in 2015 and will never move back. Ever increasing taxes, government-run living, and no water. The only thing good about the state is that my girlfriend lives there, at least for awhile.
David Beattie 3
Love to see all the wing nut California haters shaking like a tuning fork struck by a hammer.

The reason AA has mostly pulled out of CA is that UA has run them out of town in a big way. UA makes a killing in SFO. There’s billions to be made doing business there. Some people concentrate on how to beat the competition and some sit around whining about how unfair the state is to them.
Joe Vasta 3
AA should be ashamed of themselves. It’s not califoria, it’s MONEY!
They will lose some of their senior crew( higher paid crew) whine and complain that they have to cancel flights until they can higher new ( read lower pay) crew.
And yes as one of you mentioned, Lax is next I’m sure
Stay tuned
john gleeson 4
higher new crew? perhaps you mean hire.
Jim Fisher 2
Joe, you are correct. Corporate greed once again.
Mark Kortum 2
AA is doing its flight attendants a favor.
Lori Anderson 2
SF is a mess, thanks to their idiot politicians
mary susan watkins 2
through the years airlines have closed bases and relocated crews to other cities or stations, while still continuing to fly in and out of that particular city..part of this might be the rumor that american is planning a new crew base in las vegas and possibly one in phoenix,which were big stations for u.s. air before the merger..i remember years ago when aa closed buffalo and any case,i have known many flight attendants who lived in one city and commuted to a crew base,usually those with 10 or 15 years or more seniority,and those same senior f/a's would bid schedules where they only flew 3-5 days per month,and the less senior, or "reserve" people picked up the slack..aa cannot afford as a company to have 400 flight attendants be given "early retirement" or be laid off..its not considered "fulough" with rights to return if a person refuses a company request..i wish them all the best and it is surprising aa (at least not mentioned in the article)is not offering SFO flight attendants ,by seniority, a chance to base out of LAX..I DONT THINK THIS HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE SATE OF CALIFORNIA!
Sebastian Phoenix 1
Leaving California is always a good idea
Valerie Scott -1
Glad you left...
ctbonesfan 1
My guess is that SFO is mainly a hub for United and LAX is gets most of its long haul flights from Asia/Pacific Airlines, so there's too much competition for AA to stay competitive there.
Valerie Scott 1
seacall2 1
The comments under this article are such so telling. AA is acting like any cutthroat albeit inept corporate entity. They will screw any higher paid employee they can in order to replace them with cheaper entry level labor.
Laws passed to empower are merely an excuse- this is purely about money, and how they treat human beings in general, which is poorly. When people are treated poorly, they tend to go after each other.
John Taylor 1
I guess these flight attendants should just learn to code...
ctbonesfan 1
My guess is that SFO is mainly a hub for United and LAX is gets most of its long haul flights from Asia/Pacific Airlines, so there's too much competition for AA to stay competitive there.
linbb -5
Sad deal as with many court decisions it does not work for some businesses in any way. CA is the birth place of some really stupid laws that end up affecting things that aways worked fine. And one being same sex bathrooms in schools.
It takes a special kind of insight to link school bathrooms to airline logistics.
Brian James 4
Please tell us which schools in California have same sex bathrooms.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Dustin Kempf 22
Same sex bathrooms on airplanes have door locks.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Jon Schwartz 0
there is no middle class in a socialist state....

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Bror Monberg 1
AA leaving SF is hardly shocking. Cali is unfriendly to business with high taxes, micro control of business operations. The crime in SF is staggering which alone is reason to relocate. Try speaking with some of the 400 relocating FA's for their opinions. It will be interesting.
Wayne Fox 1
Another reason to not Fly AA!
EMK69 1
I wished the article would have gone more in-depth as to the economic impact this would have on that area. I know of 8 businesses that have shut down operations in Calif over the past year and a half.
dmedders 1
AA is doing California FAs a them the opportunity to move back to America!
Brian Rushfeldt -1
moving out of socialist California is a great move... it is on a path to ruins so....
Valerie Scott -5
Yes, moving further away from Oligarchy fascism to a more 21st century progressive society similar to the Nordic countries. By the way, CA is fourth largest economy in the world and growing - according to Bloomberg, Forbes, US Gov, etc..
The Dude 0
Clearly a decision based on greed from AA.
The SFO employees should quit and will find work at other airlines that will treat them better.
I already didn't like AA much before, one more reason to avoid them now.
Bill Overdue 0
One need not be in the airline business to leave San Francisco, there's 100's of reasons to leave!
SkyAware123 -2
Who wants to live in a Bolshevik shithole anyways
Wayne Fox 1
Valerie Scott -3
Exactly, who would want to live in TX, Fl, AL, MS, SC?
John Taylor 2
Any sane person.
msetera -5
San Francisco. Says it all. No one wants fruity flight attendants anyway.

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Jim Fisher -4
I would think the top people in American Airlines are Republicans, as in Profits ahead of people.
Juan Jimenez -2
Virtually all of AA's senior management are diehard REPUBLICANS.
dmedders 1
Fact check: FALSE


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