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Minor change for AA upgrade list with new pilot contract

Minor change for AA upgrade list with new pilot contract

Old Aug 22, 23, 1:45 pm
  #1  
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Minor change for AA upgrade list with new pilot contract

Since AA has approved of the new contract with their pilots, there’s a change within concerning upgrades. Was speaking to a close friend who’s a captain with AA. He mentioned how deadheading pilots will now take top priority for business (domestic first) class or higher on the upgrade list, above any passenger holding elite status. Only deadheading pilots will jump the upgrade list, not other flight crew. It applies to only domestic flights too. I’ve heard that there might be some other minor changes to the upgrade list, but that’s the only one that he really spoke about. Changes are to happen when the contract goes in effect end of next month(?).

Ultimately this is probably more of a minor change (and aligns with what much of the rest of the industry does), but it does mean that upgrades will be even less frequent.
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Old Aug 22, 23, 1:58 pm
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Do you know if this is truly just for deadheading pilots—i.e., their AA flying schedule has them moving between stations? I am sort of all right with this, but I very much hope it’s not applicable to commuting pilots (who sometimes are described as “deadheading” but are just going to or from their base on their own time).
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Old Aug 22, 23, 3:25 pm
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Last flight had a pilot standby for the jump seat and hung out in the cockpit for the flight.

If the above is true, where does the cockpit jump seat come into this?

They get the jump seat if it's unused, else a decent seat in the cabin, or do they get the cabin 1st and the jump seat flies empty?

FYI, FWIW, code on the standby screen for the seat was "JS" From that, it might appear the JS at least currently is preferred over taking a seat in the cabin.
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Old Aug 22, 23, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by lcb2013
Since AA has approved of the new contract with their pilots, there’s a change within concerning upgrades. Was speaking to a close friend who’s a captain with AA. He mentioned how deadheading pilots will now take top priority for business (domestic first) class or higher on the upgrade list, above any passenger holding elite status. Only deadheading pilots will jump the upgrade list, not other flight crew. It applies to only domestic flights too. I’ve heard that there might be some other minor changes to the upgrade list, but that’s the only one that he really spoke about. Changes are to happen when the contract goes in effect end of next month(?).

Ultimately this is probably more of a minor change (and aligns with what much of the rest of the industry does), but it does mean that upgrades will be even less frequent.
Matching UA's Pilot Contract.

A lot of screaming when it went into effect. Not much noise since, as I'm guessing it's hard not easy to quantify other than the one off when someone in uniform is sitting in F.

https://simpleflying.com/united-pilo...00%20employees.
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Old Aug 22, 23, 3:43 pm
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I'm fine with this 🤷🏼‍♂️

When pilots have to reposition, I'd rather them be more rested than not on the other end.
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Old Aug 22, 23, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by KDCAflyer
I'm fine with this
I'm not.
When pilots have to reposition, I'd rather them be more rested than not on the other end.
Deadheading still counts as duty. Deadheading is never "rest."

Last edited by Herb687; Aug 22, 23 at 6:17 pm
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Old Aug 22, 23, 6:17 pm
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I don't see a problem with this in terms of upgrades, but I believe UA's policy also prioritizes deadheading pilots over paid F customers. I've seen cases on their forum where a paid pax was downgraded in a sold out cabin to make room for deadheading crew. If this is now the case, AA needs more fair compensation for downgrades than fare difference for a same-day Y purchase (at least do fare difference at time of purchase, or preferably a voucher worth more than the fare difference).
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Old Aug 22, 23, 7:56 pm
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Well...since it's going to happen, and we have no say in the matter...

I guess it doesn't really matter how I feel. Which is, if it's must fly, it's kinda okay. If someone chooses to live in another station than they're domiciled in; it's your choice, suck it up and fly in Y.

When you're drowning, you really don't care if someone pours a glass of water on your head. In this vein, it just means I will die #1 on the list more often.

All the best, James
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Old Aug 22, 23, 8:53 pm
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Any idea the history of the Dead Heading term?
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Old Aug 22, 23, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by fenx
Matching UA's Pilot Contract.

A lot of screaming when it went into effect. Not much noise since, as I'm guessing it's hard not easy to quantify other than the one off when someone in uniform is sitting in F.

https://simpleflying.com/united-pilo...00%20employees.
I flew United a few days ago from SAT-IAH and two pilots were in the first class cabin with about twenty on the upgrade list. One was captain and one was FO. It sounded like they were heading out on the same flight at IAH, though I am not positive if that is why they were in first.
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Old Aug 22, 23, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by AggieNzona
Any idea the history of the Dead Heading term?
Wikipedia redirects to "Dead Mileage"

https://www.etymonline.com/word/Deadhead suggests it's a term from the railroads circa 1866, taken from 1841 when it meant "non-paying spectator" (or you like the band "Grateful Dead" a lot.)
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Old Aug 23, 23, 5:09 am
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Originally Posted by reft
Last flight had a pilot standby for the jump seat and hung out in the cockpit for the flight.

If the above is true, where does the cockpit jump seat come into this?

They get the jump seat if it's unused, else a decent seat in the cabin, or do they get the cabin 1st and the jump seat flies empty?

FYI, FWIW, code on the standby screen for the seat was "JS" From that, it might appear the JS at least currently is preferred over taking a seat in the cabin.
The order is generally first/business class > economy > jump seat, though some might prefer a jump seat to economy. Jump seats aren’t generally used if there are open seats in the back (unless for training/evaluation, of course). As a non-pilot who could jump seat, I’d often ask to jump seat on short flights even with a confirmed business class ticket because being in the cockpit was way cooler. Occasionally on longer flights I’d sit in the cabin for most of the flight and then move into the cockpit just before landing.
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Old Aug 23, 23, 5:25 am
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I’m okay with this as long as passengers who paid for first class aren’t bumped. Also, crew member who choose to live outside of base should not be allowed to take priority over anyone.

Last edited by CLTRob; Aug 23, 23 at 5:31 am
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Old Aug 23, 23, 6:18 am
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Originally Posted by CLTRob
I’m okay with this as long as passengers who paid for first class aren’t bumped. Also, crew member who choose to live outside of base should not be allowed to take priority over anyone.
There is a difference between Deadheading and Commuting. They do not go on duty until they get to base to start work. If they have to position to work - if they require a crew member to go to a flight that needs a crew then it is questionable - if the contracts stipulate that they must be in F, and if the F cabin is full then people will have to be moved. I suspect that there will be less gate upgrades available or if these have been awarded - these might be taken away. If a crew has timed out somewhere or have fallen sick - they will have to get a crew member on a plane as fast possible. I suspect that they always did put them in F but now it is part of the new contract.
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Old Aug 23, 23, 8:24 am
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not an issue for me.. but what is an issue for me is AA trying to sell me and others an upgrade,at the upgrade window
instead of processing my upgrade
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