Travelers relieved American Airlines, pilots union reached tentative deal before summer travel season

Summer travel is soon to be in full swing, and pilots and American Airlines have reached a new deal just in time for peak travel season.

American Airlines pilots had been picketing at the carrier's major hubs, including DFW International Airport after their union had voted to authorize a strike.

A representative with the pilots’ union said pilots are feeling supported after reaching a principle agreement with American Airlines

The timing couldn’t be better, as summer travel season is just starting. As the numbers show, it’s going to be a busy one, with busy ticket counters, packed security lines, and excited passengers 

"It was great, it was no worries," traveler Jennifer Macias said. 

Air travel is back at high levels. 

TSA screened more than 2.6 million people over the last week. That’s more than the last two years at this time.

"Feel totally comfortable. Again, we’re kind of passed that we feel and we’re excited to do things as a family and that includes flying," traveler Merric Polloway said.

After four years of negotiations and several worker strikes, Fort Worth-based American Airlines reached a principle agreement with the Allied Pilots Association (APA) on Friday. 


American Airlines, pilots union reach tentative deal

American Airlines and its pilots’ union have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract.

"The uncertainty for our pilots, to some degree, has been removed. Now they have something to look at and that makes a difference," said Dennis Tajer, communications director for APA.

Captain Tajer said it will take a couple weeks for a tentative agreement to be approved. 

After that, all 15,000 pilots in the union will get a copy. 

They will have the final vote.

"If everybody’s done their job on both sides, then the membership will look at this and say, "This deal is what I’ve been looking for,’" Tajer said.

American Airlines sent FOX 4 a statement that said, in part, "We have the best and most professional pilots in the business and like all American Airlines team members, they deserve to be paid well and competitively."

Passengers told FOX 4 this makes them feel confident.

"It makes me feel good. You need great pilots and great supporting staff for the pilots," Polloway said.

Especially as summer travel ramps up.

"That’ll be great for everything to settle down, and for us to be able to fly still," Macias said.

There aren’t specific details on what’s included in the agreement yet.

However, Tajer told FOX 4 that while salary increases are part of it, the big change has to deal with a better work/life balance for pilots.