Events outside American Airlines' control ultimately pushed the Fort Worth-based carrier into bankruptcy, but it was decisions by company executives that paved the way by leaving American outmaneuvered, analysts and experts say. Here are three turning points on the way to the Nov. 29 filing.
Market forces: Higher labor costs, a global economic slowdown, high fuel prices and a credit downgrade were factors in the board's decision to declare bankruptcy.
Executive pay/morale: "Pull Together -- Win Together" dissolved amid millions in stock bonuses that destroyed good will between executives and rank-and-file employees.
Strategic decisions: American delayed upgrading to a newer, more efficient fleet, and declined to pursue a merger, even as other airlines did.
The two sides enter into a letter of intent to settle a dispute over booking fees.
Nine months after the merger, flight attendants are negotiating a new joint contract while pilots and ground workers are taking steps to form joint bargaining units.
At issue are the fees that American and other airlines pay travel reservation systems to display flights and make bookings.
The breakdown in talks means that larger regional jets will be placed with another carrier.
Starting after Labor Day, retired workers will have lower priority than active workers for getting available seats on flights.
The Air Line Pilots Association presented a new proposal to the regional carrier last week.