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.
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.
The Allied Pilots Association is expected to become the labor representative for pilots from both American Airlines and US Airways.
Transport Workers Union and the International Machinists Union seek to form an alliance to represent mechanics and ground workers at American Airlines.
Restructured airline says it will pay its first stock dividend in 34 years and boost pension contributions to employees.
The contract with the International Association of Machinists includes raises and furlough protection for about 11,000 workers.