It’s no April Fools’ Day joke.
American Airlines will give its 25,000 flight attendants a six percent pay raise on April 1, the company announced on Wednesday.
The Fort Worth-based carrier said it was adjusting the flight attendants’ pay rates now in advance of a contract clause that will go into effect after United Airlines reaches a new deal with its flight attendants. Under the flight attendants contract signed in December 2014, American was supposed to adjust pay scales once United reached a new joint contract for its flight attendants.
“We are making this adjustment now because none of us expected our flight attendants to have to wait this long to receive that increase, and it remains unclear when United will reach a joint agreement with its flight attendants,” American chief executive Doug Parker said in a letter sent to flight attendants on Wednesday afternoon.
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The Association of Professional Flight Attendants applauded American’s decision to raise pay rates.
“I’m happy to see that management is finally recognizing everything flight attendants do to make American Airlines successful,” said current flight attendants union president Marcus Gluth. “We work very hard to make our company the best in the industry and we deserve to be compensated accordingly.”
With the increase, flight attendants with more than 16 years with American will earn $60.13 per hour, up from $56.69 per hour. A new hire flight attendant will make $26.16 per hour, up from $24.67.
Once United reaches a new deal with its flight attendants, American will work with the APFA to determine what the actual contract adjustment should be.
“If the increase we’ve offered turns out to be too low, we will adjust your pay rates further at that time,” Parker said. “If the adjustment was too high, we will not seek to lower the new rates.”