American Airlines issues could impact Waterloo and Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

American Airlines issues could impact Waterloo and Dubuque


American Airlines is going through some major restructuring. Workers are being laid off and flights are being canceled. This could cause problems for those with connecting flights out of Waterloo and Dubuque.

Around 11,000 layoff warnings went out to American Airlines employees Wednesday, but company officials say they only expect 4,400 people to actually lose their jobs. Around 900 warnings went to workers in Chicago, which is the American Airlines hub for Waterloo and Dubuque.

American Airlines has been preparing for this restructuring for months. In November, the parent company of American Airlines, AMR Corporation, filed for bankruptcy protection. Since then a number of ground crew workers and mechanics have been given notice of possible layoffs. The pilots union has also been dealing with contract negotiations, which has caused a number of pilots to call in sick. More than 250 flights have already been canceled this week.

Alexyss Fogt's flights were on time, but not everyone she was flying with was so lucky.

"There was a guy next to me at the airport flying to Arkansas that had been delayed twice. He had said that there was a possibly talk American Airlines was going on strike. Whether that's true or not, I have no idea," said Fogt.

AMR is also the parent company of American Eagle, which is the airline that flies out of Waterloo and Dubuque. Company officials say American Eagle employees will not face layoffs and flights out of Waterloo and Dubuque will not be impacted.

Michael Brohawn of Baltimore Maryland was supposed to fly into Waterloo yesterday, but he wasn't able to make it.

"I had a 12:40 flight out of BWI, the airport outside of Baltimore, and probably 8:30 I received notice that it was canceled. When I went online to check all the flights it was the only one that was canceled and I had no idea why it was canceled, but it was clearly canceled well before the flight would have taken off," said Brohawn.

Brohawn's plans were delayed, but his business meeting will still happen.

"I put everything off for a day. I had to put business off for a day. I have a business meeting so we had to cancel the business meeting yesterday and come in today. Hopefully, the flight out Sunday won't have any issues," said Brohawn.

Because of the increase use of sick days by pilots, American has trimmed its September and October schedule by up to two percent to make sure it has enough pilots to operate flights.

An American Airlines spokesman says fewer than 40 percent of those getting layoff notices will lose their jobs. He says federal law requires the company to notify anyone whose position could change if they are bumped by a more senior employee whose job is eliminated.

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