FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines today issued the following statement in response to a news conference in Miami held by several pilots regarding the company`s uniform policy:
Any suggestion that American Airlines is harassing or discriminating against pilots who speak out on safety issues is ludicrous. American Airlines routinely addresses any safety issue brought forward by individual pilots through a number of avenues and works continuously with the Allied Pilots Association Safety Committee on legitimate issues brought forward by the union.
Recently, two American Airlines pilots who appeared in television news stories in uniform without permission, in violation of the long-standing policy precluding such action, received letters reminding them of the policy and warning against further violations. Other pilots who have appeared in subsequent television stories on the exact same subject and saying virtually the same things—but without uniform—received no letter or action of any kind, including one of the pilots holding the news conference today.
No action has been taken because of the media appearance itself or the subject matter, only for violation of the uniform regulation, which also applies to all uniformed employees at the airline.
The American Airlines Flight Manual rules on Uniforms and Appearance states: “Crewmembers may not wear uniforms when off duty except in transit to or from work, attending funerals for AA employees, or special events approved by Flight Department Management.” These are the same set of rules which preclude pilots in uniform from consuming alcoholic beverages or entering bars or saloons.
A violation of this rule would result in a letter which restates the rule, reminds the employee that they must have prior approval from Flight Department Management and notifies the employee that further misconduct or violations of policies will result in disciplinary action. The letter is the only action taken and remains in the employee`s file for two years.
This policy has been part of the Flight Manual for many years. In addition, last year a memo regarding the uniform policy was sent to all pilots reminding them of the requirement for prior approval.