This story was updated at 11:45 a.m with a comment from the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association.
Delta Air Lines said Wednesday that it will pay employees $1.1 billion in profit sharing for 2017, the fourth consecutive year for which the carrier will pay profit sharing of more than $1 billion.
While the Valentine’s Day payout is no doubt cheering Delta’s 80,000 employees – it amounts to an average of about $6,000 for each of them — pilots at American Airlines are concerned because their profit sharing rate is less than at either Delta or United.
A Delta captain will get a payout of $29,000 to $59,000, according to the Allied Pilots Association, which represents 15,000 American pilots, while a United captain gets between $9,300 and $20,500 and an American captain gets $3,600 to $7,500.
Except for upper level management, captains are generally the highest paid airline employees.
Lower payouts at American result from both lower pre-tax profits and a lower award percentage, as well as from a contract, signed in 2015, that does not include profit sharing.
Since that industry-leading contract was signed, American pilots have fallen behind their peers. In 2016, the carrier went outside the contract to provide profit sharing, at a rate that existed in an American Airlines contract before the 2013 merger with US Airways. The contract becomes amendable in 2020.
The union wants to discuss higher profit sharing with management, APA spokesman Dennis Tajer said Wednesday.
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