By Erika Owen
January 24, 2017
Courtesy of American Airlines

Former American Airlines employees are angry about changes to the post-employment benefit policies, which favor current employees over retirees for perks like riding standby for free. Prior to American Airlines’ merge with US Airways in December 2013, retirees received equal priority when flying standby on any brand flight. Under the new policy, current employees are favored for these free seats. For the second year since the updates, former employees have protested the policies at the American Airlines annual shareholders' meeting on June 3 in New York City.

American Airlines group chairman and chief executive Doug Parker had a few words for those upset by the changes:

The new-ish policy also removes the weighing of seniority in handing out the free seats. People eligible for the brand’s perk are awarded seats based on flight check-in times. All of this being said, Parker said that American Airlines retirees find seats on flights 76 percent of the time, mostly due to looking for planes that aren’t full.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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