It's important to know the background of AA. It's a four headed beast of Legacy AA, TWA, America West, and US Airways. Everyone has been screwed over in some form.
US Airways and America West merged in the early 2000s. The Nicalau Award, infamous in aviation and airline history, was extremely controversial. It said that the two pilot lists will be blended in the same relative seniority, so if you were 30% on the old list, you'd be 30% on the new list. However, US Airways was a very old airline, and AWA was a very young airline. Therefore, you'd have pilots who had been on property 5 years, being put over pilots who have been on property 20 years. As you've heard, seniority is everything.
The unions refused to ratify the arbitration decision, and instead concentrated their hate and distrust between each other. This lasted for almost 10 years. With no ability to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement, neither union could move forward and it got nasty as each one blamed the other for their woes. For the line pilots, it mainly meant frozen pay rates and work rules for a decade. Management played off this and rode the cheap labor for years, as the airlines operated as two separate companies under one paint job.
TWA was on the brink of complete liquidation. Not a normal bankruptcy where you renegotiate debt, but at the point where the metal was going to be scrapped to satisfy the debts. Instead, AA bought them, but the pilots list was simply stapled to the bottom of the AA seniority list. One guy I talked to lost 12 years of seniority overnight. So they were pissed.
Legacy AA had something called the B Scale. In order to get a new contract, a contract was signed where for the first 5 (?) years, you were paid less than the A scale guys. No difference in equipment operated or work rules, but you'll get paid less so the pilots already on property could get paid more. "You'll be senior someday" mentality. Then came all the bankruptcies, frozen A funds (pensions pilots were banking on) and pay cuts.
The moral of the story? EVERYONE on property got screwed over in some form. Some pilots cannot get over the past.
So why do Pilots hate Doug Parker? Is it deserved? Yes and no. Keep in mind, he was CEO of America West and rode the CEO wave to the top of AA.
Some pilots here are so bitter, they want the world to burn. They have been on the wrong side of the airline industry for 30-40 years. They've lost houses, their domiciles closed, been through multiple divorces, owe(d) child support and alimony, did not have the military, and have always had an awful relationship with management. There are no saving this pilot group, you can never make them happy.
Then we have our contract. The 2013 contract was written to include programs that didn't exist yet. Long story short is they turned off some stuff that was made obsolete in the contract, the replacement sucked, the pilot group wanted it back, the company said OK but we can't program all the stuff in the new contract. Pilot group said we don't care, and thus everything was put on hold to re-activate programs that had been de-integrated and shut down. A scheduling mistake in 2017 solidified the non-implementation, as the pilot group got HUGE work rule changes in agreement for dropping all grievances against the non implementation of the contract. BUT management has implemented items that help them, but none that help the pilot group.
So, now we're in my personal opinion. Should DP be fired? From a leadership point of view, he's lost most, if not every work group. Ed Bastian and DAL have figured out labor relations. Oscar Munoz has figured out how to do it at UAL. AA seems behind the times, sticking with labor and negotiating tactics that the worst of the industry invented. They preach a "new American" but hired the same company negotiator that has been at the center point of all the awful combative labor relations (Jerry Glass.) So you have a bitter pilot group, and a management philosophy of more of the same. So the CEO talks a good talk, but actions are pointing towards another long, nasty "same ol same ol" company culture. Nobody believes we're going to overtake UAL or DAL with Doug in charge. Motivation isn't low, it's more like do your job and go home. There's no real reason to go the extra mile, or go above and beyond. And it seems like management is OK with that.
So again, should DP be fired? Probably, but only if we can guarantee his replacement is better. And then the new guy needs to clean house of the middle management that still operates like it's in the early 90s.
Overall, I do like it here. They've treated me well. I live in base, bid reserve, and worked 5 days this month, for 76 hours of pay. I've been on property for 2 years and can hold Captain later this year. But I do union work in Contract Compliance and new hire mentor, so I see a lot of the management-first solutions often, especially in Crew Scheduling.