Details of the new contract were not available on Friday and the new contract will need to be ratified by the 24,500 flight attendants represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.
“We are building an airline that will compete aggressively in a global marketplace,” said American chief executive Doug Parker. “Today’s tentative agreement with our flight attendants is another step forward in our integration.”
The APFA's leadership team will meet in Washington D.C. next week to review the agreement before deciding to send the contract out for a vote, the union told its members in a hotline sent out on Friday afternoon.
"The contract is by far the leading the industry with the network carriers. I think it finally brings us to where we need to be," APFA president Laura Glading said in an interview.
She credited the union negotiators and American's management team for being able to reach a deal within the 150-day time frame the two sides had previously agreed to.
"[American CEO] Doug Parker had always said he couldn't pay network wages until he had a network carrier, and now that he has one, he has definitely stepped up and shown us he is willing to do that," Glading said. "Our team had very tough decisions. They worked very hard. They were very tenacious and they made sure we were able to get everything we needed to get."
The union and the company had until today, September 19, to reach a deal on a joint bargaining agreement. If the two sides had not reached a deal, they would have gone into binding arbitration to determine a new contract.
Negotiators had been meeting almost around the clock since Sunday to try to hammer out a new contract.
"We actually were supposed to negotiate until the end of today and we realized at some point last night we had reached a deal," Glading said.