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TheStreet Open House

US Airways Pilots Bothered by List

Stocks in this article: LCC DAL

Updated with closing stock price.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- A pilot seniority integration list created after the 2005 merger between US Airways (LCC) and America West made just one side happy.

The other side was so angry that pilots left the union that represented them for 57 years for a new one, the U.S. Airline Pilots Association.

As Mike Flores, president of the US Airways chapter of the Association of Flight Attendants, has said: "In a successful seniority integration, everybody is pissed off.

Top 10 Airlines

"That's what happened at PSA and Piedmont," Flores said, referring to two predecessor carriers acquired by US Airways in 1987. "But in the America West merger, you have one side that is ecstatic and one side that is pissed off. That's how you know the arbitrator screwed up."

For investors, the pilots' inability to agree on a seniority list has delayed contract talks that will result in higher costs and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

A solution seems to demand a seniority list that nobody likes. And so, a modest proposal follows, likely to anger pilots from both the former US Airways, known as the east, and from America West, known as the west.

First, under the list proposed by arbitrator George Nicolau, nothing changes for the top 500 east pilots, who were flying widebody jets. But why was it assumed that west pilots shouldn't fly widebodies? If west pilots have sufficient seniority, they logically should be on the widebody list.

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