With Labor Day weekend being wrapped up, many people are planning ahead for holiday travel. With recent events at one of the nation's biggest airlines, could your travel plans be affected?

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On August 30th, American Airlines flight attendants voted to authorize their union leaders to initiate a strike. This action was meant to put some pressure on the airline as they try to negotiate pay raises.

So, will this strike affect flights coming in and out of Iowa?

Even though the vote was overwhelmingly FOR a strike, these workers can't walk off the job. Yes, you've been seeing some American Airlines flight attendants picketing at some airports, but they CANNOT strike...at least right now.

There is actual a Federal Law that makes it incredibly difficult to conduct "legal strikes" for airline workers, according to official reports.

It's called the "Railway Labor Act" and under this law, the National Mediation Board (which oversees airlines and railways) has a bunch of hurdles put in place for both industry workers to overcome just so they can "reduce the likelihood of a work stoppage,” according to Ian Jefferies, the CEO of the Association of American Railroads.

The President and Congress can also step in to stop these stoppages as well.

This law claims to impose "a duty on carriers and employees to exert every reasonable effort to make and maintain collective bargaining agreements."

After this sort of strike is voted on by the airlines, there is a sort of mediation/cooling off period. According to the actual law, it is meant to postpone, "the ability of the parties to take action in bargaining disputes until they have completed an elaborate, time-consuming process involving negotiation." 

So...in laymen's terms, it's going to be a hot minute before these flight attendants can actually strike.

But will Iowa airports be affected AT ALL?!?

The Waterloo Regional Airport plays host to American Airlines with thirteen flights to Chicago a week. There has been no statement from this airport concerning the issues regarding the possible striking flight attendants. In addition, there are no flight cancellations or delays that have been announced that were caused by the goings on amongst American Airlines staff.

There are also American Airlines flights out of Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, but none of those flights are anticipated to be affected either.

Earlier this year, pilots from the airline voted to strike as well for better pay. This proved to be successful, as those negotiations guaranteed a contract that raised their pay by 40% over the next four years.

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