Labor Union

Allied Pilots Association

Allied Pilots Association logo (link)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2019):

Revenue: $51,517,121
Expenses: $44,226,770
Assets: $68,440,633


Fort Worth, Texas


Labor Union




Eric Ferguson

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Allied Pilots Association (APA) is a labor union representing 15,000 American Airlines pilots. The union was formed after a split from the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) in 1962. 1

Over the last 20 years, the APA has been involved in continual lawsuits and labor agitation against American Airlines. The New York Times has stated: “From its founding in 1963 through recent weeks, [the union’s] members and leaders have made disunity their hallmark.” 2

Disputes with American Airlines

Labor Actions

In 1997, President Bill Clinton issued an executive order to settle a contract dispute between American Airlines and the Allied Pilots Association over concerns that a pilots strike could damage the economy. 3

In 1999, American Airlines sued the APA for damages after an unlawful union strike. The previous year, American Airlines had acquired Reno Air and informed the APA that there would be a delay in the integration of union pilots into its expanded fleet. The APA responded with a “sick-out” industrial action in which numerous union pilots called in sick, and the airline lost millions of dollars due to flight cancellations. The APA was eventually placed in contempt of court for using experts who gave wildly inaccurate estimates of the damage done to American Airlines by the sick-out. 4 The union was eventually ordered to pay American Airlines $45.5 million. 5

On January 30, 2020, the union announced it was suing American Airlines to stop all flights between the United States and China over concerns about COVID-19. At the time, COVID-19 was largely contained to China and had not yet reached global pandemic status. 6 American Airlines cancelled its China flights the following day. 7

In September 2021, the APA announced plans to picket American Airlines due to overscheduling, fatigue, and a lack of hotels for pilots. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association also announced that it was under discussion to picket Southwest Airlines for similar reasons. 8

COVID Vaccine Mandate

As of early 2022, all pilots within the Allied Pilots Association are officially required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in accordance with federal mandates for federal contractors unless they apply for exemption for health or religious reasons. On January 4, 2022, the deadline for vaccination, the APA released a statement saying that “no pilot will be fired or disciplined in any way tomorrow based upon their failure to comply with the vaccination or exemption requirement by today’s deadline.” Additionally, all applications for exemptions had been approved thus far. 9

Disabled Pilots Controversy

In 2014, the Allied Pilots Association locked 233 disabled members out of its “challenge and response” discussion forum on its website. The move triggered a revolt by disabled union members who claimed that there were numerous discriminatory APA policies, including the removal of members from APA seniority rankings after five years of disability. 10

Proposed Air Line Pilots Association Merger

In 2016, a group of pilots in the Allied Pilots Association announced plans to push for the APA to re-merge with the Air Line Pilots Association after ALPA secured better salaries and benefits for its pilots. One APA leader said: “There’s a well-founded belief that APA, as an independent union, underperforms… It can’t compete with a national union with the resources and political connections and the size of ALPA.” The proposal was ultimately defeated. 11

Political Donations

In the 2020 election cycle, the Allied Pilots Association’s political committees spent $1 million on political donations, by far the most in its history. The largest recipients were the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee. In the 2018 cycle, the APA spent $510,000, after never previously spending more than $428,000 in all previous cycles going back to 1994. 12

Historically, APA-aligned committees have donated to Democratic and Republican candidates at roughly equal levels. In the 2016 election cycle, the APA slightly favored Republicans with 58 percent of donations. During the next two cycles, when APA spending increased considerably, Republicans were favored with 62 percent and 61 percent of donations. 13


  1. Josephs, Leslie. “American Airlines pilots’ union plans to picket airports as tension over fatigue, overscheduling heats up.” CNBC. September 8, 2021. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  2. Bryant, Adam. “Pilots’ Rifts Create Hurdle to a Contract.” New York Times. February 14, 1997. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  3. “Executive Order 13036 – Establishing an Emergency Board To Investigate a Dispute Between American Airlines and Its Employees Represented by the Allied Pilots Association.” American Presidency Project. February 15, 1997. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  4. “American Airlines, Inc. v. Allied Pilots Ass’n.” Case Text. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  5. Swoboda, Frank. “Pilots Union Fined $45 Million.” Washington Post. April 16, 1999. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  6. “Allied Pilots Association Files Suit to Halt American Airlines’ U.S.-China Service.” Allied Pilots Association. January 30, 2020. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  7. [1] Tate, Curtis. “Delta, American, United to suspend all China mainland flights as coronavirus crisis grows.” USA Today. January 31, 2020. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  8. Josephs, Leslie. “American Airlines pilots’ union plans to picket airports as tension over fatigue, overscheduling heats up.” CNBC. September 8, 2021. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  9. “Vaccine Mandate Update.” Allied Pilots Association. January 4, 2022. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  10. Richwerger, Kurt. “Member Discussion Board closed off with No Explanation: 233 Disabled Pilots Barred Allied Pilots Association website.” Association for Union Democracy. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  11. Schlangenstein, Mary. “Unhappy American pilots to push union switch after five decades.” Chicago Tribune. October 24, 2016. Accessed January 19, 2022.
  12. “PAC Profile: Allied Pilots Association.” Open Secrets. Accessed January 19, 2022.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 1964

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Jun Form 990 $51,517,121 $44,226,770 $68,440,633 $16,577,103 N $41,776,637 $7,426,936 $1,029,053 $5,842,108 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $41,093,576 $39,072,693 $49,906,326 $5,356,157 N $32,402,263 $6,870,823 $872,121 $6,136,415 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $37,252,652 $35,199,060 $48,385,789 $5,418,596 N $29,998,254 $5,931,618 $751,242 $4,280,459 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $32,624,867 $29,341,637 $44,603,034 $4,398,611 Y $27,126,067 $4,430,046 $690,832 $3,968,310
    2015 Jun Form 990 $22,342,110 $31,659,487 $44,462,594 $7,643,927 Y $17,293,587 $3,152,788 $750,014 $4,016,213 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $20,761,703 $22,985,315 $50,676,695 $2,949,157 Y $15,902,036 $2,682,854 $898,135 $2,834,966 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $41,921,278 $32,355,938 $61,374,300 $13,439,137 Y $17,160,088 $23,121,199 $1,138,876 $3,831,960 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $23,417,064 $22,208,042 $43,659,316 $6,001,948 N $20,261,874 $1,832,517 $999,900 $3,417,742 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $19,709,649 $19,044,514 $43,476,737 $6,792,412 N $16,168,716 $2,352,102 $961,657 $2,840,868 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Allied Pilots Association

    14600 TRINITY BLVD STE 500
    FORT WORTH, TX 76155-2559