He was never a big fan of business class.
As American Airlines teeters on the brink of bankruptcy in April, CEO Donald Carty goes to the unions, hat in hand, begging $1.8 billion in wage concessions from its 110,000 workers. Yet even as he's preaching his stirring, we're-all-in-this-together line, the company quietly files an SEC report outlining a luscious, salary-tripling bonus scheme and a bankruptcy-proof, $41 million pension plan for its top 45 executives. "It's the equivalent of an obscene gesture from management," says union leader John Ward. Salvaging the labor deal and likely staving off Chapter 11 in the process, AA's board kills the bonuses, and Carty resigns in disgrace.