American Airlines family facing an uncertain future

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by MARCUS MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @MarcusMoorewfaa

WFAA

Posted on February 2, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 2 at 9:03 AM

ARLINGTON — Tim and Shae Christakis spent Wednesday evening preparing dinner. Inside an oven, a slab of ribs, wrapped in foil.

The aroma of even more food cooking on the stove top filled the room.

"Usually we have dinner right at six," Shae said as she casually moved dishes from the counter to the sink, "but my daughter is still at school. She plays basketball and does other after-school activities."

Her 14 year-old daughter won't be home until 7 o'clock.

But the mood inside their spacious Arlington home is one of uncertainty. Tim and Shae have both worked at American Airlines for more than 20 years.

In May, it will be 26 full years with the airline for Shae; her husband has spent 23 years with American.

"When I went to work for American ... I never anticipated anything like this," Tim said as he sat at the dining room table.

News that the company plans to cut 13,000 jobs is hitting close to home, especially in this household. But for the Christakis family, it's about more than the possible end of their employment.

"I hired on when I was young. I've invested half my life with the company. You would think and hope that the company has that loyalty back to me, being a loyal employee," Tim said.

He still enjoys his job, but admits that morale at his workplace isn't what it used to be... not when there's talk of layoffs.

Tim and Shae have seen hard times with American Airlines, like the during the company's reorganization in 2003 — but this is different.

They have so many questions about what it will mean for other workers and for their own family.

Shae said she felt lucky that they can be home when their daughter gets out of school every day. All of that could change, but they certainly hope it won't.

Hanging on the living room wall is a picture of Tim, Shae and their family on a special day. They met years ago, while working together at American, and eventually married on a sandy beach in Florida. It was a good day, they reflect.

Now, they think about the difficult days that could be ahead for so many North Texans.

E-mail mmoore@wfaa.com

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