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It appears to be the end of the line for a group of former Pam American World Airways flight attendants who have spent the past seven years battling their new employer, Delta Air Lines, over the loss of seniority. Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal on Wednesday upheld a Miami-Dade Circuit judge’s dismissal of their case. The flight attendants were among the 6,600 employees hired by Atlanta-based Delta when it bought Pan Am’s Northeast shuttle operation and European routes in 1991. The flight attendants claimed that shortly after the deal closed and they began to bid for flights, they found Delta reneged on promises of a “fair and equitable” contract. They argued that many of them lost as much as half of the seniority they had gained while working at Pan Am. Seniority is significant because it governs promotions and salaries as well as the number of hours worked and vacation days permitted. In August 1994, the flight attendants filed a breach of contract lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against Delta. Their attorneys argued that an ambiguity existed in the contract because the new hires had no way of knowing whether the deal they signed with Delta would be fair and equitable until all of them were integrated into Delta’s seniority list. That ambiguity, they argued, precluded the trial court judge from tossing the case out. The appellate court, in a short, three-page ruling, disagreed. It said the formula that Delta used was unambiguous. The panel added that because the attendants accepted and agreed to be placed on the seniority list according to Delta’s formula, which they had been made aware of ahead of time, there was no breach of contract. The husband of one of the flight attendants who was out of town on a flight said he believed the ruling would only serve to continue to alienate the former Pan Am flight attendants from their Delta counterparts. “I don’t think the [Pan Am attendants] will ever feel completely comfortable at Delta,” said the man, who didn’t want to be identified. Stuart Goldman, the Miami attorney who represented the flight attendants, would say only that he and his clients would be examining their options. However, David Ross of Greenberg Traurig, who represents Delta, said he didn’t see many options for further appeal. “Hopefully, we can put this litigation behind us and the company can move on,” Ross said.

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