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Topic: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-01-19 16:06:38 and read 18093 times.

Hi all. I must admit, before the "big announcement", I would happily bet a kidney for a livery with some changes in the "AA" titles along the fuselage, a different way of display of the tri-color lines, and a new tail and aft section with some art related with the flag of the U.S.-
I was really sure about that because I thought it will be a huge waste of money to make a full repaint of a fleet of that size, and the amount of money involved in the operation ( considering also the hours of the plane sitting in the ground for the new paint ) will discourage any further "innovation" from the AA big guys.... well, obviously I was WAAAAAAY Wrong....

But still I have my doubts.... isn't this whole repaint program a dumb way of throwing away money that could be used in a better way ?

Your thoughts ?

Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BMI727
Posted 2013-01-19 16:19:25 and read 18044 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
But still I have my doubts.... isn't this whole repaint program a dumb way of throwing away money that could be used in a better way ?

Branding is a very legitimate cost to run any business. The entire airline must be revamped in most aspects, and to get the most out of that it should be reflected in the branding. Planes are still having to be maintained anyway, so for some the painting doesn't add much to the downtime, although I suspect the airline will make a point to roll out the brand quickly.

Furthermore, a Boeing study found that it is likely slightly cheaper to have planes painted versus polished.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: LoneStarMike
Posted 2013-01-19 16:27:28 and read 17963 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
isn't this whole repaint program a dumb way of throwing away money that could be used in a better way ?

FWIW, Mike Boyd sure thinks it is.

Consultant Mike Boyd thinks AA rebranding ‘completely unnecessary,’ ‘professionally irresponsible’

Quote:


It’s hard to have any sense of humor when poor management judgment like this comes to light. The competition should be very reassured.

A completely unnecessary re-branding and re-packaging of airplanes, gates, airports, backwalls, and all the rest will cost tens – maybe hundreds – of millions. At a time when retirees aren’t sure of healthcare, employees are losing jobs, and the competition is ready to pounce, to do what Horton is doing is not only an ego trip, but completely professionally irresponsible. It won’t generate a single new passenger. It won’t make American (no longer “AA,” I see) one bit more competitive. If employees have low respect for senior management – this is clearly a symptom of the cause.

Very disappointing.

LoneStarMike

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-01-19 16:28:49 and read 17933 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
Furthermore, a Boeing study found that it is likely slightly cheaper to have planes painted versus polished.

Oh, that's interesting...

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
Branding is a very legitimate cost to run any business.

I agree... but sometimes the timing to actually DO the things is not the best ?... I think there are some "ghosts" of a not so long time ago flying around the financial troubles that AA had ( although this new image could precisely help to forget the difficult times....)

Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: crAAzy
Posted 2013-01-19 16:31:58 and read 17897 times.

I think it's a safe bet that all new planes delivered will be in the new livery, but I'm still wondering if AA actually plans to repaint all their existing aircraft or if they plan on working the new livery onto some of them with the bare metal (a hybrid type look similar to what they did with some of the TWA birds).

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-01-19 16:33:01 and read 17878 times.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 2):
FWIW, Mike Boyd sure thinks it is.

He seems to be really disappointed !!

He add in his phrase a lot of things that come with rebranding ( beside the planes ) and that will cost, like he says, hundreds of millions...

G.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: crAAzy
Posted 2013-01-19 16:38:47 and read 17795 times.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 2):

FWIW, Mike Boyd sure thinks it is.

Funny but history shows that re-branding is something the majority of US (and other) airlines have felt was necessary after significant events in company history such as BK (UA, DL, US, JL, NW, etc) and there have always been those who argue it's a waste of money.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: JayBird
Posted 2013-01-19 16:42:58 and read 17774 times.

Generally speaking, I would say that a rebranding when coming out of Chapter 11 is good. It signals a new beginning.

Specifically regarding American and what the rebranding effort reproduced - a total waste of money - and only makes people scratch their heads and wonder what the hell the senior executives at American were thinking when they were pitched and accepted the redesign. Another fake flag on the tail a la US Airways and a disregard for the eagle - they might have well have left the eagle out all together.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Lufthansa
Posted 2013-01-19 17:10:44 and read 17566 times.

I disagree with boyd on this one. For a start, the old AA is associated with a not so good level of service and product and particularly in the premium classes long haul, this needs to change. So a new image (i won't debate that tail here as i am in the 'it needs work ' camp) is an opportunity to show how you have moved away from that. with AA investing all this money in new international premium cabins, they should also show that they have changed from the old AA. So i disagree that it won't generate any new passengers, I think it was fact time for new branding.

That being said, that tail is a bit loud for a lot of non-americans and with them lays the opportunity to sell lots of F and J tickets on long haul flights. But the new lounges, type face, etc...all of that is very necessary.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-19 17:16:14 and read 17504 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
isn't this whole repaint program a dumb way of throwing away money that could be used in a better way ?

One thing to consider—the ongoing expenses paid to the design firm over the past 14 months would have had to have been approved in the budgets presented to the bankruptcy court. Any creditor could have challenged these expenses at any point. None did, that I'm aware of.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-01-19 17:16:23 and read 17503 times.

We've seen on this board that planes have to be eventually repainted anyway, new colors or not. Each plane will simply be painted in the new colors when their time comes due for a repaint. Perhaps the process will be accelerated a bit. I heard the same questions when Delta repainted their planes from the old colors to the current colors. First paint the planes that need repainting the most.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: contrails
Posted 2013-01-19 17:21:10 and read 17475 times.

I think we'll find out in a couple of years, or maybe sooner, if this was a waste of money. My personal opinion is that someone at AA needs to have a brain scan.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: bonusonus
Posted 2013-01-19 17:40:50 and read 17348 times.

How much will AA's fuel costs increase if they repaint all of their bare metal planes with a full exterior's worth of paint?

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: JoePatroni707
Posted 2013-01-19 17:44:12 and read 17319 times.

To some extent the cost of "repainting" is offset by the fact the AA has 100's of new airplanes coming over the next few years, those will come standard in the new livery, several 100's will be retired and never see the new livery. I would guess most of the repaints will come as aircrafts go in for heavy C checks and the like, which they would likely be repainted and polished irregardless of the livery. So again that cost is offset. As much as I loved the AA livery of past, it was time to rebrand.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2013-01-19 17:46:52 and read 17304 times.

Yes, yes it is..................

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: rfields5421
Posted 2013-01-19 17:48:32 and read 17284 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
isn't this whole repaint program a dumb way of throwing away money that could be used in a better way ?

I'm looking at the two ways.

Living in the DFW area - we pretty much have to take AA for many destinations - no real choice. So for us, it really doesn't mean much.

For competitive markets like London, Europe, SEA, ORD, JFK - the new repaint says "We've got a new product - new exterior, new interior. We're not just sitting back and pushing the same old tired aircraft experience." It gets people to look at AA who had given up before.

Note - Delta, United/CO, US Airways - all have come out with new paint schemes after bankruptcy - to announce the revived operation. So a new paint scheme is pretty much SOP after a bankruptcy/ merger.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: MrCazzy
Posted 2013-01-19 17:52:16 and read 17246 times.

I heard it is partly because the 787 is not make from metal and in order for the fleet to match they would have to change to a painted look

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2013-01-19 18:02:44 and read 17200 times.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 8):

Boyd is 100% spot on.

American is no longer AA.

The cost implications are sickening to think about.

The livery is a cheap, tacky, unimaginative swap around of symbolism fueled by insipid corporate spin that does not, in any way shape or form, reflect the American heritage nor what its customers see as iconic. I nearly spat my coffee out watching those marketing videos on AAs (or should I say Americans) YouTube channel.

Bogus.

Worse than anything, it's a sign that AA management has lost its way for good. Professionally irresponsible is almost too kind of a description.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: ADent
Posted 2013-01-19 18:03:53 and read 17188 times.

As a cheapskate I would say it is a waste.

But big companies spend millions a dollars a year on marketing and painting all the planes to match is a valuable marketing expenditure.

Take a look at the United Airlines planes. They had planes in 4 liveries after the merger and the many of the battleship grey planes looked BAD. They quickly got everything painted (The sCO planes were easy of course) - signalling to the consumer they can get their act together on some things.

It is common to repaint after Bankruptcy - it is shows a fresh start. Plus the 787s needed a new livery, and the polished planes take a lot of labor to keep shiny (and they just laid off much of that labor).

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Roseflyer
Posted 2013-01-19 18:07:11 and read 17174 times.

The new paint is basically required for the A320s and 787s on order. You can't easily polish an A320 and can't polish a 787. Also the new livery will be far cheaper to maintain for AA. The paint used nowadays is quite light especially in a single layer. The reason for starting with the 77W is that Boeing doesn't want to polish airplanes, so they charge extra. A basic three color livery comes standard, but four color liveries, decals and polishing costs extra. Rumor has it that with the 77Ws being brand new order configurations, AA wasn't going to get a good price like Boeing offered on the follow on 737 orders.

AA has one of the cheapest and lightest liveries. There is a reason no other airline is polishing planes any more. Paint is lighter and beneficial to the airplane. The business case for polished airplanes is no longer good.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-01-19 18:16:17 and read 17116 times.

As long as some of the new a/c coming into the fleet (787/A320) will have to have a PAINT job anyway, as opposed to the polished metal, how is it a waste to come up with a new livery for the entire fleet?


Having said that, this particular livery looks half-assed to me........where is the class that the old livery portrayed? As I mentioned before, the tail looks like something out of an airline disaster movie and the grey just looks, well.......grey. The paint is a better fit on the U.S.S. Missouri rather than an airliner. They could have used the silvery looking grey that NW was using at the last and come out much better.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: NWAdeicer
Posted 2013-01-19 18:38:30 and read 16987 times.

I think the new paint scheme looks great. Unlike the sorry ass paint scheme Delta has. Let's see, paint the plane white, throw on some block letters. Hey, at least the white really brings out the soot and grime, at least they got that going for them.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-01-19 18:48:46 and read 16925 times.

But if the block letters spelled out 'Northwest' instead of 'Delta', would it suddenly look OK?  

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: phxa340
Posted 2013-01-19 18:49:39 and read 16921 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 17):
Worse than anything, it's a sign that AA management has lost its way for good. Professionally irresponsible is almost too kind of a description.

This is professionally responsible - AAs image is trashed, rebranding will at least help by having some people give them another shot.

End of story - you have to spend money to make money.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-01-19 19:02:38 and read 16823 times.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 21):
I think the new paint scheme looks great.

I guess you would. Anything GREY is ok, huh?  

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BMI727
Posted 2013-01-19 19:15:18 and read 17293 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 3):
I think there are some "ghosts" of a not so long time ago flying around the financial troubles that AA had

...hence the new branding.

Quoting JayBird (Reply 7):
Specifically regarding American and what the rebranding effort reproduced - a total waste of money - and only makes people scratch their heads and wonder what the hell the senior executives at American were thinking when they were pitched and accepted the redesign.

Whether or not the rebranding is a success or a waste of money has basically nothing to do with the brand itself. The success or failure will be based on whether the underlying costs and services really are improved from the old AA or are just more of the same.

Quoting bonusonus (Reply 12):
How much will AA's fuel costs increase if they repaint all of their bare metal planes with a full exterior's worth of paint?

Less than the costs of maintaining polished planes, which apparently involves some rather nasty chemicals.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 17):
American is no longer AA.

It better not be, otherwise there will be more problems ahead.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 17):
Worse than anything, it's a sign that AA management has lost its way for good.

Actually the old planes, labor unrest, high costs, and losses quarter after quarter were the signs that AA lost their way.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: NWAdeicer
Posted 2013-01-19 19:21:05 and read 17379 times.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 22):
But if the block letters spelled out 'Northwest' instead of 'Delta', would it suddenly look OK?  

Actually, unlike you, I can (could) be critical of my original employer NWA. I wasn't a fan of the "bowling shoe" paint scheme. I did like their last version with the silver paint, red tail and "NWA" logo. OMG, LOOK! Bangkok is wide open for tomorrow! Go Go !

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: NWAdeicer
Posted 2013-01-19 19:26:48 and read 17613 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 24):
I guess you would. Anything GREY is ok, huh?  

Yes, actually. Anything looks better than plain white. Sorry to hurt your feelings.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: AA94
Posted 2013-01-19 19:58:59 and read 17468 times.

Quoting JayBird (Reply 7):
Generally speaking, I would say that a rebranding when coming out of Chapter 11 is good. It signals a new beginning.

Exactly. A rebranding at this point is natural.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 15):
For competitive markets like London, Europe, SEA, ORD, JFK - the new repaint says "We've got a new product - new exterior, new interior. We're not just sitting back and pushing the same old tired aircraft experience." It gets people to look at AA who had given up before.

  

Though some say "I don't care about how the plane looks, I want the service to be good etc. etc.," a rebranding is a physical way of showing change; that AA is attempting to move on from the negative components of its past and become a more vibrant, more competitive airline.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 17):
The livery is a cheap, tacky, unimaginative swap around of symbolism fueled by insipid corporate spin that does not, in any way shape or form, reflect the American heritage nor what its customers see as iconic. I nearly spat my coffee out watching those marketing videos on AAs (or should I say Americans) YouTube channel.

I couldn't disagree more. While from a purist perspective I was a fan of the old livery and everything it stood for, it also is a reminder one of the more trying periods in AA's history, especially the eleven or so years post-9/11. If AA follows through with its promises and delivers a superior onboard experience, customers won't care about the American heritage or what's "iconic." They'll care about the present, and the new livery is AA of the present.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):
Actually the old planes, labor unrest, high costs, and losses quarter after quarter were the signs that AA lost their way.

  

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 19):

The new paint is basically required for the A320s and 787s on order. You can't easily polish an A320 and can't polish a 787.

  

The new livery was a necessity anyway. Combined with the bankruptcy exit, the timing was ideal for a refresh.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: AirCalSNA
Posted 2013-01-19 19:59:20 and read 17400 times.

Boyd's comments were silly. Neither he nor anyone else can predict whether the rebranding will or will not bring in new passengers, or allow American to hold on to its current passengers, which is the minimum that American would need to survive. The last decade has seen tremendous consolidation in the industry and extreme competition among airlines to be perceived as cutting-edge and innovative. Branding is a big part of shaping the public's perception, and it is quite reasonable to believe that creating a new image is a necessary investment in growing the business. It's also quite reasonable to believe that failing to update and refresh American's image will lead to a slow death. That's enough to justify the rebranding decision, and there is no way to guarantee that money on other things would be any more effective at saving AA.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-01-19 20:04:38 and read 17424 times.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 27):
Yes, actually. Anything looks better than plain white. Sorry to hurt your feelings.

Like plain grey?? Kinda has an unfinished look to me. And don't worry about hurting my feelings. It would take considerably more than that. Truth be known, it took awhile for the current DL livery to grown on me, but it eventually did. I still would rather see a real widget incorporated but they don't ask me about that (or you, either, apparently). I would rather even see the lettering in a larger font, depending on the size of the a/c. Actually, it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they went back to the "widget" livery.

But, this is about the AMERICAN livery, isn't it? The tail is tacky and if they had to do the fuselage in grey, use something with a more metallic look to it (as NW's was or even the Skyteam birds). The block letters maybe should have been in red and the new logo, from a distance, DOES look like Greyhound's, which is probably not a look you want.

Sorry.....did I hurt YOUR feelings?

[Edited 2013-01-19 20:07:48]



And here's one for you.........I'd like to see this a/c, again, in DL's livery.....




[Edited 2013-01-19 20:13:48]

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: LTBEWR
Posted 2013-01-19 20:10:40 and read 17304 times.

As noted, the new a/c will not be able to be polished as will no longer be entirely aluminum skinned. Remember their A300's had parts of them that were painted and not polished due to the materials used.

If I am correct, the current AA livery is about 40 years old (from mid-1970's?) and a bit dated in the eyes of the public so probably due for replacement. As noted by some, it is also recognizing that AA needed to change its look to reflect a different airline that it was a generation ago. Yes, it may be a waste of money from one perspective, especially to line employees, but overall the costs of the branding change will be a relatively small part of overall revenues and possibly long overdue.

Probably the changes to the 'new' livery at airport facilities will be done as expected and scheduled renovations come due over the next year or so. As to a/c, they won't touch those being phased out over the next year or so, if a little longer maybe a 'hybrid' livery (like the MD-80's), those they will be keeping for a more than a year or so when due for major mx checks will get a visit to the paint shop. When and if due for major interior revision, that will be done then too. I bet the major paint jobs will be done - ironically - outside the USA where far cheaper. New a/c will come delivered with the new livery.

As to the look, I am not sure about how the 'flag' theme on the tail will be seen outside the USA and that could be an issue. Otherwise, it does update their look as almost all other competing airlines have done for years.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BarryH
Posted 2013-01-19 20:26:25 and read 17247 times.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 2):
FWIW, Mike Boyd sure thinks it is.


His aviation career isn't very illustrious.

"Mike started his career with American Airlines in 1971. He joined Braniff International in 1977, attaining the position of Regional Director, and was responsible for opening the carrier's Far Eastern operations. In 1982 he moved to Bar Harbor Airlines as Vice President of Marketing and Planning. "

People in finance and operations have very little regard for marketing. And that's not just at an airline. Branding has a ROI just like that shiny new 773. Because the return is less visible to those outside of sales and marketing doesn't mean marketing effectiveness isn’t closely tracked. And it's just as valid a discipline as something more highly regarded like revenue management. AA's suffered some bad PR over the past couple of years that's tarnished people’s perception of it. Likewise, they've been so internally focused beating each other up (managements vs. union) that, when coupled with wonky costs, left them behind DL and UA in terms of service enhancements. Re-imaging, especially tied to new aircraft orders and service investments, helps in a couple of ways:

- It separates from the past and makes people think differently about the product. I'm sure there were tons of focus group testing (pro-AA, anti-AA, neutral to AA) and research done to determine the reaction to the new branding and its ability to sway perception.

- For the segment of the market that chooses an airline solely on price, changed or improved perception of AA has material value when people pick AA over other airlines offering the same price and/or schedule.

- The perception of elite and high-revenue flyers (retention of existing AA'rs and attracting others from different airlines) of AA and their ongoing support could pay for the entire re-branding program based on the fact they generate more profit in fewer numbers than the entire network of brand-neutral leisure travelers combined.

AA isn't doing anything that DL didn't do immediately after the NW merger and everyone applauded that. If you look at what AA's doing as an investment rather than an expense it makes more sense. Of course re-branding/re-imaging and then continuing to offer the same or worse crappy experience people knew historically has a totally different effect. Then, rather than disliking you, they now think you're disingenuous too. We won't know whether this is "good" re-branding or "bad" re-branding for a couple of quarters when we see what AA's numbers look like compared to their former selves and peers.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Lufthansa
Posted 2013-01-19 21:21:43 and read 17016 times.

Quoting BarryH (Reply 32):
AA isn't doing anything that DL didn't do immediately after the NW merger and everyone applauded that. If you look at what AA's doing as an investment rather than an expense it makes more sense.

Thank you!
  {checkmark  

One of the issues here is these kind of things are intangible investments. It's very difficult to measure in
absolute dollar terms their return/success. But that doesn't mean they're not vitally important. And of course,
one has to consider the result without them. In AA's case, they need to step away from what is essentially
a trashed brand. They could have done it keeping their old logo, but they would have to spend even more
in that instance to try and convince the public otherwise, and unless they pay attention to their carrier of choice
it will be much harder to get joe public to notice a change. A new corporate identity is instantly recognisable as a change,
even for somebody who pays little attention to aviation. American featured in the list of the 10 most hated companies in America. We can debate whether that is fair or not, but it is besides the point, it proves the company does have an image problem to deal with, and showing the public that its changed is vitally important. This is a very good way to do this. Remember without doing so they might have to double or even triple their advertising spend to get the message across without it. Not getting that message out there is not an option if American is to move forward. Now I certainly would have done that tail differently. But the idea that this is just an ego trip and an unnecessary expense is very short sighted. This is an area of essential spend. Without the customers you have nothing and this is the very first thing the customers see, even before they have chosen your product.

[Edited 2013-01-19 21:56:07]

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BarryH
Posted 2013-01-19 21:51:01 and read 16877 times.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 33):
One of the issues here is these kind of things are intangible investments.

As a general rule of thumb, sales, marketing, and promotion are 3-8% of revenue. I'm too lazy to look up AA's 10K to finding the marketing and promotion number but in 2012 they did $24.75B in revenue. At 3% that's a marketing budget of close to $1B. To put that in to perspective, Samsung's mobile division spent $12B in advertising and promotion in 2012. And in a re-branding many of the expenses are capitalized over anywhere from 5-8 years meaning the annualized expense is far less than it might seem. I know there are many that think there should be no monies applied to anything that doesn't benefit the employees but getting butts in seats is how the bills get paid. And there’s lots of competition for those butts.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Lufthansa
Posted 2013-01-19 22:02:34 and read 16885 times.

Quoting BarryH (Reply 34):
I know there are many that think there should be no monies applied to anything that doesn't benefit the employees but getting butts in seats is how the bills get paid. And there’s lots of competition for those butts.

  

spot on once again.
and if spending even another billion dollars resulted in that 24 billion raising to 30 billion, there is a very good chance
AA would be a much stronger company. But if you don't give the public a reason to pick you...and let them know
that you have got a good reason why would they? It's one of Emirates key strategies. In key markets, they spend
a lot more than most airlines, at about 5% of their turnover. But the numbers speak for themselves. In my home market of Australia, EK add larger more fuel efficient CASM aircraft and they fill those aircraft at the expense of some very good companies, like Singapore Airlines. The message is clear. Going to exotic place in Europe = Emirates is first choice. Bean counters don't like it, as they just see it as an expense. Pilots see lots of expensive advertising and many of those think "why aren't we getting our payrise" etc. Marketing is the one thing that brings in new business. And its pretty much the only thing. One should never underestimate that.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: gigneil
Posted 2013-01-19 22:09:30 and read 16802 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 17):
Worse than anything, it's a sign that AA management has lost its way for good. Professionally irresponsible is almost too kind of a description.

Dramatic much? It doesn't indicate anything about them one way or the other.

Its a paint job. These people aren't being represented by it one way or the other, they had a marketing firm develop it and are reacting to the focus groups.

I mean, come on. Little bit of a spend that could be delayed, yes. Professionally irresponsible? Hardly.

Quoting AirCalSNA (Reply 29):

Boyd's comments were silly.

They're ALWAYS silly.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: LMP737
Posted 2013-01-19 22:51:43 and read 16543 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
Furthermore, a Boeing study found that it is likely slightly cheaper to have planes painted versus polished.

That study was written in the late nineties when Jet A cost a fraction of what it does now.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: superdash
Posted 2013-01-19 23:02:58 and read 16457 times.

Assume no merger...

American will take delivery of something like 6,326.4 airplanes in the few years. More than half the airplanes will flip (and flip soon). The manufacturers are very nice. These new planes come with a livery (granted there are a couple of 737s at Boeing field in the old colors). Therefore, AA will likely spend way less than Delta and United did to re-brand. As many planes will come delivered in the new paint scheme.

Assume a merger....

They probably aren't going to repaint to many of the existing airplanes - only the new deliveries in the next couple of months. With a merger, there likely will be a new brand and all airplanes will get repainted, unless one of the existing liveries survives.

No it's not a waste of money. Remember, AA's currently livery costs money to maintain. Even US Air (and all the others) repaint planes on a regular basis to maintain the brand and the aerodynamics of the plane.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: gigneil
Posted 2013-01-19 23:27:55 and read 16228 times.

Quoting superdash (Reply 38):
With a merger, there likely will be a new brand and all airplanes will get repainted, unless one of the existing liveries survives.

With such a new rebranding I doubt it.

Delta assumed the Delta brand, as will American I imagine.

NS

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Airport
Posted 2013-01-19 23:29:03 and read 16212 times.

Quoting BarryH (Reply 32):
AA isn't doing anything that DL didn't do immediately after the NW merger and everyone applauded that. If you look at what AA's doing as an investment rather than an expense it makes more sense. Of course re-branding/re-imaging and then continuing to offer the same or worse crappy experience people knew historically has a totally different effect.

To add to your point, it's fun to search back for the threads when DL unveiled its new livery in 2007. The reaction was mixed to negative, at a very similar ratio to the reaction you see to the new AA livery. Personally, I didn't like the new DL brand when it was first debuted.

Today DL is widely regarded as having one of the best airline brands in the US. Once all the signage had been changed, all the aircraft painted, and once the DL travel experience was completely consistent, it really allowed me to appreciate why it is so effective.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: UA772IAD
Posted 2013-01-19 23:30:11 and read 16172 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
was really sure about that because I thought it will be a huge waste of money to make a full repaint of a fleet of that size, and the amount of money involved in the operation ( considering also the hours of the plane sitting in the ground for the new paint ) will discourage any further "innovation" from the AA big guys.... well, obviously I was WAAAAAAY Wrong....

It's been answered, but I'll reiterate it- marketing is king (or at least "high up there" in terms of corporate affairs, and the marketing budget usually gets what it asks for. Products can't sell themselves- you need a campaign to promote the product and raise public awareness.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 8):
For a start, the old AA is associated with a not so good level of service and product and particularly in the premium classes long haul, this needs to change. So a new image (i won't debate that tail here as i am in the 'it needs work ' camp) is an opportunity to show how you have moved away from that. with AA investing all this money in new international premium cabins, they should also show that they have changed from the old AA. So i disagree that it won't generate any new passengers, I think it was fact time for new branding.

I disagree in that they haven't proven this yet. And coming out with a new logo does not translate into better service. The name "American" and the way that it is discussed in a conversation/how it is described is far more valuable and telling than a corporate roll out that few people (other than shareholders and members of this site) will give credence to.

Quoting ADent (Reply 18):
Take a look at the United Airlines planes. They had planes in 4 liveries after the merger and the many of the battleship grey planes looked BAD. They quickly got everything painted (The sCO planes were easy of course) - signalling to the consumer they can get their act together on some things.

I don't think the public- even those coveted frequent fliers give this as much thought as we like to believe. Image and visual integrity of branding in the US Airline business has largely gone to the wayside.

---

The root of AA's "problems", IMO, is not the livery but the corporate culture- it is very toxic. Workforce - management relations are not going to be resolved by rebranding the airline. Financial performance isn't going to improve due to a new livery either. Its necessary to update the brand and product in keeping with the times, but its not the solution to turning things around, particularly if AA can't deliver what its marketing department is trying to sell.

I suppose we'll see what happens- but I don't think you can associate a livery change with success or failure.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: vegas005
Posted 2013-01-19 23:33:20 and read 16158 times.

The issues for me is the tens of thousands of creditors who have lost money due to the bankruptcy filing yet on the flip side the company has plenty of cash to waste on a new livery. Although it might be necessary from a marketing point of view, the fact is a lot of businesses have lost money to AA when they probably could have been paid.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: toobz
Posted 2013-01-20 00:31:24 and read 15697 times.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 26):

Gawwd, I have never seen or heard a more bunch of p'd off people than a few of the ex NWAers. wow. get over it. Your colleages have.

And as far as the new AA brand, I really actually kind of like it. It's just the tail I don't care for..but I guess I will get used to that. And for the record, I didn't really care for the new DL paint job either, but am very used to it now.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: phunc
Posted 2013-01-20 01:48:45 and read 15039 times.

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 41):
I don't think the public- even those coveted frequent fliers give this as much thought as we like to believe. Image and visual integrity of branding in the US Airline business has largely gone to the wayside.

I've always wondered this. After the DAL / NAW, CAL / UAL, BAW / BMA and even the MYT / TCX mergers, the new liveries were applied very quickly. I was amazed how fast the former liveries vanished but I look at VS and can't help but be irritated. I'm a plane nut so it will annoy me but do the travelling public really care that they have 4 different liveries on only 40 planes?

They rebranded 3 years ago and have only one A346 painted up in new colours. They have 3 types of livery on the A346 fleet. Same for thee 747 fleet which has three types of livery. FInally, the A343 has the new colours on three of the four aeroplanes and hybrid on the last one. Lastly, the brand new A333 has the same design but two have matt red and the other 8 have the default sparkly red.

I wonder what kind of message this sends when you can see all four at LHR together?

To me, it's an organisation that hasn't followed though on an initiative, it looks messy and gives me the illusion that some planes are bran new / clean inside, and some are old and dated. This is, however, probably not the case.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: shuttle9juliet
Posted 2013-01-20 03:19:25 and read 14293 times.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 2):

The man is totally correct in all aspects. What a bloody waste of money, where people are loosing jobs left,right and centre they waste millions on rebranding ..

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: AF185
Posted 2013-01-20 05:41:21 and read 13101 times.

The repaint program will turn out to be a waste of money if AA merge with another carrier with a new livery soon.. Otherwise, it is a legitimate investment in order to evolve the corporate identity.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Western727
Posted 2013-01-20 06:32:10 and read 12566 times.

Why can't the 32x be polished? Unlike the 787 as we all know, the 32x still has aluminum skin, doesn't it?

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: RWA380
Posted 2013-01-20 06:33:21 and read 12536 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
isn't this whole repaint program a dumb way of throwing away money that could be used in a better way ?

If you put aside personal like or dislike of the new livery, and look at the fact that AA has been in dire need of a new image, especially coming out of BK, they needed to portray a fresh image to go with the new leaner & meaner, financially firm AA. I'd say yes, this was money well spent on changing public perception, that is aside from my like or dislike of the new livery.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2013-01-20 07:13:18 and read 12097 times.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 33):
In AA's case, they need to step away from what is essentially
a trashed brand.

I suppose, but it didn't get trashed by what is on the outside of the plane.

Quoting Airport (Reply 40):
Today DL is widely regarded as having one of the best airline brands in the US. Once all the signage had been changed, all the aircraft painted, and once the DL travel experience was completely consistent, it really allowed me to appreciate why it is so effective.

I think what is needed is the completely consistently good travel experience. New paint and consistent branding is a tiny component of that, and IMHO one could/should work on that before bothering with new livery and branding.

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 41):
The root of AA's "problems", IMO, is not the livery but the corporate culture- it is very toxic. Workforce - management relations are not going to be resolved by rebranding the airline. Financial performance isn't going to improve due to a new livery either. Its necessary to update the brand and product in keeping with the times, but its not the solution to turning things around, particularly if AA can't deliver what its marketing department is trying to sell.

I suppose we'll see what happens- but I don't think you can associate a livery change with success or failure.

  

DL's success is mostly because they unified their products, and used give and take to get labor on board with the new strategy. IMHO they'd be just as successful with their previous branding/livery.

Quoting vegas005 (Reply 42):
The issues for me is the tens of thousands of creditors who have lost money due to the bankruptcy filing yet on the flip side the company has plenty of cash to waste on a new livery.

Creditors can at least vote for liquidation to try to get some of their money back. Stockholders are screwed.

Quoting phunc (Reply 44):
To me, it's an organisation that hasn't followed though on an initiative, it looks messy and gives me the illusion that some planes are bran new / clean inside, and some are old and dated.

Indeed, that will be the problem. You can't turn over AA's 400+ planes overnight.

Quoting BarryH (Reply 34):
I know there are many that think there should be no monies applied to anything that doesn't benefit the employees but getting butts in seats is how the bills get paid. And there’s lots of competition for those butts.

The butts in those seats don't care much that the livery looks new or fresh. They shop based on price. They tend to avoid carriers with inferior products or inferior reliability, but if the price is cheap enough they even put up with that.

They primarily want a reliable, cheap product and livery/branding has very little to do with that, and certainly can be achieved with the current AA livery/branding.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: JFKPurser
Posted 2013-01-20 07:13:51 and read 12126 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 17):
Boyd is 100% spot on.

American is no longer AA.

The cost implications are sickening to think about.

The livery is a cheap, tacky, unimaginative swap around of symbolism fueled by insipid corporate spin that does not, in any way shape or form, reflect the American heritage nor what its customers see as iconic. I nearly spat my coffee out watching those marketing videos on AAs (or should I say Americans) YouTube channel.

Bogus.

Worse than anything, it's a sign that AA management has lost its way for good. Professionally irresponsible is almost too kind of a description.

And the vast majority of us who are lifelong AA employees feel exactly the same way about this most recent crime committed by Tom Horton and his team, all of whom will soon be looking for employment elsewhere.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-01-20 07:33:37 and read 11861 times.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 26):
OMG, LOOK! Bangkok is wide open for tomorrow! Go Go !

I'm thinking about it. My cousin lives there. His dad is former NWA.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 27):
Yes, actually. Anything looks better than plain white.

Agree completely. AF has the dingiest looking fleet out there. A few years ago I took a pic of a NW 744 in silver at NRT that is breathtaking! It was taken from the upper deck of another NW 744 lining up on 16R. Coincidentally, I was returning from BKK. I'll post it in my gallery if I can find it.

Quoting BarryH (Reply 32):
AA isn't doing anything that DL didn't do immediately after the NW merger and everyone applauded that.

DL's current color scheme (We ARE talking about color schemes) was introduced well before the 'acquisition' of NWA.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: ozark1
Posted 2013-01-20 07:53:57 and read 11427 times.

Mike Boyd has it SPOT ON. I have always respected him and rarely have I disagreed with him. There is a culture at this airline that cannot be changed by some new paint. It will change by showing more respect for frontline employees, for listening to their concerns, for, somehow making us feel proud again of who we work for.
I have always understood what a difficult job people in senior management had and, for the most part, I have been supportive of them. But now, I am convinced that the current management team has truly lost their way.
I can speak only from the flight service side of it. We have new paint, new airplanes coming, and probably new uniforms. But currently we have no program to reward excellent customer service. We used to receive perfect attendance passes, but they terminated that program and instead gave frequent fliers "thank you" cards to give to us that we could submit to POSSIBLY win Advantage miles.
In our training hallway for food service at our school---we have the following full cabin mockups:
DC10
MD11
727
F100
MD80
757
767
So, right now they are teaching us the 777-300 on an MD11 trainer. They moved a few things around and built some makeshift stuff---like the standup bar and the f/a crew rest area.
I do believe we are ill prepared to take on the enormous amount of training that is getting ready to take place,
I would feel much better if we had a new management team that showed more interest in reestablishing morale than reestablishing the brand. I think new uniforms will help but if i'm not proud to wear it then what's the point?

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-01-20 07:57:56 and read 11388 times.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 49):
IMHO they'd be just as successful with their previous branding/livery.

And which DL brand would that be?  



As I recall, there was a mishmash of the Ron Allen livery as well as the Wavy Gravy and it didn't seem that they were transitioning to the Wavy Gravy very rapidly.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: intermodal64
Posted 2013-01-20 08:36:47 and read 10892 times.

The recent AA brand was too old. It always made me think of my father's Oldsmobile -- not something I would ever want. A classic indeed, but that's not what most consumers are looking for. The new "Grayhound" logo has finally brought AA into the 90's. It says, "we're modern and affordable!" . . . just my very subjective and honest reaction. I actually like AA and admire the work of their front line employees.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BMI727
Posted 2013-01-20 08:42:40 and read 10822 times.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 48):
If you put aside personal like or dislike of the new livery, and look at the fact that AA has been in dire need of a new image, especially coming out of BK, they needed to portray a fresh image to go with the new leaner & meaner, financially firm AA.

It's hard to really botch a rebranding if the underlying product is truly improved. No matter how cool the livery and branding may look it won't mean jack if they don't fix the other 99% of the airline to go with it. But, if AA does get their product, costs, route structure, etc. right it won't really matter what the branding is, as long as it shows that they are new and improved. If the company is substantially improved the only way a rebranding can really go off the rails is if they totally throw out the name and legacy symbols entirely, and in some cases that might actually be the right path.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: ckfred
Posted 2013-01-20 09:21:06 and read 10309 times.

First, rebranding is very common during or after a bankruptcy, both within the airline industry and outside of it. I can think of several airlines that either fully rebranded, or at least introduced a new livery during or after bankruptcy, including UA, US, DL, TW, and CO.

Second, AA has to start painting airplanes. The Airbuses apparently have a high amount of composite materials in the skin, and Airbus prefers to have metal painted. Remember that it delivered the A300s painted in a color called gray mist, and it reluctantly agreed with AA's assessment as to the feasibility of removing the paint.

Further, the 787s must be painted, according to Boeing. So, it would be rather strange to see a ramp full of AA planes, some painted, and some in bare metal.

Third, remember that AA has been very stingy with its capital spending, going back to September 11, 2001. If you look at most AA facilities (ticket counters, baggage claims, gates, etc.) they generally look tired, worn, and dated. Obvious exceptions include the terminal at JFK, Concourse A at SEA, and the new terminal at SFO. All of the facilities opened within the past few years.

But, if you look at other airports, such as ORD, DFW, BOS, TPA, MCO, PHX, and ATL, AA areas are just worn out and dreary. That includes threadbare carpeting, walls that are marred and stained, ceiling tiles that have yellowed, and so on. The paint has been peeling off AA jet bridges at ORD for several years, and the stripes and logos are faded.

I have a lot of respect for Mike Boyd, but I think he's just plain wrong on this one. You would think that someone who understands the airline industry and business in general would understand that a company whose reputation has suffered by the slow spiral into bankruptcy, as well as the bumpy ride in Chapter 11, needs a fresh identity, as it exits bankruptcy. Further, AA isn't doing to its employees anything that US, CO, UA, DL, NW, TW, and other carriers did to its employees during visits into Chapter 11.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BarryH
Posted 2013-01-20 09:56:26 and read 9914 times.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 52):
There is a culture at this airline that cannot be changed by some new paint. It will change by showing more respect for frontline employees, for listening to their concerns, for, somehow making us feel proud again of who we work for.
I have always understood what a difficult job people in senior management had and, for the most part, I have been supportive of them. But now, I am convinced that the current management team has truly lost their way.

You're certainly entitled to your opinion and there are quite a few here that agree with you. Management performs a function just like the pilots, FAs, and mechanics do. How would the mechanic’s feels if the FAs and pilots who know nothing of their discipline started arm chair quarterbacking about the best way to maintain planes? And then, because rightfully so, the mechanics pushed back the pilots and FAs decided the only way AA could be successful is to replace the mechanics? Toxicity is a two way street and the unions gave as good as they got. How many airlines started with ex-pilots as CEOs have failed (Pride = Continental, Kiwi = Eastern)? If pilots and FAs wanted to run a multi-billion dollar business they should have gone to business school and gotten their MBAs. For those of us running businesses their leadership’s comments are truly frightening and show their lack of depth, knowledge, and disdain for analytics (and, to a degree, reality).

The past at AA is the past. APA's leadership has done stupid things (getting fined $45MM for an ill-orchestrated job action) and AA's management has done stupid things (an ill-conceived management bonus structure). But pulling out of lower-yielding markets with the Cornerstone strategy was a sound decision (based on costs at the time) evidenced by the improved yields and positioning for the future it provided. Same thing for JBAs with BA and JL. I don't care what anyone's opinion of Horton is (How could anyone have one with so little time on the job? Guilt by association?) he's done an exceptional job in a short amount of time navigating AA through bankruptcy.

AA's unions have a warped worldview and most likely always will no matter who is running the company including Parker. Here's the stark reality. Companies don't exist for the benefit of their employees. The profits they produce are either returned to shareholders in the form of dividends or reinvested to grow the company and make it more profitable so its value increases. That benefits the shareholders as their stock goes up and the employees because of advancement potential and growth in their ranks. It's sad that so many professionals who chose an occupation decades ago are working at lower wages now than they were because of market forces. But that horse is dead. And no leadership is going to bring the past back and to continue to vilify management for a change in market conditions they can't control but have no choice but to react to isn't going to change a thing. And skipping sales, marketing, and product improvement investments and funneling those monies back to employees is a sure recipe for future failure as the company’s competitive position (and therefore revenue/margin) precipitously declines.

Based on what’s available publically, AA has a promising future and the components have been put in place for growth (scale, revenue, profitability). Their investing in employee training, improving their communication, new aircraft and facilities, and service improvements for passengers. Combined, employees should have an improved workplace and passengers an improved experience. With the CBAs set for a while they are what they are so other than dealing with grievances the unions have to accept their lot so labor discord should be minimal (the armchair quarterbacking will never cease). But with happier employees and passengers a growing modernizing AA is the best chance to distance itself from the past and get as close to internal harmony as is possible. When things are going in the right direction people tend to be more secure and optimistic about the future. I guess time will tell.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: DTW2HYD
Posted 2013-01-20 10:00:33 and read 9845 times.

It is a big misconception that companies in Chapter 11 try to save money. They definitely squeeze customers,employees, previous creditors, share holders... At the same time they load up the company with lot of additional debt. Unfortunately lot of easy money available through private equity for this. Hostess is a good example. Went in to bankruptcy with 350 Million, by the time of liquidation it had 1 Billion debt. This is after all the cost cutting.

If you see too many TV ads, that company is for sale.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: WROORD
Posted 2013-01-20 11:30:54 and read 8865 times.

My take on it is simple. Do not waste money on the new branding that everyone hates, but use that money to upgrade your services so the passenger has much better experience.
The new planes that have to be painted could be painted in a nice metallic like paint, sort of what NW had before it was gobbled by Delta.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: F9animal
Posted 2013-01-20 11:41:41 and read 8743 times.

Hey. I dont care for the paint job. But. I also think a new look is important for AA. This is the first major time AA has been under a big microscope since bankruptcy. A new branding brings curiosity to would be fliers and seasoned fliers. It also helps bring a refreshing sight. I see the investment needed here, and it brings a new hope of a better airline. I would have prefered to see AA use that money on its workers that have suffered the most from this bankruptcy. But, if this new brand brings more cheeks in the seats, I am hopeful that prosperity is shared with those who made the sacrifice.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: ckfred
Posted 2013-01-20 11:50:26 and read 8628 times.

Quoting WROORD (Reply 59):
My take on it is simple. Do not waste money on the new branding that everyone hates, but use that money to upgrade your services so the passenger has much better experience.
The new planes that have to be painted could be painted in a nice metallic like paint, sort of what NW had before it was gobbled by Delta.

First, no one knew if everyone was going to hate the new brand. You don't need a degree in marketing to know that changing brand logo or even sprucing up packaging is a crap shoot. Sometimes it's a home run. Sometimes is a single. Sometimes its striking out on three pitches out of the strike zone.

Second, as I said earlier, AA needs to undertake a lot of remodeling and renovation of its facilities. So, what makes the difference if, while installing new desks in gate areas, that they have a new logo or the old one? If you have desks that are nicked, scuffed, and beat up, they need to be replaced.

Third, having a mixed fleet of bare metal aircraft and painted aircraft wouldn't look good. It's sort of like using the same color paint in both flat and gloss. The painted aircraft will never reflect the sun the way polished aluminum does.

Quoting BarryH (Reply 57):
AA's unions have a warped worldview and most likely always will no matter who is running the company including Parker. Here's the stark reality. Companies don't exist for the benefit of their employees. The profits they produce are either returned to shareholders in the form of dividends or reinvested to grow the company and make it more profitable so its value increases. That benefits the shareholders as their stock goes up and the employees because of advancement potential and growth in their ranks. It's sad that so many professionals who chose an occupation decades ago are working at lower wages now than they were because of market forces. But that horse is dead. And no leadership is going to bring the past back and to continue to vilify management for a change in market conditions they can't control but have no choice but to react to isn't going to change a thing. And skipping sales, marketing, and product improvement investments and funneling those monies back to employees is a sure recipe for future failure as the company’s competitive position (and therefore revenue/margin) precipitously declines.

This is an excellant point. I know some AA employees who say that AA hasn't had a great CEO since Bob Crandall. Yet, I remember how much they despised Crandall, especially when a union was negotiating a contract. A few employees welcomed Crandall's retirement, believing that Don Carty was more cordial and would direct a more cordial atmosphere during contract negotiations. We saw how fast that attitude changed, during the course of the negotiations over the 2003 concessions.

I agree that no one wants to move backwards in terms of pay and benefits. Some pilots at AA said that after the concessions of 2003, there pay had regressed back to what they were making in the years 1994, '95, or '96, and that the only significant increases came through moving to larger aircraft and/or moving up to Captain from F/O.

It's probably even more frustrating, when friends and relatives who work outside the industry see real increases in income from salary raises, incentive bonuses, and so on.

But then, a number of people, from Bob Crandall to Jim Cramer to Warren Buffet have said not to invest in the airline industry, because it is a highly cyclical business, particularly in terms of profits.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: gigneil
Posted 2013-01-20 11:54:14 and read 8599 times.

Quoting JFKPurser (Reply 50):
this most recent crime .

I'm offended by the similie between what these people do with a company that they employ people at, and actual crime.

There is plenty of real crime that gets carried off every day. This is someone doing something you just don't care for which is perfectly legal.

You don't like what he's doing, move on. But don't equate something you don't like with something actually illegal.

Quoting JFKPurser (Reply 50):
Tom Horton and his team, all of whom will soon be looking for employment elsewhere.

And who will get it. Immediately. For many millions of dollars of compensation.

Because no matter what may be represented by people, they actually keep an airline with millions of moving people operating.

Aside from the overarching goal of restructuring, which was not prompted by Horton's past actions, the thing actually functions. The lights are on, planes leave, etc.

That's a far more valuable skill than any of you are willing to admit and they get paid commensurately for it.

Horton didn't bankrupt this airline, and he may well save it. Just because he's not willing to keep employees he doesn't need, and pay the ones that remain more than he can replace them for, doesn't mean he's bad at his job.

From what I understand, he's quite a capable financial analyst. And he's on the board of directors of Qualcomm, who is one of the most successful technology companies of all time.

Direct your anger where your anger really can help - which is the 8 years of war and spending on it that's caused the economy to head in this direction.

NS

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: gigneil
Posted 2013-01-20 12:00:51 and read 8542 times.

More on my last one:

Tom Horton structured and executed the deal that merged SBC into AT&T, bringing the largest telecommunications company in the world to Texas, and created billions in shareholder value.

Needless to say, he knows what he's doing, and is no doubt doing the best he can. Blame a lot of other people before you blame him.

NS

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-01-20 12:29:56 and read 8201 times.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 15):
Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
isn't this whole repaint program a dumb way of throwing away money that could be used in a better way ?

"Here’s the part of his reply Thursday to that employee that Mr. Boyd was comfortable having repeated:

Subject: RE: AMERICAN AIRLINES NEW LIVERY: DISGRACE
It’s hard to have any sense of humor when poor management judgment like this comes to light. The competition should be very reassured.

A completely unnecessary re-branding and re-packaging of airplanes, gates, airports, backwalls, and all the rest will cost tens – maybe hundreds – of millions. At a time when retirees aren’t sure of healthcare, employees are losing jobs, and the competition is ready to pounce, to do what Horton is doing is not only an ego trip, but completely professionally irresponsible. It won’t generate a single new passenger. It won’t make American (no longer “AA,” I see) one bit more competitive. If employees have low respect for senior management – this is clearly a symptom of the cause.

Very disappointing."

The above is the quote from the article.

I don't think that this fellow has much of an idea of the way a company needs to refresh its image, especially in this day and age of attention spans. Most companies that come out of bankruptcy need to put the old company image and brand behind them and start new and fresh. I will again reiterate that this new livery is fresh and is really important in their emergence from bankruptcy to show a new image and not keep that dated image that would remind the consumer of the troubled times they had just gone through.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: LDVAviation
Posted 2013-01-20 13:01:58 and read 7762 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 17):
The livery is a cheap, tacky, unimaginative swap around of symbolism fueled by insipid corporate spin that does not, in any way shape or form, reflect the American heritage nor what its customers see as iconic. I nearly spat my coffee out watching those marketing videos on AAs (or should I say Americans) YouTube channel.

Ah, the hyperbole. But you forgot to add that AA's new livery is a sign of the end of times.

Quoting gigneil (Reply 62):
Horton didn't bankrupt this airline, and he may well save it. Just because he's not willing to keep employees he doesn't need, and pay the ones that remain more than he can replace them for, doesn't mean he's bad at his job.

Excellent point. Why criticism him? It seems desperate.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BarryH
Posted 2013-01-20 14:15:11 and read 6865 times.

Have any of you worked for a company where employees "voted" on strategy and direction with the majority dictating the future actions of the company? Or were communally involved in the hiring and firing of management? The unionized airline staff lives in a deluded world.

Management comes in all different styles ranging from democratic to dictatorial. Companies have been successful with leadership at both ends of the spectrum. It depends on the type of business, competitive environment, and its current state (start-up, mature, prospering, in trouble). I've worked for CEO's that have run the gamut. Some were brilliant some were idiots. The nightmare scenario would be working for an autocratic idiot but I've never experienced that.

Here's a little story. A company I worked for wanted change and removed the CEO (he "retired"). They promoted one of his direct reports with tons of industry experience to be his successor. The man was incapable of making a decision and sought consensus on everything. Trying to move the company forward in any meaningful way was a painful process and took three times as long as "buy in" was sought from the rank and file. The net result was profit declined, competitive position eroded, and opportunities were lost. He was fired eighteen months after he was appointed CEO.

Here's the moral of the story. The rank and file isn’t aware enough of the business triggers to participate in any form of complex decision making. And in public companies some information that might influence their opinions can't be shared due to SEC regulations. Without benefit of that knowledge, soliciting their opinion typically ends up with abstract and non-practical responses. Then, by going a different direction (most likely the one that was intended to be followed anyway), it seems to the rank and file that management doesn't value their opinion. And I've never seen an employee group that was so committed to the welfare of the company that they'd welcome or proactively support any decisions that would negatively affect their pay, benefits, or stature. Even if those decisions have to be made due to forces outside the company's control.

Here's what good managers and leaders do. They educate employees, all of them, in the over-arching dynamics of the business and, down to each individual, the role they play in assuring the company's success. They communicate the rationale behind the company's strategy, update it frequently, and provide simple reporting mechanisms that allow employees to monitor how the company is performing. With that in place, employees know in advance from the reporting mechanisms if things are going the wrong way. So if changes need to be introduced they aren't surprised and with a base knowledge of how the company runs understand (at least philosophically) what the changes are supposed to accomplish. Here's what good managers and leaders don't do. They don't vacillate, they make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions, they put the good of the whole above their own needs and the needs of a few, and they act decisively. If AA's future leadership follows the above the company will be fine (or as fine as it can be). If they don't, whether it's Parker, Horton, or someone else, the cycle’s doomed to repeat.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: AA94
Posted 2013-01-20 16:23:25 and read 5622 times.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 61):
This is an excellant point. I know some AA employees who say that AA hasn't had a great CEO since Bob Crandall. Yet, I remember how much they despised Crandall, especially when a union was negotiating a contract. A few employees welcomed Crandall's retirement, believing that Don Carty was more cordial and would direct a more cordial atmosphere during contract negotiations. We saw how fast that attitude changed, during the course of the negotiations over the 2003 concessions.
Quoting BarryH (Reply 57):
AA's unions have a warped worldview and most likely always will no matter who is running the company including Parker.

I believe that Doug Parker is a smart, savvy businessman. Contrary to what most believe, I think the same about Horton. My personal opinion is that Parker is using the unions to get his foot in the door, and they're latching on to him like a dog to a bone. When/if he becomes head of a combined AA-US, he'll no longer need them, and they'll feel exploited and used, which is exactly what they were.

So my point is this. The sooner employees get onboard with management, the better things will be across the board. . Being the head of a large company is a difficult job, especially when you know that it's hard to satisfy every single one of your employees. The unions need to realize that they will likely NEVER be happy with what AA can realistically provide, and that their incessant complaining provides an outlet for people like Doug Parker to come in and take over, likely to the detriment of both groups of employees, AA and US.

Quoting JFKPurser (Reply 50):
feel exactly the same way about this most recent crime committed by Tom Horton and his team
Quoting gigneil (Reply 62):
There is plenty of real crime that gets carried off every day. This is someone doing something you just don't care for which is perfectly legal.

  

Quoting BarryH (Reply 66):
Here's what good managers and leaders do. They educate employees, all of them, in the over-arching dynamics of the business and, down to each individual, the role they play in assuring the company's success. They communicate the rationale behind the company's strategy, update it frequently, and provide simple reporting mechanisms that allow employees to monitor how the company is performing. With that in place, employees know in advance from the reporting mechanisms if things are going the wrong way. So if changes need to be introduced they aren't surprised and with a base knowledge of how the company runs understand (at least philosophically) what the changes are supposed to accomplish.

  

This is the key to AA's success. The sooner that any CEO of American (whether it be Parker, Horton, or anyone else) realizes this, and the sooner the employees come to the middle, the better off AA will be.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BN747dfwhnl
Posted 2013-01-20 16:38:37 and read 5528 times.

It's not at all a waste of money in terms of creating a new image (which American desperately needs), but it is a huge waste of money in terms of settling on a design which fails to live up to their rebranding expectations.

I can't look at the bizarre "flight symbol" without immediately thinking of Greyhound Bus LInes, and I can't look at the dubious tail design without comparing it to Cubana Airlines. Somehow I doubt that's the rebranding American wants its other customers to see, too.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Lufthansa
Posted 2013-01-20 17:29:46 and read 5393 times.

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 52):

Mike Boyd has it SPOT ON. I have always respected him and rarely have I disagreed with him. There is a culture at this airline that cannot be changed by some new paint. It will change by showing more respect for frontline employees, for listening to their concerns, for, somehow making us feel proud again of who we work for.

You have completely missed the point. What you are talking about is a separate issue, and one that no doubt needs to be addressed. What rebranding is doing is communicated a change to the public. In order to attempt to bring in more dollars. Now the onboard experience must also be improved and that includes how service is delivered, and lets be honest, if people hate their company there isn't much chance they are going to have a gracious approach and be as engaged when it comes to service delivery. That of course must be addressed. but how does a company communicate that it is changing, and moving away from its past without promoting that? They could have kept the old image, but that would have meant it was even harder to convey an image of change. Like the new livery or not, the message of something different must be put forward. One of the most effective ways to do this is rebrand! Think about it. how do you convey the message to joe public who is largely uninterested in what you have to say? You have to bombard him with promotional material. Now if he sees 'same old same old', its going to be much much harder to get him to realise that you have actually changed.
So that is the strong argument for rebranding. Nobody is suggesting changing the logo and outside of the plane is going to change the corporate culture. I don't know why you assumed that. And yes, it does need to be addressed as part of change. But this is about getting the public to recognise change is happening...not about getting the staff more engaged. That has to happen other ways. Though if it does, the new image will indeed help (but it won't be the primary driving force).

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Lufthansa
Posted 2013-01-20 17:31:32 and read 5392 times.

Just look at the new website. Already, as a member of the travelling public, AA feels like a more modern carrier. It feels more "international" in its presentation which is exactly what you want if you want ppl in tokyo, china and germany to pick AA as their carrier. This is the job of the marketing.... the purpose of marketing is to win customers...not to motivate staff (though it can, and its good when it does). The two issues are separate

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: mandala499
Posted 2013-01-20 17:48:15 and read 5357 times.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 70):
Just look at the new website. Already, as a member of the travelling public, AA feels like a more modern carrier.

They still got the 777 in the old livery for the "choose country of residence/remember this setting next time" page.

Quoting BN747dfwhnl (Reply 68):

It's not at all a waste of money in terms of creating a new image (which American desperately needs), but it is a huge waste of money in terms of settling on a design which fails to live up to their rebranding expectations.

Rebranding after bankruptcy itself is not such a bad idea, in fact, it's a good idea. BUT, the new livery is such a let down. I mean looking at it's tail... what is it? Cubana? or Colgan? Put the new eagle on the tail and we'll have a proper new American Airlines!

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: rfields5421
Posted 2013-01-20 18:56:08 and read 5192 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 71):
what is it? Cubana? or Colgan?

I'm not in love with the new scheme - but almost no AA customers or potential customers will confuse the tail with those airlines. They are simply beneath their radar.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2013-01-20 19:02:46 and read 5163 times.

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 23):
This is professionally responsible - AAs image is trashed, rebranding will at least help by having some people give them another shot.

The airline industry is different. We on airliners.net don't represent the opinions held by the vast majority of the flying public. Who honestly still talks about the disaster a few months ago when seats were becoming loose on AA planes? Nobody!

SWA has a pretty ugly livery, yet people love to fly them because they're a reliable airline that is well-managed and deliver upon expectations consistently.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 25):
Actually the old planes, labor unrest, high costs, and losses quarter after quarter were the signs that AA lost their way.

I don't disagree with that, but what I do disagree with is the artificially high level of pride Horton and his crew appear to be taking in this whole situation just so they can pat each other on the back and eventually be out of the picture while the end is in sight.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 28):
I couldn't disagree more. While from a purist perspective I was a fan of the old livery and everything it stood for, it also is a reminder one of the more trying periods in AA's history, especially the eleven or so years post-9/11. If AA follows through with its promises and delivers a superior onboard experience, customers won't care about the American heritage or what's "iconic." They'll care about the present, and the new livery is AA of the present.

I agree with this, fully, but read my post above that leads me to conclude otherwise, because I don't think it reflects, from my own purist instinct, that Horton et al are worthy of my trust.

Quoting gigneil (Reply 36):
Dramatic much? It doesn't indicate anything about them one way or the other.

Its a paint job. These people aren't being represented by it one way or the other, they had a marketing firm develop it and are reacting to the focus groups.

I mean, come on. Little bit of a spend that could be delayed, yes. Professionally irresponsible? Hardly.

They're compromising.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BarryH
Posted 2013-01-20 21:23:31 and read 4946 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
I do disagree with is the artificially high level of pride Horton and his crew appear to be taking in this whole situation just so they can pat each other on the back and eventually be out of the picture while the end is in sight.

It's just like the military. You fight the good fight until there's no fight left - you go out with your boots on. I'm sure the pride being shown by everyone (Horton certainly didn't create the new branding himself) is genuine. While not everyone may like the end result the work that goes in to something on the scale of an airline rebranding is immense. And most involved have day jobs they continue to perform on top of the additional work. Pulling off anything of that scale, especially at AA who is still in bankruptcy, is something to be proud of. Even if those involved aren't around to see the fruits of their labor.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: MD-90
Posted 2013-01-20 21:58:28 and read 4898 times.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 19):
Paint is lighter and beneficial to the airplane. The business case for polished airplanes is no longer good.

Paint is lighter than a bare aluminum fuselage?   

Take a good look at Table 1: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aer...zine/aero_05/textonly/fo01txt.html

There are several excellent reasons to paint aircraft fuselages but lighter weight isn't one of them.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: AA94
Posted 2013-01-20 22:37:12 and read 4808 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 71):
Rebranding after bankruptcy itself is not such a bad idea, in fact, it's a good idea. BUT, the new livery is such a let down. I mean looking at it's tail... what is it? Cubana? or Colgan? Put the new eagle on the tail and we'll have a proper new American Airlines!

The vast majority of the flying public have not heard of either of these airlines, and therefore won't care/won't know.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 73):
I agree with this, fully, but read my post above that leads me to conclude otherwise, because I don't think it reflects, from my own purist instinct, that Horton et al are worthy of my trust.

I'll respond individually to the following posts.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 17):
Worse than anything, it's a sign that AA management has lost its way for good. Professionally irresponsible is almost too kind of a description.

I get it, but all of this seems like your opinion. Sure, you're not a fan of the new colors and I get that. But "professionally irresponsible" seems overdramatic.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 73):
I don't disagree with that, but what I do disagree with is the artificially high level of pride Horton and his crew appear to be taking in this whole situation just so they can pat each other on the back and eventually be out of the picture while the end is in sight.

Why does it have to be artificial? Look, I'm not a huge fan of Tom Horton. But you haven't really presented any compelling fact that shows Tom Horton quietly plotting to rob AA of it's heritage while he skips town. This is what he and the AA board think that the airline needs. If you disagree, fine. You're entitled to that opinion. I'd like you to change my mind, but I see nothing in the way this rebranding has been handled that reinforces any of what you're saying.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 73):
SWA has a pretty ugly livery, yet people love to fly them because they're a reliable airline that is well-managed and deliver upon expectations consistently.

Their livery is irrelevant. The fact that you believe it's ugly is, again, an opinion. The correct part of your statement is that people love to fly them because they're reliable and deliver upon expectations. If AA can do this (or at least improve on the service they've got), then people won't care what's on the outside, because they're getting great service on the inside.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: n729pa
Posted 2013-01-21 00:08:59 and read 4659 times.

It's not just about repainting aircraft, it's all the signage, all the offices, frontages at the airports all the way down to stationary.

In some respects a new livery can signal a new start, but does the average passenger really care less? Given them a good or better service and they'll come back, that is far more important for any company especially recovering from Chapter 11.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: travelR
Posted 2013-01-21 00:24:30 and read 4623 times.

Just wondering if brand recognition will be as high for the logo without the word American next to the logo as with the previous AA logo which is instantly recognisable. It just looks like a couple of red and blue stripes with a beak. If you showed this logo to an average person with no knowledge of airline logos, will they know it is AA (American)? I guess refreshing a brand is a double edged sword if you want to update your brand/logo to move with times but lose an instantly identifiable logo around the world. It is kind of like Qantas getting rid of the kangaroo off the tail fin and replacing it with blue, red, and white (also Australian flag colours). Guess it is a matter of opinion.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: na
Posted 2013-01-21 00:28:55 and read 4602 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
But still I have my doubts.... isn't this whole repaint program a dumb way of throwing away money that could be used in a better way ?

Only because you have a large family it doenst mean you need new clothes now and then, even if the old ones are of high quality and of a timeless cut. The waste is in the timing. They have had the old livery for over 40 years, imho they could and they should have waited until the AA/US merger talks are over. The 77W, a ubiquitous plane almost everyone else got already certainly is not a big issue enough to justify the timing.

Quoting n729pa (Reply 77):
In some respects a new livery can signal a new start, but does the average passenger really care less? Given them a good or better service and they'll come back, that is far more important for any company especially recovering from Chapter 11.

If you go to a new date you choose your new clothes and dont go with the old jeans, do you? New clothes are about communication, its very important. Even if it costs its part of life, and an interesting one.
As you said, the new look is a signal, and the brightest signal possible. Who notes a slightly better service, who sees it, how do you show it to the millions, come on, think.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: RWA380
Posted 2013-01-21 01:35:51 and read 4481 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 55):
No matter how cool the livery and branding may look it won't mean jack if they don't fix the other 99% of the airline to go with it. But, if AA does get their product, costs, route structure, etc. right it won't really matter what the branding is, as long as it shows that they are new and improved.

You are preaching to the choir, I agree no matter how much paint and glitter you put on something, it's still what is inside that counts. If AA has used this BK as a true path to a second chance, then I expect to see some new innovations and a consistently decent flying experience that in time that will put AA on top of the game again. I am glad to see AA at least trying to bring things around, think AA should emerge leaner, they have rid themselves of outdated aircraft, significant debt, and much more. They hopefully have not done the right thing, at the right time. The front line employees of AA will be the ones who have the most opportunity to influence the passengers that count. I have logged 100,000+ miles on AA over a 5 year period, and my AA experiences were great when things went well, and absolutely horrific when things went south.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Antoniemey
Posted 2013-01-21 01:39:21 and read 4472 times.

Quoting n729pa (Reply 77):
It's not just about repainting aircraft, it's all the signage, all the offices, frontages at the airports all the way down to stationary.

Most of that needs periodic replacement anyway, and is a very small cost to replace, comparatively. Now, the signs on buildings, at ticket counters, and gates... those are more expensive, but how long have many of those signs been up?

Anything consumable is a small, budgeted cost. Anything that isn't has either already been accounted for in planning for this change or will be left in place until it gets its turn in the "Facilities Maintenance" or "Marketing" budget.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: mrskyguy
Posted 2013-01-21 11:03:48 and read 4101 times.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 49):

I think what is needed is the completely consistently good travel experience. New paint and consistent branding is a tiny component of that, and IMHO one could/should work on that before bothering with new livery and branding.

And on that note, you've struck a chord. I'm not a fan of the new AA branding, but my wife had some good arguments about what the typical traveler will see. And what matters most will happen at the boarding gate and aboard the aircraft. If AA can get their stuff together INSIDE, it will reach far more brand acceptance IMO.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: AADC10
Posted 2013-01-22 10:12:50 and read 3495 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
isn't this whole repaint program a dumb way of throwing away money that could be used in a better way ?

It probably is a waste of money but the dreaded management consultants always say a "rebranding" after Ch. 11 is important. The effectiveness of management consulting is questionable but large corporations like to use them for CYA and "rebranding" is something that management consultants can tell them to do without really upsetting any departments.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: n729pa
Posted 2013-01-22 10:15:25 and read 3493 times.

Quoting na (Reply 79):
Who notes a slightly better service, who sees it, how do you show it to the millions, come on, think.

If you get a better product from A than B, it doesn't take long. Are you telling me then if you get a lousy service from some one, that you'll fly them again given a choice? I doubt it.

I do like the analogy about the date....what do they say though, beware of anyone with too much make up?  

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: ckfred
Posted 2013-01-22 12:31:52 and read 3246 times.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 83):
It probably is a waste of money but the dreaded management consultants always say a "rebranding" after Ch. 11 is important. The effectiveness of management consulting is questionable but large corporations like to use them for CYA and "rebranding" is something that management consultants can tell them to do without really upsetting any departments.

You're right that many companies that go through bankruptcy often do some kind of makeover during or afterwards. I can think of several airlines that came out with new brands and/or liveries during or after a bankruptcy, including UA, US, DL, CO, and TW.

With a fresh start financially, the company wants to get a fresh appearance.

As for the effectiveness of management consultants, it all depends on why a consultant is called in. I know people who swear by what a consultant has done in terms of improving a company's organization or the training of front-line employees. Others have the opinion you do.

I would suggest that even business professors who teach marketing will argue that a company who has done a slow spiral downward into Chapter 11 probably need a rebranding, as part of a new marketing plan. The company that got into bankruptcy probably was performing poorly and not meeting customer expectations. Not that a rebrand will fix that, but there is the perception of a new company that is ready to offer a better product.

AA puts the 777-300 into revenue service next week, and the A319s arrive later this year. Both have improved cabins over the 777-200 and other narrowbody aircraft. Why put them into service without a new brand and livery to complement the improved cabins?

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BarryH
Posted 2013-01-22 12:52:00 and read 3190 times.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 85):
As for the effectiveness of management consultants, it all depends on why a consultant is called in. I know people who swear by what a consultant has done in terms of improving a company's organization or the training of front-line employees. Others have the opinion you do.

What you're buying is objectivity and broader knowledge than what may be available internally. Unfortunately, a lot of companies hire management and financial consultants in their own light and end up spending a lot of money to be told only what they want to hear. Based on analysis I've seen from consultants AA's unions have hired previously that's a pretty good example of that occuring. The analysis they published of AA's labor costs vs. their competitors was transparently biased to the union's position.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2013-01-22 12:59:54 and read 3166 times.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 76):
I get it, but all of this seems like your opinion. Sure, you're not a fan of the new colors and I get that. But "professionally irresponsible" seems overdramatic.

It is my opinion. I never said it wasn't. You are also entitled to yours as well.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 76):
Why does it have to be artificial? Look, I'm not a huge fan of Tom Horton. But you haven't really presented any compelling fact that shows Tom Horton quietly plotting to rob AA of it's heritage while he skips town. This is what he and the AA board think that the airline needs. If you disagree, fine. You're entitled to that opinion. I'd like you to change my mind, but I see nothing in the way this rebranding has been handled that reinforces any of what you're saying.
Quoting AA94 (Reply 76):
Their livery is irrelevant. The fact that you believe it's ugly is, again, an opinion. The correct part of your statement is that people love to fly them because they're reliable and deliver upon expectations. If AA can do this (or at least improve on the service they've got), then people won't care what's on the outside, because they're getting great service on the inside.

You're just reinforcing my point: if this is what the board thinks AA needs, and this is the best that they can come up with, then it adds a lot of skepticism as to whether they're capable of driving change at all!

I may be stating a matter of opinion when I say that AA's new livery looks like a 6th grade art project, but the sad element of truth to that is that I'm not in the minority here. Most people not only agree that it is hideous, but it is also sickening that AA is going to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on something so lackluster.

There is no conceivable way AA spent TWO YEARS designing and agreeing upon something like this as they claim in their media videos. I'm sorry, it just does not add up. As I mentioned, they've merely switched the placement of the Eagle and the Stripes/Flag and sent one to the tail and the other to the fuselage. There is zero flow or thought process behind it....just a bunch of buzzwords thrown out such as "iconography" which really do little to nothing to paint (no pun intended) the logic behind the new paint scheme.

You go from classy and unique to simply mashing ideas and drawing submissions together that don't mix. That usually does not take two years in the making; that takes two hours.

It therefore leads people like me to smell a rat and I get paranoid thinking that sadly this means AA will not change. I'm willing to admit publicly here that I may be somewhat crazy but I'm not always wrong, either.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: gulfstream650
Posted 2013-01-22 13:03:52 and read 3155 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 87):

It will be a waste of money when they change the livery again in a few years time. The tails are revolting.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2013-01-22 13:06:13 and read 3145 times.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 85):
Why put them into service without a new brand and livery to complement the improved cabins?

Well if you're going to do that, and make a MAJOR INVESTMENT in doing so, then do it properly!

Quoting BarryH (Reply 86):
Unfortunately, a lot of companies hire management and financial consultants in their own light and end up spending a lot of money to be told only what they want to hear. Based on analysis I've seen from consultants AA's unions have hired previously that's a pretty good example of that occuring.

Exactly. Crandall even said this back in the day when AA was performing poorly. Just because you're consultants are making money doesn't mean that you are as a company that hires them.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-01-22 16:21:59 and read 2956 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 87):
There is no conceivable way AA spent TWO YEARS designing and agreeing upon something like this as they claim in their media videos.

Although is not precisely the topic, I must say I agree completely. With a Two Years ( !!!! ) time frame, I would organize some sort of competition or contest among the top graphic designers of the country, or even a contest with the public involved, to see different options and then call a group of experts to analyze the pros and cons of the best designs, and then pick THE ONE.... but well... now is a "little too late" to do that  
Quoting gulfstream650 (Reply 88):
It will be a waste of money when they change the livery again in a few years time. The tails are revolting.

And in a fusion scenario....I wonder what the management of "the other airline" thinks about this changes....

Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: na
Posted 2013-01-22 16:39:45 and read 2928 times.

Quoting n729pa (Reply 84):
If you get a better product from A than B, it doesn't take long. Are you telling me then if you get a lousy service from some one, that you'll fly them again given a choice? I doubt it.

Its not about black or white, good or bad. Would be rather easy, if so.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: BarryH
Posted 2013-01-22 18:27:29 and read 2841 times.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 87):
There is no conceivable way AA spent TWO YEARS designing and agreeing upon something like this as they claim in their media videos. I'm sorry, it just does not add up.

Two year's isn't as far-fetched as it seems. Did you see the picture of the MD80 with five different color samples painted on it? I'm sure there were dozens of paint samples applied to varying degrees to test proposed colors in different lighting conditions before they chose a winner. Can you imagine system-wide how many various components from laser printed bag tags to first class amenities kits have to carry a proposed logo? What can be created quickly on a monitor may not translate in real-world application. It probably took six months to complete an inventory of all the items in use that currently have the existing brand on it and then test logo application on them. And I'm sure decision making probably chewed up six months or more of the re-development time. All of the two years may not have been equally productive but in re-brandings of this scale I've been involved with I've never seen one completed in less than a year. It might have been able to have been done faster but if commissioned pre-bankruptcy it certainly wasn't going to be unveiled until they were near an exit once they found themselves in bankruptcy. Can you imagine it being unveiled during the pilot's "non-slow-down?"

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: NWAdeicer
Posted 2013-01-22 21:09:07 and read 2685 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 30):
Sorry.....did I hurt YOUR feelings?

Heh heh, not at all. See, I don't get butt-hurt when the company I work for is "questioned". When my beloved Red Tail was taken I became a "This is my job" person. Anyways, the white in the Delta airlines plane is trashy. You can see every blemish, from the outline of where the jetbridge touches the plane to where the engine exhaust blackends (sp) the rear of EVERY md-88 and dc-9-50. The DELTA letters are plain and boring, looking like something the winning suggestion of Mrs. Crabtree' 5th grade class would submit. Should of kept the silver fueselage. It is too bad that Delta couldn't have incorporated NWA and Delta like United and Continental have done on their planes. So, I apologize for insulting or trashing your beloved mother Delta.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2013-01-22 21:21:35 and read 2672 times.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 93):
You can see every blemish, from the outline of where the jetbridge touches the plane to where the engine exhaust blackends (sp) the rear of EVERY md-88 and dc-9-50.

I agree completely. Let's hope it never gets as bad as AF. Mix in some soap with the deicing fluid.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 93):
Should of kept the silver fueselage.

Does the jetbridge and reverse thrust not dirty up a silver fuselage? I think Hefner had it right. I never saw a dirty Playboy Bunny (well, not dirty in THAT way).  

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: NWAdeicer
Posted 2013-01-22 21:24:22 and read 2652 times.

LOL, f I could add a little soap!! I really like those "Skyteam" planes that come in. The silver and blue are a nice combination.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-01-22 21:29:53 and read 2642 times.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 93):
It is too bad that Delta couldn't have incorporated NWA and Delta like United and Continental have done on their planes. So, I apologize for insulting or trashing your beloved mother Delta.

Well, you made sense until you seemed to say you like UA's feeble attempt to blend the two carriers. It looks dated and quite cheap, to me. Doesn't look much better than the temporary "bumper sticker" approach we used on the Western aircraft during that merger or on the PanAm a/c during that acquisition.



Yes, Delta is my beloved "mother". She put food in my mouth and a roof over my head for over 33 years and I guess it's unusual in this day in age for me to show any loyalty to her. What I don't understand is why it seems I'm not allowed to show this loyalty, while you seem to show that kind of loyalty to NW or was it just a JOB for you?

I'm guessing that you subscribe to the conspiracy theory that the DL/NW merger was in the works for years. Maybe, maybe not, but if it's not, I don't see why DL would incorporate NW's color scheme in their new livery. Besides, you got your red tail, maybe just not the same shade.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2013-01-22 21:32:12 and read 2637 times.

Quoting BarryH (Reply 92):
Two year's isn't as far-fetched as it seems. Did you see the picture of the MD80 with five different color samples painted on it? I'm sure there were dozens of paint samples applied to varying degrees to test proposed colors in different lighting conditions before they chose a winner.

If that were truly the process, then AA likely couldn't decide between any of them and instead opted to incorporate some element of all of them together, hence producing the mess that we are seeing on the fuselage.

Trust me, it won't last, and AA will have to spend another heap of money sometime in the near future having to re-do it all.

Quoting BarryH (Reply 92):
an you imagine system-wide how many various components from laser printed bag tags to first class amenities kits have to carry a proposed logo?
Quoting BarryH (Reply 92):
What can be created quickly on a monitor may not translate in real-world application. It probably took six months to complete an inventory of all the items in use that currently have the existing brand on it and then test logo application on them.

Yes, I'm aware of how many itemized pieces are affected by the logo redesigns, there have to be hundreds of thousands of various things. In that same vein, although American hasn't undergone a redesign since the 60's, hundreds of other airlines have. I'm sure there is a formulaic model/methodology used by hiring someone from the outside, which certainly means that it couldn't have taken six months.

The logo itself is passable, that I can live with. It's the paint scheme that is truly horrendous and is completely disconnected in its logic and flow. The logo doesn't translate well at ALL to what is going on the plane, which is arguably the most important piece affected by the rebranding. It's just merely slapped on the front fuselage.

Quoting BarryH (Reply 92):
but in re-brandings of this scale I've been involved with I've never seen one completed in less than a year.

Which is why AA should have taken the Air France or Alitalia approach and made much more subtle redesigns while retaining the classy, professional look that it currently has rather than an overhaul that completely fell flat on its face.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: NWAdeicer
Posted 2013-01-22 21:44:13 and read 2619 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 96):
Well, you made sense until you seemed to say you like UA's feeble attempt to blend the two carriers. It looks dated and quite cheap, to me. Doesn't look much better than the temporary "bumper sticker" approach we used on the Western aircraft during that merger or on the PanAm a/c during that acquisition.



Yes, Delta is my beloved "mother". She put food in my mouth and a roof over my head for over 33 years and I guess it's unusual in this day in age for me to show any loyalty to her. What I don't understand is why it seems I'm not allowed to show this loyalty, while you seem to show that kind of loyalty to NW or was it just a JOB for you?

I'm guessing that you subscribe to the conspiracy theory that the DL/NW merger was in the works for years. Maybe, maybe not, but if it's not, I don't see why DL would incorporate NW's color scheme in their new livery. Besides, you got your red tail, maybe just not the same shade.

Feeble? Really? To me it's a classy way of reminding people that there were two different carriers. And yes I was loyal to Northwest Airlines. That was the company that hired me and put "food, etc in my mouth". Sorry, my allegiance died the day I was told that I would not be allowed to wear or show anything Northwest Airlines related. Even though we "merged" correct? You are going to sit there and with a straight face try to tell me this "merger" just popped up outof the blue! LOL, c'mon you can't be that brainwashed, can you?

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-01-23 08:05:17 and read 2371 times.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 98):
You are going to sit there and with a straight face try to tell me this "merger" just popped up outof the blue! LOL, c'mon you can't be that brainwashed, can you?

Mergers "pop up out of the blue" all the time. When NW almost bought Northeast and then backed out at the last minute, DL jumped into the fray "out of the blue" to make it happen. DL's merger with WA was an out of the blue happening, as well.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 98):
Sorry, my allegiance died the day I was told that I would not be allowed to wear or show anything Northwest Airlines related. Even though we "merged" correct?

What was left of Republic after the merger with NW? Were the Republic people allowed to wear anything related to them after the "merger"? How long have you been around, anyway? Did you really expect it to be any different than most other mergers in the airline world?

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: lostsound
Posted 2013-01-23 08:32:33 and read 2326 times.

Waste of money? The complete opposite.

Rebranding is one of the most critical aspects of company. It is a huge percentage in the customer experience and a symbol in which the customer will remember.

American Airlines picked the perfect time to shed the chains the old livery represented. Whether you, as an aviation enthusiast, agree or disagree that the livery change is attractive or not is no big deal. It is expected that some aviaiton enthusiast will not like the change because of heritage value. But welcome to the real world, where most travellers are really going to like this new brand and feel as if they are flying with an evolving company.

The new logo is a great evolution of the previous design. The eagle is still there, it is just abstract and styalized. The heritage value is still there in the silver-grey paint, the eagle, and the stipes. This is my interperation and opinion. I think it is simply wonderful and will aid AA for their future.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: tommy767
Posted 2013-01-23 08:34:00 and read 2327 times.

Yes I think it's a giant waste of money.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-01-23 10:39:40 and read 2198 times.

Quoting lostsound (Reply 100):
This is my interperation and opinion

I respect that.

Quoting lostsound (Reply 100):
It is a huge percentage in the customer experience and a symbol in which the customer will remember.

I can bet you a kidney, if I have a delayed flight, a bad on board service or an old aircraft with signs of tear and wear everywhere, there is no way I can pay less attention to the branding, re-branding or symbols in the outside..... and that way of thinking represents the vast majority of the flying public.

Quoting lostsound (Reply 100):
Whether you, as an aviation enthusiast, agree or disagree that the livery change is attractive or not is no big deal. It is expected that some aviaiton enthusiast will not like the change because of heritage value. But welcome to the real world, where most travellers are really going to like this new brand and feel as if they are flying with an evolving company.

Sorry but you are making too much assumptions in this lines....I never said if I like or dislike the livery , what I said is that I don't think someone could need two years of work to end with that result, just my opinion... and if you read the threads regarding the whole AA new livery, you will see that, in this site, which can be considered as a legitimate sample of the world ( with people of very diverse cultures and countries ), you will see that the majority of the people hates this new livery.

Quoting lostsound (Reply 100):
The eagle is still there, it is just abstract and styalized.

Well, I could put a blue triangle, a red dot and a couple of lines here and there and say "here is my abstract eagle" too.... but unless the people outside has the same view of Mr. Picasso, probably they will never see an eagle....

G.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: iFlyLOTs
Posted 2013-01-23 11:12:18 and read 2110 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 102):
and if you read the threads regarding the whole AA new livery, you will see that, in this site, which can be considered as a legitimate sample of the world ( with people of very diverse cultures and countries ), you will see that the majority of the people hates this new livery.

This is true, but you are missing one thing that is a factor to the people on this site not liking the livery: we're all aviation enthusiasts. Not everyone in the world cares as much about planes as we do (we all paid at least $25 to post on this site) and the public could probably care less about what is on the outside of the plane as long as the service is what they paid for.

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: brilondon
Posted 2013-01-23 11:12:51 and read 2113 times.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 93):
United and Continental have done on their planes.

That was done on the cheap and was totally wrong. They should have done more than take off the CO sticker and added the UA sticker. What I would have liked to see was them keep the last UA livery, and gotten rid of the CO colours, that would have been more "United", but what do I know. I like the new AA livery.   

Topic: RE: Isn't The AA Repaint A Big Waste Of Money?
Username: Antoniemey
Posted 2013-01-24 00:58:22 and read 1836 times.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 104):
They should have done more than take off the CO sticker and added the UA sticker.

It's paint.

Quoting brilondon (Reply 104):
What I would have liked to see was them keep the last UA livery, and gotten rid of the CO colours, that would have been more "United", but what do I know. I like the new AA livery.

That could have worked, but given the choice to keep the CO globe, it would have cost more. A LOT more.


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