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PR Experts: WN Winning Wright Fight Vs. AA  
User currently offlineSWALoveField From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 179 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2617 times:

In an article in the Dallas Morning News, PR experts (I realize this is debatable) say Southwest Airlines is winning the PR war vs. AA by touting low fares and the freedom to fly.

The entire article is here:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont.../072905dnbuswrightaa.1c973fce.html

If you do not want to log in use:

www.bugmenot.com

The article states that PR observers note that AA has stumbled by letting WN get a head start in the fight and that WN's argument is easier to understand. Is it any surprise that AA was slow to react? Doesn't this seem to be the "corporate culture" at AA?

I'm an outsider looking in so I would like to hear from AA employees about the culture at AA to give me better perspective. This thread is about corporate culture and less about the Wright Amendment. We have plenty of threads debating that. I appreciate your point of view in advance.

Robb
Dallas, TX

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9303 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2592 times:

defensive corporate culture doesn't worry much about high school cheerleaders. defensive corporate culture caters to the people who matter. i.e. civic officials.


Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17355 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2558 times:

Quoting SWALoveField (Thread starter):
The article states that PR observers note that AA has stumbled by letting WN get a head start in the fight and that WN's argument is easier to understand

WN is the only one that HAS an argument.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 49
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2552 times:

Quoting STLGph (Reply 1):
defensive corporate culture doesn't worry much about high school cheerleaders. defensive corporate culture caters to the people who matter. i.e. civic officials.

I guess you have never heard of grass roots initiatives, and how they can and do take off and really make a difference!



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2542 times:

Too bad it has nothing to do with the Airlines. It has to do with the utilization of Airports. So it's irrelivant what they think of airline PR on the issue.

User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9303 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2519 times:

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 3):
I guess you have never heard of grass roots initiatives, and how they can and do take off and really make a difference!

grass roots for what? one company's own self interest. right.

see boeing's comment...

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 4):
Too bad it has nothing to do with the Airlines. It has to do with the utilization of Airports. So it's irrelivant what they think of airline PR on the issue.

exactly.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineUltrapig From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 581 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2491 times:

I believe you fail to understand the mechanics of legislation in the US Congress.

Passing a bill in the House is one thing-and don't bet that there will be a majority of reps voting to end the ban-they could be threatened by Tom Delay-horse traded over a highway-Most reps don't really care nor will the bill affect their consittuents.

Passing it through the Senate is something else-A single senator can stop a bill by objecting to bring a bill up for a b vote by unanimous consent. Then someone has to file a cloture bill and try to get 60 senators to agree to end debate-I'm guessing that there is at least one senator somewhere who will oppse the bill and I wonder whether there are 60 senators who want the Wright amendment cancelled-I'm not even sure whtehr this is a Democrat or Republican thing-it could be neight-it could have senaotrs from both side sof the aisle opposing, supporting or not caring.

NO One trust me no one can predict what will happen here even if the polls show that a majority of cicitzens want the law changed.

I'm personally not convinced it should be changed-If the change would not affect the solvency of DFW (NOT AA) or affect DFW's bondholders then I'd support it but otherwise I would not. The bondholders bought the bonds under an assumption and promise that there would be essentially one regional long haul airport with customers paying fees.

I don't know if DFW still needs this monopoly but if it does it shoudl retain it.

Personally I'd like to see the Wright amendment gone because it would probably help me in St. Louis-or would it? It might weaken AA sufficiently to elimante what's left of their mini-hub-In general for every action in this business there is a reaction and not necessarily a predictable one.


User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32620 posts, RR: 72
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2472 times:

Quoting Ultrapig (Reply 6):
I don't know if DFW still needs this monopoly but if it does it shoudl retain it.

Just to point out: no monopoly exists.

DFW is open to everybody and anybody. Other airlines are welcome to fly to DFW, and consumers are welcome to fly them. And what happenes when other airlines come? AA will match their fares (which they have every right to do so) and the consumers, who love to bitch and moan about AA, still fly AA. Consumers often have nobody to blame but themselves in these situations. If they would support the alternative they would weaken the dominant carrier.



a.
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2464 times:

Quoting Ultrapig (Reply 6):
I don't know if DFW still needs this monopoly but if it does it shoudl retain it.

Airports are a monopoly. That's the intent. Provide the most capacity at a single facility (when possible) within a region so that the region can be supported with sufficient air service and that airlines can compete on the same turf. Airports cost too damn much to build and operate to be plopping one down on every corner.


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9303 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2431 times:

Quoting Ultrapig (Reply 6):
Personally I'd like to see the Wright amendment gone because it would probably help me in St. Louis-or would it? It might weaken AA sufficiently to elimante what's left of their mini-hub-In general for every action in this business there is a reaction and not necessarily a predictable one.

no, it would not help you in St. Louis. or I. the rising costs for airlines to operate in and out of St. Louis alone is making it difficult for carriers to maintain operations more than necessary there. I look for AA to reduce half of its current St. Louis operations within two years, but that's a whole other topic of conversation. see the Wright Mongering thread for more details. towards the bottom I give a further explanation behind economics and how the fares will go up as a result.


but yes, Boeing is right. airports are an intended monopoly simply because of their costs, size, and scope. there is not a monpoly of service however. the level of service is decided by the consumer.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineSWALoveField From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2409 times:

I wanted to hear from more AA folks about corporate culture. I'm familiar with the WN corporate culture.

There are plenty of other threads to debate Wright.

I want an insight to AA culture.

Robb
Dallas, TX


User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2397 times:

Quoting SWALoveField (Reply 10):
I want an insight to AA culture.

Drive across town. I could give a rip about AA culture, I'm a DL/YX/NW/CO fan.


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9303 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2380 times:

Quoting SWALoveField (Reply 10):
Robb
Dallas, TX

reply #4



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3489 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2320 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 4):
Too bad it has nothing to do with the Airlines.

For having "nothing to do with the airlines", AA and WN seem to be expending a lot of energy on the issue.


User currently offlineORD From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1381 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2302 times:

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 7):
Consumers often have nobody to blame but themselves in these situations. If they would support the alternative they would weaken the dominant carrier.

This is easier said than done. If I'm a business flier in Dallas and I need to go to LAX, and AA has 18 flights a day and AirTran three, I may hate AA but most likely I'll still fly them because the schedule is so much more convenient.

Also don't forget that in major cities there are lots of corporate contracts that dictate what airline someone must fly. I have friends who work for the big consulting firms in Dallas and they hate AA with a passion. But that is the airline their companies require them to fly.


User currently offlineMicstatic From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 775 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2294 times:

Quoting Ultrapig (Reply 6):
NO One trust me no one can predict what will happen here even if the polls show that a majority of cicitzens want the law changed.

Thanks for reminding us while our political system is such a joke.



S340,DH8,AT7,CR2/7,E135/45/170/190,319,320,717,732,733,734,735,737,738,744,752,762,763,764,772,M80,M90
User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9303 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2285 times:

Quoting Travelin man (Reply 13):
For having "nothing to do with the airlines", AA and WN seem to be expending a lot of energy on the issue.

exactly. because Southwest wants you, the little people, to think otherwise.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2284 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 4):
Too bad it has nothing to do with the Airlines.

Odd, my airline timetable says the following...


 alert Federal law prohibits Southwest from offering for sale, or providing transportation between, Dallas Love Field and any point beyond Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Alabama.


User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2279 times:

Quoting Travelin man (Reply 13):
For having "nothing to do with the airlines", AA and WN seem to be expending a lot of energy on the issue.

Rather silly then isn't it?


User currently offline7E72004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2278 times:

Just get rid of that amendment...i think both airports would still do well...look at MDW and ORD  Smile


The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2264 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 8):
Airports are a monopoly.

There's no inherent reason fwhy airports have to be a monopoly, at least not in large metropolitan areas. Look at the San Francisco Bay market for an example. Three commercial airports, run by three completely unrelated entities, and all prosperous.


User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2218 times:

Quoting ExFATboy (Reply 20):
Three commercial airports, run by three completely unrelated entities, and all prosperous.

All constrained within a single market by either runway capacity or noise regulations and all insufficient to supply all of the air service to the region. As is LAX, ORD, IAD, JFK, EWR, LGA, MIA and the list goes on...

Do you think Stapleton should have remained open? I mean, Southwest could have served Denver on the cheap, or even JEFFCO. How about Austin when they moved to Bergstrom AFB? Cincinnati Downtown with CVG? Cleveland Lakefront with CLE? Detroit City with DTW? Or are those just a few names on Southwest's list if Wright goes away?

The issue that is different in Dallas is that one single facility is capable of providing all of the required passenger air service for the region. The other markets you all throw out there don't have that benefit.

I'll give you an example where I would agree on an airport remaining open. SAN isn't going to get Miramar or MCRD or any other military site from the BRAC, but they have to do something and that will probably not involve a two runway facility. That means finding a single runway solution with an 11,000 to 12,000' runway for mainline (this is a much smaller footprint then what they are looking at now) and keep SAN open for LCC's and regionals. You also re-classify SAN as a Group III facility. Shrink the runway length to accomodate an ILS to 27 and ensure the safety areas are up to snuff (these are presently waivered), and narrow the runway from 200' to 150'. This leaves you about 8,000' of runway with about 6,000' landing for 27 using displaced thresholds, and a full 8,000 landing for 9. It's a perfect 737/A320/RJ facility - given it's sea level location and moderate temperatures. The other facility is built to handle anything you can throw at it.


User currently offlineNonrevman From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1291 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2212 times:

Quoting STLGph (Reply 9):
no, it would not help you in St. Louis. or I. the rising costs for airlines to operate in and out of St. Louis alone is making it difficult for carriers to maintain operations more than necessary there. I look for AA to reduce half of its current St. Louis operations within two years, but that's a whole other topic of conversation. see the Wright Mongering thread for more details. towards the bottom I give a further explanation behind economics and how the fares will go up as a result.

Interesting how you bring this up, because now I can offer an excellent example of how fares are in this DFW market right now. Let's look at DFW-STL. Just for laughs, I priced a round trip on expedia between DFW and STL for late August in the middle of the week involving a Saturday night stay. AA offered 198$ for connecting flights through Tulsa. Northwest offered about 212$ for a one stop flight (assuming MEM). Nonstops started at 298$ on the one and only carrier, AA, who serves that market direct. What do you suppose would happen if the WA were repealed and WN started DAL-STL? My guess is that you would be able to fly nonstop for far less than 298$. Now, for the same days, I looked for flights out of IAH. CO goes nonstop for 218$. AA will get you there for 230$ RT GOING THROUGH DFW. It would actually cost me less to occupy space on 4 of AA's flights than merely 2 of them. Also, for 230$, AA will fly you nonstop from AUS to STL (same dates). So does anyone see a problem here? Good Lord, no wonder AA is so afraid of WN and what they could do at Love Field.

Actually, when pricing flights to destinations that AA serves nonstop out of here (DFW), those nonstop flights are almost never the lowest fares (unless they are the only fares). It is either another airline, or AA wants you to connect through ORD or MIA for a lower fare than the nonstop. Somebody please get us some decent competition in this area. I am not a big fan of open seating, but I could overlook it for a hundred dollar price break.

It is funny how AA screams that DAL would steal business. With the way fares are from DFW, they might come to find out that their competition is also AUS, IAH, and any other airport within a couple hundred miles of here.


User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2177 times:

Quoting Nonrevman (Reply 22):
My guess is that you would be able to fly nonstop for far less than 298$.

Given their fares of $80-120 to New Orleans (a more leisure market than STL), an additional distance of 100 miles compounded by the seats absorbed by connecting passengers I'd say about $280 including taxes. Of course you're expedia fare includes a $10 surcharge.

Market: DAL-STL DAL-MSY
Distance: 546 436
Block Time: 95 79
Hourly Cost: $1,708.00 $1,708.00
IDOC (45% of DOC): $ 768.60 $ 768.60 (Very conservative)
Net Trip Cost: $3,911.55 $3,269.03

Seat Cost: $28.55 $23.86
Fare: $98.00 $82.00
Next Higher: $140.00 $120.00

Average: $119.00 $101.00

Taxes: $11.90 $10.10
Security: $2.50 $2.50
PFC: $3.00 $3.00

RT Total: $272.80 $233.20

Of course it's a rough estimate assuming STL doesn't exibit a lack of demand over MSY in which case the fares would be higher.

[Edited 2005-07-29 23:45:59]

User currently offlineVegasplanes From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 778 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2085 times:

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 21):
Cleveland Lakefront with CLE? Detroit City with DTW? Or are those just a few names on Southwest's list if Wright goes away?

Burke had CO service in the 80's and it could not be sustained, same with WN, Midway (1), Pro Air at DET. It is my understanding that the above airports still have passenger terminals and may be operated to if an airline wishes to start service to these markets.

In the case of DET the major issue is a short runway, residential neighborhood around the airport prohibits expansion, and the fiscal disaster that is the city of Detroit.


User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3811 posts, RR: 34
Reply 25, posted (9 years 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2059 times:

Getting back to Robb's question about the corporate culture at AA, I can offer up this much.

One of the other websites I participate in has a thread about the Wright Amendment. One of the other posters there is an ex AA employee. I can't remember how long ago he left. Anyway, I posted this same article over there.

The article mentioned:

In another piece of its new offensive, American's 80,000 employees will begin speaking up for their carrier. Southwest asked its 33,000 workers to spread the word about repeal earlier this year.

"We're literally having to hold back our employees who feel slighted by Southwest's rhetoric," Mr. Frizzell said. "They feel Southwest is trying to steal their livelihood."

This was the ex AA's employees response:

Oh, that is rich! When I worked at AA, the level of employee loyalty to management could best be described as "abysmal" -- though to be fair, we were really proud of the airline itself, and long-time bogeyman Crandall is long gone. But here's an example of our support: during one particularly troublesome and uncertain period in the SABRE group's history, the VP over the IT folks had a meeting in which he described the impending changes, including the termination of hundreds of our co-workers, as just "a fork in the road".

You could feel the anger in the room, a cafeteria at AA's Centreport headquarters. The next day, the VP started receiving the IT department's response via company mail: forks. Apparently, a bunch of folks stuffed interoffice mail envelopes with forks from the cafeteria and sent them to him to show what they thought of his latest plan.

It'll be interesting to see if AA's attempt to motivate employees will produce results, or if it'll be nothing more than another forking over.

I know that Southwest has been collecting signatures for their petition. I signed it back in June when I was there. I'm wondering if the keep-Wright side would do the same thing at DFW.

I hope this gets your thread back on topic Robb cause I'd be interested in hearing from more AA employees, too regarding this. I'd like to know if they feel management is doing a good/poor job of motivating them regarding this issue, as well as how their co-workers (not all of whom may be aviation enthusiasts) feel.

BTW, Robb, (or anyone else who's interested,) there are three HUGE threads on the Wright Amendment that are actually quite informative and at times entertaining. I've participated in all three. and there are a few AA employees who alsoparticipate so you might be able to get a better impression of the overall picture over at AA right now.

The First is the thread over at The Dallas Fort Worth Urban forum. It started back on May 20, 2003 (two years ago) and is up to 741 posts. I'd guess about 80% of those posts have been made since Southwest announced their intentions to fight for repeal back in November. They obviously don't care over there if their participants post the full text of articles, etc. because evereyone does. It's helpful if you're tring to research old articles on the subject. The thread is titled

Love Field, SWA & The Wright Amendment

The second thread is over on Flyertalk in the AA forum. It started in May 2005 and is up to 491 posts. Posts by HGK_Flyer1 are especially good as he backs up his claims with sources and tries to read between the lines and often comes up with insightful observations. (He's NOT an AA employee,though.) That thread is titled:

AA worries about the quality of life of North Texans

The third thread is over in the forum section for City Issues at fortwortharchitecture.com where the participants are mostly from Ft. Worth.It was started on September 10, 2004 and isup to 393 posts.

This is my favorite thread because the tone over there between the two opposing sides has gone from cordial to "dripping with sacasm," especially between the thread starter and myself. We haven't quite gotten to the eye-gouging, wig-snatching, purse slinging stage yet and probably won't since it, like the other two threads are moderated. Still, it's a good way fopr me to release stress (You'd have to read the thread to understand what I'm talking about  

That thread is titled

Wright Amendment Nuiances [sic] The Wright Amendment was not wrong!

(Did I mention the thread starter can't spell? )   

LoneStarMike

[Edited 2005-07-30 11:59:27]

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