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AA Update: MD-80 PEDs And Cashless Test  
User currently offlineQqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2256 posts, RR: 13
Posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4389 times:

Here is an update on a few initiatives here at AA.

It was announced the other day the MD-80 PED (personal electronic device) test is coming to an end (today) and the results were not satisfactory. The rental rate was very low, and further, pax in first class turned them down more often than not, even though they were provided at no cost in that cabin. AA says passengers continue to prefer their own entertainment devices like iPods, DVD players and laptop computers. AA hasn't written the idea off completely but for now, don't plan on seeing PEDs between ORD-LAX on MD-80s anymore (the test route/aircraft).

Also, the cashless test out of SFO is supposedly going very well and the test has been extended through October. All flights departing SFO through October 31 will continue to operate cashless for onboard sales.

And a tiny note, AA will finally roll out their OSR (onboard sales recorder) to all duty free flights starting October 15. The new system has been rolled out in phases and the final phase will be implemented then.


The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSirOmega From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 735 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4356 times:

Not surprised on the PED front - everyone who wants an iPod has one, and just about everyone who doesn't have one doesn't want one (or is going to read a book, sleep, etc).

Especially now with the iPhone and iPod touch - 16GB is a lot of music and movies in a format that is pocket friendly.


User currently offlineMD90fan From Bahamas, joined Jul 2005, 2931 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4345 times:

Quoting Qqflyboy (Thread starter):
ORD-LAX on MD-80s anymore

That's too bad considering nearly all of the flights on that route are MD-80s.

On another note, the interior on the MD-80 is very welcoming and pleasing.



http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
User currently offlineKcrwFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3791 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4312 times:

What exactly is the use of the PED? ( Games, movies..?)

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 2):
IMO, it's a shame that such a pathetic aircraft is even on such a route.

If the MD-80 is a pathetic aircraft, do show me a good one..


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11387 posts, RR: 62
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4295 times:

Makes sense - it just really reflects the place that consumer electronics hold in our society these days: they are so relatively cheap and accessible, that - as others have said - most people who want entertainment, have entertainment already. It further speaks to our increasingly consumer-control culture: consumers prefer to control their own destiny, be it entertainment, transportation, booking, check-in, etc., which is why we have seen the rise of consumerist icons like iPods, portable DVD players, wireless check-in, and the fall of travel agencies and other middle-men.

Quoting KcrwFlyer (Reply 4):
If the MD-80 is a pathetic aircraft, do show me a good one.

Couldn't have said it better myself. As long as I'm not in the last 5 rows, and especially if I'm near the bulkhead of Y or in F, I'll take the MD80 over just about anything else in the sky any day.


User currently offlineNorthstarBoy From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1824 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4217 times:
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If AA is going cash-less onboard, how are they planning on handling those passengers who either don't have or don't want to use a credit card?

as for the PEDS, too bad. Maybe they'll change their minds, otherwise, as much as i like the MD-80, i'll steer clear on flights longer than 2 hours

[Edited 2007-10-01 05:29:39]


Why are people so against low yields?! If lower yields means more people can travel abroad, i'm all for it
User currently offlineSlovacek747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4212 times:

Then they wont be able to buy anything. There is no reason to not have a credit/debit card in today's society here in the US.

Slovacek747


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4197 times:

......too bad they will not be implemented...I flew LAX-ORD recently and saw one of them....they weren't too bad....but even on my flight, maybe 2-3 people rented them for the flight.....and I wasn't one of them.. spin ...but its true, on most of my AA flights, whoever wants entertainment now brings their own PED....be it laptop, portable DVD, Ipod  yuck , etc......


"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3292 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4196 times:

Come to think of it, why don't airlines just buy thousands of iPods and load 'em up with movies, music, and games, and then just pass those out instead of investing in PTVs, in-seat audio, overhead screens, etc?

User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11387 posts, RR: 62
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4167 times:

Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 5):
If AA is going cash-less onboard, how are they planning on handling those passengers who either don't have or don't want to use a credit card?

As Slovacek747, if someone doesn't carry at least some form of plastic - debit, credit, check card, etc. - in their wallet in 2007 in the United States, they might as well just hang it up. I actually don't know how the average person in the U.S. today would even get along without a credit card - in many places, they don't accept anything else or, if they do, it's a real hassle to deal with cash. Banks are even marketing credit cards to illegal immigrants now - that should tell you where things are going.


User currently offlineSirOmega From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 735 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4153 times:

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 8):
Come to think of it, why don't airlines just buy thousands of iPods and load 'em up with movies, music, and games, and then just pass those out instead of investing in PTVs, in-seat audio, overhead screens, etc?

1. Security - its probably very easy for someone to take one off the plane.
2. What movies? What music? People's tastes are really diverse.
3. The content industry - they'd probably want an arm and a leg to license the content.
4. There is a program called ephpod that allows me to pull the music and movies off the phone and back onto my computer.

[Edited 2007-10-01 05:34:49]

User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5722 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4014 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 9):
As Slovacek747, if someone doesn't carry at least some form of plastic - debit, credit, check card, etc. - in their wallet in 2007 in the United States, they might as well just hang it up.

I disagree.
Cash is cash. It's the ultimate form of money. If you have no cash in your wallet, then, in fact, you have NO REAL MONEY.

Anyhow, I have credit cards in my wallet. That's not an issue. An issue is whether I want to hand my card to someone else, watch them take it away for a little while, and hope nothing happens to it in the interim.
And the answer is "NO". I don't. I don't like to do it at restaurants, either. A good friend of mine has had his identity stolen in the last month, and it's a very unpleasant experience, and a LONG ROAD (15-18 weeks before the FBI can get back to you on it) to recovery.

Anyhow, I guess the solution for me is, in fact, very simple: keep flying Continental. They don't charge for PED's at all. In fact, the vast majority of their fleet doesn't even NEED a PED, because of onboard audio and video entertainment of some kind.
I dumped my AAdvantage account for several reasons.

Did AA ever stop to think that maybe coach passengers didn't want to RENT one because they thought the things should be handed out for FREE, as IFE is on most other airlines, including (shock and horror) the dreaded USAir/America West monolith? That airline is (among many people) known for poor service... yet all of their Airbus fleet has free entertainment, if you've got headphones.

I can hear it now: "Well, nobody wanted to pay $5 to rent this thing, so clearly no one really wants it."


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11387 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3974 times:

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 11):
Anyhow, I have credit cards in my wallet. That's not an issue. An issue is whether I want to hand my card to someone else, watch them take it away for a little while, and hope nothing happens to it in the interim.

Actually, the OSR card reader that is being used is actually processed right in front of you - at your seat. Unless there is something wrong with the thing, there is absolutely nothing that you can't see - and it is virtually impossible for anyone, namely the flight attendant, to steal your identity.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 11):
Did AA ever stop to think that maybe coach passengers didn't want to RENT one because they thought the things should be handed out for FREE, as IFE is on most other airlines

The question isn't what people want, but what they "value" and, more specifically, what they are willing to pay for.

Time and again, it has been proven that people are not - on average - willing to pay for IFE. People like it sure, and they definitely think it's a nice feature to have, but I doubt you'd find too many people in the U.S. had be willing to say that - all else equal - they would rather pay more to have a TV at their seat. Some would, sure, but not many. And because of the astronomical costs of installing and maintaining these systems, to say nothing of the millions in extra fuel it would cost from hauling several tons of new electronic equipment around the sky, AA can't make a choice based on that desire, but lack of "value."

Now don't get me wrong - to a certain extent, I agree with you, and I think that what you describe is probably long-term where we are heading: at least on long flights (I'm thinking 5+ hours), free seat-back IFE is probably going to become the norm within the next 5-10 years in the U.S. thanks to early innovators like JetBlue, etc. However, on shorter mid-con flights like ORD-West Coast, etc., it is important to remember that, after all, airlines aren't restaurants nor movie theaters, but airlines.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 11):
"Well, nobody wanted to pay $5 to rent this thing, so clearly no one really wants it."

I agree with what has already been discussed here: most people have and want to have their own IFE (namely, an iPod, iPhone, laptop, DVD player, Gamebody, PSP, etc.) over the airline's anyway. (For me personally, I know that 90% of the time when I'm in the air, I'm either sleeping, eating, or on my laptop. And, as for the other 10% of the time, just looking out the window is enough for me - that's the one form of inflight entertainment that I don't think will ever get old for me.)


User currently offlineAJMIA From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 731 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3940 times:

Quoting Slovacek747 (Reply 6):
Then they wont be able to buy anything. There is no reason to not have a credit/debit card in today's society here in the US.

Well working in Miami I can tell you that I come across lots of passengers who do not have credit cards. I rarely get through the work day without a significant cash deposit.
Many people from the Caribbean, South and Central America live without cards. It seems sad that these people won't be able to eat on flights where the only food is available to purchase with a credit card.
It may be cheaper for AA to go cashless, but I would think they would know their customers better than that. They must realize what their cash ticket sales are like in MIA, LAX, JFK etc and hopefully will surmise that many of these people are using cash because they do not have a credit card too use online or over the phone.

AJMIA



Lady it's a jet... not a kite.
User currently offlineQQflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2256 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3826 times:

Quoting AJMIA (Reply 13):
It may be cheaper for AA to go cashless, but I would think they would know their customers better than that. They must realize what their cash ticket sales are like in MIA, LAX, JFK etc and hopefully will surmise that many of these people are using cash because they do not have a credit card too use online or over the phone.

Keep in mind this test covers flights leaving SFO only. The market you speak of is not affected, at least at this time. AA does not offer BOB on most flights to Central/South America. We do have BOB between the US and the Caribbean, but that's mostly vacationers loaded with plastic and ready to spend. I am sure AA knows their market far better than we ever could, and I'm sure the decision they make in the end will be the best for the company. Even if cashless means less sales in some areas, eliminating the cash handling process for onboard sales will save far more money to cover slightly lower sales.

It has been brought up before, "What about UMs without plastic." UMs are provided with one BOB item on each flight should they want one at no additional charge. Just as UMs are provided with headsets at no additional charge.

Here's an idea as well... ever tried to get on a bus/train only to find out it accepts quarters/tokens only? Many times I see people offer up their bus card to cover someone's fare and then take the cash. Same thing on the plane. If you don't have plastic and want something, perhaps you could include your sale with your seatmate's and pay them the cash. Just a thought.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6572 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3808 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
Makes sense - it just really reflects the place that consumer electronics hold in our society these days: they are so relatively cheap and accessible, that - as others have said - most people who want entertainment, have entertainment already. It further speaks to our increasingly consumer-control culture: consumers prefer to control their own destiny, be it entertainment, transportation, booking, check-in, etc., which is why we have seen the rise of consumerist icons like iPods, portable DVD players, wireless check-in, and the fall of travel agencies and other middle-men.

Of course, this makes you wonder about airlines that are investing heavy in IFE and whether it will pay off in the long-run. It's very possible, that in ten years from now much of the population will own its own personal entertainment device which will be cheap to buy and be able to carry hundreds of tv shows, games, movies, etc. At that point, airlines IFE loses much of the value it had which honestly wasn't that much value to start with (particularly on shorter domestic flights).


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11387 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3787 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 15):
It's very possible, that in ten years from now much of the population will own its own personal entertainment device which will be cheap to buy and be able to carry hundreds of tv shows, games, movies, etc.

With the way that technology is rapidly transforming consumer electronics, and making them far more capable, affordable and accessible than at any other time in history, I regard this scenario as a virtual certainty.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 15):
At that point, airlines IFE loses much of the value it had which honestly wasn't that much value to start with (particularly on shorter domestic flights).

Exactly right. Makes you wonder...


User currently offlineNycbjr From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3637 times:

not to hijack this thread but I was on a AA MD-80 flight recently LGA-STL, the flight was very pleasant but the BOB food really sucked.. Made me long for the days of Song's BOB  Smile

User currently offlineQQflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2256 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3603 times:

Quoting Nycbjr (Reply 17):
the flight was very pleasant but the BOB food really sucked

Tell AA what you didn't like about it. This seems to be one area where they're trying to remain receptive to what pax have to say. Did this flight feature fresh items like salads or sandwiches? I don't think flying time warranted it, but those items seem to be pretty popular. I've heard some complaints, but not many. On the snack side, we hear lots of complaints. The chips are by far the most popular, but everything else leaves something to desire. On this note, AA has stopped selling personal bottles of water for $2 as they sold very few... on average only two per flight.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 19, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3503 times:

Quoting Nycbjr (Reply 17):
not to hijack this thread but I was on a AA MD-80 flight recently LGA-STL, the flight was very pleasant but the BOB food really sucked.. Made me long for the days of Song's BOB  Smile

I fly on AA's MadDogs every few weeks, I think I've already flown on 1/2 of the MadDog fleet.. spin , I've learned its better to bring your own food from the airport (or home cooked meals).... Smile



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineAAJFKSJUBKLYN From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 901 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3381 times:

On my flight yesterday SFO-JFK, a passenger did not have a credit card, he had cash, he gave the cash to the passenger next to him, the passenger used his card for him. There are ways to make it work.

Why would AA go this route? Is it truly because they do not want to FA's to handle money????


User currently offlineQQflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2256 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3322 times:

Quoting AAJFKSJUBKLYN (Reply 20):
Why would AA go this route? Is it truly because they do not want to FA's to handle money????

Honestly flight attendants not handling money is a positive side effect, but not the main motivation. The system in place to collect and account for all the cash flight attendants take in on a daily basis is expensive. We're talking thousands of flights everyday to many parts of the globe. It's a massive network. Turning to electronic funds eliminates all of that. The OSRs (onboard sales recorders) AA uses have built in transmitters. Flight attendants transmit all sales data at the end of each flight that terminates in the US. The info is sent and the memory is cleared. Each device can store multiple flights for when out of the country. Being able to electronically send the info to one spot eliminates not only the flight attendant involvement with cash, but the agent involvement with the envelopes that hold the cash. The process is greatly simplified and will undoubtedly increase the amount of revenue AA realizes from its onboard sales.

Money seems to walk off the plane from time to time, if you know what I mean, and this may be a way to curb that, but the real benefit is eliminating the process that takes the cash from the plane to AA's bank account.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineAAJFKSJUBKLYN From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 901 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3313 times:

Quoting QQflyboy (Reply 21):
Money seems to walk off the plane from time to time, if you know what I mean, and this may be a way to curb that, but the real benefit is eliminating the process that takes the cash from the plane to AA's bank account.

Thats exactly what I was referring too. It all started with headsets and 'self-induced per diems'. I have even heard FA's tlaking about how much they made. So ridiculous. Petty.


User currently offlineFWAERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 3704 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3288 times:

I think that one of the main problems with the MD-80 PEDs was the devices that AA chose. American chose the Archos 604, which is an off-the-shelf device based on Microsoft PlaysForSure Audio/Video DRM technology. They cost about $239 US a pop, and I'm sure AA got a hefty discount.

The Archos 604 is a good device for personal use. But it's a lousy device for airplane rental use due to the 4.3" screen, which is not much bigger than the screen on a Apple iPod touch or iPhone (3.5"), and it's far smaller than the 7" screen on a portable DVD player or the 12-17" screen on a laptop (remember, laptops are cheap now). People would rather bring the DVDs they want to watch on a bigger screen along rather than watch a tiny 4.3" screen with American's choice of movies. IMO, for domestic flights, IFE needs to be just as good, if not better than what a person can buy off the shelf at Wal-Mart. (International IFE is a different story: laptop batteries typically don't last 8+ hours.)

OTOH, the cashless test is a very good idea. On virtually every flight I've been on, including a recent NW flight, FAs always ask "Does anyone have change for a $20?". After all, ATMs typically only give out $20 bills. Cutting out the cash cuts out a lot of the hassle for the already overstressed AA FAs.



I don't work for FWA, their tenants, or their ad agency. But I still love FWA.
User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3227 times:
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Re: people without credit cards: I vaguely remember being on a cashless train in Europe last summer, and in the terminal area they have a kiosk that looks similar to a MetroCard dispenser that lets you pre-load money onto a proprietary card with a magnetic stripe, which also resembled a MetroCard. If there really was a significant amount of people that lacked plastic, i.e. the situation described in MIA, they should consider a solution like that on the ground.


When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
25 QQflyboy : CO allows pax to purchase paper coupons from their self service kiosks for onboard purchases, albeit with a credit card. AA could easily do the same
26 Nycbjr : I will definitely do that, it was a 2hr flight so it was just the snacks. I forgot all about the fresh items on longer flights, so not right for me to
27 Qqflyboy : customer.relations@aa.com Or you can go to AA.com, click contact us at the top of the screen, and submit your thoughts there.
28 Aeronuts : An entire industry that does not take cash, the cruise lines. Credit card only please. In the US, you're not losing market shares if you're not taking
29 Slovacek747 : I'm not speaking for those in the Carribean.. but there isnt a reason for one to not have a credit or debit card here in the US. Notice I included deb
30 AAJFKSJUBKLYN : Different demographic...remember what happened to B6 when you only could buy their tickets online..those the were traveling to SDQ were at a loss...a
31 Post contains images Dc-9-10 : Kind of off the topic, but does this mean that NW is actually AHEAD of the times???
32 Post contains images AJMIA : True, but I would imagine the purpose of a test is to asses how the variable will work over the entire system... not just in one city or market. Yes
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