akjetBlue
Posts: 777
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:59 am

Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sat Apr 17, 2004 10:53 am

Anyone know what the morale or mood is towards AA in STL, since they all but devasted the old TWA hub?
Save a horse! Ride a Cowboy!
 
Boeing Nut
Posts: 5078
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 2:42 am

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 12:54 am

Well, there isn't much "flag waving" for AA at STL, that's for sure.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
Thrust
Posts: 2586
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:17 pm

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 1:01 am

Hey, don't denounce AA in STL too much. They recent just added 18 flights. And DL has plans in store for STL as well.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
Guest

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 1:08 am

American is still, like it or not, the dominant carrier in St. Louis. I travel frequently to St. Louis and always use American.... still offer the best frequencies and times to many destinations, and with the sheer number of flights to DFW/ORD, it makes for minimal connecting times in those cities to reach destinations without STL non-stops.
 
LambertMan
Posts: 1699
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:26 pm

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 3:41 am

Akjetblue,

I still kind of live amongst the STL aviation community (College). The sentiment is this; the people who know what was actually going on within the company know that STL was losing gobbs of money competing heavily with WN on routes such as OKC, TUL, ABQ, DTW, etc., so they know its a smart business move.

To the uninformed St Louisan, they think that AA was out to ruin their lives. They always talk about how AA "betrayed" us, which we all know, is completely untrue, we are lucky we didn't become a spoke city all together. People still fly AA because of schedule and frequent flier miles, but if someone like F9 or B6 came in here offering the type of product you do, the loyalty will be switched quickly. People are looking for viable alternatives to AA and WN, and those would be good ones. Probably the reason why F9 has been such a success here.......

Thrust,

DL bringing in a 752 for a month means nothing more than a small seasonal increase. I've been looking at the LF's for those 752 flights and I haven't seen one over 60% full. They don't have plans for STL, you may see the usual summer increase from 737's to MD-88's or SLC go to 1 733/1 CR7 as the loads are doing well.
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2821
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 10:06 am

I've been more than outspoken on this one. While I've never meant this as a negative to AAs employees or as any type of commentary on their dedication, or work, I have gone out of my way to avoid flying on them. I also know that TWA's days were numbered no matter what.

I remember the day that they made it official, I remember the AA777 and TW767 flying in formation over the Cardinals home opener (I have aerial photos from a couple miles away). I remember Don Carty claiming that TW's employees had job security, that the transition would be seamless. I remember my university offering him an invitation to be our keynote speaker at graduation ceremonies last year and then recinding the inviation when we all found out he, along with other executives were getting bonuses while all the other hard working employees were taking pay cuts,and in the case of most TW employees, getting furloughed to keep the airline in business. I lost a job that I really enjoyed because of the economic impact in the area. I didn't work in aviation at the time, but I was in a community where many TWA employees lived and I was friends with many of those customers. Others I know who are still with AA wonder every day if it will be their last because they are so low on the seniority list.

While AA did add 18 flights, it still doesn't make up for the 200 they cut this past November. And yes, the market was oversaturated. The comments they made in the beginning compared to now would probably make me feel like I was betrayed if I had worked for TWA. If not, I would at least feel like I was lied to. It would have been a little easier to swallow if they just came out and said, "this is going to be the usual cutthroat takeover, kiss your jobs goodbye". Having witnessed these past couple years, I wouldn't trust AA's management as far as I could throw them if I worked there.

These are the reasons that Frontier, Delta, and Northwest have picked up so much business here. These are also the reasons that I feel people in St. Louis will not be loyal to AA if they have another travel option.

Not trying to get flamed here, just giving my feelings on the issue.
DMI
 
LambertMan
Posts: 1699
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:26 pm

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 10:25 am

Pilotpip,

Who knew there would be 9/11? Who knew the war would happen? You just can't predict these things.

Would the AA-STL hub be as large as it was during the takeover w/o 9/11? Probably not, and the reason is over-saturation and AA's hub setup. We must remember TW had all its eggs in one basket in STL which way oversaturated it, while AA had two premier hubs in DFW and ORD and a hub in MIA that was wildly profitable where undoubtedly at some point in time the resources would be moved to. It's good business sense.

Would the AA-STL hub be larger than it is today w/o the events? You bet it would be. DFW and ORD would still be near capacity and STL would get the east/west spillover traffic. I think we'd see something around 330 flights a day with 110 mainline/220 connection. That is a very reasonable hub and a flight to LGW would probably still exist at least on a seasonal basis with that kind of feed.

People are in business to make the bucks and well in AA's case, survive. Pilotpip, you would have made the same moves.
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2821
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:03 am

I agree with you totally LambertMan, but you also have to understand that when you start talking about people's livelihood it gets very sensitive. The fact that tons of people have been negatively affected by this inside and outside the industry does not help. IF I were in the same shoes, I would have been taking a pay cut along with my fellow employees as a token expression of my appreciation for the sacrifices they were making. But, I'm not ever going to be in that situation, I'll be one of the people in the cockpit taking it.

9/11 may have sped the decline, but it only did that. Many airlines were in financial trouble, the economy was already in decline. Had these two events not happened, I feel that aviation would be in bad shape regardless. In fact, it would more than likely still be on the decline rather than the rebound.

The only good thing that has come out of AA's pull out here is the options that the traveler here has. It has spurred competition that would otherwise be non-existent. TWA owned tons of unused slots and gates so that they basically had a monopoly on the STL market. The addition of flights by Frontier, Northwest, and the rumors swirling around about other carriers may be a reason that AA is adding flights so they can compete.
DMI
 
LambertMan
Posts: 1699
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:26 pm

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:14 am

Pilotpip,

I understand that it gets sensitive. Luckily, my family wasn't affected but many neighbors and friends were. I live/lived in an aviaiton rich community and several 717 FO's, DC-9 FO's, all the way up to 757's FO's were the first to go along with a few NW guys (one who just quit the military after 30 years to be a DC9 capt.) and a couple UA guys. It was hard to see them moving out of the neighborhood or struggling to make due. The stink of it is this: it sucks what happened, but it's life and business.

To basically answer the sentiment question: People will stay loyal to AA because they provide the best current service, but if an airline offering a similar product came in (CO or F9 for example, even though it wouldn't happen) you would see a dramatic transformation in loyalty.
 
Air1727
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:57 am

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:21 am

Mood? I could care less about AAL, so I don't bother getting all excited about a few new flights being added. Saint Louis is not a hub; it is not a glory house; it is an o&d test lab and thats all it will be for the immediate future. Attitude? As a former Trans World employee, I have my negative reservations toward American...more on a professional level. In 2000, we could barely meet payroll, so the writing was on the wall and I accepted that.

The business and frequent flyer community in Saint Louis that came over from Trans World still has patronage to American and that they should. A lot of Saint Louisans frowned on the cutbacks, etc, but the reality just hasn't set in yet that Saint Louis was blessed with a hub by Ozark and Trans World. With both gone, and American already operating Dallas, Miami, and Chicago; there is no reason to maintain a hub here. Only fulfill what needs to be fulfilled while being competitive. Simple as that...

The addition and removal of flights is all seasonal and responses to demand...
In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2821
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:43 am

If the last couple years have taught me anything, it's this:

I don't want to fly for a major.

The better pay is/was nice and all, but the job security stinks. In recent years my goal has become a big cargo carrier like Fed Ex or UPS as a result.
DMI
 
Air1727
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:57 am

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 12:34 pm

Pip, I will say it once and I will say it again...you are one of the smartest s.o.b's I know...  Big grin
In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.
 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Sun Apr 18, 2004 1:04 pm

My attitude ha sbeen somewhat flunctuating about it. When I first heard the news, I was so glad that AA was saving TWA and that they would have the same flights and everything that we all heard. Then, I saw that AA cut down some flihgts, thinking:ahhh no worries we are still a major hub and a big one at that) Then 9/11 happened. Somehow it didnt seem to be that hopeful, then slowly AA was axing flights, and for each flight AA cut, I got madder and madder. Then the big one, NOVEMBER 1, STL WILL BE REDUCED TO 201 FLIGHTS DAILY FROM THE 400+ Well my heart just sank after, and it did it for me for AA, I HATED American and despised them for lying, cheating and doing everything and anything bad to STL, TWA and people involved. I lost all hope for AA. But now, after flying them twice now after the cutbacks, and now I see AA is struggling too and i see that they are a WONDERFUL Airline and are truly trying there best, and iv leanred to face it(with big help from lambertman Big grin) that we have to face it, STL will no more be the glory hub days with AA as it was with TWA. But now I am also now cheering for AA in every move it makes that is GOOD toward STL whether its an upgrade or another flihgt, or a new city. So right now, my attitude with them is a great one and I will try to fly them as much as I can.

Alex

ps- could AA just bring back LGW THEN ILL SHUT UP!!! : D  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2821
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:10 am

Air, I think you're perception of smart is slightly skewed, but thanks for the compliment.

What it really boils down to is that I want to fly aircraft that are older than I am, and have three engines. Growing up just east of Lambert and having TWA and MDD flying aircraft over my house all day meant two things. 1) Everything in our house rattled. 2) I think I lost some brain cells as a result!

It was really bad when they were retiring the 727s. One of my professors said that the inflight shutdown rate on them went up 200% in the last couple months that TW had them becuase the pilots were just pushing the throttles to the firewall on takeoff.

I have a great idea for a noise abatement procedure: MOVE!!!  Laugh out loud
DMI
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:28 am

My general feeling about the issue is this: where would STL and the ex-TWA employees be if AA had not stepped in and made the acquisition?
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
Thrust
Posts: 2586
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:17 pm

RE: Sentiments Of AA In STL?

Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:39 am

Had it not been for 9/11, I know for a fact AA would've added STL-AA), Japan">NRT with a 777. They had a firm plan for it I believe before the attacks. There is no doubt in my mind STL would still be what it was before the cuts had it not been for 9/11. In fact, they might be even bigger. BTW, you got me, LambertMan, I did overestimate DL in STL. But hey, it's awesome they've decided to bring the 757 here. They will be the third carrier in STL history to do this. STL-AA), Japan">NRT with a 777 is more than I could ask for. But that will never happen now obviously.
Fly one thing; Fly it well

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