Kahala777
Topic Author
Posts: 1513
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:28 am

AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:07 am

It has come to my attention lately that a lot of people on this forum seem to think that I am bent on the destruction of American Airlines. That could not be any further from the truth. Although I feel that the American Airlines domestic product is at the polar opposite from American Airlines international product, I do not wish for the demise of American Airlines. It has been said time and time again to myself and others that if we don’t like what is going on at American Airlines, we should offer a suggestion as to how to re-shape the airline and make it a de-facto powerhouse. Here is my attempt to re-shapae American Airlines. Before any of you berate it, come up with a solution of your own and then lets compare notes.

Topic A

American Airlines Battle with JetBlue and Southwest Airlines

Since its inception Southwest Airlines has seemed to be one of the biggest thorns in American Airlines side. Then along came an upstart at JFK known as Jet Blue. Combined these two airlines are creating a colossal headache for American Airlines, and in the process American Airlines has lost a number of low fare battles. Cases in point include: Oakland to New York.JFK, San Jose to New York.JFK, and Long Beach to New York.JFK. American Airlines has had a near knee-jerk reaction every time a low fare airline expands in one of their markets of operation (Los Angeles/San Francisco).

If one could suggest why doesn’t American Airlines re-brand a domestic product and offer something similar to United Airlines Ted product to take on the low fare airlines in key American Airlines markets. Of course a name more fitting of the American Airlines image, rather than after a male figure, as at United Airlines. Legacy or Eagle would be fitting titles for a domestic low-fare wing of American Airlines. As can be seen American Airlines is going to dire measures to do all it can to fight, often losing battles with lower than average airfares. Most recently this has been made evident by American Airlines return to Love Field. We can only hope that American Airlines will give Southwest Airlines a run for its money, but as history has told most times American is the one caught short.

Topic B

American Airlines/American Eagle Cost Cutting Plans

Recently American Eagle announced plans to market soda for a dollar on routes from LAX, that directly compete with the likes of Southwest Airlines. Sure the charge really is nothing in the scheme of things, but it is just one more thing that the flying public views as being cheap. The plan from what has been discussed, may be going system wide, if of course it proves to be a moneymaker. American Airlines as of late has deleted its MRTC program on certain equipment types, dropped meal service, along with charging for snacks, discontinuing pillows on certain routes. As on several airlines, it is possible to purchase a meal before your flight(United Airlines), and then the passengers are given an option. Thus in return the passenger is fed, flown, and satisfied.

All of this cost cutting effects American Airlines in a bad light in the press, and as many of us well know the press can do severe harm to airlines and their public image. This all only fuels the fire for American Airlines to do one of two things. First, create a new image as a low fare, domestic operation with a full service, international operation. This is currently what is planned for the new US Airways. Second, separate domestic from international and concentrate building a stronger international presence with the money made from a concentrated and efficient low cost domestic operation.

Topic C

American Airlines Dallas/Ft. Worth Operation

It is truly sad to see American Airlines has chosen to move certain DFW service to Love Field. Many were hoping that it would not come to this as we are all well aware the moves to Love Field before never proved to be fruitful. When it comes to DFW, American Airlines, is “the” airline. People chose DFW for a reason. 90% of the time that reason is American Airlines. American Airlines should forget about this on and off hatred of a pissing match with Southwest Airlines. American Airlines should instead focus on offering the services it has been known for. Offering those services for a dollar or two more than Southwest Airlines would not hurt American, and it would save American Airlines the headache of yet another trip down memory lane.

Topic D

American Airlines Raleigh and San Jose Operation

Exactly how long can a lame duck be beaten. Over the years the attempts American Airlines has made to beef up Raleigh and San Jose have just not panned out. Recently the only thing American Airlines has going for them in either operation is one single hallmark route. For Raleigh the route is Gatwick. For San Jose the route is Narita. There is no other airline remotely interested, or with the financial gains to operate a sole Gatwick-Raleigh flight. At what point does the contract supersede the cost of maintaining all of the equipment required for one aircraft type at a station? From a personal point American Airlines could have made a fortune to Taipei, the only problem was the point of origin. San Jose, has never once faired well in the American Airlines system. San Francisco, time and time again has proven to be a key moneymaker for American Airlines. Would it be to much, if one suggested that American Airlines alternate the slot for Narita from San Jose to Tokyo to a San Francisco to Narita, Boston to Narita, or a long needed Miami to Narita flight? American Airlines could redeploy the Raleigh and San Jose domestic equipment to Miami, New York, and Los Angeles.

KAHALA777
 
blink182
Posts: 5273
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 1999 3:09 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:22 am

Having experienced AA today I feel I can reflect on some of my observations.

LCC's
AA needs to know what fights it can and cannot win. Recent history has shown when LCC's enter markets, they dominate. I think AA management in Ft.Worth probably knew that Jetblue would win on JFK-LGB. While AA was wise in not underestimating B6 in the same way Delta understimated Air Tran, I'm not sure launching a bunch of unprofitable routes was wise either. AA should have advertised that with paying just a little more money, you can have (supposedly) better service. Furthermore, I think a lot of Dallasites are bitter about AA's successful attempt at killing Legend. IMO, Kahala777 nailed it when he mentioned AA's consistency, or lackthereof. I cannot wait to see how AA does at DAL.

customer reflection on employees
It seems that AA's flight crews just do not seem to care, and while a minor issue in some people's eyes, dress very sloppily and lack pride in their jobs. Understandable to an extent given that AA employees have been through hell and back, and in the case of my LGA-originating flight and crew, had to deal with an aweful commute with the MTA strike (I was not happy about the exhorbitant cab fare from Manhattan to LGA this morning so I did have empathy for them). However, this does not excuse downright surliness and sloppiness, which I have noticed at multiple stations. While not a priority right now(and understandably so), I think introducing new uniforms might help increase employee morale. The lack of morale within the company is apparent to the customers. Management needs to give employees a reason/incentive to be proud. Uniforms are sloppily worn, some employees looked like they haven't showered in weeks, and smiles and courtesy were nonexistent. Granted, I did see a few FA's who looked downright immaculate and appeared to take pride in their work, these were very few and far between. Management needs to give employees incentive to take pride in their jobs and to smile. I know they work hard(especially ground crews and agents), and its time they start seeing some rewards. I felt there was something to be said for the pilots being friendlier than the flight attendants on my flight today.

Service
If you're charging a significant amount of money to your customers, you better deliver. I'm convinced the reason AA loses some customers to LCC's is that their domestic service lacks behind the given LCC competitor(as well as in the employee department addressed above). I'm not advocating for return of meals on two hour flights in discount economy class, but I think(and admittedly, cannot find a solution) that there is something better than snack boxes. It would be fun to hear people's ideas on this.
Furthermore, I saw many,well-dressed, first class passengers whose bags were the last off the aircraft--at a major hub. Whether they're upgraded or not(and I know that these people checked in for first class and did not receive gate upgrades), they need to be treated on a higher level. These are the airline's best customers, and those upgraders probably earned those upgrades by giving the airline significant business in the past--and quite possibly well into the future. Priority tagging of first class luggage would be a big step. AA uses first class as a way to fight off LCCs, and making your best customers wait for their luggage isn't a great incentive to fly AA. Again, special marking of first class luggage would go a long way.

Additional Comments
Today's flight was delayed as one of the engines needed an oil change. Perfectly appropriate and understandable--except the aircraft RON'd and this was its first flight of the day. This problem should have been taken care of over night.
I do like American Way and the most recent issue(the road warrior issue) is very entertaining (as always), so much that I took a copy with me from the aircraft. While a small thing, it was still entertaining and a positive.

Overall impressions/final thoughts
With the threat of LCC's, AA needs to give passengers a reason to fly them over Jetblue or Southwest--and Continental and United etc. If I feel like paying more for a seat due to an onward international connection, I'd rather pay $300 to fly the domestic portion on CO(and ultimately the international long-haul leg) where crews seem to smile more and enjoy their jobs. Domestically I'd rather pay $70 to fly to STL on WN than $90 on AA. Why? WN's employees are more lively and enjoyable. Twenty dollars isn't a huge difference, and even if WN were charging more, I would still choose them based on employees. AA management needs to give their front line employees incentive to show up to work every morning, smile, and try to enjoy their jobs while being professional at the same time. Its amazing what happy employees can do. It can be done and AA did that very well in the past.

Note that these observations, while travel on 12/21, is cited, I have taken many trips with AA and these observations are from over a period of time.

blink
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
Longhornmaniac
Posts: 2963
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:33 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:02 pm

Well I thought I'd give this thread a much needed bump because these suggestions are some of the most rational and logical thoughts for AA. I've been a die hard AA fan for a long time (but more just legacy carriers in general, except for United, because in past experiences I've likened their coach legroom to Funjet) and I'm really happy to see AA making money and their stock going up (as I live in Austin, a city dominated by Southwest and American, I prefer flying AA because its a 30 minute flight and then more or less anywhere I want to travel nonstop, and I have a personal dislike for WN, but I sure hope that B6 will eventually develop an intricate network of cities, I've heard nothing but good things about Jet Blue.) Unfortunately, I don't know if its a sustainable process for making money. I find it interesting that many people are unsatisfied with AA's F/A's. I have not once run across a snide, or rude AA flight attendant. I still remember back in 2001 flying AA38 DFW-ZRH on a 777, I couldn't sleep, and I went up into the galley to talk to the flight attendants, one of which even sacrificed her rest time to talk to me. I wish I had gotten her name because at the time, AA had a promotion deal where one could nominate flight attendants for exceptional service. But back to the topic at hand...Whats disappointing to me is that American is compromising the very things that have made them THE airline for so long, customer service, amenities inflight, among other things to shave off expenses. The way I see it, correct me if I'm wrong anyone, is that if AA removes pillows and free beverage service, over the course of a fiscal year this will save AA a lot of money. Would this likely lead to reduced fares, or pension/raises for employees? If it would go more towards lower fares, this would continue to help AA, even if to some extent they get the reputation that their cheap. As a leisure traveler, I would much rather fly an airline with less fares, but less amenities inflight, than one that costs more with more inflight. While it might compromise some of their leisure travelers, it would attract new ones for the lower fares. Many business travellers remain loyal to the airline regardless, for AAdvantage perks and things like that. So the way I see it, this business model could either really work, and eventually allow American to bring back luxury items, or it could put them under in the long run, if they come across too much as an airline trying to save every penny they can, at the expense of customer satisfaction.

Can anyone else explain why American wouldn't make a Song or Ted, rather than fighting a losing battle against WN in places like DAL, or in many of the other cities they compete directly. My gut tells me they won't ever do this, but hypothetically, what cities would be likely to get such service? I would see AUS as a potential candidate because WN has such a strong presence here, and AA is not far behind in terms of passengers carried, the cheaper fares would probably entice a lot more travelers, especially given the gateway to the rest of the US 200 miles/30 minutes away.

Good suggestions the both of you, especially Kahala (I never thought I'd say that  Smile )
Cheers,
Cameron
 
RichardJF
Posts: 565
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2001 7:07 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:13 pm

Isn't it more viable to just split all these large airlines up.

For example AA Miami as a separate airline running Latin America to East Coast/Canada?
 
AnsettB727
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:19 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:33 pm

No RichardJF, these airlines just need to do a better job on domestic sectors. Kahala777 gave a very insightful report, and I agree on all of his points. Flying AA internationally is a pleasure, except there's no booze.

Flying internally with them is a nightmare I put up with only because I'm a oneWorld FF. Given the choice, watch me book on Southwest or ATA. These companies write the book on staff attitude and morale and I'd much rather give them my money.

As far as I'm concerned, AA domestic is a LCC.
 
AJRfromSYR
Posts: 439
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 6:03 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:44 pm

Quoting AnsettB727 (Reply 4):
Flying AA internationally is a pleasure, except there's no booze.

When did they do this? I've switched carriers couple years ago to US, but the last time I flew them Intl was prob a year ago and they had alcohol.
-AJR-
 
LawnDart
Posts: 861
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 11:33 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:02 pm

Quoting Kahala777 (Thread starter):
Topic A

American Airlines Battle with JetBlue and Southwest Airlines



Quoting Kahala777 (Thread starter):
If one could suggest why doesn’t American Airlines re-brand a domestic product and offer something similar to United Airlines Ted product to take on the low fare airlines in key American Airlines markets.

AA has often dismissed the idea of an "airline-within-an-airline", as tried by US and by DL (twice) and by UA. What are the advantages? Lower employee costs? Why not just cut your employees' pay? Piss off the senior employees? Fine, why not just start a B-scale but maintain the entire operation under one brand?

What about the issues of diluting your airline's marketing by introducing another name? Would Southwest start a higher-end airline with a new name? No, they have a successful market, and they're sticking to it. AA is trying to do the same thing...but they're facing market realities...the US domestic market no longer desires amenities in mass-transit. A seat from point A to point B for the lowest fares. Do I care if they have pillows? No...do I care if they charge $1 for a can of soda (a small scale test, by the way)? No.

On longer-haul flights, overnight, maybe I do want a pillow and a meal...but go ahead and charge me for the movie and the booze...

Quoting Kahala777 (Thread starter):
We can only hope that American Airlines will give Southwest Airlines a run for its money, but as history has told most times American is the one caught short.

AA's (re)entry into DAL is all about politics...and AA is often very adept at competing (and politics)...even with LCCs.

Quoting Kahala777 (Thread starter):
Exactly how long can a lame duck be beaten. Over the years the attempts American Airlines has made to beef up Raleigh and San Jose have just not panned out. Recently the only thing American Airlines has going for them in either operation is one single hallmark route. For Raleigh the route is Gatwick. For San Jose the route is Narita. There is no other airline remotely interested,

No other airline is remotely interested because AA is the leading (legacy) carrier in both these cities...and the LGW and NRT routes probably do a lot to maintain market presence in both RDU/SJC as well as LON/TYO as well as satisfy the needs of Frequent Fliers in all four cities. Trust me, and airline doesn't stay in long-haul markets that are "asset intensive" for years if there isn't a payoff of some sort.
 
ckfred
Posts: 4719
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:13 pm

Some observations:

First, AA's pilots suggested a carrier within a carrier during the negotiations that led to the 20-minute strike in 1997. At the time, management felt that the AA brand would be cheapened, if AA tried a Continental Lite or Delta Express operation.

At the time, management's observation was correct. Now, it wouldn't make a difference. But, many airline analysts feel that trying the split personality approach just won't work in the long haul. DL is dropping the Song brand, although some of the Song amenities will be used to varying degrees on all long-haul aircraft. Many question how well Ted is doing.

The problem with having a Song or Ted operation is that there are road warriors who either live in a leisure destination or fly to a leisure destination for business. I read in the Chicago Tribune about one gentleman who lives in Las Vegas and a lot for business. He had an elite status with UA, but he was considering changing to AA, because there is no first class on Ted out of LAS.

Supposedly, the flying public is so set on finding the cheapest fare that they would rather complain about poor service than pay something extra to have good service. Frankly, I don't agree.

My father-in-law is a business professor in Georgia, and he's had some DL managers in his classes. While some believe that DL could successfully offer higher service standards than AirTran, JetBlue, and other LCCs and charge a premium, high-level executives are afraid of two problems. First, the flying public may truly not be willing to pay any premium, whether for leisure or walk-up fares, over LCCs for extra service. Second, if AA, UA, NW, and the other legacy carriers don't follow DL's lead, then DL is stuck with having the highest fares. After all, no other carrier followed AA took rows of seats out of its coach cabins.

Here's why I don't believe those who feel that flyers want nothing but the lowest fare. Look at rental cars and hotel rooms now versus 25 years ago. I can remember when rental cars had vinyl interiors, AM radios, and maybe a clock. Now, I've rented Ford Tauruses with leather, power everything, AM/FM/CD with upgraded speakers, and moonroofs.

Twenty-five years ago, hotel rooms were pretty spartan. Now, the typical hotel room has a clock radio, coffeemaker, iron and ironing board, shampoo and lotion, etc. The hotel chains are all fighting to get better beds and bedding. Hyatt is planning to have plasma TV's in every room. Hilton is installing alarm clocks that connect to MP3 players and laptops. Hotel chains feel that they can successfully increase rates to pay for the extra amenities.

If flyers picked hotels like they picked airlines, Red Roof Inns and Motel 6s would be all over Midtown in New York or the Loop and North Michigan Ave. in Chicago. But the mid-priced brands (Courtyard, Springhill, Wyndham), the upscale brands (Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott) and the luxury brands (Ritz-Carlton, Peninsula, Four Seasons) are all doing very well.

That said, here's what I would do with AA. First, I would try to pull as many RJs off traditional mainline routes as possible. AA is putting them on routes out of ORD such as ATL, PHL, DCA, MSP. That just irritates the road warrior that expects an upgrade. I know that the lack of a 100-seat jet is the problem, but it seems that running MD-80s that are 75% to 80% full with some high-yield passengers is better than overbooked RJs with road warriors defecting to the competition.

Second, I would get rid of the extra fees for dealing with a live person. The LCCs make money without nickel and diming passengers just to make a reservation. I know that many conventions have a primary carrier that offers discounts to attendees. But, you often have to speak to a live person to get the convention discount. So, that is forcing someone to pay extra to get a discount. That makes no sense.

Third, stop charging for skycaps. If AA wants people to use online check-in, the don't make them pay to avoid the crowds in the terminal.

Fourth, put the pillows back. My wife usually grabs a pillow, because she had some back problems, and she likes to sleep on flights over 2 hours. Because of pillow removal, now she has to bring a pillow with her. She's seen other passengers do the same thing. So, AA is actually increasing the bulk of carry-on bags.

Fifth, make all non-alcohalic beverages and pretzels are free. And give the can of pop. I can buy pop for 18 cents to 21 cents at the grocery store. It's not as if everyone on a plane was ordering a large espresso from Starbucks that costs $4.

Sixth, put free food back on the planes. Routes over 3:30 hours would have full meals during appropriate times. Routes of 2:30 to 3:30 hours would have something like Quizno's (hot sandwich) with a side dish (not chips) and a brownie. Flights off 1:45 to 2:30 would have cold dishes (sandwiches with chips or dinner/Caeser salad).

On a flight of say 1:20 to 1:45, I would at least have muffins, bagels, fruit, or something more substantial than pretzels to snack on. But again, I would only have these during meal times, such as 6:00 to 8:45, 11:15 to 1:00, and 5:00 to 6:45.

Seventh, get new seats on the 757 fleet. These seats should have been replaced back in the late 90s, when the MD-80s and 767s got new seats. The 757s are being used for trans-Atlantic, trans-con, Hawaii, and other long-haul flights. The seats are far less comfortable than other planes that are often used on shorter routes.

Eighth, try smart pricing. On the one hand, it's rediculous for AA to charge $1200 to fly an RJ between ORD and SDF as a walk-up fare, while WN charges $200 to fly a 737. That just drives the business flyer who doesn't have an unlimited travel budget to LCCs. Although charging 2.5 times WN for that fare is still pricey at $500, it's still $700 less than what AA is charging now.

By the same token, stop matching WN, B6, and the other LCCs on leisure fares. Vacationers are willing to pay extra, if they feel they get value. If vactioners were truly cheap, then high-end hotel chains wouldn't put hotels at tourist destinations, such as Orlando.

That's not to say that AA should do away with leisure fares. But just because WN charges, say $99 each way between MDW and LAX doesn't mean AA had to do the same. Maybe $150 each way would be appropriate.

Finally, market the hell out of the upgraded service. Many feel that MRTC failed, in part, because it was only marketed in AA's major markets, and not nationally. My in-laws, who live in Georgia, never saw an MRTC commercial. Even though my father-in-law is Medallion level on DL, he would have flown AA to ORD to visit, since he's 6'4".

Now, my father-in-law doesn't believe that one should mention a competitor's name in advertising, but AA could show what you get on WN, including the cattle-call boarding, and then show what it offers. Then explain why the extra service merits higher fares than Southwest.
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:27 pm

Quoting Kahala777 (Thread starter):
It has come to my attention lately that a lot of people on this forum seem to think that I am bent on the destruction of American Airlines. That could not be any further from the truth.

Actually, I would suggest that most people think you are bent on the destruction of United.  Wink

Quoting Kahala777 (Thread starter):
If one could suggest why doesn’t American Airlines re-brand a domestic product and offer something similar to United Airlines Ted product to take on the low fare airlines in key American Airlines markets.

Uh, aren't you the one that is dismissive of Ted? But I do like the suggestion, though. Ted is an excellent product.

Quoting Blink182 (Reply 1):
It seems that AA's flight crews just do not seem to care, and while a minor issue in some people's eyes, dress very sloppily and lack pride in their jobs....... However, this does not excuse downright surliness and sloppiness, which I have noticed at multiple stations.... Granted, I did see a few FA's who looked downright immaculate and appeared to take pride in their work, these were very few and far between. Management needs to give employees incentive to take pride in their jobs and to smile.

Couldn't agree more. Most AA employees I see at the gate and on the aircraft look bored and disinterested.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 2):
I have not once run across a snide, or rude AA flight attendant.

While not all AA F/A's fall into this category, many of them seem to work the DCA-MIA run.

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 7):
Sixth, put free food back on the planes. Routes over 3:30 hours would have full meals during appropriate times. Routes of 2:30 to 3:30 hours would have something like Quizno's (hot sandwich) with a side dish (not chips) and a brownie. Flights off 1:45 to 2:30 would have cold dishes (sandwiches with chips or dinner/Caeser salad).

Agree completely.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
ckfred
Posts: 4719
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:36 pm

When did AA last update uniforms for cabin crews? It seems to me that there was a change around the time that the MD-80 and 767 cabins were upgraded, so that would have be 1998 or 1999.

It seems that most of the time, I have either ORD crews, with DFW and SFO crews every once in a while. They pretty much are friendly and courteous
 
Xkorpyoh
Posts: 727
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:55 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:46 pm

As an Ex-AA Platinum frequent flyer, this is what i would like to see:

- Offer REAL meals for purchase (like Song). The current snack box is plain junk food

- Offer unlimited free upgrades for elite members. Their program of using stickers/points to upgrade when you earn them or buy them is not user friendly.

- New uniforms: to increase morale and have a fresh image.

- Better customer service training for f/a: they need to feel they own the airline and want to make it succeed by keeping loyal passengers coming back. The miles alone will not do it. It keeps them hooked, but not for long.

- New routes: be more agresive by launching new routes and stick to them long enough to make them work. There are so many missed opportunites that AA is not taking advantage off with new routes/new markets. Look what CO and DL are doing, how can they make it work and AA can't?

- Offer special meals in first class: Since they already offer special meals on intl. flights from the same airports, how much will it cost to offer on domestic flights as well (in first clasS)? the meals are there, the procedures are in place to offer it, why not keep those first class/frequent flyers happy?

....just my 2 cents..

(i guess those points are the reason why i fly Delta now)
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:39 pm

Quoting AnsettB727 (Reply 4):
As far as I'm concerned, AA domestic is a LCC.

I have the feeling that was the plan all along.
 
jetfuel
Posts: 1028
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:27 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:39 pm

I have flown all the major US carriers and as far as general level of service and customer satisfaction AA is the second worst next to Delta.

I would much rather pay for a decent meal as an economy passenger than be told "sorry we dont serve food". My experience with the like of JetBlue left me feeling refreshed and valued with a 34" seat pitch. The inflight experience is just so superior that there is no comparison.

As far as I am concerned AA in economy is one of the worst LCC experiences I have had. The planes mostly look and feel old and the MD80's noisey and very 1980's. The classic paint scheme might seem ok but it still dates the whole experience. Even one leg in 1st class made me feel totally unimpressed and feeling totally ripped off. I felt the extra $500 I paid would have been better off spent on a better hotel or limo service. The whole thing just doesn't work.

AA needs need planes, refurbishment of older planes and a good kick in the ass of it's employees in terms of customer service. Whenever I fly Southwest I feel they genuinely appreciated my business and I had a bundle of cah in my pocket!

Keep the airfares down to a miniumum, provide a rewarding paseneger experience and let people pay for decent meals if they want them. Im afraid to say some of the old legacy carriers currently are on the bottom of my airlines of choice list.

AA Good luck. You are going to need it
Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
 
AA717driver
Posts: 1502
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2002 8:27 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:02 am

AA employees have NOT been through "hell and back". That is an insult to the U, UAL, TWA, PAA, et al. employees who lost their careers and/or retirements through lousy management.

AA employees have taken pay cuts. That's it. They still have their retirements and benefits. They've barely downsized--the TWA employees took the downsizing for them. AA is roughly the same size they were prior to the acquisition of TWA. They re-equipped their narrowbody fleet with TWA airplanes. What would have happened if they hadn't gotten the TWA fleet? Would AA still be flying F100's and 727's? Where would those employees be?

AA needs to have all mid and senior managers meet at Centerpork and 4 out of 5 need to be pink-slipped. It is the most top-heavy, over-managed company outside of the domestic auto industry. The management treats the employees like two-year-olds and the employees act the part.

AA is the WORST company to work for in the aviation business both before 9/11 and after. They are a punitive, vindictive, bloated bureaucracy that is as flexible as Gibraltar.

The only thing that will make AA a success--a true success in the same vein as SWA in the 1990's is a complete crash that causes most management to leave and most senior union employees to retire. It will take a weeding out to get rid of the management attitude that "the floggings will continue until morale improves" and rid the employee group of the attitude that earned them the title "Sky Nazi's".

TWA had the same superiority complex in the 60's and 70's and the same punitive management culture. It took a near collapse in the early 90's as Carl was going out the door to rid them of most of the deadwood. Unfortunately, the carnage left by Icahn and the IAM would eventually do them in.

AA needs to avoid that fate and I haven't a clue as to how they accomplish it. I just need them to keep crawling along so I can use my retiree passes I can get in 2 1/2 years...TC
FL450, M.85
 
jetfuel
Posts: 1028
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:27 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:07 am

" same superiority complex in the 60's and 70's ".........

Yeap that attitude is very evident. Unless they adopt to the 2000's way of doing business and looking after people your retiree passes are worthless
Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
 
Xkorpyoh
Posts: 727
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:55 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:11 am

Quoting AA717driver (Reply 13):
AA is the WORST company to work for in the aviation business both before 9/11 and after. They are a punitive, vindictive, bloated bureaucracy



Quoting AA717driver (Reply 13):
"Sky Nazi's".

wow.. and i thought Kahala was harsh enough, but maybe you are not far from the truth.

in my mind a perceive NW as the true "sky Nazi's"
 
Pope
Posts: 3995
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:18 am

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 10):
New uniforms: to increase morale and have a fresh image.

I just don't get this. I look at WM's employees in Polo shirts and shorts and their morale seems just fine.

To me this is just one more excuse that people like to use to justify inferior service - our morale was bad because of these uniforms.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
NYCAAer
Posts: 595
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:22 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 12:26 am

Some interesting points have been brought up here.

I don't necessarily think some of the international route expansions we've seen at CO would work at American. If we expand into more secondary European routes out of JFK with the 757, we risk diluting the markets so that neither CO nor AA would make any money. They key is to find markets where there is no overlap. A MIA-NRT would dilute our LAtin American feed on our 2 DFW-NRT flights.

I don't see AA moving SJC-NRT to SFO, BOS or MIA. BOS-NRT was considered in 1998, but it was decided it would have too low a yield, and SFO-NRT is already saturated with UA, JL (look for a oneworld codeshare on this one) and NH.

AA has increased its international flying gradually and methodically in markets where they can make money. In recent years we've seen JFK-FCO, JFK-SJO, ORD-DUB, BOS-MAN, BOS-SNN, MIA-MVD, MIA-MAN, LAX-NRT, DFW-EZE, DFW-MBJ, ORD-DEL added to the system. ORD-PVG starts next year.

As for retracting from JetBlue markets out of JFK, AA is concentrating on its markets where they can make money. Instead of serving LGB, SJC, OAK and SNA nonstop, we can fly to LAX and SFO and capture the market we had in the first place. You still can't fly B6 to LAX or SFO. Our loads to LAX and SFO are as high as ever. Non-revving to LAX from JFK is nearly impossible, unless you can get a cabin jumpseat.

I do agree that morale sucks. I see all kinds of crap going on, from bad attitudes to really sloppy grooming. I have a co-worker this month on my line who sits in a jumpseat during boarding, drinking coffee, and he refuses to get up and look like he's there to help passengers stow their bags or anything else. What I don't understand is the rebellious attitude toward grooming regulations. If you have such a problem with maintaining your appearance, why are you in this job? You knew you would have to adhere to certain standards when you signed up.
 
LMP737
Posts: 4810
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:19 am

Quoting AA717driver (Reply 13):
AA employees have NOT been through "hell and back". That is an insult to the U, UAL, TWA, PAA, et al. employees who lost their careers and/or retirements through lousy management.



Quoting AA717driver (Reply 13):
AA is the WORST company to work for in the aviation business both before 9/11 and after. They are a punitive, vindictive, bloated bureaucracy that is as flexible as Gibraltar.

These seem to be two contradictory statements. On one hand AA employees still have a company to work for along with retirement and benefits. On the other they are the "WORST" company to work for in the aviation business. Seems to me if your airline is still in business and your retirement is still intact there are other places that are "worse". I'll let you figure out what companies they are. By the way have you worked in every aspect of the aviation business? IMO the only way for you to make that statement is if you have worked in those other areas of aviation.

Quoting AA717driver (Reply 13):
Unfortunately, the carnage left by Icahn and the IAM would eventually do them in.

If you want to blame anyone for the demise of TWA thank Carl for selling off the London routes and the revolving door management you had. How is it the IAM's fault?
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
LMP737
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:31 am

Quoting Jetfuel (Reply 12):
AA needs need planes, refurbishment of older planes

In a perfect world AA would be replacing the MD-80's as we speak with 737's. Unfortunately it's going to be a while before that happens. The interiors on the MD-80's we updated in the late 90's and the overhead bins have been enlarged. Starting next year AA is going to replace the first class seats in their 767 with lie flat sleeper seats along with new overhead bins and side paneling. In 2007 the biz class seats on the 777 will be replaced with sleeper seats as well. That way they can compete better with airlines that offer that product in biz class.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
incitatus
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:51 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Thread starter):
Since its inception Southwest Airlines has seemed to be one of the biggest thorns in American Airlines side. Then along came an upstart at JFK known as Jet Blue.

This is an AA-centric view of the world. So here are some topics for you to think about:

How is it that Southwest impacted USAirways? They finished it off.

How is it that JetBlue impacted Delta? So much, the airline even created a second brand to compete, Song.

I don't think the world revolves around AA, but do you...?

Quoting AA717driver (Reply 13):
AA needs to have all mid and senior managers meet at Centerpork and 4 out of 5 need to be pink-slipped. It is the most top-heavy, over-managed company outside of the domestic auto industry. The management treats the employees like two-year-olds and the employees act the part.

AA is the WORST company to work for in the aviation business both before 9/11 and after. They are a punitive, vindictive, bloated bureaucracy that is as flexible as Gibraltar.

Your profile "ex-TWA, G550 Capt. now" says it all.
Stop pop up ads
 
DAYflyer
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:16 am

How about if they try adding service like JetBlue with tv's and such; get rid of about 50 un-needed executive vp's and cut exec pay in half for starters????
One Nation Under God
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:24 am

Quoting Blink182 (Reply 1):
Priority tagging of first class luggage would be a big step. AA uses first class as a way to fight off LCCs, and making your best customers wait for their luggage isn't a great incentive to fly AA. Again, special marking of first class luggage would go a long way.

Interesting stuff.

I'm flying AA First and Business domestically in February. The first indicator for me was that on my OneWorld around the world ticket, it's the only airline where you get moved UP a class if your class isn't available. So if there is no Business, I fly First. On all the other airlines, if there is no Business, you fly Economy. It gave me a massive hint as to what to expect...

I guess I'll see for myself soon enough! Interesting thread!

Trent.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
Xkorpyoh
Posts: 727
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:57 am

Quoting NYCAAer (Reply 17):

I don't necessarily think some of the international route expansions we've seen at CO would work at American

what about:
MIA-FRA
MIA-AMS
MIA-SSA
MIA-ROM
MIA-MXP
MIA-BRU
MIA-ZRH
MIA-REC
MIA-COR-ASU-MIA
JFK-LIS (Ex TWA)
JFK-BCN (Ex TWA)
JFK-MAD (Ex TWA)
JFK-MXP (Ex TWA)
JFK-CPH (Ex TWA)
JFK-MEX
JFK-BOG
...ETC...
 
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fxramper
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:04 am

Just saw on Bloomberg that AMR, parent of AA, is actively pursuing bids for outsourcing more of their work load. My uncle is a 25 yr vet of AA and I haven't heard from him in a few weeks...I always try and pry information from him when I call to discuss my flying and career. I'll try and get some information if he'd ever call me back. All the discussion of the reduced routes that AA is doing, Ie. JFK-NCL, DFW-LIM, etc. I sure hope all is well for AA!  Smile
 
texan
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:21 am

Operationally, AA is a very solid airline. Their costs are in line, their service is decent, their planes safe and on time. They do need to trim some fat in the management and middle management ranks. They could also probably trim some more non-essential personnel from their rosters. They are still operating in the black and are not in imminent danger of declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They do need to improve labor/management relations, and from what I hear Arpey has been doing a decent job so far, although there is still much room for improvement. If the unions would agree to cross-utilization, i.e. pilots and F/As allowed and encouraged to help throw bags, pilots and line staff allowed and encouraged to help clean planes after a flight, and so on, they could decrease turnaround time, meaning the airplane would be flying and earning money more frequently. Doing this across the board could help free up some of their currently utilized planes, allowing AA to either expand service to current profitable destinations or initiate new service to help expand customer base and revenue potential.

They finally cut some of the underperforming markets, such as LGB and the DFW-LIM route. Although I disagree with their reasoning behind why they had to discontinue them, dumping unprofitable routes is a necessity right now.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
dhefty
Posts: 587
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:35 am

Quoting Jetfuel (Reply 12):
AA needs need planes

Jetfuel, I think this is the heart of this entire thread. AA, the world's largest airline, has more obsolete airplanes than any other airline in the world, by far. I have no idea how they could afford to replace 334 MD80/90's (average age 16 years), 74 B767's (average 13 years), 144 B757's (average 11 years), and 33 A300's (average age 16 years).

On the plus side, they have a relatively small fleet of 45 newer B777's and 77 B737NG's, representing 17% of their fleet. The problem here is that AA has underserved the profitable international business.

AA has no B787 or A350's on order, and even if they decided to order today, the earliest delivery would be in five years, at which time their B767's and A300's would be 18-21 years old.

The faster AA can get into Ch. 11 and restructure their fleet and costs, the better.
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:21 am

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 26):
The faster AA can get into Ch. 11 and restructure their fleet and costs, the better.

Unfortunately, they're headed the wrong direction right now.  Smile
Cheers,
Cameron
 
worldjet777
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 4:07 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:29 am

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 26):
The faster AA can get into Ch. 11 and restructure their fleet and costs, the better.

That's an awfully bold comment to throw into the mix! AA is a solid airline, as stated by Texan, but needs to trim the fat and improve employee morale- the rest will follow. Right now they do not have cash to re-do interiors or go buy a new fleet of airplanes. They have to work with what they've got, and the employee's are the place to start!
Cheers,
worldjet777
Now Your Flying Smart
 
Kahala777
Topic Author
Posts: 1513
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:30 am

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 20):
How is it that Southwest impacted USAirways? They finished it off.

HTTP://WWW.USAIR.COM

Take a few minutes and read over the website. They are not aware that hey have been finished off yet!  sarcastic 

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 20):
How is it that JetBlue impacted Delta? So much, the airline even created a second brand to compete, Song

Jet Blue and scores of other low fare airlines have all affected the entire industry. Delta is not the only US airline to have created an airline within an airline. Cases in point: TED=United; Shuttle by United=United; Continental Lite=Continental; MetroJet=US Airways. What Song has done has raised the bar in the market. If you have read the reports, people are so happy with the Song product that Delta Airlines is going to be bringing the Song product back to mainline, and the domestic Delta product to become a Song like product.

KAHALA777
 
FLYACYYZ
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:34 am

Many thanks for a very thoughtful and intelligent thread. Nice change from those a.Netters who like to pounce on others for creating duplicate threads, and indentifying spelling mistakes!!

While all is not perfect, AC is in the enviable position of having taken steps/measures that the other North American legacy carriers wish that they had taken a few years ago. It's no secret that DL/US/NW have all come a callin' for advice.
Above and Beyond
 
Kahala777
Topic Author
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:16 am

Quoting FLYACYYZ (Reply 30):
While all is not perfect, AC is in the enviable position of having taken steps/measures that the other North American legacy carriers wish that they had taken a few years ago. It's no secret that DL/US/NW have all come a callin' for advice

Air Canada is not out of the woods yet. Please expalin more how DL/US/NW have all come calling for advice. Is there a news report to read on it? Is there any word on much needed refurbishment of its often aged and tattered 763 interiors?

KAHALA777
 
ckfred
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:37 am

An individual or corporate entity can't simply file for bankruptcy, for the sake of getting rid of old assets. Bankruptcy laws are strict, and they became even more strict last October, as to the insolvency criteria for filing.

With over 3 billion dollars in the bank, AA and its parent would have some trouble filing for bankruptcy.

The fact that AA has older airplanes doesn't mean that it needs to go out and start filling Boeing's order book. Although it has some very old MD-80s and 767s, it also has some very new 767s, as well as the last batch of MD-80s built, courtesy of TWA.

The rumor among the pilots is that AA might replace some of the older MD-80s, but that the balance of the fleet will be replaced with the all-composite successor to the 737NG.
 
vegasplanes
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:18 pm

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 26):

The faster AA can get into Ch. 11 and restructure their fleet and costs, the better.

Ch. 11 would not be a wise move for AA, kind of hard to buy new planes when the company is "bankrupt."

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 32):
The fact that AA has older airplanes doesn't mean that it needs to go out and start filling Boeing's order book. Although it has some very old MD-80s and 767s, it also has some very new 767s, as well as the last batch of MD-80s built, courtesy of TWA.

The rumor among the pilots is that AA might replace some of the older MD-80s, but that the balance of the fleet will be replaced with the all-composite successor to the 737NG.

The ex- TW 757's that AA flies are in good condition compared to the AA 757's. If I recall a lot of the TW 757 fleet was pretty new as well in comparison to AA's 757 fleet. Curious as to why they did not hold onto more of the ex- TW 757's, my guess is the compatibility issue, kind of small since they are operating ex- TW 757's anyway, or that they could not negotiate a new lease to their liking.

As has been stated throughout this thread, AA's international service (Europe in my experiences) is fine, as an added boot they normally have some good deals in economy compared to the competition. Then you have AA's domestic product, not the greatest. Need PTV's like the 777's throughout the fleet, free cans of pop (soda) all around, nice meals for flights 3 hrs. or more, a little snack for flights of 1.5 to 3 hrs., example, morning bagel or breakfast bar, lunch/off time a turkey sandwich or like, dinner time chicken fingers or such, and no need to charge for it either. If your going to offer Glenlivet and Crown on the planes, than make damn sure they have enough to go around, nothing more important on a Friday afternoon/night flight, nothing worse than getting my hopes up and having to settle for Jack or Jim.  Wink

AA are you listening, people will pay you more if you offer them the amenities they want with the service they require. Stop trying to be the lowest cost full service (yeah right) airline competing with every fare out there, go back to your roots and be the businesspersons airline, frequent flights on full size jets with full service included. If AA implemented the changes above with good, friendly service, a 20 % across the board price increase might stick, make up on yields what is lost in load factor, which if the service and amenities are great, loads will not suffer, they will improve. AA need not be the cheapest to survive, thrive to be the best and survival will come easy.

Fight the right fight, WN has mastered the short (under 700 mile sectors), none more true than on the West Coast. Let WN be, they are going to operate more frequencies at less cost with a lower price, AA, you know you can't compete on these routes, give it up already. You have your loyal AAdvantage members who will fly you regardless, trying to grab a passenger that is flying WN from DFW/DAL to AUS is not going to make your company. Dominate on the routes where you have no WN, the routes out of cities such as: LGA, BOS, ORD, DCA, ORD, DFW, the trans-cons with premium service, international service. These places are where the money is, for AA.
 
whitehatter
Posts: 5180
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Fri Dec 23, 2005 6:57 pm

AA recipe for success?

Buy nothing. Use what you have to the limit and pay off debt.

British Airways is doing it successfully and cutting its debt load. When you later go to market it means borrowing or leasing is cheaper as the company has better credit with the money markets. Lower interest or lease payments mean better bottom line going forward.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
AJMIA
Posts: 430
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:29 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 1:29 am

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 34):
Buy nothing. Use what you have to the limit and pay off debt.

Not one of the most glamorous suggestions, but definitely the most practical. Get the millstone of debt off from around your neck and then think about new planes and amenities.

There is no doubt that some staff are not working to their potential. This is one of the drawbacks of a seniority based system. New uniforms and incentive programs would increase employee morale, but some staff just need a good swift kick in the pants.

Hot meals, pillows, magazines, seat back video, MRTC, etc are all wonderful, and provide a much enhanced travel experience, but most people are not willing to pay more for it.

I would however greatly enhance the BOB meal offerings. The current snack boxes are crap (oreos, goldfish, pepperoni Styx, cheeze wiz spread, etc). Charge passengers more and provide them with a nice dinner size gourmet salad with chicken or shrimp (ala TGI Friday's, or Cheesecake Factory), or a nice deli style hot sandwich with chips, pickles, salad and cookies or pie for desert. This is an amenity people would pay for once they are onboard and it would not force you to increase your ticket prices in the CRSs.

AJMIA
Lady it's a jet... not a kite.
 
777STL
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:22 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 1:40 am

Quoting Vegasplanes (Reply 33):
Ch. 11 would not be a wise move for AA, kind of hard to buy new planes when the company is "bankrupt."

It's also hard to acquire new planes when your lease rates are garbage because you went into bankruptcy.

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 26):
Jetfuel, I think this is the heart of this entire thread. AA, the world's largest airline, has more obsolete airplanes than any other airline in the world, by far. I have no idea how they could afford to replace 334 MD80/90's (average age 16 years), 74 B767's (average 13 years), 144 B757's (average 11 years), and 33 A300's (average age 16 years).

On the plus side, they have a relatively small fleet of 45 newer B777's and 77 B737NG's, representing 17% of their fleet. The problem here is that AA has underserved the profitable international business.

AA has no B787 or A350's on order, and even if they decided to order today, the earliest delivery would be in five years, at which time their B767's and A300's would be 18-21 years old.

The faster AA can get into Ch. 11 and restructure their fleet and costs, the better.

I believe you're giving "new planes" too much significance. From a plane geek's perspective, it makes perfect sense, who wouldn't love new airplanes? However from a business sense, it just doesn't make much sense to retire and buy new planes every 10 years. 16, 15, 12 years, that's nothing. AA's youngest 767 was delivered in 2003, the youngest 757 was delivered in 2002 or 2003. If AA did what you suggested, they'd be out of business.

How is the 767, 757, et. al obsolete anyway? There is nothing out there that makes them obsolete, no alternative.

Chapter 11 is also the worst way imaginable I can think of to acquire new aircraft.
PHX based
 
blink182
Posts: 5273
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 1999 3:09 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 1:46 am

I have read about QF's merit-based seniority system that is currently being phased in.

If, over a gradual period of time, this same system were to be phased in at AA, could this work? If phased in gradually, it would ensure that the long serving veterans at AA still keep their spots while still giving incentive for the FA who has been around for two years to jump up a few spots on the ladder. This way young and old FAs can be rewarded for quality work and would also provide incentives for other FA's who have been too comfortable("I've been here ten years and am unionized, mAAnagement cannot touch me.") to provide good service.

AA also reaches its international fliers with a younger, more motivated group of FA's, and could fight the foreign carriers in the "looks" department.
Food for thought. Perhaps some AA FA's could chime in on this one.

blink
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
LMP737
Posts: 4810
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 2:06 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 36):
I believe you're giving "new planes" too much significance. From a plane geek's perspective, it makes perfect sense, who wouldn't love new airplanes?

True. People seem to forget that even though your fuel and maintenance costs will go down the cost of those new aircraft will more than offset those savings. AA either owns their MD-80's or leases them at a rate lower than what they would pay for a 737. Even if AA had the money to replace the entire MD-80 fleet it would take years to accomplish given the number of airframes.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
Kahala777
Topic Author
Posts: 1513
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:28 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 2:06 am

Quoting NYCAAer (Reply 17):
A MIA-NRT would dilute our LAtin American feed on our 2 DFW-NRT flights.

Hmmm... Sorry but most of us are under the impression that Miami is American Airlines Latin American hub. Correct us all if we are wrong. In addition there a numbers of destinations in Latin and Central America that Dallas has never touched, or Dallas has recently dropped.

KAHALA777
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1617
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 3:20 am

Quoting Vegasplanes (Reply 33):
AA are you listening, people will pay you more if you offer them the amenities they want

The problem is AA did offer more, including MRTC, but people weren't willing to pay. One of the best decisions AA made was to align the product with what people are willing to pay. Some may be willing to pay more, but the majority aren't. For the "some," there's first class.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
BA747400
Posts: 381
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 6:29 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 5:58 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Thread starter):
It has come to my attention lately that a lot of people on this forum seem to think that I am bent on the destruction of American Airlines

Take a number!

Flame me all you want, I despise the airline because of MANY personal experiences....they just suck in every aspect: Their product is now one of the worst in the US industry, their customer service is horrible...the only thing they have going is that their accounting is in the green.....but at what expense??

Mike
 
dhefty
Posts: 587
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 8:04 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:27 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 36):
I believe you're giving "new planes" too much significance.

777STL, I don't believe I suggested that the entire fleet could be instantly replaced, but rather that there are no plans to replace older types like the MD's. In 4 years, the average age will be 20 years.

AA has not placed an order for 4 years.

Quoting 777STL (Reply 36):
Chapter 11 is also the worst way imaginable I can think of to acquire new aircraft.

It's a way to restructure leases and cast off debt, for one. The Air Canada scenario comes to mind. AC now has a new fleet on order which will make them very competitive in the international market.

The main thrust of my view is that AA should devote much more of its future operations to international, rather than trying to slug it out with SW, Airtran, JetBlue and other LCC's in the domestic market.
 
AJRfromSYR
Posts: 439
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 6:03 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:37 am

Quoting BA747400 (Reply 41):
the only thing they have going is that their accounting is in the green.....but at what expense??

What else is there, you forget the purpose of an airline isn't to ship you from A-B. It's to make money, they are one of the very few doing things right. You guys are looking at this from a enthusiasts view. Try stepping back and looking at it in a practical view. If I was a stock holder of UA I don't care if they have PS flights to JFK, they just blew a lot of "my" money last quarter.
-AJR-
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Crew
Posts: 11833
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RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:44 am

Quoting Blink182 (Reply 37):
I have read about QF's merit-based seniority system that is currently being phased in.

Best suggestion I've read on this forum yet! A pure seniority system penalizes those that put forth the extra effort. I would like to know more about QF's system, do you have a link you recommend? (e.g., is it a "point system" where doing extra merit earns extra points that count toward seniority? I'm curious, so note I'm asking.)

Quoting Blink182 (Reply 1):
Furthermore, I saw many,well-dressed, first class passengers whose bags were the last off the aircraft--at a major hub. Whether they're upgraded or not(and I know that these people checked in for first class and did not receive gate upgrades), they need to be treated on a higher level.

You have a plus and minus for AA. Right now, flying Y on AA can be... less than optimal. As I know AA isn't "swimming in cash," here are my suggestions for quick ROI:
1. More check in kiosks. I hope the terminal expansion at JFK has helped the experience. I fly to NYC more than any other destination. I stopped flying AA there due to the check in experience at JFK (most convenient airport for where I go for a west coast non-stop).
2. Give something more to those who pay full fare. Make some sort of tiered service plan. E.g.,
a. Pay $1,200 for the R/T ticket and get a deluxe (Song like) meal, free drinks (full can, incl. Alcohol), and the pillow. Also, priority luggage handling and express check in lines (e.g., first class line use, with or without elite or maybe complementary sky cap. Make the customer feel they are getting something of value for the money. Since this is mostly business customers, #1 priority: speed!)
b. Pay a mid fare, and get a snack box, free soft drinks, and the pillow.
c. Pay for el cheapo, get el cheapo.

One issue I don't know how AA will fix unless they stop overbooking like B6:
1. Let people pick their seats when they buy their tickets! I felt screwed after purchasing AA tickets with a girlfriend only then to find out we couldn't select seats. We had to accept the worst seats in the 757 in order to sit next to each other JFK to LGB after waiting in line forever to check in. Grrr....

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 7):

Third, stop charging for skycaps. If AA wants people to use online check-in, the don't make them pay to avoid the crowds in the terminal.

 rotfl  or more kiosks.  spin  That's enough.

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 7):
I can buy pop for 18 cents to 21 cents at the grocery store.

But that pop doesn't consume fuel and have to go through the costs of putting it on the plane...

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 10):

- Offer REAL meals for purchase (like Song). The current snack box is plain junk food

 bigthumbsup 

Quoting AA717driver (Reply 13):
AA needs to have all mid and senior managers meet at Centerpork and 4 out of 5 need to be pink-slipped. It is the most top-heavy, over-managed company outside of the domestic auto industry. The management treats the employees like two-year-olds and the employees act the part.

All too true. Ok, 4 out of 5 would be too many. But AA is top heavy and needs to lighten up. And where is "Centerpork"?

Quoting NYCAAer (Reply 17):
As for retracting from JetBlue markets out of JFK, AA is concentrating on its markets where they can make money.

 checkmark  But AA also needs to get costs in line. Otherwise, its a perpetual retreat until they're routed! e.g., get up pilot hours per year.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 19):

In a perfect world AA would be replacing the MD-80's as we speak with 737's.

In my perfect world, the MD-80's would get pw-6000 engines!  hyper  I like everything about the maddogs except the noise back by the engines. A quieter engine would help solve the noise problem and would dramatically improve fuel burn on those fairly light airframes for their size (even though they are build McD's tough).

One other change for AA: A culture of continuous improvement. Every other industry has adopted that philosophy, all airlines need to now. As far as I can tell, that is what WN and B6 and now HP/US are doing continuous improvement. Its much tougher to compete against a moving target.

On the plus side, AA's fleet rationalization seems to be paying off well. Well done AA!

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
SJCRRPAX
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:29 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:53 am

A few years ago I had to make two last minute trips from SJC to DFW. I could not find any alternative to AA, and I think the round-trip cost was around $1700 . Even though it was not my money but my companies money, I still resented it. I could see being charged maybe 2x of a fare booked in advanced, but this I considered gouging. It would really have softened the blow if they would have put me in first class, but I was seated in Y, in a middle seat. I am convinced that I paid more for those two trips than anyone on the plane, so why should I not have the best seat on the plane? I don't know if they have changed their price structure since than, but the only place I now book a flight is at www.ilfyswa.com , because I know I get a good deal no matter what. I don't even consider AA anymore even though I think the employees of AA are top notch.
 
777STL
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:22 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 6:57 am

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 42):
777STL, I don't believe I suggested that the entire fleet could be instantly replaced, but rather that there are no plans to replace older types like the MD's. In 4 years, the average age will be 20 years.

AA has not placed an order for 4 years.

Most speculation is that AA will get more 737NGs eventually to replace the MD80s. Not that there's anything wrong with the MD80s, they're very clean planes and quite comfortable. More comfortable than the 757s or 767s are, at least in Y. I realize you didn't mean the whole fleet, but buying aircraft isn't a trivial matter. Certainly not something you do when you're struggling to stay afloat. AA simply doesn't have the money nor the desire to go into debt for aircraft they don't need.

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 42):
It's a way to restructure leases and cast off debt, for one. The Air Canada scenario comes to mind. AC now has a new fleet on order which will make them very competitive in the international market.

Bankruptcy isn't something you arbitrarily undertake as a mechanism to buy new aircraft. Contrary to what many people believe here(not you specfically), there are actually consequences to going into bankruptcy.
PHX based
 
N62NA
Posts: 4006
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:05 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:25 am

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 44):
One issue I don't know how AA will fix unless they stop overbooking like B6:
1. Let people pick their seats when they buy their tickets! I felt screwed after purchasing AA tickets with a girlfriend only then to find out we couldn't select seats.

Are you buying your tickets at aa.com website? I am always able to select my seats at the time I buy my tickets there.
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1617
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:39 am

Quoting AJRfromSYR (Reply 43):
where is "Centerpork"?

It's actually Centerport, AA's corporate HDQ in Ft. Worth.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
TWAAF9
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:47 am

RE: AA: Your Ideas For Success

Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:10 am

Quoting Jetfuel (Reply 12):
As far as I am concerned AA in economy is one of the worst LCC experiences I have had.

Didn't know AA was an LCC.

And as far as AA's economy class is concerned, having flown them more times than I can count (during and post MRTC), I honestly don't know what people think is so awful about it. It's economy class and no different than than WN in terms of amenities and comfort. Yet at the mere mention of WN, some posters on here soil themselves in pleasure while the thought of anything AA seems to make the same wretch in agony. Damn, what do you REALLY on your flight from Tulsa to Chicago?
Ahh, the power of SABRE...