Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2000 7:34 pm

What Is Happening To Awa?

Thu Jul 06, 2000 4:36 pm

I have noticed alot of reocuuring problems with america west airlines and the overall reptation of the airline is very poor, I work with alot of professional people who frequently fly and 8 out of 10 state that awa is the worst. I myself had problems with them but felt it was isolated because I do not fly much as I would like. They are my home town airline and I want them to remain a major employer in the valley. Some businessmen say that if they keep having problems they will be sold or go out of business completely? Any insight would be appreciated.

thanx airfun.
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RE: What Is Happening To Awa?

Thu Jul 06, 2000 11:44 pm

America Worst has a lot of problems!!!!! I hate them, They cheated me out of some money a few months ago. The airline is poorly ran, They dont have enough planes, They need a larger aircraft to make flights from MCO-PHX than a 757, Their fares are to high, and their service stinks!!! I guess America Worst used to be good. I hope they go out of business!!!!!
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RE: What Is Happening To Awa?

Fri Jul 07, 2000 1:06 am

There was a time when I had 45,000 flight fund miles from their poorly selected PHX-HNL-NGO routes. During that time (90-92), I never had any real complaints about them. I was a frequent flier for them, originating in ORD and flying through to NGO twice a month. Their 742s had greater pitch than average, and their food service was excellent. At that time, they were also the only airline to offer complementary (alcohol) beverages on domestic segments.

A few things have changed since then.

1. On my last trip in 1994, I was going from ORD-LAX via PHX. I had made my reservations to use my flight fund miles, and when I approached the counter, they said they had expired...the certs. never had any expiration dates on them, but since they went chap.11, they not only initated exp. dates, but also made them retroactive. Only after arguing for 45 minutes at 5:30 a.m. in ORD did they concede and allow me to board the plane.

2. They lost literally 90 million a year operating their 742s. Not only were they rarely full, but they ran them on trunk routes to get back to their hubs. They consistently (6-7x daily) would shuttle them back-and-forth from LAS-PHX nearly empty.

3. They looked for a hub on the east-coast and settled on CMH. Columbus is extremely poorly facilitated hub, and will never be able to handle the volume should AWA ever decide to expand.
I mean, for the right price I’ll fight a lion. - Mike Tyson
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RE: What Is Happening To Awa?

Fri Jul 07, 2000 1:06 am

I m curious SKYTEAM how were u cheated out of money with AWA? also u say that AWA needs a bigger plane out of MCO to PHX well try flying UAL on A320 TPA-LAX or TWA on MD80 JFK-SFO just to name a few.
AWA fares too high? well I guess if they were planes would be empty out of MCO and a bigger plane would not be needed RIGHT?
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RE: What Is Happening To Awa?

Fri Jul 07, 2000 1:11 am

I can add to Mlsrar's statement. Personally, I have not flown AWA in years but they used to be a very good airline. We flew them back in the late 80's from BWI to Phoenix. They used to stop at JFK on the way. Even between BWI and JFK I believe we had a full dinner service. They also had A LOT of room in their planes. I once experienced their 747 between LAS and PHX. It also was a good experience. I guess times they are a changin.
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RE: What Is Happening To Awa?

Fri Jul 07, 2000 1:13 am

I'm flying them in 2 weeks to PHX from MCO. I looked on the seat mapper, and it's completely full. My dad flew them a few years back, and he loved the service, and said it was great. Now all I hear is how crappy they are. I'll give a trip report on here when I get back, but hopefully I have all good news about them.
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Fri Jul 07, 2000 2:54 am

I was scheduled to fly America Worst from MCO-PHX over the Christmas Holiday But one of my family members got really sick, So we decided not to go. I called up America Worst, and explained the situation. They have us until August 3rd to use the tickets, But still we are losing money!!! I like the 757, But not for long flights. I dont agree wit America Worst's A-320 service into TPA, and other eastern cities! I dont like any airline that fly small planes on long flights!!!

AWA=America's Worst Airline
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RE: Skyteam

Fri Jul 07, 2000 6:38 am

Skyteam I ve flown Delta many times in a crammed 757 SFO -ATL, so does that eliminate Delta as your favorite?
Continental whos supossed to be "the best" now will fly you in a 57 across the atlantic so I guess all airlines are bad according to this logic.
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RE: Skyteam

Fri Jul 07, 2000 6:50 am

Skyteam, if you would have checked your ticket it was probably "non-refundable." Meaning that no matter what happens you can't get your money back. Pretty simple, you pay more for a non-restricted ticket that gives you more flexibility. So that in itself is America West's fault. As for small aircraft (A320/B757) on long haul flights, that has been the golden standard for decades. Very few routes have regularly seen widebodies year round.

I myself have flown HP several times this year. The frontline service is just as good as anyone else. What the root of the problem comes from inept corporate management. They have a nasty habit of overbooking and understaffing and underempowering employees. When I last flew on Memorial Day weekend from PHX-BWI gate agents were working hard to get displaced passengers meal vouchers, travel vouchers, and moving people to open seats in first class (I was among that group  ). They have some pretty damn hard working employees out there with management that does not seem to give a rats ass about the high customer complaint rating, the employee discontent, and the slew of other problems. AWA has the right ingredients to be successful, a young fleet, a good route structure, etc... Now only if Franke would pull his head out of his rear end and see the light things would change for the better.

plus it does not help that West easily transforms into worst.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
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Fri Jul 07, 2000 8:02 am

Where exactly did you get the impression the America West's hub at Columbus is poorly facilitated. The facilities at Columbus currently fit America West's 45 nonstops just fine. You also said CMH would never be able to handle an increased amount of passenger traffic if America West decides to expand. In fact, it's the exact opposite. The airport already has a 20 year plan that includes a new terminals in addition to the current 32 gate facility, a new 10,500 ft. runway, and increased taxiways. Also, a new 224 ft. control tower is going to start construction early next year, and a crossover connecting CMH's current 2 runways is being planned for next year. Columbus will have no problem with an increased amount of traffic. However, America West refuses to invest in operations in CMH. The had some half-baked attempts, but what they really need to do is focus on making CMH an alternative hub to nearby Cincinnati and Cleveland, and by increasing their presence as the airline of choice to the West. Columbus has potential, America West has to find it. As said earlier, America West has all the right components, it's just that Franke needs realize all that he's doing wrong, and work with his employees in rebuilding their airline.

Problems, Problems, Problems

Fri Jul 07, 2000 9:08 am

We have so many problems at this airline and the root to all of them is Bill Franke. Let me list a few things:

One of the first things I would like to bring up is Maintenence. Several years ago Bill Franke fired 550 maintenence personnell to save $35 million, well it has cost us over $170 million since then, due to outsourcing, FAA fines, and hiring back more maintenence personnell. That money doesn't even include all the business we lost due to pissing off the traveling public that will never fly us again. Geez, we cancelled 61 flights this last weekend, and most were due to maintenence. If Bill Franke would spend some money on Maintenence, such as bringing back ALL of our maintenence so our own people could do the Heavy Checks on our own planes, and if he would keep all the parts we need IN STOCK, and have some spare planes, we wouldn't have all these cancellations and delays due to Maintenence.
There are so many hard working employees at AWA, but it's hard to keep many of them around because the pay is so horrible. We're always understaffed at the ticket counters, gates, and mostly ramp because nobody wants to be under as much pressure as we get at AWA, for the pay they would receive here. It's not worth it. Bill Franke doesn't care about this airline and its employees... not too long ago, Bill Franke stated himself that America West Airlines is merely a training airline, it's so people can put experience on their resume and move on to larger airlines. That's not fair. Many peoeple ARE dedicated to America West Airlines and aren't interested in just coming here for a few months or a year, and then moving on to another carrier.
Bill Franke does NOT understand that he has to spend money to make money at an airline. If he spent more money RIGHT NOW to build up maintenence, pay employees better, he would be making so much more money in the long run and everybody would be happy. We would have flights running on-time, we could be doing our own maintenence, and the employees would be happy to come to work not only because of the ontime flights and happy customers, but because of the good pay.
This man is just clueless, and he has no business running an airline.
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2000 3:28 pm

RE: Problems, Problems, Problems

Fri Jul 07, 2000 11:02 am

AWA320 I had a chance to talk with 2 mechanics here in SFO who were flown to work on an a320 engine and ferry it back to PHX, they said what you just said, they wanna do the heavy checks on our fleet which according to them is done in SAT by someone else, they re sure this would improve ops a lot.
My question is what is it gonna take to have this wannabe CEO realize all this? or better yet the stockholders? didnt they just give him a new contract?
Cant wait for that rally in Tempe, look for the SAVE AWA flyer in a bin near you.
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Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 12:18 am

RE: What Is Happening To Awa?

Fri Jul 07, 2000 11:49 am

I flew AWA in May (ORD to PHX, then Las Vegas to PHX to ORD). I flew two A320's and a 757. The flights themselves and the service were all fine. My only complaint was that each of the three flights departed late by 30 to 60 minutes. I have read that AWA has one of the worst on-time records of any major US carrier at present. From what I've read in the press, it sounds like AWA has corporate management with as much heart as Frank Lorenzo and Carl Icahn, and that it is devastating the morale of the employees. I hope they can turn things around, because AWA has the potential to be a great airline if its cutthroat management doesn't destroy it.
I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 1999 10:52 am

RE: Problems, Problems, Problems

Fri Jul 07, 2000 12:32 pm

Agreed, maintenance is a problem, but in my view line maintenance and parts stock are the biggest things that need remedies. Right now aircraft are flown hard and nothing gets done on them other than the bare minimum, so when they go in for heavy work they are in pretty rough shape. I don't see heavy maintenance as critical to the airline, though, as I don't think the FAA is all that happy with AWA right now and probably wouldn't make it very easy for them to do heavy checks, and with all the problems they've got on line work I see them needing to scrutinize how they care for aircraft in operation far more. It's a management problem that's got to be fixed with regard to line maintenance first of all .

AWA has several contractors doing heavy work. I don't really have a problem with subcontracted heavy checks, it seems to be the way things are going now, as long as they have good contractors doing the work. Some are, of course, better than others.

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