AWA Improvements! :-)

Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:26 pm

America West Announces Customer Service Initiatives;Plan Includes Schedule Reductions to Improve Airline's Reliability

PHOENIX, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA) today announced a series of customer service initiatives directed at improving the airline's reliability and its customers' airport and flying experience. As part of the plan, effective immediately, America West will temporarily reduce its flight schedule to reduce cancellations and improve on-time performance.

"During the past several months we have undertaken a fundamental and comprehensive overhaul of all aspects of our operation to assure that our team and the airline's infrastructure were upgraded to support our strategic expansion and to allow America West to continue to grow and be successful," said Doug Parker, president. "We expected the process to be challenging, but it has taken longer than anticipated and, at many times, been very painful for our customers and employees."

"While our strategic growth plan has benefited travelers by creating price competition and expanding travel opportunities, it has presented a series of challenges for us," added Parker. "As a result, we have not performed to our standards nor met the expectations of our customers. We are confident that the initiatives announced today will improve the reliability of America West Airlines in the very near term, create the flexibility we need to complete the restructuring of our operations and respond to our customers' needs for reliable, on-time, affordable travel."

The specific reliability initiatives announced today include:

-- A reduction in scheduled flying. Beginning immediately, America West

temporarily will reduce the number of scheduled aircraft by four to

provide additional spare aircraft to substitute for others that may not

be available because of maintenance requirements, weather or air

traffic control and to increase access to aircraft for

reliability-related maintenance. The removal of four aircraft from

America West's schedule will reduce the number of daily flights

operated by the airline from 880 to 863, a 3.5 percent decrease in

daily capacity (measured by available seat miles), which should reduce

customer inconvenience during irregular operations.

-- A restructured approach to America West's existing line maintenance

operation, including increased staffing, parts provisioning, automation

and support. This initiative has two key features. First, a new team

will focus on the prompt return to service of aircraft that require

unexpected or unplanned reliability-related maintenance. Second,

the planning, engineering support and resources available for America

West's overnight maintenance operation (the work period when most of

the routine maintenance is performed on the airline's fleet) will be

increased. Providing improved organization and greater resources to

support the line maintenance operation should reduce flight

cancellations and delays.

-- Increasing America West's capacity to perform preventative and

reliability-related maintenance. America West temporarily will add

two additional aircraft maintenance lines to increase the efficiency of

performance of preventative and regularly scheduled maintenance. One

of the two operations will be located in America West's facilities in

Columbus, Ohio and will focus on reliability-related maintenance for

the airline's Airbus fleet. The other will perform similar work on the

Boeing 737 fleet at a location to be determined within the next few


-- The use of new automation to optimize the provisioning of spare parts

and components. America West maintains an inventory of more than

200 million of spare parts. Improved automation now being installed

should assure more efficient and effective deployment of the airline's

spares inventory throughout America West's system of six maintenance

bases and eleven other maintenance locations, consequently reducing

cancellations and delays.

-- An increase in ramp personnel in Phoenix and Las Vegas. The wage and

benefit programs included in the collective bargaining agreement

reached this spring with America West's fleet service employees have

begun to reduce turnover among this important work group and have

facilitated an aggressive recruiting campaign. America West expects to

increase its ramp force staffing by 20 percent in the immediate future.

Increasing staffing levels on the ramp should reduce ground delays and

significantly improve America West's baggage handling.

-- Implementation of a program to increase the efficiency of America

West's hub operation at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. This

comprehensive effort includes 36 separate initiatives all focused on

reducing ground time and, therefore, delays of aircraft transitioning

through Phoenix.

In addition to the operational reliability improvements, America West is implementing a number of other important initiatives designed to improve customer satisfaction including:

-- Enhancements in automation of the passenger re-accommodation process,

as well as the addition of personnel and ticket counter space at

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Las Vegas McCarran

International Airport to reduce the time spent processing changes to

passenger itineraries in the event of cancellations or delays.

-- Increased focus on America West's Customers First service plan. The

company has deployed a new team with exclusive responsibilities to

develop innovative approaches to Customers First initiatives and ensure

that the airline is exceeding its twelve commitments under this

industry-wide program.

-- The creation of a new officer position, Vice President - Customers. In

addition to overseeing America West's Customers First program and

customer relations functions, Joette Schmidt, vice president,

customers, has become the advocate on behalf of the airline's customers

on the airline's senior management team and for all strategic decisions

made by the company.

-- Reducing the average level to which flights are booked beyond capacity

by 10 percent to allow the airline to more effectively manage

inventories and reduce denied boardings while these new initiatives are


"We expect these initiatives to have a very positive near term effect on the airline's reliability and customer service," said Parker. "While we will continue to face operational challenges outside of our control, including air traffic control and weather delays, by organizing our flying to be more consistent with the capacity of our operation we should improve customer confidence and reduce the pressure of irregular operations on our employees. We are committed to maintaining our industry leading safety record, to solving our airline's reliability problems, to delivering a product in which our employees can take pride and that will earn back our customers' loyalty, and to continuing America West's growth -- and to delivering the benefits of that growth to our customers, employees and shareholders."

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act that involve risks and uncertainties, including competitive practices in the industry, relationships with employees, the impact of industry regulation and other factors described from time to time in the company's publicly available SEC reports, which could cause actual results to differ materially.

America West Airlines, the nation's ninth-largest carrier, serves 88 destinations with more than 860 daily departures in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Along with its codeshare partners, America West serves more than 100 destinations worldwide. America West Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of America West Holdings Corporation, an aviation and travel services company with 1999 sales of $2.2 billion.

This press release, as well as releases issued in the past year by America West Holdings and its affiliates, can be accessed on the America West Internet site at

SOURCE America West Airlines

CO: America West Holdings Corporation; America West Airlines

ST: Arizona



07/27/2000 14:17 EDT
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 1:06 am

I made an Internet reservation on AWA's web site, and will be traveling this Saturday, July 29 from SMF-PHX. I was horrified by my last experience on AWA, but I'm willing to give them another try.
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 1:34 am

America West is a horrible airline, which cannot manage growth properly,
and deserves the title of being America's Worst Airline. I switched from a
Continental Airlines flight at PHX to an America West flight last fall, on
my way to Oakland, CA. My America West flight was cancelled, I was
rebooked on a flight through Las Vegas to SFO instead. Vegas to SFO
flight cancelled, then put on later flight, delayed three hours. Filthy
airplanes, thoroughly unprofessional, unmotivated, and obnoxious
staff, and I seriously question America West's safety record, given the
fines it has incurred over the years.

I think it's great to CO code shares with them, but they have no choice
but to take over ticketing and customer service to ensure adequate
and consistent levels of service. Perhaps America West will learn a thing
or two about service from TWA as well.

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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 1:57 am

AND CONTINENTAL is freaking perfect ah?
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 2:06 am

Never said Continental was perfect. Read the post carefully. You will also
see that in previous posts on other topics, I have maintained that CO is
by no means "perfect" and has what I perceive to be only above average

You're comment was therefore baseless.

User avatar
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 2:06 am

They just announced where the flight cutbacks will be:

America West is cutting only one route: Columbus, Ohio, to Los Angeles. The other cuts will involve reduced frequencies. For example, the number of flights between Phoenix and Kansas City, Mo., and between Phoenix and Oakland will be reduced from five to four per day.

As an aside, my friend traveled out on HP EWR-PHX-SLC and said he had a very good experience. Of course they gave him a free upgrade to first class on EWR-PHX so he wasn't about to complain... he said there were 0 problems aside from confusion as to whether he was booked on AWA or Continental since they both had flights to PHX at the same time. Return was through MSP on NW.
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 2:09 am

Oops, that should have been YOUR comment was baseless.

RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 2:50 am

The first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem.

For those most familiar with the company, it is amazing to hear management admit there are fundamental problems not only with the product but, perhaps more importantly, that employees need to be given more respect.

It will be very interesting to see how the balance sheet is affected. It just blows me away that they are reserving perfectly good aircraft for spares. That is a complete 180 degree change in philosophy. I think they sold Golf Vacations to recoupe some of the negative affect. I hope they stick it out long enough to see positive affects.
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 3:05 am

I wish AWA would add more flights to the Canadian market. It sucks that AWA planes get maintanced in YWG and there is not even a passenger flight out of YWG. Another thing is AWA is not a perfect airline. Non of the airlines in the world are perfect. Every has some mistakes that they make.
Why won't AWA fly to YWG?
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 3:29 am

I Agree with ContinentalEWR, America Worst is horrible!!!!! As you have probably seen in my trip report the Airbus 320 I flew on the other day was Filthy, and the seats were killing my back. Also America Worst is very unorganized. Makes United look good.


Here We Go...

Sat Jul 29, 2000 7:13 am

As much I love hearing ContinentalEWR and SKYTEAM bitch, I'm gonna have to say SHUT UP! This post was not meant for you... it was meant to inform people that care of the changes taking affect, implemented by our Management team, that is going to drastically improve our airline! If I wanted an AWA bashing session, I simply would have started a post called "WHY ContinentalEWR AND SKYTEAM FEEL AWA IS NOT AS GOOD AS DELTA OR CONTINENTAL"

ContinentalEWR, you sound like a very intelligent person with a lot of knowledge so I really have nothing against you. You have an opinion, however this wasn't the correct post to express your opinions.

SKYTEAM, I don't like you at all... just like many other people on this forum can't stand you. You post the same ridiculous posts everyday about Delta being the best, and that's about it. The rest of the words in your posts are just a bunch of mumble that doesn't make sense or is usually irrelevant to the post.

OK, so if there are any people reading this post, such as other AWA employees or people that care about the improvement of America West, let's talk about it. But if not, go on to another post and stop filling this thread up with a bunch of garbage.
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 7:25 am

America West's improvement plans are very intriguing. I hope that America West is successful in implementing their new intiatives, and are able to regain customer loyalty. I believe America West's new president, and the admitting of the airline's faults, is a good start. Something that was of particular interest to me was the addition of two new maintenance lines. In the press release, it says they will be temporary. Shouldn't the addition of these bases be permentant? How exactly do they plan on continuing to successfully maintain aircraft in the long run, if the facilities are temporary? Other than that, I believe they have a good plan, and an exceptional challenge aheard of them. The best of luck to America West.
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 1999 9:40 am

RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 7:37 am

I agree with AWA320. Thats enough of this bull******.
Know I think AWA320 has every right to post a topic about AWA. I Think they are a good airline. I enjoy taking shots of them when they are here in YWG(Winnipeg Manitoba Canada). Does any know if AWA will add a YWG-PHX or a YWG-LAS route?
Keep up the good work AWA320!!! 
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 11:34 am

Maybe some people fear a complete turnaround here ah?
where were u EWR when continental was in a similar situation?
I m quite pleased with the new AW plan and honestly surprised that the new president took this step already after a few days on the job, maybe he sees it like most of us employees see it and not like franke.
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 11:44 am

The maintenance lines may be temporary additions, but I think the idea is to take out the backlog left by putting checks off as long as possible, not so much the need for lines to handle a regular rotation.

I was surprised to see them cut the number of flights and overbooking, but I'm cautiously optimistic about it. Nothing saying it will happen, but a turnaround isn't impossible, look at what CO did...

YWG777, you're certainly enthusiastic, but a little impatient, you don't have to ask about a YWG route every time you see an AWA topic. Using pax flights to shuttle aircraft up for work wouldn't pan out right now because of the way AWA handles it's FAA paperwork.
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AWA 320

Sat Jul 29, 2000 2:25 pm

Hello AWA320,

ContinentalEWR, and I have had our disagreements, But we pretty much agree with each other on America West. The comments you made like "As much I love hearing ContinentalEWR and SKYTEAM B****, and I'm gonna have to say SHUT UP!" Is against the Terms Of Service, and You have been reported.

Its amazing how low your level of maturity is. It is also amazing on how your are about the only one who doesent like me. Are their some issues here? I would like to know why you say I post the same same ridiculous posts everyday about Delta being the best. I do not recall posting something about Delta every single day I have been on here. Your comments about my posts being a bunch of mumble, and irrelevant to the post are your own opinion. Every person in this world have a right to their own opinion, and I respect you for stating your opinion, But you will have to pay just like John Rocker.

Have A Nice Day/Evening/Night,

nwa man
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 2:49 pm

To all of those who said that "America West is a horrible airline", I think that (in more words, and not exactly that harsh of words) HP just admitted that in their lengthy press release. They admitted that "their service was not up to their customer's expectations''. They are willing to sacrifice profit (by cutting 17 flights, hiring more workers, and increasing wages) to improve it!

I think America West proves here that they are an airline on the mend, and with some luck, hard work, and persistence, they could be the next "Cinderella Airline" (from worst to first), like Continental.
Create your own luck.
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RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sat Jul 29, 2000 2:59 pm

I think America West could have a great turnaround like Continental did. One of the main things is to get rid of some of their employees that critisize others.




Sat Jul 29, 2000 4:16 pm

Many of us that criticize others, like myself, work at Headquarters in an office... thank GOD, because if I worked the line still I would probably go crazy and hurt people... maybe like you?

I'm sorry I went off on you like that SKYTEAM, I'm just sick of every single post on this message board turning into something OTHER than the topic listed. It gets annoying when trying to carry on a discussion about a certain topic when other things, such as unwanted complaints, pop up!
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Sun Jul 30, 2000 1:30 am

Yes, I can understand that. I seriously doubt you could hurt me, But thats beside the point.

Its not a problem, Sometimes we just get frustrated, and go off like John Rocker. I would appreciate if it wouldnt happen again.



RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sun Jul 30, 2000 2:08 am

I have flown America West three times and all trips I was pleased with the service.

1st trip on AWA was spring of 96'. We left STL on a 737-300, and got to PHX on time. Since my family and I agreed to get bumped off the overbooked flight to LAS, we recieved a free lunch at a nice restaurant at PHX and the free tickets to use on a later date. Then our equipment to LAS was the Phoenix Suns 757. It was a great flight and we flew over the Grand Canyon. On the way back, we got the Ohio Livery 757 from LAS to PHX and another 737 back to STL.

2nd trip was to SAN. Our flight out of STL was supposed to leave at 10:30 to LAS. But we got bumped again and were put at the Henry 8th for the night. In the morning we went to PHX on a 737 and once again were on time. Our flight to SAN at PHX was an old livery A320. Good flight, and very quiet engines!!
On the way back, we left at 9:30 pm on a 737 and got to LAS at 10:35. Layover at LAS was an hour and got to STL on a 737 at 4:30 AM!!!

3rd trip on America West was 737 out of STL using the free vouchers to LGB. The plane left STL at 4pm and got to PHX bout 5 minutes late. Left PHX for LGB and got there near on time. Hard landing though. Returning flight was a 737 to PHX and 737 to STL
All flights had superb service
Posts: 437
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 1999 5:51 am

RE: AWA Improvements! :-)

Sun Jul 30, 2000 2:34 am

It's sad that AWA has gotten so bad. I flew them in 1983 or 1984 when they were first starting out between ABQ and LAX through PHX. (They only served about 10 cities or so). They only operated 737-200s and promised low fare with full service. Great food, great service and happy staff. They've come a long way, but have really sacrificed service. That's in comparison with Southwest which I also flew extensively in the early 1980's. They also only flew to about 10-15 cities at that time. However, when I have flown them recently their service is still efficient, their planes clean and their staff energetic. Interesting comparison.
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2000 3:28 pm

RE: AWA320 Vs Skyteam

Sun Jul 30, 2000 3:45 am

Dont go soft on me now AWA320 I was gonna put money on you in 3 rounds or
Anyway SKYTEAM I read your trip report and appreciated how objective you were, when I saw that you were gonna fly us I expected something like the food was rotten or female attendants with hairy legs etc. We never denied the problems and are glad something has began to happen in order to correct em,
I was the first to criticize HP as far as expanding so fast, adding cities every month when we could hardly keep up with the current ones now the new measurements prove me right and hopefully will pay off soon, Now by no means is this a peace treatie you launch your scuds we ll launch the patriots.
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Sun Jul 30, 2000 5:15 am

Sup??? You launch your patriots, and I'll launch the Nukes. LOL


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