qqflyboy
Posts: 1620
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 10:34 am

Ok. Here is some more information on the upgrades coming to AA's 777s. As mentioned before, the T7s are getting the new business class seats, or, as AA calls them, next generation business class seats. The new IFE system is indeed a Rockwell Collins system, not the Panasonic eFX or eX2 system. No model number was mentioned in the information I read today.

The new system will be on demand for first and business class, with several movie channels, tv channels, games and 50 audio CDs. For the coach cabin the video entertainment will be near on demand, with content starting every 25 minutes. The j-class is getting two new seats, 8 H and J, bringing business class to 37 seats. And, one of the three lavs is being removed.

Also, the remaining 20 aircraft with the coffin-style seats will be getting the Flagship Suites. The first a/c to be completed with new Flagship Suits, new j-class and new IFE will be 7AM and will be released in July. The entire 777 retrofit project for all aircraft will be complete by May 2008.

The bulk head seats in business class will be equipped with airbelts. They are seat belts with built in airbags that inflate automatically based on deceleration forces. Rather interesting.

For AA F/As: If you've seen the Special Briefing, did you notice in the picture with the new j-class seats two seats in the background? Could those be the new first seats for the 757? I'll be at FSU this week and try to get more info. If those are the new seats, they look great!

[Edited 2007-05-16 03:37:46]
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
MGASJO
Posts: 344
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 11:45 am

Interesting report QQflyboy. Do send some pictures of the new seats for the 757.
Good luck on FSU, make sure to get your 'Have a nice day" when you order your breakfast.
C208B
 
wcs
Posts: 180
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 11:46 am

Quoting QQflyboy (Thread starter):
For the coach cabin the video entertainment will be near on demand, with content starting every 25 minutes

While I'm not a huge fan about IFE and so, I think it's quite frustrating. Once you had tasted IFE like the one on KL A330 (and I presume 777), the "almost on demand" looks like totally "has been". Now I think it's a pity to update system with not state of the art technology!

That being said, thanks for the update regarding AA update process.

Regards,
FLY SKYTEAM JETS
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1620
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 12:13 pm

Quoting WCS (Reply 2):
the "almost on demand" looks like totally "has been". Now I think it's a pity to update system with not state of the art technology!

I totally agree. It is definitely an improvement over the current system, but it should be on demand throughout the aircraft, not just the premium cabins.

Also, I just completed on the online 777 enhancement training and in that I learned there will be 15 games available at each seat, including coach. Premium cabin customers will also be able to create their own play list from the 50 audio CDs available. Coach, on the other hand, will continue to get the 14 audio channels currently offered.

The new business class seats will feature a 10.6" screen, first 8.4" (the current Flagship Suite monitor).

Within a year we'll see this entire project completed. None too soon.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
commavia
Posts: 10112
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 12:19 pm

Once again, QQ, thanks so much for the interesting information.

Quoting QQflyboy (Thread starter):
For the coach cabin the video entertainment will be near on demand

At some point, you have to sh*t or get off the pot, for lack of a better phrase. These ridiculous piece-meal changes that continually leave AA just one step behind where their competitors were -- 5 years earlier -- are pathetic. They're paying to install all of this new seat-back IFE hardware/software, etc. anyway, and while I recognize that it would have cost a few million more dollars to give the entire plane on demand IFE -- as other airlines had almost a decade ago -- but honestly, this is just so cheap.

Customers recognize it, too. AA thinks they're pulling a fast one by only redoing the 763 cabins with new interiors, overhead bins, etc. back to the mid-cabin galley/lavs in Y, and thinks that their customers aren't smart enough to notice that they can only get "near on demand" IFE on AA while their competitors (including U.S. airlines, IINM) can give them completely on demand IFE on every 777. AA thinks people don't notice that Delta and United give you "signature cocktails" while AA's First and Business Class passengers get a "signature" club soda with lemon? AA thinks the Exec Plats in suits paying $100,000 per year to fly AA F don't know that they can't get salt and pepper shakers any more (except the rations that dedicated flight attendants steal and keep in their luggage just in case)?

It's just sad that a company that used to be a the forefront of change and innovation in the industry is now content to constantly stay firmly behind the curve on what the industry is doing. In numerous ways and multiple areas, AA just cannot seem to innovate at all, even in the smallest areas. I think the last moves that AA made that were truly "innovative," and if not ahead of the industry curve at least towards the front end of it, were the noise-canceling BOSE headsets (about 1999-2000) and international self-service check-in machines (2006).

I understand that the company is building back its balance sheet which, unlike its U.S. competitors, wasn't wiped completely clean through bankruptcy, and thus they are being extremely conservative and risk-averse, but still: at some point, AA is actually going to have to make a stand or just continue ceding more and more markets to other airlines. Continental continues to deliver excellent service, United will leapfrog AA's "next generation" Business Class soon along with life-flat bed seats/huge meals/on demand IFE on its p.s. transcon service, and Delta seems to be growing into just about every market on earth -- for better or worse -- and in some places where AA should be heartily defending its turf (I'm thinking Roaton, Fort de France, LAX, JFK, etc.). Virtually every airline in America has brand new airplanes on order, many new-generation (including 787s), and what is AA doing? They're giving up 25 757s (understandably, they're non-standard ex-TWA) that will be used against them across the Atlantic and in Latin America by Delta and replacing them with ... drum roll please ... three 737-800s in 2009, that will be used to replace a few old MD80s.

AA has to strike a balance between rebuilding their shattered balance sheet and reinvesting in future growth, and I fully recognize that, but the balance they have struck this far is just not going to work long-term if all of their competitors, with wiped-clean balance sheets and wiped-out suppliers and union contracts, are spending capital like crazy on new planes, new facilities, new markets, better service, etc.

Quoting QQflyboy (Thread starter):
And, one of the three lavs is being removed.

Do you have any idea what is going to go in the place of one of the lavatories?

Quoting QQflyboy (Thread starter):
The entire 777 retrofit project for all aircraft will be complete by May 2008.

Any word on how the 763 mods are going?
 
Slovacek747
Posts: 634
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 12:29 pm

This stupid move just makes me want AA to just go under. I freakin 3rd grader would have more common sense than the people running this show. UPGRADE THE WHOLE PLAN TO AVOD AND MAKE THE CUSTOMERS HAPPY AND WANT TO FLY WITH YOU!

Slovacek747
 
tonytifao
Posts: 790
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 12:36 pm

Is that 757 also getting new F seats or they are just getting new Y seats?

Thanks,
Tony
 
flydreamliner
Posts: 1928
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 1:03 pm

well, when you think about it, they are about on par with CO for upgrading IFE, though CO will, I'm sure, have a better system when all is said and done. NW's new system on the A330's surely puts this to shame, DL is in the middle of upgrades. UA's system is nothing to write home about, so while AA isn't going state of the art, they aren't completely outside the pack here. Obviously I think they should go state of the art, but their bean counters disagree.
"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
 
kevi747
Posts: 991
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 5:59 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 1:15 pm

Quoting QQflyboy (Thread starter):
The bulk head seats in business class will be equipped with airbelts. They are seat belts with built in airbags that inflate automatically based on deceleration forces. Rather interesting.

Cool! But I wonder why the rest of the seats won't get them.  confused 

Quoting QQflyboy (Thread starter):
For AA F/As: If you've seen the Special Briefing, did you notice in the picture with the new j-class seats two seats in the background?

Yes, and I bet you're right. They had the comforters and first class pillows sitting on them. They look pretty cool. I thought they were going to be the blue type seats that we have on the 737's, but it looks more like a fresh update of the old 757 seats.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
At some point, you have to sh*t or get off the pot, for lack of a better phrase. These ridiculous piece-meal changes that continually leave AA just one step behind where their competitors were -- 5 years earlier -- are pathetic.

Yikes, you used to be our biggest cheerleader. Sorry you're not impressed. But our passengers are usually very happy. Sometimes I want to stop reading posts in this website because it's always so doom and gloom for us, but then I actually get on one of our planes and feel much better. I feel confident we're doing just fine.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
AA thinks they're pulling a fast one by only redoing the 763 cabins with new interiors, overhead bins, etc. back to the mid-cabin galley/lavs in Y, and thinks that their customers aren't smart enough to notice that they can only get "near on demand" IFE

I would argue that we are offering a better product for those who are willing/able to pay for it. AA's been operating for the past 4 or 5 years under the assumption that the majority of coach passengers buy tickets solely based on price and not on the amenities offered in-flight. I think they're right.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
Do you have any idea what is going to go in the place of one of the lavatories?

From the diagram it looks like they will keep the smaller coat closet, add a much larger coat closet, and add video control closet.

Quoting Tonytifao (Reply 6):
Is that 757 also getting new F seats or they are just getting new Y seats?

They're getting new F and Y seats.
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
 
commavia
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 1:35 pm

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 8):
Yikes, you used to be our biggest cheerleader.

I call 'em as I see 'em.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 8):
But our passengers are usually very happy.

I am glad to hear that, as that is what matters most in the end, not what we debate here on A.net.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 8):
Sometimes I want to stop reading posts in this website because it's always so doom and gloom for us, but then I actually get on one of our planes and feel much better. I feel confident we're doing just fine.

Make no mistake about my point: I think AA is generally going okay, and generally going in the right direction. I simply fear that while AA (very prudently and smartly) finds its way through the mess that was inflicted on it by 9/11 and the fuel price spike, and ensuing disastrous impact on the balance sheet, the company is losing sight of long-term competitiveness.

I would say this: in the airline industry, I believe that beyond the obvious focus on fuel prices, fare buckets, and schedule punctuality, another critical component for long-term success is palpable, future-oriented dynamism. Some airlines have it, some don't. Southwest, has dynamism. Delta, at least by the looks of it, for now, has a new-found dynamism. American, doesn't. It's just not a dynamic company anymore, the way it used to be. There is no more innovation, no more creativity, no more passion. There is definitely a flight from A to B. Definitely a consistent product and fairly consistent service (depending on the flight attendants, mostly). But there is definitely not dynamism. There is no buzz about new airplanes, new routes or markets, expanded service, upgraded amenities, etc. Instead there is replacing the 757 Y seats 10 years after it should have been done, giving 777 passengers "near on demand" IFE, huge marketing about an "industry-leading Business Class" seat when the only real innovation in it is a tray table that is split into two parts. Perhaps I'm just disillusioned, but I truly believe that if AA wants to remain competitive in the long-term, they are going to have to get that dynamism back. They can't keep shrinking the fleet, retreating from more markets, handing over more of their capacity to low-fare carriers or, even more troublingly, to Delta or United or Continental. That just isn't going to work long-term.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 8):
AA's been operating for the past 4 or 5 years under the assumption that the majority of coach passengers buy tickets solely based on price and not on the amenities offered in-flight.

No doubt about it -- price and price alone is definitely what drives the vast majority of Y passengers' booking decisions these days.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 8):
I think they're right.

They are right, and I'm not disputing that.

However, everyone else (including Continental, Delta, United, etc., to say nothing of foreign airlines) also know that they're right. And those airlines are staying quite competitive on price plus offering better, more consistent, service. Due largely to those airlines' (sans CO) ability to extract huge concessions from labor unions and screw their suppliers and creditors through bankruptcy, they now have more flexibility to invest capital in better service, etc., and still charge the same fare as AA. That should be very troubling to AA.

It appears that (some) managers at AA are being fooled by high load factors into thinking that these ridiculous cuts AA has made to basic customer service and product are acceptable to customers. In reality, AA's planes are jam packed because demand is larger than ever, AA keeps pulling more and more seats out of the market, and competitors literally cannot put planes into the air fast enough to steal AA's market share. Just because AA's flights to Hawaii are sold-out doesn't mean that passengers find it okay to be served a $5 turkey wrap for a meal on a 9-hour flight. That is just deplorable. It means that AA's customers have no other choice but AA -- and I have been told as much by oh so many current and former AA frequent flyers, many of whom feel -- just like me -- that the lack of dynamism, passion and common sense that used to define and inform AA's professional service and distinguish it as an undisputed leader in the industry, is now bringing the airline down.

Sad.
 
qqflyboy
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Wed May 16, 2007 9:02 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 4):
AA should be heartily defending its turf

Not to hijack my own thread, but a lot of us at AA have wondered why we're not growing, especially on the international stage. Yes, additional aircraft is the obvious problem, however, staffing them is the big issue. When AA announced a week or so ago 200 flight attendants were being recalled, including some TWAers, that was very surprising. Why? We're dumping those former TWA 757s this year (last to go in September) yet we STILL need more flight attendants. We are so understaffed that dropping 20 +/- aircraft from the fleet still isn't enough to meet staffing needs.

AA tried to the bitter end to prevent recalls, and for that, we've suffered on the growth side. It kills me that DL is going to use those 757s we're getting rid of to go forward with the plans AA announced to us two years ago: transatlantic expansion out of JFK and expansion from MIA into northern Brazil. I know those 757s are their own fleet type, essentially, because of their differences with AA's 757s, but we could have made them work well as their own fleet by flying them transatlantic instead of mixing them in with regular 757 service. If we had concentrated them in two cities (JFK/MIA) like the Airbus, it could have been much more efficient and less costly to operate.

I do believe big things are on the horizon for AA, in terms of aircraft orders, but agree with you Commavia, we need to remain innovative. And yes, there is money in that. I guess for now, it's finding the right balance.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
tonytifao
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 12:09 am

What are the new 757s seats in F going to look like? Just like the ones in the MD80s?
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1620
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 4:44 am

Quoting Tonytifao (Reply 11):
What are the new 757s seats in F going to look like? Just like the ones in the MD80s?

If what we saw in the picture is indeed the new 757 seat, it is kind of a creamy beige leather. Very different than anything onboard our aircraft so far. They really looked quite nice and will go along way to upgrading the 757's first class cabin. I'll try to find out more.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
kevi747
Posts: 991
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 5:59 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 4:58 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 9):
Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 8):
Yikes, you used to be our biggest cheerleader.

I call 'em as I see 'em.

Fair enough, I'm just sorry we've lost your favor. I always looked forward to your posts. Maybe "fan" would have been a better word than "cheerleader".  Wink

Quoting Commavia (Reply 9):
another critical component for long-term success is palpable, future-oriented dynamism. Some airlines have it, some don't. Southwest, has dynamism. Delta, at least by the looks of it, for now, has a new-found dynamism.

But it doesn't seem to make that big of a difference to the passengers, since both of those companies are dynamic and one is ranked first and the other last in customer satisfaction. And I thought that was what we were talking about.

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...articles/0515biz-airlines0515.html

And it's kind of telling that the company with the most new, flashy features is ranked at the bottom, while the company who offers very little in terms of in-flight amenities outranks all of us simply for offering consistently low-fares for no-frills coach class travel. Obviously Southwest has figured out a winning formula, and imitation is the best form of flattery.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 9):
It's just not a dynamic company anymore, the way it used to be.

But there's also a time to be more conservative. And I can't think of a better time than the past few years. These announcements may not blow any a.netters out of the water but I know the passengers will welcome them. And I have a feeling there is more to come. We're coming along, just very cautiously.

Quoting Tonytifao (Reply 11):
What are the new 757s seats in F going to look like? Just like the ones in the MD80s?

Well, assuming that what we're seeing in the background of those photos are the actual seats they look more similar to the old 757 F seats. They are a much lighter shade of beige, almost off-white and have a built in adjustable headrest.
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 5:12 am

Quoting WCS (Reply 2):
Once you had tasted IFE like the one on KL A330 (and I presume 777), the "almost on demand" looks like totally "has been".

I love the new KL system.

That said, I really don't think IFE drives a lot of business. Sure, some people care, and I won't say I haven't missed it since moving my business to AA -- but at the same time, it's not a huge deal.

Steve
 
commavia
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 6:14 am

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 13):
But there's also a time to be more conservative.

Right you are, and I am fully understand that. AA has been very cautious, and very conservative, for the last few years since 9/11. And it has served them well. While virtually every other legacy competitors has used bankruptcy to exact huge concessions from labor, creditors, suppliers, vendors, etc., whittle down their long-term debt and (in some cases) foist pension obligations off on the government, AA has been able to prudently cut net debt by nearly 20% in just the last year alone, continue fully funding their pension obligations each year, and still amassing the largest cash cushion in the industry. That is extremely impressive, by any measure.

However, I fear that while the time to be conservative is still here at AA, the time to innovate, expand and grow has arrived for every one of AA's competitors. Again, all of these little, miniscule, embarrassing service changes that really aren't doing anything but bring AA back up to circa 2000 service level standards (or in some cases, even worse) don't stand up too well to excellent new services and amenities from the likes of Delta, United, etc. And that's to say nothing about the incredible expansion going on at just about every one of AA's competitors, where they are moving into AA markets, stealing AA's historic leading market share, and poaching AA's customers. Look at how AA is doing in the Chicago-Northeast markets, in the Caribbean (where Delta is flying just about everywhere AA is not), in New York where everyone seems to be pouring in capacity except AA. I recognize that AA is being prudent -- some of the expansion moves that Delta, JetBlue and others are making are either: a) incredibly foolhardy and stupid, or b) out of desperation. But either way, if Delta, JetBlue, United, etc., etc., can get their new, expanding network to stick in even 1/5 of the new places they are adding capacity, then they are going to be eating up AA's market left and right.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 13):
These announcements may not blow any a.netters out of the water but I know the passengers will welcome them. And I have a feeling there is more to come. We're coming along, just very cautiously.

If more is to come, then that is fantastic. But AA has got to stop this ridiculous crap about acting as if they are reinventing flying just because they are giving customers amenities that competitors have been offering for 10 years. AA can start by: retroffiting, all, not just half, of their 763 cabins with the new interiors, giving all 777 (and--gasp!--maybe even 767 and/or 757) passengers real AVOD, serving actual food (even if at an additional price) on 9-hr flights to Hawaii, giving revenue passengers in F/J normal portion sizes on long flights, installing wifi on aircraft, etc. Those are things that would actually begin to bring AA back to the standard that I (and many others) expect of it. And the sad thing is, that all of those things -- complete, from beginning to end -- would probably cost AA less than $150 million total. Especially if they are going to insist on continuing to fly some of their aircraft for years more to come (757s, 767s, etc.), I'd say it would be an investment well worth making.
 
collin260
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:02 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 6:26 am

Quoting QQflyboy (Reply 3):

The new business class seats will feature a 10.6" screen, first 8.4" (the current Flagship Suite monitor).

Why are the business screens larger than the first screens?

Quoting Commavia (Reply 9):
Just because AA's flights to Hawaii are sold-out doesn't mean that passengers find it okay to be served a $5 turkey wrap for a meal on a 9-hour flight.

Then those passengers should have flown first class!
The approximate flight time today will be 6 hours in First Class and 12 hours in Economy.
 
wcs
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:55 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 6:44 am

Quoting Sllevin (Reply 14):
love the new KL system.

That said, I really don't think IFE drives a lot of business. Sure, some people care, and I won't say I haven't missed it since moving my business to AA -- but at the same time, it's not a huge deal.

Steve

Hi Steve,
I tend to agree: IFE is not the key factor for most of PAX. And as I said, I'm not a "ultra" when it's time to stress the IFE. But it's a matter of leadership. Why the hell do AA update Y cabin with something almost "as been"? While I do not know the price difference between AVOD and almost AVOD, I don't think it's that huge. It's all about the overall experience. To give you an example, I rather fly KL 777's or A330's rather than AF ones, even if I have to connect in AMS instead of CDG (depending of the final destination in the US).

One more time, not a big deal but quite disappointing.
FLY SKYTEAM JETS
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 7:30 am

Quoting Collin260 (Reply 16):
Quoting Commavia (Reply 9):Just because AA's flights to Hawaii are sold-out doesn't mean that passengers find it okay to be served a $5 turkey wrap for a meal on a 9-hour flight.

Then those passengers should have flown first class!

To get a free turkey wrap? LOL. I agree that it's beyond the pale to expect a planeload of passengers departing at 9am on a 9+ hour flight to pack picnic lunches, or depend upon there being enough BOB onboard, that for many is a trip of a lifetime. They don't need to return to the days when UA served coach passengers full meals on monkeypod trays, but a route like ORD-HNL is a chance for them to showcase their best in small ways, and AA is frittering away that opportunity. Mai tais can be sold, and a tropical-themed salad or something similar could be offered without breaking the bank. If I'm reading Commavia correctly, flights are so full across the board that a $5 or $10 difference in fare to help defer the cost of a few small extras isn't going to leave them with an empty plane, simply because the other airlines are packed to near capacity as well and people will buy the seats that are open if they want to get where they're going.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 15):
in New York where everyone seems to be pouring in capacity except AA

Wasn't it just a couple of years ago that AA was tossing a daily 757 from JFK to nearly every airport on the west coast? It didn't last very long at all. AA keeps making a go at the west coast, then pulling back. Out of PDX, we don't even have a red-eye to DFW any longer as of last December. It's confounding.
International Homo of Mystery
 
commavia
Posts: 10112
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 8:10 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
Wasn't it just a couple of years ago that AA was tossing a daily 757 from JFK to nearly every airport on the west coast?

Hardly. They had two daily 757s to ONT and OAK, and then later two daily 757s to LGB, all to compete with B6. At one time or another, a summer-only second daily JFK-SEA and a daily JFK-PHX turn were also in there. Luckily, AA came to their senses are realized that not only was it impossible to compete on price with B6, which has about half the unit operating costs, but it also doesn't make sense for AA to poach from itself -- namely, LAX is actually an extremely convenient, and popular, destination in and of itself and what AA ultimately found is that most of their customers actually did want to go to LAX.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
AA keeps making a go at the west coast, then pulling back. Out of PDX, we don't even have a red-eye to DFW any longer as of last December. It's confounding.

I'm not talking about JFK-West Coast. AA has the important markets -- LAX, SFO, SAN and SEA -- covered, and plus LAS starting in a few months. My issue is with other markets where AA can, and should, compete, but can't because they continue to pull down capacity while everyone else adds. Adding 2-3x/week 757s in-season to SKB and SLU are encouraging signs, but more is needed. More Europe, more Latin America. I know these markets are approaching saturation, but I believe AA could be a viable competitor in many markets if it just had the resources to invest.
 
kevi747
Posts: 991
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 5:59 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 8:38 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 15):
But AA has got to stop this ridiculous crap about acting as if they are reinventing flying just because they are giving customers amenities that competitors have been offering for 10 years.

I don't remember reading anything that said we were reinventing flying. What would you have them do? Not announce the upgrades? Not make them sound like improvements? They're just marketing the investments.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 15):
AA can start by: retroffiting, all, not just half, of their 763 cabins with the new interiors, giving all 777 (and--gasp!--maybe even 767 and/or 757) passengers real AVOD,

That takes lots of money. I'm not sure how accurate your estimate is, but even $150 million is a lot. And again, why would they do that when people are still paying good money to fly without AVOD?

Quoting Commavia (Reply 15):
serving actual food (even if at an additional price) on 9-hr flights to Hawaii,

I would tend to agree with you on that, but those flights are full. So, yet again, it doesn't seem to matter what you offer onboard as long as the flight is cheap enough. It would be very nice if they served food on those flights, but AA isn't in business to do favors for people (its employees included). It's in business to make money. People have clearly spoken with their wallets as to what is important to them when purchasing an airline ticket. If that changes, trust me, AA will adapt.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 15):
And that's to say nothing about the incredible expansion going on at just about every one of AA's competitors, where they are moving into AA markets, stealing AA's historic leading market share, and poaching AA's customers.

The huge elephant in the room on that one is the buyout of TWA. That airline should have been left to die on its own, but of course hindsight is 20/20. Look for some major hiring/expansion announcements around this time next year. Hopefully we can all put that mess behind us once the recall list has been cleared.
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
 
collin260
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:02 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 8:51 am

Hey Commavia,
Why do you hate AA so much?
The approximate flight time today will be 6 hours in First Class and 12 hours in Economy.
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 9:04 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 19):
Hardly. They had two daily 757s to ONT and OAK, and then later two daily 757s to LGB, all to compete with B6. At one time or another, a summer-only second daily JFK-SEA and a daily JFK-PHX turn were also in there.

I seem to recall JFK-SJC and JFK-SNA in there as well.
International Homo of Mystery
 
commavia
Posts: 10112
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 9:25 am

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 20):
I don't remember reading anything that said we were reinventing flying.

I don't have a link, but I remember reading an article quoting a European Marketing Manager for AA saying (essentially) that the next-generation Business Class seats were "industry-leading," "ahead of the curve," and would "put AA on an equal footing with European competitors." Now, to anyone who has ever flown any airline other than AA, I think we all know that is absolutely laughable. AA's upgrades, at best, put AA's Business Class at about the spot where European carriers' J cabins were aboute 5-7 years ago -- at best.

And that's fine. I fully understand that AA knows it will never be able to command the yield premium that BA or AF does, and that their top-tier FFs require upgrades more than lie-flat J seats. But again, if you are going to give customers a good (but not great) product, don't treat them like idiots and say that it is industry-leading.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 20):
What would you have them do? Not announce the upgrades? Not make them sound like improvements? They're just marketing the investments.

I'd have them respect their customers and not treat them like morons who don't see right through the "marketing." If you are adding things to your product, that is great and I encourage it, but it just rings so hollow (and almost comical) when customers see what the huge "improvements" entail.

People recognize that the beautiful new cabin interiors on the 763s only go as far back as the mid-cabin lavs and galley, and it looks cheap. F and J passengers recognize that the meals keep getting smaller, and they need the flight attendants to ration them extra salt and pepper from the little paper packets, and it looks cheap. People know that just because AA's new Business Class seat has a tray table with two parts that fold down and meet in the middle, it's not exactly "industry leading," and it looks cheap.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 20):
why would they do that when people are still paying good money to fly without AVOD?

Because that is what vision is about. People could have said to Crandall and Plaskett back in '80 "why give people free trips for their loyalty if they are still loyal to us and pay us big bucks without it?" People could have asked BA and Singapore "why give people in premium cabins lie-flat beds when they pay for First Class anyway?" People could have asked Continental, "why fly those narrow 757s to smaller European cities when people are already willing to just buy a codeshared seat on AF or KL?"

Sometimes you have to see beyond the here and now.

It is clear to me that if AA decides that they want to offer a commodity product, then all they'll ever be able to get for Y is a commodity price. And that's fine, except for the fact that everyone else (Delta, Northwest, United, USAirways, etc.) -- because of the warm fuzzies of bankruptcy -- will be able to offer a better product (AVOD IFE, real meals on long flights, mp3 hook-ups, etc.) at the same commodity price.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 20):
So, yet again, it doesn't seem to matter what you offer onboard as long as the flight is cheap enough.

With due respect, I think this is exactly the flawed thinking that is going to cost AA dearly in the future if it doesn't change. AA cannot go on assuming that just because flights are full now, and yields are up now, and they're making some profits now, that their customers are satisfied, nor that their success will last. Flights are full and yields are up for one reason and one reason only: supply and demand. Air travel demand is at an all-time high and the industry's capacity has not been able to keep up because: a) airlines like AA keep taking more and more seats out of the market, and b) almost everyone else besides AA cannot get aircraft from Boeing and/or Airbus fast enough.

I cannot tell you how many very valuable top-tier AA FFs I know who basically now fly on AA because they have no other choice, or because they still want to burn their miles or must purchase based on the corporate account. They are fed up with careless flight attendants with an attitude (no offense to the good ones out there, but I think we all know what I mean), so-so (at best) onboard service that keeps getting changed based on AA testing what it can and cannot get away with cutting, and continued retraction from more and more markets where flights are either shifted to Eagle or just ended altogether, where JetBlue, Delta, etc. just keep adding, adding, adding in more and more places.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 20):
The huge elephant in the room on that one is the buyout of TWA.

Buying TWA six years ago has nothing to do with not meeting competition head-on today.

Quoting Collin260 (Reply 21):
Hey Commavia, Why do you hate AA so much?

If you have followed any of my posts on A.net over the last two years athat I have been a member, you would no that I absolutely do not hate AA, or any airline. Indeed, AA is a company I have enormous and profound respect for, which is part of the reason that I am disappointed by some of the decisions that have been made by the company in the recent past. Make no mistake about it: I don't "hate" AA -- or any airline for that matter -- in the slightest.
 
commavia
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 9:27 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 22):
I seem to recall JFK-SJC and JFK-SNA in there as well.

Indeed, my mistake. JFK-SJC operated from 1999 up until about 2002 or 2003, when JetBlue entered the route. (At one point in 2000-2001, AA was operating 3x daily service on the route including one flight with a 3-class 762. My how times of changed!) As for JFK-SNA, I know that AA announced the route, but I'm not sure if it ever operated. If it did, it was only for a matter of months.
 
kevi747
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 9:27 am

Quoting Collin260 (Reply 21):
Hey Commavia,
Why do you hate AA so much?

He doesn't. Or didn't used to at least. He's very smart and somehow has access to loads of information about American Airlines. In fact, his signature used to be "A M E R I C A N A I R L I N E S". That's what is freaking me out. He used to be our most fierce defender. I hope we didn't do something to piss him off.  Sad
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24724
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 9:34 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 24):
As for JFK-SNA, I know that AA announced the route, but I'm not sure if it ever operated. If it did, it was only for a matter of months.

JFK-SNA lasted a little more than a year. The route that didn't start was JFK-ONT.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 25):
He doesn't. Or didn't used to at least. He's very smart and somehow has access to loads of information about American Airlines. In fact, his signature used to be "A M E R I C A N A I R L I N E S". That's what is freaking me out. He used to be our most fierce defender. I hope we didn't do something to piss him off. Sad

Just because you speak the truth about an airline doesn't mean one hate it. I love AA, but I agree with Commavia 100%. It is pathetic. Delta, CO, United, and US Airways are expanding all over. USAirways has been adding destinations in Europe at a rate of three per summer. Delta is making major forrays into Africa. United continues to expand into Asia. Northwest started a major 757 trans-Atlantic expansion.

And what do to idiots at AA do? Sell 757s that they need and resume service to Barranquilla. Give me a break. AA had such a huge lead over everyone else and they blew it. They are too conservative, and now have to play catch up. They don't defend their turf at NYC, Chicago, and LA like they should. They are only aggressive in Dallas and, to a much lesser extent, Miami.

They need to new aircraft now, they need to expand international flying, they need to improve their in-flight coach product. These aren't options. AA can't sit around and wait, but they are doing that anyways.

If AA doesn't announce a major aircraft order in Paris (which, according to some at AA, is looking possible), I am going to lose a lot of faith in them.

They need to take risks. They aren't doing it. They will suffer if they don't start soon.
a.
 
kevi747
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 9:47 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 23):
I'd have them respect their customers and not treat them like morons who don't see right through the "marketing." If you are adding things to your product, that is great and I encourage it, but it just rings so hollow (and almost comical) when customers see what the huge "improvements" entail.

But that's up for the customer to decide. If they don't feel that the improvements warrant their continued business they will travel with another carrier. And they're not.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 23):
With due respect, I think this is exactly the flawed thinking that is going to cost AA dearly in the future if it doesn't change. AA cannot go on assuming that just because flights are full now, and yields are up now, and they're making some profits now, that their customers are satisfied, nor that their success will last.

It's not flawed thinking to expect the marketplace to set the standards. That's just basic capitalism. Maybe we'll have to play catch-up later, but for now its a strategy that's working.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 23):
Buying TWA six years ago has nothing to do with not meeting competition head-on today.

It most certainly does. When the recall list is cleared you will see a huge hiring boom and hopefully more A/C orders announced.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 23):
I cannot tell you how many very valuable top-tier AA FFs I know who basically now fly on AA because they have no other choice, or because they still want to burn their miles or must purchase based on the corporate account.

Who are these people? I fly to Europe all the time and the overwhelming majority of the passengers are quite satisfied with the service. There is a HUGE disconnect between you guys on here and the passengers I deal with on a daily basis.

Plus, we have the most generous FF program in the industry. That adds a lot of value to choosing AA.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 23):
People recognize that the beautiful new cabin interiors on the 763s only go as far back as the mid-cabin lavs and galley, and it looks cheap.

Yes, it does. To you and me. But you know what? Most Y/C PAX don't even notice. And if they're offended, they have the option for paying to sit in the nicer part of the A/C.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 23):
F and J passengers recognize that the meals keep getting smaller, and they need the flight attendants to ration them extra salt and pepper from the little paper packets, and it looks cheap.

Are you talking about Dom/Carribbean? Because I've been flying LHR for a while now, the meals are as big as ever and we have silverware and salt and pepper shakers in F and J classes.
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
 
commavia
Posts: 10112
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 10:00 am

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 27):
And they're not.

Yes, they are.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 27):
It's not flawed thinking to expect the marketplace to set the standards.

The marketplace will set standards, of course, but we are operating in a very skewed marketplace right now. Competitors are beniffiting from conditions that AA is not, and thus they have much more flexibility to make longer-term strategic capital investment decisions. They are spending their newly freed-up capital on new planes, new routes, better service, etc. AA is using their still-tight cashflow to pay down bank notes (and fund employees' pensions). Unfair, but true.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 27):
Maybe we'll have to play catch-up later, but for now its a strategy that's working.

That's just it, though. The strategy may be working now, and AA may have to play catch-up later, but by then it may be too late.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 27):
It most certainly does. When the recall list is cleared you will see a huge hiring boom and hopefully more A/C orders announced.

Please. The recall list is not what is keep AA from expanding. The fact they are parking more and more planes each year is what is keeping them from expanding. If AA wanted to expand, they could recall ever furloughed pilot and flight attendant in the system tomorrow, have them all back in the air in under 90 days, and expand like crazy. Besides, you and I both know that with the atrition among the FA work group alone, more recalls are coming. And, of course, there is a virtual guaranty that a huge number of furloughees either won't be coming back or (in many of the TWAers cases) will come back for 15 minutes, just long enough to put in for retirement.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 27):
Who are these people?

Well, I can't offer you names, but I can suggest this: go over to FlyerTalk.com, and just take a look at how cynical some of AA's top-tier FFs have become about the dashing "service enhancements" AA has announced of late. Sure, many of them stick with AA because -- as I and many others have alluded to -- AA still gets you where you want to go and, in many cases, fairly conveniently, but they aren't exactly over the moon about the drop in the service levels (food, cabin, flight attendants, etc.) of late.

I am glad that you said that you haven't experienced that on your flights, but I sure have experienced when I fly AA.
 
NYCAAer
Posts: 601
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 9:07 pm

Congratulations, Commavia, on your reality check! I often wondered what kind of anti-depressants or other medication you were on when you defended AA to the extreme.

I've been an AA F/A for 19 years. When I started, our big international competition in New York was Pan Am and TWA. Eastern was still around, too. It was unthinkable that American would ever see the service declines they had. I'd see the senior pilots and F/As of those once-proud airlines and I felt for them. They invested years in their airlines at at a time when employees put in so much more than they got back. Although AA hasn't reached the point where PA,TW and EA were back then, sometimes I think AA has followed the same route in a lot of ways.
 
kevi747
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 9:55 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 28):
Yes, they are.

No, they're not.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 28):
That's just it, though. The strategy may be working now, and AA may have to play catch-up later, but by then it may be too late.

Well, we'll have to wait and see, but I am not losing any sleep right now. As pissed as I can get at our senior management sometimes, I have complete faith in their ability to successfully run an airline.

Plus, with all your talk of charging coach fares for new interiors, fleet-wide AVOD, "signature drinks", and so forth, it sounds like you're describing something like what Delta tried with Song, except system-wide. I just really don't feel that's very economically wise.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 28):
Please. The recall list is not what is keep AA from expanding.

You are so wrong about this. AA obviously can't publicly admit it, but this is a huge, expensive issue for the company.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 28):
(in many of the TWAers cases) will come back for 15 minutes, just long enough to put in for retirement.

Bingo, you're starting to get it. AA doesn't want to pay for that. Which is why I can guarantee that there will be a massive hiring push around this time next year. They're already writing the curriculum for the new-hire classes that will start next spring.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 28):
AA still gets you where you want to go and, in many cases, fairly conveniently, but they aren't exactly over the moon about the drop in the service levels (food, cabin, flight attendants, etc.) of late.

Foods improved, cabins are improving, and hey, I do my best to be nice and accommodating to people. I certainly can't speak for anyone else though. But they're staying with us for many reasons. Not the least of which is the AAdvantage program.

But flyertalk.com? No thanks. Being a member of one website were airline nerds come to bitch about everything is enough, thank you.  Wink And besides: That's where you're getting your info?!?! I feel much better already. But seriously I don't think you fully grasp the enormity of the operation we run. I'm sorry that some people aren't happy, but that's to be expected when you carry as many PAX as we do. Plus, I'm only a small cog in a huge machine and I can only do my best when I'm at work. Otherwise I can't be bothered to feel upset about changes I'm not in charge of implementing. But you're not raining on my parade, because I'm still excited about these announcements.
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
 
tothestars
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:52 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 10:37 pm

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 20):
Look for some major hiring/expansion announcements around this time next year. Hopefully we can all put that mess behind us once the recall list has been cleared.

Those people that you just can't wait to clear off the recall list have faces and names, and they are AA flight attendants and fellow union members.

[Edited 2007-05-17 15:39:40]
TWA-Airline To the Stars
 
commavia
Posts: 10112
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 10:59 pm

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 30):
Being a member of one website were airline nerds come to bitch about everything is enough, thank you.

The people on FlyerTalk are not "airline nerds." They are Plats and Exec Plats -- many of them probably the people you serve every day. And many of them are not exactly satisfied with the way things are going. Perhaps that means something.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 30):
But seriously I don't think you fully grasp the enormity of the operation we run.

Trust me, I grasp the enormity of AA's operations better than you could possibly imagine.
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1620
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RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 11:16 pm

Ok, I promise I am not taking sides here. I have thus far enjoyed reading the differing opinions between Kevi747 and Commavia. You both know I, too, am a flight attendant for AA and feel both your frustrations. While I get frustrated with our inflight entertainment offerings, I acknowledge for now IFE isn't an important issue. However, I do believe it will be in the not too distant future as trends are showing travel demand softening. Airlines will have to rely more on what they offer to draw in pax.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 30):
new interiors, fleet-wide AVOD, "signature drinks", and so forth, it sounds like you're describing something like what Delta tried with Song, except system-wide.

I am not suggesting AA should adopt this, however, these features (sig. drinks/off the hook IFE) were so popular with Song they are now being implemented on Delta (757s/738s). So, while Song isn't around anymore, the product essentially is. AA is considering signature drinks. I received a long list of possibilities in my email from my FSM a month or so ago. I was asked for ideas, but I told my FSM I'd need to do a taste test to make recommendations  Smile.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 30):
But flyertalk.com? No thanks.

AA regularly reads what those on FlyerTalk.com have to say. In fact, they've even quoted some reviews of the new J-class seat from that website. Not that FlyerTalk has any influence on the company, but they do read it.

What I do think is too conservative is spending money upgrading the 777's IFE with a product that is still behind the times. For not a lot more money, AA could've upgraded the system to the latest and greatest. If they did this, the system would remain relevant longer and ultimately save money, all the while offering a product consumers appreciate. We used to be a ground breaking, innovative company and that no longer is the case. Lately, it seems to be more "how low can you go."

My biggest concern, however, is growth. Why are we allowing DL to take over at JFK, especially with our new World Terminal there? In John's update message yesterday, he laid out the plans for JFK, as we already know them, and he says there are many more pieces of the plan yet to be announced for NYC. I hope that is the case. The company keeps saying international is where the money is, yet we're doing very little to capitalize on that. And I know why we aren't growing: aircraft. This is where the company has been too conservative in long term planning.

What kills me more than anything right now is this: I said it above but it's worth repeating. Why is AA allowing DL to fly our 757s on the transatlantic routes out of JFK we planned two years ago? I can't believe AA is letting this happen. I know those 757s don't share commonality with the fleet, but we certainly could've made them work, especially in the transatlantic market. It's completely absurd and short sighted on AA's behalf.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1620
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 11:35 pm

Quoting Collin260 (Reply 16):
Why are the business screens larger than the first screens?

I meant to answer this before and forgot. The first screens are smaller because the Flagship Suite is an existing product developed several years ago. To install a larger screen there would require a not-so-minor rework to the suite and is likely not worth the expense.

The business screens, on the other hand, are part of a brand new product that was able to incorporate larger screens.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Greg Vaughn


In the above photo, you can see the Flagship Suite screen. The screen rises up out of the shell that makes up part of the suite. There is simply not enough room there to install a larger screen.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
LMP737
Posts: 4945
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Thu May 17, 2007 11:52 pm

Quoting QQflyboy (Reply 10):
Not to hijack my own thread, but a lot of us at AA have wondered why we're not growing, especially on the international stage. Yes, additional aircraft is the obvious problem, however, staffing them is the big issue. When AA announced a week or so ago 200 flight attendants were being recalled, including some TWAers, that was very surprising. Why? We're dumping those former TWA 757s this year (last to go in September) yet we STILL need more flight attendants. We are so understaffed that dropping 20 +/- aircraft from the fleet still isn't enough to meet staffing needs.

AA is finally starting to increase the number of recalls on the M&E side. Which is good because with all these improvement projects coming down the line they are going to need the manpower.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
thebry
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:50 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Fri May 18, 2007 4:15 am

Quoting Sllevin (Reply 14):
That said, I really don't think IFE drives a lot of business. Sure, some people care, and I won't say I haven't missed it since moving my business to AA -- but at the same time, it's not a huge deal.

In this age of video iPods, PlayStation Portables and the like, I really don't think IFE is as important as it used to be. Just as passengers are growing accustomed to bringing aboard snacks for longer flights, they're also getting accustomed to bringing aboard their own in-flight entertainment (movies, music, games, etc.).

All this chaff about premium suites, video-on-demand, etc. is great, but at the end of the day, I'll bring my own crap onboard if the airline will make a reasonable effort to ensure my SAFETY and comfort (in that order). The rest of the fluff is aspirational stuff -- most people don't ever have an opportunity to fly first class or business class, but they probably "aspire" to based on that quick look left as they're making the sharp right turn to head back into coach. At first glance they see the huge seats (and in come cases suites) and start to wonder what it'd be like to fly that way. But, in reality, they know they never will.
 
BigGSFO
Posts: 2219
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 5:27 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Fri May 18, 2007 5:56 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 26):
Just because you speak the truth about an airline doesn't mean one hate it. I love AA, but I agree with Commavia 100%. It is pathetic. Delta, CO, United, and US Airways are expanding all over. USAirways has been adding destinations in Europe at a rate of three per summer. Delta is making major forrays into Africa. United continues to expand into Asia. Northwest started a major 757 trans-Atlantic expansion.

I agree with MAH and Commavia and I too, love AA and respect the airline to the fullest. However as I see it, AA's current stangnacy rests on the shoulders of their leader. Arpey had a window of opportunity to resurrect his airline after Carty's exit and has, in my opinion, failed to show himself as the dynamic leader needed for the organization. It's been 4 years since that brush with bankruptcy, and the employees are angrier, the planes are older and fewer, market share is decreasing and AA's most prized markets are being hotly challenged; South America by CO, NK and DL; and now Heathrow with Open Skies. More effort was spent on the damn Wright Amendment than on the more pressing issues such as improving customer service and employee relations. The horizon is not as sunny as it is at other airlines.

At some point, management-labor issues need to be improved. It is a simple as that although the process and road ahead to accomplish is far from simple. And as a leader, it's his job to make sure all employees that report to him (i.e. everyone who collects a pAAycheck) are heard and treated accordingly. When he stepped into Carty's position, he had the chance to improve relations. It is clear to me today, an outsider, that has not happened. The management bonuses, which as a member of America's corporate structure I can identify with and understand as being part of executive pay, was not handled with any sensitivity or consideration with the employees who carry out the corporate objectives. It's sad and disappointing really. Every person who works hard at AA deserves the same recognition (financially and symbolically) as management.

But besides that, the lack of expansion plans (that I am aware of) which, arguably, can result in the surrendering of turf to competitors is also discouraging. Sure we'll see Barranquilla, but as with all new flights, it's at the expense of something else. I guess my only point, that is on topic (sorry QQFlyboy for my rant), is that I am pleased to see some improvement in on-board technology and interiors.

Sorry for my two cents, and indeed I pretend to be no expert on AA - just expressing my opinion based upon what I read and understand.
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24724
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Fri May 18, 2007 6:06 am

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 37):

But besides that, the lack of expansion plans (that I am aware of) which, arguably, can result in the surrendering of turf to competitors is also discouraging.

The sad thing is that AA has been working on expansion plans. They have some great ideas to expand upon, especially out of MIA, JFK, and DFW. They just are entirely unable to start anything due to lack of planes, a result of their patheticly conservative stance. One quick fix: freakin' get another AmericanConnection carrier. There is plenty of RJs to go around and AA can sign a contract, for example, with ExpressJet, to do RJ flying out of MIA. This would free up RJs from Miami, would allow some mainline routes to go to RJs, and free-up mainline aircraft for expansion. It's a quick fix, but AA just doesn't seem to care.
a.
 
commavia
Posts: 10112
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Fri May 18, 2007 6:50 am

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 38):
One quick fix: freakin' get another AmericanConnection carrier. There is plenty of RJs to go around and AA can sign a contract, for example, with ExpressJet, to do RJ flying out of MIA. This would free up RJs from Miami, would allow some mainline routes to go to RJs, and free-up mainline aircraft for expansion. It's a quick fix, but AA just doesn't seem to care.

Or, if AA wants to keep MQ flying within the current MQ system, and not bring Connection out into the other hubs besides STL, they could always just change their purchase agreement with CHQ, which currently leases 12 ERJs from Eagle, and puts them back to Eagle if the contract changes. Those 12 ERJs could really come in hand in Miami or D/FW.
 
daron4000
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:17 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Fri May 18, 2007 6:59 am

Quoting Thebry (Reply 36):
In this age of video iPods, PlayStation Portables and the like, I really don't think IFE is as important as it used to be. Just as passengers are growing accustomed to bringing aboard snacks for longer flights, they're also getting accustomed to bringing aboard their own in-flight entertainment (movies, music, games, etc.).

All this chaff about premium suites, video-on-demand, etc. is great, but at the end of the day, I'll bring my own crap onboard if the airline will make a reasonable effort to ensure my SAFETY and comfort (in that order). The rest of the fluff is aspirational stuff -- most people don't ever have an opportunity to fly first class or business class, but they probably "aspire" to based on that quick look left as they're making the sharp right turn to head back into coach. At first glance they see the huge seats (and in come cases suites) and start to wonder what it'd be like to fly that way. But, in reality, they know they never will.

The problem with this theory is that there is also an increase of security, with the extreme liquid bans as a great example. At LHR, a businessman may not be able to carry on his "entertainment" stuff due to the 1-bag carry-on rule but still might want to relax somewhat on a 10 hour transatlantic daytime flight by watching a movie. By upgrading the IFE in premium cabins, this gives pax more choice and makes them happier.
 
thebry
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:50 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Fri May 18, 2007 3:31 pm

Quoting Daron4000 (Reply 40):
The problem with this theory is that there is also an increase of security, with the extreme liquid bans as a great example. At LHR, a businessman may not be able to carry on his "entertainment" stuff due to the 1-bag carry-on rule but still might want to relax somewhat on a 10 hour transatlantic daytime flight by watching a movie. By upgrading the IFE in premium cabins, this gives pax more choice and makes them happier.

If a guy has trouble getting an ultra portable video iPod or PlayStation portable into a carry-on bag, then he's got other issues more important to worry about than IFE.
 
cslusarc
Posts: 553
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 2:29 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Fri May 18, 2007 11:36 pm

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 37):
... Arpey had a window of opportunity to resurrect his airline after Carty's exit and has, in my opinion, failed to show himself as the dynamic leader needed for the organization. It's been 4 years since that brush with bankruptcy, and the employees are angrier, the planes are older and fewer, market share is decreasing and AA's most prized markets are being hotly challenged; South America by CO, NK and DL; and now Heathrow with Open Skies. More effort was spent on the damn Wright Amendment than on the more pressing issues such as improving customer service and employee relations. ....

I'm now thinking that AA has entered a rut, and if things progress down the current path, it will have extreme difficulty exiting that rut. Right now I think AA's major problem is its labour relations with its pilots, flight attendants and other customer contact employees. Those emplyees are stating to drag the company down, with their low morale as they producing the highest labour costs per ASM in the US industry. [I can't remember if I published this here before, but...} AA need to reduce is labour CASM by 18-20% to bring it within the industry average. In the next collective barganning rounds, AA needs to extract more labour productivity or 18-20% wage and benefit concessions in order to remain competitive with the rest of the industry and produce closer to investment grade "Returns of Investment" for its shareholders.
--cslusarc from YWG
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Sat May 19, 2007 1:07 am

Quoting Sllevin (Reply 14):
That said, I really don't think IFE drives a lot of business. Sure, some people care, and I won't say I haven't missed it since moving my business to AA -- but at the same time, it's not a huge deal.

The lack of IFE on a short domestic flight is of no consequence to me. I actually look forward to the CBS "Eye on American" shorts. But on a long overseas flight? Sorry, if I can't get an upgrade, what I want is legroom and IFE. I can get that on UA. Not on AA or DL (at least for the time being.) So I'll fly AA, if there is no competition on a given route, but if I have a choice, I'll go elsewhere.

Which is a shame. My first ever flight was in 1971 on an AA 747 out of LAX. 9am departure, as I recall. Still a memorable flight.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
Wasn't it just a couple of years ago that AA was tossing a daily 757 from JFK to nearly every airport on the west coast? It didn't last very long at all. AA keeps making a go at the west coast, then pulling back. Out of PDX, we don't even have a red-eye to DFW any longer as of last December. It's confounding.

And you're complaining? I relish the opportunity to NOT have to connect through DFW.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 23):
I cannot tell you how many very valuable top-tier AA FFs I know who basically now fly on AA because they have no other choice, or because they still want to burn their miles or must purchase based on the corporate account. They are fed up with careless flight attendants with an attitude (no offense to the good ones out there, but I think we all know what I mean), so-so (at best) onboard service that keeps getting changed based on AA testing what it can and cannot get away with cutting, and continued retraction from more and more markets where flights are either shifted to Eagle or just ended altogether, where JetBlue, Delta, etc. just keep adding, adding, adding in more and more places.

True story.

Last month in MIA, I had a long layover. Usually, I'd go over to the UA RCC in F, but I just didn't feel like schlepping over there. Realizing that I'd be flying AA more this year, I decided to go to the Admiral's Club and rejoin. I walked in and asked the attendant if I could join. She says "a day pass is $50.00." I said, thanks, but I'd like to get an annual pass. She says, "are you sure? A day pass is only $50.00." I said thanks, but I'd to purchase an annual pass. She says "do you realize that it will cost $450.00." I said yes, and almost begrudgingly, she processed my order. Gives me my temporary card, without so much as a thank you (or complimentary drink card, for that matter.)

When I joined the RCC several years ago, UA staff couldn't been more appreciative. With AA, it's apparently not a big deal.

Strange.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
kevi747
Posts: 991
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 5:59 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Sat May 19, 2007 1:24 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
The people on FlyerTalk are not "airline nerds." They are Plats and Exec Plats -- many of them probably the people you serve every day. And many of them are not exactly satisfied with the way things are going. Perhaps that means something.

The Platinums and Executive Platinums I shuttle back and forth between JFK to LHR are big time movers and shakers. They are always busy and I really don't see them having much time for such frivolity. I just brought a plane load of them in this afternoon, and all of the passengers couldn't have been nicer, or more pleased. Many compliments and not a single complaint.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
Trust me, I grasp the enormity of AA's operations better than you could possibly imagine.

Then why do you think that a few anonymous people bitching on that other website proves a mass exodus from AA?
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." --Stephen Colbert
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1620
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Sun May 20, 2007 2:24 am

Ok, I've been released from the Charm Farm for another year. I tried to get more info on the new 757 first class seat, but sadly, was unable to come up with any. I inquired about the seats in the picture I saw and was told those could be them, but that AA actually had several different seats for comfort testing. The ones in the picture may or not be the ones chosen. And not that the person couldn't tell me, they just didn't know which one got the green light.

I am going to the Purser meeting on Wednesday, maybe I can find out more info there.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
moman
Posts: 708
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:17 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Sun May 20, 2007 12:51 pm

Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
The people on FlyerTalk are not "airline nerds." They are Plats and Exec Plats -- many of them probably the people you serve every day. And many of them are not exactly satisfied with the way things are going. Perhaps that means something.

I've flown 30 segements this year so far on AA, with 8 scheduled in the next two weeks, I'm also a member of FT.

I was recently asked why I chose AA out of the TPA airport because there are other options (mainly Southwest) that offer better flight times. In my line of work I generally get to choose my carrier - but clients often push Southwest because of the 'cheap' image, and I have to push back (and have lost a contract over it). Thinking hard, I could only think of one reason - AAdvantage miles.

AA's flight times just aren't very conductive to my schedule (like they used to be). Last week I had to wake up at 5 AM for a early flight to MIA when I really wanted to rest up and jump on a 8 or 9 AM flight but none was offered. The summer flight to STL that I frequent is now on the winter scheule (6 PM) instead of the previous summer time of 3:45 PM. The timing prevents those important dinner meetings. ORD is down to three daily flights, and DFW-TPA no longer has 1138 (leave DFW at 750 PM) instead has a 6 or 9 PM flight. It's also hell to connect through ORD in the winter and DFW in the summer. Yet I soldier on as an AA elite because not only do I love the airline and want them to succeed.

However I've recently began to think about moving more business to DL through ATL. They have widebodies, the MD88s are nicer, CVG is a breeze to connect, and there is a CRC in Tampa. I'm going to stay on AA for now, although I cringe each time I hear the FA's trying to sell M&Ms, Snickerdoodles, and a tube of Lays' for $3. It makes me LONG for the days of the Bistro Bags with cold sandwich and an apple.
AA Platinum Member - American Airlines Forever
 
Alitalia744
Posts: 3777
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 8:22 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Sun May 20, 2007 12:55 pm

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 44):
The Platinums and Executive Platinums I shuttle back and forth between JFK to LHR are big time movers and shakers. They are always busy and I really don't see them having much time for such frivolity. I just brought a plane load of them in this afternoon, and all of the passengers couldn't have been nicer, or more pleased. Many compliments and not a single complaint.

It's flight attendants like you that made me switch away from AA back in 2002.
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
AA767400
Posts: 1892
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Sun May 20, 2007 11:48 pm

Quoting Alitalia744 (Reply 47):
It's flight attendants like you that made me switch away from SA)">AA back in 2002.

Please tell me what part of what he wrote makes you feel that way? All he said was that he does not see the flyertalk crowd on his flights.

And the only reason SA)">DL Flight Attendants are "better" in your eyes is because they were subjected to a big reality check not too long ago. And I am sorry to say but ALL U.S. airline Flight Crews are the SAME. They all have the same American mentality. Sure some are bad apples, but don't tell me that SA)">DL Flight Crews are "Singapore Girls".

I think what SA)">DL had done is great, but let's stop drinking the widget juice.
"The low fares airline."
 
Alitalia744
Posts: 3777
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 8:22 am

RE: Add'l Info On AA's 777 Upgrades

Mon May 21, 2007 12:29 am

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 48):
Please tell me what part of what he wrote makes you feel that way? All he said was that he does not see the flyertalk crowd on his flights.

PM me if you wanna get into it. I'm not gonna get into a bash-fest over something. If you disagree with my opinion, fine, but it is my opinion.

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 48):
And the only reason SA)">DL Flight Attendants are "better" in your eyes is because they were subjected to a big reality check not too long ago. And I am sorry to say but ALL U.S. airline Flight Crews are the SAME. They all have the same American mentality. Sure some are bad apples, but don't tell me that SA)">DL Flight Crews are "Singapore Girls".

Never said DL girls are "Singapore Girls." Find me a quote and I'll give you a buck.

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 48):
I think what SA)">DL had done is great, but let's stop drinking the widget juice.

While I may love and support Delta, I'm not drinking widget juice. I have plenty of issues with the Widget too.
Some see lines, others see between the lines.

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