olddominion727
Topic Author
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Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:39 pm

I have been watching AA over the past 10+ years. I chose to write a report on American Airlines in college just as it was opening it's hub in SJC and the future was very bright for them. They seem to be slowly losing their identity. I could be wrong, but I think others would agree. closing hubs: SJC, BNA, STL and watching WN come in a pick up the business as well as picking up a lot in RDU. Now we have them curtailing BOS to B6 and officially SJU to B6. If I go back and look at fares SJC-LAX, BUR, ONT, SEA, PDX, SAN, PHX, RNO, SNA, LAS. AA's fares were ALWAYS much lower to that of WN's. So what AA has done is create an identity for themselves of buying carriers and closing most or all of the routes ie, AirCal, RenoAir, TWA, and then virtually leaving the market. Only to have a lower-cost carrier come in and take the routes, wait until the AA competition is finally a skeleton of what it once was, and then raise the fares higher than what their predecessor was.

I love AA and there was a time where I would fly on nothing else. But because of their mistakes and giving markets away, my loyalty has to be flexible, like their loyalty has fluctuated to their clients. Our only saving grace is that AS flies to many of the same mainline cities AA did, so the miles are totally safe. But I was just thinking, I just flew SFO-HNL (HA) back to SJC (HA) both former AA routes, SEA-AUS (AS) former AA route... SJC & SNA to SEA both AS (former AA routes). How is AA making money from my traveling on AS/HA? I earn miles on AA. I've not given them any revenue and they're eventually funding my family's business class vacation to Paris (4 people). Something in their economic strategy is wrong.

I am wondering if their demise has been the writing on the wall since the day Bob Crandall retired...??

Please don't slam me, I am open to real dialog and other's thoughts.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:08 am

I wouldn't slam you at all. Your points are well stated and stuff that I've though of also.

AA always seems to be giving up markets that end up working well for other carriers - SJC-NRT (I'll bet it does well for NH), SEA-NRT, SJC-HNL, SJC-OGG, SEA-BOS, SEA-AUS, SEA-STL, SFO-BOS, LGB-JFK, PDX-ORD, SJC-SNA and the very long list goes on. I was told that SJC-TPE did very well but they also canned it after six months.

They bought Air Cal and then decided they really didn't want to be flying up and down the West Coast after all. So they divested all the routes to Reno Air. Then what do you know, they decided that they really didn't want to be flying up and down the West Coast after all. So they discontinued all the ex-QQ routes (except maybe SJC-LAX). Then - in the ultimate of stupidity - AA wanted a third round and supposedly tried to buy AS. That's the Webster's dictionary of incompetence - trying the same unsuccessful thing over and over, expecting a different result. Thankfully AS was smart enough not do that and get gutted.

AA has p*ssed away business and brand loyalty all over - SEA, SJC, STL, SNA, etc. AA used to have a lot of Boeing, Microsoft and other SEA premium business. That's pretty much all gone now along with the Admiral's club. Same with SJC.

While I understand why they sold the ex-TWA 757s for commonality because they had PW engines, they sold them to their biggest competitor who uses them to make money on international flights. Those were by-far the most comfortable of AA's 757s when they had them, IMHO. Likewise, I think selling the 717s was very shortsighted as AA could now really use an excellent 100 seat airplane, as the 717 is.

While I can understand the short-term business thinking of going to 3-4-3 on the 777s, I can guarantee you I will not select an AA 777 flight in coach anymore and will find another non-AA routing. I'll bet a lot of others will too.

Hey, and I like AA. They are still my favorite - and my first choice - among the large traditional legacy carriers and my second favorite airline after AS. I have always had great luck flying AA, not the horror stories some others state.

[Edited 2012-06-28 17:11:52]
 
strfyr51
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:27 am

Under Bob Crandall, American seemed to be pretty much on TOP of their Game, Since Bob Crandall?? Not So Much..
Kind of like USAir buying Pacific Southwest Airlines then Flubbing the DUB and pissing it all away.. WHY?? Who Knows? I think American's Leadership took their Eye off the Ball and spent too much effort in NOT getting due value for their operation while working to keep everybody and their BROTHER out of their Cozy setup at LHR.. Meanwhile UAL got into ASIA and American Cried about that to no end... The Chicago- Tokyo Route where they paid a HUGE premium to get 747-400 slots after UAL told the Japanese we intended to put the 747-400 on the route, The Chicago- Bejing Route where they made a lot of noise about it then dropped Dead Silent about it. for ome unknown reason. They act like they're Afraid of Success.
And personally? Even though I work for United? I Still like to see an American airplane Land and it's one of the Few airlines in the World I'm Impresed by. It's a SHAME to see they're fallen. Can't atribute it to much more than Rotten Leadership because the Guys I know on the Ground ?? Are ON IT!!
 
panpan
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:43 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 2):
Under Bob Crandall, American seemed to be pretty much on TOP of their Game, Since Bob Crandall?? Not So Much.

After 9-11 it seemed to me that American was the only airline that was on their game. In the last couple of years I struggle to find things management has done than hasn't been a bad decision. And it's a shame. They have a lot of dedicated people working for them and a great network and it'll be a shame if they end up bought up by usair.
 
aajfksjubklyn
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:18 am

They are slowly returning to their game, even in Bankruptcy. Take note of front line employees, the push to get planes out on time, better services. As a 3+million miler, been through it all, taking notice without any bias, they are making strides. Lets hope they work through bankruptcy and keep USAIR out of the way. I dont like the feel of that in any way.
 
panpan
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:42 am

Quoting aajfksjubklyn (Reply 4):
Lets hope they work through bankruptcy and keep USAIR out of the way

here's hoping
 
AWACSooner
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:02 am

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 1):

While I can understand the short-term business thinking of going to 3-4-3 on the 777s, I can guarantee you I will not select an AA 777 flight in coach anymore and will find another non-AA routing. I'll bet a lot of others will too.

Count me in!

Quoting panpan (Reply 3):
After 9-11 it seemed to me that American was the only airline that was on their game.

WN might disagree with you there...as they STILL turned a profit while other airlines received government bailouts.
 
ckfred
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:51 am

When AA bought Air Cal, Southwest hadn't moved into the West Coast. At the same time, US had bought PSA. So, when WN moved into the West. both AA and US bailed. DL had an earlier presence on the West Coast, which increased with the Western merger, kept the SLC hub. But, they scaled back the flying on the West Coast that didn't involve service in and out of SLC. United was the only carrier that tried to fight Southwest, launching Shuttle by United to fly point-to-point routes, while "United" flew in and out of SFO. Over time, UA scaled back the Shuttle.

As to BNA and RDU, those reductions started after the recession of the early 1990s. AA learned that it just couldn't set up a hub any where. There had to be enough O&D traffic to make the hub profitable. Add to the mix that DL, between ATL and CVG, was the 900 pound gorilla in the Southeast, and US had a loyal following with the Piedmont merger.

AA was running 3rd in the Southeast and saw no way to increase its market share in the region.

STL was AA's plan to deal with the delays at ORD. The summer of 2000 was one of the stormiest in probably 2 decades. It seemed that the Weather Channel was running a crawler every afternoon and evening about severe weather warnings and/or watches. The City of Chicago was several years away from starting construction of the 3rd east-west runway. Buying TWA and using STL as the fallback, when ORD or DFW went into delays made a lot of sense.

Again STL doesn't have the O&D traffic that ORD and DFW do, and the aftermath of 9/11 cut into the amount of operations at ORD. Simply put, STL became unnecessary.

The problem with the second try at SJC was the dot.com and technology collapse. According to a friend of mine at AA, dot.com executives were buying first class seats for business trips, after the slew of IPOs. They were flush with cash and spent like there was no tomorrow. After the market crash in April of 2000, the dot.coms went broke. Technology spending plummeted after Y2K and the recession, which led to Silicon Valley companies cutting travel .

That isn't to say that AA knows what it's doing. Frankly, it doesn't. They have been conserving spending, while competitors have been spending and taking away market share. Sometimes, you have to spend money to make money, and the best time to spend money is when you don't have 2 nickels to your name. If management understood that cliche, they might not be sitting in Chapter 11 right now.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:31 am

One of the biggest things that AA has never learned, your employees are your biggest asset.
AA has been treating them like dirt for the past 25 years!
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
flyby519
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:34 am

Quoting olddominion727 (Thread starter):
So what AA has done is create an identity for themselves of buying carriers and closing most or all of the routes ie, AirCal, RenoAir, TWA, and then virtually leaving the market. Only to have a lower-cost carrier come in and take the routes, wait until the AA competition is finally a skeleton of what it once was, and then raise the fares higher than what their predecessor was.

^^^^^^^This is AA's business model. Give away marginal flying to other carriers, then buy them, shut down the operations and repeat. I am afraid this isnt done yet...
These postings or comments are not a company-sponsored source of communication.
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:49 am

I agree with the OP.

I would add that from the point of view of the flying public, front-line employee attitudes matter a lot. I've certainly felt like being treated as dirt, and not getting even my basic expectations met. Fly another carrier, say, B6, and you felt wonderful.

But I've been flying AA a little bit now after their bankruptcy and I seem to detect some kind of an attitude change for the positive. Maybe this is just a random coincidence, but they seemed to be taking the customers pretty seriously now. If that is what the difficult times do for them, maybe there is some good in the bankruptcy process.
 
Max Q
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:24 am

They have been timid when they needed to be bold, missing out on acquisition opportunities to get into the Pacific is the biggest example of this.


And needlessly bold (more like reckless) with the TWA buy out which was a terrible idea.


All they have to show for it really is debt, they did inherit their LHR rights but every US Airline is in there now so it really just amounted to a huge waste of money.



Hanging on to a huge fleet of obsolete MD80's was another huge blunder.


Just to name a few..


One thing they have been consistent about is mistreating their employees.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
jfk777
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:32 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
All they have to show for it really is debt, they did inherit their LHR rights but every US Airline is in there now so it really just amounted to a huge waste of money.

TWA sold their LHR routes to AA for lots and lots of $$$. TWA scalped AA for $445, 000,000 in 1991 for BOS, JFK and LAX plus $ 195,000,000 for ORD to LHR a year before. Those purchases gave AA the right to operate at LHR 17 years before Open Skies in 2008. AA made lots of money over those years at LHR, if ot had not the slots could have been sold to Emiratres or Qatar Air for lots of $$$.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:11 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 7):
So, when WN moved into the West. both AA and US bailed.

WN moved into the west coast because US bailed, not the other way 'round. (The story is in 'Nuts', I believe.)
International Homo of Mystery
 
dartland
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:21 pm

One important fact here is that AMR's first bankruptcy is now -- years after all of their competitors. While CO, US, UA, DL, and NW all went through bankruptcy restructuring in the 90s or 00s, AA didn't. That means they did not have an opportunity to restructure their leases, their employee contracts, etc.

They did everything they could to avoid bankruptcy in 2003, and in the end, it was a big disservice to the airline's long-term prospects as it put them in a terribly uncompetitive position relative to the other network carriers. If they had known then what they know now, they surely would not have avoided bankruptcy and would have gone in full speed!

They had to drop all those routes because they were unprofitable at AA's cost, which was significantly higher than competition.

Now is the time to give AA a chance, over the next year as they come out of bankruptcy (not counting any potential merger). They will have costs in line, still a huge chunk of cash in the bank, and a real opportunity to compete.
 
AAplat4life
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:31 pm

Costs are just one factor in AA's ability to compete. Old, cranky aircraft with few amenities and cutting its route structure are other reasons. These are management failings, plain and simple. It's not as if AA union employees have failed to give concessions since 9/11 and gotten huge pay raises. Overall, I think the AA employees do very well in terms of customer treatment under the circumstances, although my last flight was full of angry, tired F/As. That is an exception in my experience rather than the rule.
 
ripcordd
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:40 pm

Boeing Guy I love how you say I will never fly 3-4-3 but in reality if it works for AA and they make $$$ you will see DL/UA do the same thing and soon you wont have a choice. A lot of people make a fuss about this but in the end the same people will fly because they can get a cheaper fare on AA. This all comes back to food/pillows/blankets/bags the people are not willing to pay what it costs and a little profit to fly them from point A to point B. But they all complain once they are charged for these items. AA tried with MRTC and wanted the same people to say who wants to fly Y when they can fly on AA and get Y+ on ever seat in coach it was amazing Y product and yet it fizzled.
 
tommy767
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:05 pm

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 2):
Quoting panpan (Reply 3):

9/11 really screwed AA on a lot of levels. However, the Arpey years were even more damaging in the long run. For an airline that AVOIDED bankruptcy in 2003, you'd figure based on the moves they made between 2002-2010 that AA was actually IN bankruptcy!

They blew it on a few key levels, IMHO:
--Deferring 738 deliveries in 2001, not taking 738s again until 2009 (no new 738 frames between 2002-2009)
--Not figuring out a proper S80 replacement as fuel prices were sky rocketing.
--Not entering BK in 2003
--Not revising a pilot contract to get in E170s and E190s.
--Not figuring out a proper A300 replacement.

AA over the last 15 years has just been too conservative. So yes, they started digging their own grave years ago.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
mogandoCI
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:31 pm

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 16):
AA tried with MRTC and wanted the same people to say who wants to fly Y when they can fly on AA and get Y+ on ever seat in coach it was amazing Y product and yet it fizzled.

UA has had Economy Plus for more than a decade (both short and long haul), so clearly there's a profitable market for rewarding elites while doing the occasional upsell.

JetBlue also has a very successfully 38" legroom product even though regular Y is already 34", and doesn't look like they're about to cancel that program anytime soon.

MRTC not succeeding is more the exception than the rule.
 
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United_fan
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:36 pm

You can add to your list pulling mainline out of some NY cities. We (ROC) lost mainline in 2003,IIRC. AA was the only major to leave mainline and not return. Not to mention pulling DFW on Eagle. Plus,we only have service to 1 destination,ORD. While every other airline here has multiple destinations.
Champagne For My Real Friends,and Real Pain For My Sham Friends
 
Italianflyer
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:44 pm

Quoting aajfksjubklyn (Reply 4):
They are slowly returning to their game, even in Bankruptcy. Take note of front line employees, the push to get planes out on time, better services.

I have seen this happen in airline BK...including my own employer. Some of my most petulant coworkers became gung-ho seemingly overnight. I think that once ones employer goes into Ch. 11...."this &%@$ gets real"...as the kids say :P.
The flip side to this phenomena is that the longer the BK process goes on, not only will the bad apples will revert to old behavior; employees who were positive will become disillusioned.
 
CRFLY
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:17 pm

Yes, a very sad story indeed...

I flew almost a million miles on AA back in the 90s and 2000s and it was a great airline, great services and great connectivity... But AA forgot about us in Latin America, the premium passengers that will fly them no matter what... The MIA hub in a permanent renovation, flight delays of up to 3 hours and my favorite one... The A300 broken all the time, with delays of up to 12 hours! Come on AA! You turned from being the leader from the US to Latin America to be the worst nightmare of rude employees, long delays, costumer unfriendly terminals and old unreliable airplanes (I flew from SJO to MIA on the A300 that crashed in JFK days later, for whatever reason it was!) So at the end it is a very sad story, "from first to worse" and there are thousands of people that think like me, let's avoid AA at all costs and just leave it as our last option!

I truly hope they succeed in the reorganization and slowly become the AA we always wanted, but by now Delta, United and JetBlue are miles away, with a very happy and rewarded clientele that must be thinking "why go back to AA now? This folks are doing a great job and I don't feel like going back to AA anymore!" Good luck to all!
With Age comes Wisdom...
 
tommy767
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:24 pm

I forgot about TWA. AA also blew it there big time by not keeping the 717 or PMTW 757. Selling them to Delta was so dumb.

Quoting CRFLY (Reply 21):
I truly hope they succeed in the reorganization and slowly become the AA we always wanted, but by now Delta, United and JetBlue are miles away, with a very happy and rewarded clientele that must be thinking "why go back to AA now? This folks are doing a great job and I don't feel like going back to AA anymore!" Good luck to all!

I work at a company where a large amount of upper managment fly AA as if it were something holy. They view flying United or Delta as a non-option. AA still has it's fair share of high tier elites, especially after United recently treating their 1K's like dirt and the SHARES issue -- quite a few switched over to AA during integration.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
777STL
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:59 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 1):
While I understand why they sold the ex-TWA 757s for commonality because they had PW engines, they sold them to their biggest competitor who uses them to make money on international flights. Those were by-far the most comfortable of AA's 757s when they had them, IMHO. Likewise, I think selling the 717s was very shortsighted as AA could now really use an excellent 100 seat airplane, as the 717 is.

I don't think any of the 757s or 717s were ever owned by TW or AA - they were all leased. While some love to criticize and monday morning quarterback here, the lease terms on those planes weren't favorable and thus they were returned to their lessor. Getting rid of those planes made sense at the time.

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 17):
9/11 really screwed AA on a lot of levels. However, the Arpey years were even more damaging in the long run. For an airline that AVOIDED bankruptcy in 2003, you'd figure based on the moves they made between 2002-2010 that AA was actually IN bankruptcy!

Indeed it did. It's the main reason that AA did what it did to STL and TW. It was the wrong purchase at the wrong time, but no one could have predicted 9/11 at the end of 2000.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 11):
One thing they have been consistent about is mistreating their employees.

You're right. You know, because they're consistantly one of the most overpaid and underworked labor groups in the industry.

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 16):
A lot of people make a fuss about this but in the end the same people will fly because they can get a cheaper fare on AA.

Bingo. For most of the high dollar pax that really matter to AA, they'll be flying either business/first or they'll be upgraded to Y+ as part of their elite benefits. Those filling up the 3-4-3 Y will be the price conscious customers that just picked the cheapest fare off of Expedia.

People tend to forget that the vast majority of the population isn't as educated about aircraft and airlines as we are. They just want to get from point A to point B at the cheapest price and they more than likely don't care what airline they fly on, let alone how the aircraft they're flying on is configured. This will work well for AA and if they do succeed, don't be surprised to see the other legacies following suit. People said the same thing about baggage fees and now the airlines are making billions/year off of them and the general flying public has come to accept it.
PHX based
 
mogandoCI
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:10 pm

Quoting 777STL (Reply 23):
People tend to forget that the vast majority of the population isn't as educated about aircraft and airlines as we are. They just want to get from point A to point B at the cheapest price and they more than likely don't care what airline they fly on, let alone how the aircraft they're flying on is configured. This will work well for AA and if they do succeed, don't be surprised to see the other legacies following suit. People said the same thing about baggage fees and now the airlines are making billions/year off of them and the general flying public has come to accept it.

Not totally apples and oranges.

Regarding baggage fees, the alternative is packing less or carry-ons (why do you think the the boarding process for a 753 to MCO is slower than boarding a 747 to Asia?). One can easily avoid the baggage fee, even without elite status.

But regarding the seat, the alternative is to cough up more for Y+ buy-up, or another carrier. If seat comfort means nothing and price is everything, we'd all be flying Spirit, Ryanair, and Monarch.
 
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United_fan
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:26 pm

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 22):
AA also blew it there big time by not keeping the 717 or PMTW 757. Selling them to Delta was so dumb.

TW's bad credit made their 717 lease payments too high . AA returned them to their lessor. The PMTW 757's were P&W birds. AA's are RR .
Champagne For My Real Friends,and Real Pain For My Sham Friends
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:31 pm

Quoting 777STL (Reply 23):
People said the same thing about baggage fees and now the airlines are making billions/year off of them and the general flying public has come to accept it.

Yeah, I had really hoped people would rise up on protest First Bag fees. Those are entirely inappropriate in the era of carry-on liquid restrictions. Like someone has to pay $25 to bring home a bottle of wine.

Quoting United_fan (Reply 25):
The PMTW 757's were P&W birds. AA's are RR .

DL has 767s with PW and GE engines. They seem to manage a mixed fleet just fine.
 
sevenfeet
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:42 pm

The city is Nashville is currently celebrating the 75th anniversary of BNA and one of the major events in the airport's history was the building of the then-new terminal in 1987 largely for American Airlines and the new hub. AA and Eastern were the first airlines in Nashville in 1937 so AA had a lot of goodwill with city officials. They even got a flight from Nashville to Gatwick going in 1989 for a short time. And in those days early in my career, it made a lot of sense directing my travel dollars to AA after not falling in love with Delta when I lived in Atlanta in the late 80s.

But AA could never make the small hub strategy with SJC, RDU and BNA work and BNA was the last of those hubs to close. The only remnants of the strategy to remain were direct flights to LAX and LGA primarily to appeal to the entertainment community flyers. That left the C Concourse at BNA largely a ghost town after watching the airport for years be a vibrant change point in the AA system.

But BNA got lucky...WN decided to invest in Nashville and in a big way. Although they never took over all of the previous AA gates, they took over enough of them that the C Concourse could remain open. As time has gone on, WN has increased BNA traffic, not pulled back. BNA is now one of WN's big destination/stop through points in their map and it is easily BNA's biggest airline. The bottom line is that Southwest figured out how they could make money in this market where AA failed. That's despite the history of Delta and the ATL hub geographically nearby and competition from UA/Continental in the Texas, Chicago and NY/NJ markets.

As for me, I dropped AA for flying when the hub left BNA and liquidated by Advantage Miles account shortly after. Delta was the #2 airline in Nashville (still is) and has gotten the last 15 years of my travel business.
 
mikesairways
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:13 pm

OldDominion727,

I too watched the growth and decline of SJC growing up. I'd love to hear about some of what you wrote in your report. I'll never fully understand why AA bought Reno Air if they didn't want to be a big player on the West Coast. They had a great code-share and rev-share plan in place. QQ and WN played nice together...in fact WN made some serious money when QQ would cancel a flight (which I heard they did quite often).

It's nice to see AS selectively investing in to some markets at SJC - I wonder if they have additional growth plans. I know Southwest owns the entire SoCal market from SJC, in fact I think UA is now down to just 2-LAX flights per day. It will be interesting to see what happens when CP starts.

SJC will never be a super mega SFO type of hub - it's not it's destiny, but it can and support additional traffic. ANA will do good here, not for just O&D but also the Asian connections it can provide.

I could ramble on....
The red zone is for the immediate loading and unloading of passengers only, there is no stopping in the white zone...(Ai
 
AADC10
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:33 pm

AA has been fairly well managed, as illustrated by it being the last major to have to file for Ch. 11. Unlike other airlines, particularly UA, AA aggressively expanded or retreated from markets based upon business conditions and built up fortress hubs at DFW and MIA and unlike CO at IAH, DFW is protected from competition at DAL by the Wright Amendment.

Purchasing TW's assets not long before 9/11 was just bad luck. They missed out on their only prime merger candidate, NW. Now both DL and UA have more extensive international networks, while AA is distinctly weak in the Pacific. They also made a bad bet in hanging on to the MD-80s instead of replacing them, as did NW. When fuel prices were low, it was a great advantage but when they rose, they became an albatross around the neck.
 
tommy767
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:44 pm

Quoting United_fan (Reply 25):

So? United has PW and RR as well..
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United_fan
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:47 pm

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 30):

Maybe they didnt have enough PW birds to make it worth wild to keep both.
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LOWS
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:56 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 29):
DFW is protected from competition at DAL by the Wright Amendment.

Yes! For two more years!  
 
olddominion727
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:08 pm

Quoting olddominion727 (Thread starter):

I've met a few AirCal, QQ & WA Transworld Airlines (USA)">TW employees, as well as traditional AA ground folks. They all love their jobs. I am sure there are a few bad nuts that need to be cracked, but AA really has the cream of the crop as far as their employees' loyalties. I hope they do right by them. Pull their heads out of their rear ends, get back into flying to HAM, DUS, MUC, LYS, BER, BUD, GLA, ARN, TPE, SYD (not a codeshare), open up TLV (though I understand the legalities behind TLV).. open up DXB, KWI, JNB... Their creativity is gone which I miss. Hopefully someone at helm will wake up before it becomes another Titanic, WA Transworld Airlines (USA)">TW, EA, PA, CO, WA, AQ, HP, NW, MX, Piedmont, AirCal, PSA, National Airlines, All of the old war horses. The only thing we're left with are carriers that are a skeleton of their predecessors like B6, NK, G4, SY.

The only one I see even trying to woo customers back is DL.


I am 6'4" 295lbs, I used to fly AA coach all of the time on personal stuff. But I will not do a 3-4-3 Y class 77W. I would rather change planes.

Does anyone know if the Y+ coach cabin for AA is going to remain 3-3-3 or 2-5-2?
 
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:17 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 13):

Not true. WN already had purchased Morris Air and opened a minihub in OAK. Plus WN had been flying SFO-SAN,SFO-PHX,SFO-ABQ for almost 10 years at that point. SFO was one of their first CA cities, amongst AirCal, PSA. BUT WN certainly exploded in size when US/AA left. The day AA closed their hub July 15, 1994 in SJC, WN began service.
 
caliboy78
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:22 pm

Without getting all of you all mad and stuff!!!!!

I would like to know why some of you are complainting so much about the 3-4-3 in AA. If any of you look at any 747 coach you will see that the seat is also the same size as what AA, AF, NZ, etc is/will offer. What's the big deal?
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ripcordd
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:30 pm

AA has done some great things with their fleet and to reduce sub-fleets and fleets to only a handful to keep costs down. To keep a very very small sub fleet of 757 was not worth it. They would have kept the 717 but the lease was to high and they wouldnt come down. AA has kept the S80 out MIA to reduce parts and costs. Also SWA is going to be looking at ways to increase revenue and I know they will resist charging for bags but as their costs rise I wouldnt be surprised to see them charge for bags in the future.
 
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:17 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 29):
AA has been fairly well managed, as illustrated by it being the last major to have to file for Ch. 11.

I don't think being last to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy indicates that they were well managed at all.
 
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:28 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 29):
AA has been fairly well managed, as illustrated by it being the last major to have to file for Ch. 11.

Actually, arguably this wound up being a much costlier decision for AA than it seems. AA's labor relations have been through a long, sorrowful history, and had they chosen to file in 2003 vs. 2011, the landscape could be completely different today.

However, I will qualify that with saying that it is hard to play "what-if" with history, yet I don't think I'd go as far as to say that AA's management has been a model for other carriers.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 29):
and unlike CO at IAH, DFW is protected from competition at DAL by the Wright Amendment.

Not necessarily true. Delta built hub a fairly sizable hub operation at DFW at or around the same time that AA did. Of course, AA's was much larger and this was during an era where it was possible for two legacy carriers to operate hubs at major US airports (long before the rise of LCCs) but nevertheless AA had to contend with the competition.

Moreover, over the past 6-7 years, DAL has been opened up to direct service to pretty much all of the markets Southwest serves, and that will go away entirely within two years. Also add to the mix that a number of new LCC entrants have grown at DFW (mostly NK, as well as VX, B6 and a few others) and given AA a run for their money.

However, at the end of the day, AA does walk away with the premium traffic at DFW and therefore commands higher yields, no doubt about that.
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msp747
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:47 pm

Quoting olddominion727 (Reply 34):
Not true. WN already had purchased Morris Air and opened a minihub in OAK. Plus WN had been flying SFO-SAN,SFO-PHX,SFO-ABQ for almost 10 years at that point. SFO was one of their first CA cities, amongst AirCal, PSA.

WN didn't officially take over Morris Air until 1994, 6 and 7 years after US and AA took over PSA and AirCal. And SFO wasn't originally a success for WN. It was one of the few destinations they have dropped in their history. They weren't successful until the second go around, and even then, their presence is limited. And I'm not saying WN didn't have a presence in California before 1994, but they are not the reason that US and AA pulled out of the west coast. I think it had more to do with costs. Sure, Reno Air, PSA, and AirCal made money flying the routes they did. But when you merge those airlines with US and AA, and bring those employees up to US and AA wages, those routes no longer make money. That is what killed US and AA on the west coast. The fact that AA made the same mistake again when they bought Reno Air, and quickly realized they couldn't compete with their wages, is idiotic. That is where AA management gets an 'F' grade. You have to be able to realize that. If AA had then bought AS, the same thing would have happened. Thankfully, AS management could see that they had a good thing going and declined. It was only then that AA figured out that a code share agreement was all you need. They should have done the same thing with Reno Air.
 
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:12 pm

My last flights on AA were great! I think they are 100X better than pre-bankruptcy.

Now to see them turn the financial corner... A well managed airline wouldn't have put as much up as collateral for loans. AA has cash and not much else on their books.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 8):
One of the biggest things that AA has never learned, your employees are your biggest asset.
AA has been treating them like dirt for the past 25 years!

Which must be faced with:

Quoting 777STL (Reply 23):
You're right. You know, because they're consistantly one of the most overpaid and underworked labor groups in the industry.

AA employes may not feel loved, but they were coddled. Now, the coddling might have been rough (hugs with a wool jacket), but they also haven't been forced to adapt as other airline employees have.

Quoting LOWS (Reply 32):
Quoting AADC10 (Reply 29):
DFW is protected from competition at DAL by the Wright Amendment.


Yes! For two more years!

   But the DAL cap means DFW isn't really that threatened. It will help WN. Will DAL really hurt AA?    They'll do that on their own.

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 36):
AA has done some great things with their fleet and to reduce sub-fleets and fleets to only a handful to keep costs down.

AA has done some good, but not enough. It will get worse before better due to the A319/A321 introduction. But at least that will be on the right path.

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:25 pm

BOS-SFO really has been much more of a mainstay for UA than with AA. AA was late to BOS-SFO relatively speaking; it was a route only served by UA DC-10s and TW L-1011s for many years while AA ignored it. To be fair, the route probably had as much capacity as it could handle.

But AA has a history of coming & going at Logan....down-gauging flights or eliminating routes entirely. Their level of dedication is not that great at Logan; the same can be said of DL.
 
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:31 pm

AA can still salvage its image and cachet, IF it acts intelligently. Give customers a predictable, consistent and superior product at reasonable (not necessarily always the LOWEST) prices, advertise intelligently, etc.

lightsaber - I noticed exactly the same thing on DL during their bankruptcy. It seemed like they cleaned house and the staff left were motivated and attentive. They introduced new services and updated a/c interiors. If AA does the same type thing, I think there's a very bright future for AA.
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IrishAyes
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:37 pm

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 41):
But AA has a history of coming & going at Logan....down-gauging flights or eliminating routes entirely. Their level of dedication is not that great at Logan; the same can be said of DL.

I really don't understand why people seem to peg the legacy carrier pull-down at BOS all on AA. What people don't realize is that US and DL have similarly felt the heat from the LCC competition and downsized. Obviously, carriers with a legacy cost base will not be able to compete effectively against the new entrants like B6. It wasn't important for them to keep a dual-focus on two eastern seaboards - hence why their stock is all in NYC.
confidence is silent. insecurities are loud.
 
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:43 pm

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 43):
Obviously, carriers with a legacy cost base will not be able to compete effectively against the new entrants like B6.

Haven't most legacies (and AA now) gone thru BK specifically to get their costs in line with LCC's? I think that's why we're seeing things like WN pricing being the same as or in some cases higher than legacies on any given route. Not sure that's a valid argument any more. And B6 a new entrant at BOS?  
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LOWS
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:47 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 40):
   But the DAL cap means DFW isn't really that threatened. It will help WN. Will DAL really hurt AA?    They'll do that on their own.

Did you miss my   ?
 
skycub
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:18 am

Quoting msp747 (Reply 39):
And SFO wasn't originally a success for WN. It was one of the few destinations they have dropped in their history.

Wasn't a success? Says who? Southwest has said time and time again that is dropped SFO due to ATC delays.

It is back at SFO now and bigger that they EVER were in the past. They now offer about 45 daily departures to seven different cities... that is FAR bigger than they ever were the first time around and I recall reading that they decided to RETURN to SFO because some of the ATC problems had been fixed.

I've NEVER read that they were unprofitable in SFO... I've read that they didn't like the delays and turn times.

The fact that they have RETURNED and now have TWICE the service they once had says something.

Remember... WN used to AVOID ATC-delay prone cities.... it was always their reason for not going to Philly and LaGuardia and Boston.... it was never a matter of MAKING money. They just didn't want the delays.

Obviously WN is doing well in SFO if they are, the second time around, flying 45 daily flights to 7 different cities. I can't imagine they weren't at least breaking even the first time around.
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:25 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 23):

I don't think any of the 757s or 717s were ever owned by TW or AA - they were all leased. While some love to criticize and monday morning quarterback here, the lease terms on those planes weren't favorable and thus they were returned to their lessor. Getting rid of those planes made sense at the time.

This makes a lot more sense than the other excuses I've heard.

Quoting 777STL (Reply 23):

You're right. You know, because they're consistantly one of the most overpaid and underworked labor groups in the industry

I have to admit that it is of somewhat concern that AA really doesn't have anything in place to resolve this problem, even in BK.

Quoting United_fan (Reply 25):
The PMTW 757's were P&W birds. AA's are RR .


Totally irrelevant. Though the first part of your reply was right on, this part is just another A.net myth. UA operates RR & PW powered 757, US operates IAE & CFM A32X, & both FX & 5X operate all three powerplanted MD-11 options. small differences can be very easily accommodated in a fleet the size of AA's and can even be desirable at times as they give a carrier a small flexibility advantage WRT performances & efficiencies for given routes.
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chrisnh
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:11 am

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 43):
I really don't understand why people seem to peg the legacy carrier pull-down at BOS all on AA. What people don't realize is that US and DL have similarly felt the heat from the LCC competition and downsized. Obviously, carriers with a legacy cost base will not be able to compete effectively against the new entrants like B6. It wasn't important for them to keep a dual-focus on two eastern seaboards - hence why their stock is all in NYC.

True, Boston is 'relatively' close to New York, but so too is Dulles...and the draw-down there hasn't been nearly as pronounced. The Boston metro market is a top-ten one any way you slice it...demographics, income, population density. Also, AA was legendary for 'driving competitors away' with predatory practices...admitted to by their top management. The best time to start an LCC, Jet Blue reasoned, was when the legacy carriers were too impotent to fight back like they were accustomed to.

JetBlue is succeeding because they gave birth to themselves when the 'Big Guys' were out of bullets and had no money to buy more.
 
msp747
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RE: Has AA Dug Their Own Grave?

Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:29 pm

Quoting skycub (Reply 46):

Wasn't a success? Says who? Southwest has said time and time again that is dropped SFO due to ATC delays.
It is back at SFO now and bigger that they EVER were in the past. They now offer about 45 daily departures to seven different cities... that is FAR bigger than they ever were the first time around and I recall reading that they decided to RETURN to SFO because some of the ATC problems had been fixed.

Slow down buddy. You're getting hung up on the wrong thing here. I was not ripping on SFO, all I said was that it was one of the few airports WN has left in its history. We can argue as to why, but it does not change the fact that WN did not have the might in the late 80's and early 90's to run US and AA off all of those west coast routes. My point was that costs did those airlines in, not WN. I am well aware that WN has a strong presence at SFO now, to go with their dominant position at the other bay area airports. Try not to get so defensive.

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