kenanc
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AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:05 am

Well, as we all know, the merger is looking like it is going to go through. As being located at an AA hub, this is a big thing for me. Being a very frequent flier with AA, I am very concerned about the cabin changes that may be made in the future. AA has such a premium long-haul product while US is on the iffy side. At some point, with all of the new aircraft coming in, they would obviously would want a matching product.

Another concern is the new Airbus aircraft AA is receiving for their transcon and domestic operations; they are with a very premium product compared to US. US removed IFE and such while AA is adding to it.

The question is, which way will Doug choose?



Edited due to a grammatical error I overlooked

[Edited 2013-11-14 17:08:04]
 
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DesertFlyer
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:27 am

I don't know about US having an iffy long-haul product:
http://www.usairways.com/en-US/trave...ntheair/envoyfirst/envoyclass.html

I've been flying both a lot recently and honestly the product difference is minimal. Granted US doesn't have international F. AA's recent rebranding is pretty slick, but US will be absorbed into that. A lot of AA travelers are worried, but I don't think US will be below what they are use to.
 
JoePatroni707
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:38 am

Time will tell. I think you will see some things (products go) and some new things introduced. The idea is the best of both, all in all AA will still deliver a very nice product.
 
aajfksjubklyn
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:06 am

I second your concerns. US interiors and service are no where near AA. It's this reason I stopped flying US ever again. I do hope that US flight crews make a six week appearance at Flagship University in Dallas. Regardless of what AA has been through, their service has always been great to me. There is an absolute reason I am a concierge key member and 9 year ExPlat with AA. This scares me big time! It's super important when you spend as much as I do for AA. Hopefully it all comes to fruition snd the service is seamless.
 
ckfred
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:41 am

According to a friend of mine who is an AA pilot, one point that was repeatedly raised, when US was courting AA's unions last year was the fact that AA has a superior on-board product, and that the Airbuses and 737s were being ordered with IFE systems that US didn't offer on its Airbus narrowbodies.

Parker's response was that the US route system, as a whole, doesn't generate the premium traffic that AA's route system does. He said that the combined route system would be able to sustain service at AA levels.

Remember that Parker got his start at AA, when Bob Crandall was CEO. AA was an innovative carrier in the 80s and 90s.

If you think about it, Parker was running America West, which was one of the earliest carriers to start flying after deregulation. It was a no frills airline from the start. Then, he bought US Airways out of its second bankruptcy. US had been having problems since the Feds nixed the merger with UA.

I think Parker knows that if AA passengers see service decline to US levels, they will quickly move to UA and DL. Considering that UA and DL offer a great deal of service out of the New York and L.A. areas, and UA is still the largest carrier in Chicago.

Now, Parker could very well have been saying what AA employees, creditors, passengers, and other stakeholders wanted to hear, and every promise gets tossed into the waste basket. He won't be the first or last CEO to make empty promises. But, making empty promises can take a company with a lot of oppotunity and make it a basket case very quickly.
 
oc2dc
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:36 pm

Quoting DesertFlyer (Reply 1):
I don't know about US having an iffy long-haul product:
http://www.usairways.com/en-US/trave...ntheair/envoyfirst/envoyclass.html

Yeah, those 767s look great....oh, wait...

No doubt the the US A330s are superior to AA's 767 fleet. However, there are only about 20 US A330s compared to 58ish 767s. I hope PMAA refurbishes their 767 fleet to be more like the A330 in order to have a consistent product across the pond.

Domestically, I am highly concerned. The fact that US doesn't even have drop-down monitors to entertain transcon customers is very unfortunate. There are a lot of positive new additions to the AA fleet, but I have a feeling we won't see the new cabin interiors with PTV's stay very long. Parker is more interested in saving money than entertaining customers...
I'm not complaining, I'm critiquing...
 
MAH4546
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:46 pm

Quoting oc2dc (Reply 5):
No doubt the the US A330s are superior to AA's 767 fleet. However, there are only about 20 US A330s compared to 58ish 767s. I hope PMAA refurbishes their 767 fleet to be more like the A330 in order to have a consistent product across the pond.

A new 767 product will be unveiled shortly. The J seat that US and AA use on the A330 and 77W, respectively, does not fit in the 767.

Hopefully the A330 J seats are removed, though, because even though they are the same basic seat as the AA 77W, they are cheaply optioned. Basically the absolute cheapest way you can outfit those seats, is what US did, while AA licensed from Cathay their seat design, the most deluxe version of the seat.

What I'd like to see is the US A330s moved primarily to mid-con Latin America, where the it's a perfectly suitable product for a 3-6 hour flight to Lima, Recife or Bogota. And the configuration is also prefect with a very large Y cabin and relatively small J cabin.

And while the A330 US seats are nice, the US J soft product is comparable to a Y+ product on BA or CX and is hardly up to real J standards. But, then again, US J ticket seats are cheap, sometimes in the range of a BA Y+ ticket, so it offers great value.
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NYCAAer
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:27 pm

The AA 763s are in desperate need of a new interior, and the original plan was to retire about half of the 763 fleet, refurbishing the rest. With the merger most likely the 762s from US will be retired, so there will be a need for extra widebody lift, maybe some 763s will be around a little longer, I don't know. The 787-8s coming online, I assume, will replace some older 763s.

One thing about pre-merger AA was that the company always strove for cabin consistency. The MD-80s were quickly changed to AA upholstery and carpeting, and years before that, when AA swapped its 747-100s for DC-10s from Pan Am, the interiors were changed. Unlike DL, I have a friend who is a flight attendant from DL who told me that in the 1990s, whenever DL acquired aircraft from another airline, they kept the same interiors and were slow to change them. He told me he used to fly on ex-EA L-1011s with the old EA interiors, something that would have been unthinkable at AA in the Crandall years.

But times have changed- DL has put in its own interiors in the MD-90s and 717s they've taken from other airlines.

I hope the "new AA" goes for the new AA interiors, which are really nice, and bring AA into the 21st century. If you've flown on a 77W, there's no comparison.
 
jsnww81
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:47 pm

Quoting aajfksjubklyn (Reply 3):

I second your concerns. US interiors and service are no where near AA. It's this reason I stopped flying US ever again. I do hope that US flight crews make a six week appearance at Flagship University in Dallas. Regardless of what AA has been through, their service has always been great to me. There is an absolute reason I am a concierge key member and 9 year ExPlat with AA. This scares me big time! It's super important when you spend as much as I do for AA. Hopefully it all comes to fruition snd the service is seamless.

I share these concerns. I am scared to death we'll see the AA experience dragged down to US levels to achieve short-term cost cutting goals. UA/CO went down a similar path and the exodus of high-value frequent travelers is really impacting their top line. I can only hope that Parker and company are taking extensive notes. That fact that Parker spent many of his formative years with the Crandall team at AA is encouraging.
 
oc2dc
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:58 pm

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 6):
A new 767 product will be unveiled shortly. The J seat that US and AA use on the A330 and 77W, respectively, does not fit in the 767.

I can understand how the J products in those aircraft wouldn't fit in the 767...But now you have me curious...I hope it's nothing like UA's J/F.

Also, I really hope AA is reconsidering refurbishing the the Y cabin of the 767. I know they are redoing J and maybe freshening up Y, but last I heard, there would be no PTV's. That would be a damn shame, especially considering a lot of UA and DL aircraft have PTV's across the pond.

It's probably been 10 or more years since I've flown in Y across the pond on a 767. I simply can't imagine how unbearably boring it would be without entertainment. I had the unfortunate pleasure of riding in Y on the 777 DFW-FRA last month and even that entertainment system was less than enjoyable.

On a side note, doesn't US still have a projection screen on their 762s? Yikes...
I'm not complaining, I'm critiquing...
 
MAH4546
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:04 pm

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 8):
UA/CO went down a similar path and the exodus of high-value frequent travelers is really impacting their top line.

And it has seriously created the most ridiculously long AA upgrade lists I've ever seen out of SFO and IAH in particular. AA has done a tremendous job poaching UA fliers.

Quoting oc2dc (Reply 9):
I can understand how the J products in those aircraft wouldn't fit in the 767...But now you have me curious...I hope it's nothing like UA's J/F.

I'm hoping it's like the new JAL J class. That's the most amazing J class product I've seen. I'm fortunate enough I get to try it out in a few months. Can't wait.

Unfortunately on the 767's narrower cabin, the suites can't be semi-enclosed like on a 777.

[Edited 2013-11-15 12:06:15]
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deltaflyertoo
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:51 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 4):
If you think about it, Parker was running America West, which was one of the earliest carriers to start flying after deregulation. It was a no frills airline from the start.

Actually quite the opposite. America West started out with a very low cost structure but from its inception it fought hard to separate itself from its cross town rival WN. This meant by like the late 80s many of the 737-300s (and ALL the 757s) had ceiling mounted TV monitors, in seat audio, warm meals in both classes-even complimentary champagne on 737s to Vegas from CA cities. AMerica West also installed "Flightlink" which was then a very crude form of IFE through a PTV system-and of course the Airbuses came delivered with the pop down LCDs and such. The warm meals didn't last but they still did complimentary box lunches/dinners.

THEN as you point out when Parker came along and combined with US the planes were stripped bare. So yeah hopefully AA keeps it, but I see why people create threads like this as well, i.e. in a way HP had SOME differentiation from WN but then after Parker all that was out the window. So who knows what he is thinking!
 
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DL_Mech
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:40 pm

Quoting NYCAAer (Reply 7):
I have a friend who is a flight attendant from DL who told me that in the 1990s, whenever DL acquired aircraft from another airline, they kept the same interiors and were slow to change them. He told me he used to fly on ex-EA L-1011s with the old EA interiors, something that would have been unthinkable at AA in the Crandall years.

To be fair, DL never flew any ex-EA L-1011s with outdated EA interiors. DL flew them with outdated DL interiors. They even ordered brand new DL 1973-style Plexiglas bulkhead art. The only thing left over from EA was the blue+green wallpaper laminates, which looked better than the bright orange DL wallpaper.

Here is a video with interior shots of an ex-EA L-1011 (with late 90s seatcovers installed).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGmOhy_VUDQ

[Edited 2013-11-15 13:48:17]
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Prost
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:55 pm

There was a similar dichotomy between Northwest and Delta. Delta brought the service levels up to Delta standards, and they've been successful. Note: it'll take a while The merger was announced in 2008 and the remaining 757s will only start getting reconfigured next year. If people are expecting the USAirways fleet to be grounded so that toys can be added within the first 12 months, you'll be sorely disappointed.

I think the key word going forward, for customers, employees, and shareholders will be patience.
 
milemaster
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:43 pm

Quoting oc2dc (Reply 5):
Domestically, I am highly concerned. The fact that US doesn't even have drop-down monitors to entertain transcon customers is very unfortunate. There are a lot of positive new additions to the AA fleet, but I have a feeling we won't see the new cabin interiors with PTV's stay very long. Parker is more interested in saving money than entertaining customers...
Quoting oc2dc (Reply 9):
Also, I really hope AA is reconsidering refurbishing the the Y cabin of the 767. I know they are redoing J and maybe freshening up Y, but last I heard, there would be no PTV's. That would be a damn shame, especially considering a lot of UA and DL aircraft have PTV's across the pond.

It's probably been 10 or more years since I've flown in Y across the pond on a 767. I simply can't imagine how unbearably boring it would be without entertainment. I had the unfortunate pleasure of riding in Y on the 777 DFW-FRA last month and even that entertainment system was less than enjoyable.

Why not just buy a used iPad for a couple hundred bucks and be done with it? Seems odd to be highly concerned about in seat TVs.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:57 am

Quoting milemaster (Reply 14):
Seems odd to be highly concerned about in seat TVs.

Not all of us want to add more crap to futz with during boarding/seating. Already-provided IFE of ANY kind is appreciated by many fliers. Same goes for onboard food/beverage options IMO.

[Edited 2013-11-15 18:59:01]
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ckfred
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:29 pm

Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 11):
THEN as you point out when Parker came along and combined with US the planes were stripped bare. So yeah hopefully AA keeps it, but I see why people create threads like this as well, i.e. in a way HP had SOME differentiation from WN but then after Parker all that was out the window. So who knows what he is thinking!

But, long before Parker got his hands on US, US had a history of being cheap. A friend of mine was a crew disptacher in DAY, when US bought Piedmont. Piedmont used to run its beverage service like AA, pour the drink, then give the drink and the can to the passenger. After the merger, it was the US beverage service, just the drink.

Piedmont loyalists swamped US HQ with calls and letters, with threats of switching to other airlines with competing hubs.

Needless to say, US then went to the Piedmont beverage service system wide.

I know that after 9/11, AA went to just giving the glass to passengers, and then refilling them, to save on soda. I believe they went back to serving the glass and the can after the concessions were approved in 2003, IIRC. But, a friend who flies for AA said that the the change in beverage service was high up on the list of complaints in 2002.

Hopefully, none of that is lost on Parker.
 
HPRamper
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:38 pm

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 15):
Not all of us want to add more crap to futz with during boarding/seating. Already-provided IFE of ANY kind is appreciated by many fliers. Same goes for onboard food/beverage options IMO.

I've never had an issue with being overwhelmed with my own crap during boarding. Give me an outlet in every seat any day over a tv screen in the back of the seat that is usually one of bad quality screen, non-responsive controls, or most commonly, fee-per-use. And usually playing sitcom reruns. The rare inflight map is more entertaining.
 
Max752
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:47 pm

Honestly, it doesn't matter what Parker wants. AA is updating their current product because the department that deals with on-board service and customer service (with little influence from Tom Horton) knew they needed change on-board. If Doug Parker has any sense he will continue to do what Horton's AA is doing. I don't think AA customers will have to worry. AA is a legacy carrier and will soon be the largest on the planet. Parker knows that if he were to "USAir" American there would be consequences.

Doug Parker and Tom Horton both stated that the new airline would stay with AA's brand and service. It would be very difficult to make AA cheap and junky like US with 400+ aircraft (all with IFE and new cabin interior) yet to be delivered. Rather, or not we will see US update it's a320s and a319s is still "up in the air".

US Airways Envoy class is one of the worst "premium class" products I have ever seen. Parker knows that his premium service is far behind any other US carrier and that his airline is also far behind any other US carrier. As of right now, it appears that Horton's AA will carry over to Parker's AA. As for Parker's US cabin and service that is another story.
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nycdave
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:43 pm

While it's inarguable that US's hard product isn't nearly up to the latest AA standards (c'mon! at least give me an outlet and wi-fi!), I've been pleasantly surprised by the customer service at US the past few times I've flown them. Gives me some hope that the merger will be a lot more smooth on the customer-facing side than the ongoing PMCO/PMUA turf wars and resentment...
 
MAH4546
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:24 pm

Quoting max752 (Reply 18):
US Airways Envoy class is one of the worst "premium class" products I have ever seen.

You got that right. Seat aside (and, while a nice seat model, the seat looks so cheap), US Envoy's soft product would be a premium economy product on a foreign airline. However, US' European C fares are traditionally very reasonable and below others, sometimes in line with a BA Y+ fare, so given that, it represents a great value.
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Mainliner
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:23 pm

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 20):
However, US' European C fares are traditionally very reasonable and below others, sometimes in line with a BA Y+ fare, so given that, it represents a great value.

This is what people need to understand. The current Envoy service was never meant to be world-class or industry leading. Remember all the ads touting "world's largest low cost carrier" and "affordable first class" during the HP/US merger? They've never even tried to bill it as something that was meant to be the same as the other legacies, or European carriers, so I don't know why people are so insistent on constantly bashing the product. If you don't like it, fine. Spend another $1,000 on UA or BA. But it was always meant to be a lower-cost alternative, and it was always advertised as such.

(Edited for spelling error)

[Edited 2013-11-17 13:25:23]
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delta2ual
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:03 pm

Quoting NYCAAer (Reply 7):
Unlike DL, I have a friend who is a flight attendant from DL who told me that in the 1990s, whenever DL acquired aircraft from another airline, they kept the same interiors and were slow to change them. He told me he used to fly on ex-EA L-1011s with the old EA interiors, something that would have been unthinkable at AA in the Crandall years.

Not sure why Delta's interiors in the 90's needs to be brought into a discussion about AA/US, but I will bite. I too was a DL FA throughout the 90's and that is simply untrue.

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 12):
To be fair, DL never flew any ex-EA L-1011s with outdated EA interiors. DL flew them with outdated DL interiors. They even ordered brand new DL 1973-style Plexiglas bulkhead art. The only thing left over from EA was the blue+green wallpaper laminates, which looked better than the bright orange DL wallpaper.

  

This is correct. DL did have very outdated interiors in the 90's but it was their own doing. We had leopard-print cloth seat in the 757's FC cabin. My good friend, and former roommate, is an AA FA and we used to laugh about the dismal DL interiors. Of course, even he now concedes DL is vastly superior than they were in the 90's; something many on this board will never do.
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CF-CPI
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RE: AA/US Cabin Comparison And The Future

Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:03 pm

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 22):
We had leopard-print cloth seat in the 757's FC cabin

If you're referring to the design with the arches, I must say I rather liked that. But to get back to the L1011, I did fly an EA hand-me-down in 1995 and while it did have the DL seat covers, the overhead bins were still the original ones, not the enlarged ones that were retrofitted on DL original aircraft. By the mid-90s, rollaboards were the norm and the original Tristar bins could not handle those.

Interesting about the plexiglass. EA's plexiglass was a sunburst design that really looked dramatic. Too bad they switched it out.