atlflyer
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:13 am

Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:02 am

The United States airlines have been through some very tough times in the last five years. Excluding Continental (b/c they are already great), which airline do you think is heading in the right direction the most in terms of products/services offered?

I think Delta is on the right track. First, they are adding leather seats and AVOD to 117 domestic 757,737-800 and 767-300s. The next thing they have to do is add food in economy (or at least the great Buy-on-Board product that Song offered).

I also think they are smart to "refresh" BusinessElite. Delta is in bankruptcy protection and does NOT have the money to introduce completely new lie-flat seats like the ones found on Virgin, so by adding leather and a new AVOD system, it will allow them to better compete in the meantime. Also, if they do order 787s, this would be about the right time to introduce an entirely new BusinessElite and Coach product (and they wouldn't have just spent a huge amount of money with a sub-par product).

Also, they will soon offer on all international flights the new five-course menu designed by celebrity chef Michele Bernstein.

I think they are doing a great job despite being in Bankruptcy and their long-term strategy is to once-again compete with the best.

American has made an effort to improve their Business-Class, but their new seats still are not like something you would find on BA or Virgin. It shows that they are happy not offering a Top-tier product, but one that will please most people. Nevertheless, it is AA's strategy and I hope it will work for them.

I hope United will show us something that will really be impressive when they introduce their new First and Business Class cabins soon! This will show if they really are going to try and compete with the Singapore or BA's.

Let's keep this thread positive about the improvements and what you think the future will bring...

[Edited 2006-07-30 00:03:30]
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:22 am

Quoting ATLflyer (Thread starter):
Let's keep this thread positive about the improvements and what you think the future will bring...

You are optimisitic......I am sorry to say that this thread is headed for trouble as some members can be overzealous in their support of a specific airline and will resort to trashing all of the other carriers in order to support their position. And, if that does not work, there will be personal attacks...its a "win" at any cost, and its happened far too many times here at a.net.

I will make it simple, that each of the the US legacy carriers have seemed to figure out a way to make money with $75/bbl oil and compete with LCCs is remarkable. Each of the airlines have taken different approaches.....focusing on different regions, one going full service, one charging for aisle seats, others expanding, some contracting, etc, etc. Some carriers had no choice to file bankrupcty, others did everything they could to avoid bankruptcy, and some airlines used the advantages of a bankruptcy proceeding better than others.

The jury is still out as to which airline has made the most progress......we wont know for a few more years. It will take that long to see which carrier is consistently profitable, which carrier has money for new airplanes, and which carrier is growing and which carrier is still shrinking. Its too soon to tell if the new business plans are working....a couple of airlines still must fly their way out of the protection of the bankrupcty court, for example.

Lets make it simple - the legacies are still around, we have only had one merger (and that seems to be working out OK), and most seem positioned to regain profitability.

And, lets not forget that many airline employees have taken big hits to make this happen........salaries have been cut, benefits have been eliminated, pensions plans have been terminated, and some jobs have been lost altogether, the process has been a difficult one for the people that comprise the US carriers.
 
flydreamliner
Posts: 1928
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:40 am

I give a lot of credit to CO. In 1999-2000, most of the legacies offered pretty impressive service. There was free food, blankets, interiors were routinely refreshed and kept in good shape. When the airline market turned for the worst, all the airlines but CO cut hard into the quality of service to stay afloat. United seems extremely commited to get back to offering a consistently world class product, though I agree, it is going slowly. Delta is all over the place. They don't seem to have any given direction they are hoping to gain from, except for an increased number of international desitnations and capacity. UA has placed a focus on its ORD hub, it's opperations on the west coast, and its routes to asia. NW has refocused on its asian opperations, fleet renewals, and made deep cuts to become a leaner airline for the future. US merged with HP.

In all honesty, I think Air Canada has done a FAR better job rebounding from it's financial issues in 2001 in terms of its quality of service and innovation, and vision for the future than any US airline.
"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
 
Mcmax
Posts: 158
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:54 am

I agree that CO has made a lot of progress in turning itself around. Much of what you hear about the other legacy carriers are how they are cutting back on service, charging for a previously free amenity (e.g., AA/AE and blankets), or charging for certain privileges (e.g., NW and exit row/aisle seats). Rarely do you ever hear of any negative-like press for CO. They have maintained much of their service levels, while expanding profitably. I would also have to credit HP/US as well (more so, HP's management). It seems they have managed to resurrect US from the ashes, but it may be too early to tell. I also do give credit to AA, as well, for getting management and labor to the table to negotiate cost savings without having to go through bankruptcy.

As to DL, as a shareholder, I certainly hope they survive. It looks like they are making the necessary changes but finally reducing their costs. However, I am worried they are too late in trying to follow CO's lead by expanding too much into Europe and the international arena. I'm worried about overcapacity into the international markets now.

--Max
De minimis non curat lex tamen ego curao
 
steeler83
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:07 am

Air Canada did do many good things to remain on top, but this is about US carriers and not US/Canada  Smile but I do like the fact that it was brought up though.

CO has to be the farthest airline from bk. AA is as well, but I think that CO is in even better shape than AA is. As far as which airline is making the most progress, that IMO would have to be US. Q1, they made $60 million, and two days ago, they posted a Q2 profit of $305 million. If they are such a lousey airline, then why are they even making hundreds of millions of dollars, let alone anything at all?

Yes the airline was actually "bought" out by America West, but still, that has to be one of the best run airlines running right now. Yeah, PHL is a crap hole of a terminal, and yeah they dehubbed PIT, but they had to move ops to PHL... 1. The O&D was there, 2. PIT was a money hole - it was too expensive to op a hub out of, and not many pax were O&D'ing out of PIT either because of the monopolized fares US had there, as a result of the high costs...

Eventually, PHL is going to improve; it will just take some time... PHX and LAS are other good markets for US too.

Meanwhile, US is climbing and they'll be around for a while. Again, great management, good hubs at PHL and CLT as well as the PIT/LGA focus cities out East with a PHX hub and LAS focus city out West. They'll be around for some time...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
atlflyer
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:13 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:08 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 2):
Delta is all over the place. They don't seem to have any given direction they are hoping to gain from, except for an increased number of international desitnations and capacity.

Did you not read any of my first post?

Let's see:
1. Domestic DishNetwork/AVOD on 117 planes
2. Leather seats fleet-wide
3. New meal offerings in BusinessElite and Economy
4. New Amenity Kits
5. Introducing amenity kits and free alcohol in economy

Call me crazy, but I think they do have direction...that by offering more products/services, they will be able to better compete.

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 4):
Air Canada did do many good things to remain on top, but this is about US carriers and not US/Canada but I do like the fact that it was brought up though.

No..we should include Air Canada. They are making a comeback...

I'd say that Continental and Delta all seem to have (or are slowly moving towards) offering more services across the board. Air Canada looks like it may fit in this category too.

United..still waiting to see.

American, Northwest and US Airways all seem like they are looking to offer consistent service but do not intend to compete with the top-tier airlines. There is definitely a place for these type of airlines too...
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6814
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:10 am

I would imagine the likes of Jet Blue and Southwest would be very successful at this point in time
 
steeler83
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:15 am

Quoting ATLflyer (Reply 5):
No..we should include Air Canada. They are making a comeback...

Fair enough
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
FLYACYYZ
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:25 am

Not because I work for them, but AC is well poised to operate in this very difficult financial environment.

We went through the "painful" period a couple of years back, that the NW's, US's, and UA's are now going through.

Despite fuel costs, outrageous user fees at our hub airport -Toronto/Pearson, we have had three years of record load factors, and as an employee group are lucky to still have our pension plans intact.

One of the greatest shifts in business seems to be distribution costs, having seen the vast majority of our business migrated to the Internet.
Above and Beyond
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:54 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 2):
Delta is all over the place



Quoting ATLflyer (Reply 5):
Call me crazy, but I think they do have direction

You know what? He is allowed to disagree with you......
 
atlflyer
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:13 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:46 am

Quoting FLYACYYZ (Reply 8):
We went through the "painful" period a couple of years back, that the NW's, US's, and UA's are now going through.

Yes..now AC is looking good. All the cabins are being redone and 777 and 787s will soon join the fleet. It must be an exciting time for you guys...you deserve it.
 
User avatar
SLCUT2777
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:35 pm

Quoting FLYACYYZ (Reply 8):
Despite fuel costs, outrageous user fees at our hub airport -Toronto/Pearson, we have had three years of record load factors, and as an employee group are lucky to still have our pension plans intact.

I think this is very fortunate since Canada doesn't have the same public "bail-out" corporation the US has to cover the UA's, USAir's and the likely DL's. You're right about YYZ and their fees, they make SEA, MIA and DFW look cheap!

Quoting ATLflyer (Reply 5):
No..we should include Air Canada. They are making a comeback...
I'd say that Continental and Delta all seem to have (or are slowly moving towards) offering more services across the board. Air Canada looks like it may fit in this category too.

Quite interestingly, everyone points to DL being a CO "copycat", but in reality I think they are more of an AC copycat, and all indications are they will ditto what AC did last year in a post-BK long-haul fleet procurement by going the 777/787 route. AC has taken the lead in North America for trans-49th flights to the US and that is why I think they should be included. DL has started to do more of this out west via their SLC hub with flights to YVR, YYC, YEG and now YYZ.
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
 
alaska737
Posts: 867
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:44 pm

how many straight profitable quarters has AAG had now....  up   up   up   dollarsign   dollarsign   dollarsign   crossfingers 

but seriously probably the top over the last few years are CO, B6, WN, AS/QX.
 
phlstudent
Posts: 415
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:17 pm

I believe that US Airways is the obvious answer for this question. Only a few years back they were declaring bankruptcy, they have turned the company around. After successful merger (which most bugs will soon be hammered out hopefully!) they have become an incredible successful airline. Profits have rebounded, which most airlines post 9/11 are struggling to accomplish. See the recent post US Airways Reports $305 Million Profit For Q2 (by HPRamper Jul 27 2006 in Civil Aviation) which talks about these spike in profits. As much as people like to bad talk US Airways on this forum, I don't care what you say, I believe they have persevered through a very tough time in aviation. I expect to see great things from them in the future!
 
IceTitan447
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:28 pm

Quoting PHLstudent (Reply 13):
I believe that US Airways is the obvious answer for this question

You got my vote. I would hardly say DL or CO are leading the pack. No offense ATLFLYER but you are obviously biased with your name and location. I am not saying DL isn't a good airline, nor am I saying it about CO, but US was ready to have the last nail hammered in the coffin. US is on their way up, not to the top, but up.
 
ContinentalEWR
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:31 pm

Take a look at last week's issue of BusinessWeek magazine. The only US legacy airline that is truly doing well in tough times is Continental.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:44 pm

Continental in my view are doing very well, have a great product and are moving in the right direction. DL, I am not so sure, one heck of a lot of International routes are/have started and the jury is out as to how many will get the chop after they dont perform.
AA compete and thats it and seem to do just fine, their new J class seat in my mind is just...well a flatter seat..nothing special.
As for UA, they seem to be keeping close to their chests exactly what they will bring to the International fleet in terms of F & J upgrades, starting in 2007. Who knows, perhaps it will be a fantastic product and differentiate them from the pack...time will tell!
 
EXAAUADL
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:17 pm

US Airways probably. NWA seems to have made the least progress
 
atlflyer
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:13 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:25 pm

Quoting IceTitan447 (Reply 14):
I would hardly say DL or CO are leading the pack.

This thread is about the improvements that these carriers are making to their products/services and what we think they will do in the future.

US..yes has turned the company around...and turned a remarkable profit...so what type of improvements do you think they will make to their fleet? Will they add all leather seats, AVOD or just offer their same rundown product?

As far as the improvements to their products/services for the passenger, how does US lead the pack?
 
b737700doctor
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 8:06 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:30 pm

What about WN and FL I think they were making profits when no one else was. these two will always show profits. At years end.
Boeings are the best built planes
 
phlstudent
Posts: 415
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 12:59 pm

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:09 am

Quoting ATLflyer (Reply 18):
s far as the improvements to their products/services for the passenger, how does US lead the pack?

They may not be leading the pack, or ever lead the pack, but they are taking steps to get there. Their 767's are supposed to be overhauled with a completely new interior and AVOD. Their A330 are already top of the line, having personally flown on them I found the A330 to be quite comfortable. US is also planning to re-do the interior of the new 757 ETOPS as well.

Quoting ATLflyer (Reply 18):
so what type of improvements do you think they will make to their fleet? Will they add all leather seats, AVOD or just offer their same rundown product?

Phasing out the 737's should happen soon I would imagine. With more 170/175 and with their close relationship with Airbus, and now with USAirways posting high profits, I think we might see some orders placed to get rid of the 737. (This is my own personally opinion, I am not affiliated with the company) There are leather seats in the new 170 if i am not mistaken. And besides the LLC like Frontier, Southwest, and Jebtblue what other airline has all leather seats. Granted song did it, but is Delta planning on changing all their aircraft? I don't know if leather seats is worth the money, it's not that big of a draw for me atleast, I would rather see meals given out domesticly. (May be the return of this?!?!)

The thread is about the most progress, coming from an airline that was doomed for failure at one point, to have a remarkable bounce back, with one of the leading cities supposidly in a "hell-hole," just goes to show how US Airways will be able to stay around for a long time.
 
ORD2PHL
Posts: 242
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:14 am

As all seem to agree here, from a 'legacy' perspective, my hat's off to CO, while I've never flown them they've managed to keep expanding their international network and really take advantage of their geography at EWR and great fleet utilization.

From a progress perspective, it's nice to UA turning a profit this past quarter, and US has really made some great strides in the past year pulling together two very different airlines and corporate cultures. So long as they can fix the attitude problem here in PHL and get customer service levels to where there were/are at US-West hubs/stations there will be a much improved flying experience. I'm a UA Premier Exec and split my flying time pretty equally between UA and US at this point.

While I won't get on my UA soapbox so much, it's nice to see that UA has figured out a way to make money despite the high $$ of oil, and that there mix of product offereings (Ted, PS, Explus, etc) has seemed to work well for them. The next major step will be improving the F/C international products and figuring out a way to expand their international network, which will likely require fleet expansion.

As for DL....

Quoting ATLflyer (Reply 5):
Did you not read any of my first post?

Let's see:
1. Domestic DishNetwork/AVOD on 117 planes
2. Leather seats fleet-wide
3. New meal offerings in BusinessElite and Economy
4. New Amenity Kits
5. Introducing amenity kits and free alcohol in economy

I'd have to agree with the previous poster, DL is all over the place, they are looking to make all of these service offering improvements which are going to use quite a bit of captial (especially the AVOD) before they really have things in order. Only time will tell though I guess.

ORD2PHL
 
dutchjet
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Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:43 am

Quoting PHLstudent (Reply 20):
Phasing out the 737's should happen soon I would imagine.

Not happening.........US/HP has no plans to further reduce their 733/734 fleet at this time, they need those airplanes to fly their current routes and continue expansion. E170s/175s will provide growth, upgrades from RJs and more flexibiity. US/HP will continue to accept delivery A32X aircraft as ordered, and there are rumors that US is airplane shopping at the moment, and the result of those shopping trips could be very suprising.
 
atlflyer
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:13 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:01 am

Quoting PHLstudent (Reply 20):
They may not be leading the pack, or ever lead the pack, but they are taking steps to get there. Their 767's are supposed to be overhauled with a completely new interior and AVOD. Their A330 are already top of the line, having personally flown on them I found the A330 to be quite comfortable. US is also planning to re-do the interior of the new 757 ETOPS as well.

Glad to hear this. Do you know if they plan on introducing new seats (or more likely seat covers) fleet-wide so they all match?
The recent article about mergers mentioned US was talking with Northwest as well...so who know's..maybe they are hesitant to change all the interiors until they're M&A.
 
mah584jr
Posts: 422
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:27 am

I believe that in the past decade that CO has made more progress than any other legacy carrier. They were very close to bankruptcy in the mid-90s and are now the leading legacy carrier that others should observe. CO gets my long run progress vote for legacies.

US has made the most progress in the past year. So for short run progress US gets the nod. They contributed to over 75 percent of the 305 million dollar profit that US/HP earned this past quarter. However, there is much work to be done as well all know.

Finally WN has made more progress than any other North American carrier in in the past 20 years. They made profits after 9/11 and ushered in a new era of commercial aviation. They've added so many flights to so many cities. Their innovative fuel hedges, quick turnaround times, casual flying atmosphere and single aircraft fleet have put them well above the rest.

-mah584jr
 
atlaaron
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RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:01 am

This thread could be entirely different once DL reports results which they have pre-announced will be "jawdropping." I should also mention that just because of my name ATL, Delta is not necessarily my favorite. I actually favor UA. However, I am not sure UA has made all the necessary steps if I recall their last quarter results were nothing to be impressed by. However, Delta's seem to be showing a strong trend upward.

My fellow ATL threadstarter seems to have mistitled this thread if he is simply looking at who has upgraded their cabins and service best. We all know that is not simply a sign that an airline is doing better. There have been numerous studies that by adding IFE or new leather seats your airline does not just start selling more seats and become profitable.
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:03 am

I would have to say American is doing the best of all carriers, at least in the latest quarter.

AA has not ever declared bankruptcy and still has defined pensions. They are still bringing on new equipment. They are making tough decisions about lowering capacity domestically.

CO is doing well, but we can't forget they have had two trips through bankruptcy to get their costs in line.

US seems to be doing well, but it took a bankruptcy and the loss of pensions to achieve a profitable model.

Who knows. Just my 2 cents.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
funbird1
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 3:27 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:25 am

I know many, and I mean MANY of a.netters HATE AA, but all things considered, AA out of all the legacies IMO have made significant progress over the last few years. WITHOUT filing for BK and engaging in everything in there power to avoid it by other means. Although painful to many to accept, these steps have helped them in a lot of ways. Removing ovens from airplanes to reduce weight, removing blankets, who the hell wants to use those dirty things anyway? Other behind the scenes things they have done by reducing ice provisining on flights by how long the flight is. Less things on the airplane equals less weight altogether all around and burn less fuel. Making a profit with oil prices the way it is is a MAJOR accomplishment for any airline these days.

I don't agree on most of the airlines that went to BK to get what they wanted to get there costs down, but so be it.

So if it's comparing the steps taken by any legacy carrier to get just that to bring costs down through BK and compare them to the 2 carriers that did not, AA and CO, I think that these two carriers have done a lot more outside of that.
 
deltaguy767
Posts: 644
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:32 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:34 am

It's almost impossible to say which carrier is making the most progress at this point, because all of the carriers are in different places. For example you can't compare DL to CO's situation right now because one is in BK while the other is in the black. An analysis of each airline is warranted:

DL: Making operating profits from BK is a good sign, also with new routes and amenities, they are overhauling their image for hopefully post-BK profitability.
AA: Has done little to expand/improve except change its J seat which has had mixed reviews, but they have been consistantly in the black, so kudos to them
CO: Has shown continuous profitability with streamlined fleet,multitude of Europe/S.America/Asia routes and good J product.
UA:Is out of BK (I think?)  confused  and has overhauled image with their PS/ExPlus service which has had great feedback. Perhaps some expansion could be warranted in Europe, but otherwise they're doing great.
US/HP:Dispite having a plethora of issues with them peronally pre/post merger, they seem to be doing ok with their mergeralmost behind them and with overhauling their image as a LCC. Good luck to them and hopefully they won't have to triple dip into BK.

Cheers from BDL,  wave 
DeltaGuy767
A Good Landing is one you walk away from!
 
alaska737
Posts: 867
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 11:19 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:59 am

ok this post is all over the place....first of all how long ago are we talking about? in the last quarter? since 9/11?, last decade? what time frame are we looking at. i have a really hard time saying US is the top. sure they made a lot in the last quarter or whatever but since they have been so sporadic latley its too soon to tell wheater they are really comming back, and lets remember they were in bankruptcy not too long ago.
 
atlflyer
Posts: 582
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:13 am

RE: Which US Airline Making Most Progress?

Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:54 am

This post really didn't go to the place I intended it to..I wanted to see what airline was making the most progress on a product/service level with the limited amount of money that they have (as I said in the first paragraph of my first post) not who is making the largest profit.

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