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millionsofmiles
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:24 am

I could care less about the lav doors. What AA needs to focus on is reversing its decision to take the MAX and future aircraft with no seatback IFE.
While some may argue that streaming video is where it's at, people love seatback IFE and perceive the product to be of higher value when it's installed.
 
us330
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:25 pm

The biggest issue I have with American's new management is their conservative approach to the customer experience. Parker idolizes Crandall for what he did during the 1980s, but has failed to continue his legacy of being an innovative leader who forced other airlines to copy him. Nowadays, it seems like it's Delta who is leading the charge for improving the on board customer experience--even though they made customer unfriendly changes to their rewards program like devaluing SkyMiles program and instituting the revenue-based approach.

FWIW, it's a shame that they are in the process of removing the IFE systems from their narrow body aircraft--it's actually a great product with a great selection, and I purposely book flights whenever possible on the LAA aircraft that have the system.
 
BREECH
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:36 pm

Boreale wrote:
this approach only drives up profits for a few years before you make all your customers mad

Yeah, that's why hundreds of thousands of Ryanair complaints start with "I knew the company was sh*t but decided to go because the price was attractive".
No friendship, love or respect unite people as much as shared hatred.
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NeBaNi
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:37 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
From reading the article, it sounds like first off the cabin engineering team made some design mistakes. Lavatory doors, power ports, etc are decisions made within the engineering department at the airline. There could be a number of causes. Not enough competent engineers at headquarters, Management being overly cost conscious, money only being spent on revenue generating products, etc. These are fixable. CEOs aren’t usually involved in decisions on lavatory doors, sinks, etc.

It's interesting that you bring this up, quite refreshing actually to read this rather than the usual Doug Parker/ Gary Leff bashing that is going on. While I think engineers have their hands tied on certain decisions from higher ups than them due to cost, I also think there's a lesson in here about good engineering practices that considers all the stakeholders (passengers, cabin crew, management, cleaners, repair personnel, etc.) who interact with the engineering design throughout its life and considers the needs and wants of each stakeholder and tries to balance them in the design. Admittedly, a less "technical" approach to engineering, but a more "soft" approach to it. The field is called Systems Architecting, and I suggest a look for anyone interested. The relevant point being here is, of course, that did the engineers put themselves in the passengers' shoes when designing the product? And if they did, it's clear that it wasn't enough.

Speaking as an engineer myself, there are a lot to decry "soft" design practices based on human comforts rather than hard technical constraints and such in engineering, but I say bring it on!

jetblueguy22 wrote:
vegas005 wrote:
vegas005 wrote:
Trying to figure out how in the hell Doug Parker can be the CEO of AA and he has not been on a max...that should get him fired immediately. What an out of touch bean counting dork. The world needs to revolve around the client.

lol. This has to be a joke.

are you 13 or what? Flying aircraft and the configuration/service to the client of the airline is the number one job! He has NEVER been on a Max...WTF? He was horrible at US Air and obviously hasn't changed a bit...

Any CEO of a major airline who concerns himself with the way the bathrooms swing open or the exact comfort of the plane has no business being in that position. That is what his direct reports are supposed to be working on. I'd be willing to bet he has a VP of Passenger Experience or some variation of the title.

CEO's job isn't to control the minor details of the company, it's to run the whole company. There is only so much a person can have their hands on before it becomes too much. Going off your argument, he's never shot an ILS or done an A check on a MAX, therefor he has no business buying them.

Agree in general, but as various people upthread have alluded to, there seems to be a disconnect in communications between the frontline staff and management. If this is as big of an issue that it was raised by an FA at open questions, why didn't Parker have a gist of it through his VP of Passenger Experience already? This suggests a failure somewhere in the chain of command.

I completely agree with your point that the CEO doesn't need to know minor details, and of course I've already said this thread wasn't intended to bash Doug Parker; instead, I wanted a discussion from a broader perspective. However, the point is that it is someone's job to know these issues, and raise it to the CEO. A good VP (or whatever title) would have brought up the fact that FAs were dissatisfied with the MAX configuration before the open questions, so Parker wouldn't be caught off guard like that and look like he's really out of touch with operations. It looks bad. And if there VPs had no place to find out about FA/ customer dissatisfaction, there needs to be a system in place to do that. AA has customer feedback surveys, I've taken some myself. Maybe a similar system for the FAs as well?
 
KD5MDK
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:49 pm

If it isn't the CEO's job to know the details, it is 100% their job to know if the VP of Passenger Experience needs a raise, a transfer, or a firing. Knowing the specifics of an aircraft is not a big deal, but they do need to understand the level of performance they're receiving from that role.
 
Tango-Bravo
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:58 pm

F27500 wrote:
No airline gives a crap about "being in touch with" their customers. This comes as a shock ?


No shock all, at least to me. Sad fact is, they don't have to. The end of U.S. airlines needing to "be in touch with"/caring about their customers began with the discovery that customer choice had less to do with customer service than FF affiliation and/or cheap fares...followed by the discovery of lucrative revenue streams having nothing to do with customer satisfaction...followed by the 'death knell' of any need to "give a crap about being in touch with their customers" which coincided with the oligopoly/virtual monopoly created by the mega-mergers of NW/DL, CO/UA, and US/AA...which is what deregulation was enacted to prevent.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:01 pm

I agree with your points NeBani. I think it is an artifact of unhealthy union and employee relationships if the CEO is receiving complains about lavatory doors. If the lavatory doors can wedge a person in and block the aisle, an engineer working in Dallas probably earning 75K a year made the mistake. There should be feedback from cabin crew to engineering and have cabin crew working directly with the design. If engineering and the inflight crews aren’t working together, and if engineering isn’t empowered to fix problems, then that is what the CEO should know about.

I have first hand observed a case where some management level flight attendants and a couple engineers went to meet together in the business class section of an airplane at a gate after a long flight to examine closely an issue that frequently occurred with a seat and cabin issue after long flights. The engineers and mechanics had their tools and were taking off panels to study the problem, so they could fix it. The engineers then wrote an engineering order to modify the airplane to fix the problem.

That is what a healthy corporate culture will do. Airplanes are complex machines and the engineering teams are constantly working on addressing problems and improving reliability. The CEO doesn’t need to fly around to observe problems with the plane design. Employees shouldn’t be complaining to CEOs about doors, faucets, power ports, etc. It usually is distracting if they do since people will jump to their feet to solve a problem that the CEO found when that may have been an anomaly and there are higher priorities for the engineering teams to address.
 
ACDC8
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:44 pm

Just got off my first flights with AA - not impressed to say the least.

When we checked in, knowing it was a CRJ900 (Mesa), I asked if there was sky check valet for carry-on available, the staff's response was "no" so I paid to upgrade us to Group 4 as they said it'll let us take our carry on roller boards onboard and have first access to the bins. But the staff wouldn't upgrade us and told us to do it at the kiosk. Fine, went to the kiosk and paid the $55 for the upgrade.

We got to the gate and we were told 3 times that the bags had to be left at the door for sky check. I explained to them that we were told there was no sky check and to pay the upgrade to Group 4 if we wanted to avoid checking the bags. At that point, the staff got very hostile (not just with us, but with other passengers as well). We managed to get the bags down the jetway where there was yet another staff member who refused anyone to board with a roller board carry on, he said "if it has wheels, its not going onboard and neither are you". There was almost a revolt on the jetway. Anyways, we all complied - full flight and yet the overhead bins remained 3/4 empty - unacceptable.

A bad customer service concept starts from the top and trickles down to the bottom.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
blink182
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:47 am

ADrum23 wrote:
Interesting points thus far, but I agree Doug "we'll never lose money again" Parker seems pretty out of touch here. AA really dropped the ball on the MAX with the seating configuration.

I don't have a problem with basic economy per say, but there should be regulations on how many seats an airline can put in and the pitch/length. What the US3 are doing is frankly wrong.

There are regulations on how many seats an airline can put in an aicraft. I believe FR fills 189 seats into their 738s because that is the legal limit. Now whether those regulations should be devised to account for larger pax is a different discussion. Say whatever you want about AA, but don't confuse uncomfortable with unsafe.
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
Lexy
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:59 am

NM
Last edited by Lexy on Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
 
Lexy
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:01 am

us330 wrote:
The biggest issue I have with American's new management is their conservative approach to the customer experience. Parker idolizes Crandall for what he did during the 1980s, but has failed to continue his legacy of being an innovative leader who forced other airlines to copy him. Nowadays, it seems like it's Delta who is leading the charge for improving the on board customer experience--even though they made customer unfriendly changes to their rewards program like devaluing SkyMiles program and instituting the revenue-based approach.

FWIW, it's a shame that they are in the process of removing the IFE systems from their narrow body aircraft--it's actually a great product with a great selection, and I purposely book flights whenever possible on the LAA aircraft that have the system.


Parker is no Crandall and he'll never be. That's as obvious as the sun coming up. The seatback IFE is just one of many dumb decisions.
Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
 
B737900ER
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:24 am

Lexy wrote:
The seatback IFE is just one of many dumb decisions.

UA has done it. They don’t seem to be hurting for bookings. Why is getting rid of a heavy, expensive, maintenance hog, and replacing it with the technology of the future a dumb decision?
 
Boreale
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:47 am

BREECH wrote:
Boreale wrote:
this approach only drives up profits for a few years before you make all your customers mad

Yeah, that's why hundreds of thousands of Ryanair complaints start with "I knew the company was sh*t but decided to go because the price was attractive".


I appreciate the sentiment, but respectfully these are two very different airlines with two very different approaches. I certainly hope a careless look at Ryanair and the like isn't the only thing driving AA strategy. Yes, the ULCC model does (sometimes) work. Yes, consumers are price sensitive. But AA's prices aren't anywhere near the sort of rock bottom prices Ryanair and other ULCCs often offer, nor is their corporate structure comparable, nor are their route networks remotely similar.

Of course, you are right that there is a lack of real competition in many of the markets AA serves as the US3 are all buying into this stuff. Maybe consumer preferences don't matter now and AA management is right to just boost their profits by shoving as many people in the tin can as much as possible.
 
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NeBaNi
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:19 am

Newbiepilot wrote:
I agree with your points NeBani. I think it is an artifact of unhealthy union and employee relationships if the CEO is receiving complains about lavatory doors. If the lavatory doors can wedge a person in and block the aisle, an engineer working in Dallas probably earning 75K a year made the mistake. There should be feedback from cabin crew to engineering and have cabin crew working directly with the design. If engineering and the inflight crews aren’t working together, and if engineering isn’t empowered to fix problems, then that is what the CEO should know about.

Agree, but the other aspect here is that AA engineers aren't designing the lav or lav doors, the airline selects it from a catalog of options for the MAX, right? So, then the solution is for the airline to stop selecting such lav designs from the catalog. No customers, no business. IMO buyer-furnished equipment (BFE) manufacturers have no business staying in business with such passengers unfriendly designs. Remember how Thompson Aero came up with the Cozy suits which was basically staggered economy seats? No airline took that bait.
 
flymia
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:54 am

I live a 20-minute drive from MIA. Used to fly AA often, almost on a monthly basis. Have held status with them etc.. I have three trips in the next 8 weeks. LA, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Every single flight is on B6 with the exception of a one-way from LAX on VX/AS.

I am done with AA. Economy Basic is what did it for me. Sure I will still fly them internationally when the price is good, but other than that I avoid them, and I will pay more to fly B6 or WN compared to AA. What I don't understand is when I booked each and every one of the next 3 trips I have AA and its Economy Basic was more expensive than flying B6. Yet on B6 I get to pick my seat, get a carry on, board at a normal time, and get treated like a human being paying for a service.

AA is really over for me unless there are some major changes. Most people I know that fly often in Miami think exactly the same other than the one's I know that fly on company dime for 90% of their flights.

I just hope B6 does not change much. I don't mind 32inch seat pitch change, its still better than everyone else. Only hope the best for B6 and continued expansion at FLL. I'll miss the Admirals club and Centurion lounge when I have to go to a the mess of an airport of FLL. But I'll have better service, a better flight and cheaper. Not much else I can ask for.

I don't think AA will start losing money. But I do think this economy basic thing will send semi-loyal travelers to the airplanes of B6, AS, and WN. I sure hope it does, and I hope it backfires. It likely won't but one can hope.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
grbauc
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:08 am

9w748capt wrote:
AA388 wrote:
Guys, I think that everyone is making really good points but I would like to offer another example, from the same crew news, that I think highlights the disconnection.

In the crew news, someone asked about the forwards backwards seats that are on some of the 772's and all the 788's. The question was, do we have any plans on retrofitting those seats to the new seats that were delivered on the 789. The OP (FA) stated that they receive many complaints on board about the forwards backwards seats. Before I heard Doug's answer, I was hoping and expecting that yes, they had a plan for the retrofit. Doug didn't know what the OP was talking about.... Like what? So a direct report of a direct report had to jump in with an answer and he said that there were no plans to retrofit the fleet. This blew my mind. If I was going to pay the big bucks for a business class seat, I would want to know exactly the experience that I would be getting. Not whether or not I would get one type of seat vs the other. Vasu jumped in and said that he has heard positive reviews about the rear facing seats (it sounded like he had ridden in the seats at least) and that they had more work space; and that this even possibly serves as a premium on some routes. I have flown the rear facing seats and they are not bad, though I like the newer seats better. The bigger issue in my opinion is inconsistency across the fleet. Now, some of the 772 fleet is in a high J config (45J vs 37J) and that fleet only has the forwards/backwards seats and is primarily concentrated out of one hub. If those were not changed, I would understand but there are a few planes in the 37J config that have them which creates this lotto before you board a flight.


The Zodiac Concept D seats suck. They are just absolute trash. Boggles my mind why they didn't go with the Cirrus or BE Super Diamond right off the bat. Oh yeah probably to save a buck.

It's appalling to me that years after installation, Dougie et al haven't done a damn thing about the seat-shaking issue. Incredibly disappointing.

Dougie is in it for himself and the shareholders, that's it. If folks are willing to pay for the garbage product AA largely offers, why would he care. Having said that, the 77W J product is fantastic and as good as anyone's. I'd even choose AA over CX to HKG!



Of course DP is in it for his airline and investors. If he was in it for his Flyers we would all be in FC Singapore stlye ULCC fare flying. A lot can be said about DP leadership in how good of a job he has done. There is also a fair amount of mess up's from him. I would like to see a change. The image I get from AA now in my email messages is Cruise ship peddling and mileage selling. I use to get targeted challenges with a image of refinement that flying FC or BC and travel would give me if I fly AA. That is long gone. The airlines are stable now and DP has done his job now lets get some NEW fresh IDEA'S and Direction.
 
grbauc
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:12 am

flymia wrote:
I live a 20-minute drive from MIA. Used to fly AA often, almost on a monthly basis. Have held status with them etc.. I have three trips in the next 8 weeks. LA, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Every single flight is on B6 with the exception of a one-way from LAX on VX/AS.

I am done with AA. Economy Basic is what did it for me. Sure I will still fly them internationally when the price is good, but other than that I avoid them, and I will pay more to fly B6 or WN compared to AA. What I don't understand is when I booked each and every one of the next 3 trips I have AA and its Economy Basic was more expensive than flying B6. Yet on B6 I get to pick my seat, get a carry on, board at a normal time, and get treated like a human being paying for a service.

AA is really over for me unless there are some major changes. Most people I know that fly often in Miami think exactly the same other than the one's I know that fly on company dime for 90% of their flights.

I just hope B6 does not change much. I don't mind 32inch seat pitch change, its still better than everyone else. Only hope the best for B6 and continued expansion at FLL. I'll miss the Admirals club and Centurion lounge when I have to go to a the mess of an airport of FLL. But I'll have better service, a better flight and cheaper. Not much else I can ask for.

I don't think AA will start losing money. But I do think this economy basic thing will send semi-loyal travelers to the airplanes of B6, AS, and WN. I sure hope it does, and I hope it backfires. It likely won't but one can hope.


Why would you even pick BE if you value the things it doesn't include? I wan't more from my flights SO i pick fares that give me more and AA is competitive. I really don't get the complaints against BE fares/
 
9w748capt
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:39 am

grbauc wrote:
flymia wrote:
I live a 20-minute drive from MIA. Used to fly AA often, almost on a monthly basis. Have held status with them etc.. I have three trips in the next 8 weeks. LA, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Every single flight is on B6 with the exception of a one-way from LAX on VX/AS.

I am done with AA. Economy Basic is what did it for me. Sure I will still fly them internationally when the price is good, but other than that I avoid them, and I will pay more to fly B6 or WN compared to AA. What I don't understand is when I booked each and every one of the next 3 trips I have AA and its Economy Basic was more expensive than flying B6. Yet on B6 I get to pick my seat, get a carry on, board at a normal time, and get treated like a human being paying for a service.

AA is really over for me unless there are some major changes. Most people I know that fly often in Miami think exactly the same other than the one's I know that fly on company dime for 90% of their flights.

I just hope B6 does not change much. I don't mind 32inch seat pitch change, its still better than everyone else. Only hope the best for B6 and continued expansion at FLL. I'll miss the Admirals club and Centurion lounge when I have to go to a the mess of an airport of FLL. But I'll have better service, a better flight and cheaper. Not much else I can ask for.

I don't think AA will start losing money. But I do think this economy basic thing will send semi-loyal travelers to the airplanes of B6, AS, and WN. I sure hope it does, and I hope it backfires. It likely won't but one can hope.


Why would you even pick BE if you value the things it doesn't include? I wan't more from my flights SO i pick fares that give me more and AA is competitive. I really don't get the complaints against BE fares/



Wan't? Haha that's a new one!
 
us330
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:58 am

ACDC8 wrote:
Just got off my first flights with AA - not impressed to say the least.

When we checked in, knowing it was a CRJ900 (Mesa), I asked if there was sky check valet for carry-on available, the staff's response was "no" so I paid to upgrade us to Group 4 as they said it'll let us take our carry on roller boards onboard and have first access to the bins. But the staff wouldn't upgrade us and told us to do it at the kiosk. Fine, went to the kiosk and paid the $55 for the upgrade.

We got to the gate and we were told 3 times that the bags had to be left at the door for sky check. I explained to them that we were told there was no sky check and to pay the upgrade to Group 4 if we wanted to avoid checking the bags. At that point, the staff got very hostile (not just with us, but with other passengers as well). We managed to get the bags down the jetway where there was yet another staff member who refused anyone to board with a roller board carry on, he said "if it has wheels, its not going onboard and neither are you". There was almost a revolt on the jetway. Anyways, we all complied - full flight and yet the overhead bins remained 3/4 empty - unacceptable.

A bad customer service concept starts from the top and trickles down to the bottom.


I'd email them and specifically request a refund because you relied on their staff's wrong information. Though overhead space may have been available, the bins on those CRJs simply aren't large enough to take most roll-a-boards, even placed lengthwise. The staff should know that and should have told you.

Even on mainline aircraft, they have problems with telling people to gate check roll-a-boards even though overhead space remains available. I believe this is a US Airways legacy, since prior to full integration, I was on several flights where the bins ended up only being 2/3 full even though pax were told to gate check roll-a-boards. That's one of my biggest issues with the new American, because it comes across as employees flat out lying to you, even if they are probably relying on some automated system telling them that the bins are full based on whatever data they use to determine this.

I understand they are trying to save time in the boarding process to ensure an on-time departure, but an extra five minutes to get real-time information on this issue would seem to outweigh at least 20 or 30 pax feeling like they were lied to.
 
uberflieger
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:17 am

us330 wrote:
I'd email them and specifically request a refund because you relied on their staff's wrong information.


:checkmark:

Even faster is a Tweet. American Airlines gets back to you in 20 minutes on average and responds the most of any North American carrier according to a recent survey posted on TPG.

:airplane:
 
UGA777
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:24 am

Here is a solution to most of this if you want a better product that I can summarize in two words: Fly Delta.
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:03 am

Just shows you that Delta is 100 times better than American and United. Delta doesn't have the issue of "out of touch" management and Delta doesn't try to punish their customers and employees every step of the way, and boy does it show. Dougie "DUI" Parker at AA and Scott "night school MBA" Kirby at UA need to go bye bye.
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notaxonrotax
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:06 am

IPFreely wrote:
B737900ER wrote:
AA knows what their customer looks like and wants. They won’t loose bookings because a lav door doesn’t swing in the ideal manner.


This might be the only sensible post in this thread. The thought of a customer searching for flights, finding one that has the right route, times, and price, then deciding not to book it because the aft lav door is a right hand swing made me laugh out loud.


No it wasn`t sensible. "Loose" is used incorrectly here.
Get the grammar right, and perhaps your point comes across a little better; B737900ER.

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STT757
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:11 am

MAH4546 wrote:
Spot on. I've stopped flying AA entirely. To the surprise of nobody, the US Airways culture destroyed the airline. I've been flying Alaska, with some JetBlue Mint sprinkled in, and the difference is night and day. And I have no doubt Delta is leagues ahead of the poor quality US Airways product and customer service that American absorbed.

I'm still an Admirals Club member, though, because the lounge locations work for me and (gasp), AA has actually worked to improve their lounges. I was at the LAX T5 lounge last night before an Alaska flight, and the WiFi password was '737MAX' and I couldn't help but chuckle that AA would be proud of such a horrendously, customer unfriendly configured plane that it would make it the WiFi password for its premium customers.

A lot of their changes don't really bother me - Delta led the way for all of them - but at least Delta invests appropriately in bringing some semblance of humanity to air travel.


I remember how much you were against the merger for fear of what has now happened, AA is now US Airways. Look what's happened in NY, AA continues to shrink. They showed promise with their three class A321s on the trans-cons, but never followed up with any other initiatives.

Not to pile on, but I still hate the livery. It never grew on me as many has said it would.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
burnsie28
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:19 am

Newbiepilot wrote:
From reading the article, it sounds like first off the cabin engineering team made some design mistakes. Lavatory doors, power ports, etc are decisions made within the engineering department at the airline. There could be a number of causes. Not enough competent engineers at headquarters, Management being overly cost conscious, money only being spent on revenue generating products, etc. These are fixable. CEOs aren’t usually involved in decisions on lavatory doors, sinks, etc.


That's not true at all carriers. Marketing usually makes the power port etc. Including lav doors etc. Maint/Engineering has a hand but for the most part marketing departments and their onboard team makes those calls or pushes.
 
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neomax
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:09 am

Super80Fan wrote:
Just shows you that Delta is 100 times better than American and United. Delta doesn't have the issue of "out of touch" management and Delta doesn't try to punish their customers and employees every step of the way, and boy does it show. Dougie "DUI" Parker at AA and Scott "night school MBA" Kirby at UA need to go bye bye.


I have to respectfully disagree, while AA managament is pretty bad, DL management is absolutely clueless. DL is a much better run airline than AA, but current management has played absolutely no role in that. Much of DL today that most of us have come to know and like was the product of NW management and culture, and the new DL under Ed has blazed the trail for endless devaluations, introduction of basic Y, and lest anyone forget, multiple meltdowns. UA by far has the sharpest management of the US3 when you look at the long-term strategy under Munoz. He isn't just saying he'll create a better culture, he's actually doing it. UA is investing in Polaris, they're hiring the right people, and they're integrating sUA and sCO teams. While everybody bags on UA for the Dao incident or basic Y, most people's experience flying with them is a much more pleasant one, and I can agree. They're focusing in the both small and big things that matter; UA's iPhone app is hands down the best one of not just a US airline, but any airline. They're bringing in 77W's and 787's, and putting them on new routes like LAX-SIN and IAH-SYD, to connect more people. UA is doing a great job, and I actually had the pleasure of meeting Oscar during the SFO Family Day for the 747 Farewell, and he was a fantastic and really down to earth guy who loves his job. Munoz is taking the time to talk to both employees and customers, and I don't see that happening at AA or DL.
 
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neomax
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:13 am

UGA777 wrote:
Here is a solution to most of this if you want a better product that I can summarize in two words: Fly Delta.


Unless you live in a city serviced by MD-80's, 757's, or 767's.
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:29 am

neomax wrote:
Super80Fan wrote:
Just shows you that Delta is 100 times better than American and United. Delta doesn't have the issue of "out of touch" management and Delta doesn't try to punish their customers and employees every step of the way, and boy does it show. Dougie "DUI" Parker at AA and Scott "night school MBA" Kirby at UA need to go bye bye.


I have to respectfully disagree, while AA managament is pretty bad, DL management is absolutely clueless. DL is a much better run airline than AA, but current management has played absolutely no role in that. Much of DL today that most of us have come to know and like was the product of NW management and culture, and the new DL under Ed has blazed the trail for endless devaluations, introduction of basic Y, and lest anyone forget, multiple meltdowns. UA by far has the sharpest management of the US3 when you look at the long-term strategy under Munoz. He isn't just saying he'll create a better culture, he's actually doing it. UA is investing in Polaris, they're hiring the right people, and they're integrating sUA and sCO teams. While everybody bags on UA for the Dao incident or basic Y, most people's experience flying with them is a much more pleasant one, and I can agree. They're focusing in the both small and big things that matter; UA's iPhone app is hands down the best one of not just a US airline, but any airline. They're bringing in 77W's and 787's, and putting them on new routes like LAX-SIN and IAH-SYD, to connect more people. UA is doing a great job, and I actually had the pleasure of meeting Oscar during the SFO Family Day for the 747 Farewell, and he was a fantastic and really down to earth guy who loves his job. Munoz is taking the time to talk to both employees and customers, and I don't see that happening at AA or DL.


While I agree with you on Oscar, I wish UA would let him off his leash and let him lead the company, instead of just having him be a figure head until Scott "I hate customers and employees" Kirby is chosen to become the CEO.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
RIP US Airways
 
ldvaviation
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:58 am

tcfc424 wrote:

But what do I know, I only spent $14,000 with them last year.


Did you know that there are AA customers who spend nearly that much on a single international itinerary?
 
flydude380
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:47 am

Talking about lavatory doors, it seems everyone has issues with opening them anyways :D
 
Sancho99504
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:47 am

I think all the people defending removal of seatback IFE in favor of BYOD as a great move and that passengers don't care, seem to gloss over the fact that these same carriers are putting the latest and greatest seatback IFE systems in their widebodies flying all over the world. If seatback IFE didn't make a difference, it wouldn't be widebodies, especially ULH with all that extra weight.


As far as the "the people have voted and the airlines are just giving them what they want" crowd, it's far more than that. Yeah, AA had their "more legroom throughout coach" product, but after 9/11 and the recession that followed, airlines were hurting for passengers. What did they do to increase ridership? Fare sale after fare sale. They lost their asses flying people SEA-MYR or TUS-PWM, etc for $59 each way. So they started removing seats by retiring aircraft. They then started doing away with small things like pillows in Y. Then limited blankets in Y. Oh hey, let's jump dump blankets and pillows in Y, cut the food options and add a row or 2 of seats in Y.

Airlines offered a shit product and people bought into it. Now people expect the junk fares and the airlines keep matching the product to the fares people are willing to pay. A lot of people stick to WN, not because they have the lowest fares(higher or highest on many routes when wanna get away fares are limited) but because they have had a consistent product. Sure, over the last 15 years, their legroom is down to 32-33", their service is essentially they same.

People will pay more for better product and service, otherwise every hotel chain would be like Rodeway Inn or Travelodge. There wouldn't be fully loaded cars outselling the same model with basic options, grocery outlet or Aldi would be the only grocery stores, etc.
kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out-USMC
 
nutsaboutplanes
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:32 am

People will pay more for better product and service, otherwise every hotel chain would be like Rodeway Inn or Travelodge. There wouldn't be fully loaded cars outselling the same model with basic options, grocery outlet or Aldi would be the only grocery stores, etc.[/quote]

But I think that’s what airlines have figured out. Not every hotel will be a Marriott and not every seat will be F/J. What they are doing is offering multiple products and experiences on a single platform which some hotels have started to do as well. There are now hotels within hotels so that one building can accommodate a variety of price points and customer needs.

Airlines are now doing this more aggressively with fares and cabin differences with some airplanes having 4 or 5 unique offerings on a single airplane. While you are correct that not every hotel will be a travelodge, there is also a reason why every hotel isn’t a Westin. Likewise, every seat won’t be basic economy but every seat also won’t be F/J. AA now offers products and services across a broad spectrum from Basic Economy, Economy, Main Cabin Extra, Premium Economy, Domestic First, International Business and Flagship Intl First in some markets. The 77W once reconfigured with PE will be a true 4 class aircraft with multiple price points and options for customers spread pretty evenly across the pricing spectrum. I think that’s pretty in-touch with the needs of today’s customer.
American Airlines, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Northwest Airlines, America West Airlines, USAFR
 
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Faro
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:25 am

Sardine class is the way of the future...look at what LX are doing with reducing pitch to emulate the LCC's on short-haul...and BA who will be installing rigid, un-reclinable seats on European routes...and the demand is there and it's willing and able despite the crampedness...

After all, it's only a max of 3-4 hours to get to where you want to go at a good, cheap price...the ride certainly won't kill you and you'll pass on to other, much more important considerations in your life very easily indeed...


Faro
The chalice not my son
 
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CARST
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:21 am

I don't have the time to read the whole thread. I guess it's not important anyway...

The point is that it's not only AA. So I don't blame them. It's all airlines worldwide (perhaps except the Japanese ones and SQ). It's a race to the bottom with no limit, no bottom in sight. It will keep going on. I have no clue how they can make seats even narrower or if they can make the lavatories smaller, don't know, but it will be going on.

No one has realised up to this day, that the huge mergers in Europe and the USA should have never been allowed. They were so anti-competitive. At this point, when the mergers were allowed to go through, AF-KL, LH Group, IAG, CO-UA, AA-US, NW-DL, at this point it was decided that there will be monopolies and duopolies on most routes. And the airlines were set on course to rip their customers off and lower service standards. These record breaking profits have to come from somewhere...

So don't blame AA. Blame the whole aviation market, at least in the Western World. And blame all regulators who should have never agreed to the mega mergers we saw in the past...
 
VC10er
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:27 pm

C-suite (IMHO) should fly their aircraft, from First to BASIC...heck all the “C’s” at McDonalds must work in a restaurant once a year.
I haven’t been or even seen the forward/rear seats on AA, are they similar to UA’s high density 772’s? I didn’t know AA them. Sounds like AA seriously lacks consistency?
I find those ex-international forward/rear facing seats on UA very comfortable for sleeping but there is ZERO storage- I bring a small drawstring bag of travel essentials when I am going to be in one of those seats. I hope AA has “someplace” to put something somewhere.
I’ve come to terms with the new price-value equation (ex: basic fares) by paying more for better. And since flying in comfort is high on my personal preferences, I skimp elsewhere in order to dole out more for comfort in the sky.
I don’t like it but the same goes for most things in the world: you get what you pay for.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:45 pm

graham697 wrote:
deltal1011man wrote:
Over time I'm sure he will fly the MAX, but I don't see why it is a pressing need. Just like I don't expect him to rush to fly the NEO when they get it.


At some point you need to give feedback to your troops and in this business it will require you actually seeing it in real life.


Yeah - the sentiment here isn't about the minimum requirements for top management, it's about perception and just knowing what goes on in your company. If I were ever in such a position myself (unlikely, but hey) I would certainly hope to be the kind of guy who spends time visiting "the floor" occasionally - and without a phalanx of corporate yes-men to buffer me from the unwashed masses.

I always liked the Sir John Harvey-Jones TV shows and original Back to the Floor...
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
KD5MDK
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:51 pm

burnsie28 wrote:
Newbiepilot wrote:
From reading the article, it sounds like first off the cabin engineering team made some design mistakes. Lavatory doors, power ports, etc are decisions made within the engineering department at the airline. There could be a number of causes. Not enough competent engineers at headquarters, Management being overly cost conscious, money only being spent on revenue generating products, etc. These are fixable. CEOs aren’t usually involved in decisions on lavatory doors, sinks, etc.


That's not true at all carriers. Marketing usually makes the power port etc. Including lav doors etc. Maint/Engineering has a hand but for the most part marketing departments and their onboard team makes those calls or pushes.

Marketing? Really? I hope they have good engineers on that team. I'm familiar with (not at an Airline) Marketing working with Product Engineering to produce something, but in general specific equipment choices wouldn't be my expectation from that. More like choosing from a menu of options, or specifying an effect and PE has to come up with how to produce it.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:02 pm

Delta has the same Lavs on their MAX too. The issue is the Lav didn't have a bi-fold door option.Since it's smaller they thought was you wouldn't want to lose that 2" of door space. The MFG has since said they are now going to make a bi-fold door and AA will most likely switch at that.
 
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N62NA
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:12 pm

VC10er wrote:
C-suite (IMHO) should fly their aircraft, from First to BASIC...heck all the “C’s” at McDonalds must work in a restaurant once a year.
I haven’t been or even seen the forward/rear seats on AA, are they similar to UA’s high density 772’s? I didn’t know AA them. Sounds like AA seriously lacks consistency?

Check out youtube. You'll find a bunch of videos showing the backwards/forwards on the AA 772 and 788.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:36 pm

I can assure you the MAX configuration decision was a marketing one not an engineering one.
 
glbltrvlr
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:54 pm

VC10er wrote:
C-suite (IMHO) should fly their aircraft, from First to BASIC...heck all the “C’s” at McDonalds must work in a restaurant once a year.


That's funny - I had exactly the same thought. Airline boards should require the top three management tiers starting at the CEO to fly the lowest customer experience, starting at bag check, all the way through lining up at the gate, getting a middle seat in the back of the airplane and waiting in a freezing jetway 30 minutes for gate check bags.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:55 pm

tcfc424 wrote:
Discount Doug has cheapened AA to an extent that they are losing fliers like me. Daily. It may not mean anything right now as the airlines are printing money, but if things tighten up a little, they will begin to see the fractures.

But what do I know, I only spent $14,000 with them last year.



This is just factual untrue. He has spent billions modernizing the fleets (they now are the youngest by a considerable margin), they have upgraded and aligned the 777 fleet. The widebody premium product is excellent if not better than UA and DL. The are the first with Economy plus on the wide bodies another excellent option. Upgraded all the B757's for Hawaii and Trans Atlantic flying. Added leather seat covering to all seats.. They are now embarking on a huge domestic interior modernization for the narrowbodies, that not only upgrades those older LUS airbuses but makes for a consistant product.. Not to mention upgrading all the clubs, adding Flagship Dinning and billions more in airport improvements.

It is not debatable, the product has been much improved under Doug Parker.

What service has been down graded since the merger?
 
flyguy84
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:01 pm

Not only is management out of touch with customers, they’re out of touch with employees.
SFO
 
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tlecam
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:09 pm

The biggest issue that I have with the article is that it doesn't provide any context (read: real, actual, research based reporting.)

With the exception of A.NET, my hunch is that the vast majority of the flying public thinks that the big 3 are more or less offering the same thing.

With that in mind, if the premise is that AA is out of touch because of reasons A, B and C, the most powerful way to make the argument is to show that UA and DL (and WN, B6, AS etc..) are doing things differently and reasons A, B and C don't impact them or don't impact them as much.
BOS-LGA-JFK | A:319/20/21, 332/3, 346 || B:717, 735, 737, 738, 739, 752, 753, 762, 763, 764, 787, 772, 744 || MD80, MD90
 
Arion640
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:20 pm

Looks like the're just as out of touch as their JV partner.
 
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N62NA
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:56 pm

UpNAWAy wrote:
This is just factual untrue. He has spent billions modernizing the fleets (they now are the youngest by a considerable margin), they have upgraded and aligned the 777 fleet. The widebody premium product is excellent if not better than UA and DL. The are the first with Economy plus on the wide bodies another excellent option. Upgraded all the B757's for Hawaii and Trans Atlantic flying. Added leather seat covering to all seats.. They are now embarking on a huge domestic interior modernization for the narrowbodies, that not only upgrades those older LUS airbuses but makes for a consistant product.. Not to mention upgrading all the clubs, adding Flagship Dinning and billions more in airport improvements.

It is not debatable, the product has been much improved under Doug Parker.

What service has been down graded since the merger?


The chocolate chip cookies are no longer baked on board. They are "warmed" on board. Oh heavens!!!
 
9w748capt
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:10 pm

neomax wrote:
UGA777 wrote:
Here is a solution to most of this if you want a better product that I can summarize in two words: Fly Delta.


Unless you live in a city serviced by MD-80's, 757's, or 767's.


767's what? 757's what?
 
Austin787
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:35 pm

UpNAWAy wrote:
What service has been down graded since the merger?


Premium cabin meals, both domestic first and international business, have been severely degraded. Brand new planes being delivered with no PTVs. More seats being crammed into airplanes, reducing legroom. Shrinking lavatories, which were already small to being with. MCE on 777s being changed to 10 across. AAdvantage program gutted. Annoying credit card pitch spreading to LAA flights. Flights being cut out of NYC. Planes breaking down more frequently, evidence of skimping on maintenance. Hubs being banked, leading to congestion at certain times.
 
OB1504
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:47 pm

B737900ER wrote:
Lexy wrote:
The seatback IFE is just one of many dumb decisions.

UA has done it. They don’t seem to be hurting for bookings. Why is getting rid of a heavy, expensive, maintenance hog, and replacing it with the technology of the future a dumb decision?


It’s not hard to be better than United, especially given the year they just had. If AA is content to just be on par with United, then they’re going to be mediocre. AA needs to match and beat Delta if they want to be a great airline.

us330 wrote:
ACDC8 wrote:
Just got off my first flights with AA - not impressed to say the least.

When we checked in, knowing it was a CRJ900 (Mesa), I asked if there was sky check valet for carry-on available, the staff's response was "no" so I paid to upgrade us to Group 4 as they said it'll let us take our carry on roller boards onboard and have first access to the bins. But the staff wouldn't upgrade us and told us to do it at the kiosk. Fine, went to the kiosk and paid the $55 for the upgrade.

We got to the gate and we were told 3 times that the bags had to be left at the door for sky check. I explained to them that we were told there was no sky check and to pay the upgrade to Group 4 if we wanted to avoid checking the bags. At that point, the staff got very hostile (not just with us, but with other passengers as well). We managed to get the bags down the jetway where there was yet another staff member who refused anyone to board with a roller board carry on, he said "if it has wheels, its not going onboard and neither are you". There was almost a revolt on the jetway. Anyways, we all complied - full flight and yet the overhead bins remained 3/4 empty - unacceptable.

A bad customer service concept starts from the top and trickles down to the bottom.


I'd email them and specifically request a refund because you relied on their staff's wrong information. Though overhead space may have been available, the bins on those CRJs simply aren't large enough to take most roll-a-boards, even placed lengthwise. The staff should know that and should have told you.

Even on mainline aircraft, they have problems with telling people to gate check roll-a-boards even though overhead space remains available. I believe this is a US Airways legacy, since prior to full integration, I was on several flights where the bins ended up only being 2/3 full even though pax were told to gate check roll-a-boards. That's one of my biggest issues with the new American, because it comes across as employees flat out lying to you, even if they are probably relying on some automated system telling them that the bins are full based on whatever data they use to determine this.

I understand they are trying to save time in the boarding process to ensure an on-time departure, but an extra five minutes to get real-time information on this issue would seem to outweigh at least 20 or 30 pax feeling like they were lied to.


The computer does prompt the agent when it predicts that the bins are likely full.

An extra five minutes is five minutes they don’t have. No one wants to jeopardize the on-time departure of a flight.

Also, I don’t think agents have the ability to sell the priority boarding and it can only be bought online or from a kiosk, so the agents’ refusal to sell it was from a total inability to do so rather than a lack of desire.
 
9w748capt
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Re: American's Problem: Management is Out of Touch With Customers

Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:58 pm

UpNAWAy wrote:
tcfc424 wrote:
Discount Doug has cheapened AA to an extent that they are losing fliers like me. Daily. It may not mean anything right now as the airlines are printing money, but if things tighten up a little, they will begin to see the fractures.

But what do I know, I only spent $14,000 with them last year.



This is just factual untrue. He has spent billions modernizing the fleets (they now are the youngest by a considerable margin), they have upgraded and aligned the 777 fleet. The widebody premium product is excellent if not better than UA and DL. The are the first with Economy plus on the wide bodies another excellent option. Upgraded all the B757's for Hawaii and Trans Atlantic flying. Added leather seat covering to all seats.. They are now embarking on a huge domestic interior modernization for the narrowbodies, that not only upgrades those older LUS airbuses but makes for a consistant product.. Not to mention upgrading all the clubs, adding Flagship Dinning and billions more in airport improvements.

It is not debatable, the product has been much improved under Doug Parker.

What service has been down graded since the merger?


You're joking right? Ok fine the 77W hard product is stellar but that was chosen by LAA management. Dougie gets zero credit for that.

The concept D seats suck and Dougie couldn't give a rat's behind about the seat shaking issue.

The meals are still far inferior to pre-merger.

Yes they have put millions into the ACs and flagship lounges, but can't be bothered to spend the extra dollar for a usable sink.

AAdvantage is largely a shell of it's former self.

There were even plans to remove plated meals from RJs, but of course UA promptly announced meal enhancements so AA relented.

Still no MCE or power ports on LUS rustbuckets.

What am I forgetting?

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