jumbojet
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Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:30 pm

…A top analyst says it has.

An article from Forbes suggests that AA has slipped behind UA to the last place spot amongst the US3. According to Forbes, Delta of course remains at the top. Forbes, a respected publication, makes its argument in this article.


In the 1990s, the leading U.S. global airline, by consensus, was American. In the early 2000s it was Continental. Since the bankruptcies early in this century, it has been Delta, the first to complete a merger.
But who is second? Highly regarded airline analyst Jamie Baker of JP Morgan raised the question on American’s July 26th earnings call. The question reflected the dramatic 21% year-to-date gain in United’s share price — while American is down 26%, Delta is down 3% and the S&P 500 Index is up 6%.
“We all remember a time when United couldn't punch its way out of a paper bag, when they were the perennial last-place member of the big three,” Baker said, as he questioned American CEO Doug Parker. “What I'm being asked right now from investors is whether American has now simply stepped into the shoes that United once occupied."

“Maybe that is simply the construct of the industry going forward,” Baker said. “You're going to have one chronic outperformer, let's call that Delta, in fairness. You have the silver medalist, let's call it United, and then inevitably American brings up the rear. So, how do you push back on that?”


https://www.forbes.com/sites/tedreed/20 ... b43c703402
 
TWFlyGuy
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:36 pm

I think a lot of what we're seeing is that because DL entered it's merger first and was able to get it's fleet in order first, UA second and AA third. Remember when all we heard on A.net was how UA was terrible and had too many RJ's. Well, they have been able to shore up the fleet some and regain some ground. AA has some aged MD80's to get out of the fleet, in addition the 757's and 767's need to be replaced. As they get to these, they can then explore opportunities. I think we're just seeing the stage where AA retrenches to hub routes to maximize their ability to replace aircraft. The benefit AA & UA have is that their hub are top destinations. As they get to a stage where they can go outside hubs because the fleet is in better shape, they can add share more quickly. Just my opinion.
 
747-600X
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:33 pm

Uh, yes.

There's no competition. Working in the airline industry, seeing all 3 at play, it's clear that American is the generic big airline that really doesn't care. United still has way too many RJs and doesn't know how to distribute them. Delta could change a few things up as well, but its position as #1 is fairly secure for now. As for who's number 2, there's no question, to me, that it's United. When thunderstorms occur in the NY area, Delta's policy is not to cancel flights if at all possible. United will hold off and take selected cancels. American's policy is to just take out the axe and start chopping - cancel as much as possible we'll pick up the pieces tomorrow.
 
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cathay747
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:47 pm

I for one still don't think UA can punch its way out of a paper bag and personally consider AA to be #2. But that's me.

Now...I can't wait for the talk about AA de-hubbing PHX to start...it always does in any discussion about AA in these threads.
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neomax
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:53 pm

I think UA's aggressive route expansion and systemwide rollout of Polaris earn it a solid number 2 spot and possibly number 1. Basic economy was a low point, but an exception rather than the norm. They're generally heading in the right direction and are actively making positive changes, the same can't be said about either DL or AA.
 
AWACSooner
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:54 pm

747-600X wrote:
American's policy is to just take out the axe and start chopping - cancel as much as possible we'll pick up the pieces tomorrow.

As opposed to their DFW policy where they start delaying everything that moves whenever there's a lightning bolt within 500 miles of the airfield.

My own personal opinion, for all that we knock it on the forum, UA has improved their service to surpass AA on that arena in the past two years...however, I still think AA beats UA on their hard product (IFE, seat comfort, etc). But yah, both are lightyears behind DL.
 
Lexy
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:02 pm

The simple answer is yes, yes they have.
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Austin787
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:05 pm

Absolutely.

Years of mismanagement have taken its toll, and it shows in AA's customer satisfaction and financial reports. What's worse is management have no answers as to how to improve AA.
 
727LOVER
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:10 pm

Are we talking about airline size? THAT is based on RPMs...soooo...whoever has the most RPMs is #1,....2nd largest would be #2...and 3rd largest would be #3
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
D L X
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:16 pm

747-600X wrote:
Uh, yes.

There's no competition. Working in the airline industry, seeing all 3 at play, it's clear that American is the generic big airline that really doesn't care. United still has way too many RJs and doesn't know how to distribute them. Delta could change a few things up as well, but its position as #1 is fairly secure for now. As for who's number 2, there's no question, to me, that it's United. When thunderstorms occur in the NY area, Delta's policy is not to cancel flights if at all possible. United will hold off and take selected cancels. American's policy is to just take out the axe and start chopping - cancel as much as possible we'll pick up the pieces tomorrow.


This sounds, at least, like a very NYC centric analysis. My experience in DC and CLT has been that AA doesn’t cancel except for winter weather, for which they have planned well ahead and moved people around the cancellations, adding sections where necessary. I’ve also seen AA express the flights, flying over the hub and going spoke to spoke. Is your industry ear hearing the same thing systemwide?
 
malev2012
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:35 pm

AWACSooner wrote:
747-600X wrote:
My own personal opinion, for all that we knock it on the forum, UA has improved their service to surpass AA on that arena in the past two years...however, I still think AA beats UA on their hard product (IFE, seat comfort, etc). But yah, both are lightyears behind DL.

They are pulling IFE out of a/c, so I continue to pay a premium flying on DL.
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:45 pm

Short answer is yes.

Long answer is UA are outperforming AA handily in financial metrics and whops their ass in operational metrics. In 2012 United couldn’t dispatch a flight on time to save themselves, now they have significantly closed the gap with Delta for both ontime and completion. The gap between DL and UA for 1 and 2 for OTP/Completion is much smaller than the gap between UA and AA for 2 and 3.

Given how delay prone EWR and SFO are that is a tremendous achievement. I haven’t looked into the numbers enough to know, but I would take a guess that UA is actually matching, if not outperforming, DL for *controllable* OTP/Completion.
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United1
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:49 pm

727LOVER wrote:
Are we talking about airline size? THAT is based on RPMs...soooo...whoever has the most RPMs is #1,....2nd largest would be #2...and 3rd largest would be #3


I'm not sure what we are talking about to be honest on this thread as most of the service metrics posted are here are subjective.

By RPM....
1. AA
2. UA
3. DL

By ASM...
1. AA
2. UA
3. DL

By Fleet Size...
1. AA
2. DL
3. UA

By Revenue...
1. AA
2. DL
3. UA

By Net Margin...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA

By D:0...
1. UA
2. DL
3. AA

By A:14...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA

By Market Cap...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA
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LovePrunesAnet
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:30 am

United1 wrote:
727LOVER wrote:
Are we talking about airline size? THAT is based on RPMs...soooo...whoever has the most RPMs is #1,....2nd largest would be #2...and 3rd largest would be #3


I'm not sure what we are talking about to be honest on this thread as most of the service metrics posted are here are subjective.

By RPM....
1. AA
2. UA
3. DL

By ASM...
1. AA
2. UA
3. DL

By Fleet Size...
1. AA
2. DL
3. UA

By Revenue...
1. AA
2. DL
3. UA

By Net Margin...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA

By D:0...
1. UA
2. DL
3. AA

By A:14...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA

By Market Cap...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA


Thanks for this
I was gonna say, nice headline, will grab some clicks and eyeballs, mission accomplished. But it's COMPLETELY subjective depending on what's being measured.
Forbes...Yawn.
 
NWADTWE16
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:38 am

As stated above AA, once the crème de le crème of US carriers is now a bottom feeder. They are squeezing their clientele both financially in fees (in a spirit way, especially via seats), and also in the shrinking aircraft pitch and apparently lavs. Getting rid of proper First Class is another very non Former AA thing to do. This carrier is by far and away the third of the 3 and cruising top speed further down IMO.

UA seems to be trying to make up lost ground, they are very late in being aspirational and a doer, instead of sitting idle, but "better late than never"

Once B6 completes their fleet interior revamp, and opens Europe, grabs a serious Asian partner, and adds those Deep S America routes, I see B6 taking 2nd place among customer preference anyway. They likely already have it outside the big 3
I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list!
 
nine4nine
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:50 am

This is what happens when the guy running this legacy airline came from HP/US and was trying to turn US into NK and continued to bring that attitude to AA.
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ADrum23
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:58 am

Maybe. I agree that AA is in a race to the bottom and it doesn’t help that they have a very geographically in-balanced hub network compared to UA and AA.
Last edited by ADrum23 on Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
ADrum23
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:59 am

nine4nine wrote:
This is what happens when the guy running this legacy airline came from HP/US and was trying to turn US into NK and continued to bring that attitude to AA.


But hey, he guaranteed they’ll never lose money again so that’s gotta count for something, eh?
 
jagraham
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:07 am

United1 wrote:
727LOVER wrote:
Are we talking about airline size? THAT is based on RPMs...soooo...whoever has the most RPMs is #1,....2nd largest would be #2...and 3rd largest would be #3


I'm not sure what we are talking about to be honest on this thread as most of the service metrics posted are here are subjective.

By RPM....
1. AA
2. UA
3. DL

By ASM...
1. AA
2. UA
3. DL

By Fleet Size...
1. AA
2. DL
3. UA

By Revenue...
1. AA
2. DL
3. UA

By Net Margin...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA

By D:0...
1. UA
2. DL
3. AA

By A:14...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA

By Market Cap...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA



2Q18
AA RPMs 54118 million ASMs 64452 million https://americanairlines.gcs-web.com/ne ... 018-profit
DL RPMs 59406 million ASMs 68514 million https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 80017.html
UA RPMs 53045 million ASMs 63061 million https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 82459.html

SURPRISE!!! (to me too!) DL is #1 in RPMs and ASMs; AA is #2, UA is #3. The difference between #1 and #3 is less than 10%. It's now a horse race.
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:12 am

AA through their hubs, planes, and hard product would do very well. However they have children running it at a corporate level, so this is the net result, them going faster and faster to the bottom while Delta is still at the top and United is in "better late than never" mode.
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RIP US Airways
 
United1
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:27 am

jagraham wrote:
United1 wrote:
727LOVER wrote:
Are we talking about airline size? THAT is based on RPMs...soooo...whoever has the most RPMs is #1,....2nd largest would be #2...and 3rd largest would be #3


I'm not sure what we are talking about to be honest on this thread as most of the service metrics posted are here are subjective.

By RPM....
1. AA
2. UA
3. DL

By ASM...
1. AA
2. UA
3. DL

By Fleet Size...
1. AA
2. DL
3. UA

By Revenue...
1. AA
2. DL
3. UA

By Net Margin...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA

By D:0...
1. UA
2. DL
3. AA

By A:14...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA

By Market Cap...
1. DL
2. UA
3. AA



2Q18
AA RPMs 54118 million ASMs 64452 million https://americanairlines.gcs-web.com/ne ... 018-profit
DL RPMs 59406 million ASMs 68514 million https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 80017.html
UA RPMs 53045 million ASMs 63061 million https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 82459.html

SURPRISE!!! (to me too!) DL is #1 in RPMs and ASMs; AA is #2, UA is #3. The difference between #1 and #3 is less than 10%. It's now a horse race.


No, no surprise, simply an apples to oranges comparison...

The numbers for AA and UA you quoted are mainline only....the one for DL is mainline and connection.

Q2 Consolidated (Mainline/Regional) Numbers:

RPM
AA 60779
UA 59945
DL 59406

ASM
AA 72893
UA 70702
DL 68514
Last edited by United1 on Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:29 am

My previous post was deleted, but here was what I said. I don't understand why my post was against the terms of conditions. I'm just stating what happened in real life. What's up with the moderators?

I flew the three airlines recently and DL was the best and AA was the worst. Here's why:

On a three hour flight, here's what I got from each airline.

DL: choice of snacks
UA: pretzels
AA: no snacks
 
acentauri
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:38 am

Ziyulu wrote:
My previous post was deleted, but here was what I said. I don't understand why my post was against the terms of conditions. I'm just stating what happened in real life. What's up with the moderators?

I flew the three airlines recently and DL was the best and AA was the worst. Here's why:

On a three hour flight, here's what I got from each airline.

DL: choice of snacks
UA: pretzels
AA: no snacks

Oh my God. SELL, SELL, SELL !!! :biggrin:
 
ShinyAndChrome
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:51 am

All the Reed article covers is a lot of handwringing over what being "Number One" or "Number Three" means, which everyone sees fit to project their own ideas on.

Are we talking about size? ASMs and RPMs? Seats? Passengers? Routes? Market cap?

What about customer satisfactions? Awards? Brand equity?

Sure, AA faces some headwinds from being last-mover into the merger space (even if Smisek squandered UA's lead for a while), but they've still got some enduring strong points to balance it out. DP will probably never live down that "never lose money again" quote, but it can't be denied that AA's fundamentals (and that of DL and UA) are much sturdier than they ever have been. While they may be in a comparatively tougher spot right this second, when market conditions change, they could easily be in the best position to capitalize on it, just as UA and DL had done before.
 
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neomax
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:57 am

I am skeptical whether or not DL is/can remain number 1 for very long with UA closing the gap in maximum "better late than never" mode. But yeah, its definitely not AA.
 
NYCAAer
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:11 am

nine4nine wrote:
This is what happens when the guy running this legacy airline came from HP/US and was trying to turn US into NK and continued to bring that attitude to AA.


Legacy AA employee with 29 years seniority here. In total agreement with you on this one. You cannot imagine how low morale is amongst the LAA employees, but where do you go when you’ve been with them for so long? I can’t start over at the bottom of the seniority pool DL at my age.
 
PDX88
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:25 am

Ziyulu wrote:
My previous post was deleted, but here was what I said. I don't understand why my post was against the terms of conditions. I'm just stating what happened in real life. What's up with the moderators?

I flew the three airlines recently and DL was the best and AA was the worst. Here's why:

On a three hour flight, here's what I got from each airline.

DL: choice of snacks
UA: pretzels
AA: no snacks


Those are some pretty high standards you got there.

FWIW AA serves pretzels and biscoff cookies in the main cabin, so you should've received a snack unless it was too turbulent for service.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:30 am

PDX88 wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
My previous post was deleted, but here was what I said. I don't understand why my post was against the terms of conditions. I'm just stating what happened in real life. What's up with the moderators?

I flew the three airlines recently and DL was the best and AA was the worst. Here's why:

On a three hour flight, here's what I got from each airline.

DL: choice of snacks
UA: pretzels
AA: no snacks


Those are some pretty high standards you got there.

FWIW AA serves pretzels and biscoff cookies in the main cabin, so you should've received a snack unless it was too turbulent for service.


That's what I read on the website so I was very surprised at the service. It was a three hour flight so time wasn't an issue. And the flight was smooth for the most part.
 
JAAlbert
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:21 am

The Forbes article appears to focus on share price and financials in concluding that AA has slipped to number 3. As a passenger, about the last thing I care about is the airline's share price. I flew DL last year to Athens -- I was pissed that I was forced to take the flight. On board, I was surprised -- the flight attendants were fun, the liquor was generous (and free as I recall) and they fed us three meals while we perused the IFE. I loved it!
The year before I took AA to BCN. Not quite the service we received on DL's flight, but still generous and the flight attendants were great.

I've also flown domestically on UA - I get the sense that UA still doesn't have a focus - it seems all over the place in terms of service, crew responsiveness and food.

Forbes can focus on the financials - I'll focus on the service. DL wins, but AA I found (at least internationally) wasn't far behind.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:36 am

UA has moved into 2nd place imho. They are starting to upgrade their business class product and have been fairly aggressive in growing domestic market share (ex starting RIC and ORF mainline flights to DEN to bulk up the hub).

Yes, UA still has issues, but it is moving in the right direction. AA does not have a very good business class product and the management has problems. Their strengths are two very strong hubs in DFW and CLT, but they have quite a bit of work to do to catch up to DL.
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LovePrunesAnet
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:43 am

nine4nine wrote:
This is what happens when the guy running this legacy airline came from HP/US and was trying to turn US into NK and continued to bring that attitude to AA.


only thing that would make it worse would be for AA to allow a bunch of anetter armchair wannabe CEOs run it
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:21 pm

NWADTWE16 wrote:
As stated above AA, once the crème de le crème of US carriers is now a bottom feeder. They are squeezing their clientele both financially in fees (in a spirit way, especially via seats), and also in the shrinking aircraft pitch and apparently lavs. Getting rid of proper First Class is another very non Former AA thing to do. This carrier is by far and away the third of the 3 and cruising top speed further down IMO.

UA seems to be trying to make up lost ground, they are very late in being aspirational and a doer, instead of sitting idle, but "better late than never"

Once B6 completes their fleet interior revamp, and opens Europe, grabs a serious Asian partner, and adds those Deep S America routes, I see B6 taking 2nd place among customer preference anyway. They likely already have it outside the big 3



What in your claims that AA is doing to be a "Bottom Feeder" that UA and DL are also not doing.
 
nine4nine
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:33 pm

LovePrunesAnet wrote:
nine4nine wrote:
This is what happens when the guy running this legacy airline came from HP/US and was trying to turn US into NK and continued to bring that attitude to AA.


only thing that would make it worse would be for AA to allow a bunch of anetter armchair wannabe CEOs run it



I’m not claiming to be an armchair CEO or have the answers that AA needs. I’m a paying flyer and was a multi year gold with AA for quite some time with business travel mostly with AA and other One World members. I think that having an opinion is warranted in this discussion board regardless of whether you work in the industry or frequently buy a seat and experience the front end of the industry on a sometimes bi-weekly basis. The desperation of AA is apparent as my email box has 1-2 messages daily promoting AAdvantage deals whereas before they were about 1-2 a week. They kicked themselves in the balls by butchering the AAdvantage program both on AA and partner Airlines. I cashed my miles in and haven’t stepped foot on AA metal in about 3 years now. I know many other loyal AA fliers who have also abandoned ship and it’s really sad. There’s some great people at AA and I had really great experiences pre merger. Parker has demolished this airline. It’s unnacceptable to pay for first/business and be served in plastic cups and given a snack basket to chose a bag of chips or cookies from. If I wanted a bag of chips and some extra legroom I’d book with B6 Even More Space and save 75% of the ticket cost!

Also to answer your attack, Although I’ve been out of the commercial aviation sector since being a casualty of the post 9/11 purge, I’ve worked for 3 airlines. Lower level management for 1, mid level management for the other 2. So I think my qualifications and experience in the industry to have an opinion or merit be one step closer to any type of real CEO or “armchair CEO” as you said are far greater than yours.

So As for you my friend- While it must take some real bravado to sit in your moms basement eating a nice little sandwich she made you with the crust carefully removed and call people out with your little gaming keyboard is actually quite pathetic. Now run off and get a life.
Last edited by nine4nine on Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TWFlyGuy
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:45 pm

I'm not a big fan of Ted Reed but you have to put the article in perspective. This is in Forbes not some industry magazine. Their focus is shareholder performance. By the measures shareholders view, AA has clearly slipped. To the poster who said they don't care about share price as a passenger, if it falls below $1, don't buy a ticket on that carrier. Likely going out of business soon. It's a good indicator. Unfortunately, with consolidation comes many of the issues noted here about customer service etc. There are many factors that play into the strategic direction including the subjective thinking of leaders.

I stand by what I noted earlier in that AA still has a lot of opportunity to improve and likely will. I will say they probably haven't articulated the plan enough for investors to understand the end game. Until they do that, the calls will continue to question the direction. If Parker doesn't begin to articulate it more effectively, it could cost him. I do believe that as they get the fleet and employee synergies, they will look at some opportunities beyond the strict hub model they're pursuing now.
 
PRAirbus
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:55 pm

AA might have proved too big and too complex for the ex-America West/USAirways team to handle. Seems they underestimated AA's complexity and toxic labor relationships. Parker's team has yet to decide what they want "the post merger AA" to be...looks like they want to turn AA into a hybrid airline; domestic with the exception of A321T markets into a LCC; removing onboard amenities; taking away individual IFE; unsure about Basic Economy. On the international front, AA should retire all 767s from longhaul; I am aware they announced a 788/789 order however markets like PHL-BUD/AMS/LIS/PRG; MIA-MXP/COR/LIM/GYE continue on 767s; they are an operational nightmare...creeping delays; mega dated interiors, plenty of deferred cabin issues like no audio, no reading lights...and yet AA insists on launching new routes on such an inferior plane. That could not help establish a good reputation or strong brand. The frequent MIA-PHL-MIA 767 runs are often delayed due to mechanicals. How could AA compete with Air Italy's A330 on MIA-MXP? the 767 will come back to MIA-MXP in the Fall...bad, bad, bad. Last year they rushed to launch frontline uniforms from a vendor that had a questionable history. Sadly, the AA uniform mess is out of control, workers wearing anything they want; legacy US old uniforms, AA old uniforms, it's a mix and match hodge podge and the Land's End future collection will take another year to arrive. Next year, AA will have FA and Pilots negotiations...oh boy, good luck to all!
 
gwrudolph
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:31 pm

PRAirbus wrote:
AA might have proved too big and too complex for the ex-America West/USAirways team to handle. Seems they underestimated AA's complexity and toxic labor relationships. Parker's team has yet to decide what they want "the post merger AA" to be...looks like they want to turn AA into a hybrid airline; domestic with the exception of A321T markets into a LCC; removing onboard amenities; taking away individual IFE; unsure about Basic Economy. On the international front, AA should retire all 767s from longhaul; I am aware they announced a 788/789 order however markets like PHL-BUD/AMS/LIS/PRG; MIA-MXP/COR/LIM/GYE continue on 767s; they are an operational nightmare...creeping delays; mega dated interiors, plenty of deferred cabin issues like no audio, no reading lights...and yet AA insists on launching new routes on such an inferior plane. That could not help establish a good reputation or strong brand. The frequent MIA-PHL-MIA 767 runs are often delayed due to mechanicals. How could AA compete with Air Italy's A330 on MIA-MXP? the 767 will come back to MIA-MXP in the Fall...bad, bad, bad. Last year they rushed to launch frontline uniforms from a vendor that had a questionable history. Sadly, the AA uniform mess is out of control, workers wearing anything they want; legacy US old uniforms, AA old uniforms, it's a mix and match hodge podge and the Land's End future collection will take another year to arrive. Next year, AA will have FA and Pilots negotiations...oh boy, good luck to all!


Your first couple of sentences almost make me think it is similar to what United went through. It's like Smisek the sequel :-)
 
Austin787
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:50 pm

gwrudolph wrote:
PRAirbus wrote:
AA might have proved too big and too complex for the ex-America West/USAirways team to handle. Seems they underestimated AA's complexity and toxic labor relationships. Parker's team has yet to decide what they want "the post merger AA" to be...looks like they want to turn AA into a hybrid airline; domestic with the exception of A321T markets into a LCC; removing onboard amenities; taking away individual IFE; unsure about Basic Economy. On the international front, AA should retire all 767s from longhaul; I am aware they announced a 788/789 order however markets like PHL-BUD/AMS/LIS/PRG; MIA-MXP/COR/LIM/GYE continue on 767s; they are an operational nightmare...creeping delays; mega dated interiors, plenty of deferred cabin issues like no audio, no reading lights...and yet AA insists on launching new routes on such an inferior plane. That could not help establish a good reputation or strong brand. The frequent MIA-PHL-MIA 767 runs are often delayed due to mechanicals. How could AA compete with Air Italy's A330 on MIA-MXP? the 767 will come back to MIA-MXP in the Fall...bad, bad, bad. Last year they rushed to launch frontline uniforms from a vendor that had a questionable history. Sadly, the AA uniform mess is out of control, workers wearing anything they want; legacy US old uniforms, AA old uniforms, it's a mix and match hodge podge and the Land's End future collection will take another year to arrive. Next year, AA will have FA and Pilots negotiations...oh boy, good luck to all!


Your first couple of sentences almost make me think it is similar to what United went through. It's like Smisek the sequel :-)

I think it's clear Parker and his team want AA to be the world's largest ULCC - basically Spirit Airlines with long haul international routes. They are doing this by aggressive cost cutting and taking advantage of markets with no competition.

Sorry, I don't agree with calling Parker the next Smisek, as that would be an insult to Smisek.
 
9w748capt
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:02 pm

No excuse for AA to be in 3rd place. AA has a megahub at DFW (a large, wealthy metro with strong O&D), a strong presence at LAX, somewhat at ORD, they dominate South America which is no longer in the doldrums economically, their 77W J class is outstanding, up there with the best on good days IMO. But clearly the incessant cuts and massive gutting of AAdvantage have taken their toll. No excuses, Dougie, it's time to go!
 
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jsnww81
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:05 pm

NYCAAer wrote:
nine4nine wrote:
This is what happens when the guy running this legacy airline came from HP/US and was trying to turn US into NK and continued to bring that attitude to AA.


Legacy AA employee with 29 years seniority here. In total agreement with you on this one. You cannot imagine how low morale is amongst the LAA employees, but where do you go when you’ve been with them for so long? I can’t start over at the bottom of the seniority pool DL at my age.


LAA employees ought to remember that they're getting exactly what they asked for when they cozied up to Parker during to the run-up to the merger. They were so eager to stick it to Horton that they rushed right into the arms of someone whose track record was right there for everyone to see. The LAA workforce is so doggedly adversarial toward whomever is running the carrier that the short-term goal of ousting Horton became more important than the long-term brand image and health of the airline.

One had to look no further than the poorly made uniforms, cheap food, and uncompetitively furnished planes in the US Airways fleet to understand exactly what was going to be done to the AA product. Everything about AA that's still comfortable or passenger-friendly is a holdover from the pre-Parker days, and it's all slowly being dismantled. Why that is a surprise to LAA employees is a complete mystery to me.
 
Bobloblaw
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:16 pm

#3 in what objective metric?
 
Bobloblaw
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:18 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
My previous post was deleted, but here was what I said. I don't understand why my post was against the terms of conditions. I'm just stating what happened in real life. What's up with the moderators?

I flew the three airlines recently and DL was the best and AA was the worst. Here's why:

On a three hour flight, here's what I got from each airline.

DL: choice of snacks
UA: pretzels
AA: no snacks


When did you fly AA last? Theyve had a choice of light snacks for a while
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:26 pm

Bobloblaw wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
My previous post was deleted, but here was what I said. I don't understand why my post was against the terms of conditions. I'm just stating what happened in real life. What's up with the moderators?

I flew the three airlines recently and DL was the best and AA was the worst. Here's why:

On a three hour flight, here's what I got from each airline.

DL: choice of snacks
UA: pretzels
AA: no snacks


When did you fly AA last? Theyve had a choice of light snacks for a while


It was 3 weeks ago. I sent them an email and they gave me 5,000 miles as compensation but still did not explain why we didn't get snacks on that flight.
 
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fbgdavidson
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:35 pm

neomax wrote:
I think UA's aggressive route expansion and systemwide rollout of Polaris earn it a solid number 2 spot and possibly number 1.


Ha! Polaris has been possibly the slowest rollout (both lounges and seat) since Lufthansa put a new business product in. It's only started to really gain any traction this year but the 777-200s only have 3/55 completed. Only twelve aircraft have been refitted since Polaris was launched in 2016!

The fact they marketed Polaris so heavily and just chose to rename the old business product as "Polaris Business Class" is hugely deceptive, IMO.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
klakzky123
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:39 pm

fbgdavidson wrote:
neomax wrote:
I think UA's aggressive route expansion and systemwide rollout of Polaris earn it a solid number 2 spot and possibly number 1.


Ha! Polaris has been possibly the slowest rollout (both lounges and seat) since Lufthansa put a new business product in. It's only started to really gain any traction this year but the 777-200s only have 3/55 completed. Only twelve aircraft have been refitted since Polaris was launched in 2016!

The fact they marketed Polaris so heavily and just chose to rename the old business product as "Polaris Business Class" is hugely deceptive, IMO.


When you compare the Polaris rollout to the DL Delta One Suites rollout, it is incredibly sad. And that doesn't even include the slow rollout of Polaris lounges.
 
OB1504
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:47 pm

For what it’s worth, at least AA doesn’t have a major PR incident every few months the way UA has recently.

AWACSooner wrote:
747-600X wrote:
American's policy is to just take out the axe and start chopping - cancel as much as possible we'll pick up the pieces tomorrow.

As opposed to their DFW policy where they start delaying everything that moves whenever there's a lightning bolt within 500 miles of the airfield.


Because the alternative of putting employees in danger is preferable?
 
Brickell305
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:06 pm

I think the biggest factors affecting AA performance are:

1. Being the last major merger - this has two effects. Not only are they further behind the merger arc than DL and UA but unlike the other major mergers, they essentially had no choice in a partner. US Air was all that was left as a viable merger partner. DL and UA both had options to select a merger partner that better complemented their network and culture. AA took what was left.

2. Also arising from the merger is that pre-merger AA and US's networks didn't exactly balance each other out geographically which is a benefit that DL got from NW and that UA got from CO.

3. Another factor from the merger is that AA and US did not fit each other culturally. US was being run as a hybrid legacy/LCC. Pre merger AA was not. Their seems to be a major culture clash now that US management is running AA and trying to make it into a larger US. Neither pre-merger AA's customers or employees seem to enjoy the changes made by the new management team and that seems to have left a bad taste all around.

I do hope things turn around at AA. I live in one of their hub cities and travel frequently for work. I prefer to give my business to a global legacy airline than to a more limited airline like B6 or WN.
 
vadodara
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:22 pm

It is a case of AA (actually US Air) trying to emulate the UA (CO) and DL (NW) mergers too late. As others have said, both UA and DL gained complementary advantages. AA/US Air brought no such advantage, but AA was forced to divest slots. This has enabled DL to dominate both at NYC airports and DCA.

Essentially at NY, LA, AA plays #3 while is not so strong #2 at Chicago. Its initial advantage to South America is gradually whittled away as well. Other than to LHR (in large part to BA), AA does not dominate any sector meaningfully.
 
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airzim
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:24 pm

klakzky123 wrote:
fbgdavidson wrote:
neomax wrote:
I think UA's aggressive route expansion and systemwide rollout of Polaris earn it a solid number 2 spot and possibly number 1.


Ha! Polaris has been possibly the slowest rollout (both lounges and seat) since Lufthansa put a new business product in. It's only started to really gain any traction this year but the 777-200s only have 3/55 completed. Only twelve aircraft have been refitted since Polaris was launched in 2016!

The fact they marketed Polaris so heavily and just chose to rename the old business product as "Polaris Business Class" is hugely deceptive, IMO.


When you compare the Polaris rollout to the DL Delta One Suites rollout, it is incredibly sad. And that doesn't even include the slow rollout of Polaris lounges.


Not really sad, continual mis-perception.

DL has only provided D1 suites on the A350s coming right from the factory and only just started installing on the 777 fleet which won't be done until the end of 2019. That's 11 A350s delivered so far, with 32 seats for an ultimate total of 25 frames, and ultimately 18 777s. Not sure how many 777 are re-fitted yet. But will have 37 seats. Seats are basically a modification of an existing seat, but with added doors.

Announced D1 August 2016. First A350 flight with D1 was Oct 2017. So by August 2018, (assuming all 777s have been retrofitted--which isn't true) that's 29 planes and 1018 seats two years after their announcement. Also, no special business class lounges at Delta.

United has 17 77W delivered new from the factory 17 planes (+1 in Q4), 5 772 with Polaris and 2 or 3 possibly due in the next 30 days. 9 767-300 have Polaris, with 2 more coming in the next 30 days. That's 17 77Ws with 60 seats, 9 767s with 30 seats, 7 777s with 50 seats. Polaris seats are a new custom design.

Announced Polaris June 2016. February 2017 was the first flight. 31 planes and 1,640 seats retrofitted by August 2018. New Polaris lounges in SFO, IAH, EWR, and ORD.

I was generous to Delta, and conservative for United. United has delivered more planes, more seats, and more lounges over a similar duration.
 
TWFlyGuy
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:28 pm

Bobloblaw wrote:
#3 in what objective metric?


Market Cap, Margin, Return to Shareholders...three of the most important. Shareholders only care about ASMs if you tell them you're not going to keep in line with growth (or contraction) that will maintain their returns.
 
TWFlyGuy
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Re: Has AA Slipped Behind UA to Become The Number 3 Airline?

Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:34 pm

PRAirbus wrote:
AA might have proved too big and too complex for the ex-America West/USAirways team to handle. Seems they underestimated AA's complexity and toxic labor relationships. Parker's team has yet to decide what they want "the post merger AA" to be...looks like they want to turn AA into a hybrid airline; domestic with the exception of A321T markets into a LCC; removing onboard amenities; taking away individual IFE; unsure about Basic Economy. On the international front, AA should retire all 767s from longhaul; I am aware they announced a 788/789 order however markets like PHL-BUD/AMS/LIS/PRG; MIA-MXP/COR/LIM/GYE continue on 767s; they are an operational nightmare...creeping delays; mega dated interiors, plenty of deferred cabin issues like no audio, no reading lights...and yet AA insists on launching new routes on such an inferior plane. That could not help establish a good reputation or strong brand. The frequent MIA-PHL-MIA 767 runs are often delayed due to mechanicals. How could AA compete with Air Italy's A330 on MIA-MXP? the 767 will come back to MIA-MXP in the Fall...bad, bad, bad. Last year they rushed to launch frontline uniforms from a vendor that had a questionable history. Sadly, the AA uniform mess is out of control, workers wearing anything they want; legacy US old uniforms, AA old uniforms, it's a mix and match hodge podge and the Land's End future collection will take another year to arrive. Next year, AA will have FA and Pilots negotiations...oh boy, good luck to all!



Serious question. Delta still has a number of 767's. I in no way believe they have a superior maintenance program. AA might be going on the cheap for interiors but I can't imagine Delta is physically maintaining the mechanical aspect of their 767's. As a result they should theoretically have the same reliability issues. I don't believe that is the case so what gives?

For the other issues, I totally agree. I think the move to compete more with DL/UA on basic economy was an admission that their analysis was off. I would also question if it was objectively performed. Did they go in looking for what works best for AA's customer base or did they go in saying what's the bare minimum we can do as a carrier???

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