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Super80Fan
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Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:15 am

I know after AA declared bankruptcy they emerged and merged with US Airways, along with the US Airways team taking over and Doug Parker ultimately becoming CEO, but why did Thomas Horton, after a short stint as AA CEO leave? Did he represent the struggling AA brand too much, or was it just because he wasn't on the LUS side, which arguably was the stronger company coming into the merger?
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Antarius
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:21 am

LUS took over AA and retained the AA brand. It wasnt a merger of equals. As a result, Horton etc. Left.

Damn shame. I liked Horton and his staff, especially Vahidi.
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HPAEAA
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:29 am

Parker gained favor with the LAA unions by promising some lucrative contracts and iirc Horton was a little more pragmatic.. ultimately Horton was anti-merger and Parker was pro & prevailed with the creditors committee... it was a shame, he set in motion a lot of the things that built their premium product which Parker gets credit for and is slowly breaking down.. I wish Horton had really gotten a chance to demonstrate results- as a customer I thought he was making some great moves to enhance the experience.
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NYCAAer
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 6:06 am

HPAEAA wrote:
Parker gained favor with the LAA unions by promising some lucrative contracts and iirc Horton was a little more pragmatic.. ultimately Horton was anti-merger and Parker was pro & prevailed with the creditors committee... it was a shame, he set in motion a lot of the things that built their premium product which Parker gets credit for and is slowly breaking down.. I wish Horton had really gotten a chance to demonstrate results- as a customer I thought he was making some great moves to enhance the experience.


Amen! Tom Horton had class and his whole team who came with him wanted to bring American back to its former glory. He made great strides in the hard product and it was very impressive. I sorely miss him.
 
questions
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:57 am

HPAEAA wrote:
Parker gained favor with the LAA unions by promising some lucrative contracts and iirc Horton was a little more pragmatic.. ultimately Horton was anti-merger and Parker was pro & prevailed with the creditors committee... it was a shame, he set in motion a lot of the things that built their premium product which Parker gets credit for and is slowly breaking down.. I wish Horton had really gotten a chance to demonstrate results- as a customer I thought he was making some great moves to enhance the experience.


I’ve heard this before but not specifics.

What did Horton do to build AA’s premium product?
What did Horton do to enhance the experience?
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:07 am

As far as legacy carriers go, you really couldn't get any more opposite than AA and US. Park Avenue meets trailer park. But that's what happens when your the last two people on the dance floor.
 
Boof02671
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:38 am

Horton was a caretaker Chapter 11 CEO, Carty was CEO right up until they filed.

Horton also got about $20 million to leave.
 
VS11
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:20 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
As far as legacy carriers go, you really couldn't get any more opposite than AA and US. Park Avenue meets trailer park. But that's what happens when your the last two people on the dance floor.



AA was hardly Park Avenue at the time of the merger. They had been struggling for some time and their planes and service were pretty depressing. AA was a very sad airline during the times leading up to the merger.

As to Parker, I don't understand the need to trash the guy when he clearly has been very successful transforming airlines into self-sustaining profitable businesses. After-merger AA is turning out to be a pretty good airline - new planes, competitive fares and very decent service.
 
MO11
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:25 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
Horton was a caretaker Chapter 11 CEO, Carty was CEO right up until they filed.

Horton also got about $20 million to leave.



Carty quit April 2003. American filed November 2011.
 
Boof02671
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:27 pm

Excuse me I meant Arpey.
 
HPAEAA
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:57 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
Horton was a caretaker Chapter 11 CEO, Carty was CEO right up until they filed.

Horton also got about $20 million to leave.

So unless your speaking in the philosophical sense, carty was out long before the ch11 filing.. Arpy was at the helm for a number of years before Horton took over...

questions wrote:
HPAEAA wrote:
Parker gained favor with the LAA unions by promising some lucrative contracts and iirc Horton was a little more pragmatic.. ultimately Horton was anti-merger and Parker was pro & prevailed with the creditors committee... it was a shame, he set in motion a lot of the things that built their premium product which Parker gets credit for and is slowly breaking down.. I wish Horton had really gotten a chance to demonstrate results- as a customer I thought he was making some great moves to enhance the experience.


I’ve heard this before but not specifics.

What did Horton do to build AA’s premium product?
What did Horton do to enhance the experience?

A few highlights on the hard product from his time as CFO & CEO:
- Introduced the 77W with a new lie flat J & enhanced Flagship First cabin
- ordered The 787 with a new lay flat product for J
- introduced flagship checkin
- upgraded the B763 J class
- Kicked off 772 overhaul to upgrade to the new J class
- introduced the narrow body refresh through the purchase of 460 aircraft adding:
- introduced the a321t
- introduced the new A319/A321 with seat back entertainment & upgraded seats
- Added the B738 sky interior at 160 seats

Major announcements shortly after the merger before he left so could be Mr Parker or Mr Horton (unless you have inside knowledge):
- Lounge Refresh Project
- added the Flagship dining experience at DFW which is being expanded into revamped flagship lounges
- upgrades check in Kiosks & IT

I’m sure I missed a few, but wanted to put some specifics down..
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UpNAWAy
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:03 pm

I like his doughnuts and coffee.....;-)
 
stlgph
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:36 pm

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global2
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:17 pm

HPAEAA wrote:
Parker gained favor with the LAA unions by promising some lucrative contracts and iirc Horton was a little more pragmatic.. ultimately Horton was anti-merger and Parker was pro & prevailed with the creditors committee... it was a shame, he set in motion a lot of the things that built their premium product which Parker gets credit for and is slowly breaking down.. I wish Horton had really gotten a chance to demonstrate results- as a customer I thought he was making some great moves to enhance the experience.


I have to wonder what Parker gets credit for in terms of trying to build a premium product? It seems to me, as a passenger, that Parker has been degrading the product practically from Day 1. Didn't he immediately cheapen the meal service in domestic F, only having to backtrack after unleashing so much negative feedback?
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:33 pm

Never having flown USAir, I am admittedly unfamiliar with Mr. Horton. Where is he now and what is he doing? Is he still in aviation?
 
Boof02671
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:35 pm

He wasn’t even in aviation again until AA filed chapter 11, he was at AT&T.
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:54 pm

Never mind, found it - currently on GE's board. Being a grumpy GE shareholder, he works for me!
 
HPAEAA
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:04 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
He wasn’t even in aviation again until AA filed chapter 11, he was at AT&T.

He was with AT&T until 2006 when he returned to AMR as the CFO, he took over the CEO role when AMR declared bankruptcy.

Here's another article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-tom-ho ... 1401483124
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usflyer msp
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:15 am

I think some people tend to look at Horton's tenure with Rose colored glasses. He did prove AA's premium services which had fallen behind but failed to address AA's cost and labour issues and make the company profitable. I think the latter is far more important.
 
mga707
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:04 am

Aptivaboy wrote:
Never having flown USAir, I am admittedly unfamiliar with Mr. Horton. Where is he now and what is he doing? Is he still in aviation?


He was the CEO of American, not US Airways. Parker came from the US side of the house, originally America West.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:46 am

Which CEO got rid of hot meals in economy? That is the one who is the failure.
 
ripcordd
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Re: Why Doug Parker over Thomas Horton over at AA?

Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:02 am

AA Unions had sever distrust for AA management team and rightfully so, when Arpey refused to take AA to BK as he saw the turn around coming and felt they owed the employees their pensions AA's board disagreed with him and brought Horton in only to file for BK. This is caused distrust once again with the unions when Carty made millions in a nice golden parachute while he convinced the unions to huge pay cuts. So with this DP saw his opening and convinced the unions that he would have their backs and take care of them and with the unions on board the board agreed and approved the merger... Which leaves AA where it is today DL/UA being a premium airline and AA chasing spirit customers around pretending to be a premium airline. I'm sure the customers and employees see this as well.

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