airlineguy1234
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American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 8:32 pm

I am referencing this article from Inc Magazine.
In a recent edition of American Airlines' Tell Me Why series, Kurt Stache, the airline's Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Loyalty, mused about customers' feelings said "It's a long time since we had a brand purpose and a brand campaign"

Inc may have taken this quote out of context because on the desciption of the linked podcast said
In the latest episode of Tell Me Why, we met with Kurt Stache, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Loyalty and Sales, to discuss...the importance of the “likelihood to recommend” score, and what’s to come with American’s brand project.

I have never listened to the podcast before, is it any good?

The more interesting thing about the whole situation is Robert Mann, a prominent industry consultant commented "Sad. But, nothing a comprehensive and proactive Operational Reliability Initiative couldn’t solve." on the article on LinkedIn. He continues to state
Customer service perception is down-rated with unreliable operations, as the article points out, as the airline executive admits, and as every passenger survey result I have ever seen reiterates. There is no winning brand or value proposition without operational reliability.


What I grasp from this article is that mergers are hard. United and Continental appear to only recently have ironed all the internal kinks out. The new livery and Polaris appears to be their first big innovation post merger. Like a recognition, of yes, the merger was rocky, but we have moved past that. Delta and Northwest have been together longer so they were the first to reap benefit from the mergers and the first to be able to innovate using the strength of both companies. I got to say though, it appeared that the DL/NW merger was a lot smoother than the UA/CO or AA/US one.

I know Doug Parker is big into cost cutting, but I think in general it is for the better unlike Jeff Smisek who thought he could shrink the combined UA/CO to make it more profitable. AA remarkably has not closed any hubs post merger, and has even grown them such as the PHX-LHR flight, and the strengthening of LAX. DFW opened a bunch of new gates last week, and I think AA is trying to make CLT a stronger connecting hub mimicking, to a lesser extent, what Delta has in ATL. Yes, JFK continues to shrink, but most of those routes have been moved to PHL. I don't see AA ever completely dehubbing JFK, their transcon and LHR service is too important, but I do see JFK continuing to shrink. One big example of that was the discontinuation of the JFK-MCO route. AA also applied to use a Haneda slot for LAS.

I don't know if AA's hub at ORD is becoming less significant because of UA's growth plan or because AA trying to shrink ORD. What do you guys think? I think it is more stagnant than anything.
 
Ishrion
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 8:46 pm

ORD is just domestic and summer seasonal leisure routes to Europe. Their recent additions to ORD have been regional routes that UA already serves.

They’re growing CLT but are gate restricted which will change soon.

A majority of AA employees are unhappy with AA and the management team.
 
winginit
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:02 pm

The reference here is to Net Promoter Score, which is the product of surveys that passengers get emailed to them after flights. There are also third parties who engage in surveying (with much smaller sample sizes) to compare across airlines.

Stache is correct in saying that airline NPS metrics are often closely tied to operational performance. If you have an amazing in-flight experience but you're three hours late, a passenger is still likely to give a three or lower on an NPS survey. However, Mann is spot on in saying that once an airline has their operation consistently in order (say, for example, Delta), there's a ton of value that can be gleamed from NPS.

Sad, but maybe productive, that AA is so brutally aware of their operational deficiencies that they've given up on NPS. It can be a powerful metric, and they should be motivated to improve their operational reliability in order to better leverage it.
 
braniff2hav
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:05 pm

Ishrion wrote:
ORD is just domestic and summer seasonal leisure routes to Europe. Their recent additions to ORD have been regional routes that UA already serves.

They’re growing CLT but are gate restricted which will change soon.

A majority of AA employees are unhappy with AA and the management team.


I would be very unhappy too. Full disclosure: former employee from 89 to 93. AA has no brand, no warmth, nothing that makes me desire to fly them, it has been stripped of its personality, there is no sizzle any longer. Delta, as a domestic carrier, has proven at every turn that they do want your $ with innovative branding, programs and flying. Their onboard may not be the absolute best .. but they seem to go to work daily with the customer in mind. AA is about numbers - that's it. This is my personal impression. It's sad to see such a strong company like AA be reduced in image as it has been by USAirways. I have hope .. I mean they do have some significant assets to work with. AA needs to put on a smile and get out there.
 
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spinotter
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:17 pm

braniff2hav wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
ORD is just domestic and summer seasonal leisure routes to Europe. Their recent additions to ORD have been regional routes that UA already serves.

They’re growing CLT but are gate restricted which will change soon.

A majority of AA employees are unhappy with AA and the management team.


I would be very unhappy too. Full disclosure: former employee from 89 to 93. AA has no brand, no warmth, nothing that makes me desire to fly them, it has been stripped of its personality, there is no sizzle any longer. Delta, as a domestic carrier, has proven at every turn that they do want your $ with innovative branding, programs and flying. Their onboard may not be the absolute best .. but they seem to go to work daily with the customer in mind. AA is about numbers - that's it. This is my personal impression. It's sad to see such a strong company like AA be reduced in image as it has been by USAirways. I have hope .. I mean they do have some significant assets to work with. AA needs to put on a smile and get out there.


Is the difference between DL and AA that wide and deep? If it's just branding, AA might be able to find a new way to succeed with its same performance measures. Is it all bluff and false luster?
 
910A
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:27 pm

[quote="Ishrion

A majority of AA employees are unhappy with AA and the management team.[/quote]

The union leaders should have done their due diligence into Parker & Co and his employee relationship at both HP and US.
 
Ishrion
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:28 pm

spinotter wrote:
braniff2hav wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
ORD is just domestic and summer seasonal leisure routes to Europe. Their recent additions to ORD have been regional routes that UA already serves.

They’re growing CLT but are gate restricted which will change soon.

A majority of AA employees are unhappy with AA and the management team.


I would be very unhappy too. Full disclosure: former employee from 89 to 93. AA has no brand, no warmth, nothing that makes me desire to fly them, it has been stripped of its personality, there is no sizzle any longer. Delta, as a domestic carrier, has proven at every turn that they do want your $ with innovative branding, programs and flying. Their onboard may not be the absolute best .. but they seem to go to work daily with the customer in mind. AA is about numbers - that's it. This is my personal impression. It's sad to see such a strong company like AA be reduced in image as it has been by USAirways. I have hope .. I mean they do have some significant assets to work with. AA needs to put on a smile and get out there.


Is the difference between DL and AA that wide and deep? If it's just branding, AA might be able to find a new way to succeed with its same performance measures. Is it all bluff and false luster?


AA shines with a pretty consistent international product. Domestic is where everything is a mess for AA. While DL is adding IFEs at every seat and listening to customers(limiting/removing seat recline), introducing an amazing A220, AA is stripping domestic aircraft of IFEs and decreasing seat pitch.
From what I've heard, AA is beginning to listen. They've confirmed problems with their First Class seat in Project Oasis.
 
NYCAAer
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:35 pm

Ishrion wrote:
A majority of AA employees are unhappy with AA and the management team.


Sadly, this is very true. As a 30-year veteran of legacy AA, I had hoped that Piggly Wiggly Parker as some employees have referred to him, was going to keep all the changes that Horton was putting into place. It was the same philosophy that Delta has now- that in order to compete, you have to be a little better than everyone else. Just give the customer that extra something special that wins their loyalty. And unfortunately, I don’t see that happening with the new corporate culture. A lot of times, I don’t recognize the company I work for anymore.
 
Wacker1000
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:42 pm

airlineguy1234 wrote:

What I grasp from this article is that mergers are hard.


Mergers are hard. Mergers with AA are impossible. US Airways had its issues but they mostly paled in comparison to AA.

You're talking about a company that wanted to operate just like it did in 1980 even though the environment had completely changed. They had a bunch of fleets that hadn't been updated in the better part of two decades, no real interest in operational reliability, very little ability to actually gather necessary data if they were interested in fixing something, a very lax CMO that let them do basically whatever they wanted (as long as Southwest wasn't in the news....then they had to prove a point - otherwise the same stuff that was acceptable in the 80s was acceptable in the 10s), a route structure and departure schedule more archaic than the 777-200 cabin, and a ton of malcontents that will go out of their way to not help the company. Post merger, add in a general distaste for a merger that finally forced legacy AA to change versus simply wiping the other member of the merger off the map then going on with business as usual.

How could it not work?
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:42 pm

As a Phoenix-based AA frequent flier, the product that is on the LUS A321's that infest the AA system is just flat out sad. It feels drab and outdated along with crews that are demotivated and overworked. I really hope that something starts to change on the domestic side because AA just cannot compete with the current industry leaders in any way shape or form currently.

I would rather take Spirit now because at least I have wifi and just can buy the big front seat for cheap.

(I say this all as a person that used to love American but has been driven away by the rapid transformation into a ULCC on the domestic side)
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:52 pm

Every time I am on AA it is on time and everyone is friendly and helpful. I see little difference in my AA experience and my DL experience.
 
airlineguy1234
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:53 pm

SierraPacific wrote:
I would rather take Spirit now because at least I have wifi and just can buy the big front seat for cheap.


Shhh. The Big Front Seat is the best kept secret in the US airline industry. Don't tell everyone about it or else the price will go up. :smile: :smile:
 
mpdpilot
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 9:59 pm

SierraPacific wrote:
As a Phoenix-based AA frequent flier, the product that is on the LUS A321's that infest the AA system is just flat out sad. It feels drab and outdated along with crews that are demotivated and overworked. I really hope that something starts to change on the domestic side because AA just cannot compete with the current industry leaders in any way shape or form currently.

I would rather take Spirit now because at least I have wifi and just can buy the big front seat for cheap.

(I say this all as a person that used to love American but has been driven away by the rapid transformation into a ULCC on the domestic side)


Agreed!! I was on a flight from Chicago earlier in the year and the flight attendants were apologizing about the lack of any entertainment on the aircraft, no wifi, no nothing. I am starting to think a stop in MSP/DTW/SLC would be an improvement.

Also to someone else's comment about Delta's on board product, I just flew one of their "older" 767s from SEA-CDG-SEA and I was blown away, the wifi was fast, the in-seat entertainment was as good as BA's 747s and the service was amazing. I have gone out of my way to fly on AA's 787s and they are good but after this last trip, I would take a DL 767 over an AA 787 or a BA 747 any day (if we are talking about bang for your buck, as an aviation enthusiast, the 747 is still a dream :))
One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
 
Antarius
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 10:15 pm

910A wrote:
[quote="Ishrion]

A majority of AA employees are unhappy with AA and the management team.[/quote]

The union leaders should have done their due diligence into Parker & Co and his employee relationship at both HP and US.[/quote]


Bingo. I'm pretty unsympathetic to the griping for this exact reason. The unions and their leadership just blindly chased the next shiny object with Doug Parker and that's about it.
2019: SIN HKG NRT DFW IAH HOU CLT LGA JFK SFO SJC EWR SNA EYW MIA BOG LAX ORD DTW OAK PVG BOS DCA IAD ATL LAS BIS CUN PHX OAK SYD CVG PHL MAD ORY CDG SLC SJU BQN DEN DOH BLR MAA KTM YYZ MEX
 
Antarius
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 10:18 pm

spinotter wrote:
braniff2hav wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
ORD is just domestic and summer seasonal leisure routes to Europe. Their recent additions to ORD have been regional routes that UA already serves.

They’re growing CLT but are gate restricted which will change soon.

A majority of AA employees are unhappy with AA and the management team.


I would be very unhappy too. Full disclosure: former employee from 89 to 93. AA has no brand, no warmth, nothing that makes me desire to fly them, it has been stripped of its personality, there is no sizzle any longer. Delta, as a domestic carrier, has proven at every turn that they do want your $ with innovative branding, programs and flying. Their onboard may not be the absolute best .. but they seem to go to work daily with the customer in mind. AA is about numbers - that's it. This is my personal impression. It's sad to see such a strong company like AA be reduced in image as it has been by USAirways. I have hope .. I mean they do have some significant assets to work with. AA needs to put on a smile and get out there.


Is the difference between DL and AA that wide and deep? If it's just branding, AA might be able to find a new way to succeed with its same performance measures. Is it all bluff and false luster?


The issue is operational. DL has a 20 minute bag guarantee, their on time metrics are good etc. AA is operationally a cluster right now.

Until the underlying issue is fixed, marketing and branding isnt going to win any supporters.
2019: SIN HKG NRT DFW IAH HOU CLT LGA JFK SFO SJC EWR SNA EYW MIA BOG LAX ORD DTW OAK PVG BOS DCA IAD ATL LAS BIS CUN PHX OAK SYD CVG PHL MAD ORY CDG SLC SJU BQN DEN DOH BLR MAA KTM YYZ MEX
 
MIflyer12
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 10:38 pm

airlineguy1234 wrote:
What I grasp from this article is that mergers are hard. United and Continental appear to only recently have ironed all the internal kinks out.


That's just a rationalization. AA/US are 5 1/2 years beyond the merger and that excuse is worn out. Operationally, too, AA sucked hard before the merger. The A/CO integration was drawn out because Smisek didn't want to pay to get harmonized work rules. That's all on him. AA (nor UA under Smisek) hasn't put a premium on operational reliability so on-time performance, cancellation rates and baggage handling stink. DOT reports show it month after month.

As for the original argument - brand purpose - I don't think too many carriers can just be reliable and nothing more. IMHO it would be a poor use of the AA name and assets if it didn't aspire to something better.
Last edited by MIflyer12 on Wed May 08, 2019 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Austin787
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 10:41 pm

I see 2 airlines operating with the same name:
1) Regional: within North America, recliners in F, basically like an ULCC with cramped seating and no IFE
2) Long haul: long international flights and JFK-LAX/SFO, relatively upscale with PTVs, premium economy, lie flat seats in F/J

They might as well call the 2 entities a different name, to distinguish the each entity and establish expectations. Use US Airways for the regional part and American for the long haul.
 
Miamiairport
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 10:55 pm

I believe Parker’s philosophy is that if you aren’t spending big bucks on his airline you can go pound sand. Most business travelers are probably PLT or below and contrary to popular FT folklore they don’t have the time and money to pad themselves up to EXP with personal flying or buy up to F/J out of pocket. Parker is trying to be Pan Am Clipper to a small subsection of flyers and Spirit to all else.
 
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cathay747
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 10:57 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
Every time I am on AA it is on time and everyone is friendly and helpful. I see little difference in my AA experience and my DL experience.


Agreed, I've never had a bad experience with AA...I would have to consistently rate them as at least "meets expectations". I don't know if I've just been lucky, based on what I'm reading here and in other threads about "how awful AA is"? Maybe so, as I'm not a road-warrior. I can't speak for DL as I only fly AA since I have AAdvantage Gold status for life.

I personally feel a LOT of people make the lack of IFE out to be a much bigger "issue" than it is. I don't need seat-back video screens on relatively short domestic flights (trans-con's should have them though...anything over 4hrs I think should, so yeah AA, those A321's you fly on longer-hauls like CLT-PHX/West Coast...get with it, those are damn near trans-con's)...I have an iPod to listen to MY choice of music, and my Kindle to read. That's all I need (except as previously clarified). But that's me.
Try a Little VC-10derness
 
SteelChair
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 11:52 pm

No one has mentioned that AA has unions and Delta mostly doesn't. Of course, with their management, AA employees are probably in greater need of representation. But still, it seems like unions in the Unites States coddle those who underperform and incite those who complain, leading to lower morale all around, which is hazardous in a service industy.

"Brand purpose" seems like a corporate suite Wall Street buzzword. When you have a dumpster fire operationally and morale-wise, focusing on brand identity is putting lipstick on a pig. If they treated employees better and operated better, the brand identity problem would solve itself.
 
FlyHPN
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Wed May 08, 2019 11:57 pm

airlineguy1234 wrote:
SierraPacific wrote:
I would rather take Spirit now because at least I have wifi and just can buy the big front seat for cheap.


Shhh. The Big Front Seat is the best kept secret in the US airline industry. Don't tell everyone about it or else the price will go up. :smile: :smile:


+1 :D
 
nikeherc
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 12:08 am

910A wrote:
[quote="Ishrion

A majority of AA employees are unhappy with AA and the management team.


The union leaders should have done their due diligence into Parker & Co and his employee relationship at both HP and US.[/quote]

The problem is that the unions didn’t care about the airline, they were in a war with the airline. They didn’t care about anything but getting over on management. They chose to ally with Doug Parker to beat their own employer. What the world got was a bigger HP. Not the best outcome, but the unions got what they wanted.
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
TangoandCash
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 12:20 am

AA is an airline without a personality and it shows. Frontline employees I've been in contact with seem to be disengaged and going through the motions, particularly more noticeable in the last couple years. I haven't experienced the AA premium or international product recently, but in the back, you might as well be flying Spirit. Customers are a burden and an inconvenience (and it shows with a lot of front line AA staff). Don't get me started on the product "improvements". Never thought I would miss the MD80s, but after my first couple flights crammed in the new slimline hard as a board seats, those big, old, heavy MD80 seats feel perfectly luxurious!

The contrast is particularly striking after my last couple trips on Southwest--yes the boarding process/open seating is a bit different, but the brand has personality and meaning, and the employees are enthusiastic, appreciate their customers, and like their jobs (or at least do a good job faking it).
 
Antarius
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 12:23 am

nikeherc wrote:
910A wrote:
[quote="Ishrion

A majority of AA employees are unhappy with AA and the management team.


The union leaders should have done their due diligence into Parker & Co and his employee relationship at both HP and US.


The problem is that the unions didn’t care about the airline, they were in a war with the airline. They didn’t care about anything but getting over on management. They chose to ally with Doug Parker to beat their own employer. What the world got was a bigger HP. Not the best outcome, but the unions got what they wanted.[/quote]

That's the point. They cut off their nose to spite their face. It was what they wanted at the time, completely ignoring the long term consequences. And here we are.
2019: SIN HKG NRT DFW IAH HOU CLT LGA JFK SFO SJC EWR SNA EYW MIA BOG LAX ORD DTW OAK PVG BOS DCA IAD ATL LAS BIS CUN PHX OAK SYD CVG PHL MAD ORY CDG SLC SJU BQN DEN DOH BLR MAA KTM YYZ MEX
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 12:26 am

You guys are being a little too hard on AA, if you compare it to UA, AA has a significantly better reputation. Is it DL? no. Is it the worst airline in the US? not at all.
Delta Diamond Medallion and AAdvantage Gold for 2019
 
Ishrion
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 12:32 am

Midwestindy wrote:
You guys are being a little too hard on AA, if you compare it to UA, AA has a significantly better reputation. Is it DL? no. Is it the worst airline in the US? not at all.


Honestly, AA's rep is declining at a faster rate than UA's is rising. Yes, everyone remembers the Dr. Dao incident. AA has gotten tons of bad press regarding their Oasis seats.

Is it the worst airline? Definitely not.
Is it aiming to be the worst? It seems like that without a vision and the massive identity crisis.

Look at AA. Is it an ULCC with extremely low fares in Basic Economy and slimline seats and removing IFEs? Or is it a premium international airlines with flat bed business class seats, Flagship First lounges, and the last US3 airline to offer first class?

This is why AA's brand has no purpose. It doesn't know what kind of airline it is anymore.

I'll be completely honest. The last few AA flights I've been on have been great and comfortable in Business/Domestic First. Great FAs.

I had a pretty good flight recently in AA's MD-80 MCE... and wow. That Economy seat was actually great to be honest. Actual padding and it wasn't a slimline seat. The recline was the greatest I've seen on a domestic aircraft.
 
AirCalSNA
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 12:48 am

I'm an unhappy AAdvantage member as the program sucks (at least from the West Coast). I'm going to use up my points and then switch to a carrier that is more interested in providing value to its customers.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 1:27 am

I've flown AA a lot in the last 12 months internationally and domestically, including flights to SYD, LHR, CDG, HKG, MIA, ATL, LAX, SFO, LAS, all originating at JFK or LGA. I've found the service to be generally ok. The planes are quite clean and seem well looked after (I've flown on 737-800s, 787-9s, 777-200ER/300ER, A321T, A321). One segment was flown on a MAX-8 in January and for a new plane, it was dirty and scuffed everywhere. With the exception of 2 flights (ATL-LGA and MIA-LGA just this past weekend), the flight attendants were fine. They did their jobs, some smiled, most were courteous. My most recent flight from MIA to LGA featured two of the nastiest, most unpleasant cabin crew I have ever experienced. Smirking at unknowing passengers, rudely barking orders, and just downright unpleasant. The problem American has is that it lacks imagination and innovation. It does nothing particularly poorly nor does it do anything remarkably well. It is an enterprise focused on cost cutting and it shows up in the service. In spite of the merger and a trip through bankruptcy before it that finally allowed legacy AA to become more in line with its largest competitors financially, it still operates the way it did under Bob Crandall, who made it a great airline but the story everyone remembers is the removal of 1 olive from a salad saving one million dollars. American shies away from competition and focuses on where it has little (PHL, CLT, DFW). The airline is much larger than DL and UA in size, but it can compete if it just paid a bit more attention to service and the smaller things that can and often do make a difference.
 
musman9853
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 1:32 am

i have no problem with american. aadvantage is basically on par with the other programs. Their international J is all amazing, short of a handful of 767s and 757s which thankfully are on their way out. And as a gen z'er, i personally have no problem using my phone or tablet as a ife. my phone is way better than the 720p lcd panels they use for seat back ifes.
Welcome to the City Beautiful.
 
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BroadwayLimited
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 1:35 am

The best example I can give you on this is as follows.....
I have flown Delta most of my career. (retired now). I flew AA at times, when they were more convenient. Many, many, times, and I do mean MANY times, to help get a plane out on time, I would always see any deadheading Delta flight attendants helping, the on-duty flight attendants, do what they could do, to make sure the plane got out on time. This was a regular occurrence.

Absolutely never saw that on AA. In my AA travels, the deadheading flight attendant was already on the plane, with their luggage in the overhead racks, before any passengers got on. And they did not offer to help to get the plane out on-time like the deadheading Delta FA's did.

Does this show a difference in culture...obviously yes.
 
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stl07
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 1:47 am

airlineguy1234 wrote:
SierraPacific wrote:
I would rather take Spirit now because at least I have wifi and just can buy the big front seat for cheap.


Shhh. The Big Front Seat is the best kept secret in the US airline industry. Don't tell everyone about it or else the price will go up. :smile: :smile:

Yup, Spirit is a horrible, cheapskate airline everyone. STAY AWAY. :D
Interesting how every thread is spammed with "bring back paid membership, there are too many spammers"
 
Antarius
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 2:02 am

Midwestindy wrote:
You guys are being a little too hard on AA, if you compare it to UA, AA has a significantly better reputation. Is it DL? no. Is it the worst airline in the US? not at all.


Yes and no. I'm harsher on UA in the sense that I live in 2 UA hubs and refuse to fly them. As a multi year EXP on AA, what concerns me is the aimlessness of AA management now. They are reactive (seemingly blindly following DL on the FF program) and proactive in all the wrong ways (Oasis etc.)

AA has all the markings of being better than they are. They have a great international hard product, well placed hubs, a young fleet. The lack of capitalization is what frustrates me. Additionally while not the legendary Crandall, Horton and his team, especially Vahidi seemed to have a vision of a new American, one that was needed after morons like Arpey. Parker is going the Arpey route, death by a thousand cuts.
2019: SIN HKG NRT DFW IAH HOU CLT LGA JFK SFO SJC EWR SNA EYW MIA BOG LAX ORD DTW OAK PVG BOS DCA IAD ATL LAS BIS CUN PHX OAK SYD CVG PHL MAD ORY CDG SLC SJU BQN DEN DOH BLR MAA KTM YYZ MEX
 
UpNAWAy
Posts: 475
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:42 pm

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 2:21 am

Look at the DOT A14 stats. I doubt most customers could decern a diffetence on any of the majors.
 
EBiafore99
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:03 pm

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 12:20 pm

Miamiairport wrote:
I believe Parker’s philosophy is that if you aren’t spending big bucks on his airline you can go pound sand. Most business travelers are probably PLT or below and contrary to popular FT folklore they don’t have the time and money to pad themselves up to EXP with personal flying or buy up to F/J out of pocket. Parker is trying to be Pan Am Clipper to a small subsection of flyers and Spirit to all else.


This is what I see as well. IMO, AA is too simplistic in its thinking. It appears that to AA, everyone in Y is looking for a cheap fare, so they are catering the Y experience to the lowest fare category (i.e. - bare bones). The problem is that on many flights, not all of your FFs are lucky enough o get into first, or even MC+. Therefore, many FFs get stuck being treated like they paid a cheap fare when in reality, they're on an expensive walk-up fare.

Please don't take this as I have a problem with leisure travelers. However, they are two different segments. Either you give leisure travelers a little bit of a service upgrade so your Y cabin is palatable to your full-fare travelers, or you lower your service standards to the expectations of leisure travelers and probably tick-off your FFs sitting in Y. AA seems to have taken the latter approach, yet they want to be seen as a premier airline.
 
slider
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 12:39 pm

Wacker1000 wrote:
airlineguy1234 wrote:

What I grasp from this article is that mergers are hard.


Mergers are hard. Mergers with AA are impossible. US Airways had its issues but they mostly paled in comparison to AA.



Well, I don't disagree with you on the AA merger front--after all, their Air Cal and Air Reno acquisitions were fouled up, the stapled TWA to the bottom (still pisses me off) and they wouldn't have much of a network had they not absorbed EA assets.

US is another matter altogether. They've always been a cobbled together jumbled mess.

There shouldn't be any surprise to see the new AA where it is, consequently. It's 2019, and the scar tissue from HP-US, US-AA still runs very deep.
 
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gdg9
Posts: 905
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 1:13 pm

I'll be happy when I get my bags from AA in less than 40-45 minutes after arriving at DFW.
@dfwtower
 
Fex180
Posts: 215
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 1:32 pm

my biggest gripe with AA is the astoundingly inconsistent cabin product in domestic economy. Which certainly doesn't help their brand image. I've flown PWM-CLT many times in the past 2 years, usually on a 319 or 321, and every time it's a roll of the dice whether my plane has power outlets / wifi / refurbished seats.I was recently on an A320 PWM-PHL and I swear the cabin of that plane hadn't been touched since the US merger.
 
wernerga3
Posts: 212
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 1:47 pm

My .02 cents: Growing up, all I flew was AA. My parents always flew AA, so I succumbed to following my family's trend. There was this aura of AA being the new Pan Am- It was in my family's eyes: the airline representing the US.

When I went off to college, and started grabbing my own flights, that is when things started to change. I would begin looking at alternatives, because I felt the experience had slid way down hill on AA. Over time, I transitioned to Delta, because I felt AA was always a late flight with a grumpy flight attendant and an inconsistent cabin, and for a while, United was just offering garbage all around.

Today, I surprisingly choose United. I feel they have stepped their game up in so far as product offering, customer experience, and flight availability out of my home city DEN. I like to call them the underdog, and in my opinion, while Delta has a great UX, I prefer United now.

I remember when I used to not really care about the big 3- When I would just pick the easiest/cheapest ticket. Today, I would rather take a connection flight on United, than a direct flight on Delta or AA. So I guess that is saying something.
 
freakyrat
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 2:08 pm

The BIG 3 serve my former hometown of SBN. AA came back last June with twice daily flights to CLT and DFW. UA dropped their EWR flight a little thereafter and it has boosted traffic for AA on their CLT flights for East Coast connections. Also traffic for DL on their ATL flights has been up.

Now as far as the mainline product goes, I recently took a flight on DL. In Economy, DL has a better product with seatback IFE and a variety of free snack offerings.
 
Brickell305
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:07 pm

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 2:31 pm

For years and years, we've been hearing the oft-repeated mantra that passengers don't care at all about service, just the price. And as such, airlines could cut back on service (and thus cost) to their glee because it would just mean greater profits. I think AA is the first clear example that this philosophy is misguided or at the very least not entirely true. Passengers have options now. If they want bare bones, there are several ULCCs that can cater to them. People often say that AA doesn't chase leisure travelers but yet they do everything in their power (basic economy class, cramped cabins, a la carte pricing) to compete with the NK's of the world. While at the same time devaluing one of their better assets IMO, their FF program. It seems that their only advantage domestically is their schedules from their hubs which can provide pax there with the frequency they desire while facing very limited competition. If you don't live in a hub city (and sometimes even if you do), it doesn't really make sense to remain loyal to AA. Their FF program gets less valuable by the day and their service continues to deteriorate. If you have options, you may as well exercise them.

One of their strongest areas financially right now is the selling of co-branded credit cards. However, I can't even see that lasting that long as non-branded travel credit cards become more popular, especially among people with higher incomes. AA seems like a mess. No vision, no sense of what their purpose is or who their market is.
 
wernerga3
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:26 pm

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 3:29 pm

Brickell305 wrote:
For years and years, we've been hearing the oft-repeated mantra that passengers don't care at all about service, just the price. And as such, airlines could cut back on service (and thus cost) to their glee because it would just mean greater profits. I think AA is the first clear example that this philosophy is misguided or at the very least not entirely true...People often say that AA doesn't chase leisure travelers but yet they do everything in their power (basic economy class, cramped cabins, a la carte pricing) to compete with the NK's of the world. While at the same time devaluing one of their better assets IMO, their FF program... If you have options, you may as well exercise them.


Very well put- AA is losing what it takes to survive because they are misguided. And while they seem too big to fail, that's what they used to say about Pan Am... I know I don't fly AA anymore, by choice.
 
apodino
Posts: 3484
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Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 3:55 pm

Its not just whats visible to the passenger but some little things that go on behind the scenes that actually contribute to some of the operational issues. I can highlight a few.

1. Flight Attendant scheduling has gotten insane. It is not uncommon for a Flight Attendant to work a transcon flight from JFK-LAS and then immediately work the redeye flight back. While this is legal, this doesn't exactly promote employee morale.

2. I believe the decision to run DFW as a banked and not a rolling hub is really hurting AA. It is really tough to run 900 flights a day out of a banked hub. What this means is you essentially have 100 flights per bank, while landing a bunch of flights. This just doesn't lead to a reliable operation. ORD is perfect for a banked hub as are PHL, PHX and MIA. CLT is borderline, but they have huge problems with ramp congestion. But there is no way DFW should be run as a banked hub. I get trying to provide more connecting opportunities to passengers, but when it causes your reliability to go down the toilet, it really needs to be looked at much more closely. DL runs ATL as a rolling hub. Enough said.

3. There are still two groups that don't have joint contracts on the property, the Rampers and the Mechanics. It can be inferred that the MX folks are not as motivated to repair planes as quickly as they otherwise would be. There are some issues that the Unions themselves have caused, but the negotiations have gotten so ugly that meet and greets with employees have turned into shouting matches between Isom and Parker and Union leadership. The company has even taken to posting their "offer" to the employee web site, and naturally most of the employees think the proposal is concessionary.

4. The middle management structure in some areas has become bloated to the point where these managers are trying to make all the decisions, and micromanage everything. This has led to some very bad decisions especially given the stat driven nature. One common one is if a plane runs late due to MX, rather than cancel the flight, delay the flight overnight until the next morning. It saves a cancel, but it causes way more headaches down road for passengers who otherwise would not be affected.

5. Taking native SABRE away from the Customer Service folks at the airport has not been a popular decision and many of the long time AA folks who were very proficient in SABRE could help customers a lot more easily. QIK has not given them the same flexibility that native SABRE has.

6. Questionable fleet decisions on some routes. On MIA-SEA, the 321S has better range than the 738 and usually can do the route much more easily, but a 738 is still often scheduled on the route...often times needing a fuel stop even when the 321 can make it. Also, 737s are regularly scheduling into both CLT and PHX, as well as Airbuses into ORD, yet AA does not have a 737 crew base in either CLT or PHX nor do they have an airbus base in ORD. That being said, Vasu Raja is one of the bright guys in AA management so I don't doubt he looks at this stuff carefully.

These are a few issues I can see that the folks may not see. I think most employees are wishing Kirby had stayed now and Isom had left. But it is clear Parker and Isom are in over their heads and new leadership may be needed. But I hope Vasu Raja stays, he is really good at what he does.
 
CMHtraveler
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:48 pm

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 4:12 pm

SteelChair wrote:
No one has mentioned that AA has unions and Delta mostly doesn't. Of course, with their management, AA employees are probably in greater need of representation. But still, it seems like unions in the Unites States coddle those who underperform and incite those who complain, leading to lower morale all around, which is hazardous in a service industy.

"Brand purpose" seems like a corporate suite Wall Street buzzword. When you have a dumpster fire operationally and morale-wise, focusing on brand identity is putting lipstick on a pig. If they treated employees better and operated better, the brand identity problem would solve itself.


Oh my. How ironic to identify something as a “Wall Street buzzword” in one paragraph (which by the way I agree with you on 100%), and then in another paragraph trot out the same tired, old corporate trope about unions protecting lazy workers. I negotiate union contracts for a living. I have never seen one that says you can just not do your job. What unions do is eliminate favoritism by holding management to the same standards across the board when disciplining or firing employees. If management is doing it’s job and documenting infractions, they are quite readily able to discipline and/or fire workers who are not doing their job. It’s simply a matter of documentation.

Delta has union pilots and dispatchers. In addition, many “best airline” lists, such as Forbes’ most recent, place airlines like Alaska above Delta. Alaska is nearly wall-to-wall union, and Forbes isn’t exactly a labor-friendly publication. I think unions (or lack thereof) have very little to do with the quality of the operation. Heck, California Pacific which lasted about as long as it took for me to write this post, was 100% non-union!
 
nc3rd
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:52 pm

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 4:22 pm

If its an article from INC.com you can guarantee its going to be highly critical and over sensationalized anti-aa rhetoric. I dont know what AA did to that guy, but he hasnt let it go.
The views written above are mine and mine alone and do not represent any official information from any airline or company
 
QXfactor
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:20 pm

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 4:30 pm

Month......Metric................AA..............DL...........UA............WN............NK...........Metric Description
Jan-19.....Jan A14...........77.6%........82.7%.....72.1%........81.9%........82.9%.......On-Time Flights
................Jan Cxl..............3.5%..........1.1%........4.9%.........3.5%..........1.3%.......Canceled Flights
................Jan ACDs..........5.2%..........3.7%........4.0%.........4.7%..........2.9%.......Airline Controlled Delays
................Jan WCHR........5.9%..........0.8%........1.3%.........4.1%..........3.1%.......Mishandled Wheelchairs/Scooters
................Jan Cmplns.......191..............51.............93.............31..............24...........Complaints to DOT
Feb-19.....Feb A14...........73.8%.......77.9%......71.1%.......73.5%........77.7%........On-Time Flights
................Feb Cxl..............3.2%.........1.7%.........3.5%.........4.6%..........1.5%.......Canceled Flights
................Feb ACDs..........5.7%.........4.9%.........5.7%.........7.4%..........3.9%.......Airline Controlled Delays
................Feb WCHR........5.2%.........0.7%.........1.0%.........2.2%..........1.9%.......Mishandled Wheelchairs/Scooters
................Feb Cmplnts.....179.............94............123............42...............68..........Complaints to DOT
YE 2018..Mish Bags.........3.77.........1.80...........2.51.........2.81............1.72..........Mishandled Bags/1k Pax (Mainline only, Jan-Nov only)
................Invols................*4,785*..........40............148.......2,423..........1,529..........Involuntary Denied Boardings, YE2018

Source: https://www.transportation.gov/individu ... er-reports

So far in 2019,

AA is pretty average when it comes to on time performance.
AA doesn't cancel as many flights as some.
AA is the worst bag handler by far.
AA has TWICE as many complaints as United.
AA involuntarily denied boarding to more people than EVERY OTHER AIRLINE IN AMERICA *COMBINED* (not just the ones mentioned here!)
 
User avatar
dennypayne
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:38 am

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 4:59 pm

gdg9 wrote:
I'll be happy when I get my bags from AA in less than 40-45 minutes after arriving at DFW.


This was a constant gripe for me when I lived there. DL guarantees 20 minutes, and they generally beat that by about 50%.

wernerga3 wrote:
AA is losing what it takes to survive because they are misguided. And while they seem too big to fail, that's what they used to say about Pan Am... I know I don't fly AA anymore, by choice.


I definitely agree that they are misguided, but I don't think they're going anywhere anytime soon. But as a Lifetime Gold (from living in DFW), I have also switched primarily to DL now that I am in TYS, even though I can only maintain Silver and have a long way to go towards any lifetime status with them.

apodino wrote:
Its not just whats visible to the passenger but some little things that go on behind the scenes that actually contribute to some of the operational issues. I can highlight a few.


And this post definitely highlights what is making its way to the surface in a lot of ways - thanks.
A300/310/319/320/321/332/333/343/380 AN24/28/38/148 ATR72 B190
B717/722/732/3/4/5/7/8/9 742/744/752/753/762/763/764/772/773/788
CR2/7/9 D8S D9S D95 DH2 D328 E110/120/135/140/145/170/175/190
F100 JS31 L1011 L410 M11/80/90 RJ85 S340 SSJ100 Tu134/154 Yak42
 
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spinotter
Posts: 487
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 1:37 am

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 6:30 pm

Antarius wrote:
spinotter wrote:
braniff2hav wrote:

I would be very unhappy too. Full disclosure: former employee from 89 to 93. AA has no brand, no warmth, nothing that makes me desire to fly them, it has been stripped of its personality, there is no sizzle any longer. Delta, as a domestic carrier, has proven at every turn that they do want your $ with innovative branding, programs and flying. Their onboard may not be the absolute best .. but they seem to go to work daily with the customer in mind. AA is about numbers - that's it. This is my personal impression. It's sad to see such a strong company like AA be reduced in image as it has been by USAirways. I have hope .. I mean they do have some significant assets to work with. AA needs to put on a smile and get out there.


Is the difference between DL and AA that wide and deep? If it's just branding, AA might be able to find a new way to succeed with its same performance measures. Is it all bluff and false luster?


The issue is operational. DL has a 20 minute bag guarantee, their on time metrics are good etc. AA is operationally a cluster right now.

Until the underlying issue is fixed, marketing and branding isnt going to win any supporters.


Just out of curiosity, why is AA operationally a cluster right now. It must be poor management, right?
 
User avatar
spinotter
Posts: 487
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 1:37 am

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 6:38 pm

apodino wrote:
Its not just whats visible to the passenger but some little things that go on behind the scenes that actually contribute to some of the operational issues. I can highlight a few.


Very illuminating remarks, thank you. Why do you assert that DFW is not suitable for a banked hub? Is it just because of the sheer number of flights, or because of the separate terminals A,B,C, etc., or why? Did you say that ORD and PHL are good for banked schedules? What makes them different from DFW?
 
nc3rd
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:52 pm

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 7:04 pm

Banked schedules in already tight operating spaces leads to many of the problems. Its beneficial when everything is going well and maximizes revenue and minimizes total trip time for passengers. But when it goes bad, like a ramp closure for weather, it goes really bad. They need to relook at this and figure out if the bad outweighs the good.
The views written above are mine and mine alone and do not represent any official information from any airline or company
 
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jsnww81
Posts: 2501
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:29 am

Re: American Airlines Admits It Has No Brand Purpose

Thu May 09, 2019 7:05 pm

dennypayne wrote:
gdg9 wrote:
I'll be happy when I get my bags from AA in less than 40-45 minutes after arriving at DFW.


This was a constant gripe for me when I lived there. DL guarantees 20 minutes, and they generally beat that by about 50%.


Admittedly, AA has been ridiculously slow at baggage offloading for decades. I can remember 45-minute waits in front of DFW and ORD carousels as far back as the 1990s. I'm not sure if it has something to do with the number of baggage handlers per flight, or priority given to connecting bags, or some combination of the two, but at any AA hub airport your bags will NEVER beat you to the carousel.

And it's pretty awful at outstations, too - last year I stood in front of the baggage belt in Santa Rosa, California, for more than half an hour. The plane was about 300 feet away. My parents recently waited almost an hour for their bags in Sacramento.

Delta and Alaska have their guarantees, and even United seems to get bags out fairly quickly. American has zero interest (or zero ability) to speed up baggage delivery. I complain about this every year during my annual "how are you doing?" EXP phone call.

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