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AA And 717's

Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:01 pm

I know this has probably been discussed before but couldn't AA actually use 717's? The same aircraft they dumped awhile back......There is a substantial gap between the S80 and the next smallest A/C being the CR7. I think that the 717 could have preserved many mainline routes out of STL such as EWR, PHL, ATL, MSP.....on and on and on. CLE-DFW on an RJ??? A 717 seems much better, I'd like to hear your thoughts.
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RE: AA And 717's

Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:06 pm

This same topic was discussed a few days ago, so you might be able to dig it up in a search. Personally, I'd love to see AA use the 717 -- I think it would be a perfect fit for them -- and as far as I understand, the reason they had to dump the ones they acquired from TW is because they just didn't fit into their fleet plan at that point in time. Plus there may have been financing issues regarding TW's crummy credit at the time of their bankruptcy and the interest rates imposed on those aircraft.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
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RE: AA And 717's

Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:07 pm

Well, I thought that they would keep at least some of TW's 717 fleet. On paper, it seems like a perfect "filler" aircraft for AA. Just like you said, the plane would be perfect for "thin" routes too small for the Mad Dog but too large for the CR7. It would also have allowed AA to provide at least some First Class service to some key business destinations, such as ATL, CLE, etc, from STL, which is a fairly major market in its own right. The 717 is a very efficient aircraft. To me, I think it boiled down to this: AA just did not want to take on the expenses of having an extra aircraft type in the fleet. Sad to see, 717's would look sharp in the AA colors. Can you say perfect F100 replacement as well? Maybe they'll get some 73G's down the road...that would be nice.

Steve in MSY

RE: AA And 717's

Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:16 pm

Wow!! this dead horse gets beaten to death.

The 717s were briefly in the AA colors BTW. Yes they need a replacement for the Fokker 100 but they seem to think the CRJ is a better fit. I would think if AA really wanted the 717 they could have refinanced since I am sure Boeing would have loved to keep them in circulation rather than have them replace orders Air Tran and Qantas link had for 717s. I rode on a 717 right in the middle of the TWA merger, in fact my ticket jacket going out was white and said TWA.. Coming back it was silver and said TWA An American Airlines company. I have been on F-100s as well and I really wish AA would have taken the Fokkers out back and shot them and kept the 717s because from a passenger point of view the 717 is so much better. It is a lot more quiet, newer, just an all around better feel to it. but I am sure they made the decision that made the most sense for them.
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RE: AA And 717's

Thu Oct 02, 2003 1:26 pm

To me, it was all bad timing on the 717s. AA decided keeping the 717s would conflict with the F-100 operations...before the axe fell on the Fokkers' engines. Plus the original leases on the 717s were outrageous. Nowadays, I'm sure AA is re-thinking the 717 again, but AA's financial health would have to vastly improve before such a commitment is made. I'll say one thing...American will likely return the A300s before another type is introduce to the fleet. Just my two cents here. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin

RE: AA And 717's

Thu Oct 02, 2003 2:26 pm

AA decided keeping the 717s would conflict with the F-100 operations.
I think that's only part of the reason -- the B717, configured in MRTC, was too small for AA ... the CRJ-700 & existing F100 fleet filled the 70-80 passenger market for them.

RE: AA And 717's

Thu Oct 02, 2003 3:06 pm

Being over 6ft tall I am in a unique position to observe the MRTC AA has implemented.. It is on the F-100 yes... But I gotta tell you it is NOT on the CRJs that AE flies.. Thinking it was I did not request an exit row and found myself subjected to 2hrs of miserable knee crunching hell as the old fart in front of me kept trying to recline the seat on my knees.
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RE: AA And 717's

Thu Oct 02, 2003 4:06 pm

Hi all, first time poster here, been listing in for ..well.. years. Finely paid my $25 so I could add my 2cents and get all your great feedback. Thanks for all the entertainment. A-net is becoming an addiction! Now to the post:

It seams to me the at one of the biggest obstacle to the 717s success with the legacy carriers is union contracts. If they could by flown by regional partner's or if the disparity between mainline and regional pay scales was less I would guess the order book would be seeing a bit more activity. As the DC9s and Fokkers are forced into retirement might it make sense for carriers like AA and NW to replace them with a combination of RJs and MD'80/737(AA) - 319/320(NW). Cites once seeing 3-5 DC9-30 might start seeing 1 or 2 of the larger AC accompanied by RJs to maintain or increase frequencies. In fact I believe this is already happening.
In order for my hypothesis to hold true the Cost per available seat mile for a 717 operated by a legacy carrier would have to be more than that of a RJ operated by the same carriers regional partner. Does anyone know if this would be the case for AA, NW or any other legacy carrier? Do UA US or AA's new pilot contracts greatly improve the chances of these carriers ordering a new 100 seat AC?
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RE: AA And 717's

Thu Oct 02, 2003 4:23 pm

"the B717, configured in MRTC, was too small for AA ... the CRJ-700 & existing F100 fleet filled the 70-80 passenger market for them"

With MRTC, the F100s have 87 seats, the 717 had 100 (TWA's configuration was 111). If anything the F100s have too few seats to be profitable and that helps to explain why they are being withdrawn.

What I do find interesting is that before the merger, TWA reported an hourly operating cost of $2198/hr for the 717 compared to AA's $3990/hr figure post merger, although a good portion of the difference came from AA's decision to remove the aircraft from the fleet and the expenses that occured with that decision.

And Startvalve, being well over 6ft tall myself I can tell you that, for the sake of your knees, you should do what I do and make every oportunity you can to avoid any plane with "RJ" in the name. I've spent many hours in coach with my knees deep in the back of the reclined person infront of me even on mainline planes, and RJs are worse. The only salvation for mainline jets are exit and bulkhead rows. The only RJ I have found to be even remotely comfortable are the NWAirlink Avros. But, those are rare in that they have only 69 seats in a plane that was designed for 80+. Interestingly enough, Horizon Air's old F28.4000s were the same way with lots of room. A real shame they replaced them with cramped and uncomfortable CRJs.
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RE: AA And 717's

Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:34 pm

First of all...compared to CRJ-200s, QX's CRJ-700s are great. As someone who's shift currently has him cleaning one 5 nights a week, thus sitting in every seat in every row cleaning up the messes that people were too lazy to throw in the bag the FA had as he or she walked by...I can tell you that at 6' tall, I have found that pretty much every seat on that plane is comfortable. But back to the reason why I am replying...I just wanted to make a point about why aircraft such as the NW Avros have only 69 seats, even though they could hold many more, same as the F28s. Its all about Denied Boarding Compensation (DBC). Once an aircraft holds 70 or more passengers, then when you deny someone boarding (flight cancelled, flight was oversold, they volunteer a seat, etc. etc.) they are entitled to considerably more compensation that a passenger that was booked on a flight with 69 seats or less. Any questions, just ask me, but it does get kind of complicated.
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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 6:54 am

The primary reason for the NW/Mesaba ARJs only holding 69 passengers instead of 85 is due to the pilot's union scope clause.

They are not allowed to have any airlink partners operate aircraft with 70 or more seats.
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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:20 am

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I agree that the Boeing 717 would be a good aircraft for American Airlines. It would be a perfect fit between the MD-80 and the CRJ-70. The 717 would do well on low-density and short haul routes, such as Chicago-Cleveleand or St. Louis-Tulsa or Dallas/Ft. Worth-Little Rock. It would be a perfect replacement for the Fokker 100, which American has been retiring.

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However, American is probably making decisions to drop mainline service to certain cities based on load factors and profit margins. The MD-80 carries about 150 passengers, the 717 carries 100 passengers and the CRJ-70 carries 70 passengers. It is possible that the 717 is simply too big for American's needs and has to rely on the CRJ-70 in order to make some money off certain routes.

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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:22 am

The reason for QX having only 69 seats in the F28.4000s was the same reason NWAirlink only has 69 in the Avros, scope clauses at major airlines. When the F28.1000s were replaced at QX by the bigger 4000s, they originally wanted to include more seats. However, part of their code share agreement with American limited them to 69 seats. Apparently there were other airlines at the time that had similar objections (Northwest comes to mind).

And sorry, but no CRJ700 is any better than a CRJ200. While the windows are higher up which does help the neck, the leg room is equally non-existant. Been there, done that, and added 700s to the don't fly list shortly there after.
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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:40 am

BY the way, if your all wondering why that F-100 is in STL, as that AA does not fly F-100's to STL it was due to a diversion due to storms in the ORD area. Thats why.

Back to the topic..
As Passenger side i would also love to see the 717 in AA colors AND on routes out of STL, I would not have beene surpised to see iuf AA had kept the 717 most routes would have been replaced to the 717!! But alas the 717 was not kept, so therefore this is what happenes, a hub is downsized(STL). But anyways, just another thought, hopefully the other 717 we will see is from AirTRan, but thats another topic and story to discuss.

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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:43 am

American never operated the 717, nor was it ever in its colors; mind you a hybrid scheme of Trans World LLC, which most people don't realize still exists today under its own certificate which has been set for closure next year (earlier from its original 2006 closure date). The 717 integration was dropped because of the F-100 replacement dilema, however, now because of the Rolls Royce Tay predicament, it would make good in the system. Right now though, with the way things are, there are more important things to focus on that major aircraft swapping. And remember, Trans World was first in retrofitting their aircraft into "more room throughout coach"; this was not an original idea by American.
In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.
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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:44 am

I do find it interesting that once AA drops its F-100s, it won't have anything between the 70-seat CRJ and the 130-seat MD-80 ... yet in its regional operations, it operates the 37-seat ERJ-135, the 44-seat ERJ-140 and the 50-seat ERJ-145! I know the fleet commonality of the ERJ and the economies of scale are different here, but I never have been able to comprehend the market for a 44-seat plane when there are 37-seaters and 50-seaters out there. I'm sure it works, just hard for me to get it ...
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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:57 am

Air1727 (or anyone else), exactly what is "the Rolls Royce Tay predicament" for AA's F-100s?

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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:24 am

Just to add some detail to Asqx's post:

The CRJ-700/900 is an inch wider and the aisle height taller than the CRJ-200. I've travelled a lot in both and there is a difference that is appreciated. As to the seat pitch - that is the airlines' perogative. I have to admit that I do not like sitting by the window as the air return at the floor side wall protrudes enough that I can't sit with my foot naturally in front of me.


The main reason for the ERJ-135/140/145 AND the CRJ-440 are Scope Clauses. Several SC's allow unrestricted sub 50 pax RJ operation. In American Eagle's case they are only allowed a maximum of 25 CRJ-700's while allowing unlimited sub 50 pax.

I would be interested to know what the seat pitch of the CRJ-440 is like (NWA ordered 75.) It is a CRJ-200 certified with 3 rows (6 seats) removed.
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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:57 am

Actually on the no legroom for tall people on anything with RJ in the title I beg to differ.. I frequently flew Continental Express on an ERJ-145 and would almost without fail get seat 1a or 12a.... Single row seat either the first row or exit row.. 12a is the best seat on the plane cuz at 1a you have the galley next to you and at night they never turn off that damn light in the galley making it hard to see out.. For the money seat 12a in an ERJ is about as good as it gets.. i just wish the ERJs were as quiet as CRJs
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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:34 am

CitationX, not being involved directly in American maintenance, I do not have the exact details (I am sure a current line mech. for AAL can expound on this), but as far as I know a significant airworthiness directive was issued on the Rolls Royce Tay 600 and will require very expensive modifications as the powerplants reach progressive maintenance time limits.
In the Alaska bush I'd rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.
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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:01 pm

To AA..Well, we all do dumb things!

I must say the B717's we got from TWA/AA are great! Better seats in the coach too! I would believe AA would have had their chance to get their hands on them. But luckily they didn't and AirTran is now the proud owner or leasee of these great planes. It would be even better if AA decided they needed the B717 now and put in new orders to help keep the line alive and well. Either way, I'm sure the next big order will be coming from somebody soon for this great aircraft.
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
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RE: AA And 717's

Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:36 pm

Unfortunately from my observations after all the cut backs at STL that will release a bunch of S-80's of TWA configuration to replace the F-100 hence no 717 required. For the short term AA is going to keep some MX at STL to reconfigure the interiors of the old TWA 80's to AA MRTC. You really learned to appreciate the 717's that TWA had after riding on a few too many jungle jets. I never did fully understand exactly why AA did not try to renegotiate the leases on the 717's but maybe they did not forsee the F-100 problem at the time and figured the RJ's would suffice. It sure looks like AA is entrenching themselves for at least 3 to 4 yr time span before the AA starts to completly recover.

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