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Americanil96
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What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:11 pm

Saw a video from Navgeek Aviation about America West, and I wonder: was the AW experience like? Was it good?, Was it bad? Was it on the level of Emirates? Or Spirit?
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:09 am

It was superb, when I first took them, in Feb 1995. Customer service, from booking (which in those days had to be done with a human) to gate to in-flight was superior to all other carriers I'd been on, even the best of them.

Took them again a year later and it was meh.

Took them once or twice since then (and before the merger) and they were catastrophic.
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OA412
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:54 am

I flew HP once in 1996, and only because DL rebooked me when I missed my connection. They were terrible. I was routed JFK-LAS-SLC. The 752 operating JFK-LAS had seen better days. Tattered, broken seats, window cover was loose allowing in cold air, and crew were meh to rude. To top it off, the flight was delayed resulting in my missing my connection and having to spend the night at the airport in LAS. Once was enough. 15 years later I flew US (post HP merger, but pre AA merger) and the experience was night and day.
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airzona11
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:29 am

Americanil96 wrote:
Saw a video from Navgeek Aviation about America West, and I wonder: was the AW experience like? Was it good?, Was it bad? Was it on the level of Emirates? Or Spirit?


America West late 80s / early 90s was great, really something special. The service was all downhill from there, they pivoted to low cost in the modern sense. Not long after the US merger they started charging for water, this was the AmericaWest crew in charge.
 
e38
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:10 pm

Americanil96, I was only on America West one time, in 1992. Two flights on the same day--Tucson to Phoenix on a 737-200 connecting to a 737-300 from Phoenix to Dallas/Fort Worth.

I had never been on America West before, so while it was somewhat of a novelty to get to travel aboard an airline on which I had never flown, the flights were very, very AVERAGE.

There was nothing bad about either flight, but there was absolutely nothing special either about America West. No service on the flight between Tucson and Phoenix (understable, too short) and then a soft drink from Phoenix to Dallas/Fort Worth.

It was just basic air transportation from point A to point B.

I would have used them again if the flight times had been convenient with my schedule, but I never ended up flying America West again.

e38
 
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:49 pm

I flew them twice in spring of 1996. PDX-PHX-ELP and same route back on 737-200s. From what I remember, it was average. Nothing to complain about, but also nothing to remember.
 
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:03 pm

I lived in PHX from 2005 to 2009 and got to fly HP and then US many times. HP in 2005 seemed very average. Crews were friendly enough, their PHX hub terminal was fine, nothing to write home about. The mainline planes I got to fly were quite dated. I took an A320 that was super old and had long-disabled PTVs that did nothing but there were drop-down screens that showed movies. I also took a B733 on a short PHX-LAS hop that was also nothing special. I also got to fly a brand new CRJ-900 from LAS-COS in some awful midnight redeye. The plane was in great shape but they didn't have a premium cabin on them yet. I had seat 1A and the bulkhead had awful legroom. Overall it reminded me a lot of Northwest (which wasn't great in this era either) but with nicer crews. They were also pretty good operationally due to having good-weather hubs.

Bad: Cabins/Mainline Fleet
Good: Crews, Operational performance
Average: Everything else

After the merger, the hard product gradually improved. Much newer cabins. But they also did some nickel-and-diming experiments in this era like charging for soda. But PHX crews were much better in my experience compared to the occasional US-East crews.
 
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:32 pm

Living in PHX I flew HP a decent bit until I moved east. Nothing especially special about them. Pre 9/11 I still remember hot meals in Y on longer flights -- I/my family used them a few times PHX-BWI to visit family in the DC area. IFE in the 757s was on large CRT monitors overhead, on the Airbii they had the drop down LCDs from the overhead. The earliest flight was in Feb of 1992, PHX-ORD and back, on the A320. Again hot meals in Y, IFE, shinny new aircraft -- service seemed similar to what I remember on United a few months earlier. Most of my flights were on the A319/320 or 757. The Airbus were generally in much better shape as they were (with the exception of the original 18 ex-PA/BN 2.0 aircraft) more or less brand new at the time. The 757s were a bit hit or miss depending on which specific plane you had. The only 737 I can remember was a late night LAS-TUS around 2000 or so -- this was on a -300. No IFE or meal at that hour, but it was in a bit of rough shape. Continental's classic 737s were much nicer inside during the same time.

Post 9/11 I can't remember if I flew them before the HP/US merger was complete. I did fly DCA-PHX to go home for XMAS, after connecting down from SYR. I can't recall if they were fully integrated at that point or whether or not the 757 was still in HP colors or already in US colors.
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:10 pm

e38 wrote:
I had never been on America West before, so while it was somewhat of a novelty to get to travel aboard an airline on which I had never flown, the flights were very, very AVERAGE.

There was nothing bad about either flight, but there was absolutely nothing special either about America West.

I flew them a few times in the 90s and I agree. They were sort of "ordinary". Flights were on time, the plane was clean, etc, but a few things stood out ...

Everyone was friendly. Everyone. It made a huge impression.

Once, when we decided to stay longer in Phoenix, I called up their reservations and asked about the change of flight penalty. She just said, no sweat, no charge ... just come back to Phoenix some time. (They were the home town carrier). And we did ... dozens of times!

After the merger, that "spark" was gone. Still fine, ordinary flights, but they just seemed like the rest of American carriers now.
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zrs70
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:45 pm

I flew them mostly in the late 90’s. Food in F on most longer flights was worse than F food on the major us carriers.

HP was a pioneer in IFE for us carriers. Bud it was rudimentary.

I got a life membership in the HP club, and I enjoyed them in LAS and PHX. That membership was honored through the mergers.
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:07 am

zrs70 wrote:
HP was a pioneer in IFE for us carriers. Bud it was rudimentary.


How do you mean...a pioneer? They only started in Aug 1983, and I first flew on them in Dec 1983 LAX-PHX-COS.

I seem to remember all the established US legacy carriers had the old plastic tube earphones to connect to the arm rest and listen to the piped in music and the movie soundtrack...in flight entertainment at its basic, but still in flight entertainment. So I don't think HP was a pioneer of IFE for US carriers.
AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(1) BY B6 CO CP(2) DG DL EA EI EN FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(1) OZ(2) PA PI PT QF QQ RM RO RV(1) RV(2) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(2) ZZ 9K
 
zrs70
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:46 am

aeromoe wrote:
zrs70 wrote:
HP was a pioneer in IFE for us carriers. Bud it was rudimentary.


How do you mean...a pioneer? They only started in Aug 1983, and I first flew on them in Dec 1983 LAX-PHX-COS.

I seem to remember all the established US legacy carriers had the old plastic tube earphones to connect to the arm rest and listen to the piped in music and the movie soundtrack...in flight entertainment at its basic, but still in flight entertainment. So I don't think HP was a pioneer of IFE for US carriers.


Sorry - meant to write that they were a very early adopter in individual seatback screens on the narrow body domestic fleet.
Last edited by zrs70 on Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What was the America West experience like before the merger with US Airways? (Now AA)

Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:57 am

zrs70 wrote:
aeromoe wrote:
zrs70 wrote:
HP was a pioneer in IFE for us carriers. Bud it was rudimentary.


How do you mean...a pioneer? They only started in Aug 1983, and I first flew on them in Dec 1983 LAX-PHX-COS.

I seem to remember all the established US legacy carriers had the old plastic tube earphones to connect to the arm rest and listen to the piped in music and the movie soundtrack...in flight entertainment at its basic, but still in flight entertainment. So I don't think HP was a pioneer of IFE for US carriers.


Sorry - meant to write that they were a very dearly adopter in individual seatback screens on the narrow body domestic fleet.


Makes sense..."IFE" takes on different meanings through the generations.
AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(1) BY B6 CO CP(2) DG DL EA EI EN FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(1) OZ(2) PA PI PT QF QQ RM RO RV(1) RV(2) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(2) ZZ 9K

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