PI4EVR wrote:Well be prepared for a litany of opinion, most along the line of "horrendous" as you describe the LUS A321.
It will unfortunately be known forever as a lousy airline. That opinion was formed from a difficult past history dating back to the 1989 mergers that ultimately formed the new-named USAirways by Stephen Wolf. The period up to the mid-20's did see improving finances, growth and fleet commonality switching to Airbus, but it was not sustained. By the 2005 merger with HP, the airline was days away from collapse and shutdown.
Douglas Parker and his HP team came aboard and moved the airline to the LCC model to streamline costs and the operation. And while that model did result in significant financial improvements, it did not win accolades with customers or employees. That past history of poor financial performance, several high profile accidents (UScareways) and the perception that all employees were rude added to the perception of being a lousy airline with uncomfortable airplanes and poor service. Remember charging for water? Remarkable to think the airline ultimately was flying 80+ million passengers a year throughout the US, Caribbean and Europe with such a lousy reputation. Remember just recent that Spirit was named "worst airline in the US", while DL, UA and AA have shared lousy reputations at times as well.
I spent the last 12 years of my airline career as an employee of US. I was proud of the airline and I know many, many dedicated and loyal employees who tried to do the best job they could. Many of us would remark "we continue to succeed in spite of ourselves." We wanted things better for employees, customers and the corporation. And we were loyal even when there was no cohesive people culture there.
I feel a sense of deja vu today with AA. That culture is lacking and no sense of the mission. I proudly support AA and want it to be the absolute best in the sky. There are great people at AA. I'm one of thousands who would like a conversation with Douglas Parker. I truly hope AA moves on and sets the standard for airline service everywhere it flies.
Its time AA. Stop rearranging the deck chairs. US has "flown west."
Good luck with your feedback.
UALFAson wrote:Some of it depended on which routes you flew. Taking the DCA-LGA-BOS Shuttle was a different experience with higher-class passengers than a lot of their leisure routes through PHX and CLT.
For a while they were in the Star Alliance and code-shared with UA, so I flew them a fair amount during that period, though I know a lot of UA frequent flyers would go out of their way to avoid US flights as the experience was substandard. And I think I always considered USAir(ways) sort of a second-class airline, compared to AA, CO, DL, NW, and UA. Maybe it was because they were a mash-up of multiple airline mergers over the years, but their logo and marketing and product and onboard service just always seemed dated. Even with their uniforms, before the AA merger, they tried going business casual with polo shirts and the like and the employees just looked ridiculous. It's like they've never ever been able to figure out who they are as a company--are we full-service business or casual leisure oriented?
That said, they had (and still have) a great route network to the Caribbean. PIT was a fantastic hub back in its day--much better than PHL from an operations and customer service standpoint. I grew up near DCA, so they will always be a bit of my hometown airline, and were, in fact, headquartered in Arlington, VA prior to the merger. I knew people who worked for them and know they have been through a lot, like PI4EVR said. I, too, hope AA can get their act together soon. Its employees and customers deserve better.
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