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Thread: Southwest & American Airlines

  1. #601
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihavebeenseen
    So AA is going to close up some smaller operations around the country and circle their wagons at DFW to squeeze the hardest on their customers with the least access to competition.
    I'm sure they wish it hadn't come to this. I imagine the jury is still out on the bag fee. But think about it for a moment: Jet fuel prices are up over 80% in the past year. Assuming all other costs have remained steady (and they haven't), where is AMR supposed to find the revenue to offset that increase?

  2. #602
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    Can we dump the Wright Amendment now... it's obvious we could be stuck w/ a big airport and a bankrupt carrier! Southwest is the ONLY airline that can make money...and now has (by far) the best service.

  3. #603
    High-Rise Member PuddinHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St-T
    Can we dump the Wright Amendment now... it's obvious we could be stuck w/ a big airport and a bankrupt carrier! Southwest is the ONLY airline that can make money...and now has (by far) the best service.
    Well what do you know? St-T worried about the future of DFW. News flash for you ST this sort of situation was the reasoning behind the Wright Amendment to begin with.

  4. #604
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    Is there any word on the "smaller operations" they plan to cut? I am assuming that means pulling out of some cities?

  5. #605
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuddinHead
    News flash for you ST this sort of situation was the reasoning behind the Wright Amendment to begin with.
    What... having the residents of North Texas pay monopolistic, above-market airfares to subsidize American Airlines and thereby insulate them from market forces?

  6. #606
    High-Rise Member PuddinHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    What... having the residents of North Texas pay monopolistic, above-market airfares to subsidize American Airlines and thereby insulate them from market forces?

    Uptown,

    You really should try to learn the history of the situation before you make canned spin comments like that.

  7. #607
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    Wright Amendment Changes Force AA to Cancel Flights

    American Airlines to end New York-Stansted flights
    Associated Press 05.28.08, 9:27 AM ET

    NEW YORK -

    AMR Corp.'s American Airlines said Wednesday it will stop flying between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and London's Stansted Airport less than a year after launching the route.

    The move, which takes effect July 2, is part of the leading U.S. carrier's plan to cut costs and shed capacity by 11 percent to 12 percent in the face of rapidly rising fuel prices. Flights to London's Heathrow Airport are not affected by the change.

    Fort Worth, Texas-based American launched service to Stansted in October, hoping to gain a larger share of the lucrative trans-Atlantic business travel market. Its entry was seen as partially responsible for the failures of all-business class carriers MAXjet Airways and Eos Airlines Inc., which quit flying from the airport in recent months.

    On Tuesday, American said it will discontinue its Chicago-Buenos Aires service and Boston-San Diego service on Sept. 3, and Chicago-Honolulu service on Jan. 5. It will also restructure American and American Eagle operations at San Juan, Puerto Rico, beginning in September
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  8. #608
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    I always read that AA has near the most cash on hand, yet they are cutting services, adding fees, etc., like they're a couple weeks away from Chapter 11. Meanwhile, Delta is adding routes/services/etc. (cutting back some routes recently, though). It will be interesting to see how this plays out and who remains fitter for it.

    I, for one, am glad I don't work as an airline exec at the moment. I'm sure it hasn't been much fun recently.

    Mike Boyd, of The Boyd Group, has some interesting analysis newly posted to his website. He says that moves by AA and the others to charge customers for 'extras' to get out of the fuel cost pit is a losing game.

    Alienating The Revenue Source, i.e., The Customer. The most obvious and most recent sign of a panicked retreat from the crisis is American's decision to charge for any checked luggage. Whether it spreads across the industry or not makes no difference: it is a bad service decision. Really, really bad. People inherently travel with things like clothing. Often, that entails the need for a checked bag. It is unreasonable to sell a ticket and then tell the customer his change of underwear and extra suit for that important meeting is going to be an extra $15 bucks.
    Charge Ransom To Get Out Early. Another carrier has implemented a no-exceptions policy of charging $50 if a passenger is at the airport, and wants to leave on an earlier flight that has seats available. Needless to say, most people won't pay it.

    Not only is such a policy the direct equivalent to what picadors do to a bull in the ring, it is also very misguided customer management. Once a paying passenger is in the terminal, the objective is to get him or her out of town as fast as possible. That flight he's booked on in two hours might be delayed. Overbooked. Canceled due to weather. Get him on the earlier flight, and wave good-bye to what could have been a problem later on. So to deny a willing, same-day paying passenger an open seat on an earlier flight without first paying a $50 ransom is another sign of let's-get-the-dough panic. It is not good policy.
    He does neglect to mention that Southwest has been charging this 'ransom' for years... and it can be far more than $50.

    Mr. Boyd's solution to airlines' fuel cost woes? Less regional jet flying which he describes as a loss leader, and making airline operations more efficient in an effort to save precious time (and fuel). I agree with him there.

    See: Oil: $125+
    But It's Not The Major Cost Problem For Airlines

  9. #609
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    Quote Originally Posted by interestedobserver
    Mr. Boyd's solution to airlines' fuel cost woes? Less regional jet flying which he describes as a loss leader, and making airline operations more efficient in an effort to save precious time (and fuel). I agree with him there.
    Still trying to decide whether to cover my short on ExpressJet; it's hard to see how that carrier will be able to avoid bankruptcy.

  10. #610
    Skyscraper Member ksig121's Avatar
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    Dear Platinum Member,

    As you are probably aware, we recently announced a change to our checked baggage policy for travel on domestic economy class tickets. I want to take this opportunity to emphasize that these additional baggage fees do not apply to you. As a benefit to our valued AAdvantage Platinum members, you will still be able to check two bags free of charge (within current size and weight limits). In addition, customers flying on the same reservation with you are also exempt from the new checked baggage fees. For a recap of our updated policy, and to view a list of frequently asked questions, visit the link below:

    http://www.aa.com/aa/pubcontent/en_U...heckBagFee.jsp
    Also, as an AAdvantage Platinum member, you will continue to be among the first customers to be boarded. This should provide ample time to locate available space for your carry-on luggage, settle in and attend to business well before takeoff.

    Thanks for flying with us. It's always a pleasure to serve you.

    Regards,


    Rob Friedman
    President
    AAdvantage Marketing Programs



    I got this e-mail yesterday from AA. While it's great that I won't have to pay to check my bags, the assurances that there will be ample overhead space because I board first are not very comforting. Anyone who has flown out of DFW on a Monday morning knows that usually a good 60% of the plane is Platinum or above.

    I can just see delays happening because of the lack of overhead space on these flights. Or worse yet, you'll get the guy who tries to cram his overstuffed roll-aboard into the same compartment as your briefcase and crushes it. I don't see this policy being sustainable.

  11. #611
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    If they gate check your bag, do you have to pay the fee? People will just stop checking it at terminal, get to the gate, say oops, too big and hand it to flight attendant.

  12. #612
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksig121
    I got this e-mail yesterday from AA. While it's great that I won't have to pay to check my bags, the assurances that there will be ample overhead space because I board first are not very comforting. Anyone who has flown out of DFW on a Monday morning knows that usually a good 60% of the plane is Platinum or above.
    The overhead situation, then, should not change for you as Platinum. Since elites are exempt from the fee, their carry-on habits shouldn't change. And any non-elites boarding before you because they're in First are also exempt. About the only thing that will affect elites is the number of non-elite pre-boarders.

    True, though, that overhead space will be limited for those boarding near the end. Having elite status is becoming essential if you want to have a quasi-decent flying experience.

  13. #613
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjblazin
    If they gate check your bag, do you have to pay the fee? People will just stop checking it at terminal, get to the gate, say oops, too big and hand it to flight attendant.
    And this will lead to:

    1) an increase in delays, as flight attendants have to deal with the mess created by families lugging all their stuff on board towards the end of the boarding process (each family member being tasked with carrying their maximum allowance);

    2) an increase in misrouted bags, as harried ground staff quickly hand write bag tags (which lack bar coding) with incorrect or illegible final destination airport codes.

    Good times.... good times...

  14. #614
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    And this will lead to:

    1) an increase in delays, as flight attendants have to deal with the mess created by families lugging all their stuff on board towards the end of the boarding process (each family member being tasked with carrying their maximum allowance);

    2) an increase in misrouted bags, as harried ground staff quickly hand write bag tags (which lack bar coding) with incorrect or illegible final destination airport codes.

    Good times.... good times...
    I heard a news story on the radio yesterday, that delays getting through the TSA check have gone way up due to two factors.
    1) More people are using carry on's to avoid the checked baggage fee, resulting in more baggage checks, resulting in longer in line waiting times.
    2) Carry on's being stuffed a lot fuller to avoid checked baggage, resulting in a lot more bags needing to be opened because the inspector can't see what is inside due to the overstuffed condition. Then when they go to close the overstuffed bag it causes more delays.

    Now the longer lines at TSA is causing non AA customers delays as well. It sounded as though the TSA was upset with AA because they did not give the TSA any advanced notice of the change, the TSA found out at the same time the public did. Way to go AA management team, never miss an opportunity to piss off everyone. :2crazy:
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  15. #615
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPlus

    Now the longer lines at TSA is causing non AA customers delays as well. It sounded as though the TSA was upset with AA because they did not give the TSA any advanced notice of the change, the TSA found out at the same time the public did. Way to go AA management team, never miss an opportunity to piss off everyone. :2crazy:
    They article says they will not start charging till june 15th. So either it is people getting ready for the change, or something else.

  16. #616
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtownguy25
    They article says they will not start charging till june 15th. So either it is people getting ready for the change, or something else.
    Well, in fairness, AA (and many other airlines) initiated second bag fees a few weeks back. Although there was advance notice, just like this time for the first bag fee as you correctly note. But facts never stand in the way of gratuitous AA bashing.

  17. #617
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    American adds $5 fee for AAdvantage awards, increases miles for some award tickets

    1:21 PM Thu, May 29, 2008 | Permalink | Yahoo! Buzz
    Suzanne Marta E-mail News tips

    An eagle-eyed American Airlines platinum flier brought to our attention that the Fort Worth-based carrier has announced several changes to its AAdvantage frequent flyer program.

    Starting June 21, members booking an award ticket online will now have to pay a $5 processing fee.

    American announced several other changes on Thursday.

    For bookings made on or after Oct. 1, certain kinds of tickets --mostly seats in the premium cabin or "anytime" tickets -- will require more miles, and you can no longer pay to make up for being short on miles to use for award tickets. (You'll have to buy additional miles from the carrier instead.)

    And flyers will need more miles to book award tickets to Hawaii during the most popular times.

    Here's a list of the changes.


    A scan of the frequently-asked-questions the airline published suggests the new fee will help American offset the technology investments the airline has been making to its site.

    The $5 will be your cheapest option, since calling the carrier will cost you $20.

    The new booking fee doesn't apply to the program's executive platinum flyers, or for award tickets that already require a fee.

    On its Web site, American says it's increasing the number miles required for some types of award tickets to "ensure equal value for American Airlines and for our customers."
    It cites more ways for customers to earn miles, which American says off-sets those increased mileage requirements.

    Award tickets to Hawaii booked for flights during the popular spring, summer and Christmas and New Year's seasons, will now cost 45,000 miles.
    American also separated China into its own award region -- citing additional network options since the Dragonair joined the Oneworld alliance.

    Mileage levels required by other members in the Oneworld alliance have not changed.

    The carrier will also implement a co-pay of $150 for using miles for upgrades to Colombia,Ecuador,Peru, or Venezuela. The co-pay isn't requied if you buy a full-fare economy class ticket or a full-fare business class ticket.

    The carrier had previously implemented similar fees for upgrading with miles from other discounted tickets for travel to and from Hawaii and between North America and Europe, India, Japan/Northern China, and South America.

  18. #618
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    You Think Flying Is Bad Now...

    Something has to give as airlines adjust to $130 oil and brace for a record yearly loss. Not all of the majors will survive
    by Dean Foust and Justin Bachman
    http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/...527_408257.htm

    To fully appreciate the impact that soaring oil prices have had on the nation's beleaguered airline industry, consider that U.S. carriers will likely spend $60 billion on jet fuel this year—nearly four times what they paid in 2000. Because of the spike in fuel costs, airlines now lose roughly $60 on every round-trip passenger, a slow bleed that puts the industry on pace to lose $7.2 billion this year, the largest yearly loss ever.

    Not surprisingly, Wall Street has become so dour about the industry's prospects—can you say federal bailout?—that the combined market capitalization for the six major legacy carriers and Southwest Airlines has fallen to just over $17 billion. That's about what ExxonMobil (XOM) books in revenues every two weeks. "The U.S. airline industry, as it is constituted today, was not built for $125-per-barrel oil," Gerard Arpey, the chief executive of American Airlines parent AMR (AMR), told shareholders on May 21.

    Consolidation Is Likely
    While the industry is no stranger to losing money—or reorganizing under bankruptcy, for that matter—experts nonetheless believe that the current crisis has the potential to profoundly reshape the industry in coming years. That means not only far fewer carriers than at present, but forcing the survivors to rethink every facet of how they operate, from ticket pricing to the very way they fly. "The problem right now is that no one knows where the price of oil is going to fall down," says Darryl Jenkins, an aviation expert at Ohio State University. "Right now you're just in kind of the worst of all possible situations. Your planning becomes 'What do we do to lose the least amount of money?'"

    If oil prices remain in the triple digits—above the $80-to-$90 break-even level for most airlines—it will accelerate the shakeout that is already occurring in the industry. While many carriers have in the past exploited bankruptcy as a competitive maneuver to cut costs, experts believe that any carrier that falls into Chapter 11 going forward will likely have to liquidate. That would probably include one or more of the major airlines. "I think the real risk this time is not Chapter 11, but [Chapter] 7—liquidation," says a senior executive of one major airline. "What happened to Pan Am? TWA? Eastern? I think there's a real risk here that some airlines just go away."

    A court-overseen bankruptcy also could help smooth the industry's transformation if creditors decide the environment is too hostile and agree to sell off valuable assets. Historically, airlines have attracted sufficient funding to operate while restructuring, and new capital when they exit. It's not clear that current market conditions—high oil prices and credit-squeezed lenders—would support that playbook. Airlines with the financial muscle to step in—think Southwest (LUV)—would be interested. Southwest historically has avoided major acquisitions and considers them a steep risk but clearly recognizes potential opportunity in a bankrupt rival. "It just gives the acquiring carrier a tremendous amount of flexibility to impose change that would otherwise be very difficult," says Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, whose company has remained profitable because of long-term fuel contracts.

    European Buyers
    Analysts say liquidations could well leave an industry consisting of two dominant carriers, most likely the combined Delta (DAL)-Northwest (NWA) and perhaps a combined American (AMR)-Continental (CAL), along with a couple of discount players like Southwest. "I think the industry is going to look more like Europe—a couple of far-flung carriers and then a bunch of little guys," says Roger King, airline analyst for CreditSights, a New York-based institutional research firm.

    Experts also believe that the oil crisis will eventually prompt Washington policymakers to drop their long-standing resistance to foreign ownership of U.S. carriers, leading to the first generation of truly global carriers. "The U.S. airlines badly need more capital to survive, and the only players with the resources to buy in are the [cash-rich] European carriers. Why would Congress object to that?" asks Robert Mann, an industry consultant in Port Washington, N.Y.

    That could give British Airways (BAY.L) the opening for the acquisition of American it has long coveted, and a similar move by Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) on either United Airlines (UAUA) or JetBlue Airways (JBLU), in which it already owns a 19% stake. For all its aviation woes, the U.S. remains the largest, most lucrative travel market in the world. "Don't you think BA would fall over itself to buy American Airlines for $1.6 billion?" King says. "That's peanuts to them."

    Creative Pricing
    This consolidation will come with a cost: Experts believe that for the U.S. industry to shrink to a size that would allow the surviving carriers to earn a profit will require hefty fare hikes and a 20%-to-25% cut in capacity. That means fewer routes, fewer flights, and even more crowded planes. The biggest losers would be smaller cities like Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Baton Rouge, La., that became accustomed to dozens of daily flights, usually on 50-seat jets that the majors use to feed traffic to their hubs. But oil priced near $130 has rendered those smaller jets uneconomical, meaning that carriers are likely to fly one much larger plane on marginal routes each day, but no more. "We might keep one flight just to keep Congress off our back," muses one industry executive.

    Coast-to-coast flights will change, too. With roughly 30% of the weight of any transcontinental flight consisting of the fuel alone, meaning airlines are burning fuel just to carry fuel, carriers can be expected to replace many of those longer nonstops with one-stop flights, intended largely for refueling.

    The era of cheap fares will end, too. Since deregulation in 1978, fares have fallen by more than 50% in real, inflation-adjusted terms. Prices will rise, and airlines will become even more creative in how they set fares. Some experts like Mann wonder if carriers won't begin charging passengers by weight, as air-freight companies do to transport goods. "There's a huge cost difference between flying a grown man and a 50-pound child," Mann notes. Industry executives say they can't see that happening any time soon—"too politically incorrect," as one notes. Adds Southwest's Kelly: "I just don't think it makes a lot of sense."

    But the airlines will take other steps to wring more cash out of passengers, as American did last week in announcing plans to charge $15 to check a bag starting June 15. It will mean selling even more classes of service, and charging a premium for window, aisle, and exit-row seats as well as those at the front of the plane. Airlines will also create more levels of service off the plane as well, starting with a separate class of check-in, boarding, and baggage-claim service for travelers willing to pay more for the privilege of zipping in and out of airports quicker.

  19. #619
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    I have flown American about 99% of the time, but things have gotten so, so bad recently.

    Yesterday, as I was arriving to the airport, I am notified that my flight is being canceled, and they would not give the reason other than that she just did not know why.

    Instead of 12:30pm they wanted to get me out at 9:30 pm. I was not happy to say the least, especially with no reason as to why I was going to have to wait at the airport for 11 hours.

    I took DART to save money on parking ($70 bucks saved!), but the trip took an hour and a half from Richardson, so I was not ready to go back (which would result in a total of 4.5 hours on the DART when you combine the trip home, and the trip back to take the 9:30 flight).

    When I get to the airport, I ask why the flight is canceled, and she tells me without emotion, "out of service." I say "what?," and she tells me, in the tone like I am a 4 year old "The. Plane. Is. Broken." What a wonderful way to say it AA!!!

    I tell her there is no way I am going to wait for 11 hours, but she says the next flight at 3:25 is heavily oversold (another great thing AA loves to do). She is going to try and book me a Continental flight with a connection that won't get me to McAllen until 6pm anyway, but I tell her thats better than leaving at 9:30. She gets on the phone and says its going to be a 30 minute wait. With Continental on the phone, she PICKS UP HER CELL PHONE and begins talking with her boyfriend/husband/lover on the other ear. She talked to Continental for awhile, and later answered her cell again and resumed talking to the person on a personal call. I knew that my temper was going to explode, so I looked away for the rest of the time so I wouldn't get rude. She kept talking about how Continental has such a bad system, which I thought was funny since I couldn't imagine a system much worse than this one. Finally, a spot magically opened up on the oversold 3:25 flight, and I was set to arrive only 3 hours late. Better than 9 hours late, as they told me at first.

    Anyone have this kind of treatment on Southwest? And this flight was booked on a very loyal and active AAdvantage account, probably why I got on the flight but the 20 or so people on standby did not. Still I have never heard of such treatment on Southwest.

  20. #620
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt777
    Anyone have this kind of treatment on Southwest? And this flight was booked on a very loyal and active AAdvantage account, probably why I got on the flight but the 20 or so people on standby did not. Still I have never heard of such treatment on Southwest.
    Yes, I have had terrible service on southwest. It was a flight out of msy, per usual I was the last one to board the flight just to find out there were no seats left on the plane. They had issued more tickets than seats and allowed 3 of us to get on the plane just to find out we did not have seats. It was the last flight of the day so I had to fly out the next day.

    Another last flight for the day, the plane was delayed 45 min for one passanger to connect on, their first flight with southwest had been delayed. This happens to me quite often to me on southwest. The entire plane waits for one passenger to make the connection.

    On another flighthe flight attendants gave my date a terrible time on another flight. The date was a flight attendant for delta and they felt the need to harrass my date.

  21. #621
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Don't know if this has been posted yet. It's a CEO piece on Southwest Airlines' Gary Kelly, in which he discusses the successes of the airline, the Wright Amendment [repeal], recent FAA security issues, fuel hedging, corporate culture, profitability, future international routes, as well as strategies for the future. IMHO, this is a very interesting piece!

    go to the following link, and click the interview on the right.
    http://www.kera.org/video
    Last edited by Mballar; 03 June 2008 at 11:53 AM.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  22. #622
    High-Rise Member PuddinHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt777
    I have flown American about 99% of the time, but things have gotten so, so bad recently.

    Yesterday, as I was arriving to the airport, I am notified that my flight is being canceled, and they would not give the reason other than that she just did not know why.

    Instead of 12:30pm they wanted to get me out at 9:30 pm. I was not happy to say the least, especially with no reason as to why I was going to have to wait at the airport for 11 hours.

    I took DART to save money on parking ($70 bucks saved!), but the trip took an hour and a half from Richardson, so I was not ready to go back (which would result in a total of 4.5 hours on the DART when you combine the trip home, and the trip back to take the 9:30 flight).

    When I get to the airport, I ask why the flight is canceled, and she tells me without emotion, "out of service." I say "what?," and she tells me, in the tone like I am a 4 year old "The. Plane. Is. Broken." What a wonderful way to say it AA!!!

    I tell her there is no way I am going to wait for 11 hours, but she says the next flight at 3:25 is heavily oversold (another great thing AA loves to do). She is going to try and book me a Continental flight with a connection that won't get me to McAllen until 6pm anyway, but I tell her thats better than leaving at 9:30. She gets on the phone and says its going to be a 30 minute wait. With Continental on the phone, she PICKS UP HER CELL PHONE and begins talking with her boyfriend/husband/lover on the other ear. She talked to Continental for awhile, and later answered her cell again and resumed talking to the person on a personal call. I knew that my temper was going to explode, so I looked away for the rest of the time so I wouldn't get rude. She kept talking about how Continental has such a bad system, which I thought was funny since I couldn't imagine a system much worse than this one. Finally, a spot magically opened up on the oversold 3:25 flight, and I was set to arrive only 3 hours late. Better than 9 hours late, as they told me at first.

    Anyone have this kind of treatment on Southwest? And this flight was booked on a very loyal and active AAdvantage account, probably why I got on the flight but the 20 or so people on standby did not. Still I have never heard of such treatment on Southwest.

    Yes, the latest instance was 27th of May due to the weather. The Southwest Gate Agents played the same game as what you describe in your post. Except that what you consider rude for AA (smart remarks) is considered cute for Southwest. Go Figure?

  23. #623
    Skyscraper Member ksig121's Avatar
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    What is it with AA's ground crew?

    I had a similar incident happen last week after we arrived at the gate. A supply truck backed right into the plane! I feel for the folks on their way to SLC. At least I had made it home when my incident occurred...

    http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/a...-by-truck.html

    AA jet gets bumped by truck
    2:11 PM Tue, Jun 17, 2008 | Permalink | Yahoo! Buzz
    Terry Maxon E-mail News tips
    So, your airplane is leaving the gate and all the sudden you feel something bang the airplane. It happened Monday night at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on an American Airlines flight headed to Salt Lake City.

    Asked about the incident, an American spokesman told me via email:

    During pushback from the gate, an unmanned AA maintenance truck rolled back and struck the right wing of the airplane. We don't know yet if the brakes on the truck were not set or if they failed.
    The aircraft is out of service until tomorrow. The flight wasn't cancelled, but "RON"-ed - Remained Over Night. So, the passengers just departed, on another aircraft obviously, at 9:32 a.m. today.



    A Utah-bound passenger described it this way, via email:

    I just boarded AA Flight 2059, 16 June 2008 at 9:50pm. The plane had just left the terminal in Dallas and was taxi-ing out from the gate on to the runway.
    The plane collided with an airport vehicle (truck) while taxi-ing on the runway!!! There was a huge bang and the plane shook violently from side to side then stopped. The crew got out and inspected the plane then brought it back to the terminal and unloaded all the passengers.

    The passengers ended up spending the night in Dallas because AA could not get another plane / pilot for the flight to SLC

  24. #624
    High-Rise Member PuddinHead's Avatar
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    Wonder why Southwest has such a hard time stopping their planes? Oh well at least this one stayed on the runway


    http://cbs11tv.com/local/Southwest.A....2.749603.html



    Southwest Plane Lands In Phoenix With Wheel Ablaze
    PHOENIX (AP) ―
    A Southwest Airlines flight landed at Sky Harbor International Airport on Monday with flames coming from a wheel in its right rear landing gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PuddinHead
    Wonder why Southwest has such a hard time stopping their planes? Oh well at least this one stayed on the runway
    Maybe they came in behind an AA MD-80. Something probably fell off the MD-80 and caused the blowout on the 737.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    Maybe they came in behind an AA MD-80. Something probably fell off the MD-80 and caused the blowout on the 737.
    :2lol:

    Yeah, the "Super" 80s suck. I wish AA would replace them more quickly. I half expect to walk on one of those and find a smoking section...

  27. #627
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksig121
    I had a similar incident happen last week after we arrived at the gate. A supply truck backed right into the plane! I feel for the folks on their way to SLC. At least I had made it home when my incident occurred...

    http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/a...-by-truck.html
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...14/ai_59459333

    Crash Landing in Thunderstorm Triggers Safety Overhaul at American Airlines

    It was the sixth fatal accident in the 1990s for American Airlines (AA) and its regional subsidiary, American Eagle. If crystals reveal their hidden structure when broken, three days of fact-finding hearings conducted here by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) probed for the hidden cracks in American Airlines' safety program. Everything from cockpit procedures to the company's safety culture was put under the microscope. The NTSB's inquiry revealed numerous cracks. American Airlines officials already have moved aggressively to repair many of them, but at this juncture one overarching recommendation seems sure to emerge from the NTSB's investigation: thou shalt not fly into thunderstorms. The Safety Board has found that airliners are routinely flying into thunderstorms. In this respect, American's Flight 1420 was the unfortunate casualty of a pervasive practice.
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  28. #628
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    Southwest Airlines and the FAA Revolutionize the Skies

    Required Navigation Performance Procedures Reduce Aircraft Emissions, Congestion, and Fuel Costs

    Last update: 4:00 p.m. EDT June 19, 2008
    DALLAS, June 19, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --

    Southwest Airlines Senior Director of Flight Operations Jeff Martin spoke today about the benefits of RNP (Required Navigation Performance) and Southwest's progression on RNP implementation fleet-wide at the Eco-Aviation Conference in Washington, D.C. -- follow this link to view the complete presentation: http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/press/rnp.pdf. RNP is one of the cornerstones for the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Next Generation Air Traffic Control System, bringing together the accuracy of GPS (Global Positioning System), the capabilities of advanced aircraft avionics, and new flight procedures.

    "RNP allows the aircraft to fly more precise, direct, and accurate paths, allowing more 'lanes' to be built into the same limited airspace," said Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief of Operations Mike Van de Ven. "We applaud the FAA's forward thinking, and we are grateful to work in conjunction with the agency to revolutionize our nation's airspace."

    In support of the FAA's Roadmap for Performance-Based Navigation, Southwest has made a commitment to invest $175 million over the next six years to implement RNP procedures at all 64 airports the airline serves. The initial investment will provide longterm benefits to industry congestion and aircraft efficiencies. For a single minute of time saved on each flight, the annual savings quickly add up to 156,000 metric tons of reduction in emissions per year (by 2015), and $25 million in fuel savings per year.

    "Southwest Airlines is thrilled to enhance our green efforts," Martin said. "Another obvious benefit in this environment of escalating energy prices is the ability to save on fuel burn."

    To help develop its RNP program, Southwest Airlines has partnered with Naverus, the worldwide leader in RNP development. Since May 2007, Southwest, Naverus, and the FAA have been working together to gain Air Traffic Control support of RNP to train the airline's pilots on RNP, equip the airline's entire fleet to be RNP capable, and produce RNP charted procedures.

    "A Southwest, FAA, and Naverus partnership is necessary to ensure our technical and economic success," Martin said. "The FAA cleared the path, and Naverus continues to share its RNP experience and expertise in supporting our RNP program."

    "Implementing RNP offers the single greatest opportunity to make near-term gains in reducing harmful emissions, improving fuel efficiency, increasing airspace capacity, and maximizing flight safety," said Dan Gerrity, CEO of Naverus. "By embracing RNP across all its routes, Southwest is once again demonstrating the leadership for which it is so well known."

    Southwest's Boeing 737-700 aircraft provide a wonderful RNP platform and are currently equipped and capable of operating these new procedures. Additionally, the airline has made investments to update its Classic fleet and have already begun to incorporate these new processes into its Flight Operations training. The next milestone will be choosing the airport(s) to kick off the integration of these new procedures.

    "Our goal is to begin flying RNP procedures in fall 2009, with a ramp up through 2013 as our classic aircrafts are modified," Martin said. "We are currently exploring the benefits of several airports for RNP implementation, including a few in our own backyard."

    BENEFITS OF RNP
    -- Increased airspace capacity
    -- Operational efficiency
    -- Environmentally friendly
    -- Noise reduction / avoidance
    -- Lower environmental emissions (By 2015 we anticipate reducing emissions
    by nearly 156,000 metric tons per year, which is the equivalent of more
    than 100,000 mid-sized cars driving roundtrip from Dallas to Washington
    DC, or generating electricity at 69,000 U.S. households for one year.)
    -- Reduced track miles -- conservative estimates of reducing flying
    routes by three nautical miles can equate to a $25 million dollar
    annualized fuel savings
    -- More efficient aircraft operation
    -- Continuous descent arrivals
    -- Aircraft can fly more directly and remain higher for longer which
    reduces noise impact on the ground.
    -- Increased Safety
    -- Paths engineered to avoid obstacles

    About Southwest

    After 37 years of service, Southwest Airlines, the nation's leading low-fare carrier, continues to differentiate itself from other airlines -- offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the most productive airline in the sky and offers Customers a comfortable traveling experience. Southwest offers a very comfortable ride with all premium leather seats and plenty of legroom with a young all Boeing 737 fleet. Southwest recently updated its gate areas and improved its boarding procedure to make flying Southwest even more convenient and simple. Southwest Airlines , the nation's largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 64 cities in 32 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 34,000 Employees systemwide. http://www.southwest.com

    About Naverus

    Naverus is the worldwide Required Navigation Performance leader having created the overwhelming majority of active RNP procedures worldwide. Uniquely combining expertise in avionics, aircraft operations, and procedure design, Naverus works with airlines and air navigation service providers to find optimal solutions to their specific routes and challenges. Airlines seek Naverus RNP flight paths to save fuel, reduce carbon emissions, reduce miles flown, reduce block times, and help air traffic systems to gain new efficiencies. The company's customers include Airbus, Air China, Air New Zealand, Boeing, CAAC, COPA, IATA, jetBlue, Jetstar, SkyEurope, Southwest, Qantas, Virgin Blue, and WestJet and others. Naverus Inc. is a privately-held Seattle company founded in 2003. http://www.naverus.com

    SOURCE Southwest Airlines

    Link to story:
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

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    American Airlines to cut 42 flights at DFW Airport

    03:56 PM CDT on Wednesday, June 25, 2008
    By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
    tmaxon@dallasnews.com

    American Airlines Inc. said it will cut 42 American Airlines and American Eagle flights at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and reduce flying at its other hubs and major airports in November.

    Among the impacts:

    •American will eliminate 19 flights at D/FW Airport and American Eagle will cut 23 flights.

    •Chicago O’Hare will lose 28 American flights and 34 American Eagle flights.

    •St. Louis will see the loss of eight American flights and 35 American Eagle and American Connection flights.

    •American will close its Barranquilla, Colombia, station, along with two other airports already announced for closing, Oakland, Calif., and London Stansted.

    American also said it plans to cut five American flights and 37 American Eagle flights at New York LaGuardia Airport, Saying that should help reduce delays and improve the customer experience.

    “Today, the dependability and delay issues that exist at LaGuardia have reached a crisis point and have a daily negative impact on the overall customer service and performance for every airline with flights at LaGuardia,” said Bob Reding, American’s executive vice president of operations.

    American Eagle also told its employees that it would park 29 regional jets, the 37-seat Embraer ERJ-135, as part of American Eagle’s plans to reduce its capacity 10 to 11 percent. As of Dec. 31, 2007, American Eagle operated 39 of the ERJ-135 aircraft.

    AMR Corp 5.66
    4:00:29 PM ET -0.05

    Previous close: 5.71
    That grounding is in addition to its plans to park its fleet of Saab 340 turboprop aircraft, a decision announced in late May.

    “There can be no doubt that this reduction will negatively impact hundreds of Eagle pilots as well as other work groups,” said pilot Herb Mark, chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association unit at American Eagle.

    However, Mr. Mark told members that American Eagle management had agreed to take back 10 larger regional jets that it had leased to Trans States Airlines, a decision that will save about 100 Eagle jobs.

    American and many other U.S. airlines have announced plans to reduce flying capacity in response to soaring jet fuel prices.

    The carriers are targeting money-losing routes, and they’re hoping that a reduced supply of seats this fall and winter will enable them to push fares up faster than they’ve been able to do so far this year.

    American on May 21 announced it would reduce its domestic flying by 11 to 12 percent by fourth quarter 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.

    As part of the cutbacks, American said American Eagle would close its San Luis Obispo, Calif., maintenance base and eliminate service to Albany, N.Y.; Providence, R.I.; Harrisburg, Pa; Samana, Dominican Republic; and San Luis Obispo.

    While a number of carriers including Delta Air Lines Inc., United Airlines Inc. and Continental Airlines Inc. have announced layoffs, American hasn’t done so yet – although chairman and chief executive officer Gerard Arpey confirmed that the job cuts would be in the thousands.

    “American and American Eagle regret the potential impact these schedule changes will have on its people,” American said in its announcement Wednesday. “The company is in the process of determining the overall impact on its employees, and it is the company’s intent to offer voluntary programs before moving to involuntary separations.”

    In summer, American operates about 500 daily departures at D/FW Airport, its largest airport for flights and passengers, and subsidiary American Eagle, its regional partner, operates around 285.

    Combined, the two airlines carry about 85 percent of that airport’s passengers. In 2007, nearly 51 million passengers boarded or got off American and American Eagle flights at D/FW Airport.

  30. #630
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    Puddin, by any chance, is your real name Tim Wagner (http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfa...uestions.php)?

    You are the only two people still defending the Wright Amendment.

  31. #631
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    Stephan & Dean: still dueling after all these years
    4:00 PM Thu, Jun 26, 2008 | Permalink | Yahoo! Buzz
    Kim Pierce E-mail News tips
    http://eatsblog.guidelive.com/archiv...l-dueling.html

    aa conclave.jpgIt was with much fanfare that American Airlines celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Chefs' Conclave today at the Milestone Culinary Arts Center and Viking Cooking School with a cooking duel between two of Dallas' favorite sons/celebrity chefs.

    Here was the set-up: Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles (both of eponymous restaurant fame, above-ish with Nancy Brussat, another conclavite from Convito Cafe & Market in Chicago) would each prepare three entrees - chicken, seafood and beef. A panel of three judges would pick the winner from each pair, which the airlines would add to its First and Business class menus for the fall.

    ...

  32. #632
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    Southwest Expands to International Service

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5877010.html
    __________________________________________________ _______________


    July 8, 2008, 11:02AM
    Southwest Airlines to go international via WestJet

    Associated Press

    DALLAS — Southwest Airlines said today it plans to offer international service — a first for the low-fare carrier — through a deal with Canada's WestJet.

    Southwest said it has taken the first step toward striking a so-called code-sharing agreement with WestJet.

    The airlines said they planned to announce schedules and other features of the partnership by late next year. The agreement is subject to review by U.S. and Canadian regulators.

    Under most code-sharing deals, airlines sell tickets on each other's flights and share the resulting revenue. Southwest passengers could connect to a WestJet flight to Canada. Frequent-flier programs are typically reciprocal.

    Southwest Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Kelly has often talked about offering service to nearby international destinations using a partner airline.

    "We are confident that we've found a perfect fit with WestJet, and we are excited to work toward opening our expansive U.S. network to include Canadian destinations," he said in a statement.

    The two airlines have similar histories. Southwest started in the 1970s ferrying passengers around Texas on three planes. It later expanded to both coasts and now serves 64 cities with about 3,400 daily flights and 34,000 employees.

    Dallas-based Southwest has never offered international flights, and a code-sharing service to Hawaii ended when partner ATA Airlines failed.

    WestJet was created as a regional carrier serving five cities in western Canada and has expanded to 49 locations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Like Southwest, it uses Boeing 737 aircraft.

    WestJet CEO Sean Durfy called the prospect of a Southwest deal "a defining moment for WestJet." He said an agreement would significantly improve the reach of both airlines.

    Shares of Southwest rose 54 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $13.69 in midday trading today.
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  33. #633
    Skyscraper Member ksig121's Avatar
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    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT

    Dallas bound flight diverted to Ark., then La.


    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Passengers on a Dallas-bound flight that made an emergency landing in Arkansas because of smoke in the cockpit were diverted again, this time to Louisiana, because of storms, authorities said.

    The flight was again on its way to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport late Tuesday, American Airlines spokesman Charley Wilson said.

    Flight 1257 landed in Little Rock just after 3:30 p.m., airline spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said. None of the 127 passengers and five crew members was injured, Huguely said.

    The plane parked away from the airport's terminal as a precaution, Little Rock National Airport spokeswoman T.J. Williams said. A shuttle bus took passengers and crew to the terminal, Williams said.

    Huguely said the light haze of smoke dissipated after the pilot shut down the cockpit's electrical system and depressurized the plane's cabin. She said the plane, which departed from Indianapolis, was taken out of service and will be inspected.

    The passengers were later placed on a plane brought in by American Airlines from Tulsa, Okla., but storms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area forced that plane to be diverted to Shreveport, La.

    "The weather created a bit of unexpected traffic congestion," Wilson said.

    The flight was one of 56 American flights diverted from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport because of the storms.



    Not only did the cockpit fill with smoke, but so did part of the main cabin.

    I was on this flight and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with American's performance. The Captain kept the passengers well informed and the flight crew was amazingly friendly and efficient. Once we landed in Little Rock (which is basically just a regional airfield) the gate crew was very helpful and patient considering that they never get flights this size at that airport. Don't get me wrong, it did suck to be stuck in Little Rock for three hours waiting on a replacement plane, but I've had far worse experiences on AA in less trying circumstances. AA gets beat up a lot on this forum. I just wanted to post something positive for a change.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ksig121; 09 July 2008 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Added photos

  34. #634
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    Airlines ask travelers to lobby about oil prices

    In letter to frequent filers, they ask for help in curbing speculation

    ATLANTA - The chief executive officers of a dozen U.S. airlines, beset by record fuel costs that have caused several to cut jobs, reduce capacity and impose higher fees on customers, are now asking for their customers' help to curb the rise of oil prices.
    ;
    ;
    "We need your help," the letter to customers says. "Get more information and contact Congress."

    It is signed by the CEOs of Northwest Airlines, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Midwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25612414/
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

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    That "corporate culture" at AA has an incredibly detrimental impact on the way a lot of the AA employees interact with and treat their customers.

    I fly AA and SWA quite a bit, and have dealt with lots of delays/cancellations/problems on each, but the way those are handled and communicated show the difference in the two airlines.

    I get a lot of condescending, "you're lucky we're even talking to you" attitude from AA, and generally, much better communication from SWA.

  36. #636
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulsaweather
    That "corporate culture" at AA has an incredibly detrimental impact on the way a lot of the AA employees interact with and treat their customers.

    I fly AA and SWA quite a bit, and have dealt with lots of delays/cancellations/problems on each, but the way those are handled and communicated show the difference in the two airlines.

    I get a lot of condescending, "you're lucky we're even talking to you" attitude from AA, and generally, much better communication from SWA.
    I have dated people that worked for AA, Delta, United, SW, Qatar Airways and Emirates. From talking with them about their companies they are really all the same. Dealing with communication, all US airlines are terrible at it.

  37. #637
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtownguy25
    I have dated people that worked for AA, Delta, United, SW, Qatar Airways and Emirates. From talking with them about their companies they are really all the same. Dealing with communication, all US airlines are terrible at it.
    :2lol: :2lol: :2lol: I call pudden juice on your inclusion of SW into your dating material. :2lol:
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  38. #638
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    Earnings Preview: Loss seen for American Airlines

    Associated Press 07.15.08, 9:26 AM ET

    DALLAS -

    AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, reports second-quarter earnings on Wednesday. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst opinion related to the period.

    OVERVIEW: High fuel costs and fear of a slowing economy have dealt a powerful one-two punch to the nation's airlines, which were profitable last year but are running up big losses this year. Fort Worth, Texas-based American was also hit hard in the second quarter by a series of safety inspections that grounded its fleet of MD-80 aircraft.

    [Snip]

    American was the first large U.S. carrier to announce a $15 fee for passengers who check even one piece of luggage. And it raised fares several times this year. But the moves have not overcome the cost of fuel, which has risen about 50 percent this year. The Air Transport Association predicts U.S. passenger and cargo airlines will spend $61.2 billion on fuel this year, up from $41.2 billion in 2007.

    [Snip]

    BY THE NUMBERS: Analysts, on average, expect American to report sales of $6.14 billion and a loss of $1.40 per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial. That estimate does not include special items, and AMR said this month it would take a charge of $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion in the second quarter to write down the value of its gas-guzzling MD-80 and Embraer (nyse: ERJ - news - people ) fleets.

    Analysts predict a full-year loss of $7.33 per share on revenue of $23.89 billion.

    ANALYST TAKE: Calyon Securities analyst Ray Neidl this month widened his second-quarter loss estimate for AMR. He said AMR is burning cash faster than rivals who lowered their costs through bankruptcy, but is not as close to insolvency as others, because it could raise more cash with a stock offering that would dilute the value of current shares.

    WHAT'S AHEAD: American faces tough negotiations with its labor unions, who want to regain wages lost in 2003 contracts. Pilots have been outspoken in their criticism of management, blaming executives for not running the airline as well as Southwest Airlines (nyse: LUV - news - people ).

    [Snip]

    STOCK PERFORMANCE: The shares have been on a steady descent from about $40 in early 2007 to under $5. Lately, the shares have moved in the opposite direction of oil prices. The shares fell 28 cents, or 5.9 percent, to close at $4.47, on Monday.


    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/...partner=alerts
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  39. #639
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPlus
    I call pudden juice on your inclusion of SW into your dating material.

    Not sure what you are referencing here, but hasn't everyone nailed a WN stew at least once?

  40. #640
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    hell no dated one flight attendant and never again the rest were pilots

  41. #641
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtownguy25
    hell no dated one flight attendant and never again the rest were pilots
    You gotta watch out for some of those kinda Guys, I hear they will date anyone.
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  42. #642
    Just Changing Planes aygriffith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulsaweather
    I get a lot of condescending, "you're lucky we're even talking to you" attitude from AA, and generally, much better communication from SWA.
    Southwest isn't considerably better when it comes to customer service.

    While I find from frequent flying on AA that most of their problems and situations are because of old equipment and that every flight from the east coast gets delayed and causes problems for arriving and departing passengers. I think that the staff sees this on a daily basis and takes for granted how inconvient it is. Because of this they don't sympathize, and really neither do most frequent travelers.

    My example is one from a week or so ago. I was going DFW-PHL on a sunday afternoon. The AA plane was delayed 30 mins boarding. We sat at the gate for almost an hour inside the plane while they were fixing the air conditioning. It was probably 85 degrees inside the plane and we all were sweating none the less. Some lady gets up and tells the FA that she is really hot and this is ridiculous. The flight attendant says "Maam, all the passengers are really hot, I'm really hot. We know there is a problem. If we deboard you it will take 30 mins each way to do so and you'll be even more late." We did eventually deboard shortly after the incident, and then reboarded 10 mins later and we were delayed 3 hrs total but I almost broke out into applause because that flight attendant basically told this lady to shutup. Rude? Maybe... Consistant? Always.

    On my short lived patronage of Southwest, almost every single problem or situation that is created is one by the idiotic passengers that fly that airline. The whole airlines customer base seems to be infrequent travelers, and frankly the "I paid for this ticket, I am the king of the airplane" attitude of vacationers makes me want to open the door at 30k feet and jump out. The good attitude that you usually get from SWA staff seems to be at the disadvantage of the other 100 people in the airplane. I've heard more ridiculous, "SWA let me do this or get away with this or jump in this line etc etc etc" than I can stomach. I'm glad you think you should always be boarded first even when you are group 999, but I'm even more distrubed by the gate agent that lets you do it. If I sat down in a seat and and you get the flight attendant to tell me to move seats because you and your 4 kids all want to sit in the aisle/same row/window/etc, I just think you are rude and the FA is equally inconsiderate.

    AA seems to realize through all their percieved bad customer service that for some of us flying is part of our job and we do it multiple trips a week. Their attitude, while not always how vacationeers want to be treated, is consistant and I appreciate them for it. SWA thinks that everyone should have their turn feeling like the most important person in the plane usually at the expense the other flyers.

  43. #643
    Skyscraper Member ksig121's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Southwest isn't considerably better when it comes to customer service.

    AA seems to realize through all their percieved bad customer service that for some of us flying is part of our job and we do it multiple trips a week. Their attitude, while not always how vacationeers want to be treated, is consistant and I appreciate them for it. SWA thinks that everyone should have their turn feeling like the most important person in the plane usually at the expense the other flyers.
    If you like consistently bad customer service, then more power to you. I fly AA at least twice a week. At least once a week, I am shocked at something that I hear come out of an AA employee's mouth to a paying customer. No one is forcing them to stay in their jobs. Just beacuse delays are a normal part of their work day doesn't mean that everyone else has to suck it up and get over it.

    I'm not one of those passengers who get upset at gate agents or flight attendants for events that are out of their control, but I do demand a certain level of customer service. The fact is, that AA is hurting for revenue right now and can't afford to alienate any paying customer. They don't seem to get this, though. That is a large reason why SWA is kicking AA's a**. SWA consistently has a better on-time record than AA eventhough they deal with these "vacationers" who feel like they are the most important person on the plane.

    By the way, a LOT of business travelers outside of DFW fly SWA exclusively. The reason why most business travelers in the DFW area fly AA is beacuse of the number of non-stop flights that are offered because of the Wright amendment. As soon as that is lifted, SWA is going to gain a huge chunk of market share from AA.

  44. #644
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    Quote Originally Posted by aygriffith
    Southwest isn't considerably better when it comes to customer service.
    That statement is directly contradicted by nearly every (every?) customer service tracking measure used in the airline industry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksig121
    The fact is, that AA is hurting for revenue right now and can't afford to alienate any paying customer. They don't seem to get this, though. That is a large reason why SWA is kicking AA's a**.
    I think the largest reason why Southwest is 'kicking AA's a**' is due to smart fuel hedging. Passengers easily forget poor previous experiences when it comes time to lighten their wallets. The cheapest fare will almost always win out, regardless of airline.

  46. #646
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    Quote Originally Posted by interestedobserver
    I think the largest reason why Southwest is 'kicking AA's a**' is due to smart fuel hedging. Passengers easily forget poor previous experiences when it comes time to lighten their wallets. The cheapest fare will almost always win out, regardless of airline.
    I was referring to SWA'a advantage in customer satisfaction ratings. You are right about the fuel hedging. It underscores what I believe to be the fundamental difference between AA and SWA. The corporate culture of each company is evident in their profitability and customer service ratings. SWA is innovative, proactive and very focused on their front line employees. AA on the other hand is reactive, deeply entrenched in it's legacy carrier business model and steps on their front line employees in order to maintain the status-quo. The most important of those characteristics is is the treatment of their front line employees. If the people who are taking care of your customers are happy, then generally, your customers are happy. It's not rocket science.

    The fact that AA doesn't get this amazes me. I work in the corporate office of a major retailer and I couldn't imagine my company asking our front line employees to take a massive pay cut to help keep the company out of bankruptcy only to turn around and give our managers at the corporate offices huge bonuses.

    I may be naive, but I have always believed that if you take care of your people, that your people will take care of you. Maybe AA knows something that I don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    That statement is directly contradicted by nearly every (every?) customer service tracking measure used in the airline industry.
    Performance indices yes but consumer opinions are arbritrary. Not everyone has the same experience with either airline.

  48. #648
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksig121
    I was referring to SWA'a advantage in customer satisfaction ratings. You are right about the fuel hedging. It underscores what I believe to be the fundamental difference between AA and SWA. The corporate culture of each company is evident in their profitability and customer service ratings. SWA is innovative, proactive and very focused on their front line employees. AA on the other hand is reactive, deeply entrenched in it's legacy carrier business model and steps on their front line employees in order to maintain the status-quo. The most important of those characteristics is is the treatment of their front line employees. If the people who are taking care of your customers are happy, then generally, your customers are happy. It's not rocket science.

    The fact that AA doesn't get this amazes me. I work in the corporate office of a major retailer and I couldn't imagine my company asking our front line employees to take a massive pay cut to help keep the company out of bankruptcy only to turn around and give our managers at the corporate offices huge bonuses.
    Hitting the nail on the head. SWA didn't just luck into hedging their fuel costs, and luck into saving their profitability because they accidently back into a fuel hedge.

    The fuel hedging program is just indicative of the forward-thinking, long term strategy that has always in been in place at SWA. From having the foresight to use profits to purchase future streams of fuel, to purchase new fuel efficient aircraft, to pay their front line employees a decent wage, SWA thinks long term.

    Contrast this with most other airlines, (AA included and perhaps the worst example), profits have gone to exhorbitant Executive salaries and bonuses, dividends, and other stockholder and executive interests. The product gets the leftovers, from aircraft to employees. That is why you see American 7 years late finally announce that they were going to start retiring their MD-80 fleet and A-300 fleets. Why retire the MD-80 when in the short term, it was more cost-effective to keep the old birds running. Don't have to spend capital on new aircraft!!!! Well, now that fuel costs are about to push AA to the brink of bankruptcy, now they come to the realization that maybe it is time they start replacing our 25 year old, gas guzzling fleet!!!! Ya think? I'm glad the management of AA is hear to tell us these things!

    Now they are cutting pilots, maintenance, flights. Cutting their product down to the bone, service is only going to get worse, delays are going to go up, safety is going to be impacted. American has put itself in a position where they are one crash away from going under. Why? Because they simply have done nothing to improve their product in years.

  49. #649
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Rodriguez
    Hitting the nail on the head. SWA didn't just luck into hedging their fuel costs, and luck into saving their profitability because they accidently back into a fuel hedge.

    The fuel hedging program is just indicative of the forward-thinking, long term strategy that has always in been in place at SWA. From having the foresight to use profits to purchase future streams of fuel, to purchase new fuel efficient aircraft, to pay their front line employees a decent wage, SWA thinks long term.

    Contrast this with most other airlines, (AA included and perhaps the worst example), profits have gone to exhorbitant Executive salaries and bonuses, dividends, and other stockholder and executive interests. The product gets the leftovers, from aircraft to employees. That is why you see American 7 years late finally announce that they were going to start retiring their MD-80 fleet and A-300 fleets. Why retire the MD-80 when in the short term, it was more cost-effective to keep the old birds running. Don't have to spend capital on new aircraft!!!! Well, now that fuel costs are about to push AA to the brink of bankruptcy, now they come to the realization that maybe it is time they start replacing our 25 year old, gas guzzling fleet!!!! Ya think? I'm glad the management of AA is hear to tell us these things!

    Now they are cutting pilots, maintenance, flights. Cutting their product down to the bone, service is only going to get worse, delays are going to go up, safety is going to be impacted. American has put itself in a position where they are one crash away from going under. Why? Because they simply have done nothing to improve their product in years.
    Hindsight is 20/20. Of course, now, it's easy to say hedging was the right thing to do. Had oil not skyrocketed in price, however, Southwest would not be so 'wise'. But that's not to say that I think they are lucky. As stated before, they definitely did the smart thing. Good management, no doubt.

    Regarding AA doing 'nothing to improve their product in years', well that's flat out wrong. They've launched a new international business seat/product, have a very nice AA.com mobile site (which Southwest would be wise to emulate should it want to make further inroads with business travelers), are in the process of revamping/refreshing the interiors of certain aircraft types (757s and 762s) and are beginning the trial launch of inflight WiFi for certain markets before they expand it. Now, I'm not saying that flying AA these days is much fun (especially in coach), but let's be factual here instead of hyperbolic.

  50. #650
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksig121
    I was referring to SWA'a advantage in customer satisfaction ratings. You are right about the fuel hedging. It underscores what I believe to be the fundamental difference between AA and SWA. The corporate culture of each company is evident in their profitability and customer service ratings. SWA is innovative, proactive and very focused on their front line employees.
    Exactly! It is no secrete that by hiring people with a "good attitude" and treating them well everything else works much better. Its all about the people and the cooperate culture. In 1996 a great and humorous book was written about SWA titled "NUTS". That book is still relevant today and has been used many times by other business leaders and consultants as an example of how to break out of the traditional us vs them mentality within most companies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Rodriguez
    Hitting the nail on the head. SWA didn't just luck into hedging their fuel costs, and luck into saving their profitability because they accidently back into a fuel hedge.

    The fuel hedging program is just indicative of the forward-thinking, long term strategy that has always in been in place at SWA. From having the foresight to use profits to purchase future streams of fuel, to purchase new fuel efficient aircraft, to pay their front line employees a decent wage, SWA thinks long term.
    Both of you are spot on in your observations. On the topic of fuel hedging alone, it clearly illustrates the FREEDOM the SWA employees have to innovate, to try things new without the fear of failing if something does not work out. What we see today as a brilliant decision, was at the time it was suggested full of risks. No one knew for sure what oil prices were going to do, if they had stayed flat or crept down SWA would have been paying more for fuel than if they had done nothing (the AA approach). The corporate culture of SWA has always allowed the people of SWA to try innovative business things, without the fear that if it does not work out heads will roll. Many things have been tried, that did not work out, and would have resulted in the looping off of heads at traditional businesses. Instead at SWA management says, o-well, lets move on, and by the way do you have another idea....later looking back everyone has a laugh about it and folks try something new. The fuel hedging was the RESULT of SWA culture, and the freedom it brings to the employees. The RNP program SWA is working on today is another example of the freedom to innovate, and the money in the bank from past successes to make it happen.
    Last edited by TexasPlus; 18 July 2008 at 09:18 PM.
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