American Airlines is now offering passengers who carry just a personal item that fits under the seat — no rolling suitcases — the opportunity to board before most others. American said the change will allow flights to take off sooner, helping the airline improve its on-time performance. American tested the new boarding procedure at seven airports and began applying it to all flights Thursday, May 16. Passengers carrying a purse, backpack, computer bag or other personal item small enough to fit under the seat may now board immediately after Group 1 premium passengers. (Seattle Times/AP, 5/16/2013)
AA now offers Choice Fare Options, a program to purchase various packaged travel services at a lower cost than when selected a la carte. #1 The Choice gives customers traveling in coach the flexibility to purchase services such as
pre-reserved seating, priority boarding, Admirals Club and frequent flyer mile accrual. #2 Choice Essential, offers; no change fee, one checked bag and Group 1 boarding for an additional $68 round-trip. #3 Choice Plus, packages; no change fee, one checked bag, Group 1 Boarding, 50 percent frequent flyer mileage bonus, Same-Day Flight Change, Same-Day Standby, and a premium beverage onboard for an additional $88 round-trip. Select only the combination of services desired and pay less.
Later this month, US Airways and American Airlines are expected to merge, creating the world’s largest carrier and leaving the industry with four mega-carriers — down from the 10 major airlines that existed in 2001. The final four would be the combined American and US Airways, United Continental, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines. The four carriers would fly about 80% of the passengers on U.S. airlines. For a third of the top 1000 routes, passengers would have just one airline option for nonstop flights, while nearly half the routes would only allow two choices. Past consolidation hasn’t caused a significant spike in fares, which are expected to remain in check if the merger goes through. (CNNMoney, 2/8/13)
American Airlines and US Airways are close to finalizing a merger which would create the world’s largest airline. The carriers are negotiating price and management structure. (Rueters.com, 01/25/13)
Delta will soon open the very first outdoor terraces at Atlanta and New York JFK airports.The Sky Deck at Delta Sky Club will debut this May in JFK’s Terminal 4 and this summer in Atlanta’s new international terminal in concourse F with impressive views of the runways. (BusinessTraveller.com, 01/29/13)
Hundreds of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners remain grounded worldwide while investigations into lithium batteries and electrical
systems are conducted. (TravelMole.com, 01/29/13)
American Airlines has unveiled a new look that is inspired by the company’s past while demonstrating a commitment to progress. American’s new logo — the Flight Symbol — contains the eagle, the star, the “A,” and refreshed shades of red, white and blue — many of the colors and symbols travelers have come to associate with American. American has indicated that its new logo and the refreshed look and feel of its planes are light, vibrant and modern, reflecting the travel experience the company aims to bring to its customers. In view of improving its fleet, American is also adding an average of three or more planes each month. (AA.Com, January 2013)
American Airlines has made some major changes to its first- and business-class in-flight service on international flights. The changes are in effect on flights operating on Boeing 777-200ER, 767-300ER, and 757-200 aircraft flying to Europe, Asia, and long-haul to Latin America. Flights aboard the airline’s new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will also offer the upgraded meals and amenities when these aircraft go into service at the end of this month. Some of the most noticeable changes are in the amenity kits. First-class passengers will receive an amenity kit filled with Dermalogica skin care products. It also doubles as a tablet computer case. Passengers traveling in business class get a more traditionally-shaped amenity kit stocked with Akhassa skin care products. (FrequentBusinessTraveler, 01/07/13)
During the first 10 months of 2012, on-time arrival rates at US airports were the highest they have been since 2003, with 82% of flights landing within 15 minutes of their scheduled time. Late flights cost the airlines customers,
and money. With the margin between profits and losses so thin in the post-recession economy, many airlines are paying more attention to punctuality, and the stepped-up efforts are showing results. All JetBlue employees on a flight, whether they are flight attendants or the chief executive, start cleaning right after passengers leave. Within a minute of landing, Alaska Airlines cabin doors are opening. JetBlue Airways executives are donning plastic gloves to help flight crews pick up trash, and American Airlines baggage handlers are tracking luggage using handheld devices. Southwest Airlines operations supervisors are poring over the timing of every flight, tweaking locations for crew changes and scheduled maintenance. Boston.com, 12/23/12
US Airways, US, and American Airlines, AA, appear to be in private talks about merging the two carriers as AA undergoes debt restructuring. The down side of an AA, US merger could be higher airfares and tech snafus as they combine systems. The up side, the AA pilots union supports the move. (TravelMole.com, 12/17/12)
Star Alliance members, US Airways and South African Airways announced a new codeshare agreement, facilitating broader global network access for the passengers of each carrier. (TravelMole.com, 12/18/12)
American Airlines has revamped its fee structure and will now charge up to $88 more per roundtrip for basic tickets which include checked bags and reservation change fees. AA currently charges separate fees for these and other extras except on premium tickets. The new fare levels are named “Choice,” “Choice Essential” and “Choice Plus.”
American Airlines and its pilots union have come to a tentative agreement that could lead the way out bankruptcy for the carrier. The last round of negotiations ended in summer with pilots calling in sick and writing up minor maintenance issues, resulting in flight delays and a steep drop in AA’s on-time arrival statistics. Pilots could be voting within 3 weeks.
AA is eager to return to a place of industry leadership, profitability and growth while taking the necessary steps to achieve its restructuring goals and emerge from the Chapter 11 process as soon as possible.