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Puckinflight

An all things aviation blog

Tag Archives: American Airlines

The DOT yesterday issued a “show cause” order detailing how the new Brazil slots for this year and next year are to be divided among the bidders. Here was my prediction.

This year

DL gets JFK-GRU

AA gets LAX-GRU

Next year

AA gets ORD-GRU

US gets PHL-GRU

Those were my predictions. Here is what the show cause order says

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In what is almost non-news United Airlines announced to Milepoint.com and Flyertalk.com that they will be retrofitting their narrowbody airbus fleet. The upgrades include wifi internet and AVOD and power in first and economy plus. However, the upgrades are almost entirely overshadowed by the notice that United will be installing Recaro’s slimline seats. These seats have been adopted by Southwest and numerous European carriers to universal disappointment of travelers. The seats allow the airline to reduce pitch and cram in more seats into an already cramped space.

How far we have fallen from the days of more “room in coach.” You may remember the ads from TV and here is a 2000 NYT article detailing American Airlines plan to put “more room in coach.”

United Airlines has pledged to pay for extra padding, head rests, and adjusted the seat design so that travel will not be as painful as it is on Southwest or the other European carriers that have adopted the seat. However, this remains to be proven true. Based on the description provided it looks like the seat will probably look like Recaro’s current long-haul seat the CL3620 imaged below.

turntable_55

While the current design is up in the air the other development, wifi, interests me more. Again taking a page out of Southwest’s book, United is going to add wifi internet and streaming AVOD. Southwest’s current offering is described here. I think we can expect to see something similar adopted by United, just more expensive. United previously made available to its first class passengers free Direct-TV on flights with Direct-TV. This will probably not extend to the wifi equipped plane and we will start to see first class passengers being asked to pay wifi. Cramped planes, expensive wifi, no other IFE, UA’s airbus fleet will have the same experience as US Airways’ fleet, just with more pitch and worse food.

The race to the bottom continues.

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Happy Travels!

Colpuck

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What is Standby, basically you show up to the airport in advance of your flight and try to hop on an earlier flight. Airlines used to do this as a matter of routine because it is a win-win. The airlines fill a seat that would have gone out empty and they get an open seat on a later flight that can be used for IRROPS. The passenger wins because they get to go somewhere sooner. However, US Airlines discovered this could be a revenue stream and have changed their policies to get customers to pay for the privilege.  Some airline force customers to use the “Same day confirmed or SDC” this means for a reduced fee airlines will confirm the passenger on to an earlier flight. We’ll discuss that policy in another post. So when you see references to SDC that’s what that means.

Here is the list of US Airline policies:

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Delta, American, and US Airways have submitted their complete applications for the new Brazil routes to the DOT for approval. Basically all of the follow applications say the same thing, why the applying airline would be a better choice than the other airlines. You can read all three applications in the links below if you want.

American Airlines Brazil Application

Delta Airlines Brazil Application

US Airways Brazil Application

However, there was only one thing that really interested me in the application. That one this is the projected fuel burn numbers for the route. The Airlines complain a lot about how expensive fuel is, these numbers may provide the best insight into how much the airlines actually spend. Lets have a look shall we?

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Internet check-in is a huge benefit. People can check-in online and skip some of the lines at the airport. Domestically this works really well, internationally not so much as one passenger found out.

The plan was to go from Puerto Plato, DR to Newark airport on United Airlines. The passenger in Puerto Plato was able to check-in online and print his boarding pass. When he arrived at the airport he was turned away from security for not having the right boarding pass and that he needed to get one from the check-in desk. It is easy to understand why that is. I assume most people traveling out of Puerto Plato are either unable or unwilling to use on-line check-in. So, the passenger went back to the check-in desk which had closed by the time he got there and was directed to the ticketing desk. The ticketing desk said since it was 55 minutes until departure and the cut off time is 60 minutes they were unable to issue a boarding pass. Not being able to get through security, the passenger was forced to purchase a walk-up ticket on another carrier.

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Sorry for being away for the past couple of days, I’ve been kind of sick. But anyways on the with the show.

Previously, I reported on American applying to start LA-Sao Paulo this year and Chicago-Sao Paulo next year. Now airlines had 15 days to file bids. After those 15 days had expired, US Airways and Delta both filed bids. You can read all of the information in the bids in the regulations.gov link at the bottom of the page. Now lets start with U.S. Airways bid.

U.S. Airways is asking for 7 frequencies starting this October for Charlotte-Sao Paulo and 7 starting in 2014 for Philadelphia-Sao Paulo. Currently, U.S. Airways is leasing the frequencies to run Charlotte-Sao Paulo from United, so getting these frequencies would obviate the need for the lease.

Delta is asking for 14 frequencies to run Atlanta/JFK- Sao Paulo to start this year and 7 frequencies to start Detroit Sao-Paulo next year.

So there are 14 frequencies to be allocated this year. Delta wants all 14, American wants 7, and US wants 7. There are also 14 slots next year Which Delta wants 7, AA wants 7, and US wants 7. More applicants than frequencies so some will win and some will lose. Let’s start with this year.

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Doug Parker spoke today at the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation, and Defense conference today on the proposed merger with American Airlines, who did not speak. Doug was speaking to a group of industry analysts so he was primarily in the roll of selling the merger to the bankers. He spoke and took questions for about 40 minutes and the entire webcast is archived at the link below for at least the next few months. Beyond the normal this merger is the greatest thing ever, I want to highlight a few pieces of information that he did say. Looking at the combined carrier, they expect to be the third largest on the West Coast, largest in Middle American and the largest carrier on the East Coast. Doug sold this as creating a viable third option to United and Delta. With the movement of US from Star Alliance to Oneworld it will give each alliance an equal share of the domestic market. This is just another way of stating that Delta, American, and United will all be about the same size. Finally as part of his presentation, Doug mentioned that the new AA would have over 100,000,000 members in the new loyalty program.

The question and answer section had a lot of interesting information if you look at it. In response to a question of merger difficulties he said that no matter the supposed cost benefits, the throughput costs of imposing the smaller airlines systems on the larger airline would be more expensive. This referring to United Airlines’ SHARES hiccup which wasn’t really that bad. But it does suggest that a lot of the systems will be coming from AA. Responding to a livery question Doug refused to pass judgment on AA’s new livery and said only that livery has to be professional and represent the brand. He also said what everyone already that passengers don’t care about what’s on the outside of the plane. In response to a route network question, Doug said to expect some Asia expansion but not to the level of Delta and United. Finally, when asked about the disparate nature of AA’s and US’ fleet Doug stated that there is no real advantage to eliminating large sub-fleets over 100+ aircraft but there is a distinct advantage to eliminating the small sub-fleets. Assuming current orders are correct, that would mean that Doug is going to look at eliminating AA’s 767-200s and some of their 757s. This is not unexpected, but on the US side it would include eliminating their entire widebody fleet A330’s and 767-200s, as well as their 757-200s and ERJ-190’s. Airbus has been cutting Doug sweetheart deals for aircraft for some time now. I don’t see them giving Airbus the boot, so it will be interesting to see what happens to US’ widebody fleet.

http://jpmorgan.metameetings.com/webcasts/aviation13/agenda.html

I’ll have the other participants summaries up as I write them.

Happy Travel!

Colpuck

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Allegiant Airlines today started service with their new acquired A319s. Allegiant is set to take delivery of 7 A319s from EasyJet and 9 A320’s from Iberia.

American finalized a sale and lease-back deal with ILFC for 15 737-800’s delivery to start in May and one 777-300er with delivery this month.

Currently, I am going over the webcasts from the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation, and Defense Conference. Speakers are from JetBlue, Southwest, Boeing, United, Delta, US Airways, and Alaska Airways.

Happy Travels!

Colpuck

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Back on February 20th I wrote a post about how the DOT was putting additional US-Brazil route authorities up for bid. The deadline to submit a bid is today and so far only one airline has applied for the slots. American Airlines submitted an application yesterday to start Los Angeles-Sao Paulo on Nov 21 of this year and Chicago-Sao Paulo on November 20, 2014. They plan to start service using 777-200s. For the United customers in LAX this will mark a welcome change from having to first get to IAD, IAH, or EWR, and will bring some competition with United on the ORD-GRU route.

https://puckinflight.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/new-routes-to-brazil-up-for-bid/

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=DOT-OST-2013-0041-0001

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In 2008 the DOT awarded two slots to Spirit Airlines for daily non-stop service between Washington National Airport and Fort Lauderdale Airport. In July 2012 Spirit served notice to the DOT that they were abandoning their slots when the moved from DCA to BWI. The DOT made an announcement in the Regulations.gov docket DOT-OST-2000-7182 that the two “inside perimeter” slots are again up for bid. The DCA perimeter is a 1,250 miles. So an inside perimeter flight must be within  1,250 miles of DCA. Three airlines filed bids

US Airways filed a bid to start Oklahoma City – Washington DC

Southwest filed a bid to start Houston Hobby – Washington DC

and JetBlue filed a bid to Start Washington DC – Jacksonville FL continuing on to San Juan PR.

Previously several years ago US Airways and Delta did a slot swap between New York LA Guardia Airport and Washington National. This allowed Delta to develop a large operation at LGA and allow US Airways to increase the size of their DCA operation. Now I haven’t been in DCA since 2007 so I am not too familiar with the airport. So I wasn’t too sure of the size of US Airways operation there. However, because your truly is nerd I was reading Regulations.gov and I came across this:

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