I’ve written a bit here and there about Doug Parker and the new American Airlines. For the record, I’m solidly in the camp that the airline where I “cut my teeth” had a little trimming around the edges to be done, even after bankruptcy. I catch a little heat about it from the vocal among us, but I’m of the opinion that the new management team will be a net positive when it’s all said and done. That’s not to say that I do not think there’ll be any hiccups along the way.
The airline industry is fascinating for sure. Where else could the success or failure of a multi-billion dollar enterprise responsible for flying kerosene filled aluminum tubes at 9 miles a minute be judged by too much sauce on a second rate cut of beef presented on a 3 hour domestic flight? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Don’t get me wrong, food matters too, it’s just that I think a dose of perspective along the way might be a helpful thing.
Putting two airlines together is no small feat, and I just don’t think it’s possible that nothing goes wrong in the process. What really matters is how those missteps are addressed. Personally, I don’t consider AA’s recent meal changes a misstep, but let them know if you do. Knowing what I know, every complaint gets read, and every data point gets collected. Things can change. In the meantime, the real heavy lifting in putting together the world’s largest airline remains to be done. I’m still of the mind that Doug Parker and crew realize that the new airline is not simply a bigger US Airways, and will get it right in the end. I’ll be watching what happens. I know you will too.
-MJ, September 25, 2014