I suppose all of this could be for naught if US Airways and American are not successful during their upcoming antitrust trial, but let’s just imagine for a minute that they are. The merger ultimately goes through. US Airways and American eventually become one. Dividend Miles and AAdvantage eventually morph into one big….very big…. AAdvantage.
AAdvantage – The obvious one. Aside from a some recently well publicized issues with availability across the pond, AAdvantage really is my favorite mileage program. I like the fact that it does not feature 12 different status levels, has mostly decent award availability, and here’s another thing I like. I like the requirement to use some kind of script for upgrades. I like that your companion upgrades with you. And I don’t mind paying for upgrades with miles, “stickers” or coupons.
The Admirals Club – I catch a little flack for defending Delta, and especially the Sky Clubs. Well, I catch a little flack for defending Delta’s comp bar choices in the Sky Club mostly. Here’s a little secret I haven’t shared with anyone. I don’t blog about every flight I take, every airline I fly, every ocean I cross, or every lounge I visit. I let go of the notion long ago that the domestic US airlines are ever going to offer the same kind of lounge product that their European or Asian brethren do. Lounges for the US airlines are for profit internal enterprises that must stand on their own. From my perspective, American’s Admirals Clubs are tops. The facilities are nice enough, but I don’t think they’re necessarily any nicer than a Sky Club or United Club. The difference? The people. Especially the front desk who are obviously empowered to make things happen for their customers.
At Seat Power – The latest edition of US Airways caught some flack for removing at seat power on legacy US Airways aircraft following the takeover by America West. MJ’s take – deservedly so, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. I don’t think the new US management team gets enough credit from frequent flyers for salvaging an airline that was on the verge of going away. The cost to provide at seat power is real. There are install costs, ongoing maintenance costs, and even fuel costs from the weight of the systems necessary to deliver power to seats. I am fairly confident that US Airways management understands the differences between the airline they currently manage, and the airline they will ultimately lead following the merger. The revenue vs. expense equation will be different, and frankly, the customer base will be different. I realize that I am a sample-size of one, but rest assured, if I have a choice between an airline that has power at the seat, and one that doesn’t, I’m flying with the one that does. I don’t think I’m alone.
Now you know my three most prized things about American Airlines. The only reason I did not list inflight wi-fi is that US Airways had done a good job of pushing that out to their own fleet, so I’m not worried about it going away with the new American. I stopped myself at three. Are there other things that you hope US Airways does not change about American?
-MJ, October 9, 2013