The merger of American Airlines and US Airways has been written about at length since the two companies came together last year. I’ve written my own smattering of posts ranging from things I hope do not change with American and AAdvantage, to things I really hope will change. I am one of a handful of folks that supports the new frequent flier program maintaing the AA way of handling elite upgrades. I have my reasons, not the least of which is that a system in which you have to “pay” for an upgrade likely means improved upgrade chances for lower level elites.
I opined recently that the new management team is getting more right than wrong when it comes to the merger. That said, no one is perfect, and they recently took a slapping on some catering decisions they’ve made. At least they recognized the issue. At the moment, I remain hopeful about the outcome of the merger that has now formed the world’s largest airline. That’s not to say that I don’t have concerns as a traveler who occasionally flies American and has a bit of history with the carrier. In no particular order of importance and recognizing some of the more important questions like the reservations system have been answered, here are three questions I have for the new American.
Power – What are your plans for in-seat power for your entire fleet? When America West merged with US Airways, in-seat power was disabled in the legacy US Airways fleet. I’m aware that there is a cost for installing and maintaining these systems. However, there’s a cost to the airline for not offering power…the loss of my business. In-seat power is a factor in my choice of airlines. If my choices are an airline that offers it and one that doesn’t, I go with the one that does. I know I’m not the only traveler who feels the same way.
IFE – Do you have plans to standardize entertainment options across the fleet? IFE is not a deciding factor for me as long as I have wi-fi access. It is important to a lot of travelers. Over the longer term, will the fleet be a hodgepodge of ex-US bare bones airplanes, and ex-legacy AA pimped out with IFE airplanes or somewhere in between?
Wi-Fi – Will you standardize wi-fi access across the fleet? I know US Airways committed to inflight wi-fi after holding out, even equipping the larger EMB 17X fleets at the regional level. What about the rest of your large RJ fleet?
In truth, I could probably come up with 300 questions as opposed to just three, but these are the questions on my mind right now. American fliers, what questions do you have for the new management team at American?
-MJ, October 7, 2014