I recently wrote a post on the top three things I hope US Airways does not change about American. In fairness, I thought I would offer my thoughts on the three things that I hope US Airways will change about American. Again, this is written with the assumption that a merger of some description does occur.
Upgrade with Miles – I prefer the Dividend Miles mileage-based upgrades to American’s version. My favorite feature of the Dividend Miles mileage upgrades is that they adjust based on length of flight, and you can upgrade for as little as 5,000 miles and a $25 co-pay which is waived for elite members. One improvement I’d like to see from both airlines is the ability to upgrade your ticket with miles online. Currently, both carriers require a phone call for this.
Reliability – It’s nice to see recent improvements in American’s operational reliability, and I hope it continues. You might remember that I temporarily broke up with American a few years ago for far too many delayed and canceled flights. My experiences with US Airways, on the other hand, have shown the airline (once it got its act together after the US/HP merger) to be extremely reliable, both from an on time performance perspective, and a flight cancellation perspective.
Attitude – No, I’m not talking about employee attitudes, though that is very important, and probably deserving of its own post. I’m talking about corporate attitude. I remember when American Airlines was kicking a$$ and taking names, and grown men and women that had known him for years still addressed the boss as Mr. Crandall. For far too many years, American has been in retrench and retreat mode. One could argue successfully that the bankruptcy may have addressed some of the underlying reasons for this, but it’s more than that. Like them or not, it’s hard to make a case that the US Airways team has not managed to make something out of not much. They are, I think, hard chargers who will perform even better leading a new American. I know many worry that the new airline will head more towards the current US model, leaving behind many of American’s recent improvements. I think the opposite will happen. If I’m wrong, I’ll admit it here.
Interesting times in the airline industry, and I suppose we’ll know whether any of this matters or not sometime in late 2013 or early 2014. HT to Very Good Points for inspiring this post.
-MJ, October 18, 2013