I don’t think so. Yes, I’m dancing around the edges of my no commenting on the merger restrictions, but I think this is worth a post. What am I talking about? The perception, worry, fretting, downright fearful thoughts that the positive things American Airlines has accomplished with customer experience in the last year or 2 are about to be rolled back to the dark ages. While I can’t allow myself to think that nothing is going to change, I think some of the worry is overblown.
US Airways is not American Airlines (and vice versa), and the new managers know it. Somehow they took the cobbled-together airline that was US Airways, and made it work. Were there missteps along the way? There sure were, but I believe the relatively reliable airline that US Airways has evolved into offers a glimmer of hope for the future. Admittedly, I am a glass half full kind of guy, but I am convinced the new managers understand the task ahead of them, and get the fact that they are going to be leading a much larger, stronger, and hopefully better airline. The revenue vs. cost equation will change with the merged airline, and maintaining a revenue premium will be important to the airline’s success. I think they did what they had to do with US Airways, and now that they are merging with American, are well aware that the new airline will need to be managed differently than US alone.
The new leadership at American has the advantage of going last, and learning from the mistakes of others as well as their own. In keeping with my prior “Three Things” posts that I hope will and will not change about the new AAdvantage program, look for my “Three Things That Almost Certainly Will Change at the New American” post next week.
-MJ, November 15, 2013