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WSJ Report Merger in Advanced Talks With USAir--The Skinny

WSJ Report Merger in Advanced Talks With USAir--The Skinny

Old Apr 22, 2005, 6:23 pm
  #16  
 
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Yeah, but we have nothing like PHL in the HP system.

And don't act like US is some grand airline with 5-star service. The first time I flew them they had us switching gates/planes multiple times in CLT with no help from their GA's. They were pretty service-less that day.

Personally, I find west coast employees to be more personable.
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Old Apr 22, 2005, 7:01 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Wilbur
Then he can pull out, US can go bankrupt and take down the whole rotted mess of US management and unions and customer-serviceless east coast employees, while HP can bid on the assets it knows more about and can value more effectively in the firesale.

This is a huge generalization and completely uncalled for. I can only imagine you refer to US employees as "Serviceless" because you had maybe one bad experience on US.

US employees are among the best in the business. Ask any US1 to tell you the top 5 reasons why he keeps flying US and I guarantee that the great service from employees is up there. You may want to take a look at the US forum to get an idea of the kind of reverence that US Preferred's hold for frontline US employees. And please don't base your opinions on single experiences with the occational sub-par employee. I find that some of the CLT and other Southern city-based FA's are some of the most hospitable people I ever encounter.

Last edited by GotCalcio4; Apr 22, 2005 at 7:06 pm
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Old Apr 22, 2005, 7:39 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by ByrdluvsAWACO
Yeah, but we have nothing like PHL in the HP system.

And don't act like US is some grand airline with 5-star service. The first time I flew them they had us switching gates/planes multiple times in CLT with no help from their GA's. They were pretty service-less that day.

Personally, I find west coast employees to be more personable.

As a resident of Pennsylvania I hate PHL too. No disagreement there. I avoid PHL as much as possible. I never stated US was a 5 star airline. My retort was based on the "serviceless east coast employees" comment. By the looks of your profile and mine we both spend a lot of time in an airport. We both know from years of experience how to manage ourselves in an airport or with an airline we fly with consistently. And from my experience I have had less trouble with "serviceless east coast employees" than anywhere else in the entire system.

You said yourself, "the first time I flew them", right there that says it all.
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Old Apr 22, 2005, 7:51 pm
  #19  
 
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Thumbs up Exciting possibility...

I am quite intrigued by the possible merging of these 2 companies. I have never flown on America West but from the website & the comments I see floating around this forum it sounds like a pretty good carrier. US has a route network that dominates the East Coast & Carribean plus has access to European routes & to the Star Alliance. HP looks to be very much a west coast carrier with connections into Mexico & Central America. The combination certainly opens up a lot of possibilities.

I agree with the previous posters that in a BK sale America West likely does not have the capital to buy up significant portions of US. It's likely other carriers would dissect the routes & take all the profitable ones leaving many destinations without service or with even more limited service.

It's funny how this industry works..I live near BTV and before JetBlue came in we were paying exhorbitant fares on US, UA, and CO. Then JetBlue arrived and all the fares went down...now, I can't get a flight on JetBlue for less than US, consistently! So, I stay with US.

If a deal can be brokered that gives US time to attrition senior staff naturally, can generate new contracts for the combined entity that are at least equivalent to, if not better than present, contracts, and can keep the best elements of both carriers intact, I think it would fly (no pun intended).

A final thought - I have stayed with US despite all of their problems because of three main things:
1. They go where I want to go at a reasonable price most of the time.
2. I have never had a bad experience with one of their employees - I
always have had great customer service at the gate and have been
accomodated without hassle during irregular travel.
3. I love the FF program and take advantage of it regularly.

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Old Apr 28, 2005, 5:55 pm
  #20  
 
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[QUOTE=trvlr64][QUOTE=Wilbur] customer-serviceless east coast employees


EXCUSE ME?! As a customer, east coast that is, of USAIRWAYS, I find this comment insulting. I have been flying USAIR/USAIRWAYS since 1987. And I have been flying WEEKLY, yes WEEKLY since 1997. And in all those years I can say I have only had to deal with 2, count them 2, poor service related issues from "serviceless east coast employees" as you so eloquently called them.

Tell me how long you have been flying and how many times you've had poor customer service with HP or any other airline?? I've had more serviceless dealings with midwest and west coast employees on other airlines than I care to remember but I don't go spouting off nonsense.

But I do recall my most recent HP flight were the FC F/A ignored us after he served us drinks so he could go back to reading his nursing school book in the galley. HHHMM? Does this count as a serviceless west coast employee?
This is an example of one of the problems that "Project Barbell" would have--that of integrating a senior "east coast" workforce, with a junior "west coast" workforce. And if the above post is magnified times the number of US/HP employees, it would be very difficult to get them to pull together. The AA/TWA "merger" had a lot of this type of problem. IMHO, it's not worth it.
I am curious why HP, a carrier that could be considered successful in the current environment, would be interested in US. US has gotten more concessions from labor than anyone else, and they are still losing piles of money. I agree with several posters that outside money in the form of bankers and funds and aircraft lessors such as GE are the ones pushing this as a means of protecting their assets. I think that they, and US, are the ones who are wooing HP in this deal.
s
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Old Apr 28, 2005, 6:26 pm
  #21  
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[QUOTE=Daze][QUOTE=trvlr64][B]
Originally Posted by Wilbur
customer-serviceless east coast employees

This is an example of one of the problems that "Project Barbell" would have--that of integrating a senior "east coast" workforce, with a junior "west coast" workforce. And if the above post is magnified times the number of US/HP employees, it would be very difficult to get them to pull together. The AA/TWA "merger" had a lot of this type of problem. IMHO, it's not worth it.
I am curious why HP, a carrier that could be considered successful in the current environment, would be interested in US. US has gotten more concessions from labor than anyone else, and they are still losing piles of money. I agree with several posters that outside money in the form of bankers and funds and aircraft lessors such as GE are the ones pushing this as a means of protecting their assets. I think that they, and US, are the ones who are wooing HP in this deal.
s
Of course, they could get the bankruptcy court to cancel all union contracts and basically keep only the US employees that they need. But, you're right. GE is pushing this and, as a large creditor, may well get its way.
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Old Apr 28, 2005, 7:33 pm
  #22  
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I think your looking at merger too literally

HP and US both do many things well and many things not so well. Granted the US Airways brand might be damaged goods today, but how long ago was it that you could say the same thing about CO. CO came back due to quality managment--the same type of management HP has. US has the finance people in control and not airline people. Let the finance people raise the money--let Parker run a combined company. Union contract and different cultures don't have to be taken care of overnight--just because that's the way its always been done before. Suppose a new holding company is formed--US Airways (they say that's the brand that would survive). Then it owns two airlines that code share everything and share a common back office. Let's call them US Airways West and US Airways East. Separate airlines--different work forces, but working together. Once US's older work force retires five years from now merge the two, but the customers have already seen it as one company. Whatever is done don't junk the European destinations. US goes to 15 of them and they are money makers. That would give a combined venture room to grow and differentiate itself from SW.
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Old May 2, 2005, 11:35 am
  #23  
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Originally Posted by abeflyer
HP and US both do many things well and many things not so well. Granted the US Airways brand might be damaged goods today, but how long ago was it that you could say the same thing about CO. CO came back due to quality managment--the same type of management HP has. US has the finance people in control and not airline people. Let the finance people raise the money--let Parker run a combined company. Union contract and different cultures don't have to be taken care of overnight--just because that's the way its always been done before. Suppose a new holding company is formed--US Airways (they say that's the brand that would survive). Then it owns two airlines that code share everything and share a common back office. Let's call them US Airways West and US Airways East. Separate airlines--different work forces, but working together. Once US's older work force retires five years from now merge the two, but the customers have already seen it as one company. Whatever is done don't junk the European destinations. US goes to 15 of them and they are money makers. That would give a combined venture room to grow and differentiate itself from SW.
This just might work IF all new employees are employed by the holding company (good luck getting that one past the unions) and US Airways East's costs are brought down to HP's level.
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Old May 2, 2005, 5:35 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by ednursevt
I am quite intrigued by the possible merging of these 2 companies. I have never flown on America West but from the website & the comments I see floating around this forum it sounds like a pretty good carrier. US has a route network that dominates the East Coast & Carribean plus has access to European routes & to the Star Alliance. HP looks to be very much a west coast carrier with connections into Mexico & Central America. The combination certainly opens up a lot of possibilities.
that's what I don't get-- what are these possibilities, exactly, beyond a potential merger of back offices? sure, HP flies to SJO and SJD, but what would that mean to a flier in the east? a trip to CLT or PHL, then PHX, then SJO?? ouch, when AA and CO can do it in 2 legs more directly. adding a marginal carrier to a very weak carrier seems to be just an accumulation of mass.
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Old May 2, 2005, 7:16 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by martin33
sure, HP flies to SJO and SJD, but what would that mean to a flier in the east?
Probably not much as those routes would serve western pax better just as US' caribbean routes don't serve people in the west so well. However, it really depends on where you are. With a little tweaking pax can do JFK-PHX-SJO on HP's system just as easy as on AA network. If you're flying from somwhere where regional service is needed to get to the hub then HP's system becomes too cumbersome.

The US half of the newly formed company would have to begin routes to SJD/SJO from both PHL and CLT just as there would need to be some PHX/LAS caribbean ns routes to eliminate double stops.
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Old May 3, 2005, 5:02 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by ByrdluvsAWACO
The US half of the newly formed company would have to begin routes to SJD/SJO from both PHL and CLT just as there would need to be some PHX/LAS caribbean ns routes to eliminate double stops.
agreed, but the former is something US could do, and the latter something that HP could do, but neither is choosing to do. I don't see why a merged system would make those choices turn around and be profitable to undertake, when neither side would be getting feed from the other for them.
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Old May 3, 2005, 8:44 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by martin33
...the latter something that HP could do, but neither is choosing to do.
Well, remember before all this merger talk started the one of the big rumors was new HP destinations in the Caribbean.

I don't see why a merged system would make those choices turn around and be profitable to undertake, when neither side would be getting feed from the other for them.
You can't look at it as two systems once a merger takes place. They will be eventually become one system. Yes, the west wouldn't feed into the eastern network all the time, and vice-versa. However, it would improve the overall usefulness of the network.

A useful network will attract more partners and passengers.

For example, HP's network will now include direct SEA-Eastcoast service. That's a market that HP never had access to.
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Old May 4, 2005, 4:26 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by ByrdluvsAWACO
A useful network will attract more partners and passengers.

For example, HP's network will now include direct SEA-Eastcoast service. That's a market that HP never had access to.
I agree, but that's only a benefit for a handful of western cities that US already serves. I would still be concerned that the increase of usefulness in the combined network is automatically quite limited because the nearest pair of hubs in the two system halves is still 1800 miles apart....
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Old May 9, 2005, 3:24 pm
  #29  
 
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i personally like the idea. everything i have heard about america west seems pretty good. usair is OK, but given their current situation, i can understand why service can lack. however, i have flown through charlotte, pittsburgh, and philadelphia numerous times, and have not had a problem at all at any times. the merger would certainly bring some relief in some markets, and with both airlines having their strengths on opposite coasts, it seems like a no brainer. i just hope the new airline if it happens, continues to stay a member of the star alliance so i can fly them and get points on UA!!!
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Old May 9, 2005, 3:25 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by martin33
because the nearest pair of hubs in the two system halves is still 1800 miles apart....
for some strange reason i thought columbus was a hub for america west. granted it's been a while since i followed the airlines, so mistake me if i'm wrong.
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