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ARCHIVE: AA announces Premium Economy / PE / PEY coming for domestic (May 2016)

ARCHIVE: AA announces Premium Economy / PE / PEY coming for domestic (May 2016)

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Old Jul 29, 16, 1:38 am   -   Wikipost
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Old May 18, 16, 11:10 am
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Viewfromthewing picks up (and confirms) this story today:
http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea....uation-elites/
Thanks Jon. I expect they know quite a bit more about what the plan to do here than they are letting on at this point, but that's normal. They'll wait until all details are locked down before sharing.
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Old May 18, 16, 11:12 am
  #32  
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Originally Posted by ty97 View Post
Thanks Jon. I expect they know quite a bit more about what the plan to do here than they are letting on at this point, but that's normal. They'll wait until all details are locked down before sharing.
Yup, we'll have to wait for the leaks to commence
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Old May 18, 16, 12:25 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by abk View Post
We are now in a race to the bottom. With the old management I always thought they saw value in not being the stingiest of the big three but the new regime, not so much, in fact not at all. There is no way that MCE is premium anything that would make it an actual step between coach and bus/first domestically. I am actually looking at BA WTP and see the value in that as I do CX PE but on AA as the seating is currently configured there is no way.
Don't make the mistake of comparing, say, an AA ticket between DFW and ORD with a BA WTP ticket between LHR and JFK. They're different products. BA's Euro Traveler is a better comparison and is substantially worse than AA's domestic coach, with 28-30" pitch. Yes, they have meal service on a 2 hour flight (in "J") but regular coach is now BOB which I assume will be similar to the other IAG carriers, EI, IB, VY, and I2.
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Old May 18, 16, 12:36 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Viewfromthewing picks up (and confirms) this story today:
http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea....uation-elites/
As Gary says, it's hard to imagine this being anything other than a DL clone: make the MCE seats a separate fare class (W) and possibly provide some extra soft product. There's no room I can see for a hard product between MCE and domestic F.

It does make sense from the point of view of connections to international W; an international W fare would obviously book into domestic W as well and thus get MCE seats. I don't know if AA's technology is capable of assigning a MCE seat at no charge on a domestic coach ticket connecting from international W; do they do that currently (with partner-operated W)?

Personally, I have very little desire for any enhanced soft product domestically. The hard product is what I care about, and I won't be happy if/when this involves paying for an enhanced soft product I don't want in order to get the hard product I want. But I presume that AA's goal is to leverage that to get more for MCE seats than they currently do, as well as allow revenue management to limit the freebie MCE for elites so they can sell it to non-elites (as Delta does). This isn't a surprise, but I'm not wild about it.

Now, if AA is doing something different and rebranding the current domestic F as premium economy (since it's essentially the same seat as international premium economy), that's a change I could see the logic of (though it would hurt in terms of EQM earning for those who purchase F). But I highly doubt that.
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Old May 18, 16, 1:10 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by ashill View Post
As Gary says, it's hard to imagine this being anything other than a DL clone...
I wouldn't agree that Gary puts it quite that strongly, he states:

So at this point we’re just guessing, but we can make very educated guesses.

The most likely scenario...
Regardless, he's guessing, you're guessing, others are guessing-- but that's all it is, guesses.

I'm not allowed to give mine.
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Old May 18, 16, 1:29 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post

Regardless, he's guessing, you're guessing, others are guessing-- but that's all it is, guesses.

I'm not allowed to give mine.
But do you think that they would have a first class section, a PE section AND an MCE section on the domestic fleet? I don't. Especially since there are so many sub-750 mile flights in the network.
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Old May 18, 16, 1:38 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Regardless, he's guessing, you're guessing, others are guessing-- but that's all it is, guesses.

I'm not allowed to give mine.
To slightly change one of my heros' famous lines: I feel safer about gleff's guesses than most other people's facts.
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Old May 18, 16, 1:47 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
To slightly change one of my heros' famous lines: I feel safer about gleff's guesses than most other people's facts.
Absolutely agree 100%
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Old May 18, 16, 2:15 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
I wouldn't agree that Gary puts it quite that strongly, he states:
Absolutely. I guess what I really meant to say is that I personally have trouble imagining a scenario other than Gary's guess being basically right.

Regardless, he's guessing, you're guessing, others are guessing-- but that's all it is, guesses.
Absolutely, again. But I have trouble seeing what else this could be. I don't think Gary, I, or anyone else are going far out on a limb, though I've certainly been wrong many times before. (Gary less so.)

Last edited by ashill; May 19, 16 at 7:02 am Reason: reword
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Old May 18, 16, 2:17 pm
  #40  
 
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AA already has domestic Premium Economy. They just sell it as F.
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Old May 18, 16, 2:55 pm
  #41  
 
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Okay, some more ideas on a PE domestic product:

-Could require some more serious commitment of MCE on LUS craft (which I still feel is mostly uncertain/unconfirmed except for a handful of craft). This might be a good thing.
-MCE is already expensive. This may simply allow them to change how they promote it including even more benefits. This might be a good thing if it doesn't become its own fare class (there is no need for them to do this I think).
-Technology limitations or rather costly technology modifications. Perhaps making these sophisticated offerings would require more technical changes, and I still feel some of the delay in the revenue-based RDM are related to the cost/benefit or making the changes. In that same presentation, technology investment came up. I will take my slow ticketing versus AA being able to segment certain aspects even further (like PE or basic economy). Especially since AA is already doing online meals, etc. I also think AA internally is not shy about buying technology for startups, so I am not really sure what technology is needed.

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Old May 18, 16, 3:02 pm
  #42  
 
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By no means surprising - and from my perspective, this could be an enhancement, depending on what soft-product improvements they offer, and whether it impacts the first-class upgrade process.

My biggest concern at this stage is whether AA will adopt DL's horrible policy of prioritizing upgrades based on the status of the lowest-ranked medallion member on the reservation (rather than the highest, as AA currently does on its F upgrade list).
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Old May 18, 16, 3:15 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by rasheed View Post
-MCE is already expensive. This may simply allow them to change how they promote it including even more benefits. This might be a good thing if it doesn't become its own fare class (there is no need for them to do this I think)
Hmmm, I'd say MCE is free - or rather earned through the purchases I already make on AA - not expensive. Domestically I am skeptical that PE is going to be anything but a no-change or downgrade of the benefits I currently get as an EXP.

And I think that the introduction of international premium economy - which is a distinct hard product - does argue for the creation of a separate fare class, so that tickets which are purchased in international PE have a corresponding fare on any domestic legs.

Last edited by bse118; May 18, 16 at 3:22 pm Reason: typo
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Old May 18, 16, 5:53 pm
  #44  
 
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For most, a MCE seat is "earned" by flying with AA to achieve status. I fly on AA regardless if I have to pay more (or less) than a competitor.

While there are a few who "game" the system, the vast majority of fliers will fly because they will have to.

Ostensibly (as a guess) AA will now to charge even more for elites to get even a basic "decent" seat.

AFAIK, most of us agree that AA's "soft product" on domestic isn't anything to write home about so its the "hard product" (i.e. such as upgrades to domestic F, MCE, exit row seats, etc) which we try for. If they eliminate that (at least for higher elites) then whats the point of being loyal (IMHO)?

Oh well, I guess we'll see what happens in the future.

Last edited by Jacobin777; May 18, 16 at 7:02 pm
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Old May 18, 16, 6:49 pm
  #45  
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Just because AA is considering this for domestic flights does not mean they're considering the same thing for all domestic flights. What might work on the 321T already-3-class transcons is quite different than what might work on a smaller RJ that may not always have even 2 classes now.

Whatever it is, I hope any transition is implemented better than Delta's. I tried Delta's flight search a few months back, and it was a mess: It had a search selection for the new premium economy class, but since the flights themselves (on the route I was searching) didn't have it implemented yet, it could find no flights at all (yet it didn't explain that that was the problem) or else just showed me first class pricing for "improved economy" searches. I could not for the life of me figure out how much a seat on that route would cost in "improved economy", whatever the name, because it didn't have the new all-in-one-pricing yet but didn't seem to show the add-on-pricing any more. Good thing I was just browsing for future reference, and didn't actually need to book a flight.

I'd hate to go AA straight from "afraid to book because of too many LUS refurbishing/substitution unknowns" straight to "afraid to book because of too many 'improved economy' unknowns". I'd like AA to stabilize for a while so I can know there's a pretty good chance that what I'm booking is what I'm going to fly, not completely 100% redesigned by then. But since what I now book on AA mostly is domestic trips in MCE, one unknown to another unknown is exactly where it seem to be going.

Last edited by sdsearch; May 18, 16 at 6:57 pm
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