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Speculation: Will AA continue to pull back in NYC?

Speculation: Will AA continue to pull back in NYC?

Old Aug 16, 17, 1:52 pm
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Speculation: Will AA continue to pull back in NYC?

I'm only about a year into flying primarily American out of NYC (switched from DL), but after the recent transatlantic cuts, I'm now wondering if AA is going to pull back domestically as well. Most of my flights on AA are

JFK to LAX/SFO transcon
Shuttle flights (LGA to BOS, ORD, DCA)
LGA to ATL (great for upgrades)
LGA to CLT to X (good for reaching small southern cities)
JFK to EGE
LGA/JFK/EWR to AA hubs (PHX, DFW)
JFK to LHR

I like AA's JFK terminal, and most of my LGA flights are out of Terminal C, which is nice enough.

It seems like AA should be competitive on a lot of these types of routes. However, based on conversations with business colleagues, AA continues to be viewed poorly by a lot of business travelers, and Delta seems to be dominating more and more. Choosing to fly transcons out of PHL versus JFK seems ominous. Obviously you can connect out of PHL if necessary, but that seems backwards.

Longer term, will AA be competitive in NYC?
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Old Aug 16, 17, 1:55 pm
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Today's news answers that question.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I'm only about a year into flying primarily American out of NYC (switched from DL), but after the recent transatlantic cuts, I'm now wondering if AA is going to pull back domestically as well. Most of my flights on AA are

JFK to LAX/SFO transcon
Shuttle flights (LGA to BOS, ORD, DCA)
LGA to ATL (great for upgrades)
LGA to CLT to X (good for reaching small southern cities)
JFK to EGE
LGA/JFK/EWR to AA hubs (PHX, DFW)
JFK to LHR

I like AA's JFK terminal, and most of my LGA flights are out of Terminal C, which is nice enough.

It seems like AA should be competitive on a lot of these types of routes. However, based on conversations with business colleagues, AA continues to be viewed poorly by a lot of business travelers, and Delta seems to be dominating more and more. Choosing to fly transcons out of PHL versus JFK seems ominous. Obviously you can connect out of PHL if necessary, but that seems backwards.

Longer term, will AA be competitive in NYC?
Funny, most of my flights out of LGA/JFK also are to those cities (plus CDG). For European travel, though, we often find ourselves connecting through LHR (like our upcoming trip to LIS via LHR). I'm actually quite happy with the current options, though am concerned about the reduction of the CDG flights from 2-1/day. And with PHL so close, it would be nice to have more frequent (and affordable) flights between LGA/JFK and PHL.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Today's news answers that question.
To put a point to it:
1) Do you anticipate additional international route cuts?
2) Do you anticipate reductions in domestic flights or routes?

After AA's investment in the Flagship Lounge at JFK, I'm not sure why they would pull back so much.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 2:08 pm
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Since the merger was announced, I always believed AA would eventually focus its northeast hub and TATL gateway on PHL. Looks like USdbaAA continues the merger tradition of eliminating a hub, and JFK is the odd one out.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
After AA's investment in the Flagship Lounge at JFK, I'm not sure why they would pull back so much.
Relative to big terminal makeovers (see what's being spent at LAX and LGA, or the Skylink at DFW) and carrier operating revenues, Flagship Lounges are very small investments.

Let's see if today's announcement is just a little trimming, or the unfolding of something big and strategic.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
After AA's investment in the Flagship Lounge at JFK, I'm not sure why they would pull back so much.
Assuming AA maintains its JFK Flagship A321T transcon service, the Lounge should survive.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
To put a point to it:
1) Do you anticipate additional international route cuts?
2) Do you anticipate reductions in domestic flights or routes?

After AA's investment in the Flagship Lounge at JFK, I'm not sure why they would pull back so much.
If AA continues to fly to LHR from JFK (and I see no reason why that would go away), they need to offer a similar lounge product to what BA offers out of T7. Also, the SFO/LAX service offers an intl F product. Moreover, J passengers will now have access to the FL. And AA also flies from JFK to BCN/MAD/CDG/FCO/DUB, in addition to MXP and EDI (which may or not go away). Don't forget that AA also flies to South America from JFK.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Today's news answers that question.
But AA doesnt fly JFK-PRG,BUD or VCE nor do I recall them ever doing so. So its when starting up new service they are doing so from its hubs other then JFK. DL flys to PRG and VCE from JFK.

AFAIK only BA,LH and QR have flights into PHL and 1 a piece. So although JFK may have the #s , PHL probably will allow much higher yields as there isnt any competition or LCCs to drive the fares down, and the flights will be seasonal

Last edited by craz; Aug 16, 17 at 10:13 pm
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Old Aug 16, 17, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
Assuming AA maintains its JFK Flagship A321T transcon service, the Lounge should survive.
It should, wasnt it Kirby who said it was a big mistake for UA that it pulled out of the Transcon biz from JFK, so even with DL and B6 and now AS I think AA has a good chunk of the LAX/SFO-mkt
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Old Aug 16, 17, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by craz View Post
It should, wasnt it Kirby who said it was a big mistake for UA that it pulled out of the Transcon biz from JFK, so even with DL and B6 and now AS I think AA has a good chunk of the LAX/SFO-mkt
AS?
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Old Aug 16, 17, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
AS?
Well, Alaska Air Group (VX). But given AA's small economy cabins on the A321 and markedly different product up front, AA and AS/VX may be competing for quite different segments of the JFK-LAX/SFO market.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 3:44 pm
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I must say I do find the JFK cutback strategy a bit surprising. I get the whole argument that it's tough to build a competitive TATL network at JFK against DL and UA (EWR), so if you can't compete at scale then cut back.

However, it's clear that NYC-based premium O&D is crucial to both AA and the AA/BA joint business. That's why so much effort is put into JFK-LHR and JFK-LAX/SFO. But those crucial NYC premium flyers/firms don't just use those routes, they also do business in other key points in Europe such as AMS, FRA, ZRH. Now if they can't get to such places direct from NYC with AA and instead have to faff with connections, why put their NYC-LHR/LAX/SFO eggs in the AA basket at all? Why not just stick them in the much broader DL basket?

I realise this point has been made many times on this forum. I also appreciate AA has thought long and hard about it and knows an awful lot more about its markets than I do. And yet intuitively, it still feels like a questionable strategy.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by ashill View Post
Well, Alaska Air Group (VX). But given AA's small economy cabins on the A321 and markedly different product up front, AA and AS/VX may be competing for quite different segments of the JFK-LAX/SFO market.
to me AS will always be Alaska and VX Virgin Am, dont know why they took VX over AS But remember till now VXs planes didnt have lie-flats, so they could have the best service in the air and coolest cabins, that and $2.75 gets me onto the NYC Subway. and if you sat in coach and kept your eyes closed you would have thought you were on any of the carriers flying Transcon
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Old Aug 16, 17, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
JFK to LAX/SFO transcon
Shuttle flights (LGA to BOS, ORD, DCA)
LGA to ATL (great for upgrades)
LGA to CLT to X (good for reaching small southern cities)
JFK to EGE
LGA/JFK/EWR to AA hubs (PHX, DFW)
JFK to LHR
For what you are flying, AA should be perfectly fine. None of those routes are in jeopardy and AA is simply trimming international routes to non-OW hubs and domestic routes that are to very small cities. The EGE flight should stay as well because it is a seasonal route to an expensive ski town. Ticket prices on this route are astronomically high.

Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
Longer term, will AA be competitive in NYC?
This is a separate question. The short answer is kind of. For the business traveller who flies primarily to major business centers, then the answer is yes it will. However, for those of us who fly all over or go to medium to smaller cities, then the answer is no. I am surprised to see MAN go because of the strong BA frequent flyer base in Manchester. I would not be surprised to see MXP and seasonal FCO go, but that would be all the remaining Europe I could see being cut. I think the South American cities will stay because of LATAM's presence. I think some of the Caribbean cities go, as they already cut San Juan and that has the highest O&D. I am curious what they will do with the Eagle flights from JFK. They are used for feed, but if they cut the international flights without feed on the other end, how much feed do they really need?

As for LGA, I could definitely see some cuts. CHO, ROA, ILM, and BGR come to mind.
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