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Another opinion piece: Parker on the way out?

Another opinion piece: Parker on the way out?

Old Oct 7, 19, 12:49 pm
  #31  
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IIRC when Oasis was being introduced when questioned Parker claimed flyers liked the new arrangement. His point was that flyers liked supposedly the low fares it could produce. Yes flyers like low fares. But do the flyers that aren't CK/EXP but fly enough to reach Gold through PP like being shoved a seat made for a 5 year old. Sure, PLT and PP get free MCE but it might not always be available. Moreover, they don't like getting to their destination late because of operational issues or the inability to quickly recover from operational set backs.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 3:20 pm
  #32  
 
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I imagine that Doug Steenland is probably available.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 6:31 pm
  #33  
 
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The problem isn't just the CEO. The CEO approves decisions, but the VP's and directors ultimately make the decisions the lower level employees follow.. A CEO has better things to do than determine if IFE is present in first class -- they're too busy meeting with the board and other members of the senior leadership team to determine how to squeeze every penny up to the shareholders.

Citi has the same problem AA has... An idiot CEO that needs to be fired, but hasn't been. Both are over their heads when out comes to running a company.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 1:55 am
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by AANYC1981 View Post
After sitting in FC on an Oasis plane yesterday, I was asking myself what idiot signed off on this product, approved it and thought this is a good premium cabin experience. Not even considering the lack of in-seat IFE, it's just a terrible design.
And yet, you’re still flying them. One might ask himself, “who is the idiot in this situation?”
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Old Oct 8, 19, 8:15 am
  #35  
 
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To AA's credit they listened, and has stopped "oasis". they heard loud and clear that the Oasis FC seat sucks, and hit the pause button (admittedly the Max crashes and grounded made that decision much easier, given that they need all their 738s in service not getting "oasis'd"). AA's J product overseas and the 321T are better than Delta One, and Polaris is just a lie to the sheep who continue to hope for better days at UA.

Isom is a decent guy, learned the industry at NWA, and I always thought NWA was a decent carrier. In my face to face conversations with the man I found him widely aware of AA's issues, Oasis seat problem, etc, while at the same time confronting airline economics. AA could do a lot worse than Isom. They are running a business, employing a whole lot of people scattered geographically, and holding it all together. I don't know Parker, or frankly other than lagging stock price and difficult labor relations (that stretch back decades) why the Board would replace him.

Kirby etc at UA has hardly done anything to make that company any better. UA does suck. Has historically sucked. Will likely always suck. Have I mentioned how much I don't like UA?
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Old Oct 8, 19, 8:19 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by TheDudeAbides View Post
And yet, you’re still flying them. One might ask himself, “who is the idiot in this situation?”
because like others on here me included, we are hub captive to AA.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 9:42 am
  #37  
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I think (at least on FT) there are 2 issues. First, is the operational reliability of AA and it's ability to recover from (usually from external forces) IRROPS. This impacts all flyers. The $10K FL suite might be nice but what good does it do if that CK/EXP/Premium paid flyer constantly arrives late and therefore creates headaches for the flyer that AA needs most. This is probably one of the biggest drivers of AA's lackluster financial performance compared to it's 2 major peers. Not to mention it leaves front line employees de-moralized constantly taking the blame and flak from angry and frustrated flyers.

The second is the "flyer experience." Admittedly Parker has not totally neglected the bread and butter business traveler. ACs have been updated and food enhancements made (albeit many would argue a number of major cities still lack an AC). The International J seat is very competitive. He's put money into FLs. On the flip side, the Oasis project produced an inferior domestic F product while the number of SWUs earned from achieving EXP (now requiring $15K EQDs per year) has gone from 8 to 4.

The jamming of more seats into planes a la the ULCC business model is happening everywhere. DL did a little bait and switch by promoting their AVOD while they were cramming more seats into their planes. The US3 have introduced BE fares and other smaller carriers have followed suit or plan to do so. The jamming of adults into a seat made for an eight year old isn't going away, neither are the wide array of fees. And therefore the mixed business model will live on.

An effective leader can address Issue Number 1. Issue 2 is the state of the airline business, as sad as it's become. The thing about Parker is that he doesn't seem to have a sense of urgency with curing what ails AA's financial and operational performance. There's no publicly announced plan to effect change. Yes he can blame the unions and Boeing for the Max but in the end he and his team are paid to deliver comparable if not better performance than like peers.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 10:14 am
  #38  
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
because like others on here me included, we are hub captive to AA.
Not this again!
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Old Oct 8, 19, 11:14 am
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
I think (at least on FT) there are 2 issues. First, is the operational reliability of AA and it's ability to recover from (usually from external forces) IRROPS. This impacts all flyers. The $10K FL suite might be nice but what good does it do if that CK/EXP/Premium paid flyer constantly arrives late and therefore creates headaches for the flyer that AA needs most. This is probably one of the biggest drivers of AA's lackluster financial performance compared to it's 2 major peers. Not to mention it leaves front line employees de-moralized constantly taking the blame and flak from angry and frustrated flyers.
This summer was an absolute worst nightmare for American's operation. Not just the mechanic slowdown, not just the MAX grounding (leaving American with, allegedly, single digits of aircraft in reserve), but there was an absolute litany of bad weather at American hubs over the summer. Only one of those things was in American's control.

I think American is actually posed for an upswing as long as the recession holds off for another year or two.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 3:01 pm
  #40  
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As far as "hub captive". Yes no one is forced to fly airline "X". But if you're located at a fortress hub then it's the decision of many direct flight options versus fewer flights out to a hub(s). Despite the folklore here many business travelers don't have the time or desire to add 1-3 hours onto their travel time. AA would have to be late almost every flight for the hours to be equal. Not to mention some business travelers have travel booked by corporate travel in which usually direct flights are going to be preferred because for many time is money.

True in Dallas you have WN. Assuming you don't fly Europe/Asia/Ocean Pacific/Canada, don't want an airline with premium cabins and lounges and be willing to accept more connections given the number of direct flights for WN versus the number of direct flights for AA at DFW then WN would work as an alternative.

My travel is 60% personal/40% business. For that business travel time is money for me and since I'm located in MIA AA is going to give me the most direct flights. Leisure travel sure I could easily hang out in the very nice SCs at ATL waiting for my connection. Given UA's small presence at MIA and no Southeast hub (unless you consider IAD Southeast) it's just not an option. B6 would fit me well if it was MIA based but the schlep from MIA to FLL isn't any better than AA's ontime performance.

As far as "forces outside of AA's control". Sure AA doesn't control the weather and didn't cause the Max issue. However, it's ability to recover from irregular operations and re-allocated people and equipment seems lackluster at best. For those "in the know" (like me) I can rattle off the alternative fight options off the top of my head. Even heavy FFs often don't know possible alternative hubs and routes (and definitely do not read FT). The significant issue I see, particularly at MIA is AA's inability to cope with banked hubs. Your flight is late because of weather/ATC holds but the Captain got some shortcuts on the route to help people make connections because he/she knows paxs aren't going anywhere for 24 hours if they miss that connection. Then there's no gate, even though the a/c landed beyond arrival time. While the a/c sits and burns fuel (not to mention what it does to the environment) paxs begin to realize their hope of making their connection is gone. Who takes the grief? The FAs and the GAs. What 2 groups seem to be the most uncaring, surly and combative, the FAs and GAs. No surprise here.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 3:53 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
...and didn't cause the Max issue....
It could sort of be argued that AA was one of the major contributing factors for why Boeing felt pressured to build the MAX in the first place and then again later felt pressured to make it fly like an NG so that AA didn't have to retrain its pilots.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 4:05 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
I think (at least on FT) there are 2 issues. First, is the operational reliability of AA and it's ability to recover from (usually from external forces) IRROPS. This impacts all flyers. The $10K FL suite might be nice but what good does it do if that CK/EXP/Premium paid flyer constantly arrives late and therefore creates headaches for the flyer that AA needs most. This is probably one of the biggest drivers of AA's lackluster financial performance compared to it's 2 major peers. Not to mention it leaves front line employees de-moralized constantly taking the blame and flak from angry and frustrated flyers.

The second is the "flyer experience." Admittedly Parker has not totally neglected the bread and butter business traveler. ACs have been updated and food enhancements made (albeit many would argue a number of major cities still lack an AC). The International J seat is very competitive. He's put money into FLs. On the flip side, the Oasis project produced an inferior domestic F product while the number of SWUs earned from achieving EXP (now requiring $15K EQDs per year) has gone from 8 to 4.

The jamming of more seats into planes a la the ULCC business model is happening everywhere. DL did a little bait and switch by promoting their AVOD while they were cramming more seats into their planes. The US3 have introduced BE fares and other smaller carriers have followed suit or plan to do so. The jamming of adults into a seat made for an eight year old isn't going away, neither are the wide array of fees. And therefore the mixed business model will live on.

An effective leader can address Issue Number 1. Issue 2 is the state of the airline business, as sad as it's become. The thing about Parker is that he doesn't seem to have a sense of urgency with curing what ails AA's financial and operational performance. There's no publicly announced plan to effect change. Yes he can blame the unions and Boeing for the Max but in the end he and his team are paid to deliver comparable if not better performance than like peers.
Spot on. They need to run a reliable organization. However, the ULCC model is not an excuse. If they want to compete in that space, they need to do so. Show me where I can get ULCC fares on AA. All they did was knock 50 bucks off here and there and call it basic economy. Business models like this do not mix. You don't have a premium dress store inside a Kmart or a Bentley dealer on the Kia lot. If AA wants to compete with ULCC, they should do so and do it right. If not, stay out of that market all together, but quit trying (and failing) to mix two very different business models.


Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
It could sort of be argued that AA was one of the major contributing factors for why Boeing felt pressured to build the MAX in the first place and then again later felt pressured to make it fly like an NG so that AA didn't have to retrain its pilots.
Sort of? AA is the primary reason Boeing started this train wreck of an airplane. Boeing should have never pushed the 737 this far - either plan your business properly and have the (797?) ready prior to 2030 or upgrade a different frame that could handle it. I always wondered why they didn't "MAX" the 757 - seems like it would have been much more suited to upgrades.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 6:27 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
Sort of? AA is the primary reason Boeing started this train wreck of an airplane. Boeing should have never pushed the 737 this far - either plan your business properly and have the (797?) ready prior to 2030 or upgrade a different frame that could handle it. I always wondered why they didn't "MAX" the 757 - seems like it would have been much more suited to upgrades.
Many airlines (not just AA) buying A321NEO essentially forced Boeing's hand, so one can argue Airbus was the primary reason to build the MAX. But Boeing should have responded differently - launch an all-new narrowbody or properly disclose all differences in the MAX to help pilots.

But the MAX grounding is not a valid excuse for AA's issues - those issues existed long before the MAX was grounded. Plus Southwest and United were also impacted and they didn't have as many issues as AA.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 12:27 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by mikesyr18 View Post
The problem isn't just the CEO. The CEO approves decisions, but the VP's and directors ultimately make the decisions the lower level employees follow.. A CEO has better things to do than determine if IFE is present in first class -- they're too busy meeting with the board and other members of the senior leadership team to determine how to squeeze every penny up to the shareholders.
A real head of the ship could steer the airline in a new direction, though. The executives were told to find ways to cut costs by "LCC Parker" and unfortunately the ideas they came up with were Oasis, trying to lowball the mechanics unions, and copying Delta. Some CEOs know the difference between fiduciary responsibility and "every penny". Some are brave enough to shun Wall Street's "quarterly expectations" for a long term gain. Some are cowards and lazy and that attitude flows down to the executives. I think AA has the latter.

I didn't know LAA, only LUS which was Parkerland. So I don't remember any glory days but I don't respect Parker and his "never lose money again" arrogance, or Project Oasis. I moved my piddling 25k-30k BIS miles to DL and WN. Nobody misses me but I don't miss AA either.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 12:36 am
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
A real head of the ship could steer the airline in a new direction, though. The executives were told to find ways to cut costs by "LCC Parker" and unfortunately the ideas they came up with were Oasis, trying to lowball the mechanics unions, and copying Delta. Some CEOs know the difference between fiduciary responsibility and "every penny". Some are brave enough to shun Wall Street's "quarterly expectations" for a long term gain. Some are cowards and lazy and that attitude flows down to the executives. I think AA has the latter.

I didn't know LAA, only LUS which was Parkerland. So I don't remember any glory days but I don't respect Parker and his "never lose money again" arrogance, or Project Oasis. I moved my piddling 25k-30k BIS miles to DL and WN. Nobody misses me but I don't miss AA either.
Piddling? Put enough "piddling" dollars together, and you are talking about real money.

I don't know if Mr. Parker is lazy. He certainly seems to have reach his level of "incompetence" or "ineffectiveness". Or both.
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