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US/AA merger- MASTER DISCUSSION THREAD/incl 'when will US leave STAR'

View Poll Results: Is an American Airlines/US Airways merger good for the traveling public?
Yes
84
28.19%
No
214
71.81%
Voters: 298. You may not vote on this poll

US/AA merger- MASTER DISCUSSION THREAD/incl 'when will US leave STAR'

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Old Dec 8, 13, 9:45 am   -   Wikipost
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There is an existing thread in the AA forum that may be useful to US and AA Flyertalkers:
US-AA Merger: Just the Facts thread

As facts become posted, that should be the place to look.

Merger discussion, speculation, and other questions can be directed here, or the similar thread in the AA forum:
MERGER: US and AA 9 Dec 2013 and implications for AA flyers (new)

AA - US Merger Agreement / Announcement / DOJ Action Discussion (consolidated, and now closed to new posts)
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Old Feb 16, 13, 1:08 am
  #211  
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The flight to TLV will continue. AA could have flown to Israel but chose not to.
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Old Feb 16, 13, 3:27 am
  #212  
 
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Wow, just ran across this stat in a Reuters article:

"Oneworld comprises 13 carriers serving 160 countries with 9,500 departures daily. SkyTeam's 19 airlines fly to 187 countries some 15,000 times a day, while Star is formed of 27 airlines serving 194 countries with 22,000 daily departures.

Oneworld's share of global capacity stands at 11.6 percent, compared to SkyTeam's 18.3 percent and Star's 24.8 percent, according to CAPA data."
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Old Feb 16, 13, 5:53 am
  #213  
 
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Jeff should tell Tom and Doug what will happen when you piss off your elites and you have an arrogant "XX knows best" attitude. AA took advantage of a lot of disgruntled MP FFs and is trying to poach from DL too. It would be a shame if all that was wasted on gutting Advantage and pissing off their elites.

UA's been struggling hard on its financials when everyone else was posting a profit. You can only blame "integration" issues so long, and the 787 and network aren't the reasons to overlook UA's issues.
Trouble is, however, that when everyone is running their airline UA post-merger style, and the number of everyones is getting smaller and smaller with each merger, sooner or later there is nowhere to go, from top (UA? new AA/US? DL?) to bottom (look what WN is morphing into) of flyer-type food chain.
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Old Feb 16, 13, 6:47 am
  #214  
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Originally Posted by Insiderdude View Post
Wow, just ran across this stat in a Reuters article:

"Oneworld comprises 13 carriers serving 160 countries with 9,500 departures daily. SkyTeam's 19 airlines fly to 187 countries some 15,000 times a day, while Star is formed of 27 airlines serving 194 countries with 22,000 daily departures.

Oneworld's share of global capacity stands at 11.6 percent, compared to SkyTeam's 18.3 percent and Star's 24.8 percent, according to CAPA data."
yes yes, but it's about quality not quantity right? Skyteam just doesn't seem to have the same attractiveness in terms of airlines offering F class. Star and oneworld seem to have that sown up.
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Old Feb 16, 13, 7:07 am
  #215  
 
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What happens with the miles? For example when can we redeem until? And do u think we will be able to buy points or will all that end? thats such a great scheme?

If I buy a bunch of miles now and redeem them, thats all well and good but if I dont, what would they be worth (any forecasts?) on the AA/merged program?

Thanks for any insights/predictions.
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Old Feb 16, 13, 8:25 am
  #216  
 
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Question Star Alliance?

Originally Posted by Ansett767 View Post
What happens with the miles? For example when can we redeem until? And do u think we will be able to buy points or will all that end? thats such a great scheme?

If I buy a bunch of miles now and redeem them, thats all well and good but if I dont, what would they be worth (any forecasts?) on the AA/merged program?

Thanks for any insights/predictions.
I can't believe this question has not been resolved! All they are saying is your miles will be honored. The new AA has major FF obligations and they have yet to say how this will be addressed. Will US leave the Star Alliance?

I checked the SEC filings and they say nothing about the issue.
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Old Feb 16, 13, 8:46 am
  #217  
 
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Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
I can't believe this question has not been resolved! All they are saying is your miles will be honored. The new AA has major FF obligations and they have yet to say how this will be addressed. Will US leave the Star Alliance?

I checked the SEC filings and they say nothing about the issue.
A lot of this has already been addressed, and they made it clear some time ago that the new airline will be in oneworld.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20247425-post111.html
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Old Feb 16, 13, 9:13 am
  #218  
 
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Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
I can't believe this question has not been resolved! All they are saying is your miles will be honored. The new AA has major FF obligations and they have yet to say how this will be addressed. Will US leave the Star Alliance?

I checked the SEC filings and they say nothing about the issue.
While the specific question of alliance has been answered many times (the combined carrier will be OneWorld), many of the details such as exact handling of the FF accounts cannot be fully planned until the two companies have regulatory approvals to operate as one. Don't expect every last detail to fall into place anytime soon.
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Old Feb 16, 13, 11:24 am
  #219  
 
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I've read on the internets, so it must be true, statements that AA could return to service but it would require a lot of concessions (mostly financial). Is any of that true?
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Old Feb 16, 13, 12:49 pm
  #220  
 
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???? AA hasn't stopped service and there's no reason why it should in the future.

Jim
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Old Feb 16, 13, 2:32 pm
  #221  
 
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Originally Posted by Fendant View Post
American always had a reputation as an arrogant airline ( AA),
US always has a reputation as a bad airline ( useless Air

I have never seen mergers achieving a higher status and reputation.

So the merger will result in a lousy airline with old US service standards becoming the norm and American's behaviour during IROPS.

In addition they will have a patchy network in Europe ( dreadful hubs Hellrow and chaotic strike prone Madrid bar a bass ). In the other direction Transpac I also see no necessity to switch over.

My estimate is that we will see another (bigger) chapter 11 mess in 2015.
Other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play??

And, you can always take a train...
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Old Feb 16, 13, 3:13 pm
  #222  
 
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I'm a little surprised at the poll result showing a majority of ( thus far voting ) FT members saying this merger is not in the public interest. Likewise I really do not get some of the questions raised here as some folks are seeking immediate answers to questions which simply will not/can not be answered just days after the official merger is announced. For example, I am not at all surprised that AA & US are both mum on the FFer programs at this early stage & neither do I expect any guidance in this regard for the forseeable future. Then again, there remain many months to strategize and live within the current DM parameters. Historically, other mergers leave intact FF miles, though one should most definitely assume that changes are in the offing. No reason at this point in time to anticipate otherwise with this merger.

In short, I really do not get the pessimism expressed by some here. It's got a queasy 'deja vu' from the past when this forum was replete with negativism towards Tempe and US in general by a veneer of folks who lacked the patience to allow management to prove ( or disprove ) their mettle. And those of us who have been with US for a long time know well the "turbulence" we experienced when Tempe first came to town with their heads in the clouds and other anatomical places . I wish I could link to the ( content exclusive ) articles written thus far by the Wall Street Journal which walk through the breadth and depth of this merger.

What I myself am vibing at this moment is a sort of "pride" in US Air and Messers Parker/Isom pulling off a big merger in which US management is going to run this new AA. I remember well how just a few years ago folks saying that AA was the "crown jewel" of airline mergers and even more folks saying that a US-AA merger was a daydream ( I too would not have anticipated this occuring ). But here we are, Doug Parker is the new CEO of the merged AA, and this, for me is a cause for anticipation, if not excitement. There's no way at this moment to know with any certitude what's in store for the future as US brings to the table some ideas and practices which did indeed work and transform US into a more reliable airline.

But the one thing I do know is that the staid, vanilla suit and tie management of the old AA, is gonna have an open shirt CEO and some of his team calling the shots. At the very least, this is a reason to hang around and wait and see which US-centric concepts/practices might be introduced at AA, not immediately, but over time as the two separate airline cultures determine what the true character of this merged airline is gonna be. Provided they get the pilot seniority thing correct this time and management has it's eyes wide open on the operational end, this merger transition could be a very interesting thing to experience.

Now I do gotta admit, that my own biggest fear is the migration & integration of the reservation systems. I don't think that any merger has been able to do this flawlessly and I'm hoping that this systems integration, when it does occur is mostly smooth ( or that I'm not flying during those first few weeks ). But aside from the fact that I gotta wave goodbye to the US Airways name & symbol , I'm willing to patiently wait and see how things develop for me. PHL where I fly out of is likely to see changes as they determine the roles/relationships of these multiple hubs ( being so close to JFK is a negative for the PHL hub in the larger scheme of AA ).

One area of consternation I do understand amongst some is how their FFer strategy may deteriorate as for some, flying miles on US was driven only by the *A and ability to fly short but fly awards long on those *A partners. This might indeed eviscerate the strategy of some flyers. But I see this entire merger more in terms of an economic/sector inevitability. By some stroke of circumstance/luck, US & AA were the last two partners at the big airline dance. Not exactly a shotgun wedding, nor is the bride ugly. According to the WSJ ( who attributes the airlines ) only 12 of 900 routes overlap. In this regard, a match made in heave in terms of regulators & other operational entanglements.

But hey, I'm also a realist. There's a lot of things which can go wrong and months of hard work both before and after operations are integrated. The only thing I can't say is which specific things will go wrong. I'm gonna hope that the computer integration is not as ugly as the AWA/US merger as that would not be fun at all. I'm gonna be patient and hope for the best. If the WSJ ever unlocks some of their recent content, I'll post links, as these things sometimes do become accessible.

Barry
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Old Feb 16, 13, 4:18 pm
  #223  
 
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Originally Posted by jerseyfinn View Post
I'm a little surprised at the poll result showing a majority of ( thus far voting ) FT members saying this merger is not in the public interest...

Barry
The question in the poll is " Is an American Airlines/US Airways merger good for the traveling public?" and that's a definitive NO

less competition = higher prices (and probably less routes) as seen in the recent Delta/NWA and United/Continental mergers
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Old Feb 16, 13, 4:34 pm
  #224  
 
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Plus, the perceived step down in alliance membership coupled with the feedback from many CO/UA elites who were not happy with that merger are good sources of pessimism. Are people perhaps being too pessimistic? Sure, there's always that chance. Change isn't always fun but it's not always as bad as you expect it to be. But I don't think it's purely a fear of change that is driving the general lack of enthusiasm over this merger.

FWIW some numbers of "overlapping routes" are reported by some to be fuzzy math, as some are tallying only point-to-point routes. On these, aka nonstop flights, there truly is only a little overlap. Where the consumer is more likely to feel a pinch is in routings requiring a connection, moreso in city pairs where US and AA are currently the dominant carriers. I will need to find the article--- I believe it was Cranky Flier?--- but there are quite a few more of these, and when you remove the competition from these routes, they become a lot less consumer-friendly.
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Old Feb 16, 13, 4:35 pm
  #225  
 
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Originally Posted by jerseyfinn View Post
I'm a little surprised at the poll result showing a majority of ( thus far voting ) FT members saying this merger is not in the public interest.
This is likely due to the number of recent rough integrations, coupled with US's deserved, but fortunately now outdated, reputation as a hideously bad airline. Old, negative reputations are hard to shake off.

Originally Posted by jerseyfinn View Post
Likewise I really do not get some of the questions raised here as some folks are seeking immediate answers to questions which simply will not/can not be answered just days after the official merger is announced. For example, I am not at all surprised that AA & US are both mum on the FFer programs at this early stage & neither do I expect any guidance in this regard for the foreseeable future.
There sure has been some rash decision making articulated in this thread, I will say that. While they have and are advancing integration plans, the focus for much of 2013 will be on getting the merger approved and the deal closed. Only then will changes begin in earnest - and it appears that won't happen before the third quarter of this year. I likewise share your surprise that people seem to have had an expectation that every detail of the future merged FF program wasn't announced. I suspect in many cases, they haven't even begun to decide. How long will it be until someone's shocked they can't earn AA miles on US or vice versa yet?

Originally Posted by jerseyfinn View Post
In short, I really do not get the pessimism expressed by some here. It's got a queasy 'deja vu' from the past when this forum was replete with negativism towards Tempe and US in general by a veneer of folks who lacked the patience to allow management to prove ( or disprove ) their mettle. And those of us who have been with US for a long time know well the "turbulence" we experienced when Tempe first came to town with their heads in the clouds and other anatomical places . I wish I could link to the ( content exclusive ) articles written thus far by the Wall Street Journal which walk through the breadth and depth of this merger.
For me, this merger cements the financial status of both AA and US. So long as they are half way properly managed, they will no longer have to deal with uncertainties from being smaller players in North America.

Hopefully, the Tempe crew learned from their last integration, as the success of the airline rides on it. Operational and financial results for US in the past few years seem to indicate that they have. Solid financials are of course a prerequisite for investment in the customer experience - US has been frugal but getting better in recent years.

Originally Posted by jerseyfinn View Post
Now I do gotta admit, that my own biggest fear is the migration & integration of the reservation systems. I don't think that any merger has been able to do this flawlessly and I'm hoping that this systems integration, when it does occur is mostly smooth ( or that I'm not flying during those first few weeks ).
I share this concern. Let's hope they learned from the UA/CO debacle, and that they're going to stick with Sabre as AA still uses it.

Originally Posted by jerseyfinn View Post
But aside from the fact that I gotta wave goodbye to the US Airways name & symbol , I'm willing to patiently wait and see how things develop for me. PHL where I fly out of is likely to see changes as they determine the roles/relationships of these multiple hubs ( being so close to JFK is a negative for the PHL hub in the larger scheme of AA ).
I have a vested interest in PHL as well, but I can't help but think there's not much they'll be able to do with JFK they aren't already - certainly not replace much out of PHL with it. It can't take on PHL's flights, there aren't many more slots that can support domestic feed shifts to move PHL international flights to JFK, plus if they actually should try to move much of PHL to JFK, most of the people in the 5th largest area in the country (PHL) won't be able to get there easily anyway and they'll simply be walking away from the market. I think the risk to PHL is also a little less given that it's US management rather than AA's leading the resulting airline.

It's easy to say that the presence of JFK being close to PHL means that PHL should close as a hub like PIT, but this might be a rare case where two close hubs might work - AA's (tiny) JFK hub is all about NYC origin traffic, and PHL is the hub for the NE US. Just like they won't try to get NYC-originating traffic to come to PHL for flights to places like LHR or LAX, the opposite can't occur because it's so hard to actually get to JFK. Managed properly, both can thrive. Those claiming that PHL should immediately close as a hub are usually just looking at a map and have no actual experience with travel between the two cities or an understanding of where their traffic comes from. While DCA can support connecting traffic better than JFK, it too can't take on more traffic and is more about capturing revenue from the DC market than acting as a hub.

I'll miss the US logo too - I think the new AA livery is hideous. I hope it grows on me. But livery is really pretty irrelevant.

Originally Posted by jerseyfinn View Post
But I see this entire merger more in terms of an economic/sector inevitability. By some stroke of circumstance/luck, US & AA were the last two partners at the big airline dance. Not exactly a shotgun wedding, nor is the bride ugly. According to the WSJ ( who attributes the airlines ) only 12 of 900 routes overlap. In this regard, a match made in heave in terms of regulators & other operational entanglements.
I was really surprised that there was so little overlap when I first saw that. This should help with regulatory approvals, and indicates that this may in fact have been a good merger partnership for growth, rather than route cutting, which is what needs to happen to meet the stated goal: become a big player and leapfrog DL and UA.
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