Connect me

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ConnectMe (for AA Flight Attendants)

 FEBRUARY  2019

ConnectMe will be the new way for American’s Cabin Crew to solve flight problems before takeoff!


In a Q & A session this past week an American pilot asked CEO Doug Parker about technology to connect cabin crews with all the functions (departments) of the airline to fix problems similar to how Delta flights attendants currently operate. 


Delta flight attendants have a new update to their device so that they can connect and talk with ramp tower, catering, cockpit, crew schedules, passenger service and other employees. They can directly get problems communicated and resolved.


Parker didn’t know whether they had anything like that in the works, but their managing director for pilot technology was on hand and talked about the ConnectMe tool.   It can provide:

  • Real-time Operational Updates
  • Increased Accountability
  • Clear and Concise Messaging
  • Ability to View Message History and Missed Messages
  • Read Receipts to Determine When Message Have Been Read and Acknowledged


The system was developed for the airport, but the plan is to roll it out to cabin crew too. The roll out “has been a bit slow” but it “creates direct communication between employees responsible for getting a flight out on time” — such as maintenance, cockpit crew, flight attendants, gate agent

PHX HUB

700 PHX Flight Attendants Will Need to Move!

Prior to the integration of American Airlines and US Airways flight attendant systems, it restricted flight attendants from applying for transfers to each other’s hubs, or staffing each other’s aircraft. Now that the systems are fully integrated, the airline has greater flexibility but also a staffing imbalance. LAX and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport each needs 700 more flight attendants, while Phoenix needs 700 fewer. With 13 airports where American can base flight attendants, it can deploy flight crews more efficiently if some employees are transferred out of Phoenix.


On February 13th the airline notified Phoenix-based flight attendants to watch vacancies at other bases and consider opportunities to transfer. The airline hopes to naturally reduce the number of Phoenix staff over the next few years through attrition and transfers.

American reaffirms commitment to Phoenix

American said the move would not result in fewer jobs company-wide as it anticipates needing to hire several hundred flight attendants this year. It also anticipates no changes in the number of flights serving Phoenix. 


 Chuck Schubert, American Airlines vice president of crew operations and performance said; "What this means for our levels of flying in Phoenix in terms of our commitment to Phoenix as a vibrant hub in the American Airlines system is unchanged.” 


Vasu Raja, the airline's vice president of network and schedule planning, echoed Schubert in an emailed statement: “We remain committed to keeping the Valley of the Sun connected to the world. We recognize the unique value of Phoenix as a hub for American Airlines. More than 250 daily flights are important to our team members, customers and our business. We are here to stay." 

PHOENIX SKY HARBOR AIRPORT

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The news comes just a week after American announced it was expanding its soon-to-launch daily service to London's Heathrow Airport from seasonal to year-round.


In an emailed statement, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez pointed to that expansion as proof that American's commitment is stronger than ever, with the airline serving 90 destinations from Phoenix. Rodriguez said prior to the merger, American and US Airways together served 77 destinations.


"As American completes a final phase of forming the world’s largest airline, we are pleased that the company has announced that no Phoenix-based flight attendants will lose their jobs or be forced to relocate," Rodriguez said. 

Schubert said the situation is similar to when American Airlines integrated its pilots’ system in the fall of 2016 and needed to adjust staff accordingly. 

American Airlines has 27,000 flight attendants distributed across 13 airports. Sky Harbor is home to 2,360 of those flight attendants.

AMERICAN AIRLINES STEWARDESS COLLEGE

The Iconic Graduation Staircase and Medallion

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American Airlines Management announced February 18, 2019,  that the airline will keep intact what AA flight attendants around the world consider a greatly cherished part of their and the airline's history — the so-called “graduation staircase and medallion.” 


Historically that staircase, in what was initially called the “American Airlines Stewardess College” when it opened in 1957 in Dallas, is where every flight attendant had his or her picture taken upon completing rigorous training sessions and earning their wings.



Graduating Class Photo with C.R.Smith

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C.R. Smith


The building that housed the 

Stewardess College 

and the Graduation Staircase

is slated to be demolished to make way

 for new buildings on a new campus of American Airlines in Ft. Worth, Texas. 


After careful consideration and dissent by some stakeholders, AA has decided to preserve and  relocate the staircase to 

the existing CR Smith Museum. 





Medallion Presented by C.R.Smith to Stewardess College

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The iconic graduation staircase and medallion will become part of a massively-redesigned collection of permanent museum exhibits 

that together tell the story of the world’s largest airline through the first-person 

stories of American Airlines' 

employees and retirees.  


A spokeswoman for American said, 

it has yet to be determined whether future flight attendant training center 

graduates will be able to be 

photographed on the staircase. 


That determination will be made when move of  the graduation staircase and medallion to the museum home is completed.



INDUSTRY NEWS

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

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Honoring an Industry Great!   

Rest in Peace Herb Kelleher


Herb Kelleher, the charismatic and colorful co-founder of Southwest Airlines, was hardly a cookie-cutter chief executive.  


He was considered a visionary business leader whose record of sustained success at Southwest led Fortune magazine to ask on its cover: “Is Herb Kelleher America’s Best CEO?


Once a feisty upstart, it is now the largest domestic carrier in the United States, with annual revenue approaching $25 billion.

WOW! 2018 PROFIT SHARING

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Southwest Airlines has announced this week that it will share $544 million with its employees through the company’s profit sharing plan. This reward equals approximately 10.8% of each eligible employee’s eligible compensation.  


This is Southwest’s 45th consecutive profit sharing award, starting with the first profit sharing payout in 1974.   The 2018 profit sharing award is the third highest in company history.

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SOUTHWEST AIRLINES - HAWAII SERVICE

FEB 14, 2019


Southwest Airlines is taking the next step in the certification process to launch Hawaii flights.


The Dallas carrier is nearing the finish line as it looks to pass the necessary tests to start its long-awaited Hawaii service, but it appears customers will have to wait at least a few more days to purchase tickets.

JFK-MCO SERVICE ENDS

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American Airlines will end New York (JFK) – Orlando service on May 2, 2019 according to Airline Route. The route is currently operated daily with Boeing 737-800s.

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DELTA AIRLINES

NEW BOARDING PROCESS    The Atlanta-based carrier is doing away with traditional zone boarding and implementing a color-coded boarding system associated with fare tiers by January 2019. 

SPIRIT AIRLINES

January 19, 2019

Spirit Pulls Ahead of AA and UA in New Airline Rankings


Legacy carriers American and United Airlines have a new competitor hot on their tails: Spirit Airlines. According to a new statistical report assembled by the Wall Street Journal's Middle Seat column,  Spirit Airlines is now the number four carrier in the country behind Delta, Alaska and Southwest. That puts it above both American and United, two of its more experienced, legacy competitors. 


INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES

COMING SOON

DID YOU KNOW?

ADMIRALS CLUB MEMBERSHIP

 

Changes Coming Soon!


February 1, 2019, individual membership fees will increase and household membership discounts will be discontinued.


Starting November 1, 2019, same-day boarding passes on American Airlines or partner airlines will be required for entry.


Any departing or arriving flight: marketed or operated by American Airlines, marketed and operated by any oneworld® partner carrier, marketed and operated by American Airlines or Alaska Airlines in any combination 


One-Day Pass

Available at select locations for $59. 

EXCLUDES the airports listed below that currently have clubs under construction:

  • Boston (BOS)
  • Charlotte (CLT)
  • Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Pittsburgh (PIT)

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American Airlines Invites ConciergeKey Members to Use Flagship Dining


ConciergeKey is AA's revenue-based top level given to very high revenue customers and those who influence significant business for the airline.

They got priority for upgrades and other waitlists and they have a myriad of other benefits including Business Class Flagship Lounges for domestic travel and now will be provided visits to AA's exclusive Flagship First Dining. 


THE RACE IS ON --- FOR THE PREMIUM CLASS CUSTOMER

United, Delta and American Airlines are engaged in an airlines arms race to grab the most affluent customers. The decision is part of a larger industry trend to give more space and better service to high-paying passengers who account for a disproportionate share of airline revenue.


Now highly profitable, UA, AA, DL are plowing money into new planes, fancy seats with more legroom, airport lounges and other perks, many of which are aimed squarely at well-heeled travelers.


United raised the stakes when it announced that it will retrofit more than 100 planes as part of a move to add 1,600 premium seats on nearly 250 jets. The airline also plans to start using a new 50-seat jet with mostly premium seats on some routes popular with business travelers.


 Delta executives say they have increased premium seating from 9% to nearly 30% since 2011, and they're selling more than 60% of those seats, up from 13% — not just giving them away in the form of upgrades. They say more corporate accounts are letting employees buy up to premium travel. As a result, one-third of Delta's revenue now comes from premium services and less than half comes from economy seating, down from nearly two-thirds in 2011.

PREMIUM CLASS CUSTOMER


American has added "premium economy" seats often double the price of regular economy but less than business class on many planes used for international flights. 

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CHINA   

American Gets to Keep Its Authority to Fly to China — Without Actually Flying to China

FEB 7, 2019


There’s no Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and China. Instead a bilateral agreement lays out what route authorities can be doled out by respective governments. AA dropped ORD/Beijing and ORD/Shanghai.


AA wants to keep their route authority from Chicago to China even while not using it. That would mean preventing any other U.S. airlines from adding China frequencies, which benefits American by avoiding competition for its DFW and LAX to Beijing and Shanghai service.

AA asked the DOT to grant a ‘dormancy’ of their authority to keep the routes for a year without flying them. Normally they would lose the routes after 90 days.


The odds that they’ll return to flying from Chicago to China are really, really low.  AA wants to focus on Europe flying because they cannot run any part of their system with the kind of losses they have sustained” in Asia.

MORE NEWS

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AA's Fleet Plan

AA filed an expected fleet plan with the SEC in January, 2019.  It outlines the planes in their fleet at the end of 2018, where they’re expecting to be in 2019, 2020, and 2021.  


HIGHLIGHTS

American’s 767s will all be gone by 2021. 

No one ever figured out how to squeeze more than 7 seats abreast in coach on these planes, so they’re probably the best passenger experience in coach in the international fleet. 


In contrast, Delta is putting new business class suite with doors in their 767-400s. 


The MD80s go away this year.

 

The Embraer E-190s leave the fleet, these are large regional jets that are part of the mainline fleet from legacy US Airways. AA is growing the number of large regional jets with first class and soon seat power, while shrinking their fleet of small regional jets.

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RESERVED FOR FUTURE NEWS ARTICLE

Industry News

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RESERVED FOR FUTURE NEWS ARTICLE

Industry News

GLOBAL INDUSTRY NEWS

DALLAS FT. WORTH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

DFW International Airport of the Year Honor

Thursday, January 17, 2019


Congratulations to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) on being named Airport of the Year by Air Transport World (ATW), the leading monthly magazine for the global airline industry. The airport joined an impressive list of past winners around the world to receive the honor.  In recognizing DFW, ATW noted the airport’s continued record growth and traveler enhancements that include modernized facilities, updated amenities, added concessions and the opening of the largest duty-free store in the Western hemisphere.

DFW - Now!

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January - 2019

DFW - Then!

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DFW International Airport opened January 13, 1974.