A few weeks ago AMR, the parent of American, filed for bankruptcy protection, ostensibly to reorganize under the protection of the courts similar to what United did. I am hopeful they don't erode into an irritating company delivering bad experiences in air travel. But if they do, they will, unfortunately, not be alone, at least in the U.S.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The Downfall of Airlines in the U.S.
When I first started my career I was in Atlanta. Delta was the fold standard in air travel. I thought they were infallible. Over the, they began to struggle and my long held belief of their rock solid stability was debunked. Then I moved to Charlotte. Piedmont was great. They were like the "Delta of the Carolinas". Then they sold to USAir, who renamed themselves USAirways, and were bad, then better, then struggling again. Then I moved to Chicago, where I spent most of my time on airplanes. My company had the executive team setup with United Pass Plus and American Air Miles programs. I was treated well. I really liked United. But over time I had bas experience after bad experience with them. The service went down. Ten years ago I started going to Europe every three weeks, and began to fly British Airways. They rate largely fantastic, and really get international business travel. Because American is a One World Partner, I moved most of my US travel to American. Every once in a while I fly United, and am reminded how much I detest getting nickel and dime'd for everything. I can't even check in online without being asked if I want to buy access to the security line (which is a joke), buy extra legroom, and now carry bags on board. When I look around, many of the other airlines are getting so bad. My son flied Spirit form NY to Chicago sometimes. They have the nickel-dime thing down to an art form.