US Airways - American Airlines Merger Thread

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by DeacFlyer1, Feb 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. DeacFlyer1
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    After months of talk, in a move that is a surprise to absolutely nobody, it appears as though the boards of both airlines have approved a combination of the two companies (news has broken in the NY Times, WSJ, USA Today, AP wire within the last 30 minutes). I haven't seen a thread concerning the merger in this forum, so thought we could use one.

    Feel free to post news, updates, speculation about frequent flier programs, routes, hubs, etc. I'll start off with some high level details of what we know, or at least what seems fairly certain at this point:

    • Combined airline will be called American Airlines
    • Will be HQ'd in Fort Worth, TX
    • Doug Parker (Current US CEO) will be the CEO of the combined airline
    • Highly likely (to the point of certainty) that the airline will remain part of the OneWorld alliance.
    Beyond all of this, I'm really curious how the hub situation will play out over the months ahead. Will PHX, PHL, and CLT all survive? What happens at DCA, where current AA + US operations equal about 60% of all flights?

    I may be biased because I live there, but I feel reasonably confident that CLT will remain as a hub, although perhaps one with less international flying.
     
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Beat me to it by 1 min, making mine a redundant post, but there is nothing wrong with providing different perspectives on a big news item!;)
     
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  3. mht_flyer
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    I would bet PHL hub will eventually go away with AA's presence in NYC.
     
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  4. General_Flyer
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    Wished they could stay in Star... US have been good to me in terms of accrual on LH M&M.. Will miss them more coz UA is just getting really annoying lately..
     
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  5. DeacFlyer1
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    So I'm curious for some perspectives on this. I know NYC is one of AA's current "cornerstone" markets, but is it really big enough that they can do away with PHL in the future? I know AA has a decent presence at LGA, but it still can't be more than 20% of the traffic, can it? And AA has a good sized international footprint at JFK, but not a ton of domestic destinations (I'd love if someone can dig up actual market share for AA at each NYC airport, I've tried but haven't found anything useful so far).

    Regardless, both LGA and JFK are slot controlled, correct? So it's not like they could shut down PHL and just move all that capacity to LGA/JFK, simply because they can't add all those flights due to lack of slots, correct? Granted, US has a token presence at both and they could use some of those slots, but I still don't see a combined airline being able to build up LGA/JFK to the point where they're true "hubs" that would allow for PHL to go away.

    Sure, they're close together, but PHL is in a huge MSA and I don't see the new AA just ceding that traffic to somebody else just because LGA/JFK are 95 miles as the crow flies.

    Yeah, as someone who's always lived on the East Coast and has mainly flown US, Star Alliance is all I've ever known...it's second nature to me. I think that's going to be one of the biggest changes, just re-shifting my frame of mind to think of the airlines in OW...
     
  6. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    Phl and NYC will complement each other.

    JFK and lga for o&d traffic, while phl for connecting traffic. As great as a transatlantic gateway jfk can be with strong o&d, domestic connections will be tough with o&d domestic NYC traffic preferring Lga. The combined entity can still run 757s out of JFK and PHL to secondary European destinations, with the JFK flight being mostly o&d and phl having more connections. If anything, Ord will see fewer transatlantic flights.

    For domestic only trips, the combined entity will be a top choice in the east coast, with a focus city at bos, hub in NYC, hub in phl, large focus city at dca, hub at clt and mia.
     
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  7. mht_flyer
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    I just don't see the new AA keeping PHL. Maybe I'm wrong but time will tell..
     
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  8. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    US has a strong hold in PHL I remember when it was over 70% or so before the LCC entered- I can't see it going away as it draws from the tri-state PA/South Jersey/DE and is already pretty busy as a US hub especially for international flights.
    People forget Philly is 5th largest city in US and the bio/tech/pharma has a strong business presence here utilizing shuttle and international flights. giving up more than three terminals doesn't make sense to me in order to service the areas needs. the airports (PHL/JFK/EWR) have co-existed without too much overlap and would think that would continue. I only go to NY (2 hrs away) for CX/LAN/SAA and other international airlines that don't fly from here
    In Philly where things would get interesting would be current competition w/OW (ie BA London flights) and code shares, etc. there are two BA flights and one US each day to LHR so would they cede to BA for codeshare and thereby decrease capacity or keep flight?
    I'm spoiled with direct flights pretty much everywhere so I'm interested to see if I will need to connect more now - I've flown AA once in my life, never United, etc as this has been US territory.
    From a small business standpoint I will be happy to earn ExtrAA points for our travels since the US team was a nightmare to work out contract agreements for spend given their domination in the market
     
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  9. snowpuff

    snowpuff Silver Member

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    This thread might be better positioned in the AA forum if the combined airline would be AA, no?
     
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  10. DeacFlyer1
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    Ha, that didn't even occur to me! You may have a case, but it's going to be months before the merger is even approved and they can even remotely be thought of as one airline, so I don't think it hurts to have a thread in each forum to get some different perspectives. I don't think Milepoint is all of a sudden going to roll the two forums together, right?

    One could also make the argument that perhaps since US is essentially taking over AA, it makes sense to have the main thread here? ;)
     
  11. DeacFlyer1
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    Well, there have been a decent number of people saying that the status of PHL is questionable, so there must be something to it, but I just don't see it. PHX, I can easily see most of the connecting traffic getting picked up by DFW, and a little (just because there isn't a ton of room to grow) at LAX. But with the slot restrictions in NYC, where do you funnel the 20+ million people a year who are currently flying US through PHL? Makes me really want to see some inside data on all of this stuff!
     
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  12. kellio
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    This kind of makes me sad. I don't have high hopes for PHX and I don't like Mad Dogs.
     
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  13. ord_a380

    ord_a380 Silver Member

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    Phx would be the culprit to be downgraded or dehubbed as lax and dfw are a far greater strategy and key market for america... Phl would be good to offload some flights from nyc..
     
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  14. LETTERBOY
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    My thoughts on this merger are here: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads...oon-as-january-2013.52505/page-2#post-1818635

    I HATE the fact that Dougie and the AA unions are being rewarded for their childlike whining and immature behavior.

    If they stayed in *A, oneworld would probably collapse, as they wouldn't have any US-based members. I don't think DoJ would let them merge if they were going to stay in *A.
     
  15. General_Flyer
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    I know.. Anti-trust and something else issue.. At times I wish they don't merge at all.. It will maintain some sanity on my part.. But what can I do? I'm moving back to Asia anyways pretty soon. Those who lives here and those US Elites will bore the brunt of it all..
     
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  16. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    I would think NYC (LGA/JFK) would trump PHL because of the huge amount of OW airlines connecting there to all over the world. BA/CX/etc.
     
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  17. Tenmoc
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    I agree PHX likely won't remain a hub, at least a large one.

    But your dislike of the MD80s, which i personally don't understand, is not well founded as AA is replacing them with 738s and the 319s and 320s. They're on their way out at AA for the past couple years at least.
     
  18. NYBanker
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    No question about it.
     
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  19. NYBanker
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    Here at 7:10am, US Air has a merger announcement up. AA has nothing up on their site. Hmm...
     
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  20. NYBanker
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    Oneworld would collapse without a US member? That is a pretty US-centric view of the world, no?

    Had AA/US gone Star (unlikely due to UA), that would have opened up an interesting market opportunity for a VX or a new upstart.
     
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  21. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Most of the pundits seem to be drawing a bead on PHX. That does make sense, including operations, when considering the hot weather adaptations that are required at PHX and the relatively lower potential for that hub anyway. Almost everyone keeps looking at JFK-LGA-PHL-DCA. I speculate they'll be forced to give up slots at DCA, but that all four of those airports will see continued emphasis.

    As for CLT-MIA I speculate they'll tinker with some Latin America options using CLT to send people from LA to ORL and other Southeastern locations. MIA is often saturated at some peak hours so use of CLT for off-loading some MIA traffic to a cheaper and easier hub might make sense. I lable taht 'tinkering' because I would be astonished to see a major change to CLT other than a bit of offloading from MIA.
     
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  22. DeacFlyer1
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    Yeah, it's all over the US website--A link where they put news and updates on the front page, as well as a big graphic on the righthand side. Here's the link to the "Learn more" area (there's actually a graphic of a combined route map if you click the "Cities served" tab, kindof neat) http://www.usairways.com/en-US/aboutus/pressroom/newamerican.html?cint=fpus_21132

    Also received this email from US Airways about an hour ago, titled "The New American is Arriving." Pretty similar information to what's on the website.

    The New American is Arriving
    As a valued US Airways Dividend Miles® Preferred member, we wanted you to be among the first to know about some exciting news. Today we announced that American Airlines and US Airways will combine to create a premier global carrier. Operating under the iconic American Airlines name, one of the most recognized brands in the world, the combined airline will have a robust global network, a strong financial foundation and one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry. We are excited about what the combination of our two great airlines means for our valued customers.

    More Access to More Destinations
    The transaction will combine American Airlines' and US Airways' complementary flight networks, increasing efficiency and providing more options for customers. Among other things, the combined worldwide network is expected to offer superior breadth of schedule, which will be of great benefit to our elite business travelers. The combined company will provide customers more choices and increased service across a larger worldwide network and through an enhanced oneworld® Alliance, creating more options for travel and benefits both domestically and internationally. The new American Airlines will offer more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries.

    The combined company is expected to maintain all hubs currently served by American Airlines and US Airways, with increased service to existing markets and service to new cities. It is also expected to provide the most service across the East Coast and Central regions of the U.S., including the East Coast shuttle, and to expand its presence and further strengthen its network on the West Coast.

    Enhanced Services
    Customers will also benefit from American's landmark agreements with Airbus and Boeing, designed to transform the new American Airlines fleet over the next four years and solidify its fleet plan into the next decade. The combined airline is planning to take delivery of 607 new aircraft, including 517 narrowbody aircraft and 90 widebody international aircraft, most of which will be equipped with advanced in-seat inflight entertainment systems offering thousands of hours of programming, inflight Wi-Fi offering connectivity throughout the world, and "Main Cabin Extra" seating with 4 to 6 inches of additional legroom in the Main Cabin. In addition, and as currently provided on US Airways' Airbus A330 international Envoy service, American's new transcontinental and international widebody aircraft will feature lie-flat, all-aisle access premium class seats.

    Largest Loyalty Program
    As one of our Preferred members, you will be able to enjoy unparalleled benefits. Here are some of the benefits the combined company will offer our members:
    • Even more opportunities to earn and redeem miles from an expanded global network of routes and partnerships;
      • 122 new destinations through which to redeem miles
      • Earn miles with more than 1,000 participating companies, including more than 20 airline partners
    • Unmatched redemption options including flights, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, one-way awards and club memberships; and
    • Worldwide benefits through the oneworld Alliance.
    Until the merger is complete, US Airways and American Airlines will remain separate companies and each company will maintain its current loyalty programs (US Airways – Dividend Miles and American Airlines – AAdvantage®). In the meantime, existing miles will continue to be honored, and there will be no impact to your US Airways MasterCard® or US Airways Visa® card. Customers can continue to book travel and track and manage flights as well as frequent flyer activity on www.usairways.com. You can also continue to earn and redeem mileage for travel awards with us and our Star Alliance™ partners.

    We expect the combination to be completed in the third quarter of 2013. Additional information will be provided to customers of our frequent flyer program on any future program updates, including account consolidation or benefit alignment. In the meantime, please visitwww.usairways.com/arriving for the latest information.

    We are committed to providing you with safe and reliable service, and we look forward to continuing to serve you on US Airways and on the new American Airlines.

    Sincerely,
    [​IMG]
    Doug Parker
    Chairman and CEO, US Airways
     
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  23. jbcarioca
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    I'm feeling unloved. As a CP for several years and an EXP since the level existed I have not had an email from either side. :eek:
     
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  24. DeacFlyer1
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    I guess I'm still missing something. If you draw down PHL as a hub, the 20 million people who are currently flying US Airways there each year aren't just going to stop flying, so that means a lot of that traffic needs to be picked up somewhere else in the new AA network, unless AA is willing to cede those customers to another airline.

    What I'm saying is, I don't see how AA operations at LGA and JFK can be increased to the point of being able to accommodate the number of additional passengers they would have to absorb if PHL were no longer a hub. Sure, they may be able to upgauge to larger equipment on some routes, but without additional slots, which don't exist, how can enough extra capacity be added at LGA/JFK to allow PHL to disappear as a hub?

    I would also be surprised to see major changes at CLT. Look at the combined route map on the US Airways website...CLT fits perfectly into that network. MIA just doesn't make sense as a large connecting hub, and CLT serves too many cities where shifting those connections to DFW/ORD/Northeast just doesn't make sense.
     
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  25. mrredskin
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    Agreed. I don't understand Gary's view/reasoning on CLT. DL currently destroys the competition (US) in the south. AA could hit them hard with expanding at CLT. Just do something about the E concourse, tho!
     
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