Most of you who keep up with me on twitter know at least two things are certain about me.
I love traveling and I love flying American Airlines.
Something you won’t pick up from me very often at all is my dislike for other airlines or even bad customer experience from products I use. I think the days of complaining on twitter are not as productive as they once were (there are some exceptions to this) and it does make the complainer look like… a complainer.
Before I go any further I need to say this. No matter who you like to fly… ALL AIRLINES HAVE THEIR SHARE OF PROBLEMS and American certainly has their fair share of them. So there is really no perfect airline, but there are airlines who minimize the negatives well and handle customer service well. @AmericanAir has mastered handling customer service through social media better than any I have seen. Bravo!
Now… all that to say, the thought of my favorite airline merging with my least favorite airline scared the mess out of me. But now my view has completely changed for the positive.
It all started when American Airlines rolled out their new branding and their new planes equipped with updated cabins.
Over the past twelve years I’ve racked up almost 2.5 million flown miles with American with a portion of that internationally. One major area they have been way behind in is their cabins in economy, business and first class for international travel where not what they could be. Don’t get me wrong, flying business class to Europe or Asia is pretty amazing, but still behind the competition.
This is in the process of all being updated. I’ve seen the new look of the cabins and I’m impressed. They have finally stepped up to the international plate and firmly made their place at the table. Domestically, this means upgrades as well which is always a good thing.
I’m also impressed with the new look of the American Airlines brand. The new livery on the planes look awesome and the logo is slick. It feels very contemporary and competitive.
The few times I’ve flown US Airways, the experience was less than impressive. From the checking in process all the way through the flight I never felt like this airline was really trying to win friends and influence travelers. However, I’ve always made it to my destination.
The truth is I’ve never been a fan. Ever. So when I heard they are going to merge… I got a little shaky. “What’s going to happen to my American Airlines!!!”
In the past couple of weeks I found out that US Airways has been operating in a profit. WHAT??? Yep… it’s true. That right there told me that no matter what I don’t like about them, they are doing something right.
Then as recently as yesterday when the merger came through, all the reports I heard and read had these things to say. The labor unions at American are extremely happy with the merger which hopefully means no more sabotaged delays by pilots, mechanics and flight attendants for us! YEAH!
Also this new company merger will retain all the brand of the New American Airlines and the Advantage frequent flyer program stay the same. My guess is the US Airways frequent flyer program will get merged into Americans frequent flyer program. Home office will still be in Dallas and here is the great part for employees of both companies. Because there is minimal overlap of routes, there aren’t expected to be any major layoff’s. At least that is what’s being reported in the news so far.
So, it sounds like a win/win for everyone. Us as travelers and them as a company trying to stay alive and in the game giving us all a big and better travel experience.
I have to say the way this all rolled out in the recent weeks did nothing short of increase my loyalty to American Airlines. Rolling out impressive new branding followed by a very promising merger exceeded every expectation I had for this situation.