They have very high debt levels ($17 billion), a higher cost base than other airlines in the USA, higher employee wages, older (and tatty) planes (their average plane is almost 15 years old which means some are ancient) and a perception of inferior service – in a slow economy.
AA, of course are making changes:
- In July, 2011, the airline placed the world’s largest plane order: 260 Airbus A320s and 200 Boeing 737s. This will help reduce their massive fuel bills by up to 25 per cent.
- Bankruptcy may help them with staff costings and with refinancing their debt. Their staff morale can’t get much lower (AA staff are some of the most negative and disempowered I have seen in the air).
- Service can’t get any worse. Bankruptcy may allow them to start again?
What do you see as the future of AA?
My ratings of American:
3 out of 5 over fourteen years
Positives: Member One World, earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points, large US network, Dallas Hub
Negatives: see above
Would I fly them again? Reluctantly