American Airlines has bowed to pressure from creditors and is exploring merger options, having previously vowed to go it alone. This consideration makes the possibility much more real. Especially with the AA unions being so keen on a merger.
Lots of logic for the move. It would create the second-largest airline in the United States in terms of operating revenue. US Airways plans to adopt the American Airlines name. The unions feel it would protect them.
Not sure what it will do to customer service at the airline. I personally think AA has the worst in the USA (Business Insider said in 2011 that American Airlines is the seventh worst company in the USA!) Both airlines have very high levels of customer complaints: American 1.44 per 100 000 passengers and US: 1.35 compared with the 1.22 industry average. USAirways has a slightly better on time performance 83.0% of flights arrive within 15 minutes of schedules arrival time compared to American’s 79.6% (Industry: 80.0%). The number of passengers who hold confirmed reservations but cannot get on a flight because it is oversold is 0.86 per 10 000 passengers at American and 1.61 at USAirways. As for luggage, American “loses” 3.2 bags per 10 000 passengers compared with 2.53 at USAirways and an industry average of 3.49
The other concern here at Wild about Travel is price. I imagine on some routes, prices will soar as competition falls.
Such a merger will leave the USA with just three mega legacy carriers:
- Delta (Skyteam)
- United (Star)
- US Airways/ American
Plus a handful of other carriers:
- Sun Country
- Virgin America
In five years the USA has said goodbye to: Aloha, ATA, Big Sky Airlines, Boston-Maine Airways, Continental, Independence Air, Midwest, Northwest, Skybus (though in fairness this was hello/goodbye), TED and USA3000. Soon AirTran will go. Have I left anyone out?