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American Airlines: Penny Wise, Pound Foolish, And Saddled With $40 Billion In Debt

American Airlines, and in particular current Tempe management, is known in the industry for being ‘penny wise and pound foolish.’ The CEO even has a nickname that stems from this first part. They spend lavishly on aircraft, investing in foreign airlines, and a new corporate headquarters (now supported with $10 billion in taxpayer cash over the last 18 months) while taking short cuts on employee pay and customer experience. And it winds up costing them more money in the long run. ( More...

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jwmson 25
I am so old I remember when American was the best airline in the USA. That was when pilots were the leadership at all levels. It is so sad to read things. I have stories to tell about super flights with them.
I was a Legacy American Airlines Stewardess from the 60s to 2008. You are so right the pilots were the leadership and did a great job. I am so sad to watch USAirways destroy the good name and brand. We were the cream of the crop and we were classy.......not trashy like the crews today.
Lois Lettini 7
I also worked for them in Air Cargo Sales in NYC and LAX in the 60s and 70s. I was proud to be an employee. It was a great place to work. They had HIGH standards. I always felt safer when flying on American. Really sad this is happening.
bentwing60 5
A wharton mba could never figure out how to schedule an airline without a massive computer!
Tim Dyck 12
They kept government money ment for payroll but didn’t actually use it for payroll? Why do governments give money ment for one purpose and then not enforce that the most net go were it is supposed to.
Peter McGrath 5
Are you new to this country?
SkyAware123 2
You expected more from our ever growing out of control government???? lol
they used the money to repaint the planes and move
21voyageur 0
And the paint scheme looks like a 2-day old dog's breakfast.
Bill Morris 10
This Airline went down the drain when Doug Parker and his merry band of idiots from America Worst, I mean West, took over US Airways and then American Airlines. American's move from New York to Texas had nothing to do with it's slow decline to today's ineptitude. I blame it all on senior management.
Is anyone actually surprised at this? This is the USAir mentality of Roach-Coach Airline. I have written to AA HQ and voiced my displeasure, typical "Oh we value your input, don't worry Senior Management takes your input seriously" Bla bla bla. A friend hit the nail on the head last night, American has become the World's largest "Low Cost Carrier" (LCC). The excuse regarding onboard service is the COVID situation, that is all bull crap, its their excuse to do nothing and provide the least amount of service possible.
Doug Parker is the "king" of scumbag airlines and he and that USAir mentality is killing a good Airline ALL for the $$$$$. They will keep pissing money away due to stupid decisions until they are eradicated from Management. Sad to see.
ImperialEagle 6
I hear nothing but complaints from AA pax who are disgusted with the whole mess. Most will make the switch to someone else and never look back. Sad to see a carrier such as AA becoming just another Frontier or Spirit, but, evidently this is the vision of their upper-management.
M Jelliffe 6
Bob Crandall knew how to run an airline!
Mark Henley 1
Amen to that....
Phil Howry 5
The rudimentary airline operational discrepancies with American Airlines originated with out of touch corporate headquarters' expansion. People who know nothing about the daily in-person operations of a business, have no concept of daily operational realities.

An advanced college management degree at the headquarters level, or private equity owner's level, is completely out of touch with daily business operations. If you take care of the nickels & dimes the dollars with take care of themselves.
21voyageur 1
One word drives all this: greed
Mike Boote 17
A very good article. American is run by morons, and has been for many years. I have not flown American since I had a RT Chicago - Dubai involving British Airways. American "allowed" me 1,500 AAdvantage miles. They absolutely DEFENDED that decision. I have never flown American since. Since then I have flown 1.5 million miles on Delta. I hope American is happy throwing away me as a frequent flyer with both hands. You deserve all the hate you're receiving. Choke on it.
Matt West 10
I couldn't agree more. I used to be EXP with AA, flying approx. 150 flight's a year. However, when any problem arose, they didn't care what tier you were...stand in line with everyone else to be treated like crud. Flying Delta 100% now and it seems their comfort+ is better than AA 1st class. Thanks Doug Parker!
I agree with all the negative statements I read here. AA used to be my airline of choice, then, sometime between 2004 and 2008, their quality level went down the drain... It clearly had to do with their maznagement, and its disregard for passengers. Unfortunately for them, it's the client that has the final word, and AA has to pay the price for their attitude!!!
American used to be the premier airline flying in the states. Then the merger with the classless US Air bunch occurred and the rest is history. I made lifetime Platinum back when flying for work was fun!
busyfritz 6
Wow-all this hate for American! I fly out of Charlotte NC a lot and AA is almost all I fly. There’s no one that can beat their prices for the level of service and baggage. I like Delta but their prices are just too high. I really have no complaints with AA.
how sad...aa was nce soemthing special in the air", and also "doig waht we do best"...those slogans went by the wayside long ago with the takeover by u.s. airways..aa has not been well run since crandall was in charge,and now you "cant tell the players without a program" as far as management and who handles finances etcetera...
Mark Wallace 2
Management is reacting (and, perhaps, overreacting) to the fact that Internet ticketing has turned the vast majority of American flyers into relentless bottom-feeders, interested ONLY in the lowest fare. There is no way to *have* the lowest fare without cutting amenities and, when your competitors do the same, it's an "arms race" to the bottom. Like it or not, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." - Pogo
don't forget they painted all the planes
Their customer service is almost nasty.
ToddBaldwin3 3
This is why I fly Southwest for most of my domestic travel. Unfortunately, for my overseas travel, the GSA City Pair contract is with AA, so I have to use them.
..sorry..typos on my comment...aa was once "something special in the air and doing what we do best"..oh for "the good old days" of aviation!
Mike Ellzey 2
I'm old enough also to remember the good old days when you flew American in First Class and they served with crystal and china and caviar and really great selections of alcohol and food was superb.
The pilots were the true leaders then. I won't and haven't flown American in a long time.
Lois Lettini 1
Priceless service and food.
This is why I'm upset with the Jetblue/American Airlines partnership. The taint is spreading.
Tom Bofinger 1
AA received billions of dollars in government aid. Has significantly declined over the years, especially during COVID
Tom Lindemann 1
I am a platinum level - pretty frequent flyer on AA. Yes they have rude personnel, they have late flights, they have cancelled flights and other issues - just like every other airline I have utilized. I have had problems on Southwest, United, Delta and many others - it's the nature of the business they are in. Overall I am satisfied with the service on AA.
Welcome to corporate America... Old people have old ideas and yet they seem to work?? C.R.Smith, Juan Trippe, Eastern I fell as Pan Am went away. We have corporate boards, but they rubber stamp new ideas
B>S.. Employees love and work their airlines. pay them and listen to them... ..
tsberry901 1
When corporations put investor profit ahead of customer/employee satisfaction this is what you get. A company where the customer and employees are happy will profit.
21voyageur 1
You nailed it. Greed
jeff rahn 1
I stay far away from American with constant cancelled and late flights. Delta is my go to Airline ( They care about You)
Seems there are quite a few AA haters. What airline would you suggest then?
Thank Doug Parkey, He's a genius at filling his own stomach. Always rude FA's gate etc., Unless it's Mesa SkyWest or Envoy, who are all still unjaded and young. I've flown every major US airline, From America West to United and hold top tier at both Delta and United even thru the Pan, but I avoid AA almost at all cost, unless somehow it will save me, or get me home earlier.
Robert Smith 1
Just another reason why I will never set foot on an AA flight again.
k1121j 1
It's true and im not happy it is or was my airline of choice. I'm re thinking as soon as i spend my last 120k of miles where ill focus my earning efforts.
coinflyer 0
darjr26 1
I think American’s DFW hub has gotten too big. When there are weather problems their delays and cancellations reverberate throughout their system. There are so many flights, operating out of four different terminals, I’m not sure any airline management team could make it work, American’s certainly can’t.
Ken Lane 1
The legacy carriers will never learn how to operate in a deregulated industry.
Albert Patzke 1
Stupid management hurts everyone, and in this case, costs a lot of money.
ADXbear 1
So are pensions in danger for retirees?
Fortunately, if you retired prior to the fake bankruptcy you have a pension. Mine is "lifetime" and thus far it is still being paid. They have tried to dump us into PGBC several times and the judges have refused them. BTW, they did cut the outgo even though we earned it years ago. The post2012 retirees didn't fare as well.
Bob James 1
This is the reason I refuse to fly American! I will pay for service. There's is worse than "low cost" airlines. No respect for employees or customers..
lionel spiro 0
The slide might relate to the AA Headquarters move from Third Avenuw in Manhatten to Texas.
Robert Prater 8
The slide is employing Harvard Business School alumni for CEO and senior management and not people who love and have a propensity for aviation and the airline business. The government gave bailouts, senior management gave themselves bonuses. The current AA management came from USAir, based in Manhattan?
Lois Lettini 2
Having lived in both places, it was a sad day when American decided to move to Texas. They wanted to be in a "right to work" state whereby the Unions had less power. Texas favors management, NOT employees. IF I could afford it, I would move back to New York, "in a New York minute."
bentwing60 1
may I suggest a 'go fund me site' as I will readily contribute!
srobak -1
the sooner AA implodes the better off the industry and the passengers will be. I honestly cannot wait for it to finally fall in on itself.
srobak 1
lol.... I see there are a bunch of AA fanboys & executive ass-kissers out there downvoting me. Bring it on - no matter how much you do it - you still cannot escape the truth.
a1brainiac 0
They used Gov't "payroll" money to buy back stock
Mark Kortum 0
Just spent 7.5 hours from Anchorage to Dallas in American's "new" A321 Neo first class seat. Barely enough legroom to cross your legs and zero lumbar support. When you add a pillow to the lower back the seat becomes comfortable. Without the pillow it is torture. Have not tried coach. Hope they did better, but I doubt it. Did I mention two-inch recline? But then since the rows are so close together any more recline would put you in the face of the guy behind you.
paul trubits 0
My issue with American is their "feeder" airlines. They have been unreliable at best.
sparkie624 1
Much of their feeders are very old Emb 145's and I think they still have some even older 135's
paul trubits 2
Piedmont here does operated Emb 145s. Other feeders have CRJs. It is not the arrow: it is the Indian
Chris Croft -1
Gee whiz Paul, let's not be so insensitive to our Native American brothers and sisters.(Tongue firmly planted in cheek)

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

btweston 2
Someone’s been drinking the Kool-Aid…


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