September 07, 2007

American Tests Cash-Free Onboard Sales

You may not need exact change to buy that drink on your next flight on American...

The carrier is testing cashless flights (different from the profitless flights they tested from 2001-2005) out of San Francisco for 3 weeks, accepting only credit and debit cards for in-flight purchases.  I'm certain this will mark the beginning of the end for onboard cash sales (I know, this isn't earth-shattering news.  But I thought you'd want to know anyway).

September 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 23, 2007

American's Crazy Cheap Fares to Central America

Since Spirit has invaded American's south Florida turf, AA has launched a number of fare sales designed to annoy them.  They announced another yesterday, including these fares:

Fort Lauderdale or Miami to:

Nassau, Bahamas: $34
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti: $69
San Pedro Sula, Honduras: $59
Managua, Nicaragua & San Jose, Costa Rica: $69

Fares are good midweek through December (for the most part).

To be fare, Spirit has low fares in this range quite frequently, but they don't offer the far superior schedule American has (nor does American have 2 1/2 hour red eyes from Central America -- I'm certain you really don't want to leave Managua at 1am to arrive in Miami 2.5 hours later.)

August 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 02, 2007

American Airlines to Test In-Flight Wi-Fi

Give American Airlines some credit here:  The carrier says that they will test on-board wi-fi on its 767-200s beginning next year.  The CEO of the company providing the technology (AirCell) says that airlines can break even if they charge $10 to use it.  Not too shabby...

August 2, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4)

July 26, 2007

Great Fares to Latin America

American Airlines has launched a real live fare sale (not one of those so-called fare sales where the fares aren't any better than usual) between south Florida and Latin American and/or the Caribbean.  How cheap?

Miami - San Pedro Sula, Honduras is $49 each way
to Nicaragua?  $59
Guatemala? $69
Costa Rica? $69

Whew, they sure are annoyed with Spirit.

Fares are good through early December, with regular Thanksgiving blackout dates.  Oh, and you need a 3 day stay.

July 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

July 06, 2007

American Airlines Smells Eos' Blood

American Airlines has had enough with Eos (and MAXjet, I guess):  They have announced that they are launching daily nonstop service from JFK to Stansted on a 767 (they used to serve STN from Chicago about 14 years ago).  They're also giving triple miles on flights between New York and London in business or first.  Knowing what little I know about the economics of that route, there is roughly zero chance they'll make any money on it.  Continental couldn't give away seats on their brief and ill-fated time flying EWR-STN in 2001. 

While AA's first class isn't even in the same league as Eos, they certainly have deeper pockets and have now decided they're finished with the competition.  So, who'll blink first?  Can AA really drive Eos out?  Does anyone care?

Oh, and they've also just filed a GBP 75 round trip fare from London to New York for November and December travel.  Take THAT, Zoom!

July 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 16, 2007

$15 to Change Your Seat

American Airlines is implementing a $15 fee to change your seat if you call the airline to make the change.  The carrier says it is just putting its fee structure in line with other airlines (not sure if this is entirely true).  There's no fee if you make the change on their website or on their automated phone line.

April 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 01, 2007

Democracy in American Airlines Lavatories

Good news if you fly in coach on American Airlines and you had a lot of Diet Coke:  the airline has changed its rules to permit coach passengers to use first class lavatories (except on flights into the US, where security regulations prohibit it).  No more standing in line in the back while the first class lav goes unused.

March 1, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 22, 2007

Britney Spears Nearly Misses Flight, Gets Special Treatment from American Airlines

Though Britney Spears has certainly had a rough week, she got a bit of help from American Airlines on Friday.

Ms. Spears arrived at Miami's airport late for her American Airlines flight to Crazytown (or wherever she was going).  When she got to the gate, the door to the plane was already closed.  So the gate agent did what she would've done for any passenger (except you), was call the pilot, said that Britney Spears needed to get on the plane, and could they extend the walkway back to the plane and allow her to board.  The pilot, just as he would've done for anyone (except you), said, "of course."  She made her flight and arrived in Crazytown just in time for her uneventful weekend.

(Thanks to Today in The Sky for the head's up):

February 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 15, 2007

Squirrel On Plane Causes American Airlines Flight Diversion

A squirrel running around in the wiring above the cockpit of an American Airlines 777 forced the flight from Tokyo to Dallas to divert to Honolulu.  A spokesman for the airline said, "You do not want a varmint up in the wiring areas and what-have-you on an airplane."  Apparently Jeff Foxworthy is their spokesperson.

February 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 05, 2007

American and Expedia Make Up

You may remember that American Airlines had a bit of a tiff over distribution costs with Expedia, resulting in American pulling its international flights and domestic business class flights from the online travel agency.  Well, they've kissed and made up and all of those fares are back up on Expedia.

February 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 12, 2007

American Drops Business Class & International Tickets from Expedia

American Airlines has stopped selling its domestic business class tickets and all international tickets on Expedia.  As they're continuing to sell these tickets on other online agency sites, we can assume that they're in a disagreement over distribution costs.  Nearly every other airline that has dropped Expedia has come back after re-negotiating terms.

January 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 03, 2007

8 Hours on Tarmac, No Toilet

An American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Dallas on Friday was re-routed to Austin because of storms in Dallas.  Fair enough.  But the plane sat on the tarmac in Austin for 8 (yes, 8) hours, with no food and with the toilets, er, full.  American hasn't really offered an explanation for what happened.

January 3, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 14, 2006

JetBlue and American to Improve Cabin Interiors

JetBlue and American Airlines have (separately, of course) announced that they are updating some of the interiors of their aircraft.  American will spend $20 million to update the business and first class cabins on their 767-200s (the planes they use for transcon flights), to put in new seats and video-on-demand.  Good stuff.

JetBlue, meanwhile, will add a whopping 4 inches of pitch to the first 11 rows of their A320s, giving you 36 inches of legroom (more than United Economy Plus) in those rows (and 34 inches in the other rows).  They're taking out a row of seats, which you think would be a financial issue, except that with fewer seats they can use 1 less flight attendant, saving a signficiant amount.  You'll now have 5 more inches of legroom on JetBlue than you will on Continental.  And, even more ridiculous, Continental's first class on their transcon 737s only has 2 more inches than that.  Makes me re-think my choice of carrier to the west coast...

December 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2)

July 17, 2006

American Adding New Business Class Seats

Good news if you fly trans-Atlantic on American Airlines:  The carrier has completed installation of new business class seats on one of its aircraft and will overhaul the seats on all of its 767-300s and 777s by next year.  The new seats are 20 inches wide, recline to a 9 degree angle and have video-on-demand.  A spokesman says that these new seats can't be matched by other carriers.  Which is true, except that it's not.  A whole bunch of international carriers (and Eos) have fully lie-flat seats, as well as video on demand, and some have wider seats (Virgin) and longer seats (Virgin and others).  So while any improvement is good, this won't match much of the existing business class trans-Atlantic seating that's out there now.

July 17, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 23, 2006

Airlines Investigated for Price Fixing

British and US authorities have launched an investigation into possible price fixing for flights across the Atlantic.  British Airways seems to be the main target of the probe, but American Airlines has received a subpoena, while United and Virgin both said they're cooperating with authorities.  These 4 airlines all fly from the US into London Heathrow.  The investigation is looking into whether airlines colluded on fuel surcharges, which have now reached GBP35 ($65).  If you've ever wondered how it happened that airlines were charging the exact same amount for fuel surcharges at the exact same time, this may help answer that question.

June 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

June 16, 2006

Compromise Finally Reached on Dallas Love

After years and years of bickering, a compromise has been reached on the Wright Amendment situation that affects Dallas Love airport.  As mentioned here a bunch of times, the Wright Amendment forbade airlines from flying from Dallas Love to states that were not contiguous to Texas.  Nor could they sell tickets between, say, Dallas Love and Baltimore with a stop in Oklahoma City.  Well, that's about to change.

Southwest and American reached an agreement whereby the Wright Amendment restrictions will disappear by 2014.  In the short-term, airlines can sell tickets between, say, Dallas Love and Baltimore with a stop in Oklahoma City (this is called through-ticketing).

This deal has to be approved by Congress, and there's a possibility that they will permit airlines to fly long-haul nonstop flights immediately (despite the terms of the agreement), in which case Southwest will have to give up 8 of its gates at the airport. 

Many thought that Southwest would fight for immediate long-haul flights, but Southwest was likely most interested in being able to plan their business.  This will be a huge win for consumers (and I wouldn't be shocked if Congress forces immediately long-haul flights.)

June 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 09, 2006

25% Off American Airlines Award Travel

As part of its 25th anniversary, American Airlines is giving a special offer a day for 25 days.  Most of these offers are pretty weak.  However, there's one solid deal:  25% off award travel within the US, to Hawaii or to the Caribbean & Mexico.  Book by May 31st and travel August 22-November 8.  That means most Caribbean travel is only 18,750 miles, while a free flight to Hawaii in coach is just 26,250 miles.  Hurry, because the capacity controlled awards will go quickly (especially to Hawaii).

May 9, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 01, 2006

Internal American Airlines Website Briefly Opened to Public

AAFlightservice.com, an internal website of American Airlines, was briefly opened to the public last week as a result of a security glitch, providing some details about American that would be interested to airline nerds like me (and yourself--let's be honest).  You can read the linked article for the details, but if you were wondering, the airline removed lobster from a salad plate and replaced it with "another seafood protein" (aka, shrimp, though "Another Seafood Protein" is a great band name) as a cost cutting measure.  Yes, it's that level of details.  Oh, and if you were still hungry after your meal?  Turns out you are allowed to get a second one.  Who knew?

May 1, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (4)

April 20, 2006

American Airlines Gives Away 20,000 Tickets to Mavericks Fans

American Airlines gave away 20,000 tickets to fans who attended the Dallas Mavericks' last game of the season last night (it's actually 19,000 people at the game and 1,000 in a related promotion).  Pretty cool -- fans didn't learn about the free tickets until they arrived at the game.  There is one catch, though:  the tickets are only good for nonstop flights from Dallas-Love Field.  Don't book that hotel in Hawaii just yet.  The tickets are good through November from Love to Austin, San Antonio, Kansas City and St. Louis.

April 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 31, 2006

Man Sues Airline After Dog Dies

A passenger is suing American Airlines because his dog died after a cross-country flight.  The man claims that when he went to pick up his dog following the flight, that he was listless.  He claims airline workers did not call a veterinarian in time and that they held the dog in an area off-limits to him.  When the workers returned the dog, he was dead.  I'll say this---it's a cute dog.

March 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2)

March 07, 2006

American Eagle: Fine, Soda Is Free

Good news for those of you who were disgusted by American Eagle's attempt to charge $1 for a can of soda: the American Airlines affiliate heard your complaining and once again soda will be free.  Congratulations for sticking it to the man.

March 7, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 27, 2006

Airlines Try to Make Fare Advertisements More Confusing

Legacy airlines are pushing a proposal that would make it more difficult to compare fares.  I know you'll be shocked by this, but a number of airlines (United, American, Delta, Continental and Northwest) want to be able to exclude fuel surcharges from the fares that they advertise.  Currently, the fares they advertise must include all of the revenue that they get to keep (and excludes certain taxes and other fees)  Why is that a big deal?  Because airlines could then publish $3 fares from New York to London, and tack on a so-called $275 "fuel surcharge."  This is nonsense.  Let the Department of Transportation know that you won't stand for this crap.  (Or more likely that you will stand for it because let's be honest, they're not going to listen to you).

February 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

February 24, 2006

Venezuela May Cancel Flights from US

Venezuela's government has announced (sorry, Spanish only...too lazy to translate) that they have cancelled all of Delta's and Continental's flights from the US to Caracas beginning March 1.  Most of American Airlines' flights are affected as well (though not the flights from Puerto Rico).  As you may know, the US is in a bit of a pissing match with the Venezuelan government over oh-so-many issues.  This probably stems from the US refusing to allow Venezuelan airlines to fly to the US on safety grounds.  The affected airlines are still showing the flights as available after March 1st, so the governments may be negotiating.

February 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3)

February 21, 2006

American Airlines: We'll Lose Money at Dallas Love

American Airlines, which has expanded into Dallas Love Field to compete with Southwest, said that it will lose money on these routes.  A sales executive with the airline said:

"As silly as it sounds, we're not here to make a profit off this operation, we're trying to serve our customers...We're going after Southwest customers."

Now, that is just ridiculous on so many levels that I can barely even think about it.  A company (especially a public company) is not in business "to serve our customers" it's in business to make money.  Non-profits are in business to serve their customers.  This industry is obsessed with knocking out competition at any cost, regardless of profitability.  Think of the business you're in.  Then think about how you respond to competition.  Do you make decisions that will lose money, with little long term benefit?  No?  Shocking!

If American were going to unseat Southwest, fine---I can understand a short-term loss to accomplish that.  But American is not going to drive Southwest out of Dallas Love; they're just going to lose money in the process.  If I were a shareholder, I'd be pretty pissed off right now.
 

February 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 25, 2006

Mileage Bonuses from Love Field

The fight over Dallas Love Field is heating up and consumers will benefit (damn that sounds like the lead-in to a local TV news story.  I apologize, and I'm too lazy to change it).  Anyway, if you fly on Southwest from Dallas to Kansas City or St. Louis, you'll get triple Rapid Rewards credits through the end of April.

Not to be outdone, American Airlines is offering up to 60,000 AAdvantage miles for flights between Dallas Love and St. Louis, Kansas City, San Antonio and Austin.  Hm, those sound like Southwest cities.  In any case, you have to fly a bunch of times to get those miles, (details here), but that's a nice bonus for some short flghts. 

January 25, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 23, 2006

American Airlines: Fine, We'll Give You Sundaes

Some people's lives just suck.

Business class passengers on American Airlines learned recently that the airline was eliminating make-your-own sundaes in business class and replacing them with, wait for it wait for it, PRE-MADE SUNDAES.  Da horror! Da horror!

Before you go storming AA's offices in Dallas, American has decided that perhaps this wasn't a great idea and after what I can only imagine was a dozen meetings, has re-instated make your own sundaes.  But only at dinner.  During lunch, you'll get pre-made, pre-toppinged sundaes with all the gloop, whether you want it or not.

The end.

January 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)