Posts Tagged ‘American’

In 2004, due to pressure from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airlines at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, nation’s second busiest airport, had to limit the number of landings from 100 to 88 per hour. FAA on Monday June 16th 2008 announced that it s going to remove the cap saying that “new runways will reduce congestion at the airport”.

Currently due to record high fuel prices, most of the airlines are cutting back capacity and hence the lift does not seem to benefit any airline. At worse, other airlines like Virgin America and Southwest Airlines which still have a growth plan might end up back filing the capacity cuts.

American Airlines is Disappointed

From Dallas News

“We had asked to
keep the caps on another year in order to see if that action would make
O’Hare operate with acceptable dependability for an extended period
before the FAA increased the number of operations.”

Any Good for the Passengers?
From Chicago Tribune

Yet, to the likely dismay of weary air travelers, the decision is
unlikely to lead to less crowded planes or fewer flight delays, despite
the opening of a new runway in November that Chicago contends will
boost the airport’s capacity.”


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Couple of weeks back American Airlines announced that it will start charging $15 for first check bag. In the last couple of two weeks, two other airlines – US Airways and United Airlines have announced their adoption of the checked bags.

So, now the policy stands like this –

  • 1 Bag$15 each way
  • 2 Bags$40 each way ($15 + $25)

Details on First Bag Policies –

United Airlines
Despite announcing the last, United Airlines will start charging $15 per first bag for tickets bought on or after Friday June 13th 2008. The charge is for “travel within the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada”. Exceptions – “traveling in United First® or United Business®”, “a Global ServicesSM, Mileage Plus® 1K®, Premier Executive®, Premier® or Premier Associate® member”, “a Star Alliance® Gold or Silver member” or military personnel traveling on orders. More here.

American Airlines
They start charging on tickets on domestic flights bought on or after June 15th 2008. All AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Gold members and people buying full-fare coach ticket or business tickets are exempt from this charge. Important Part – “The service fee is based on your status and class of ticketed cabin at time of check in.”. All Questions – here.

US Airways
Their start date is July 9th 2008. All Dividend Miles Preferred members (and more) of its frequent flier club are exempt. US Airways will also charge for flights to/from Canada, Latin America and Caribbean. All Questions – click here.

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American Airlines, the world’s largest airline has announced measures to offset the gas hikes –

  • Slash Us capacity as much as 12% and retire 85 planes: This means, you will have lesser flights from one city to another and since there are lesser number of seats, the air fare would be much higher.
  • Cut jobs: This is obvious, lesser number of planes, lesser people needed to operate the airline.
  • $15 Charge for first checked bag: Now you pay for every checked bag

So, get ready for other airlines to follow suit and prepare to pay more for the your next ticket.

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On April 20th 2008, an American Airline’s airplane (Boeing 767) took off from Dallas Fort Worth Airport for Paris. While climbing up to the cruising altitude a 3-foot by 6-foot panel made of composite material feel of the plane’s belly. Though it wasn’t till the plane reached Paris that the loss was identified.

From here

“[It] sounded like an explosion, or very large landing gear being
ripped,” said a flight attendant on board, according to an e-mail
obtained by television station WFAA in Dallas.

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For March 2008, American Airlines finished last among 19 US Carriers in on-time arrivals. Though a lot can be attributed to the ripple effects of MD80 cancellations.

This American Airlines commercial above is from 1988. The punch line was “American Airlines, The On-Time Machine“, funny how it has changed. Maybe they need rethink their priorities?

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American Airlines announced that in the next 4 months it will stop its service to Oakland Airport, California. American had been flying out of Oakland since 1947 and had three flights a day.

Though if you want to fly on American Airlines from/to the Bay Area – there are 6 flights out of San Francisco and 7 out of San Jose Airport.

ATA and Aloha Airlines, the two bankrupt airlines used to operate from Oakland.

Interesting Stuff about Oakland Airport – (from Wikipedia)

Military aircraft mistake

On September 27, 2007, Oakland airport authorities ordered North American Airlines Flight 1777, carrying 200 U.S. Marines
home from duty in Iraq, to park 400 yards (400 m) away from the airport
terminal and refused to allow the troops to enter the terminal,
although they were allowed off the aircraft to stretch their legs and
use restrooms.[5]
The airliner had stopped in Oakland to refuel and reprovision. Oakland
authorities stated that their decision was based on the fact that, “The
airport received information that the passengers were not screened by
the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at their originating
airport and that weapons were on-board the aircraft.” The airplane’s
passengers, however, had been screened by TSA at John F. Kennedy International Airport and no further screening was necessary.

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As pointed earlier FAA could have let the Airlines perform the MD80 wiring inspections without grounding any planes. But seems there was a discord between FAA’s regional and Washington DC office, where the former would have allowed AA to fly the schedule, while the DC office said “No”. So, let me understand this, there was no need for groundings, and the passengers did not really have to face the chaos?
From ATWonlone

“AA Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey has said there “wasn’t a safety of flight issue” with the MD-80s and that the carrier “applied for an alternate means of compliance with FAA” that would have allowed it to keep operating its schedule but was “rejected” and forced to ground the aircraft. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that AA’s report to Peters claimed that the carrier had a “handshake agreement” with regional Dallas FAA officials to conduct inspections and make wiring repairs without grounding aircraft but that FAA headquarters abruptly overruled the local officials, forcing it to cancel flights with little notice to passengers.”

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