Skip to comments.US Airways Has Labor Backing for AMR Takeover: Sources
Posted on 04/20/2012 6:15:16 AM PDT by KevinDavis
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (TheStreet) -- US Airways (LCC_) has been successfully gathering union support for its effort to merge with bankrupt AMR (AMMRQ.PK), and could unveil a union-backed bid as early as next week.
The carrier has managed to win qualified backing from at least three American unions -- the Transport Workers, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents flight attendants at American Eagle, according to people with knowledge of those discussions.
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Loss of American would be a major blow to DFW - both the airport and the region. And the AA unions will be shooting their members in their collective feet.
I have tickets on AA for summer travel. Hope they hold together long enough to get me there and back.
As for quality, it doesn’t get much lower than USAir - a trip is sure to have the added bonus of anything from wrecked luggage to a wrecked plane, while about the worst I can say about AA is that I don’t know how many miles it takes to get decent service, but 50K miles won’t even earn you priority boarding.
Not sure when your last experience with US was, or how frequently you travel, but they’re not the USAir of old planes, and surly staff from the pre-America West days. Since America West took them over (keeping the US Airways name), their quality has steadily (albeit slowly) improved across the board - newer planes, better on-time performance, fewer baggage issues, and better staff. There’s only so much you can do in a union shop, in a union-dominated industry, but they’ve gotten much better IMHO.
As to DFW if (when) AA gets bought, I’d guess that it will remain a strategically important hub for US Airways (should they be the acquirer). Phoenix is to far west and south to be a major connection hub (beyond current loads) and is not a major commercial center, limiting high-fare business travelers. DFW would provide a well-located hub to serve the south-central of the US, as AA has demonstrated for years - a good combo with the current strong presence along the full east coast for US. Chicago has also been an area of historic strength for AA, and can serve the northern-tier of the midwest in a combination with US, and with virtually no overlapping routes.
The toughest part of pulling this off will be the union aspects - US still has 2 separate pilots unions, as the 2 can’t agree on seniority rules were they to formally combine. I can only imagine this would continue (but likely not be worsened) bringing on AA.
As for overall quality? Expect more of the same - 4 major carriers (Delta, United/Continental, Southwest, US/AA) means less overall competition on service quality, so I’d expect it to stagnate or get worse - across the board.
Why doesn't Southwest but AA? PLEASE?????
It would give US Airways a good shot of entering the Oneworld Alliance. United is in the same Star Alliance as US Airways and the new merged airline would be a wlecome addition to Oneworld to provide some balance.
The new airline would have good strategic hub placement as a result of combining their hubs.