Topic of the Week: What Should I Tell US Airways?

As you all know, I’ll be in Phoenix next week. (I hope you can join me on Monday from 4p to 6p for some Crankyspotting at Tempe Beach Park.)

But what you don’t know is that the next day I will be in a meeting with a group of executives at US Airways talking about corporate and agency sales. Yes, they’ve invited both me and Holly Hegeman from PlaneBusiness to chime in. If you have any thoughts on how US Airways handles this part of the business, send them my way. Or even better, bring them with you to Crankyspotting and tell me in person.

  • Are you a travel agency owner or employee who deals with airline contracts and problems?
  • Do you book travel at a travel agency?
  • Do you manage airline contracts for a larger company?
  • Are you a traveler at a company who has a corporate contract?

If you are in any of these situations and you have ideas for how US Airways can improve, please let me know at cf@crankyflier.com. Please include stories about what US Airways does wrong but also what other airlines do right. It’s often that there’s a captive audience for something like this, so please let me know all your thoughts.

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32 Comments on "Topic of the Week: What Should I Tell US Airways?"

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derek.a.stewart
Member

Need to provide a corporate incentive program like Deltas’ Sky Bonus or Americans’ Business ExtrAA primarily for small businesses who may book direct and not big enough for a corporate contract.

For all (personal and corporate): Fix your booking website – it’s terrible for providing all available options.

Bill from DC
Guest

good suggestion – theirs is by far the worst of the big four

Golfzoo
Guest

Definitely they have to fix their Website..

David SF eastbay
Member

Are these executives former HP, US or hired after the merger?

I really don’t care for either carrier/company so wouldn’t fly them. I would think they have an image problem with a lot of people thinking of the USscare days and the murder of San Diego based PSA. My company doesn’t seek out business with them.

Maybe that’s a question, how do they over come the negative thoughts surrounding their company that may still be out there from days gone by?

Sanjeev M
Guest
I think the answer is …. merge with AA. On a serious note DavidSF, your question is valid. They have made great strides in on-time performance and cleanliness of aircraft, yet people remember them as the airline of before. I have another question regarding Star Alliance. Of course, United actively promotes the Star relationship in corporate contracts and the world’s largest network of airlines. Now US is a smaller airline that may not serve everywhere United does, so how do they portray their relationship with United and still convince companies to have a contract with US? Any insight on the… Read more »
drybean
Member

I don’t think AA can save US or repair their image. A merger would just harm AA’s brand…just when things can’t get worse scenario… US has a lot to do from improving the product to their awful customer service. Let’s hope Brett and Holly come back with more than merge or die…

Bill from DC
Guest

Funny how long these impressions last. I was a huge US basher back in the day but forced to fly them frequently from DCA, with mixed results at best. Even I now admit that their operations and their service has improved drastically to the point I find them superior to AA (thanks to their pilots), UA (in general) and my former favorite DL (which just hasn’t been itself dating to well before the NW acquisition) IMO.

tharanga
Guest

I agree. US is running an improved operation. Perceptions based on 6 years ago should be updated. Perceptions based on the 1980s are totally irrelevant.

As for corporate contracts – I’d like to know more about how the bidding for GSA government contracts works, but that’s maybe not a question for any one airline in particular.

CrizzleColts
Guest
As a corporate traveller, I only have one gripe. That would be how complimentary upgrades are handled. I am unable to book my wife on the same PNR due to corporate travel policy, and therefore she isn’t eligible for the upgrade she would be if we were on the same PNR. I know there are some systems issues that prevent them from being able to combine PNR’s, but it would be nice if there was a way to designate one person as a partner or SO per plan year to make travel where someone is traveling with a DM member… Read more »
Bill from DC
Guest
DCA specific as always. It’s getting pretty tight in there even after gaining additional gates in concourse B post slot swap (which basically led to US getting the UA gates and UA moving into gates by CO that DL used to have). Is anything in the works to ameliorate this such as obtaining additional gates (I was surprised they only ended up with, what, three more as a result of the slot swap), creating a physical walkway behind security to connect their piers, even getting some kind of a basic buildout for all the express flights which are so poorly… Read more »
CP
Guest
Completely agreed. A major value proposition for US clients, I would argue, is the number of DCA flights. Yet, the DCA passenger experience is, as Bill says, bad and getting worse. Two major issues: (1) the experience at 35 A/B is truly awful — this is the gate that ALL CRJ200/ERJ145 flights depart from, and (2) the tier-transfer issue. On (1): often, 10-15 flights are leaving 35 A/B within a few minutes of each other. Seating is extremely limited, announcements are constant (agents talking over each other, etc.), you cannot go down the escalator until your flight is called, you… Read more »
jaybru
Member

Image is a problem, as David SF points out. For me, from the East Coast, having watched that Stinson, I believe it was, hook the airmail pouch hanging between those crazy poles, the airline seemed fabulous. Later, the big ol’ DC-3 flying right over the beacon light just up the road…well, those were the days.

Since then, well, going from:

All American Airways to
Allegheny Airlines to
USAir and finally to
US Airways,

every time further down the alphabet, just hasn’t made me want to fly it.

I guess in the next re-naming, US might want to get itself back into the “A” list again.

Peter Rabbit
Guest

You need a culture change. Check out what BP has been doing with their entire workforce, labor and management, to figure out who they are and what their mission statement is. Everyone is on board! It may take years, but it must start at the top!

Nick Barnard
Member

Well, if US Airways adopted BP’s culture we’d have a plane crashing every month spilling oil all over the ocean.

I’ll stick with the current culture at US Airways thank you very much.

Jaymanlb
Member
I love US Airways. I live in Long Beach, and I fly from LGB to everywhere through PHX just to avoid LAX and SNA. I am a Chairman’s level DM member, and they treat me like gold. We have a small business in Long Beach, and we rely on US Airways….so the only thing I would say is…please commit to LGB if US merges with AA (and with mainline planes as much as possible–this year was great with at least 2 mainline flights along with the Mesa CRJ900s for the rest). Also, I ditto to comments on the small business… Read more »
drybean
Member

Are you related to Brett?

Crizzle
Guest
I have had nothing but great experiences with US. Granted I fly most of my flights on USX metal, but being fairly new to the FF world I didn’t come in with any misconceptions about USAirways. I have nothing but great things to say about the Air Wisconsin, Republic, and CHQ crews and employees I fly with most of the time. The PSA crews always seem to be dour however. From a FF/corporate travel standpoint I only have one major gripe. I am, as are many FF, required to book my travel through a corporate travel website. I cannot book… Read more »
Jim
Guest

I think the reason US doesn’t get so many corporate contracts is because their hubs are awkwardly located. They need a hub somewhere in the middle of the country. Flying through PHX or PHL just doesn’t make sense for many routes, so they are pretty much going to be restricted to corporate contracts from companies located in their hubs. Also, many times you have to transfer through 2 US hubs to get somewhere, while on another airline you could do it with one transfer through ORD or DFW or whatever.

Movers and packers in Gurgaon
Guest

I have nothing but great things to say about the Air Wisconsin, Republic, and CHQ crews and employees I fly with most of the time. The PSA crews always seem to be dour however.

Hunter
Guest

Tell them they shouldn’t have made Captain Dave kill his blog!

kelty
Member

Airline seems to be running at least as well as the big 3. Wish fares to small towns on small planes were cheaper.

DC
Guest
Yes, Ed, yes! Cranky – I know you’ve rejected my argument about this before (and that’s fine) but I’m telling you, service to small cities could be bigger for US from DCA. Right now pricing is often just stupid and has been for a long time. For some cities the planes keep getting smaller and the times less convenient. In essence US pretty much begged people to drive to BWI and pick up WN instead. Now with WN not so cheap anymore, I think the potential is greater than before. The problem is that just like the perceptions of bad… Read more »
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