Another Dumb Retaliation, Brought to You by American

American, Spirit

Anyone catch the significance in American’s latest announcement last week? I suppose it’s not really “significant” in any way. It’s more of the same old crap. Yup, legacy carrier tries to fight a low cost carrier in a market that they have no business being in.

This time, American is going after Spirit down in South Florida. It’s no secret that Spirit has been growing their presence out of Ft Lauderdale to a bunch of Caribbean and Latin American destinations lately. American, of course, has the huge Latin presence out of Miami, and they’ve apparently decided to try to knock Spirit down a couple notches.

So now, American is starting up Ft Lauderdale to San Jose (Costa Rica), and Santo Domingo. They’ll also beef up the number of seats from the airport to San Juan and Port-au-Prince.

Raise your hand if you think there’s really enough demand for two carriers in the market? Nobody?

It’s just the same tired old story. American probably has planned it this way . . . . Big legacy carrier moves into a market where it really doesn’t need to be. They’ll fight for awhile, potentially get the little guy out, and then they’ll pull all service out. As usual, the consumer is worse off and has to go back to paying really high fares out of Miami with no other options. But hey, American is happy!

The problem is that it doesn’t seem to work that way as well as it used to. Now, American will just waste a lot of money trying to put the little guy out of business, not succeed, quietly pull out of the markets, and go on making different dumb, revenue negative decisions. Glad I’m not a shareholder.

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4 comments on “Another Dumb Retaliation, Brought to You by American

  1. Sometimes, yes. But it’s rare these days. What was AA’s last successful attempt? JetBlue roughed them up pretty bad in Long Beach.

  2. It may work occasionally, but when you’re lacking as much on the service front as AA does, one has to wonder why they’re spending so much energy trying to muscle away airlines like Spirit.

    I have honestly come to the conclusion that United is the best thing going in the sky right now. Yes, they’re gigantic. Yes, they have high change fees. Yes, their frequent flier program is useless for people who don’t fly twice weekly for business. But they do fulfill the major criteria that I tend to look for in an airline:

    1. They are generally on time–certainly to a greater extent than AA

    2. They are competitively priced.

    3. Their route structure is logical, and they serve an excellent range of useful worldwide destinations.

    4. The cabin crews more often than not greet you with smiling faces.

    For practical reasons, I attempted to make the transition from being a “United Guy” to being an “American Guy,” and I just could not do it. My luck on UA has just been too good.

    First of all, I am actually on American’s No-Fly List and must stand in line to check in (no internet or kiosk for me) when I fly them, because my name is apparently similar to a terrorist’s (this was the explanation I was given when I looked into the matter). Additionally, while the Chicago hub is perfect for me, the price structure is ridiculous, and the only airline I fly frequently that seems to be worse than AA about on-time perormance is US Airways.

    So American clearly has its priorities in the wrong place right now, although it must be working for them financially. It’s not working as well as what United is serving up, though, because AA still isn’t as profitable as UA.

  3. I actually think American is doing exactly what they need to do to protect their Latin franchise against an irrational new entrant (8 cent fares!?). You have to remember this is a business, and a very competitive one at that. Perhaps AA can accelerate the departure of Spirit with some well-placed capacity.

    As for United, I think they do have some nice customer benefits but from a business plan standpoint, they seemingly have zero clue and no rudder.

    I say this despite not being an AA fan per se; just defending their actions in an interesting environment.

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