3 Links I Love: American Speeds Up Bags, Delta Makes Comfort+ Magically Appear, Big Windows Rule

American, Baggage, Delta, Links I Love

This week’s featured link:
Competing for B(r)agging RightsAmerican Airlines Arrivals
American puts out a weekly employee newsletter, and it sends it to media as well. Last week, the story on page 3 caught my eye. In San Jose, the airline made several changes to how it handles bags, and the end result is that bags are now getting to the carousel much faster. It’s not a long read, but you can see everything that the airline has been testing out.

Two for the road:
Delta Comfort+ now offered on CRJ-200 aircraftDelta News Hub
You might think that Delta moved things around to create a Comfort+ section on the 50-seaters, but no, it didn’t. It simply started selling the first row as Comfort+. Those aren’t great seats, but I guess they’re better than others… if you don’t care about storing your bag in front of you. And now if you buy them, you’ll get pre-boarding. Now you’ll be able to gate check your bag even earlier!

Boeing Business Jets, GKN Aerospace Introduce Skyview Panoramic WindowBoeing
Thanks to reader Heidi for sending what she rightfully described as “plane porn.” Click this link and look at the window. I WANT IT.

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25 comments on “3 Links I Love: American Speeds Up Bags, Delta Makes Comfort+ Magically Appear, Big Windows Rule

    1. To be fair, people used to celebrate 50-seat jets as an improvement over smaller turboprops. Comfort is a subjective thing and people’s expectations always end up outpacing reality.

      1. I think anyone who has purchased a comfort plus seat on other flights where they actually offer more legroom is going to be very unhappy with a CRJ-200 bulkhead being sold as an upgrade.

        1. The point is that comfort is subjective. If DL thinks they can make some extra money out of this move, then it’ll be up to the marketplace to prove that theory one way or another. Besides, when looking at the general length of the kinds of routes any 50-seat operator in the US uses them on, I doubt there are many people who would pay outright for extra legroom seats in the first place.

          1. I actually think this is more about connections for Delta. Now it’s easier to just sell Comfort+ straight through. My problem is that let’s say I need to fly LA-Atlanta-Wilmington and I want Comfort+ on the long leg. Now I have to sit in the first row on that short hop even though I hate bulkheads and would rather sit in a regular coach seat. As far as I know, that won’t be an option.

            1. A very good point, Cranky. Like I said, there probably isn’t a lot of local demand for this kind of product on a 50-seater. If it makes things easier on the backend for connections, then this change makes more sense.

            2. You want comfort? Go to the last link. Turn your 747-8 into your own private jet! Those pictures make me drool as I wait for a flight where the board says “Delayed”

      2. I’d still take a CRJ/ERJ over an EMB-120 or a SF4. I don’t miss prop planes. If the CRJ was used as a replacement for prop planes, it wouldn’t be too bad. But, when flights like SAV – DFW and SJC – DEN became CRJ flights, that is where people weren’t happy at all.

  1. SJC is not LAA staffed below the wing, it is only LUS IAM working under the standalone IAM agreement.

  2. Don’t disagree that the 1st row of a 50 seater isn’t optimal but there are some advantages, i.e. first off the plane. Long ago I ditched the rollaboard because CRJ’s can’t handle them. My light duffel fits in those planes and thus I’d be where I needed to be before the guy in the back gets off and finally gets his gate check bag. Also C+ seats mean you get free booze…which is about the only thing I’ve found that can make that plane comfortable.

  3. Where can one find the weekly issues of American Arrivals? They seem to be only available to AA employees via their internal website: Jetnet.

    1. Marc – Well, if you look at the url of the one here, it looks like you could probably guess the url each week and it might work.

  4. It still boggles my mind how it takes American over 30 minutes to get the bags out in Tulsa. Even United has them up on the carousel within 5-10 minutes.

    I’m not exaggerating – happened both times I flew with American and checked my bag recently. In Tulsa. Are they driving to downtown and back with them? Because that’s how long it would take…

    Kidding aside, the distance from concourse to baggage claims are the same. American does tend to fly bigger planes here in general, so the note about filling up all carts before driving them over kind of makes sense. But then again, I did fly a mad dog and a 737 on AA and last time I was on United A320 so should be comparable.

    1. To be fair re: AA vs. UA, you’d need to compare how many passengers are flying each airline as well. A bigger plane will probably unload more quickly if it’s carrying fewer people. And that’s assuming people on both flights check bags at similar rates.

  5. I’m a major DL loyalist, but Row 1 on the CRJ-200 is AWFUL. The window seats A and D are miserable, oddly placed against a rise in the window panel, and the seat width shrunken by an in-armrest tray table. There is no floor storage space, and the leg room isn’t much to brag about. Aisle seats – same problem with tray table and leg room – and instead of the window panel to deal with, you can get banged around by the other 46 people boarding after you. BAD MOVE, Delta.

  6. There’s some 757 love in that AA newsletter, see the Q&A on the last page. Hope Boeing finally makes the 757 replacement a reality!

  7. The “best” seats on the CRJ200 are the overwing exit row. They are preferred on Delta but I guess you can’t have a Comfort + section in the middle of the rest of the Economy section.
    It is also worth noting that Delta’s 50 seat RJ fleet is the smallest of the big 3.

    As for AA’s SJC baggage timing, you have to wonder if this is really the first time it crossed their mind to not try to unload the entire plane before bringing the entire load to baggage claim. I’m sure it takes a little more staffing to take a partial load to baggage claim and then go back for the rest or else the ones that are left at the plane have to unload the plane with fewer people. Or perhaps AA actually has enough staffing at SJC and their schedule permits that they can add an additional person to the ramp crew (or borrow from other crews) for each flight. I’m still not sure what the point of making a big deal about what happens in SJC is unless it is the norm in every station.

  8. Nice example of an employee newsletter, but I love how AA fails to mention that (a) unlike DL and AS, it is not offering a 20 min bag guarantee to customers, and (b) how at ORD and DCA it routinely takes 45-60 min. for bags to be delivered. Perhaps some of those great techniques from SJC can be spread to other bases…

    1. I believe that is the point and why it is included in the employee newsletter. If you can be made aware of procedures implemented in another branch of your company; you feel it is something your team can do; then it is a win-win for both the consumer and the company.

  9. I like 1B and 1C since you can angle your legs toward the galley. But, I agree with others in that 1A/D are not good. I guess row 1 also gets free drinks which might lessen the pain of being on a long CRJ flight.

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