American is in the process of ‘refreshing’ their international 767-300 widebody fleet.  These upgraded 767s will feature fully lie-flat seats in a 2 class cabin configuration.  The details:

American intends to retrofit up to half of its existing 767-300ER aircraft. Those that are redesigned will operate with the new configuration with fully lie-flat Business Class Seats and all-aisle access. The remaining 767-300ERs will be retired over time.

Customers will enjoy an enhanced onboard experience with the installation of up to 28 fully lie-flat Business Class seats, each with aisle access.

  • The Business Class seats will offer individual tray tables with a work surface, and universal AC power outlets. Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1 devices will continue to be available for customers seated in Business Class, offering access to a wide variety of movies, television programs and audio selections.
  • The retrofitted 767-300ERs will also feature 14 Main Cabin Extra seats with four to six inches more leg room than a standard Main Cabin seat. The Main Cabin of the retrofitted 767-300ERs will have 167 seats.

American posted a video tour of a retrofitted 767. Enjoy!

This was a big week at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport, on Wednesday American launched direct flights between DFW and two destinations in China: Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The new service to Hong Kong is especially exciting because it represents an entirely new destination for American!

The new DFW/Hong Kong route will boast the longest AA flight in their network: the westbound flight is 16 hours and 50 minutes.

Here’s a look at the schedule:

DFW to Shanghai

AA127 DFW 10:55 – 14:55 +1 Day PVG 777 Daily
AA128 PVG 16:50 – 18:10 DFW 777 Daily

DFW to Hong Kong

AA137 DFW 12:45 – 18:05 +1 Day HKG 77W Daily
AA138 HKG 13:30 – 16:30 DFW 77W Daily

To celebrate the occasion, American hosted a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the new Dallas-Hong Kong flight.

The @AmericanAir team invited me out for the festivities.  Here are some party pics.

The press conference was held at Terminal D Gate 25

Untitled

 

The scrum getting ready for the event.

Untitled

 

Some entertainment at the gate.

Untitled

 

Anna, a volunteer with the American Airlines Asian & Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group, demonstrated her calligraphy skills by creating name cards for passengers and guests.

Untitled

Untitled

 

Fortune cookies for everyone!

Untitled

 

AAdvantage Executive Platinum member David W., who added another inaugural flight certificate to his collection, has plenty more AA flights in his future.

IMG_2024 - Version 2

 

Some pre-flight refreshments for passengers, guests, airport visitors, and employees. Pineapple buns and shrimp dumplings for everyone!

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

 

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker welcomes passengers, guests, and visitors to the event.

Untitled

 

A few words from Consul General Li Qiangmin from the Chinese Consulate in Houston.

Untitled

 

Ft. Worth Mayor Betsy Price was excited about the new service.  She spoke about how important it was to the North Texas business community to have a direct connection to China, and to illustrate her point she mentioned that Ft. Worth based Pier 1 Imports CEO Alex Smith was traveling on the inaugural Hong Kong flight.

Untitled

 

And now the ribbon cutting!

..

Doug Parker taking questions from Dallas Morning News aviation reporter Terry Maxon.

Untitled

 

It’s time to board the flight!

Untitled

Untitled

 

Takeoff!

Thanks to @AmericanAir for the takeoff video and for inviting me!

American Airlines final 767-200 service Flight AA 30

 

I couldn’t let this go unremarked, American has officially retired their last 767-200 from their fleet. The final 767-200 flight was American flight 30, N319AA, departed Los Angeles at 11:35 PM May 7 and arrived at New York JFK May 8 at 7:17 AM.

American Airlines Flight 30

 

I must admit I’m a little sad to see the 767-200 exit the fleet, I’ve always had a soft spot for their widebody, 3 cabin, transcon service. However, the new A321-T transcon makes the change easier to bear!

A big hat tip to @Eric772!

Photo credit: FlightAware

For now, American and US Airways are located at different terminals at LaGuardia: American is located at Terminal A and US Airways is still located at at Terminal D.  

Last week my flight left out of Terminal D so I stopped by the US Airways Club before my flight.

This wasn’t my first visit to a US Airways Club, I’ve been clubs in Philadelphia and Charlotte, but this was my first visit to the lounge at LGA.

If you haven’t been through Terminal C yet, it’s actually a really nice facility, it was recently remodeled and offers a really nice food court.

The lounge is smaller than the LGA Admirals Club, but it was also less busy.  The staff was friendly, and because I was an Admirals Club member the receptionist went out of her way to welcome me and make sure I was aware that the club offered complimentary cocktails, beer, and wine, and that I knew how to access the Wi-Fi network (so far, in my experience, the US Airways Club staff have all been really friendly and helpful).

Anyway, just in case you’re passing through LGA Terminal C, here’s a brief photo tour of the club.

Great place to sit and watch the planes.

Untitled

 

Awesome chairs that feature a swivel tablet arm!

Untitled

 

The bar offers complimentary beer, wine, and (as of recently) cocktails.

Untitled

 

Snacks, including peanut butter filled pretzels! Not sure how I went this long in life without trying them, but I’ve been missing out!

Untitled

 

Coffee (an essential nutrient).

Untitled

 

Have you been to a US Airways Club yet?

The other day I shared some links to news items related to merger day at American.  The most clicked outbound link was to an interview with Doug Parker regarding whether or not American will keep the new livery.  It’s the one question he gets in interview after interview.

According to Terry Maxon at the Dallas Morning News, it’s a question that Doug Parker has asked employees to decide: keep the new tail or go back to the previous double A one.

From Maxon’s report Doug Parker to let American Airlines employees decide whether to keep the new AA tail:

“As we build our new company, we want all of our employees to have a voice in who we are as an airline, and that starts with what we look like,” Parker wrote in the internal “Arrivals” newsletter. “As such, today we launched a survey for all employees of the combined company to vote on what we should do with our new look for the tail – keep the work that was done, or go back to the previous American.”

“People have already begun to ask me, “Which livery do you hope wins?” The answer is I honestly do not care. I think both look fantastic. As someone who began working at American in 1986, I, like many of you, am fond of the AA and think it reflects the proud history of this airline. But I also think the new branding looks great. It is bold, professional, fresh and represents American well. And the more aircraft I see painted in this scheme, the more I like it.

“What I do care about and what I am happy about is that we have found a way to let our team members provide their input to this important decision. So, it is up to you. I just ask that we get it done quickly, so we can start painting US Airways aircraft. Have fun and please vote – we want your input.”

Go here to read more.

What do you think? Keep the new livery or go back to the classic AA design?

You can already earn a lot of AAdvantage Miles with Rocket Miles, now you can double dip and earn Business ExtrAA points too!

Business Extra has teamed up with Rocketmiles to help your travelers earn AAdvantage miles and your company earn Business Extra Points on hotel bookings.

Travelers can earn up to 5,000 AAdvantage miles per night. Plus, for a limited time, your company can earn 300 Business Extra bonus points for each employee that books before March 31, 2014. Simply have them enter your Business Extra account number before payment.

Book your next hotel through Rocketmiles: your company’s travelers will enjoy their dream trip faster while your business gets all the credit.

Go here for full details.

Have a great weekend!

Looking to impress your friends or add a bar room trick to your repertoire?  Or maybe you just want to show off to the accounting department.

Here’s how you can retrieve a copy of a receipt for an inflight purchase.

Go to AA.com/receipts.

How to retrieve inflight receipts on American Airlines

 

Submit the the required info (flight number is optional)

Receipt form from American's website

 

And wait for your results.

Screenshot from AA.com

 

There’s even an option to print a copy.

Receipt for an inflight purchase

 

It doesn’t display Gogo Wi-Fi purchases, but it works for any transaction processed by a flight attendant.

Never again will your Fruit and Nut Mix purchase go unreimbursed!

I was on an American Airlines flight Monday morning when the merger between American and US Airways became final.

Sort of like the merger, my flight was delayed (just not by the Justice Department). We had to wait for mechanics to inspect the engines to make sure that the fan blades weren’t damaged by ice chunks ingested from the runway. Other than the delay, it was a smooth flight, and we arrived at our destination safely and a little ahead of schedule, let’s hope the merger goes as well!

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve already read plenty of coverage related to the merger, but I thought I might share a few of the headlines that you might have missed.

From NASDAQ: American Airlines Group Inc. [AAL] Rings the NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell Remotely From Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Here’s a video of Doug Parker and the employees of the new American ringing the NASDAQ opening bell to celebrate the merger and their debut on NASDAQ

American Airlines Group listed on NASDAQ AND Wikipedia

The merger must be official – an entry for the new American Airlines Group has been added to Wikipedia. Read more.

Behind the scenes with The Airchive: American Airlines and US Airways Officially Merge in Dallas

The Airchive has the best behind the scenes coverage of the NASDAQ bell ringing ceremony and the employee celebration at American’s headquarter in Ft. Worth. Read more.

Employees celebrate as American, US Airways form No. 1 airline

They partied in Ft. Worth.

From Andrea Ahles at the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram “Ringing silver bells emblazoned with the American Airlines name and logo, hundreds of employees joined top executives at the airline’s Fort Worth headquarters on Monday to cheer the closing of its merger with US Airways.” Read more.

US Airways, Valley’s own airline, begins to fade into history

They’re a little wistful in Arizona.

From Dawn Gilbertson and Ryan Randazzo of The Arizona Republic in TEMPE, Ariz. “The sign atop the nine-story office building downtown still will say US Airways, and so will the white planes with the blue tail that take off every few minutes from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport.

But after Doug Parker rang the Nasdaq bell Monday from Fort Worth, Texas, signaling the completion of the $17 billion US Airways-American Airlines merger, US Airways started its gradual fade into the history books.” Read more.

Charlotte to Become the New American’s Second Busiest Hub After Merger

Optimistic in Charlotte.

Skift reports “As part of the settlement US Airways and American reached with the U.S. Justice Department to get approval for the merger, they agreed to maintain service at their hubs for three years at current levels.

At Charlotte Douglas, the combined airline will operate about 650 flights a day — more than 90 percent of the airport’s total. That makes Charlotte Douglas one of the most concentrated hub airports in the country, uniquely tied to the fortunes of one airline.” Read more.

Born in Pittsburgh, US Airways Departure is a Bittersweet One

Perhaps a little more bitter than sweet in Pittsburgh.

The carriers’ daily departures in Pittsburgh peaked at 510 in 2000 when local employment also peaked, at about 11,800. Yet today, the airline operates just 40 daily departures here and employs about 1,800. Read more.

Doug Parker issues his first official message to American Airlines employees

From the Dallas Morning News “With the closing delay behind us, and the busy travel season right around the corner, we have made the decision to focus our attention on ensuring both airlines run a superior operation during the holiday travel season. But changes to the customer experience will start to accelerate in early January when we begin to put the AA code on all US Airways flights, and vice versa, and align the combined network schedule. On March 31, US Airways will officially join the oneworld alliance. Our customers will soon earn and redeem miles on both airlines. And in the coming months you’ll see our airlines begin to co-locate in airports around the world, starting with our hubs. Expect plenty of communication about our progress.” Read more.

Sky Talk: Parker’s thoughts on Eagle, the livery and former American CEO Horton

The question that won’t go away…Will American keep the new livery? Read more.

American Air to seek more corporate customers after merger

Reuters reports “”We will now have a network that can get customers everywhere they want to go. Because of that, we have more ability to compete for corporate customers,” said Scott Kirby, the former president of US Airways who has that role at the new American.

Kirby said New York was a prime example of an area where American could make corporate customer inroads and compete better with rivals such as Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), which offers an international network as well as domestic shuttle service for business passengers.

The combination will enable the new American Airlines to combine the former American’s international route map with US Airways’ shuttle service, Kirby said. “We’ll now eliminate that competitive advantage and be on a level playing field with both Delta and United competing for corporate customers,” Kirby added. Read more.

Why Tom Horton deserves to be Texan of the Year

Cheryl Hall of the Dallas Morning News writes, “If you had asked me on Aug. 12 whether I’d be nominating Tom Horton for this year’s Texan of the Year, I would have said you were nuts.

This was a CEO being shown the door at American Airlines who was getting about as much sympathy as Jimmy Carter after Ronald Reagan’s election.

The easiest route for Horton would have been to lie low. Instead, he took the high road and acted, well, CEO-like. Read more.

Former American Airlines boss Bob Crandall shows up to support merger

Speaking of CEOs, Bob Crandall talks to Terry Maxon of the Dallas Morning News.

“American Airlines Group employees at a Monday morning town hall meeting were probably surprised to see former chairman and CEO Robert L. Crandall sitting on the podium between outgoing CEO Tom Horton and incoming CEO Doug Parker.

But the long queue of employees who lined up to shake his hand or talk briefly to him afterward testifies to his continuing popularity with many American employees, even though it’s now been 15½ years since he stepped down.” Read more.

Bob Crandall wants to “clean Delta’s clock”…

And he offers up some great quotes to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

ST: “You still follow the airline industry. Delta has been very aggressive. Can American compete with them?”

Crandall: “Yes they have and have been very successful in performing and now what American has to do is clean Delta’s clock…” Read more.

Unions react to closing of American, US Airways merger

Andrea Ahles reports for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram:

Several union leaders were at the NASDAQ bell ringing event, cheering on American’s executives on the first day of trading

Allied Pilots Association and US Airlines Pilots Association: Today, we find ourselves in a remarkably strong position, with an even more promising future.

Association of Professional Flight Attendants: “Christmas has come early for the APFA,” said union president Laura Glading. “It’s been a long, tough slog, but today our hard work has paid off. The Flight Attendants of the new American are looking forward to building the world’s greatest airline.” Read more.

International Association of Machinists Skips ‘New’ American Airlines’ Debut

While the mechanics are in no mood to celebrate…

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced it declined management’s invitation to participate in the “new” American Airlines’ opening bell ceremony in New York City celebrating the carrier’s first day of stock trading on theNASDAQ.

“To stand there with American’s management and pretend there are no labor problems and celebrate ‘one airline’ would be an outright lie.” Read more.

Big question after airline merger: Will ticket prices rise?

For passengers, the merger won’t mean many immediate changes. Whether the deal leads to higher ticket prices — the issue at the heart of legal challenges from the government and consumer groups — remains to be seen. Read more.

US Air-American Exec: Prices Will Remain Stable

No, prices won’t rise. Read more.

Perspective: No Myth – Merger Means Higher Fares

Yes, prices will go up. Read more.

American Airlines CEO: Fares Won’t Rise if Demand Holds Steady

Maybe… Read more.

US Airways to join oneworld on 31-Mar-2014

I’m sure you know this by now, but just in case…

From CAPA Centre for Aviation News “US Airways announced plans to join oneworld on 31-Mar-2014 following the completion of its merger with American Airlines, departing from the Star Alliance on 30-Mar-2014. US Airways’ regional affiliates operating under the US Airways Express brand will also transition to oneworld. During the transition period working towards their full integration, American and US Airways will maintain their current loyalty programmes.” Read more.

Oneworld’s 2014 triple play: US Airways, TAM, SriLankan signing up

2014 will be a very good year for oneoworld!

From Australian Business Traveller “The oneworld alliance will gain three valuable new members early next year – and Qantas an additional three partners for codeshare flights – as US Airways, Brazil’s TAM and SriLankan Airlines all sign up in the first six months of 2014.” Read more.

(Editor’s Note: A few months ago I shared with you what I thought was one of the best reviews I’ve read of American’s new 777-300ER. It was written by AA Geek Chris (@kingdomchris71) and posted on FlyerTalk.

Chris recently returned from a trip to Argentina and had a chance to experience American’s 777-200 Business Class product which has been updated with refreshed meal choices and cabin service.  

The 777-300ER gets all the attention but I thought you might enjoy a look at American’s current 777-200 offering.

Thanks to Chris for sharing!)

************************************************

On December 3, we flew AA909 from Miami to Buenos Aires in Business Class. We booked the flight about 2 months ago, into coach, and requested an upgrade to Business using miles. (25,000 miles and a $350 co-pay, one way). About 2 weeks before departure, the upgrade cleared and we were able to go online to select new seats. Since it was within 30 days of travel, we were also able to pre-select our dining choices, which is a great feature as you no longer have to be concerned about your first choice not being available on the flight, based upon the typical FEBO procedure. For my main course, I chose the “Grilled Fillet of Beef, served with tomato chile sauce, roasted onions and broccoli polano gratin.” While I realize it may not logistically be possible, I do wish there was a way to select your sides separately, rather than a package deal. Blame it upon me being a picky eater, but I really would have liked the parslied potatoes from the halibut dish with my beef. Not a big broccoli fan.

 

Usually you can check-in online at aa.com 24 hours before your flights. However, entry into Argentina requires US citizens to be in possession of a “reprocity visa” which must be verified before checking in (and usually again at the gate, prior to boarding). For this reason, online check-in is disabled, although you can check-in online for the return flight 24hrs before departure. It would be nice if there was an option on aa.com where you could check a box to confirm you have the required visa and assume all responsibility etc, in order to be able to check-in online. It’s not a big deal since we have to see an airport agent anyway to check our bags, but in the case of operational upgrades which are usually based upon status and then time of check-in, it’s a good idea to be checked in as soon as possible once check-in opens.

 

We arrived at MIA approximately 2 hours prior to departure, using the dedicated check-in area for Business Class. There is also a glass-walled Flagship Check-In area for international First Class. Our boarding passes were printed with our TSA Pre-Check status which allows us to clear security via a separate lane in which we can keep shoes and belts on, and not need to remove liquids or laptops from our bags. All together, from the time we entered the terminal, we completed check-in and security and were airside in less than 10 minutes.

 

With some time to spare prior to boarding, we headed to one of the two Admirals Clubs. I’ve heard that 2014 may see the opening of a Flagship lounge, as well as a new lounge for British Airways to coincide with their move to the D terminal and introduction of their A380 to the MIA/LHR route. We chose the larger of the two lounges, across from gate D30. Although it was quite busy, at over 30,000 square feet, there are plenty of places to sit and relax, including a music lounge, bar, cafe and quiet zones where cell phone use is not permitted. The lounge also features showers, a conference room, business center and kids area with TVs and computers. The lounge was nicely decorated for the holidays and we enjoyed the complimentary cookies and yogurt covered pretzels. Alcoholic drinks were available either for purchase or with the coupons given upon arrival – otherwise hot and soft drinks were free.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

 

About an hour before departure we headed down to our gate which was quite congested by that time. Once boarding commenced the pre-boards were accommodated, followed by First and Business Class passengers. Agents were checking again the reprocity visas for US citizens, presumably to avoid any potential problems upon arrival in Argentina. On our previous trip to Buenos Aires in October, CBP agents were positioned in the jetbridge, questioning every passenger prior to boarding. This was not the case this time though and we were quickly greeted on board and settled into 11A and 11B.

Untitled

At each seat, we found a menu, comforter, pillow, slippers, amenity kit, bottle of water and Bose headphones. In the past, headphones were distributed to each seat by the crew, this is the first time I have found them unwrapped and at the seat upon boarding.

Untitled

 

The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200, which does not yet feature the outstanding new Business cabin. I believe the refits for the 777-200 are due to begin next year, at which time the First Class cabins will be eliminated and the expanded new Business cabin introduced. So for our flight, we had the ‘classic’ business class cabin, with the angled-flat seats.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Although the hard product may have been old, the new soft products have been rolled out across the entire fleet, including the new amenity kits and meal service items, which you will see illustrated in the photos.

Untitled

Untitled

 

The flight attendant working our side of the cabin was Linda, who is hands down one of the best flight attendants out there. I’ve met Linda before on several previous flights to Buenos Aires. She is the ultimate professional, her service is impeccable, polished and efficient. Of the two night-time flights from MIA to EZE, one is served by a Miami based crew and the other by a Buenos Aires crew. I fly to Buenos Aires about 6-7 times per year on this route, and have always been disappointed with the BA crew that seem almost robotic, rarely smile, or make any effort to go above providing a minimum level of indifferent service. On the other hand, the Miami based crew have always been great, and if you’re lucky enough to have Linda, Trice or Albert working your flight, you’re going to be well taken care of. For me, it’s so nice to board a flight and see a familiar face, especially one of these crew members.

Untitled

 

Prior to take off, Linda came around the cabin, providing drinks (water, or champagne) and introduced herself by name to each passenger. Dining choices were taken (or confirmed if previously selected) for the evening meal as well as breakfast, and we were asked if we wanted to be woken or left to sleep.

Untitled

The menu was as follows:

STARTER

- Smoked salmon with spring pea blinis and cream cheese.

SALAD

- Seasonal greens with fresh vegetables, feta and pepperoncini.

GOURMET BREAD (including my favorite, the pretzel roll)

Untitled

 

ENTREES

- Grilled fillet of beef, served with tomato chile sauce, roasted onions and broccoli poblano gratin

- Manchego chicken, accompanied by roasted red-pepper demi-glace, basmati rice, artichokes and wilted spinach

- Pan seared halibut, offered with bell pepper and green olive sauce and parslied potatoes

- Orecciette pasta, served with plum tomato sauce and vegetable medley

Untitled

 

DESSERT

- Traditional ice cream sundae, vanilla ice cream with your choice of hot fudge, butterscotch or seasonal berry toppings, whipped cream and pecans.

- Gourmet cheese plate

Untitled

 

We departed on time, with a spectacular take-off over downtown Miami and the beaches, before turning south. Shortly afterwards, Linda came through the cabin with hot towels for everyone, followed by drinks and ramekins of warmed nuts. Once those were finished and cleared away, our tables were set up for dinner, beginning with the starter, salad and bread. My choice for entree, the grilled fillet of beef was excellent, cooked perfectly and seasoned just right. As I mentioned before, I do wish I could have had the potatoes with it, rather than broccoli. My companion had the pasta, which he also said was very good. For drinks, he chose the Shiraz, and I had the Malbec.

I have to confess, I usually eat my entree too quickly, because I’m thinking about the ice cream sundae that is to follow and want to make sure they don’t run out. I chose to have the vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and pecans – my companion had the berries. The portion size was very generous and nicely presented. Shortly afterwards the tables were cleared, the lights lowered and we settled down to sleep.

The angled-flat “ski-slope” seats are clearly not as good as the true lie-flat seats that feature in the updated cabin, but still comfortable enough for me to get a good night’s sleep and nothing that an Ambien can’t take care of. I just have to remember to put down the foot rest, otherwise I tend to slide down the seat. Holding the “Zzz” button will lower the seat into the sleeping position. Once there if you release and press the button again, it makes a slight further adjustment, so you can choose which you find more comfortable. The amenity kit also includes an eye mask and ear plugs, or you can use the Bose headphones to further reduce the cabin/engine noise.

 

Untitled

Regarding the bedding, the duvet is very comfortable. I like the fact that you have individually controlled air vents, unlike some other airlines, so you rarely have a problem with the cabin temperature being uncomfortable. The pillow is ok, but a bit on the flimsy side – it would be nice if they could be filled with a better quality material.

In terms of the color scheme, I find the cabin interiors to be a bit drab. You have gray seats, gray tray tables, gray tablecloths, gray duvets, gray amenity kits, gray headphones, etc. I would really like to see more use of color in the cabins. The new AA livery on the exterior of the plane is so fresh, bright and bold (Oz), but then the interior feels rather dull and bleak (Kansas).  The mood lighting in the new 777-300s is a great improvement, but I feel more could be done to incorporate color into both the soft product and the hard product when the 777-200 refits begin next year.

I probably slept for around 6 hours which was good, and woke to the smell of brewing coffee. It was just getting light outside, and I peeked out the corner of the window while trying not to flood the cabin with light, and saw the beautiful sight of the sun rise and the snow capped Andes.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Seeing me awake, Linda was soon over and set up my table for breakfast. The choice was:

 BREAKFAST

- Three cheese omelette with pomodoro sauce, basil sundried tomato turkey sausage and potato croquette.

- Continental breakfast, granola with yogurt.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled
Both options were served with a side plate of fruit and a croissant. I chose the omelette which was very good. After a quick trip to the bathroom to freshen up, I returned to my seat and placed it into the recliner position for the remainder of the flight, which is very comfortable. Soon afterwards, the pilot announced to prepare for arrival, and it was time for seats up and tray tables away. Linda came through the cabin one last time to pick up any remaining service items and to thank each passenger for flying with American. We landed a couple of minutes ahead of schedule and disembarked through the door in front of the first class cabin. As we exited the jet bridge, I noticed our plane featured the updated AA livery which looked great against the bright blue morning sky.

Untitled

 

In summary, this was a great flight. Although it was the old business cabin, the service we received was truly first class, and we arrived rested and ready for the day ahead. I look forward to experiencing the new business cabin next year, if not on a Buenos Aires flight then on a London flight booked for early in the year. I’ve previously flown the new 777-300 in First Class (which you can read about here), and it’s an amazing aircraft including lots of new features such as international wi-fi, a cappucino/espresso machine and a snack bar for business passengers. Thanks for reading!

Untitled

Before the markets open Monday morning, representatives from American and US Airways will meet at the offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Dallas to sign the papers that will merge the two carriers into one company, and eventually one airline.

US Airways CEO Doug Parker will become the Chief Executive of the new American Airlines Group and AA’s current CEO Tom Horton will step down and take over the position of Chairman of the Board.

Yesterday, he sent an email and a video message me to employees thanking them for all their work.

Here’s some of what he wrote:

Two years ago this month, we were at a critical moment in our company’s history. We faced huge challenges. The skeptics doubted our ability to see our way through.

How did the people of American respond? You delivered! You proved wrong all those who questioned our future. On Monday, we will complete our merger with US Airways, one of the most important milestones in the 87-year history of this airline. In so doing, we will have completed one of the most successful restructurings in airline history, or in any industry. This two-year journey – which began under extreme conditions – ends with a win for all stakeholders: our people, customers and owners.

This all happened because of you – because you care deeply about this airline and our customers. Your professionalism, dedication and commitment are an inspiration.

After following the drama of the bankruptcy and the merger all these months, I’ve developed a great respect for Tom Horton and his leadership.  He leaves behind an American Airlines that’s much stronger and more competitive than the one he inherited.

 

American Airlines first A321-T

American’s new A321-T transcontinental service is set to launch January 7 and to promote the big event they’re offering bonus AAdvantage Miles for travel between JFK and Los Angeles:

In celebration of our new Airbus A321 Transcontinental aircraft, flying early next year, we’re offering you the opportunity to earn up to 15,000 bonus miles for round-trip travel on American between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles between January 7 and March 31, 2014.

With the introduction of the new A321T on January 7, we will be the only carrier to offer you Three-Class service between JFK-LAX, with 13 daily flights by summer 2014 on this plane. Beginning in March, the A321T will also fly JFK-San Francisco.

• First/Business Class 15,000 Bonus Miles for Round-Trip Travel

• Full-fare Economy Class 10,000 Bonus Miles for Round-Trip Travel

• Select Economy Class Fares 5,000 Bonus Miles for Round-Trip Travel
(Excludes fares booked in O and Q)

Offer Dates: January 7 through March 31, 2014

Promotion Code: TR15K

Register prior to travel.  Go here to sign up for the offer and for complete details.

Photo: American takes delivery of their first A321-Transcon
Credit: Airbus

« previous home | top