So much for the lovefest that was the new American Airlines. A statement today from the Allied Pilots Association (APA) accused American Airlines of not making good on promises delivered to pilots at the outset of the merger between AA and USAir. I wish I could say I’m surprised.
Airlines are in an ugly place since deregulation. They suffer hugely when the price of gas and labor goes up, and there are no protections (in the US) to mitigate the negatives. Fortunately, due to American’s position of not hedging future oil prices, the tank in oil prices made it one of the most profitable airlines in the world this past year.
So, put your money where your mouth is, AA. I already hate what you’ve done and threaten to continue to do to gut the value of my AAdvantage rewards. Just remember that, even if customer loyalty is only advertising-speak to you, disrespecting the loyalty of your pilots and employees will have a more immediate impact on your business if they decide to walk away from you.