I’m a CLT hub captive. As someone in a US Airways hub I want the most direct flights at the cheapest price. With consolidation prices often go up and there is always a risk of flights decreasing. Look at MEM and CVG after the Delta/Northwest merger or PIT after the US Airways/American West merger. Only time can tell how things will shake out. I think CLT is far enough from MIA, JFK, ORD, and DFW that it can be a strategic addition, but with PHL and JFK running European flights and MIA running Caribbean flights it has the potential to decrease European flight and Caribbean flights. Most of my travel is domestic so this doesn’t affect me, but I like knowing that I can fly directly to somewhere for vacation.
With American comes oneworld. I have spent the years focused on Star Alliance and couldn’t even begin to tell anyone much on oneworld. To me it was always just the alliance I didn’t participate in. With US (and Charlotte) leaving Star Alliance I have seen rumors Lufthansa will reconsider, but maybe British Airways and Iberia could enter. Lufthansa was strategic due to BMW and other German companies within a 2 hour drive of Charlotte. The US flight to Frankfurt would still be there, but there would be a gap to Munich unless the new American picked that up. I will need to study oneworld more before making too many judgements.
The main change I look forward to is that in my experience American seems to be the flight that allows electronics for the longest duration. They usually announce usage can start very quickly after takeoff and require stowage right before landing gear seems to go down. US Airways and Delta have shorter windows. I’m not sure if American hits 10,000 ft faster than other airlines or if they ding the dings until a higher altitude, but it is pretty consistent in my admittedly limited exposure to American (30,000 miles over the past 7 years).
I will most likely continue my Delta Sky Club since I just renewed that and I don’t get to the airport early just to sit at the club, but if the product improves I may reconsider an Admirals Club membership.
Doug Parker – not entirely a fan. He did charge for soda justifying that he pays for soda at a ball game so why should an airplane be different. Although that does make sense, the quick about-face indicates the poor decision that was. Recently either he has been more tame or I just stopped paying attention. The credit card ads are pretty standard on Delta too now and tray table ads are usually an indication that they actually did clean the tray. I don’t even see the ads on most of the Airbuses I fly. I also blame him for “business casual” uniforms that make it hard to tell who actually works for the airline. As a whole though, US Airways has done a good job of getting me from point A to point B with minimal discomfort and inconvenience. The same cannot be said for American when I have flown them.
Now it is time for me to really dig in to http://newamericanarriving.com and figure out more details.