Regional Affiliates -- Quality Control

On another thread, a member named "MrPlanes" was talking about the impact of the B1900 accident in CLT. He said,

"Seems ****** never heard of insurance. The lawsuits that arise from this tragedy will be paid from the liability insurance carried by the parties that are found to be liable."

Insurance will pay off the families of the victims of this tragedy. But what can not be repaid or repaired is the irreparable damage that has been done to US Airways. Right now throughout the eastern part of the country tens-of-thousands of would-be customers are avoiding US Airways.

Some are avoiding flying altogether. Some are avoiding turboprops and giving their business to all-jet competitors. Others are simply avoiding US Airways.

I would wager that only a handful of the customers that US Airways has lost due to the Charlotte tragedy are aware that the fated flight was not a US Airways flight.

The time will come when we will turn on Dateline NBC and see an expose about the bakers dozen "affiliate" carriers that are under contract to provide US Airways Express feed. They will discuss maintenance at Trans-States, pay at Colgan, training at Shuttle America...and safety overall.

They will make it very clear that US Airways has very little oversight over the companies it chooses to do business with.

With the exception of the three wholly-owned carriers US Airways has virtually no oversight and, therefore, no control over the safety, training, and product-quality provided by these independant vendors. The lowest-bidder is not necessarily providing the best quality for the "airline of choice".

Many of these carriers codeshare with so MANY airlines, that it is doubtful that they are able to provide consistent service to the US Airways customers. Mesa codeshares with America West. Chautauqua codeshares with America West, American, US Airways, and now Delta. Trans-States codeshares with American. How can Dave be certain that the employees of these companies are providing the same level of service to US Airways customers as US Airways own employees do?

US Airways is the 7th largest airline in the country right now but has more regional code-share partners than any other airline in the world. If Dave truly intends to make US Airways anything more than a ticket-broker, he's going to have to make some changes. These affiliates are a good temporary fix until such time that the wholly-owned regionals and/or the ultra-large independant regionals can fly enough regional-jet aircraft to provide quality feed.

If their ticket says "US Airways" then US Airways is responsible. The traveling public could care less whether or not Senator Colgan is able to pay his copilots $13000/yr and therefore provide a cheap Saab alternative for Dave.

Ok, getting off my soapbox
 
When Joe and Jane Smith plan their vacation they go to www.USAirways.com -- or call US Airways reservations and speak with a US Airways reservations agent. When their big day comes, they go to the airport and they carry their luggage to a US Airways ticket counter where a US Airways agent smiles and hand them their tickets, and check their bags.
They go through security and walk down a hallway filled with US Airways logos and advertisements. They sit and wait at a US Airways gate. After a while an agent in a US Airways uniform takes their ticket and says, Have a nice flight!
The Smith''s walk down the jetway, down some makeshift stairs and across the ramp to the twin-turboprop. It could be a Beech1900 or a Saab 340 -- a Dash 8 or a Dornier 328. As they climb aboard they dont notice the operated by MesatauquaPiedagheny on the side of the airplane.
They sit in the seats and Jan picks up the US Airways Attache magazine and looks at the US Airways route-map -- plotting their course to Charlotte. John looks down the aisle to sneak a peek into the cockpit where sit 2 US Airways pilots. Those guys must make $200,000 a year!, he thinks.
After takeoff a flight attendant in a US Airways uniform walks through the aisle and offers a selection of softdrinks and a bag of snackfood. An hour later the US Airways turboprop gently comes to rest at its gate in Charlotte and the Smith''s walk to their connecting gate, a Regional-Jet to Pensacola.
Question: Do the Smith''s know -- or even care that this was not a US Airways flight and that very few (if any) of the employees who they encountered on their trip were US Airways employees?
No. And its not their fault. US Airways chooses to do business with 10 regional carriers (of which 3 it owns). US Airways chooses not to own a SINGLE regional jet, but rather to contract Regional Jet service with the lowest possible bidder. US Airways chooses to pay a fee-per-departure to its partners rather than undergo the expense of providing US Airways equipment, US Airways training, US Airways maintenance, and US Airways safety oversight.
If the logo on the airplane says US Airways -- it is a US Airways flight and since that is how they represent themselves to the public, they will take responsibility for the choices that they have made.
Allegheny, Piedmont, PSA, Midway, Chautauqua, Midwest Express, Mesa, Shuttle America, Colgan, Trans-States, Mid-Atlantic and the Go-Caribbean family of carriers -- to our customers are US Airways.
Wake up Dave. This is not about money. This is about being the provider of a quality product -- not just a ticket broker.
 
Ride the Lightning,

While safety and safety oversight were one of the subjects that I was discussing in my posts they were by no means the focus.

Customer service and consistancy of service were also important points I was trying to make.

I'll use flightcrews as an example as those are the ones who I see most often. There are Mesa flight attendants who wear Mesa uniforms rather than US Airways uniforms. There are Mesa, TSA, Chautauqua pilots(and any of the others) who walk through the terminal and choose not to wear their hat. Some wear nonstandard sweaters or overcoats. PA announcements differ between carriers. On Trans-States customers are required to open their window-shades during takeoff and landing, while on Chautauqua they are not.

Consistancy is comfort to the paying customer. Although it took the Charlotte tragedy to bring this problem to light, there are significant problems with the delivery of the US Airways Express product that result from having so many different affiliates.

Again, I was not chastising the safety record of any one of the affiliates -- just stating that the safety OVERSIGHT by mainline was not there. When the customers fly US Airways Express they dont necessarily realize that the mechanics that work on those airplanes are not US Airways mechanics, or that the pilots that fly the airplanes are not US Airways pilots. Regardless of who is signing your paycheck, the customer sees you as US Airways.

Hence the thread - Regional Affiliates -- Quality Control
 

TomBascom

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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www.greenfieldtech.com
When Jane et al do lots of things the brand name is just about the only involvement the company owning the brand had with providing the good or service. There's nothing unusual or inherently unsavory about these arrangements. The brand owner dictates standards and quality control -- that's why those people wear the uniforms that they do and so forth.
 
Jan 12, 2003
1
0
You people amaze me, Mesa and Air Midwest have not had a Fetal accident ever. Mesa has been around for 22 years Air Midwest 37. So how many accidents has main line had, a few to say the least. So before you start pointing fingers do some research?
 

michael707767

Senior
Aug 21, 2002
332
0
[blockquote]
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On 1/12/2003 9:01:54 AM Ride The Lighting wrote:

You people amaze me, Mesa and Air Midwest have not had a Fetal accident ever. [/blockquote]

Haven't had a fatal accident either.
 

wings396

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,672
1,122
I agree that keeping the operations of the 3 owned carriers in line was tough enough. Now whe have anyone that has an available RJ throwing our name on it and flying around. If we are looking for more operational problems this is a sure way to get them. As you said all the passengers know is it was a US Airways flight with poor service and a delayed flight.
 

fr8tmastr

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
482
46
I[FONT size=3] would like to remind those that think they are keeping the WO's in line of the fact that the WO's have the exact same boss as your high and mighty ML. "Dave" is our boss, he dictates every aspect of all the WO's, what routes, when we fly, what equipement we fly, and how many of whatever equipement we fly. "Dave" tells us what ground stations we have and how much you can pay them. The WO's have had their jobs extorted from them by their brothers at the ML. The WO's were forced into concessions as was the ML. Now if anyone still thinks we are really seperate carriers, please send some of what your smoking. [/FONT]
 
Aug 20, 2002
664
50
[blockquote]
----------------
On 1/12/2003 9:01:54 AM Ride The Lighting wrote:

You people amaze me, Mesa and Air Midwest have not had a Fetal accident ever. Mesa has been around for 22 years Air Midwest 37. So how many accidents has main line had, a few to say the least. So before you start pointing fingers do some research?
----------------
[/blockquote]


I make it a rule not to pick on people's spelling but that is just hilarious! Does that mean that Mesa and Air Midwest always wear a rubber?

You might want to double check your screen name too, I/m not sure that was what you meant it to be.....[img src='http://www.usaviation.com/idealbb/images/smilies/2.gif']

Again, sorry, I don/t mean to put you down, but that was just killing me!


On second thought, maybe you like to swing from chandeliers....anything is possible these days![img src='http://www.usaviation.com/idealbb/images/smilies/1.gif']
 

Cisco

Member
Jan 1, 2003
44
0
www.usaviation.com
Like you all, I think U was a pretty terrific place to work and I certainly hope it is able to emerge from these dark times a stronger carrier than before.

However.......

Noone can cast stones at the affiliates who operate RJ's. Not only do they have a better safety record, the ontime and completion statistics are historically better than U mainline.

There is also the small matter of U's financial inability to finance new tugs let alone a fleet of RJ's without first having revenue from another source.
 

dashtrainer

Newbie
Sep 22, 2002
10
0
[blockquote]
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On 1/12/2003 11:13:54 AM fr8tmastr wrote:

I[FONT size=3] would like to remind those that think they are keeping the WO's in line of the fact that the WO's have the exact same boss as your high and mighty ML. "Dave" is our boss, he dictates every aspect of all the WO's, what routes, when we fly, what equipement we fly, and how many of whatever equipement we fly. "Dave" tells us what ground stations we have and how much you can pay them. The WO's have had their jobs extorted from them by their brothers at the ML. The WO's were forced into concessions as was the ML. Now if anyone still thinks we are really seperate carriers, please send some of what your smoking. [/FONT]
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[/blockquote]

Well Said Fr8tmastr!!
 

exagony

Advanced
Nov 2, 2002
147
0
www.usaviation.com
[blockquote]
----------------
On 1/12/2003 11:13:54 AM fr8tmastr wrote:

I[FONT size=3] would like to remind those that think they are keeping the WO's in line of the fact that the WO's have the exact same boss as your high and mighty ML. "Dave" is our boss, he dictates every aspect of all the WO's, what routes, when we fly, what equipement we fly, and how many of whatever equipement we fly. "Dave" tells us what ground stations we have and how much you can pay them. The WO's have had their jobs extorted from them by their brothers at the ML. The WO's were forced into concessions as was the ML. Now if anyone still thinks we are really seperate carriers, please send some of what your smoking. [/FONT]
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[/blockquote]
AMEN!
 

A320 Driver

Veteran
Aug 24, 2002
3,358
2,319
www.usaviation.com
Extorted??? You grew, we shrunk...now we're all shrinking. Get over it.

A320 Driver