To Visionaries


Jan 17, 2003
Moon Township
firstamendment said:
I would like to share my thoughts. I do not expect anyone to agree with me and I do anticipate fierce disagreement. That's ok with me. Just do so in a mature way.

I have worked all but one day since December 26. I wanted to go in early but was too far off the beaten path to get to CLT. As I am a f/a and on the front line, I witnessed the frustrations that many of our customers experienced due to the Christmas Fiasco. Amazingly, or should I say shockingly, most customers were very calm and somehow understanding. We DO have a chance to win them back. I can't explain it. Why? I must say that I worked with some incredible f/a's and the word we got from the customer was how the agents helped the best they could with cutting checks for items they had to buy, since they had no clothes. We f/a's LISTENED. We stopped thinking about our fates and remembered that these were our customers...the people who pay our salaries.

I found myself feeling ashamed of the entire feud going on at US Airways. Yes, I have my strong opinions where upper management is concerned, but how do I explain the heartless actions of a few AND of the understaffing problem management knew about to those who missed Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner? All they know is that they were screwed over by US Airways and do NOT care who did the screwing. I don't think I charged a soul for a headset or cocktail after some of the horror stories.

It then dawned on me that the problem with US Airways is her internal disconnect and the fact that she has lost her mission.

First, the disconnect.

Upper management vs. labor--
There is a constant blame game that is running our company into the ground. Management doesn't seem to understand that we are people, not payroll numbers and labor has given up on the hope that the company really cares about them or running a viable company.

Many, myself included, have attempted to help the company see how they need to change their business plan. We have argued for years that we were too hub and spoked and needed more point to point. The company, the same ones saying we must all work together, only defines that as giving back money. A fine example of this is found in the Jan. Attache' Magazine. All of a sudden we are flying to the biz centers of Chicago, Houston and Dallas from DCA? RJ or large jet, many of us have argued these points for years. Now we can only do so with the sacrifices of labor when all these things could had been done years ago?

Labor has known for years that our contracts...some more than others..were too wasteful. The argument for change has been going on since the PI merger when labor cost soared with the difference in cost structure. None of us complained when we had those wonderful contracts. After years and years of warnings from every analyst known to mankind and CEO after CEO, we still lived in a state of denial. I am as guilty as the next person.

We must find common ground, but it MUST start from the top. I don't care how much you make or how LITTLE a dent it will put in the overall financial picture, management must lead from the top. Anything short of that sends the WRONG message. This company must stop thinking about short term and think of long term. Providing early outs is a great example of thinking longterm. A three year f/a is much cheaper than a 20 year. It's a start.

Labor vs. Labor--
There is discourse between those who work the front line and those working behind the scene. It is very easy to take a stand against the company when you don't have to answer to those paying our salaries. If the behind the scene guys had to answer as to WHY they didn't get to grandma's for Christmas or why after 5 days they still have no bag, they might think differently. The agents and f/a's have to clean up the sh!t you leave behind . So what you are doing is punishing your fellow employees. Gee, thanks.

There is no team spirit. Everyone is soooo territorial at this company that it is strangling the very core. I don't want to take anyone's job, but delays DO happen, and I should not have to ask to help clean when we have 20 minutes to turn a flight with 1 cleaner on a 757. Also, why oh why must JUST an agent be allowed to park a jetway? With 1 agent at the gate, planes are sitting and waiting. I know, we are understaffed, but the heated customer doesn't understand that or care. Again, teamwork. And f/a's, be helpful to the agents if they need anextra 5 minutes for that full flight. Keep the flow going. Ask for bag tags. Make sure you have what you need from catering. Check the water and toliets. Again, the customer doesn't care who is to blame for running out of water or overflowed toliets. And f/a's, please leave the galley the way you would want to find it. TEAMWORK PEOPLE!!

US AIRWAYS vs. the customer--
It is NOT their fault. We must stop taking our frustrations out on them. Each of us must treat the customer the way we would want to be treated. The customer doesn't set the price and can't be blamed for buying a cheap ticket.

We must stop screwing the business traveler. PERIOD!!

We must stop screwing the hub city locals. Yes, our hubs helped their cities, but many provide tax benefits to help us out. How about showing gratitude by making it EASY to fly us out of their hometown airport hub instead of driving them to other carriers by raping them with extremely overpriced tickets.

US AIRWAYS vs. the stock holder--
SCREW THE STOCKHOLDER!! Take care of your customers and your employees and you won't have to worry about making money for the stockholder. Just ask SWA. Too much priority is given to Wall Street and not enough to the cooperate mission.
Secondly, US AIRWAYS forgot her mission---
US Air, Piedmont, and PSA were the original Southwests of the industry. We provided alternate airports to the large congested hubs of the majors. We were small and friendly and people ( at least at PI) loved us. We weren't perfect, but we laughed our way to the bank providing alternative hubs such as DAY, SYR, IND, and BWI. After we became a big boy airline, the CEO's just couldn't decide the kind of carrier we should be. And so they forgot who we were. We have been trying to appease all groups of passengers and in life you can't please everyone. We have wasted more money trying to kiss up to all groups of customers.

We need to take our customers back. How?

Pick a model and stick by it. I feel Jetblue is a great model. All coach, seat assignments, simple fares, easy website, and AWESOME entertainment system. Dump the Clubs, dump F/C except transatlantic and take out one row of seats to give EVERYONE more wiggle room. Turn US into a hip airline, getting rid of the staunch business image. Offer coffee in the morning to ALL customers. Change those plain jane uniforms to a dressy casual such as Bananna Republic look and play on the US AIRWAYS name. Alittle red, white and blue and perhaps the naming of aircraft with cities, states, and presidents. A hip paintjob, keeping the flag, but providing painted tails of American symbols (i.e. Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge, Grand Canyon). How cool THAT would be.

Yes it will take money, but we MUST put a stamp on the kind of airline we want to be, stick to it, and be proud!! We must set ourself apart. It has to start with ALL of us putting the customer first with materials we need and the proper staffing. Management MUST include labor. We must simplify our fairs and airline CEO's must be more aggressive on raising ticket prices to meet the increase of fuel. If CAL can do it, so can we. I know it was a hard struggle for them.I know f/a's for them and I know how much they HATED their company and they were also on life support. They Changed. We CAN too. We MUST.

I am NOT pro-company, but I want us to survive. Yes, there is life after US, but I love this crazy industry and well, dammit, I don't want to leave it. One thing I DO know is that come Jan 7 or whenever the court date is, I pitty those without contracts. I feel this judge will have NO sympathy towards labor after the Christmas Fiasco.

I know this was long and I know I'm not the best writter, but I hope everyone will stop and just maybe put the anger, discust, and disappointment aside and think about where each of us are, what we want, and where we want to go. If you hate the company so much, you won't be convinced, but the tide of doom and gloom is contagious and must be halted if we stand a chance to survive.

Hopefully ALL of us learned from Christmas 2004. Am I alone in my thinking? :)
Post #57

Rank: Advanced Member
Group: Founders Club
Posts: 193
Joined: 3-April 03
Member No.: 2,071

Why not have a HP/US merger? I've talked about this before, and the general response has been "it would be just like US/PSA... lots of stuff on the coasts, but nothing in the middle (of the country)." That is nonsense.

After integrating the two companies, you would have the following fleet (including the birds being removed from the US fleet by GE - 15 733 & 10 319):

B733: 90
B734: 45
B757: 44
B767: 10
A319: 89
A320: 79
A321: 28
A330: 9
Total: 394 A/C

This fleet would be much more streamlined than the US/PSA fleet (no BAE, etc)

Now, this is what I would do:

1) Drop the LAS hub. Retain PHX, and continue increasing the LAX focus city that HP has developed. Currently, HP serves the following cities from LAX: LAS, BOS, JFK, IAD, PHX, PVR, ACA, MZT, YEG, & YVR. Combined with the existing US service to PIT, PHL, & CLT, you already are serving 13 destinations. The one thing that US truly gave away on the west coast was LAX. The Los Angeles metro area is the largest in the country, and currently US has a measley 10 flights. Unexcusable. Resume LAX-SFO, and also begin LAX-SLC/DEN/FLL/MCO/DFW/SEA. This would give you 20 mailine cities and approximately 100 daily departures. It would also be prudent to resume Express service, connecting LAX to SAN, SNA, SMF, SJC, RNO, etc.

2) Ensure you get the financiang to take delivery of the new A332 A/C. If US could get their hands on 10 of them, this would be the plan: All Transatlantic service goes to A330 A/C, with the removal of 767 from these routes. In addition, open LAX-NRT/HKG, or, if the LAX focus city doesn't pan out, at least PHL-NRT/HKG. 19 A330 A/C would be available for the 13 European cities & 2 Asian cities.

3) Instead of getting rid of the B767, simply redeploy them. They still function, and they are workhorses (although not appropriate for transatlantic service). Begin LAX-HNL/KOA, and designate 2 A/C to these routes. Place an additional 5 B767 on transcon routes - LAX-JFK/PHL immediately come to mind. The remaining 3 767 could be utilized year-round in the Caribbean cargo/leisure market, making trips to SJU/SDQ/CUN.

4) Utilize the A321 on all the premium transcon routes, as US currently does; PIT/PHL/CLT-SAN/SEA/PHX/LAX/SFO, as well as PHX-MIA/ATL/IAD/BWI/EWR/BOS/JFK/DTW and LAX-BOS/JFK/IAD. A319 can also be used on some of these routes.

5) Increase Latin America/South American service by utilizing the B757 in this region. Departures from PHX & CLT have the legs to do it, and simply continue increasing the service down south. I believe the 757 could do CLT-GEG.

6) Use the A320, along with any remaining B757 on the Caribbean routes. Cargo will be carried to the region on the 767 flights to SJU/SDQ/CUN, so cargo isn't a real issue with the size of the other A/C. The A320 is a perfect A/C for flights from the current east coast hubs (CLT/PHL/FLL) to Caribbean destinations.

7) Use the B733/734 A/C as the heart of the hub & spoke operations, running the typical JAX-CLT-CMH flights. However, increase the stage length of these flights. Add the fuel tank back to these birds, and put the ovens back in the galleys! Then utilize these flights on PHL-DEN/SLC/ORD to go along with the other destinations.

8) Use the A319 on new pt. to pt. flights. This is what the company has been talking about for years. BUF-FLL. BTV-MSY. CMH-RDU. ISP-MCO. The opportunities are endless.

9) Don't forget the vast express feeder network that still exists. HP currently has CR9, CRJ, and DH8 being flown by Mesa. Combine that with the vast US Express network, and the final result is an airline with unlimited possibilities.

Over 400 mainline A/C
Over 200 Express A/C
Hubs in PHX, PHL, CLT
Focus cities in LAX, PIT, LGA, BOS, DCA

:up: :up: :up:

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