American Airlines hosts a ‘state of the airline’ event for employees after its earnings calls. There senior management shares their vision for the company and employees can ask questions. In addition to those questions that are asked live, there are followup questions that get asked – and answered – in writing.
The airline has shared written responses to several employee questions, and some of those were interesting (to me).
- No to India and Africa. American Airlines told Skift they’re considering flying to India and Africa. I said I do not believe that. They told employees specifically that they have no plans to fly to either. They also said no to Los Angeles – Seoul (which JonNYC seems to disagree on). For a return to Tel Aviv at least employees got a ‘we’re always looking..’
- American Airlines is “planning to make some changes” to basic economy. They already eliminated the restriction that basic economy passengers cannot bring full sized carry on bags onto the plane, because they were losing business to Delta which did not have that restriction. I don’t expect future changes will make basic economy better.
- Why there’s never enough food for sale in coach. American Airlines accounts for only about half of the food on board in economy. They determine provisioning based on what flight attendants report as sold, but “today we can only account for an average of 50% of the product we board on flights.” They give the example that if they board 10 sandwiches, only 5 show as sold, they assume the lower number is what’s needed — even though that does not appear to be the case.
- Flight attendants are allowed to give you the full can of soda if you ask. They pour you a cup but they aren’t forbidden from giving you the can. I’m surprised that’s still allowed with higher prices stemming from aluminum tariffs.
- New beverages coming. The spring annual review of liquor offerings will “include tequila.” Gin is also “a potential area of opportunity” and they’ll “look into” offering herbal tea.