American Airlines Leadership Change Imminent?

Filed Under: American

There are stronger rumors than ever before that we may soon see a management shakeup at American Airlines. With American’s next earnings call at the end of the month, there’s talk of the possibility of a management change being announced by then.

Doug Parker Seems Like A Nice & Smart Guy

Let me start by saying that I actually think American’s CEO, Doug Parker, seems like a nice guy. He comes across as genuinely nice, earnest, and likable, which I can’t say about some other airline CEOs.

He’s also incredibly knowledgable about the airline, and isn’t just a figurehead (which, again, I can’t say about some other airline CEOs).

Parker has no doubt had an outstanding career in the airline industry, and has done amazing things. He was appointed CEO of America West in 2001 (days before the 9/11 attacks), and he has been at the helm through two huge mergers, and now runs the world’s biggest airline.

Seriously, my hats off to him — he’s one of the greatest success stories in the airline industry, and I think he did a very good job through all the major transitions his airlines went through (ranging from dealing with the reality of the post-9/11 airline industry, to merging America West and US Airways, to merging US Airways and American).

American Airlines Needs A Leadership Change

All that being said, Parker’s time has clearly come, and American Airlines needs a leadership change. This isn’t me trying to hate on American, but I think this is a sentiment that a vast majority of people with various stakes in the airline would agree with.

Some people may think American’s current management team is only slightly dysfunctional, while others think they’re doing an abysmal job. I’d be curious to hear from you guys on this — does anyone think that Parker does an outstanding job as CEO of American Airlines?

American’s leadership is letting down employees, customers, and shareholders. I feel like all three of those points are pretty self explanatory, but:

  • As far as employees go, American has failed to give employees a mission statement, as the company can’t seem to decide on an identity; a vast majority of employees don’t feel understood by management, and American is having major labor issues with their mechanics (and negotiations are about to start with pilots and flight attendants)
  • As far as customers go, well, if you’ve flown the airline you probably know what I’m talking about
  • As far as shareholders go, American stock is near a five year low, and the company has underperformed in just about every way compared to what Parker has promised

It’s not just that things aren’t good now, but management hasn’t done anything to indicate that things will change anytime soon.

Scott Kirby Denies Rumors Of Returning To American

For the record I think the last thing American Airlines needs is the return of Scott Kirby, and more America West thinking. That being said, Kirby had some interesting comments this week about his role at United and his career at American.

For those of you not familiar, Kirby was President of American until 2016, when he became President of United. There has been some talk about the possibility of him returning to American as CEO, to which he said:

“I made a commitment to Oscar. Oscar was big enough to take a chance on me to bring me to United, and Oscar and United Airlines is the place where I’m going to end my career.”

This is an interesting statement given that Kirby is only 51. This certainly suggests that he’s in line to be the next CEO of United, which I think is what we were all expecting anyway. Then again, he was also in line to be the next CEO at American, and we saw how that worked out…

Kirby also talked a bit about how his actual departure from American happened, which he describes as the biggest surprise of his career:

  • In late spring 2016 American CEO Doug Parker said he was planning to retire and that he wanted Kirby to take his place
  • Three months later, Parker walked into his office and read off a piece of paper that Kirby needed to transition out of American

Ouch.

Who Should American Airlines’ Next CEO Be?

American can’t legally hire a foreign CEO, so someone like Rupert Hogg is out of the question (though Hogg might not be a great choice either way if American wants to continue flying to China).

If Parker were to finally leave the airline, there are a few directions I could see this going:

  • We could see someone who is part of the existing American management team be given the role; this could be American President Robert Isom or American EVP of People and Communications Elise Eberwein
  • We could see a successful former CEO of another airline be given the role; Richard Anderson retired at Delta in 2017 and now runs Amtrak, but maybe he is tired of all of those subsidies and wants a new challenge in the airline industry?
  • We could see the return of a former American executive who was well regarded but let go; for example, Virasb Vahidi is American’s former Chief Commercial Officer, but he was let go in 2013 (interestingly he’s now working in some capacity at Nigeria’s Green Africa Airways
  • We could see American try to poach a well regarded executive at another airline; one that comes to mind is Delta President Glen Hauenstein, but then again, Delta CEO Ed Bastian is 62, and I imagine he’s in line for the CEO position within a few years
  • I heard former United CEO Jeff Smisek is looking for a job and has some ideas that he thinks we’ll like… okay, just kidding

Bottom Line

Parker was allegedly going to retire back in 2016, but didn’t. Since then he has made tens of millions of dollars, so maybe this would be a good time for him to step down and have someone else try their hand at running the airline. Pretty please?

Ideally this would be someone who can come up with a vision for the airline that doesn’t just involve copying the negative things Delta does without trying to replicate any of the things that make Delta special.

Obviously this is all speculation at this point, but I’d be shocked if Parker is still in his current role by the end of the year. I think Delta swooping in and buying a stake in LATAM may have just been the nail in the coffin here…

Do you think Doug Parker will be on the way out soon? Who would you like to see take over at American, and who do you think would actually take over at American?

Comments
  1. Like you said, Parker and his team were right at the time, but the time has clearly come for them to leave. Isom is a good guy but I don t think he will make a good CEO at this time. Personally I’d love to see Richard Anderson take over with a new team and make American the carrier we all hope it can be again.

  2. Doug Parker needs to leave today. Scott Kirby needs to stay away. At this point trying anyone new will not make American Airlines any worse.

  3. major typo, pre 9/11 was not 2011 when Doug Parker became the CEO of America West, it was 2001, on a side note, AA most definitely needs a leadership change

  4. “It seems unlikely American Airlines would hire a foreign CEO”

    Considering that’s illegal, yes, that is highly unlikely.

  5. Doug Parker has done an amazing and phenomenal job

    … of running what was once the largest airline in the USA and world into the ground. Labor relations are poor, customer relations are poor, and AA is losing domestic and international market share in New York and Miami, respectively. One could say he has a spectacular track record, if watching dumpster fires is your sort of thing.

    From its days under Robert Crandall, AA has fallen far from its lofty heights.

  6. I have never flown before, and I have my first flight scheduled in December to Phoenix on American airlines, so this article caught my attention. Is this something else I need to be worried about?

  7. This last screw up with the LATAM alliance is the last straw. I mean the company is under performing compared to peers and don’t see him doing anything to fix any of the major issues the company has at this point. He needs to go…

  8. Yeah, why can’t the CEO be a foreigner? What kind of open market is that (considering that is what US airlines want)?

  9. The on-board product feels very ad hoc, rather than Delta’s which is clearly well thought. On Delta, the seat design is comfortable, the screens work, they are new-ish, especially in the premium cabins.

    American’s feel very basic, just as if someone from a LCC decided to try to sell a “half-good” product to a premium customer. For example, on the American (old US) 319’s and 320’s, the seats in first are merely recovered seats from US, not actually a new seat. So the feel is old and tired, hardly worth the money for a first class seat. Likewise, the Delta snacks are creative and they change – American’s are the same tired, tasteless stuff. No fruit, for example. Whether someone actually selects the fruit, the existence of the fruit sends a message of creativity and caring. It’s sub-conscious (and exceptional).

    Similar examples exist in the premium lounges, in the boarding process, in the use of small things (like the little water bottle on Delta, rather than the plastic cup on American that has to be picked up before take-off).

    The last thing is that non-union employees at Delta seem to like their jobs. Impossible to remove a low quality agent at American.

  10. I am so thankful Parker didn’t get his claws into Delta back in 2006. He is no doubt an ambitious guy, but his vision of massively consolidating the US airline industry to eliminate competition was a bad one. You’ll recall that was the hook that got the AA pilot’s union on board with a US Airways merger, dooming the efforts of AA management at the time to fend off Parker. I guess its appropriate that labor troubles will doom Parker, just as they’ve doomed every AA leadership team since Crandall. It’s too bad that Parker will leave AA as the modern era’s Eastern Airlines — the airline everyone loved to hate.

  11. Great article Lucky, you are spot on. Delta leadership continues to make amazing strives in its business, and honestly, I think United is really doing quite well.

    United has regained a significant market share and has really made a remarkable turnaround, have a great new Polaris Product and an impressively expanding route network (Cape Town, Palermo), and their route planning team is quite impressive

    American on the other hand, has cut back flights, reduced award availability, removed seatback entertainment, almost nothing positive.

    There’s no sign that American wants to be innovative or appeal to the consumer unless you only fly domestically and are excited to have to connect in Charlotte or Dallas. Your right, time for a change.

  12. He and the rest of Team Tempe need to go and take their regional, LCC mentality right along with them! They have all but destroyed our company. I can’t think of one positive in regards to this merger. He has made his money, take it and go. Please get someone who knows how to run a legacy carrier.

  13. Bob Crandall come back get AA on track. Dump current Usair Management and bring in a crew that will make AA the airline it was

  14. Do I think hes doing an amazing job? No. He’s faced big challenges. The merger integration was pretty clean tho to his credit. It’s probably time for a new captain of the ship. He is indeed extremely nice and likeable. On earnings calls and investor days (as a shareholder and an investment banking professional) he truly is nice and never cuts analysts short when asking questions (unlike the other two big companies). They tend to be overly transparent which is nice too. I’d like to see a new era where customers are valued (not just premium pax) as has clearly been the MO.

  15. “American stock is near a five year low”

    there is a pleasure in knowing Dog Bark bought 50k shares at $27.

  16. “American can’t legally hire a foreign CEO”

    That is not what the federal aviation act states. A foreign individual can be a CEO as long as there is a President who is an US citizen and at least 2/3 of the board members are US citizens. 51% of the voting stock must be controlled by US citizens.

    No clause or requirement for the CEO to be an US citizen.

  17. “American can’t legally hire a foreign CEO”

    That is not what the federal aviation act states. A foreign individual can be a CEO as long as there is a President who is an US citizen and at least 2/3 of the board members are US citizens. 51% of the voting stock must be controlled by US citizens.

    No clause or requirement for the CEO to be an US citizen.

  18. I’m surprised Parker lasted this long. First the retirees, next the employees, next the passengers, next the investors, and now LATAM. Parker and Isom needs to be fired ASAP!

  19. I said back at the time of the merger that Parker was destined for failure for two reasons: 1) he’d run the airline under the America West dba US Airways dba American Airline model, which would alienate customers, and 2) his history of scorched-earth labor relations made his promises of labor peace laughable. The Dougie apologists insisted none of that would happen because he’s “smart”, but guess what? Here we are. Time for him to go. For that matter, AA needs to clean house of the entire America West management team. What they need is a new executive team from the outside to put together a coherent strategic vision for the airline that doesn’t involve running it like the world’s largest low-cost carrier.

  20. I don’t think Crandall is the right guy to ask for. His time was wonderful but AA needs someone a bit younger with fresh, innovative ideas and also AA needs a more detail oriented person on the final product development team. Details are very important and do not go unnoticed and AA is lacking in ALL the details that Delta does so well on. Multiple snack choices, lots of signage thanking passengers for choosing delta, and AA isn’t even putting drop down screens on their brand new aircraft so passengers are forced to watch the flight attendants do a safety demo with no option of anything to watch during flight if they didnt bring their own device.

  21. I live in Dallas so I’m captive to American. I’m have over 3 million lifetime miles on AA. Flying in general has become a negative experience and AA specifically has made it more negative by maximizing profit at the expense of customer comfort and service. I think Parker has driven away business for this reason. I would like to see AA treat customers like humans and not just a source of cash flow.

  22. It’s time American airlines whole management team to leave bad leadership morale labor contracts in limbo
    Let’s make American Airlines great again.

  23. I’m a America West guy, I fully sup6 Doug. With the Max’s and Mechanic challenges, I admit reliability suffers. I feel the media only features the few employees that will never be happy. We have 100,030+ employees. let’s hear from the ones that support AA.

  24. Whoever they hire should be able to answer basic questions. Here’s a starter package:

    1) Do customers care about NYC? Correct answer: Yes.
    2) Do customers care about IFE? Correct answer: Yes.
    3) Do customers care about comfort? Correct answer: Yes.
    4) Do customers care about customer service? Correct answer: Yes.

  25. I have a strong feeling that Richard Anderson will be the CEO of American Airlines he the best fit for AA

  26. @Mark Tablack, the thing to be worried about is whether they will get you to your destination in any sort of timely fashion. For nine of my last 10 itineraries there have been major delays or cancellations. If it isn’t a mechanical issue, it’s crew rest. If it isn’t crew rest, it’s weather somewhere in the system. If it isn’t weather, it’s paperwork. If it isn’t paperwork, it’s gate unavailability. If it isn’t gate unavailability it’s mechanics slow-walking their work. I guess we’re back where we started.

    Be aware of your later options if your initial flight is delayed/canceled, and don’t hesitate to request food/lodging if your delay is overnight. Keep a change of underwear in your carry on. Good luck!

  27. Larry Kellner is still on Boeing’s board, Bethune’s hand-picked successor at Continental because he thought merging with United would be a bad idea….

    Bring on Alan Mulally for a couple of years to right the ship….

  28. When leadership in any company sends a woman to see a psychiatrist after she has filed a police report against a co worker…. that leadership nerds to go…

  29. If they can dump Parker, Isom and the crew that brought us Oasis; that would be a great start. American doesn’t need to copy Delta. They need to operate better than Delta. Ditching Project Oasis should be their top priority besides getting the mechanic contract reworked.

  30. From the roster of former AA executives, the only realistic CEO candidates are Tom Horton and Gerard Arpey. (It would be hard for employees to trust Don Carty.) IMO either Horton or Arpey would be a vast improvement over the current regime. Why not go for the slam-dunk by bringing one of them in as President and the other as CEO?

  31. Doug Parker cannot leave fast enough. He has pitted the different work crews against one another…that is his style. The current work rules are terrible yet he wants more concessions. AMR will spend millions on a new building but won’t pay its mechanics. The pilots contract is in the preliminary stages of “negotiations”… which means another work group will need to go mediation as management under Parker’s lead is to cause low morale which leads to poor customer service, poor on time performance, unhappy customers. The shareholders need to embrace Deltas management style

  32. WE NEED BOB CRANDAL BACK!!
    AND LEGACY AMERICAN BACK! PARKER has ruined AA! The livery is TERRIBLE! Passenger service is non existent! HELP AA Mr. CRANDAL!
    You were the BEST!

  33. If you believe firing Parker is going to bring back the glory days of AA pre-merger, don’t be betting the farm on that. He might get fired but I don’t envision highly positive outcomes at my level.

    I wonder more why the CEO of Boeing still has a job.

  34. My first choice is Bob Crandall. I don’t think he is interested. Here’s a few. Gordon Bethune, who made Continental a great company. Richard Anderson, made Delta what it is. How about “Boss Hogg?” Parker, Isom, Seymour, and all the other so called leaders that crawled out from under a rock to infest the once Great American Airlines, they all have to go!

  35. I almost spit my water out when I read Doug Parker is a “nice guy.”

    Of course I’m biased because I am a customer service LUS agent. Over 14 years he has made many comments that not only does he not care about Customer Service Agents but I really think he hates us. We are nothing but a leach sucking away revenue from him.

  36. American board slow to realize this biggest airline has done nothing big since they achieved that status. Most all current management should all be replaced by new people. Not some recycled management and policies that put AA in bankruptcy before US Airways bailed them out. Farewell Doug

  37. @Frankie you are correct and hundreds of homebased reservations agents were just informed that they were losing their jobs or be forced to relocate. This will only add to the low morale of the company.

  38. My vote is for Bob Crandall,he was the best. Get ridof Doug Parker asap.And believe me the only money he made is for himself. American airlines is a joke now,he doesn’t play a fair game…..Robert Crandall,will be the last hope of getting American back where it used to be

  39. First of all, YES, Parker MUST go!

    I have been at AA for over 32 years. I remember the days of Robert Crandall and NO, he should not come back! Anyone who says that, was not at AA when he was the boss. He has many positive attributes, but he was not liked by employees during his tenure.

    As far as someone new, anyone from the Parker Team or their mindset can NOT be allowed to take his place.

    First and foremost, this airline needs to remember it takes care of CUSTOMERS, externally and internally. As much as they LOVE to say “Going for Great,” the new culture is anything but. AA needs to take care of their customers onboard by providing more comfort and during irregular operations. What happened to customers on the recent LIM-DFW fiasco highlights everything wrong with AA’s ZERO lack of customer service model. Secondly, AA needs happy employees to take care of the customers and make them happy. Like I said earlier, I have been at AA for over 32 years. I used to bend over backwards to do everything I could for our customers. It became a futile effort because AA did nothing to help the customer after I did all I could. Quite frankly, it is sad but true, but now I don’t care simply because AA upper management does not care.

    It so sooooo SAD what Parker’s lack of customer service philosophy has done to AA.

  40. Data point: This week I had the choice of buying AA or BA in international, premium F class. Chose BA (at the expense of AAdvantage credit, and knowing BA’s product is hardly best-in-class). AA needs leadership that understands premium customer‘s expectations (they currently do not), what employees deserve, and what shareholders expect. Not an easy trifecta, but It’s what is needed to put the company back on track.

  41. Opinion: Doug Parker is a great leader that has earned my respect and loyalty. The message I hear from him is clear, “Care for People on Life’s Journey”. In my role, I keep this message top of mind and the north star that helps guide and influence my decisions. This is true when making decision for those team members under my care as well as those individuals who interact with systems that we as a team develop.

    I believe that there is a lot of dead weight in the middle ranks. Folks that have achieved a leadership position through an older, now outdated, mentality. They inhibit the change in culture that Doug has unleashed and asked that we all lean into. This middle layer is protecting their own interest for their own reasons and motivations.

    To me, here is the biggest quandary that Doug’s leadership has created. Borrowing from a methodology of extreme care of people that you can hear Simon Sinek speak to often, how do you cut the dead weight that is stopping the cultural change? How can you say we care for people and put them on the street? Certainly using the analogy of sacrifice one to save many could apply and does make sense with the logical, but will still have an eroding effect on the same culture you we are trying to foster.

    I’d like to see Doug remain as long as he has the strength and passion to continue.

  42. As much as I admire and respect Bob Crandall, he will be 84 on his next birthday and he is just not up to the demands of the job. The right man for the job is Tom Horton. He has a proven track record of success at AA and outside the airline industry at ATT. He is the kind of CEO wall street will trust and will be better for employees and customers than Doug Parker.

  43. It is about getting an excellent CEO. American is overdue when it comes to needing new Eye’s and a Vision for its future.

    We need to keep the Eye on the ball.

    An excellent CEO could work wonders. Who is that person?

  44. Go get Ben Smith. Anyone that can make money at Air Canada and can tame Air France’s unions can bring meaningful change to AA. As a DFW-based tortured 7 Million miler I can at least hope and dream….

  45. Probably a good time to buy some stock. I know everyone on here is negative on AA and talks about the stock performance. I’ve been investing 40 years and follow a lot of research reports. Recently one listed AA as the top stock pick. Before you laugh, it was based on the fact that the stock had trailed everyone else and had the most upside. All the metrics are better for AA stock than others. All airlines will face headwinds in the next recession (within 18 months almost certainly) and the “bad news” is already baked into AA. If they announced a leadership change I’m willing to bet the stock pops at leas 5% just on that news.

    Time to make a buy (or at least buy some out of the money call options).

  46. Crandall’s probably too old now to come back, but I fondly remember the day I dropped my carryon bag on his foot when he an his then trophy wife were sitting in front of me on a flight out of DFW. We need someone like him who understands what loyalty programs are supposed to be about.

  47. @Lucky – you’ve accurately summed it up with this statement:

    “Ideally this would be someone who can come up with a vision for the airline that doesn’t just involve copying the negative things Delta does without trying to replicate any of the things that make Delta special.”

    Just copying Delta, though, is not what brought AA down to current lows; AA has lacked any vision or strategy in the marketplace. Just about the only thing they’ve decided on their own (and it’s not even that unique to them) is D0…

    Hire a new CEO and new President who should then hire a Chief Strategist…

  48. I often wonder how much of what we see is actually the result of Doug Parker and team, vs what the board of directors forces them to do. I thought one of the largest shareholder of the big 3 airlines is Berkshire Hathaway. I would say the board needs to go first if we want to see real change.

  49. Can we get someone who makes front line employees first. If you do that then it rolls to customers. When people love coming to work, then it rubs off on everyone else around them. The race to the bottom has been abysmal at AA. Leading everyone over the cliff or down the drain isn’t an accomplishment to be proud of. I don’t think any upper management teams from domestic airlines are capable for this leadership position. Let’s get someone who can differentiate AA in a good way so customers will come back and employees will be happy.

  50. Great article Lucky! I agree Parker has done a great job throughout his career at various airlines, a great job at ripping them apart and turning them into low cost airlines disguised as a premium carrier.

    No doubt he needs to go and go quickly. I’ve been a loyal AA EXP most my life but jumped ship 2 years ago. Not over loyalty, as there is no loyalty anymore with any airline and they all have their faults. I jumped for service reasons, from Oasis planes with crap seats up front to bad attitude employees that just don’t seem to care. These issues start at the top and were pushed down from Parker to front line employees.
    Hate to say this, but even with a change at the top, I’m not sure AA can ever come back

  51. I have no freakin’ idea who is best to replace Parker. That’s the board’s job. They should get a search going PDQ if they haven’t done so by now.

  52. If you can get the former CEO of Air New Zealand, Rob Fyfe to take the job, do it. He currently sits on the Board of Air Canada since 2017. I worked under him for 6 years in the US and he was by far the greatest leader and role model for any and all of the companies I worked for which includes America West and Virgin Atlantic in the industry, and others, not in the industry.

  53. I agree that American management needs a shake up! Since the merger with US AirWorst, they have been racing with Delta and United to the bottom of barrel. I am nearing 2 million miles with AA, but their treatment of their best customers is bad and seems to be getting constantly worse. It’s like they inherited some disease from US Airways that the customer doesn’t matter. Disgusting if you ask me.

  54. The cancer that is quickly consuming American Airlines right now is the senior leadership of Tech Ops starting with Paul Wroble and all of his US Airways/Northwest Airlines cronies. They treat their lower management like garbage and that trickles down to the floor creating a toxic and hostile work environment. When are the board of directors going to finally wake up?

  55. You guys are delusional and need to get a job if you really think that changing the CEO will do anything to what you as a customer are experiencing. There´s a whole army of bean counters in the background that more or less decide what happens and what not. I would hazard the guess that AA has an issue in the breadth, think about second, third level executives.

  56. in your almost corporate eulogy for Doug Parker you paint him as Mr Niceguy, together with other faint praise, as one does for the recently deceased.
    However it has appeared for a very long time that Parker is either, or both, not-very-bright or severely lacking in empathy for the stakeholders in AA.
    He has been showered with obscene amounts of money for a abysmal performance. Time to go.
    On another note, the AA Board is not blameless; they should have acted long ago but didn’t. Maybe some heads should roll there too. Of course we know that will not happen.

  57. Nice article and completely agree the management should change. However, don’t agree that Parker ran AA well. He ran it like he ran US Air. I would have admired him if he changed US Air to AA standards but he did the opposite. I stopped flying AA after 6 years of being EXP even though i am based at PHL. The service has gone so bad that I don’t might flying spirit and frontier too these days if they offer non stop.

  58. A management change can’t come a minute too soon. This Dallas based Aadvantage Gold Member for over ten years is ready to let my status go and move to Southwest because American continues its race to the bottom. The Aadvantage program provides less value each year. Oasis class planes are sheer torture and I’ve vowed to give up flying completely before I will fly in one again. The flight experience on all planes is as uncomfortable as it can possibly be and the removal of the in flight entertainment, which was key in distracting us from our discomfort, was ill-considered. While even First class is uncomfortable on many American planes, basic economy is the devil itself. There should be a way for those of us who like to book a lot of off peak travel to get a discounted rate while earning miles and picking a seat, particularly if we are willing to let American recoup part of the discount by paying to pick our favorite seats. Hiring an executive who will address the now critical aspects of increasing passenger comfort is the only way to keep my business. I have choices in flying, including not flying at all.

  59. Hey Cory, whats the 3rd step that you must do when an oxygen mask drops down on a Boeing 757-200? AND, how many exits can be used in a ditching on the same plane?

  60. How does a guy with 3 DUI’s run the worlds largest airline? He has ruined American! It should not be difficult to find a much better replacement for this knucklehead….

  61. I have been in here for 30 years and sorry but DP has to go. He merge with AA on pure lies, he hasn’t committed to anything he promised to AA employees. R Is is worst than him, he wants to destroy the company. We need Crandall back to get us in track and happy again.
    I don’t think there is one happy employee in the company right now.
    We are really trying hard to get everybody out on time and safe but our AA leaders don’t give a damm. All they want is more money to benefit themselves.
    By the way the contracts are not only mechanics, pilots and flight attendants. We the hardest workers ( Fleet Service Clerks) the one out in the elements, weather and everything you can imagine are alwsys miss treated by everyone and always forgotten. We all have hearts and soul and we leave it here at work every day trying our best, under the circumstances and all the road blocks we go thru every day with local management. Don’t get me wrong all departments are needed so that this Airline can run calibrated, well you get my point.
    WE ARE HURTING BAD, THIS COMPANY IS HURTING US AND YOU TOO.

  62. Doug Parker needs to go. He has cheapened then airline and lowered its service to that of the low cost carriers. Cramming people into planes like cattle cars all for the bottom line. I don’t have much choice as I fly out of Dallas, but I have flown American for a couple of decades. The product has lessened. Smaller bathrooms more seats less legroom, try working on a computer in economy, your lucky to be able to see your screen with the limited space. Time for a change and a change of direction at AMERICAN.

  63. Hey Lucky,
    You know Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg, who resigned several weeks ago?
    I think we have just the place for him.

  64. Glen from delta would be amazing!
    Talk about a coup bigger than the latam one
    Ed Bastian is just a pretentious prick. He’d be nothing with Glen gone

  65. Parker and the whole upper echelon need to go. American should be the #1 airline in the world and we could be with good leadership. My only message is take care of your employees and your employees will take care of you. Take your millions on the back end and not up front

  66. American Airlines, by most measures, is not the world’s largest airline any longer, neither by fleet size, employees, destinations served, and passengers carried.

  67. RICHARD BRANSON!. He is innovative, successful in everything he does, and he values and inspires his employees!

  68. @Scott Matheny “I believe that there is a lot of dead weight in the middle ranks.” Good point, but a serious job to correct things. AA needs to hire an organizational psychologist.

    @AC. “Probably a good time to buy some stock” Changing of the Guard doesn’t mean stocks will go up. Warren Buffet says get to know the CEO and the culture of the company as one important criteria for buying stocks.

  69. If I remember correctly, Richard Anderson was loathed when he was CEO at Northwest. The biggest difference between Northeesr and Delta was unionization . NWA union’s fought Anderson at NWA, and tried fighting him after the merger with Delta. Based on that history, I don’t know if he would have be the man for AA.

  70. Did somebody suggest Juan Trippe???!

    In that case, C R Smith would be more appropriate, since he is probably spinning in his grave over the way his once proud Company has gone…:)

  71. Someone that wouldn’t be afraid to take on the top 3 airlines, and compete! Instead of giving up routes, shrinking in NYC, giving NYC over to Delta and JetBlue. Competing with Spirit and Frontier, turning American into a no frills cattle car. Get rid of the person in charge of the route structure, dont
    want to massacre his name, he is Indian starts with a V.

  72. Ben,

    As a longtime stockholder and employee at United (1977-2015), I must say , I know one of those mindless CEO’s is Munoz at United. Kirby has had to fight hard to get his ideas through the Continental BOD, that runs the current United. Munoz’s Lack of a customer driven agenda, still is haunting him to this day.

    Until Kirby came in the scene, jUA was run by the two Hart’s(unrelated), and Roitman. Probably the most inbred and self serving group of board members in the aviation industry. The stock by backs, that this group has consistently driven, has only protected and increased their equity, It has done nothing to increase the long term value of outside holders of the stock. Look at 5 year moving average price.

    If I was Kirby, With his extremely large holding of AA stock, should head back, to his roots. If he does, Chairman of board Jane Garvey, will certainly have her hands full!

  73. Being a Exp Platinum on American one thing i hate is hearing on every flight the announcement about that damn credit card….that came from USAIR …When i travel AA i feel like that’s my home for the next 5 hrs and the announcements is like the irritating salesperson trying to sell you something…

  74. I have spent 30yrs of my life with AA and have seen many changes. The merger with US air has cheapened AA, I have seen many EXP switch to other carriers. Doug Parker is running AA into the ground.
    And it’s about time for a change in management from the top down, 80% of employees are unhappy and something needs to be done A.S.A.P

  75. Any frequent flyer could run it better. Start to hold everyone accountable if not drive the buses to the unemployment line. The most important thing, have all employees sign a legal employment document. One sentence only, I will only tell the truth the hole truth and nothing else.

  76. @Lia~
    I doubt Richard Branson would want to take on the Jurassic Park catastrophe that AA is! It is a contaminated and dysfunctional organisation in need of a massive clean-out from top to bottom.

  77. American Airlines should look no further than a member of their Board of Directors team, James F Albaugh.
    His credentials and expertise align with the avaition business. His success in every aspect of his career is impeccable. He’s connected through out aviation and the business and finance world. He’s solid and enjoys a true challenge to build a world class carrier.

  78. Well, they are still focusing on moving metal and crews. Forget the customers! More collaboration with in the staff on what is best for the customer is needed. It’s still AA vs US in the operation. No one wants to fix this problem, they turn a blind eye to it. From Maintenance disfunction to “ The old way of thinking “ which got them into bankruptcy before. Change is a bad word and causes too many conflicts in the day to day operation. They run a hybrid US operation planning system with very difficult senior AA employees. Changes are made and decisions go forward without a complete look at the customer impact. And way too many Monday Morning Quarterbacking. Management at the station level need to be able to handle any situation and be held accountable for customer recovery and handling. Too many outside groups want to have their hand in the cookie jar and it becomes a disorganized mess. It’s going to take more than Mr Isom to fix. He would be a great choice to upgrade to the position, the need for immediate change and organization in the IOC need to happen first. I can only pray that change happens ASAP. So many employees that can make change in other departments need to be utilized to the fullest. They will find very energetic people that want to make change, but they walked too many people out to reduce head count.

  79. We need Bob Crandall back. He’s the only one that cared about the airline and ran it like a professional. Not the thieves that are running it now.

  80. If Parker were to leave, what would the future of CLT be? It seems he has always shown a fondness for that hub?

  81. Merger: A combination of two things into one… American West/U S Airways—-American Airlines. Okay let look at Divide: Split into parts Separated. The Name is one and it stop there. There are Management/ non , there’s two unions, two transfer list pay scale block locations etc….oyeah one more Profits$$$$$$$ and Maybe Customers Services…..

  82. Why don’t they sell themselves to some nice airline, like Emirates or Air Jordan or something?

    If a middle eastern airline came to the U.S. they would get 100% marketshare in a few weeks. Particularly if they put all the 737’s on one of Elon Musk’s starships and sent them to the moon.

  83. Can we get him out of there before he ruins 1700 home-based employees lives, by shutting down the program and making them relocate to different cities and states?!?! That’s so unrealistic for the majority of us! We are good hard working employees with a ton of experience and seniority! It isn’t right! Home-based is the way of the world in customer service for so many companies! Why are we going backwards!!??

  84. For all you America West haters, you obviously never flew that once-great airline. I was Platinum with AW for 12 years, and it was an excellent airline with great customer service. The demise only occurred when they merged with the bankrupt deadweight airlines US Airways and AA. American was NEVER a great airline (at least not since, maybe the 1980s!!). Unfortunately AW disappeared into the DFW quagmire and now we’re left with a carrier obsessed with only two worthless hubs that no one loves: DFW (yuck) and Charlotte (huge yuck!!).

  85. I have been a long time exclusive American Airlines customer, since 1983 in fact. Over the years, I have seen many changes at the airline and some were good and many were bad. I am especially peeved about down grading my platinum for life status by adding the platinum pro level sometime last year. I have flown nearly three million miles on this airline and many of the decisions management makes since its merger with US West are, in my opinion, just ridiculous. I believe that they are all attributable to Doug Parker’s leadership. I know he has done many great things in the industry, but, often times leaders become too complacent and I believe Doug Parker has, therefore, it is time for him to go. And for his replacement, I hope the board, replaces Mr. Parker with a customer centric CEO.

  86. Scott Kirby ???? Really ??? SERIOUSLY ??? UAL..once the Crown Jewel of the US Fleet is now a bad version of People Express. If you think AA has issues now, throw in ANYONE affiliated with UAL and you can play taps for Employees and Customers..and eventually shareholders. I was a 44 year UAL flyer. Then Jeffy took over and that was that. UAL has never recovered. As is AA is “very good” compared with UAL. If AA needs new leadership, it needs someone with a JET BLUE-style philosophy.

  87. As The spouse of a 30+ year AA employee and a semi frequent traveler with more that 1.5
    Million miles on the former AA, Parker has turned American into the Walmart of the Skies. They continue to implement changes and policies from the failed US Air model. They have no identity, don’t care about their employees or customers.

    In my many years of business experience I have learned that if you respect and care for your employees they will in turn do the same for your customers.

  88. It is long, long past time for a change in the leadership at American Airlines. First, I am a 6-million mile flyer, who has been Executive Platinum for 20+ years. This year I will earn about 300,000 EQMs (miles), and will spend $55K+ EQDs (dollars). Yet I am still Executive Platinum. I am especially peeved that now Executive Platinums are worth little more than (as one U.S. President once said) “a bucket of warm spit”. Upgrades are rare. I am usually about 30th to 40th person to board the plane (often even more than 40 people board ahead of me). Shoot, even when I purchase a first class ticket, I will be the 30th or 40th person to board. There is now a “HUGE RACKET” with “disabled” or “those needing extra assistance” boarding early. No issues with allowing truly disabled passengers (i.e., an older person with a cane, wheelchair passengers) board first, as they should. Same for active military members (and I am former military, too). But this is now the latest scam – just as “service dogs” were over the past several years (I was on one flight with, not making this up, NINE dogs who boarded – starting to look like an ark instead of an aircraft). Two weeks ago, on a flight out of Miami (I live in the Dallas area), there were 18 (not making that up) “disabled” who boarded. Most looked very robust and healthy (I am a doctor, so I know a thing or two about this …). Two of them nearly bowled me over trying to get off the plane, and once off the plane, they took off at a VERY FAST walking pace. So between 10-15 deadheading flight attendants on some flights (who always have 4-5 bags each), and 6-10 “Concierge Key” (this is a giant “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot” – I thought that CK was some “exclusive tier” for the very very very top flyers – now it is often 3-5% of the plane), and the “disabled”, their boarding is a disaster. Buying a first class ticket, or being an Executive Platinum, isn’t worth squat these days.
    But I have FINALLY decided to take action. I have already booked my last two international flights (always business or first class) for 2019, and my first two for 2020. And guess what? NONE ARE ON AA !! If they want to treat their Executive Platinums like “something that got stuck on the bottom of their shoes and they wish they hadn’t stepped in it”, well, I am going to give up on them, too.

    And saddest of all is that it was “Douggie” who established this culture. Yep. Discount Doug decided that the only people who matter are his prized Concierge Key (aka “Pampered Poodles” – anyone ever see a more worthless animal???) and his Spirit passengers.

    The rest of us are just “the great unwashed masses”. Taking my international business elsewhere to airlines like EVA, Cathay, Singapore, Korean, Asiana, Philippine, and other carriers who treat me nicely, and provide a good product. And my business or first class ticket purchases seem to make them happy, too.

  89. As a business flyer pigeonholed into flying AA for years AA is simply awful towards it’s customers. I gave my company an ultimatum let me pick other airlines or I’m out. I’m still there and I fly other airlines now! Thanks AA for the memories!!

  90. I’ve been EXP for the last 10 years. I’ve watched this product eroded to point of non-existence. Upgrades??? Ability to use those halved (from 8 to 4) SWU’s??? good luck trying. The best perk – access to the EP Desk staffed by smart, quick, experienced agents. Not anymore. I have worked with one agent for all 10 years and now I have to take whoever answers the phone. Not sure where you got most of them. I’m sure they are cheaper- but my knowing more than they do is scary.
    The customer used to matter. Especially the elites who flew those 100,000 BIS miles. Not anymore. And it started from the top. When you treat your employees like chattel, it runs down hill to the customers. I’m really not sure how a “nice guy” treats people so abysmally. Firing 1700 home based, experienced agents? You cannot teach what they have. I have had two run ins (not been helped by) Customer Service this year. They do not care!! That is obvious. Dougie, you’ve got your golden parachute LEAVE. And take the rest of Team Tempe with you.
    It would be far too much to hope for Sir Richard Branson to step in. But he’s a good model for who to hire.

  91. I think a great CEO for AA would be Jon Snook. Currently COO at Hawaiian. He did great things at AA prior to odd-man out during the merger. A wonderful guy and inspirational.

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