the Dividend Miles Update, formerly known as the Merger Update, where we'll give
you the straight story on US Airways and our Dividend Miles program. No
corporate double-speak, just quick, inside-baseball facts on issues important to
you, our frequent flyers.
We've changed the name because on September
26th we officially handed over the America West operating certificate to the FAA
and formally merged into one airline. Yes, there really was a handover ceremony,
and for a few weeks we couldn't find the original America West certificate.
Turns out it was in use as part of a company heritage display. No certificate,
no merger. Wouldn't that have been embarrassing?
Read on for our hot
topics – I hope they're helpful to you.
and US Airways in particular, had a rough summer. Late and canceled flights
wreaked havoc during peak season and we've poured on the overtime to get the
operation back in shape. If you've flown lately, you probably know these efforts
are paying off. Here's a quick snapshot of what we've done:
- Hired an experienced
Chief Operating Officer to oversee and implement operational
- Hired 1,000 new
co-workers across the system, particularly in the hubs.
- Installed 373 new
kiosks to date, with nearly 600 targeted for year-end and a total of 782 by
- Spread out flights
across the day, which really means we added more time between flights so there's
more breathing room to catch up.
Not surprisingly, a
late-running operation is the source of almost all other problems that airlines
and travelers run into (like lost luggage and bad attitudes) and we know we have
to run a reliable airline or risk turning away our best customers (you) who will
tolerate nothing less.
Results so far? The official DOT statistics for
September won't be out until later this month, but here's a sneak preview. We
ran 80% on time, an excellent result, which we think will put us in the top half
of carriers. And compared to July's 66%, it's a remarkable improvement. Thanks
for your patience as we worked to make that better.
this past spring, we're beginning to launch our product improvements and I think
you'll be pleased with them:
- On October 1, we
introduced an all-new In-flight Café menu with upgraded, fresh sandwiches and
salads and replaced the SkyFun Box with a new, improved Snack Box. (If you
considered "fun" mixing Nestle Buncha Crunch, chips and salsa and a 12-inch
bread stick then you'll be disappointed.) Look for different menu options every
- Last month, we tested
the sale of premium wines by the glass and non-alcoholic beverages in Coach on
select flights out of Charlotte and Phoenix. We're running the numbers now to
see what you liked best.
- We're currently
overhauling our First Class menus to launch before the end of the year, and
we’ll refresh the menus every two months.
- We'll begin installing
new, near lie-flat Envoy seats on the 767 beginning in January.
Also, a $50 million
project to renovate the interiors of most of our mainline aircraft has just
begun, with the first work already underway. We'll replace many of the worn
materials that you see today, in addition to giving all aircraft a common
interior look. You'll see a dramatic improvement in overall aircraft appearance
and cleanliness. Will it take a while? You bet your assigned seat it will, since
it involves nearly 300 aircraft and will take several years to complete.
And that's not all. We have lots of additional product improvements just
around the corner, like upgraded Envoy menu selections, improvements in the
Clubs and new meals in transatlantic Economy Class.
we’ve had to further reduce our Pittsburgh schedule from 108 daily flights to
68. We simply haven't been able to generate enough business traffic in PIT to
make it viable at $80/barrel oil ($90?). We'll keep the US Airways Club, our new
and permanent Operations Control Center in PIT, and will continue to be the
largest full-service airline in town. Of course everyone loves the new Steelers plane, except the Eagles fans. How about a Cowboys plane for our president,
Scott Kirby? I don’t think so.
A bit of a
milestone: For the first time in many years we’re hiring new pilots for our
mainline operation. A momentous occasion after not bringing new crew members
aboard for many years.
little help, here?
probably read press reports about our antiquated gridlocked air traffic system
that makes the LA freeway system look like the Autobahn. If you haven’t done so,
please take a moment to help us lobby for a modernized air traffic control system.
Believe it or not these emails from you really do matter.
modernizing, here’s an article that summarizes where we are on our website redesign,
due for completion sometime next summer. Here are some highlights:
- usairways.com from
your mobile device is up and running, and it’s great for checking
your connecting gate and time upon landing.
- No web on your phone?
Send us your flight number via text to TEXTUS (839887) and we'll text your
flight and gate information to your phone within seconds.
- Many domestic United®
flights will be available for sale on usairways.com in
compatibility fixes are being added for Firefox users.
let’s all get back to the quarry
blah, blah, from me, but thank you again for your support of our airline. It's a
tough business out here but we enjoy it greatly and a big part of that is
meeting and hearing from so many of our most important customers. I hope you're
noticing the improvements so far; we're excited about the great work that's well
Vice President, Sales and