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This is a dynamic time at American Airlines. Our business is changing, and as I look into 2012, I’m encouraged by the company’s future and how the year is going to shape up. At the end of last year, our parent company, AMR, filed for reorganization — a necessary step in order to put our airline back on the path of profitability and back on a level playing field with our competitors. For many, this is an uncertain topic, and I’d like to take the time to explain what our restructuring really means to us as a company, to you as the customer and to the future of American.
First and foremost, it’s important that you know we’re operating “business as usual” and, most importantly, that our customers remain our number one priority. We’re committed to providing excellent service and the safe, reliable travel experience that you have always expected from us. As we reorganize, we are dedicated to building a new and better American in the near term and for years to come. Under the leadership of Tom Horton, our president, CEO and chairman, I am confident that our company is headed down the path to a successful future.
Many have asked: Why restructure now? To make it simple, in order to achieve a cost-and-debt structure that is competitive with other airlines in the industry, it was important that we take action — and that we do so now. Once we align our costs, we expect to have access to resources we haven’t had in recent years, allowing us to make even more investments to benefit you. By restructuring at this point in time, we will be well positioned to ensure our long-term success and our ability to continue delivering a world-class travel experience for you. And with our focus on improving the airline and the customer experience, we will continue to pursue plans to invest in new products and services, including those investments we have made in revitalizing our fleet with our upcoming aircraft deliveries, expanding our network strength in the important cities of the world and continuing our work innovating industry-leading technologies.
Throughout this process, we are committed to keeping your travels with American consistent, as we will continue to fly normal schedules; honor reservations, tickets, gift cards and vouchers; and make exchanges and refunds as usual. Our AAdvantage frequent-flier program will be fully maintained, and all AAdvantage miles and elite status earned by members will remain secure and intact. Our Admirals Club facilities around the world are open as usual, and our membership rules and rates — including annual memberships, One-Day Passes, and our new 30-day memberships — have not changed. Nor have the access policies to the oneworld and codeshare partner lounges. And we will continue to serve as an integral member of the oneworld alliance, of which American is a founding member, and we will continue our codeshare partnerships as usual.
Looking back at 2011, I am proud of our many accomplishments as we worked to better our airline and customer experience. We were the first domestic airline to offer a branded tablet onboard with the Samsung Galaxy 10.1, giving our premium customers a library of entertainment options in flight. We became the first U.S. airline to offer a turndown service in our premium cabins and the first North American airline to offer in-flight streaming video with our Entertainment on Demand product. We also continued expansion of Wi-Fi onboard our fleet in order to keep our customers connected and entertained, and we announced the largest aircraft order in aviation history, which will allow us to have the youngest U.S. fleet in just a few short years. The momentum we’ve built in the last year does not stop while we reorganize our house.
In fact, these enhancements have only paved the way for what’s in store at American in 2012. We remain committed to continuing our efforts to modernize and enhance your travel experience with our airline and to investing in products and services designed to add value to your business with us.
I appreciate your loyalty, and I look forward to serving you in this new year. As always, please feel free to write us by going to www.aa.com/customerrelations
Craig S. Kreeger
Senior Vice President – Customer Experience