Flying American Airlines on an Old US Airways Plane!

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old us airways planes

An American Flight on US Airways Metal – Or Sort Of!

US Airways disappeared into the wind last Saturday. American Airlines and US Airways have been merging for the past two years, but the last step happened about a week ago. The two airlines finally began operating under one certificate with one reservations system. They should actually be commended, things went quite well.

So American Airlines is officially one airline now, however it still has old US Airways planes and old US Airways crew. I had the opportunity to fly on an old US Airways A320 from JFK-CLT-MIA a couple of days ago. It was an interesting experience.

The US Airways Hard Product with an American Twist

old us airways planes

Since it was dark I wasn’t able to capture a photo, however the plane still of course had the US Airways livery. As I boarded, I noticed many of the logos from airlines long since gone that had become a part of US Airways. I couldn’t help but think that the US Airways logo is now just a distant memory like those that came before.

First class on the old US Airways A320 planes is only 12 seats. For some reason these seats seem to have a lot less leg room than American Airlines planes, but the pitch is the same. I’ll be glad to see these planes get a retrofit to bring them in line with the rest of the fleet. They just don’t seem as nice.

Another change I noticed came in the safety cards. Instead of the old US Airways cards, new cards with an American logo sit proudly in their pouch. Ex-US Airways A320 aircraft are now apparently called the A320EOW. I couldn’t help but think that must mean “end of world”! Thankfully the crew didn’t feel that way.

old us airways planes

The truth is of course that US Airways bought American out of bankruptcy, but you still have to think that the employees of US would be loyal to the now lost brand. That didn’t seem to be the case. I did overhear them talking about a few changes, but they all seemed to be fairly happy. One flight attendant even had a bandana tired around her neck with American’s logo colors.

Charlotte was a US Airways hub and I looked to see if I could find any remnants of the airline that was. Gone are most/all of the US Airways logos. They have long since been replaced with American. The airline that is here to stay.

Service & More

old us airways planes

Having just got off an American flight, I was pleased to see that the US Airways crews were up to the task of providing great service. They weren’t bitter or unfriendly. Everything was served with a smile. If they don’t like working for this new airline then they sure don’t show it! Even their credit card pitch was made with conviction!

Conclusion

I had a couple of great flights on old US Airways aircraft, although I will say their domestic first class product isn’t the most comfortable. It will be interesting to see these old planes get retrofitted with Main Cabin Extra and the other goodies that we have come to expect from American Airlines planes. Until then prepare to just ignore the big logo on the side of the plane and on the front bulkhead. This is American. US Airways is loooong gone.


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4 COMMENTS

  1. I beg to differ-AA is gone, replaced by USdbaAA. And while yes, Doug Parker did pledge to upgrade US to AA’s standards, as we saw w/the catering fiasco in Sept ’14, what that really means remains to be seen. You are correct in the condition of the LUS planes & you are correct in there being less legroom up front, despite what management may claim publicly. Wish I had thought to take a picture of the back of the seat in front me a week ago w/a long tear in it from the tray table from my seat digging into the bag of that seat. Yesterday’s plane featured the arm rest of the seat in front of me completely covered in white maintenance tape. And I’ve seen the exact same beat up galley cabinets you have pictured on more than one LUS plane. As far as the LUS crews go, I have no doubt they are happy-they got raises out of this, using the cash on hand from LAA. Like retiree travel that has been cut despite pledges from Doug Parker to the contrary previously, it remains to be seen how long it will be before those raises are clawed back, as well. Talk to a LAA employee (as I have done multiple times over the past 6 months) & you are most likely to hear that the ‘new’ American isn’t working for them, but then again, since real AA vanished on 10/17, it probably doesn’t matter anymore.

  2. Ah Shawn, nice thoughts, hope your right about the good signs you witnessed. Yet as a relative young ‘un, your vision may be beclouded by no memory of bad mergers in USAir’s past. You don’t remember the days of the grand and glorious Piedmont Airlines — the original Charlotte based gem that all that flew for and with…. loved…. (especially those of us who lived in the Atlantic “piedmont” — until the nasty lumberjacks from US Airways, known in the past as “Agony Air” (Allegheny) came and ruined a good thing, and turned Piedmont into the sourpuss airline we grew to resent….. and avoid. (kinda like Philly and its miserable PHL airport, you’d rather be anywhere else….)

    Ah, but maybe they learned from that disastrous and arrogant takeover of a fine, hospitality focused regional… I gather the past reverse merger with America West (out your way) had the unique feature of management of America west taking over…. even while keeping the name.. Happens I’m sitting on a quarter mil miles of unused AA & USAir miles (from CC’s now merged)…. perhaps I too will give ’em a try…. (when I’m not using Avios miles) 🙂

    Happy trails.

    • Escot, you are correct about Piedmont—loved them; a perfect mix of the right routes, friendly employees and a not too big airline. I and my wife used to fly them when she worked for World Airways in the early 80’s.

  3. My wife is a now displaced Piedmont F/A. The current Dehavland 100/300 s are in bad shape and in need of being retired. No I wouldn’t spend any more money dolling them up either. Can’t understand why
    AA is shuffling domicles around. New Bern EWN for Roanoke ?

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