Tag Archives: American Airlines

American Airlines’ Miami hub turns 30

American Airlines made this announcement:

For the last 46 years, I’ve called Miami International Airport (MIA) my professional home — first at Braniff International Airways, followed by Piedmont Airlines. On Oct. 22, 1983, I made the move to American Airlines, and I’ve proudly been a part of the company ever since.

Back then, about 125 of us ran American’s operation, and with only five daily flights, it was like running our own small business. I started as a Fleet Service Clerk, loading and unloading bags. But a year later, I became the airline’s first Automotive Mechanic at MIA, fixing and maintaining the ground service equipment used to transport baggage and cargo.

By 1989, we were up to 19 flights a day and about 200 team members at MIA when American purchased routes belonging to Eastern Airlines. But more importantly, MIA became a major hub for American and its primary gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean. And American has been committed to the region ever since. I’ve seen the company persevere through ups and downs, and I always stuck with them because they stuck with me.

Flash forward to today, we’ve grown to more than 350 daily flights to more than 127 destinations across three continents. It’s been incredible to witness the evolution of American’s economic impact in South Florida. Last year alone, our 13,500 team members cared for nearly 30 million customers who were traveling to, through and from MIA. The growth of the airport itself has been impressive, too. I’ve seen decades of construction to make way for more customers, airlines and flights.

For the last 15 years, I’ve been privileged to have the title of Crew Chief, leading a terrific group of automotive mechanics. Together we maintain more than 3,000 pieces of ground service equipment behind the scenes to move 1 million pounds of cargo and 80,000 bags around the airport each day.

I hope the time I’ve spent here at MIA has in some way paved a path for the next generation and left a positive legacy at American. My message to those who follow is that you can never stop dreaming. American hasn’t stopped dreaming in Miami, and as we celebrate 30 years as a hub, I can only think that the best is yet to come. On behalf of American and my more than 130,000 colleagues, thanks for flying with us today.

Tony Gomez
Automotive Mechanic Crew Chief
Ground Service Equipment
Miami

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American Airlines mechanic charged with sabotaging a departing plane in Miami

American Airlines mechanic based in Miami has been charged in federal court on a sabotage charge. The employee was upset over stalled union contact negotiations according to the Miami Herald.

The TWU-IAM issued this statement:

The TWU-IAM Association condemns, in the strongest possible terms, any conduct by any individual that jeopardizes the safe operation of an aircraft. Safety is the number one priority for our IAM and TWU members involved in the maintenance and operation of aircraft. These members are the most highly trained safety professionals in the airline industry. As a result, the US air transportation system is the safest in the world. Any conduct that jeopardizes that safety is not tolerated or condoned by the leadership or members of our organizations.

American Travel Alert: Update on Hurricane Dorian

Above: NWS radar.

American Airlines issued this update:

American Airlines is closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Dorian. Our thoughts are with those who are in the path of this damaging hurricane.

Airport operations continue to be impacted at several airports in the Bahamas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Additionally, due to the size, strength and location of the hurricane, American will continue to experience a disruption to our operation throughout the week, specifically on flights that operate along the East Coast. The American Airlines Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, Texas, continues to closely monitor the track of this storm and is coordinating with the National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local airports.

Earlier today, American sent a Boeing 737-800 from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas, to deliver more than 14,000 pounds of relief supplies to help those affected by the hurricane. Prior to the arrival of the storm, American had also sent 2,000 pounds of relief supplies to the islands.

In the Bahamas, Envoy Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of American, has 20 team members in Freeport, Grand Bahamas (FPO), and 17 team members in Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands (MHH). Envoy has made contact with all FPO team members and is working to contact two remaining MHH team members. American is focused on assisting those in need in the Bahamas during this difficult time. We have proudly served the islands for more than 30 years.

“Crew Chief Carlos Caraballo and I, along with our crews, were honored to be given the opportunity to work the first flight full of relief supplies to our colleagues in the Bahamas,” Crew Chief Angel Pares said. “We are so proud of the quick response and hope what we sent over today will provide some relief to our team.”

American activated the airline’s disaster response fundraising platform, where customers and team members can assist those in need. From now through Sept. 20, AAdvantage members can earn 10 miles for every dollar donated to the Red Cross with a minimum $25 donation.

Storms like these may require customers to change their travel plans, and, as a result, American has issued a travel alert for nearly 30 airports, including eight coastal airports in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The travel alert includes capped fares and waived baggage fees through Sept. 7. If a customer chooses not to fly to/from an airport covered by the current waiver, American will waive change fees for future travel. This provides additional flexibility for our customers.

The current travel alert has been extended. Customers can reschedule their travel on aa.com by retrieving their reservation, or by contacting American reservations at 800-433-7300 in the U.S. or Canada. Customers calling from outside the U.S. or Canada should check aa.com for our worldwide reservation phone numbers.

We encourage customers traveling to only go to the airport if they have a confirmed ticket. Customers are also encouraged to check the status of their flight on aa.com.

Fares

We have capped our fares at a maximum of $499 each way for Main Cabin and $699 for premium cabins, on direct, single leg flights from select cities covered under the travel alert in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

These fares will apply for flights out of Florida through Sept. 6 and out of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia locations through Sept. 7. Additional details are available on aa.com.

Bags and pets

American is waiving fees for two checked bags and in-cabin pets for flights to/from all cities covered under the travel alert in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. These fees are waived through Sept. 9. Additionally, fees are waived to/from all cities covered under the travel in the Bahamas through Sept. 15.

In order to accommodate as many bags as possible on our aircraft, we will accept up to two free checked bags per traveler.

Refunds

If an American flight has been canceled or excessively delayed, customers may cancel their itinerary and request a refund by visiting our website. Customers who booked through a travel agent should contact their agency directly.

Canceled airport operations

Resumption of service at airports will be based on airport and roadway conditions, including the ability of our team members to get to work. We are also coordinating closely with our partners at the FAA, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and local airport authorities. These agencies must conduct their own assessment of their operations prior to any airline resuming service.

Bahamas

  • Freeport, Bahamas (FPO)
    • Operations canceled. American will resume operations after an assessment by local authorities
  • Marsh Harbour, Bahamas (MHH)
    • Operations canceled. We will resume operations after an assessment by local authorities

Florida

  • Daytona Beach, Florida (DAB)
    • Operations expected to resume the morning of Sept. 6

Georgia

  • Savannah, Georgia (SAV)
    • Operations expected to resume the morning of Sept. 6

North Carolina

  • Fayetteville (FAY)
    • Operations will be suspended starting the evening of Sept. 5 and are expected to resume the afternoon of Sept. 6
  • Greenville (PGV)
    • Operations expected to resume the afternoon of Sept. 7
  • Jacksonville (OAJ)
    • Operations expected to resume the evening of Sept. 6
  • New Bern (EWN)
    • Operations expected to resume the morning of Sept. 7
  • Wilmington (ILM)
    • Operations expected to resume the morning of Sept. 7

South Carolina

  • Florence (FLO)
    • Operations expected to resume the afternoon of Sept. 6
  • Charleston, (CHS)
    • Operations expected to resume the morning of Sept. 6
  • Hilton Head (HHH)
    • Operations expected to resume the morning of Sept. 6
  • Myrtle Beach (MYR)
    • Operations expected to resume the afternoon of Sept. 6

Virginia

  • Hampton/Newport News (PHF)
    • Operations will be suspended starting the evening of Sept. 5 and are expected to resume the morning of Sept. 7
  • Norfolk (ORF)
    • Operations will be suspended starting the evening of Sept. 5 and are expected to resume the morning of Sept. 7

Flight cancellations

  • Sept. 5: 220 flights canceled
  • Sept. 6: 165 flights canceled
  • Sept. 7: 25 flights canceled

The End of an Era: American says farewell to the “Super 80” today

American Airlines is retiring the last of its McDonnell Douglas MD-80 fleet today as most of the remaining 26 aircraft take their final flights to Roswell, New Mexico (ROW). The MD-80, also known as the Super 80, was the workhorse of the airline’s fleet throughout the 1980s and beyond.

The Super 80 era began at American in May 1983 with three aircraft serving six cities — Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW); Detroit (DTW); New York City (LGA); Memphis, Tennessee (MEM); Nashville, Tennessee (BNA); and Ontario, California (ONT).

When introduced, the MD-80 was one of the most fuel efficient commercial airplanes in the sky. American was the first of the large U.S.-based airlines to introduce the aircraft to its fleet and, by 2003, was operating 362 of the iconic planes, representing approximately one-third of all MD-80s ever produced by McDonnell Douglas.

American’s final MD-80 revenue flight, American Flight 80, is scheduled to depart DFW for the last time at 9 a.m. bound for O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. From there, the plane will ferry to Roswell to join the other MD-80s retiring today.

The retirement of the MD-80 marks the end of an iconic era in American’s history. Looking to the future, American continues to modernize its fleet with newer fuel-efficient aircraft that offer customers more highly sought-after amenities like industry-leading high-speed Wi-Fi and more inflight entertainment and access to power.

STL base says farewell to the last MD-80 flight from STL:

Note: At the peak, AA operated 360 of the type. The last flight, flight AA 80, DFW – ORD, is being operated with ex-TWA N984TW. The former TWA DC-9-83 (MD-83) N984TW was named “The Spirit of Long Beach” with TWA and was the last DC-9-80 “Super 80” (MD-80) built.

"Spirit of Long Beach", last MD-80 built

Above Copyright Photo (all others by American Airlines): TWA-Trans World Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 N984TW (msn 53634) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 105145.

AA is retiring the final 10 DC-9-82/83s this month. Five (N964TW, N980TW, N9626F, N963TW and N966TW) are being retired today.

The fleet is going to Roswell, NM for storage and final disposition.

American Airlines travel alert: Update on Hurricane Dorian

American Airlines is closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Dorian. Our thoughts are with those who are in the path of this damaging hurricane.

We have resumed service at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida, and Nassau, Bahamas, but airport operations remain suspended at several airports in the Bahamas, Florida and South Carolina. Additionally, due to the size, strength and location of the hurricane, we will continue to experience a disruption to our operation throughout the week, specifically on flights that operate along the East Coast. The American Airlines Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, Texas, continues to closely monitor the track of this storm and is coordinating with the National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local airports. American will continue to keep the Newsroom updated with the latest operational information.

Storms like these may require customers to change their travel plans and, as a result, American has issued a travel alert for more than 20 airports, including eight coastal airports in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The travel alert includes capped fares and waived baggage fees through Sept. 7. If a customer chooses not to fly to/from an airport covered by the current waiver, American will waive change fees for future travel. This provides additional flexibility for our customers.

The current travel alert, which has been extended, allows customers to rebook without change fees. Customers can reschedule their travel on aa.com by retrieving their reservation, or by contacting American reservations at 800-433-7300 in the U.S. or Canada. Customers calling from outside the U.S. or Canada should check aa.com for our worldwide reservation phone numbers.

In the Bahamas, Envoy Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of American, has 20 team members in Freeport (Grand Bahamas) and 17 team members in Marsh Harbour (Abaco Islands). Envoy has made contact with all team members in Freeport, and is working to contact seven remaining team members in Marsh Harbour. Once an assessment of airport conditions is completed, the team will immediately deploy flights to send needed supplies to these islands.

Fares

We have capped our fares at a maximum of $499 each way for Main Cabin, and $699 for premium cabins, on direct, single leg flights from all cities covered under the travel alert in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

These fares will apply for flights out of Florida through Sept. 4 and out of the eight Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina locations through Sept. 7. These fares are available on aa.com.

Bags and pets

American is waiving fees for two checked bags and in-cabin pets for flights to/from all cities covered under the travel alert in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina through Sept. 7.

In order to accommodate as many bags as possible on our aircraft, we will accept up to two free checked bags per traveler.

Refunds

If an American flight has been canceled or excessively delayed, customers may cancel their itinerary and request a refund by visiting our website. Customers who booked through a travel agent should contact their agency directly.

Canceled airport operations

Resumption of service at airports will be based on airport and roadway conditions, including the ability of our team members to get to work. We are also coordinating closely with our partners at the FAA, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and local airport authorities. These agencies must conduct their own assessment of their operations prior to any airline resuming service.

Bahamas

  • Freeport, Bahamas (FPO)
    • Operations canceled. American will resume operations after an assessment by local authorities
  • Marsh Harbour, Bahamas (MHH)
    • Operations canceled; seasonal service was previously scheduled to end Sept. 3
  • Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
    • Operations have resumed

Video: “Abaco is gone” (first video of the damage at Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahamas):

St. Louis team members share what the MD-80 meant to them

From American Airlines:

When American Airlines retires the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft fleet on September 4, it will close a chapter for Trans World Airlines and for team members in St. Louis, too.

All through the 1980s, American and TWA wielded brand-new MD-80s to compete with each other and other airlines on domestic flights. It was the backbone of the domestic fleets of both airlines in those years and a regular sight in St. Louis.

When American bought the assets of St. Louis-based TWA out of bankruptcy in early 2001, TWA team members joined American, and the MD-80s that had flown against each other became part of the same fleet.

“Over the years, I probably took more than 100 flights on the TWA MD-83s, which are now part of our fleet,” Customer Service Agent Scott Dixon said. “I think they have been a loyal workhorse for our company.”

Shiela Bachtell joined TWA in 1968 in Los Angeles as a Reservations Agent, planning to stay six months and earn enough money to go back to college.

“I got the travel bug, and I absolutely fell in love with my job,” she said this week. She has been with TWA and now American a combined 51 years. And she eventually finished her college degree, too.

Sheila now works as a Customer Service Agent in St. Louis.

“It was a family,” she said. “And we still are a family. Everybody worked together for 40-plus years — you grew up with your kids, you knew who was pregnant, who was having a baby. [And years later], you knew who was going off to college.”

St. Louis was a large hub for TWA, with more than 300 flights per day, many of them on MD-80s. Even after the hub was gone, the MD-80 was still a regular sight at the airport.

“It’s a very plain airplane when you think about what we have right now, with newer planes delivered with power at every seat and high-speed Wi-Fi,” Sheila said. But customers loved the 2-3, or five abreast, seating on the MD-80 and grew fond of the plane and its reliable presence in St. Louis and around the network.

Just this week she spoke with an Executive Platinum customer who she has seen over and over through the years. “He told me, ‘That was my airplane. I can’t believe they’re taking my airplane away.’ People feel that way — it’s a metal object, but you know what? We were close to it.”

The last MD-80 was built at the McDonnell Douglas factory in Long Beach, California, and delivered to TWA in December 1999. That same plane, an MD-83 number N984TW, continued flying for American and will be retired along with the rest of American’s MD-80 fleet Sept. 4.

Shiela will be on the employee flight to Roswell, New Mexico, where the MD-80s will be stored for retirement.

“It’s going to be a bittersweet moment to see it go,” she said.

Kevin King works in Stores supporting team members at American’s Line Maintenance in St. Louis.

“The MD-80 has been a constant presence throughout my American Airlines career. There are so many memories and stories and in the end, they are all about the work and the dedicated people who did the work,” he wrote in an email. “Because the MD-80 has been the bread and butter for STL Tech Ops for decades, its departure from American’s fleet roster will be a significant milestone for every St. Louis-based American Airlines employee.”

Best Seller

Above Copyright Photo: TWA-Trans World Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82) N908TW (msn 49169) FLL (Nigel P. Chalcraft – Bruce Drum Collection). Image: 913175.

TWA aircraft slide show:

TWA aircraft photo gallery:

 

Now boarding: Get your commemorative pass for final MD-80 flight

From American Airlines:

American Airlines is retiring its fleet of McDonnell Douglas MD-80 fleet to Roswell, New Mexico, September 4.

We understand what the iconic aircraft means for our customers and our team members.

To help commemorate this historic day, we have created a special retro American Flight 80 boarding pass. Personalize, print and display your pass today.

World Airline News will be there tomorrow to record the final AA MD-80 flight DFW – ORD.