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About LKN704

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  1. It looks like LH is showing CLT-MUC tentatively resuming on 4 May with a A346. I find that to be extremely optimistic and wouldn't be surprised if that gets pushed back and/or down-gauged.
  2. ^Given the lack of TATL flying this season, I would bet that the 332 covers all CLT flying from here on out. I doubt AA would want to introduce a new fleet type into CLT when they have spare A332s likely to go around.
  3. CLT-LHR/MUC returns 7 July, but 2x daily service to LHR doesn't resume until October 2020, if it ever comes back at all. Other than PHX, LHR service resumes to all other stations (RDU included) on 4 June. I wonder if CLT-bookings were hit especially hard, or it just goes to show how weak CLT O/D demand is to Europe. A couple of years ago RDU had higher O/D levels to London than CLT did. PHL was hit especially hard, but I think that has more to do that it was designated as an official COVID screening port of entry more so than anything, just in case travel picks up but regulations don't change. I suspect that may have impacted CLT as well. They haven't removed the second LHR flight and the A333 is still displayed in the system. Lot's of other goodness in this press release: http://news.aa.com/news/news-details/2020/American-Airlines-Announces-Summer-Schedule-Changes-to-Match-Reduced-Customer-Demand-Related-to-COVID-19-OPS-DIS-04/default.aspx
  4. I wouldn't be surprised to see Frontier/Allegiant shut down given their focus on P2P leisure routes, often to smaller/medium sized cities and lack of a business market focus. Spirit I would say likely will continue flying given their focus on larger metro areas.
  5. That isn't necessarily new, at least in my experience. Every Basic Economy ticket I have ever purchased I have been able to purchase a seat exactly a week before departure. It could just be a glitch in the system, but I always have been able to do it. I never understood that rule to be honest, as letting folks purchase seats immediately at booking seems like an easy way to get ancillary revenue. Even UA lets you do this, which surprises me given their Basic Economy is the worst with their no-carry on item policy (and associated no online check in rule which forces you to see an agent to confirm you are in compliance with the carry on policy).
  6. Given the way the engines seem to be preserved on the A330s, I am willing to bet that they were "pickled" meaning that the oil was drained and replaced with a synthetic solution designed to protect essential parts and stuffed with desiccant bags to prevent moisture buildup. In short: AA anticipates these planes being parked for a while. Edit: As expected, Delta made significant cuts to both CVG and RDU, both are down to roughly 25 flights a day at this point. CVG-CLT has been suspended on DL and I doubt it comes back.
  7. Personally I think LH will actually be the one to sustain CLT-MUC. The route was created specifically to cater to German-businesses in the region that are probably loyal to the LH Group. IIRC the POS for the route is skewed heavily towards Germany, rather than locally. AA's brand recognition in Germany is terrible and is the worst of all US carriers. Before the US merger they were down to a single flight a day to Germany (DFW-FRA). I still wouldn't be surprised to see a 777 make its way to CLT-LHR. The shift from A333 to A332 is a considerable capacity cut. In general, the general American population tends to have short attention spans. Once this blows over (and it will) demand will eventually return. While routes may be cut, they will more than likely return once demand returns. I think CLT is positioned fairly well to ride this out, and it may actually grow more as a result. Airlines will ultimately use this as a way to shed excess, unprofitable fluff from their route network, and spin it as it is related to COVID19. Whatever is left of Delta in Cincinnati is gone IMO, as is that little Delta focus city in RDU, as they are both heavily RJ focused and RJs are the easiest to eliminate. I am more worried about the levels of onboard service as a result. The US3 were slowly adding back amenities in Economy that were taken away after 9/11 (free alcohol on international flights, snacks/meals, etc), and I am concerned that those will be eliminated and we will be back to the days where the only thing you get domestically is a cup of soda and a free napkin to chew on. United was actually in the middle of a trial of offering (reintroducing technically) amenity kits in Economy, and COVID19 will no doubt end that trial.
  8. Rumor has it that in addition to retiring all 763s this year, AA is pushing up the retirement of all A333s as well. This isn't confirmed or anything but it makes sense. If true, AA is losing 23 wide body aircraft this year. I'm not sure how many 787s AA is taking this year and next, but undoubtedly some of the more TATL flying will be dropped. Quite frankly I don't see Casablanca starting, and I see AA potentially closing Berlin, Reykjavik, and possibly either Prague, Budapest, and Dubrovnik (I would bet that either Prague or Budapest are safe). How would the wide-body retirements affect CLT? I see LHR shifting to a 772 and FRA shifting to a 787-9 or 772 as well. All other seasonal routes likely remain an A332 or go to a 787-8. I would say MAD/DUB/FCO are likely safe but I can see BCN being discontinued. In my eyes CLT-MUC is gone (along with DFW-MUC) and AA closes MUC.
  9. To each their own but I find UA's domestic fleet trash, IMO. A good number of their domestic fleet (even relatively new builds) lack in seat power in Economy. Last year I flew IAD-SFO on an almost brand new 738 with in-seat power only in First and Economy Plus...nothing for those in regular Economy. United planes that are equipped with in-seat power in Y (even brand new planes, such as the 787-X) only have two sockets for every three seats, meaning someone has to share. AA and DL on the other hand are equipping their planes with one power port for every seat, in every class. The one good thing I will say about UA is that they provide blankets on most transcontinental flights (even those outside of the "premium" NYC/BOS markets) and almost all redeye flights in Economy, which is something AA/DL don't do. It's something small, but as someone who gets cold on flights, it's important to me. I will also say UA's cabin crew are generally more friendlier than AA's, and they come by with drinks more often than AA's does, and walk through the cabin on transcon flights with trays of water/OJ. On my AA IAD-LAX flight in January (that clocked in over 6h30m because of winds) the crew came around with drinks twice. Again, something small, but it adds up. Unrelated (seeing as they unfortunately don't fly to CLT) but Alaska takes the cake domestically. Fantastic crew and service in Economy...such friendly folk. I flew AS SFO-IAD in January and the beverage cart came around 4 times and the crew was on their feet the entire flight checking on everyone and asking if they needed anything.
  10. I flew back home to DC today. Some observations: 1. I was the only person in line at TSA at the E Checkpoint, not a soul in standard or pre-check. There were however 30-40 TSA officers standing around. This was the first time in years that my bag was "selected" for screening. I wonder if they were bored. 2. The Centurion Lounge was busier than I expected, but still quiet. There is a nice corner at the Eastern part of the lounge where there are floor to ceiling windows facing D/E and the skyline. Most other areas have frosted glass panels. All CLs are closing tomorrow systemwide because of COVID19, and I felt bad for the staff. The bar was closed and they only had boxed lunches. 3. The airport seemed busy but at the same time quiet. Very hard to describe. People seemed to be getting off planes and connecting (I saw folks running for the flight information display boards once leaving the jetbridge) but no one seemed to be boarding flights. Very bizarre. My flight to DCA was out of C14 and when walking through C flights to various cities were boarding yet no one was actually boarding. A mainline flight to Melbourne FL (never knew AA had mainline on that route...obviously won't last now!) was boarding but no one got on except maybe 10-12 people. 4. My flight to DCA (an Airbus A320) had maybe 30-40. First was full. Everyone theoretically could have had their whole row but towards the front some entire rows were occupied...maybe folks wanted to get off first? The entire beverage service in Coach took maybe 3 minutes. 5. Some people wiped down everything excessively, others acted without a care in the world. I saw a lady wipe down the compartment door containing the oxygen masks (If you EVER have to touch that during the flight there is a bigger problem than COVID19) and the window in front of AND behind her, while some people didn't wipe anything down. 6. The flight crew on this flight (and the AA flight last week) were much more cheery than normal. They genuinely seemed happy to be there, and were very caring. Both the captain and the lead flight attendant made announcements how important to them personally that we were there and were grateful for our business. The captain and the lead FA wished everyone good health upon deplaning. It was a very touching and somewhat surreal experience. 7. None of the crew were wearing gloves (as on the flight last week) except during trash pickup, which they normally do. I wonder if it was an age/generational thing. The crew on my flight today was older (65-75 year old range) and given how relaxed they were, and after having worked through other Pandemics, wonder if this is somewhat been there/done that for them.
  11. Quite frankly I think for several weeks the current administration mistook COVID19 as a "Asian" disease, something that was going on "over there" and wasn't expected to grow and spread like the way it did. The screening program was only designed to screen arriving passengers from China/Korea, and not Europe. That's why you see the massive backlog at DFW today. An airport like PHL (or CLT) never had a screening program in place because those airports don't have any arrivals from Asia. I ended my trip in Hong Kong early just because I was concerned about getting stuck in Hong Kong. I decided to come to CLT to spend some time with my parents and family. The flight from LAX to CLT was PACKED and oversold. The Cathay flight attendants were wearing gloves and masks but the AA flight attendants were simply wearing their hideous new uniform. I didn't see any ridiculous-ness at the airport other than a family at the gate in LAX with two young children maybe 3&5, and the entire family was wearing surgical masks and gloves. They took the masks off and started eating Doritos but then kept their dirty gloves on whilst eating the Doritos and then when they were done eating THEY PUT THE SAME MASKS ON AND TOUCHED THEIR FACE WITH THE SAME DIRTY GLOVES. Crazy. I wiped down the tray table during all my flights and didn't eat anything on the LAX-CLT segment (for some reason I trusted Cathay to have a cleaner plane than AA) but in general I was more concerned about the people around me...the man in the aisle seat unfolded the tray table and slept right on it (without cleaning it) and the boy in the middle seat spilled half of the bag of AA pretzels on the table and proceeded to eat it. I didn't think CLT was any less busy or anything. My two cents is that the seasonal routes won't make an appearance this year. Going forward MUC I am not sure about given LH seems they are committed to the market and I doubt there is room for two carriers. I would bet that all seasonal markets come back during 2021. Americans have a short attention span and will likely to be just as eager to take grandma and the kids to Rome in June 2021.
  12. I also wouldn't be surprised to see the number of airports with enhanced screening procedures increase.
  13. I would be surprised if the US3 canceled every single European flight. I could see AA doing: -Madrid: Keeping one daily flight through PHL perhaps less than daily -Frankfurt: Keeping the one daily CLT flight perhaps less than daily -Munich/Zurich/Barcelona/Amsterdam: Cut completely -Paris: Keeping PHL and/or MIA
  14. My flight to HKG last night was packed to the gills, although that may be more so because Cathay has slashed flights across the board and AA/UA suspended flights to HKG. The usually bustling airport was eerily quiet though.
  15. It’s probably fairly likely. My guess is that if infrastructure improvements/new terminal spaces are in the works, AA is probably going to hand over their own money to design their own space and/or speed up the construction process. There was the hammerhead satellite concourse in the works, but I could easily see that being redesigned to cater to international flying. I also know that several gates on Concourse C were going to be turned into “swing” gates and connected to FIS via a sterile corridor. I believe any expansion or new terminal spaces at this point would require the permanent crosswind runway closure.
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