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Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

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Hey UPers, this would be a great time to get updated CLT pics. (hint, hint). Lookin' forward to it. I'd do it myself if I wasn't in Redington Shores, FL.

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On 3/18/2020 at 4:53 PM, davidclt said:

I'm wondering if any of American's execs or the board are doing what Delta's CEO, officers, directors, managing directors and Board of Directors are doing? 

Now we know. Board forgoing their cash compensation until August, Isom reducing his pay 55%, execs 50%, and other leaders taking reductions through June. Doug Parker, the poor soul, has already lost 50% of the value of his stock grant so it wouldn't be fair to ask him to sacrifice anymore.

Overall, AA's leadership has been lacking in their handling of this crisis (especially the communication aspect) when compared to United and Delta imo.

 

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1 hour ago, TCLT said:

Now we know. Board forgoing their cash compensation until August, Isom reducing his pay 55%, execs 50%, and other leaders taking reductions through June. Doug Parker, the poor soul, has already lost 50% of the value of his stock grant so it wouldn't be fair to ask him to sacrifice anymore.

Overall, AA's leadership has been lacking in their handling of this crisis (especially the communication aspect) when compared to United and Delta imo.

I say this with no malice toward the many hard-working American Airlines employees in Charlotte and around the globe, but AA is the worst of the mainline product in the North American skies and possibly giving Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier a run for their money as the worst product in the skies. Additionally Doug Parker, et al. may be the worst airline execs bar none. AA remains penny wise and pound foolish. I think Delta may have the best mainline product and the best customer focus. United has clawed their way from the bottom in years past but I still think they may the most customer hostile of the mainline operators.

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20 hours ago, davidclt said:

I say this with no malice toward the many hard-working American Airlines employees in Charlotte and around the globe, but AA is the worst of the mainline product in the North American skies and possibly giving Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier a run for their money as the worst product in the skies. Additionally Doug Parker, et al. may be the worst airline execs bar none. AA remains penny wise and pound foolish. I think Delta may have the best mainline product and the best customer focus. United has clawed their way from the bottom in years past but I still think they may the most customer hostile of the mainline operators.

Parker's first day working as CEO at America West was 9/11/01. I think you might underestimate him.

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2 hours ago, Miesian Corners said:

Parker's first day working as CEO at America West was 9/11/01. I think you might underestimate him.

Maybe... but looking at profitability American has been overtaken by Delta, United, and Southwest (which has around 1/2 the revenue of American). 

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4 hours ago, stiluvclt said:

C'mon KJH, get some new airport pics.

Out of town and cant really go over there for no reason right now unfortunately.  If I go over there I will you know it,

In other news American announced that 620 pilots took early retirement more than they expected according the Dallas Business Journal.

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Just now, AirNostrumMAD said:

He was good and championed consolidation but IMO new leadership would be nice.

 

I almost completely agree except legacy American Airlines Aircraft are just as great as Delta. The problem is getting an old US Airways plane. Which is often! 
 

Delta has 1000% consistent great/amazing product. United has a consistently good product. AA is Russian roulette with 3 bullets. Both times I flew to LA from DC with AA. My flights were old US planes. Not even a USB port to charge my device. One of my connections in Charlotte was to an American Airlijes aircraft. Seat back PTV’s, great interior. WiFi, Power porte etc. fabulous. 
 

but delta and United. I know I’m always going to get great amenities. 

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. 

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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. 

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2 hours ago, LKN704 said:

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. 

Good discussion starting point! 
 

I think it’s more likely that CLT will see all 332s and that Philly will see more 787s to cover that. PHL has a 787 base already (being?) established so makes in my eyes.

I also think CLT-Barcelona is a goner, potentially CLT-Rome too. Both gone for 2021 (BCN more so than FCO) at least, but who knows if demand will return by 2022. Maybe the second London is dropped temporary until demand picks up but there are strict restriction on slot sitting ? 

I think either Lufthansa or AA will drop Munich but not both, I think Lufthansa dropping it as more likely. I think AA will consolidate Germany out of Charlotte, I don’t think they’d be willing to completely close MUC. 

So London, Dublin, Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt and Munich, all on 332s. 
 

We’re not going to be the only casualties and I think we might get off scot-free compared to some hubs, I think Chicago and Philly will so more cuts in numerical terms.  In terms of other hubs, I agree about Casablanca, Berlin and Dubrovnik being dropped. I think Prague and Budapest will be consolidated to just Philadelphia.  
 

I’ll probably have a deeper think on it and probably add some more. 

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6 hours ago, CLT704 said:

Good discussion starting point! 
 

I think it’s more likely that CLT will see all 332s and that Philly will see more 787s to cover that. PHL has a 787 base already (being?) established so makes in my eyes.

I also think CLT-Barcelona is a goner, potentially CLT-Rome too. Both gone for 2021 (BCN more so than FCO) at least, but who knows if demand will return by 2022. Maybe the second London is dropped temporary until demand picks up but there are strict restriction on slot sitting ? 

I think either Lufthansa or AA will drop Munich but not both, I think Lufthansa dropping it as more likely. I think AA will consolidate Germany out of Charlotte, I don’t think they’d be willing to completely close MUC. 

So London, Dublin, Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt and Munich, all on 332s. 
 

We’re not going to be the only casualties and I think we might get off scot-free compared to some hubs, I think Chicago and Philly will so more cuts in numerical terms.  In terms of other hubs, I agree about Casablanca, Berlin and Dubrovnik being dropped. I think Prague and Budapest will be consolidated to just Philadelphia.  
 

I’ll probably have a deeper think on it and probably add some more. 

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. 

Edited by LKN704
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I haven't flow Delta across the pond, but I have been on BA, AA, AirCanda, and Aer Lingus. AA provides the worst flight services without a doubt. I typically fly out of JFK and the AA flight was marginally at best. No individual usb to charge my phone and I had no choices of entertainment on a 7 hour flight from CDG. The best thing  was I got 2 glasses of wine with my meal to put me to sleep for 4 hours of the flight.  BA was the best service bar none, with AC a very close second.  Aer Lingus was interesting almost like flying Southwest. Being able to get Jamieson and Guinness with my meal was definitely a plus.

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I guess it's your definition of major. Personally I would not consider CLT a major international airport or even close to one.

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19 minutes ago, elrodvt said:

I guess it's your definition of major. Personally I would not consider CLT a major international airport or even close to one.


I think it meant an airport with low international exposure rather than in general of being a major airport. Which I think is what you’re getting at. 

Denver being even smaller of an international airport than Charlotte but one of the worlds busiest still. 
 

Dulles, JFK, Newark, SF, LA, Miami, Chicago being among the more internationally exposed airports. 

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15 minutes ago, elrodvt said:

I guess it's your definition of major. Personally I would not consider CLT a major international airport or even close to one.

I mean, I guess it depends on where you draw the line?  CLT has more passengers than  IAH and MIA (and way, way more flights; CLT is top TEN in the WORLD by number of flights), but you're not gonna get very far going abroad from CLT.

Fun fact though: CLT has more international traffic than LGA, which I would have thought the internet was fooling me had I not looked it up.

 

 

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I've been back home in Charlotte for about a week now. Made a few trips to the airport to watch and take pictures of some planes. What weird times we live in with all that is happening around the world. Sad to see how much COVID-19 has impacted CLT and all airports/airlines around the world. When I left for Grand Forks in January, I never thought I would be back on these terms and see such a desolate airport.

Stay safe everyone!

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Typically this would be the taxiway at CLT as American flights line up during a departure bank. Instead this is Pittsburgh, where many of the A330s, A320s, and ERJs that fly through CLT have been parked. Pittsburgh is still a major Airbus maintenance base for American with lots of empty runways since being de-hubbed, so a good place to store aircraft. Many Boeing planes for AA are being sent to the Tulsa maintenance base.

Image may contain: sky, airplane and outdoor

Image may contain: airplane, sky and outdoor

Edited by CLT2014
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I drove to the airport Tuesday afternoon to see what it was like. I noticed that in the furthest long term lot, closest to Wilkinson, there were maybe 100 vehicles and I wondered when those people had departed CLT.

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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. 

Edited by LKN704
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5 hours ago, AirNostrumMAD said:


I think it meant an airport with low international exposure rather than in general of being a major airport. Which I think is what you’re getting at. 

Denver being even smaller of an international airport than Charlotte but one of the worlds busiest still. 
 

Dulles, JFK, Newark, SF, LA, Miami, Chicago being among the more internationally exposed airports. 

Makes sense.

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American is allowing Basic Economy passengers to pay for a seat assignment at the time of booking (rather than waiting to 48 hours before departure). Basic Economy customers can continue to wait until check in and receive a seat assignment selected by the airline free of charge. 

Looking at CLT - DEN for example for dates in July, Basic Economy is $93 round trip. Seat assignments are $10 each way for an aisle seat so total of $113 round trip. Main Cabin (which includes a seat assignment, better boarding group, and better miles structure) is $163.  Certainly makes Basic Economy a little more bearable / less stressful for customers on a budget and wanting a guaranteed seat with their kids or travel companion.

https://onemileatatime.com/american-airlines-basic-economy-seating/

Edited by CLT2014

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