Tuesday, December 17, 2013

American Airlines to update new scheme?

You Decide Which is better! Image: American
On Monday American Airlines announced that it would give its employees the opportunity to vote on whether or not the tail logo should be changed from the new flag design to the classic AA logo.

The airline released an artist rendition and even launched a twitter campaign to see what people thought. For those that like the current tail they have promoted the hashtag #KeepTail and for others that want it to change you can tweet using the hashtag #SwitchTail.

Having seen the renditions in the image above, the old AA tail with the new scheme makes the plane look very plain, no pun intended. If it is voted to change the scheme back I for one hope that they add something to spice it up. Otherwise they will have gone from being one of my now favorite and best schemes in the industry to one of the worse.

Many who are opposed to the current scheme love the classic AA scheme that I for one will say looked great when it was freshly polished, but truthfully was extremely aged and needed for change. I think the issue with the new scheme is to truly appreciate it you need to get up close to the aircraft to really see the detail in it, especially on the tail which is something that I believe many who oppose it have yet to do.

One other major issue is if American brings back the AA on the tail it will create some brand confusion as your aircraft will now be promoting two major logos on it. The logo is no longer the red and blue AA that you see on the tail on the chrome aircraft, but rather the eagle seen in front of the American on the new scheme. This would be awkward to have both logos featured on aircraft.

One thing many people also associate the old logo with the old American that honestly was not loved, the point of rebranding the way that the airline did was to show that it is making changes and working on customer and employee relations.

Ever since the re-branding was announced I have seen an improvement on both fronts. Also with a new brand they launched a new product. When I flew on the carriers new 777-323ER I for one was blown away by it. They are really stepping up their game and by going back to the old logo you risk bringing back the poor association that goes with that.
An American Airlines 777-323ER Landing at Paine Field

On the new A320 family of aircraft that the carrier purchase it will feature lie flat beds for the transcons between LAX and JFK. Something that until recently was unheard of for a domestic product with in the US. But when you really think about, transcon flights are the same length as JFK-LHR, about six hours and those flight feature that along with many varieties of wide-body aircraft.

Doug Parker who is taking over the merged US Airways and American Airlines has been publicly known to be very anti the #NewAmerican scheme, but in a recent post he stated, "I have always believed they are not particularly important to the success of an airline." I do love though that he is letting the employees decide which it should be, that is something that you don't see often within airlines anymore, letting the employees decide the fate of something like your airlines main scheme.

While there is much heritage with the old, it is also a reminder of the troubled past that American Airlines has suffered through, from 9/11 to the A300 crash in New York just weeks later, then for the "final act," the bankruptcy, I for one thought it was good for the carrier to step away from what many have said was an old and tired scheme and try something new and innovative which is what the new brand and scheme did. It was a refresh of a new time and bright future for American.

Also no renditions has been released yet but we also learned that American will be painting an aircraft in a TWA heritage scheme, a very classy move that I think will look amazing, but with the way US Airways has had all of its heritage schemes with PSA, American West and other airlines that is merged with, part of me was surprised and never saw it coming, but is also not surprised since US Airways likes to pay tribute to the carriers it has consumed and merged with throughout the years and even though it was American that consumed TWA, it has still helped build the American Airlines that you see today.