Here’s the trick. American Eagle is a wholly owned subsidiary operating feeder flights and thin routes for American. Recently American has taken on more regional partners to do flying for them. And US Airways has non-owned regional airline partners flying for them. And that regional flying needs a name. Like United Express and US Airways Express, a brand that encompasses all of the contracted airlines flying small aircraft.
So American wants to use ‘American Eagle’ to represent all of these airlines, not just their one subsidiary. As a result they’re renaming the subsidiary.
So far, so good. But… Envoy?
“By taking on the Envoy name, we can better differentiate ourselves from the competition and better market ourselves.
…The name was chosen because Envoy is reflective of what the company does for the airlines it works with – serving as their ambassador and a representative to their customers.
Except… it’s really not representative of the service being offered. Maybe it won’t matter, because customers will just see the ‘American Eagle’ branding. Only the most die-hard frequent flyers pay attention to the actual name of the operating regional carrier. Passengers will still fly ‘American Eagle’ and eventually they’ll transition to these American Eagle flights being ‘Operated by Envoy’ just as they might be ‘Operated by Republic Airlines’.
Still, Envoy conveys a sense of distinguished service that isn’t historically a part of American Eagle’s operation. They’re a regional carrier. Regional gate areas can be confusing, chaotic even. While there are many planes with first class and snack service even, it’s not the highest level of service an airline can offer.
Think I’m the only one that sees Envoy as a mismatch for the carrier? US Airways has long used the brand ‘Envoy’ for their international business class product. Here’s how the US Airways website describes their Envoy service.
There’s no place like Envoy, our international business class. With more space and personalized service, you’ll arrive refreshed, relaxed and ready to do business. Enjoy restaurant-style meals and sip fine wines. Pass the time with hours of movies, TV and music. Plus, enjoy access to any US Airways Club the day you travel, priority boarding and baggage handling and no checked bag fees. And if your trip includes flights within the U.S., you’ll travel in First Class.
Does that sound like an American Eagle regional jet experience to you?
It’s just a name, service standards remain the name, so it won’t ultimately matter. But if you’re going to call yourself envoy, an emissary on a special diplomatic mission, there are protocols to live up to!