American Makes Its First Move to Protect Its Miami Hub From Delta-LATAM (Trying Too Hard Edition)

American just announced details of their Tokyo Haneda flights at the end of last week. They still have an announcement of new routes with Qantas coming up. But right after losing their LATAM partnership they’ve rushed out an announcement of new service to South America, and packaged it with other disparate scheduling moves – perhaps to make it look more robust.

New Miami – South America Flights Coming

As Delta lays the groundwork for an expansion in Miami in light of their gain – and American’s loss – of connecting feed there fro LATAM, American moves to bolster its Miami hub:

Increased service from Miami (MIA) to:
º Lima, Peru (LIM), beginning April 7
º Santiago, Chile (SCL), beginning winter 2020
º São Paulo (GRU), beginning winter 2020

Checking in to fly American business class Sao Paulo – Miami

Note that the Santiago and São Paulo flights are over a year away and the announcement doesn’t come with a schedule or start date.

The new Miami- Lima flight will be operated by a Boeing 757. As airline CEO Doug Parker once explained, they try to isolate bad passenger experience in Lima because of the airport’s low yields.

American has packaged this move with Boston and Europe announcements, instead of making a clear statement of their intentions for South America (“this is the first in a series of moves that will ensure American Airlines grows its position as the premier carrier between the U.S. and South America”).

American Will Resume Flying Boston – London

American also announced a return to the Boston – London Heathrow market, with one flight on their own metal (a Boeing 777-200) complementing the three existing British Airways services.

American Airlines was once the largest carrier in Boston serving 33 cities from the airport.

In perhaps the ultimate sign that American Airlines is trying too hard they offer, “And there’s more good news for customers flying out of Boston, as International Airline Group (IAG) subsidiary LEVEL will operate three weekly flights from BOS to Paris Orly Airport (ORY) beginning March 31.

LEVEL isn’t even an American Airlines partner and you can’t earn AAdvantage miles on these flights. What they wrote is technically true, more flights is good for customers flying out of Boston but then they might as well have touted Delta’s big buildup at the airport in their release.

Extended Seasonality for 3 Europe Flights

American will operate three of their seasonal Europe routes for several more weeks than previously planned. These aren’t new routes, instead they’re going to start their flying earlier than previously announced for 2020.

Route Previous season 2020 season
JFK–FCO May 3–Oct. 27 March 29–Oct. 23
DFW–DUB June 6–Oct. 27 May 7–Oct. 23
ORD–BCN May 3–Oct. 27 April 6–Oct. 23

All will cease service for the year October 23 rather than October 27.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Oh man this is getting fun! Not only are AA’s wheels falling off they’re already speeding past the plane. Upper management has little idea what they’re doing even in a reactionary position like they are. And if they hope to position themselves as the ‘premier’ carrier to South America they need to first be a premier carrier. They have a lot of work to do if they hope to recover from the mess they’re in.

    I’m glad I’m not AA hub bound…but from a distance they sure make for an entertaining car crash.

  2. This is even more stupid! LATAM is flying its 767 with new configuration in business for the MIA-LIM. The other 777 has IFE, Avianca flies an A330 with IFE.
    None of the American’s 757 or 767 in the route have IFE and they are the oldest planes.
    Sorry but American you are no competition.

  3. Gary,

    so what should they do? Nothing? Give us a solution as you seem to find fault at every turn.

    You constantly write or imply that they don’t like to compete. Now that they have reacted by competing it’s a problem too? So tell us what should they do?

    I guess this doesn’t fit your narrative for your blog so better to find fault instead.

    These flights being added, they operated before so they are merely restoring what they would have ceded to their code share partner. Correct or no?

    You harp and beat a dead horse about 757s to Lima. Do you expect they along with the 767s will be flying there for ever? Or have you conveniently forgotten that by 2021 787s followed later by up to 50 A321XLRs are coming? they could easily reallocate the A330s over time if they wanted too once the 787s start rolling in.

    Hopefully by then you will have nothing to complain about. Or do you prefer to see them roll over and fail.

    I await your solution as to how they should react. Again, tell us what they should do.

    God forbid one day they wake up and add flights to JFK again!

    I am no fan of Parker but in the case I do not understand why every one should expect them to roll over and die.

  4. @ryby — On another AA-hating blog, I read over the weekend that AA was going to “concede” Latin America to DL. I responded by noting that was the dumbest commentary I’d read about the LATAM matter. And it is — although Gary is trying to hard to compete with it. 🙂 All AA is doing today is putting DL and everyone else on notice that it will be a FEROCIOUS competitor to all comers if they try to invade its turf. They obviously have the resources to do this as they have a commanding market position in Latin America with their unbeatable MIA hub. While they had nice words for LATAM last week, I am certain they are going to stick it to them with new competing flights. And the London announcement just reminds folks which joint venture OWNS that city.

  5. The LATAM issue is content that will get great mileage to serve the blogger agenda. Just look how many times some of the details have been regurgitated. Sure there are issues and some are serious. But AA is not the train wreck the blogger and commenters want it to be. I flew AA two times this past weekend and both flights were flawless from start to finish. Clean airplane, friendly airport staff, superb inflight crew and on time. ( and just for Gary, we pushed back from the gate, 6 min earlier than D:0 or whatever that metric he takes issue with) Although one of the planes had the huge oasis bins, both still had dreadful seatback IFE.

  6. @Amapas thanks for your kind words. Please tweet me your Aadvantage # and we”ll put 10 miles in your account.

  7. Thanks @Dug but you’ve watered down the miles to the point where even if you give me 10,000, they are just not significant.
    In all seriousness tho, some people are more content to complain by continuously grinding the axe rather than just move on to a company that earns the business.

  8. “they might as well have touted Delta’s big buildup at the airport in their release” – Great stuff, Gary!

  9. @ryby +1000. You literally took what I’ve been thinking and articulated it. This and other “thought provoking” entries have become so hypocritical and agenda driven that it makes them hard to read, let alone take seriously. I would imagine there won’t even be a response to your post, as he has no answers. I’m just hoping to avoid Stockholm Syndrome while I continue to inexplicably return to this site. I guess in the end, Gary wins?

  10. The real metric will come if and when Delta ups its game in MIA to match the domestic routes that AA serves from MIA. Can I fly nonstop from MIA to ORD on Delta? Or must I go through ATL as is now the case? If so, how many of us AA lifetime status holders will go for a match on Delta? That is the question.

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