LAX: to make connections easier, American and US Airways will operate shuttle bus inside security

US Airways is expecting to move to Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport next week, leaving Terminal 1, which it has shared with Southwest Airlines.

I’m being told that Feb. 12 is the targeted move date. I’ll update if that changes.

American Airlines, which is merging with US Airways, has printed up posters in an attempt to make things easier for travelers. Here’s the good news: American and US Airways will run shuttle buses inside the secure area of the airport to facilitate connections between the two airlines. This means passengers won’t have to re-clear security to switch airlines. The buses will leave every 20 minutes.

That’s a big deal, because American’s Terminal 4 and US Airways’ Terminal 3 are not particularly close to one another, despite the numbering scheme. There’s also no way to walk from one terminal to the other without re-clearing security.

Here are posters you’ll see soon at Terminal 3 and Terminal 4.

American-US Airways 2

American-US Airways 1

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PHOTOS: See the item LAX police thought might have been a bomb

Earlier today, Los Angeles International Airport police responded to a report that there was a bomb that an airport cargo facility used by US Airways. It turned out to be a false alarm. 

But police took photographs of the item, which I obtained through an inside source. Here’s what officers found when they arrived at the facility. Can you see why they were alarmed?

LAX 1

LAX2

LAX3

LAX4

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Wall Street Journal: LAX was barely profitable for American Airlines in 2013

American wants to add $400 million in revenue by optimizing its schedule. Photo credit: American

American wants to add $400 million in revenue by optimizing its schedule. Photo credit: American

The new American Airlines thinks it can squeeze out $400 million in annual revenue with some basic changes to its schedule, Susan Carey of the Wall Street Journal reported this morning in the Wall Street Journal.

For local readers, the most interesting tidbit could be the fact that Los Angeles has not been performing as well as American’s other hubs:

Mr. Kirby said American’s operations at Los Angeles International Airport are improving now that it is the largest carrier there with the highest offering of premium seats. He said Los Angeles was profitable last year but “not by much,” while this year he expects it “to be nicely profitable.” He also said American is focused on winning back business from corporations that switched their travel away from the old American in recent years.

As we’ve reported here in the past, Los Angeles is a fiercely competitive market when it comes to business travel, which provides much of the revenue for major airlines. United has long battled with American for these contracts, and Delta is once again becoming competitive in L.A., having added many routes in the past year or so. American seems to be banking in part on its new A321s, which are serving the New York-L.A. market with many state-of-the-art premium seats. 

In recent weeks, the new American has altered its schedule in New York and Washington, D.C., a step it had to take because of its pre-merger agreement settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. But eventually, I expected it to make some similar tweaks here in Los Angeles, adding some cities and taking away others.

What cities might you expect American to add from L.A. now that it is under new management?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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American Airlines and US Airways will give employee bonuses if planes leave on-time more often

Tuesday was 'Customer Day One' at the new American Airlines Group. Photo: US Airways.

It is time for the American Airlines Group Operational Olympics! Photo: US Airways.

Your American Airlines and US Airways flights and bags could arrive faster in 2014.

In a letter this week to employees, American Airlines Group president Robert Isom outlined a bribery scheme to keep employees on-target. The new combined carrier will compete with rivals Southwest, United and American on three key metrics:

· On-time arrivals – Arrivals within 14 minutes of published time;
· Baggage performance – Mishandled baggage reports (MBR) per 1,000 customers; and
· Customer satisfaction – Complaints sent directly to the DOT per 100,000 enplanements.

If the new American Airlines Group is above all of its rivals in any of the three components, every employee will receive a monthly bonus of $50. If the airline is on top in all three metrics, employees can earn an extra $150 per month.

Olympics

There’s also another way employees can earn extra money without being No. 1. If American Airlines Group airplanes leave on-time 70 percent of the time, employees will receive $50. The metric here is called D(0), which means the aircraft must leave exactly on-time. The federal government usually considers a flight on-time so long as it departs within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

This sort of bribery is fairly common, and United did it recently. I know we have a lot of airline employees who read this blog. My question to you: Do these bonuses make you work harder to keep customers happy?

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