The American has done what is probably the worst thing we have ever seen in the aviation industry (and that includes Qatar Airways flying to Atlanta to "rub salt in the wound" of the Delta), and it also includes Delta trying to block Qatar Airways in Atlanta).
Delta is a LATAM investment
Yesterday it was announced that Delta would buy 20% of LATAM shares and would form a joint venture with them. This is a tremendous development, as the American and LATAM led a joint venture but faced regulatory challenges.
This also means that LATAM will cut ties with the Americans and LATAM will leave the alliance.
What did the American say …
Following this news, the American tried to act the way anyone did when they were just thrown away. They said they understood LATAM's decision and also said that they worked with LATAM during the transition period to provide a seamless customer experience.
American promises "flawless transition"
Sounds great, right?
What makes an American…
Like what observed by the incredibly famous Cranky Flier, the American just made a crazy change in politics. First, let's take a look at how it's written in "code", and then I'll explain:
LATAM AIRLINES LA-045 GROUP
NO MY QUESTIONS A TKT-NO SHOP AGREEMENT
AA-001 US AIRLINE / US AIRLINE, INF.
DON'T KNOW MORE BAGA'S NO LAW AGREEMENT
What does that mean? With this update, effective immediately:
- American Airlines will no longer allow LATAM to issue US travel tickets; thus, all US-operated LATAM coded flights are now shown as "zero" outside (for example, you can no longer book flights from Santiago to Miami to Tampa via LATAM, with trips from Miami to Tampa America )
- American Airlines will no longer accept bags that have been checked on LATAM routes, even if you are on a single ticket that includes travel on both airlines.
The American just pulled the whole LATAM outfit
Um, wow. It's literally the least seamless transition imaginable.
How is this even possible?
This raises some logistical questions:
- Who in American thought this was a good idea at all?
- How does this even work? LATAM is still another outbound member airline, but at the moment you can't book a US segment for a LATAM ticket or check bag when flying two airlines belonging to the same alliance on one ticket?
I guess this was intentional, not a mistake. If that's the case, I wonder if this decision was considered high-level at the American level, or if an angry, over-saturated middle manager pulled the plug on this and decided this somehow made sense.