Want to Hold Onto Elite Status With Your Airline? It’s Going to Cost You.
Every year, the Air Transport Association (ATA) releases the “Airline Compensation Study,” which analyzes the salaries of all the United States’ airlines, plus how they compare to the airlines that they are competing against. And every year I learn something more about the airlines I use to fly — so much more that I was prompted to write this post, which I realize will probably be the last one about them until the annual AOPA compensation study.
It turns out that many of the airlines I fly are not competing with the airlines that they’re used to flying. In fact, many of America’s major airlines lost significant amounts of money in the years prior.
I’m not going to go into the details of what I learned, because I’m sure you probably want to know more than I do about why and how these stories play out. But I will say that there is some great stuff in this study.
Let’s start with the airlines that are losing money. There are a number of very large carriers that are struggling.
American is making losses of $1.3 billion for its third quarter of 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2013, it was doing $1.38 billion in profits.
American Airlines lost $4.4 billion in the third quarter of 2014, up from $3.5 billion loss in the third quarter of 2013.
United Continental International is losing $2.8 billion. That’s $2.7 billion in losses and $2.8 billion profit in one quarter.
Delta Air Lines is losing $5.5 billion, up from $5.3 billion loss in the third quarter of 2013.
TWA is losing $2.6 billion in the third quarter of 2014, up from $2.4 billion loss in the third quarter of 2013.
United Airlines is losing $4.0 billion in the third quarter of 2014. That’s $2.9 billion loss in one quarter.
United Continental is losing $2.