Airlines Not United: Pair of Companies Experiencing Bumpy Rides

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FT. WORTH -- After years of underperforming against their competitors, there's now a divide within a major airline. Two investment funds with major stakes in United have written a letter proposing a change in leadership on the board.

Who can blame them after computer issues, horrible on-time performance and poor employee morale have plagued the company as of late?

But United isn't the only airline experiencing turbulence.

The American Airlines pilots' union has written a letter of their own, accusing the airline of fostering a “toxic culture”. The letter to the CEO describes the American Airlines product as “embarrassing.” It also claims pilots are “tired of apologizing to our passengers.”

A spokesman for American Airlines responded by pointing out the company has spent $3 billion improving aircraft interiors and airport lounges and is investing another $4 billion in new aircraft. The spokesman also said, “It's important to realize we are two years into a five-year integration process."

The bad news for the pilots is that it ultimately may not matter how they feel. American Airlines reports its passenger traffic grew by 4.7% in February, allowing the company to post record passenger traffic and capacity numbers last month.

Bottomline, as long as bottoms are in the seats you can bet business will be clear for takeoff -- no matter what.

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