Marketing mix of American Airlines
This is a detailed analysis of the marketing mix of American Airlines. It explores the 7Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Process, People, and Physical Evidence) of American Airlines and explains the airline’s business & marketing strategies. American Airlines is a major airline in the world, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, the USA.
Products and services of American Airlines
American Airlines together with its regional partner American Eagle, offers around 6,700 flights daily to 350 destinations in 50 countries (American Airlines, 2020). It offers customers different options i.e. Flagship First, Flagship Business, First, Business, Premium Economy, Main Cabin Extra, Main Cabin, and Basic Economy. These services offer different privileges e.g. Flagship First provides speedy private check-in at select airports. It also offers an exclusive fine dining experience.
However, if customers want lower prices, then the best option for them is Basic Economy which offers a comfortable seat in the Main Cabin, free snacks, soft drinks and inflight entertainment. Most of the services accompany delicious food, wi-fi, and free entertainment. However, it is worth noting that American Airlines is limiting food and drink service on board depending on flight length and destination.
Prices and pricing strategies of American Airlines
American Airlines offers different pricing options for its customers. Some analysts argue that the airline sells its services at a higher price compared to some of its competitors. Likewise, it can also be argued that it applies a differentiated pricing strategy. For instance, those who can afford can go for premium services such as Flagship First or Premium Economy and pay more, while those who have financial limitations can opt for Basic Economy. This differentiated pricing strategy helps the airline cater for the needs of different market segments. However, this price differentiation may sometimes be in conflict with the positioning of the airline as a premium airline.
Place/distribution channels of American Airlines
America Airlines currently flies to 350 destinations in 50 countries. It has world’s largest commercial fleet. Customers can book tickets on its official website. Likewise, they can use the websites of renowned tour operators e.g. Skyscanner and Expedia. As a member of the Oneworld alliance, American Airlines has codeshare agreements with a number of airlines which enables it to take its services to more customers and fly to more destinations.
Promotional strategies of American Airlines
American Airlines spend millions of dollars on advertising. McClellan (2015) reported that the airline spent nearly $30 million on ads in 2014. When many airlines are grounded and international flights are cancelled, American Airlines has come out to launch a video ad campaign dubbed as ‘You Are Why We Fly’. This ad is expected to use the airlines’ own channels and a number social media platforms to take its message to its customers and build a positive and caring brand image even at a difficult time (Christie, 2020).
In addition to advertising, American Airlines uses loyalty programmes as well. For instance, as a member of the AAdvantage program, customers can earn miles when they fly with the airline, its partners, and Oneworld participating airlines. The miles can then be used for flights, upgrades, retail products, and car and hotel rentals. However, some analysts are critical of the loyalty programmes due to some restrictions attached to them.
People of American Airlines
American Airlines considers inclusion and diversity a way of life and its team members represent different walks of life. It was crowned as one of the best places to work by the American Association of People with Disabilities and the US Business Leadership Network in 2016. It offers its team members a variety of perks and benefits. However, it is worth noting that many passengers have shared online their experience of poor customer service by the airline’s staff.
Process in American Airlines
American Airlines has different business functions to deliver its services to its customers, hence different processes. For instance, airport check-in is different for different services. Flagship First and Flagship Business customers can experience the airline’s private check-in which is very speedy and collect their checked bags first when they land. However, this speedy process is not available to customers of other services such as Basic Economy.
Physical evidence of American Airlines
American Airlines has a nice and user-friendly website. It also has a distinctive logo. Its non-revenue passengers are allowed wear anything e.g. shorts, flip-flops, or even jogging suits as long as they are appropriate, neat, and clean. Also, the clothing must not ‘offend or distract’. However, appropriateness is subject to interpretation. The airline has also recently come up with new uniforms for more than 50,000 team members.
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Last update: 14 July 2020
American Airlines (2020) American Airlines Group, available at: https://www.americanairlines.co.uk/i18n/customer-service/about-us/american-airlines-group.jsp (accessed 13 July 2020)
Christie, D., (2020) American Airlines’ ad signals return to brand-building, available at: https://www.marketingdive.com/news/american-airlines-ad-signals-return-to-brand-building/576787/ (accessed 12 July 2020)
McClellan, S., (2015) American Airlines Chooses Crispin, MediaCom For Global Ad, Media Chores, available at: https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/261327/american-airlines-chooses-crispin-mediacom-for-gl.html?edition=87388 (accessed 10 July 2020)
Photo credit: Pixabay
Author: Joe David
Joe David has years of teaching experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality, and tourism management. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management.