Updated 11/29/2011 03:03 PM
American Airlines Has Normal Flights After Parent Company Files For Bankruptcy
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American Airlines says its normal flight schedule will go on after filing for bankruptcy protection.
AMR, the struggling carrier's parent company, filed for Chapter 11 protection today.
It also replaced American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey with the company's president, Thomas Horton.
American Airlines lost money in 14 of the past 16 quarters and was the only major carrier that failed to turn a profit last year. It is also the only major U.S. carrier that had not filed for bankruptcy protection.
The airline says the move will help cut debt caused by high-jet fuel prices and labor problems.
Company officials said tickets are being honored, frequent flyer miles remain valid, future reservations will be made and the flight schedule may be only "modestly" altered, if at all.
"The message for today is for our customers, and that is, for American Airlines it will be business as usual," Horton said. "Our flights will operate, our 80,000 employees will be out there doing the very best they can to take great care of our customers."
Some travelers at LaGuardia Airport, already hit with high ticket prices and baggage fees, were worried that eventually the cost of balancing the books will fall on their shoulders. Others, however, said they will continue to use the airline.
"I'm sure that the costs will have to go up to make up for the lack of business," said one traveler.
"It puts more pressure on me to think will I be able to travel in the future. Will the cost be so high for them to survive?" said another.
"It really doesn't matter. If I still can get a ticket with American Airlines, I'm going to get it," said a third.
As other airlines have previously filed for bankruptcy, however, industry experts say they have a clear idea on what the long-term costs will be.
American is the the third largest airline in the country and is the first major airline to file for bankruptcy since Delta in 2005.
Together with its regional affiliate American Eagle, American Airlines has about 218 departures from New York area airports, according to a company spokesman.