In this post: Hide
An internal letter from American Airlines SVP of Partnerships and Retailing Scott Laurence recently released by Brett Snyder of The Cranky Flyer, outlines a significant restructuring of the company’s sales org to align its resources more effectively amid a slower-than-anticipated recovery in the corporate travel sector.
The internal letter
Laurence’s letter addresses changes within the company to align departments and responsibilities more effectively. Specifically, several sub-departments within sales are being restructured to integrate more closely with other corporate functions:
- International Operations will merge with the larger operations team.
- International Sales and Joint Business Development will shift to the Partnerships organization.
- Sales Support will move under Reservations.
- Offer Management will become part of Revenue Management and Loyalty.
- Sales Communications will be integrated into Global Engagement.
- Sales Insights & Automation will join the Commercial Insights team.
Laurence also announced the departure and retirement of key team members such as Kyle Mabry and Thomas Rajan, and introduced new leadership roles, including Neil Geurin as the Managing Director of Modern Retailing.
You can view the letter in its entirety below:
American is deprioritizing corporate travel
This reorganization appears to be a tactical adaptation to the ongoing challenges in the corporate travel segment, enabling the airline to remain nimble and responsive to the rapidly changing travel landscape. Specifically, by integrating sales functions into other departments and consolidating roles, the company is effectively allocating more dollars on other segments of customer travel that are recovering at a quicker pace. This is also comports with American’s September 1 elimination of 24-hour sales support for travel sellers, a move which makes sense in the context of reducing overhead in areas that are not generating sufficient returns.
American Airlines responded that while they aren’t “deprioritizing corporate/agency sales,” they are adjusting to a reality where “corporate travel hasn’t recovered at the rate other customer travel has.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds like deprioritization to me…
American Airlines is making calculated moves to adapt to a shifting landscape. While the airline claims not to be “deprioritizing corporate/agency sales,” the recent internal letter reveals a restructuring aimed squarely at doing just that. The shuffling of responsibilities and consolidation of roles, along with the elimination of 24-hour sales support for travel sellers, are telling indicators and suggest a realignment of focus and resources towards more robust segments of the travel market.