AA Announces A Change to Their Software Plans

AA and HP have agreed that HP will not be building a custom solution for AA’s new passenger services system.  Maya Liebman, whom I know and respect, said in part:

“I think we have tended to create our own thing not necessarily because it’s more cutting edge, but because a lot of times we  believe we feel that we are so unique and have such unique needs compared to everybody else that the only way to fulfill those needs and those requirements is to do it ourselves.

“That was really the decision we were faced with – did we want to make the investment of all the time and resources and money associated with building something, or could we leverage something that was already built that other people had already made the mistakes and put in all the sweat equity associated with building it?”

Anything earth shattering here?  Not in terms of new info, but I think it’s refreshing for a legacy airline to admit they have had a change of heart and made the wrong decision.  Some of the most successful companies in the world admit to colossal failures and learn from them (see: Apple).  That has generally not been the case with the airlines.


  1. Seems like the right move for the airline. It’s easier of course for the ‘new team’ to pull the plug on a project that the old CEO and CIO signed off on. But I’m really surprised to see them pulling the plug on major business for a key member of their creditors’ committee. Of course, I’m sure they’ve thought of that. So perhaps if AA remains a standalone airline they’ve promised to move to SHARES??

  2. That is nearly a duplicate quote from when WS dumped their in-progress custom solution ~5 years ago and bought Sabre instead.

    In reality, they’re airlines and their needs aren’t unique.

  3. Gary, it does seem odd that they’re announcing it during BK. I’m guessing they probably made the decision soon after Maya got there and it probably took a while to negotiate the settlement with HP.

    Ryan, I agree that they’re not unique. But, they all think they are. 🙂

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