I have never been able to understand why the so-called "legacy" carrier has not been able to adapt to the market. They have had a good 10 years to do so. 9-11 was just a catalyst.
Rather than make the necessary changes, the corporate philosophy is to spend millions in re-branding, often with the exact same planes (each re-painted at substantial cost). Just changing operating procedure costs way less, and you don't have to have two booking systems, two fleets, two ticket counters and two administrations.
There is precious little difference between the product offered by the major airlines when compared to discount operators (from a client's viewpoint) so I must make the assumption that the problem is with structure and attitude. So I repeat, they have had a good 10 years (and maybe 3 or 4 collective bargaining sessions with their unions) now to implement internal change.
They need to do more than just stop serving crappy but free meals.