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Rougarou

Prove Me Wrong: American Airlines is the worst domestic airline

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Consistently horrible experiences:

  • Bad staff
  • Bad customer service
  • Crappy planes
  • Never on time
  • Rewards system is impossible

@ me or Fight me if you disagree (or please talk me off the ledge and make me feel better about being forced to use them often because right now I'm in the trough of despair).

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Smax said:

Thanks for the link:

Is it worth it to move all my travel to Southwest from American Airlines? Has anyone done it and it materially changed their traveling and flying experience in a positive way? Even if it doesn't, half of me emotionally wants to do it just to spite these guys because they have been so bad lately.

And this one aspect is likely not their fault, but Boeing's, but I have noticed in the past month I have not had a single-- literally a single flight-- depart on time. It's been a complete disaster, worse than when the government was shut down by an order of magnitude, and I am guessing it's because of the 737 groundings.

That said they are still horrible in every other metric.

Edited by Rougarou

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1 minute ago, Prepuce of Doom said:

At least their Biscoff cookies are good? 

Zoe's sucks too.

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And the whole, "sorry, if you wanted anything other than Garbage Box A or High Protein Garbage Box B, you should have pre-ordered a meal two days ago, because we're all out of this month's Zoe's pesto chicken and paste wrap." 

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And their WiFi sucks donkey dicks through a dick-shaped straw.

They have three separate WiFi systems they use depending on the plane, and one of them makes it all but impossible to find the receipt in your inbox (if you even get one - usually a 50/50 proposition) when you later have to file an expense report. 

But at least it's reasonably priced (not that I'm the one paying for it, so whatever...) when compared to Delta's, which can be $40 per flight sometimes. 

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I usually make it a point to tweet at an airline when I have a good flight attendant or gate agent, just because I think those people should be recognized just as much as my frequent (and often ignored) complaints should be acknowledged. 

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18 minutes ago, Rougarou said:

Consistently horrible experiences:

  • Bad staff
  • Bad customer service
  • Crappy planes
  • Never on time
  • Rewards system is impossible

@ me or Fight me if you disagree (or please talk me off the ledge and make me feel better about being forced to use them often because right now I'm in the trough of despair).

They have two criteria for hiring

1) short fried blonde hair cut

2) biiiiiiiiioooooooottttch

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Just now, Prepuce of Doom said:

I usually make it a point to tweet at an airline when I have a good flight attendant or gate agent, just because I think those people should be recognized just as much as my frequent (and often ignored) complaints should be acknowledged. 

Have you ever written a complaint to anyone and had it heard? I would spend some time crafting a respectful but complaining letter if I thought it wouldn't go straight to the round filing cabinet.

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While AA certainly is not what it was under Fang, I think it is much better than it was 10 years ago. Like any big company, I find the staff and customer service depends on the individual, but on average I think it has gotten exponentially better. It has a newer fleet than most other airlines, and I like both the in-seat and mobile entertainment options. Similarly, my flights are on time much more than they are late (in transparency, all airlines have added superfluous block times). In terms of AAdvantage, its biggest mistake was promoting MileSAAver, which almost always disappoints, as opposed to marketing AAnytime and using MileSAAver as a pleasant surprise. In fairness, I think most of us take flying for granted and forget how complicated it is both physically and logistically. I think the biggest problem with air travel is other travelers vs. the airline. If most of use followed the rules and showed a modicum of courtesy, it would be a better experience.

All that being said, I prefer WN and even have had a couple of decent experiences on NK. I never fly UA, DL, or B6.

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Just now, Kyle said:

I think it is much better than it was 10 years ago.

Say fucking what???

 

Yeah, AA sucks now, but what did you expect after the clowns at US got their hooks into them.

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you should drive. me? i will fly on whoever and get there 10 hours ahead of you and not care that a flight attendant didn't smile.

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american is fine if you have status. i haven't raveled as much this year, so my status is downgraded, and i anticipate pleb treatment when i travel this year.

but i have had no problems at all cashing in miles for me, for my wife, or whatever, and usually those miles result in first class seating, which, of course, ruins you as a traveler once you've lived that good life. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Mole said:

I can prove you wrong in one word: Spirit.

No grown adult should ever fly Spirit. Leave that to college spring breakers going to PCB or something. 

That said it wouldn’t surprise me if Spirit actually departed and arrived on time at least once or twice a day which is once or twice more than AA.

 

Edited by Rougarou

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, Prepuce of Doom said:

I usually make it a point to tweet at an airline when I have a good flight attendant or gate agent

This you?
 

 

Anyway, here's the link to the original article ranking the airlines (avoid that USA Today summary with all their autostart and endless spam):

https://thepointsguy.com/news/tpg-2019-list-best-and-worst-airlines/

Probably best to search for what factors are important to you, because the rankings vary considerably based on criteria.  #MethodologyMatters

Edited by clapclapclap

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Meh.  They're all about the same at this point.

We're really talking about just AA, Delta, and United if you think about it.  SWA's main weakness if international and if you have to travel to smaller or mid sized airports.  (They're pretty good, otherwise.)  If you travel a decent amount, the Big 3 are the same except for United which seems to suck.  It also matters if you have status and what city you live in.  It's basically a monopoly and you're flying whatever major airline has the monopoly on your local market.

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I travel 99% SWA.  On the rare occasion I have to go international, it'll be British Airways or United.  Fuck AA.

I don't care that SWA is the "poor" airline.  Airlines are a commodity in the US at this point.  They get people from point A to point B.

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https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/american-airlines-a-clockwork-passenger/

Quote

Memo to: Doug Parker, CEO, American Airlines

From: Kevin D. Williamson, captive in 1D

Re: Bound and gagged, corporate hostility, invasive marketing shenanigans, general indecency,A Clockwork Orange, air rage, etc.

Dear Doug:

Hey, checking in again here with a few unsolicited thoughts. I get the feeling my emails to you aren’t going through.

A thought about that relatively new safety video you guys have got going. I like it pretty well, and  Tara Martin, the flight attendant who stars in it, seems charming. But I am not entirely sure that Jeff Tremaine was the right choice for director, much as I love his “Mayhem” commercial for Allstate.

You know who I’d have gone with? Stanley Kubrick. Aside from the fact that he died 20 years ago, he’s the perfect choice.

I’m thinking particularly of his work in A Clockwork Orange. If you’ve never seen that, well, it would be a real eye-opener for you. In the film, based on Anthony Burgess’s great novel, a violent criminal named Alex is subjected to a kind of invasive reprogramming regimen to cure him of his felonious ways. In the film, he is — see if this sounds familiar, Doug! — strapped into a chair with a video screen in front of his eyes and speakers above his head, and forced to endure an endless stream of propaganda — basically corporate marketing videos for servility — from which there is no escaping. He comes out of it reformed, but reduced.

As I write this, I am strapped into a chair with a video screen in front of my eyes and speakers a few inches away from my ears, broadcasting into my skull content that cannot be turned off. I get the safety videos, but the increasingly lengthy and invasive marketing videos—and the constant credit-card hawking — are not about safety. No, those are about you corporate monkeys exploiting a literally captive audience, one whose members would, if they reacted the way they really should to this kind of nonsense, would be tased by air marshals or dragged off in chains upon landing.

Knock it off, Doug.

Of course, we passengers can eventually turn off the video. Until you turn it back on. I’m less than an hour into my flight here, and I’ve been obliged to turn the damned thing off six different times. That is some shameful stuff, Doug.

Your minions are always going on about how they know that we have a choice when we fly and they they are grateful for our choosing American. The fact is, we do not have a lot of choices when we fly. On some routes, we don’t really have any choice at all. And once we are in the airplane, we sure as hell don’t have any choice about enduring your insipid corporate effluvium.

I’m up in business class today, which is nice. I’m paying the extra couple of hundred bucks for business because — see if you can follow along, now, Doug — I’m on business. Which means that I intend to work during this flight, which is a lot harder to do back in last class. You know what makes it harder to work, Doug? Being screamed at by idiots trying to sell me a credit card.

Your bread-and-butter passengers are, I expect, not the folks who get on an airplane once a year to visit grandma. There are a lot of us who fly every week, or two or three times a week. (Some people fly a lot more than that.) We frequent flyers already know about your special “limited time” offer on that credit card, Doug, and, since this has been going on for more than a year, some of us are starting to suspect that you maybe aren’t being entirely honest about this “limited time” thing.

A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian fantasy, Doug, not a marketing plan. How about you quit being such an ass and show a little good taste and restraint?

Your favorite correspondent, etc., . . .

 

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Posted (edited)

I have no idea what the experience is like for the poors on United.  If you are in their top tiers of status (Platinum, 1K or GS), they are awesome.

I travel UA all the time (I'm not going to humble brag, but I travel them a lot from IAH). 

The good:  They are generally on-time, they almost over communicate when there are delays, their inflight WiFi is reliable/reasonably fast, their technology and app is first rate. Generous with upgrades for 1Ks and GS.  Miles are easy to accumulate and easy to claim.  The pretzel bread hamburger on the select menu is coach is pretty damn good.

Note so good: business class food is "meh" (but snack boxes are a good value), United Clubs are too crowded.

My flight to Newark on Monday had an ATC delay and they kind of messed up making everyone de-plane then reboarding 20 mins later.  More amusing than anything else.  Newark to Chicago Tuesday was delayed due to weather (it happens)....they gave everyone in coach a free snack box of their choice.

Edited by gecko

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I only fly 4-5 times a year but I’ve had much worse experiences with SWA than with AA. I’m sure some of it has to do with your home airport and the types of routes you normally fly. I would pay slightly more to avoid SWA but I realize others have different experiences and takes.

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AA sucks only because their flight attendants act like they couldn't care less if the plane crashed into a mountain. I try to avoid SWA because of the open seating policy

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Prepuce of Doom said:

I usually make it a point to tweet at an airline when I have a good flight attendant or gate agent, just because I think those people should be recognized just as much as my frequent (and often ignored) complaints should be acknowledged. 

i'd be afraid of getting them fired.  people who display competence and initiative?  probably broke some byzantine rule in doing so.

 

edit: american airlines is a credit card company that happens to run an airline so no shocker they're hounding pax about their credit card. 

Edited by elfenix

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Posted (edited)

If you ever flew in a Civil Air Transport C-47 60+ years ago, you would appreciate any aircraft that had at least padded lawn chairs for seats.

Edited by Armybrat

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They are all pretty much the same at this point. Fun fact, the only time my united cc has problems getting swiped or the chip read is on their fucking planes.

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I like the customer service from SWA better than from every other airline. 

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It's a circle discussion. People that fly AA really love them or they hate them. There is no in between. You could say the exact same thing about Delta or United too. All of the carriers have their flaws. United mostly flies out of EWR, and I live by JFK, so they are a no-go. But their lounges and award ticket availability is more suitable for my travel habits. Delta is a decent airline, and they fly out of both JFK and LGA, but their reward program is a joke. I'm not going to fly 5X as often on them as I do other carriers for an award ticket, especially when the redemption level isn't even standardized for flights on the same date. Southwest is the "fun" airline but IDGAS about singing the TSA announcement in shorts or checking in 2 bags for free when I try to avoid checking anything in. Their reward program is the best but they don't fly to Europe, everything is a Coach seat and there are no lounges to escape the dirty poors. 

AA is my go-to due to geography and typical city pairings.

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22 minutes ago, HRSchenker said:

AA sucks only because their flight attendants act like they couldn't care less if the plane crashed into a mountain. I try to avoid SWA because of the open seating policy

I don't know what you mean by this, but I did laugh.

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1 hour ago, pearlandhorn said:

I travel 99% SWA.  On the rare occasion I have to go international, it'll be British Airways or United.  Fuck AA.

I don't care that SWA is the "poor" airline.  Airlines are a commodity in the US at this point.  They get people from point A to point B.

This. If you’re flying in the US your flight’s probably not much longer than 4 hours, usually less. What do you need some expensive meal or snacks for? What do you need a reserved seat for? I don’t need to be treated like some coddled pussy snowflake, just get me where I’m going. 

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I want to hear Rex Kramer's thoughts

United experience is based on whether you are dealing with a legacy United or continental employee.

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They are all pretty much the same at this point. Fun fact, the only time my united cc has problems getting swiped or the chip read is on their fucking planes.
That's how you get free shit. BUT IT'S THE ONLY CARD I HAS!

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I want to hear Rex Kramer's thoughts

United experience is based on whether you are dealing with a legacy United or continental employee.
Very true. I did enjoy the first year or so after the merger when. They would announce that they were a legacy continental flight crew.

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After announcing the merger in 2010 the flight attendants just merged their seniority lists 4 months ago. You think 25 women coming to an agreement is hard try 25,000.

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Flying AA.

March 2018, flying to vegas from austin, the roundtrip  first class ticket was only $200 more than the premium fare.   Thats well within my purchase threshold, so I get it. leave 5:50am to Dallas and then on to Vegas.

get loaded on plane at 5:45 captain announces that the night previous, that as the plane made it to the gate, the plane managed to run over a sharp bolt (which was still in 1 tire) that has punctured BOTH front tires... and they need to clear out the plane to lift it up and replace the tires (side note, its the first god damned flight of the morning, HTF did no one notice both front tires were flat?). So we clear out and its a quick fix, but obviously we miss the connecting flight in Dallas.  I get told by the gate agents there that my status allowed me to get on the next flight, but first class was booked already, so I would be flying economy.   Nothing I can do.  I mean the whole fucking reason I bought first class was for the free booze and good seat on the 3 hour flight to vegas, so thats out, I get stuck in full economy and its an unpleasant trip.

I tweet, call and email American Customer service, during and after the flight to get a refund on the first class portion of the ticket for both flights. And I wasnt being petty, the first flight was late as a direct result of American's groundcrew missing the flat tires from the night before, and the 2nd leg was missed because of that.

American actually tweets me and tells me that my first class ticket was a "free" upgrade (huh, I bought directly through the aa website, and paid $200 more for first) and I would get nothing.  Email received the next day tells me the same thing.

tried a call after I got back from vegas, no dice.

finally after 2 weeks I got furious, found the email list of the entire American Board of Directors, as well as CEO/ President, and CC'd the Point's Guy where I wrote all the details, flight #, gate #, my tweets & emails and heisman responses.   now I know the email I sent was read by a handler and not the big cheese I sent it to, but it workd.

Big shock 48 hours after I wrote that letter I get an apology email, a refund on $70  (the $ amount they claim my first class flight was worth to vegas), the doubled the points on got on the flight, and gave me 15,000 miles and basically told me to go get my shine box.  

So yeah, i got something back but was kinda pissed that I didnt get at least the upgrade for both flights refunded.

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@aus97 re: HTF did no one notice both front tires were flat?

There's this thing called ACARS, and it's the data which underpins the entire global commercial aviation industry.

In order for the crew and staff to get their regular pay for getting up at 345am, it is necessary to sardine the pax _even_though_ they knew they weren't going anywhere.

If they don't sardine-up the tube, they can't tell ACARS "we wuz ready to go but WHOOP! sorry bolt in tire".

Does that make any sense?  Of course not.

But geographic distortion, time dilation and deliberate lying bordering on open fraud have been institutionalized as a business model in US Commercial Aviation starting in 1979, and weaponized in the 21st century.

Commercial Air Travel in the US is personal combat, and it's everyone for themselves.  I will cut you for that bin space, fuck your status.  We've sunk to the bottom.  Virgin America and Midwest Express are no more.  Alaska is nice but at best a shadow impostor of 20th century standards.

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13 minutes ago, AUS-97HORN said:

Flying AA.

March 2018, flying to vegas from austin, the roundtrip  first class ticket was only $200 more than the premium fare.   Thats well within my purchase threshold, so I get it. leave 5:50am to Dallas and then on to Vegas.

get loaded on plane at 5:45 captain announces that the night previous, that as the plane made it to the gate, the plane managed to run over a sharp bolt (which was still in 1 tire) that has punctured BOTH front tires... and they need to clear out the plane to lift it up and replace the tires (side note, its the first god damned flight of the morning, HTF did no one notice both front tires were flat?). So we clear out and its a quick fix, but obviously we miss the connecting flight in Dallas.  I get told by the gate agents there that my status allowed me to get on the next flight, but first class was booked already, so I would be flying economy.   Nothing I can do.  I mean the whole fucking reason I bought first class was for the free booze and good seat on the 3 hour flight to vegas, so thats out, I get stuck in full economy and its an unpleasant trip.

I tweet, call and email American Customer service, during and after the flight to get a refund on the first class portion of the ticket for both flights. And I wasnt being petty, the first flight was late as a direct result of American's groundcrew missing the flat tires from the night before, and the 2nd leg was missed because of that.

American actually tweets me and tells me that my first class ticket was a "free" upgrade (huh, I bought directly through the aa website, and paid $200 more for first) and I would get nothing.  Email received the next day tells me the same thing.

tried a call after I got back from vegas, no dice.

finally after 2 weeks I got furious, found the email list of the entire American Board of Directors, as well as CEO/ President, and CC'd the Point's Guy where I wrote all the details, flight #, gate #, my tweets & emails and heisman responses.   now I know the email I sent was read by a handler and not the big cheese I sent it to, but it workd.

Big shock 48 hours after I wrote that letter I get an apology email, a refund on $70  (the $ amount they claim my first class flight was worth to vegas), the doubled the points on got on the flight, and gave me 15,000 miles and basically told me to go get my shine box.  

So yeah, i got something back but was kinda pissed that I didnt get at least the upgrade for both flights refunded.

I swear with these airlines it's all about who you get. I had a flight delayed from MCO to DFW due to a bomb threat a few years back and the plane ended up leaving earlier than the announced time it had been delayed to and it left me and one other guy stranded in Orlando. AA gave us a free upgrade to first for a flight that was leaving first thing the next morning and offered a free hotel stay (declined due to staying w/lady friend at the time).

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17 minutes ago, AUS-97HORN said:

Flying AA.

March 2018, flying to vegas from austin, the roundtrip  first class ticket was only $200 more than the premium fare.   Thats well within my purchase threshold, so I get it. leave 5:50am to Dallas and then on to Vegas.

get loaded on plane at 5:45 captain announces that the night previous, that as the plane made it to the gate, the plane managed to run over a sharp bolt (which was still in 1 tire) that has punctured BOTH front tires... and they need to clear out the plane to lift it up and replace the tires (side note, its the first god damned flight of the morning, HTF did no one notice both front tires were flat?). So we clear out and its a quick fix, but obviously we miss the connecting flight in Dallas.  I get told by the gate agents there that my status allowed me to get on the next flight, but first class was booked already, so I would be flying economy.   Nothing I can do.  I mean the whole fucking reason I bought first class was for the free booze and good seat on the 3 hour flight to vegas, so thats out, I get stuck in full economy and its an unpleasant trip.

I tweet, call and email American Customer service, during and after the flight to get a refund on the first class portion of the ticket for both flights. And I wasnt being petty, the first flight was late as a direct result of American's groundcrew missing the flat tires from the night before, and the 2nd leg was missed because of that.

American actually tweets me and tells me that my first class ticket was a "free" upgrade (huh, I bought directly through the aa website, and paid $200 more for first) and I would get nothing.  Email received the next day tells me the same thing.

tried a call after I got back from vegas, no dice.

finally after 2 weeks I got furious, found the email list of the entire American Board of Directors, as well as CEO/ President, and CC'd the Point's Guy where I wrote all the details, flight #, gate #, my tweets & emails and heisman responses.   now I know the email I sent was read by a handler and not the big cheese I sent it to, but it workd.

Big shock 48 hours after I wrote that letter I get an apology email, a refund on $70  (the $ amount they claim my first class flight was worth to vegas), the doubled the points on got on the flight, and gave me 15,000 miles and basically told me to go get my shine box.  

So yeah, i got something back but was kinda pissed that I didnt get at least the upgrade for both flights refunded.

15000 miles is damned good for that level of cluster.

more later.  multiple protips on where you could have done things differently.

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Jet Blue whenever possible. SWA If JetBlue isnt possible. They are not perfect, but the customer service is leagues ahead when you do have to deal with issues. Fuck, flying is such a goddamn beating now.

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3 hours ago, Prepuce of Doom said:

At least their Biscoff cookies are good? 

With coffee?  Out fucking standing.  SW airplane shaped animal crackers are a close second.

Airline travel.  You're flying through the air at incredible speed.  In the old days, if I wanted to take a family vacation in northern California, half of my family would be dead before we arrived there by covered wagon.  Or I would have eaten one of them on the Donner Pass.

Cookies and pretzels are just gravy.

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I like AA.  But I don't fly that often and when I do it's out of their home airport DFW.  I don't remember the last delay I had over 20-30 minutes.

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4 hours ago, phdhorn said:

American is the suck, but compared to United, they are Fluffer Air.

Those two are just absolute garbage.  Almost every bad experience I’ve had flying is on those two airlines and directly related to them being shitty (ie not related to weather etc).   I finally made a decision to never fly those two no matter the price or convenience etc and my flying experience has been night and day better.  I pray daily for their bankruptcy. 

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11 minutes ago, Angry Gorilla said:

I like AA.  But I don't fly that often and when I do it's out of their home airport DFW.  I don't remember the last delay I had over 20-30 minutes.

Domestic - fly SW, no issues ever

International - if not taking a foreign carrier like Qantas, Qatar, BA or AeroMexico, it usually is AA.  Don't think I've had a single delay out of DFW.  One small issue arriving at DFW once and then a longer technical delay arriving at Hobby (via American Eagle) that was the airport's fault (faulty jet bridge). 

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