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Dee
11-24-2005, 08:13 AM
Would like to hear thoughts from you 'travel pros' on American Airlines~

Thanks :rolleyes:

Jason's Storm
11-24-2005, 10:21 AM
I have heard, that they are one of the better old time airlines, as they have made money in the past year (at least for one quarter). Although they have removed the "more room through coach" thing.

~JS

sardine
11-24-2005, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by Dee@Nov 24 2005, 10:13 AM
Would like to hear thoughts from you 'travel pros' on American Airlines~

Thanks :rolleyes:
14309


One year ago, Thanksgiving Day 2004, my husband and I flew to Maui via American Airlines, and other than the comfortable seats, the trip was unpleasant.

Prior to departure, Boston to Dallas, we overheard one of the flight attendants complain to the gate agent that she had the flu, but that she was afraid to call in sick! What the hell?! :o I was not happy about being exposed to the flu on my way TO Maui! As Murphy’s Law would dictate, she was servicing our section of the cabin, so we declined her offer of a beverage.

In addition, prior to boarding this full flight to Dallas, the mega carryon passengers were allowed to board the aircraft without a word being said about their flagrantly breaking the rules. :angry: We, being in the last group to board, almost had our regulation carryons confiscated (we overheard a conversation between two gate agents regarding bin space) because they were running out of room to stow carryons.

As we touched down on the runway in Dallas, we heard a huge crashing sound. I am quite certain that something fell off of our ancient B-737! :unsure:

Our flight from Dallas to Maui was not much better because the toilets in the main cabin lavatories would not flush! Passengers were allowed to use the lavatories if they could stomach them! Thanks be that I can go into “camel mode” when the situation gets desperate! Eight-and-one-half hours with no “potty stop”! As I mentioned earlier, we were flying on Thanksgiving Day, and silly me, I expected a turkey meal choice. The choices were chicken, rice, and beans (very spicy) and lasagna. The lasagna was a tasteless entrée of lasagna noodles and red food coloring? The chicken dish was spicy and made people fart! :( Spicy meals at 35,000 feet should not be allowed!

American Airlines did nothing to appease those of us who suffered the agony of “holding it” all the way to Maui. The “payoff” was an announcement by the captain that they would fix the problem before the aircraft left Maui. I don’t know of one person on that flight who was leaving Maui on the next flight! Big deal!

Our return flight, with a change in Chicago, was no better. As the flight attendants were moving about the cabin closing the overhead bins prior to departure, one of them (short woman) stopped at my husband’s seat and DEMANDED help closing the overhead bin (center section of a B-767). We did not even have anything stowed in the overhead bins, and my husband who is only 5’3”, with a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder, was in agony as he shoved the open bin into the ceiling. I told him that he should have refused to help her (she was short but a scary B...!) or stood in the seat to close the bin which is what I do when I have to stow a bag in the overhead bin on a wide body.

The flight attendants on the flight to Chicago were nothing short of tyrants! I was afraid of the six foot, or taller, flight attendant who “serviced” my section of the cabin. She forgot my salad (the only good food choice on anyone’s meal trays, and I was AFRAID to ask her to get it for me) on this return flight with the exact same yucky food choices as the flight to Maui – tasteless lasagna and fart-producing chicken, rice, and beans!

My solution to enduing the flight to Chicago was to take a substantial dose of an antihistamine to knock myself out for the duration of the flight. It worked – I slept all the way to Chicago after the meal service.

The flight from Chicago to Boston was the best of our four flights in our travels to Maui and back, but (not American’s fault here) the plane was full of people who were coughing and sneezing, many of whom were from the same company. A week later I was in bed with the flu! I was denied a flu shot last year because of the shortage, even though I fall into the category of those who “must have a flu shot” each year! UGH!

The good news is that we enjoyed an awesome two weeks in Maui, our sixth trip to Hawaii in five years, the first of which was our honeymoon trip.

And I thought United Airlines was bad! United, except for their horribly cramped economy section, has been reliable and the service adequate to exceptional. We flew on Alaska and connected with Hawaiian in Seattle on one of our trips that included both Alaska and Hawaii – our most comfortable trip of the six.

Note: I wrote a lampoon entitled “Jowly Junk-It Airlines” (posted in the archives of the “Anything Goes” category). My inspiration for this lampoon was this trip to Hawaii on American Airlines. :lol:

BPoland
11-25-2005, 04:58 AM
SO sorry about your trip from h=ll abourd AA. I fly almost exclisively on them (Yes, I am platinum; anotherr fish hooked on the AA FF perks :P
That being said in spirit of full disscolure :) )
I have never expereinced a flight such as yours, and I've been in coach as well as up front. (except of course for the one aborted take off en route Cicago to Maui!)
I have always had good epxeriences on AA, and will contiue to ue them whenever I can!
Happy day after Thanksgivng (otherwise known as "I'm stuffed day").
Hope you all had a great one!

weblet
11-25-2005, 08:07 AM
I have found that you can find horror stories on just about every airline - yes, some more than others, and in my experience American falls on the shorter list of complaints.

As a professional selling American, I find they can be absolutely anal about policies that if they would just let us take care of the issue there would be no issue. On the other hand, their frequent flyer desk is probably the most agent friendly I've come across and for the consumer the easiest to redeem awards on.

So, I suppose I would give them an overall thumbs up...

hwyman
11-28-2005, 11:13 AM
Originally posted by sardine@Nov 24 2005, 12:39 PM
I am quite certain that something fell off of our ancient B-737!



Actually, American's B-737s are some of their newest aircraft. They only started adding them to their fleet around 98 or 99.

I've had good exsperiences on AA. About the only problem I have on them is delays due to maintaince issues on their MD-80s. I can't wait for those things to be retired!

Jeanie821
11-28-2005, 11:35 AM
Only one round-trip on American (as an adult, anyway), and I'm pretty satisfied with them. Their customer service reps are polite, and the FAs were attentive. My only problem with them, as with most airlines, was the in-flight entertainment. Will Ferrell films both ways - break out the airsickness bags! :lol:

By the way - who came up with the design for the lavatories? They give new meaning to the phrase "water closet".

dshilaos
11-28-2005, 02:05 PM
I've flown AA in first class on mileage partner points for years. My last trip with them was 2 weeks ago. I felt sorry for the flight attendant that had to serve first class passengers on a 4 1/2 flight 1/2 an egg salad sandwich with 10 small pieces of lettuce as a salad. GROSS!

sardine
11-28-2005, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by hwyman@Nov 28 2005, 01:13 PM
Actually, American's B-737s are some of their newest aircraft.* They only started adding them to their fleet around 98 or 99.

I've had good exsperiences on AA.* About the only problem I have on them is delays due to maintaince issues on their MD-80s.* I can't wait for those things to be retired!
14443



The 737 I made reference to was brought in as a replacement for the MD-83 that was originally scheduled to fly the Boston/Dallas route that day, and it was old! (BTW, I will also be happy when all MD-80 aircraft have been retired!) The overhead bins on this particular 737 were the most obvious indicator of the age of this plane: style, capacity, and wheelie-unfriendly. Granted, AA has some newer 737's in their fleet, but they still have some older models in their fleet - airlines buy used as well as new aircraft.

hwyman
11-28-2005, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by sardine@Nov 28 2005, 05:49 PM
The 737 I made reference to was brought in as a replacement for the MD-83 that was originally scheduled to fly the Boston/Dallas route that day, and it was old! (BTW, I will also be happy when all MD-80 aircraft have been retired!)* The overhead bins on this particular 737 were the most obvious indicator of the age of this plane: style, capacity, and wheelie-unfriendly.* Granted, AA has some newer 737's in their fleet, but they still have some older models in their fleet - airlines buy used as well as new aircraft.
14472


Ah, ok, I understand now. All of the B-737s of AA I've flown on has been their newer ones. Maybe it was left over from the TWA inventory, or did TWA have the B-737 in the fleet? If I screw up and am lucky enough to avoid the MD-80s, I usually end up on one of the old TWA B-757s (no power ports). It just seems about all they'll bring into BWI is the MD-80s or the 757s!

Jeanie821
11-28-2005, 08:16 PM
Originally posted by dshilaos@Nov 28 2005, 03:05 PM
I've flown AA in first class on mileage partner points for years. My last trip with them was 2 weeks ago. I felt sorry for the flight attendant that had to serve first class passengers on a 4 1/2 flight 1/2 an egg salad sandwich with 10 small pieces of lettuce as a salad. GROSS!
14453


I feel sorry for the people that had to eat that concoction. Now, was that first class or first crass? :lol:

Jason's Storm
11-28-2005, 09:09 PM
How are their American Eagle aircraft. Their seating arrangment seems interesting.

~JS

BPoland
11-29-2005, 04:23 AM
Originally posted by Jason's Storm@Nov 28 2005, 10:09 PM
How are their American Eagle aircraft.* Their seating arrangment seems interesting.

~JS
14479


These are regional jets (usually, but they may still use props on some routes).
The 1-2 seating is nice, and best if you are elite with AA and can get the exit row :)
My only complaint about them is that there seems to be very little padding in the seats. If it's a flight of more than an hour, I grab a folded blanket to sit on :rolleyes:

silver cloud
11-29-2005, 08:15 AM
I've had the best luck on American. The worst experiences on America West and Northwest.

That was a funny, funny story Sardine. Laughed my arse off.

gamsmmtl
11-29-2005, 09:34 AM
To be fair,
We can only rate Airlines on specific Routing, specific Class,specific flight equipment. They can be very good on one route and horrible on other.
On one of my frequent route (8 per year , last 20 years)
Route : Honolulu - Los Angeles - Honolulu (rate 0 : worse 10: best)
My rating American Economy=7 American First=10
My rating United Ecomomy=5 United First=2
My rating Northwest Economy=5 Norhwest First=6
My rating Delta Economy=5 Delta First=N/A

Any flight with B-757 get my 0 rating.

I have the same rating on the route HONOLULU-CHICAGO except the United economy is better.

I was very satisfied with Transatlantic flight on American Economy and First. The menu and service is up to International Standards. Delta transatlantic too.

Wherever I flight Domestic and Canada since 2003, I bring my own meal now and my own drink(suggestion: Sushi Bento Box, Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagels, etc..)

The key word is "expectation": don't have any over expectation with airlines, hotels or even destinations you will find happy with the service. Don't ruin your trip by your anger.

sardine
11-29-2005, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by silver cloud@Nov 29 2005, 10:15 AM
I've had the best luck on American.* The worst experiences on America West and Northwest.*

That was a funny, funny story Sardine.* Laughed my arse off.
14496


I call 'em as I see 'em! :lol:[b]TO LAUGHTER!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

sardine
11-29-2005, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by gamsmmtl@Nov 29 2005, 11:34 AM
To be fair,
We can only rate* Airlines on specific Routing, specific Class,specific flight equipment. They can be very good on one route and horrible on other.
On one of my frequent route (8 per year , last 20 years)
Route : Honolulu - Los Angeles - Honolulu (rate 0 : worse 10: best)* *
* * * * ** My rating** American Economy=7* American First=10
* * * * ** My rating** United Ecomomy=5 United First=2
* * * * ** My rating** Northwest Economy=5* Norhwest First=6
* * * * ** My rating** Delta Economy=5 Delta First=N/A

* * * * ** Any flight with B-757 get my 0 rating.

I have the same rating on the route HONOLULU-CHICAGO except the United economy is better.

I was very satisfied with Transatlantic flight on American Economy and First. The menu and service* is up to International Standards. Delta transatlantic too.

Wherever I flight Domestic and Canada since 2003, I bring my own meal now and my own drink(suggestion: Sushi Bento Box, Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagels, etc..)**

The key word is "expectation": don't have any over expectation with airlines, hotels or even destinations you will find happy with the service. Don't ruin your trip by your anger.
14502



EXPECTATION? Surely you jest! :lol: I never expect air travel to be fun these days. Instead, I keep my mind fixed on my destination. Most flights are neither here nor there and disappear into the abyss in the archives of my brain - forgotten. Once in a while, though, a flight, or series of flights, is/are worthy of a "poke," and those with a good sense of humor, pick up on the humor, sometimes subtle, that I incorporate into my posts. :lol:

Good and bad experiences are common to all people regarding all airlines. AND, once in a while a passenger even has a GOOD experience on Northworst!! :lol:

gamsmmtl
11-29-2005, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by dshilaos@Nov 28 2005, 04:05 PM
I've flown AA in first class on mileage partner points for years. My last trip with them was 2 weeks ago. I felt sorry for the flight attendant that had to serve first class passengers on a 4 1/2 flight 1/2 an egg salad sandwich with 10 small pieces of lettuce as a salad. GROSS!
14453


Believe it or not. I got a FAKE CRAB MEAT salad on an B-757 United FIRST Honolulu-LAX flight.
I got REAL CRAB MEAT on Seafood Platter on American Economy.

clarkef
11-29-2005, 12:39 PM
I generally only fly American. I find the flight attendants and gate agents to be very professional and courteous and the Admirals Club staff are first rate. I am disappointed that they have decided to use the regional jets to so many destinations. However if you snag an exit row its amazingly comfortable. My only rant is the use of the 767 which has the smallest seats in AA's fleet across all cabin classes. Even in first class, the seats are only 18.5 inches across, a mere 1 inch over standard economy. Further, because the armrests don't recline you actually get less room in First Class than in coach. While this is great for skinny people, the rest of us get crammed.

Fluegelwesen
11-30-2005, 11:59 AM
We have had few flights with American so far, but found their customer service very obliging and accomodating. So much so that we are thinking of shifting our frequent flyer activities to them.
Regarding flights from Hawaii: We flew Northwest in early November, and there was no free meal service on this flight to Minnesota. The sandwiches we could buy were not so enticing. It seems this is the future service in economy class.

kurjan
11-30-2005, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by weblet@Nov 25 2005, 07:07 AM
I have found that you can find horror stories on just about every airline - yes, some more than others, and in my experience American falls on the shorter list of complaints.*

As a professional selling American, I find they can be absolutely anal about policies that if they would just let us take care of the issue there would be no issue.* On the other hand, their frequent flyer desk is probably the most agent friendly I've come across and for the consumer the easiest to redeem awards on.

So, I suppose I would give them an overall thumbs up...
14329


I've had the same experience - as long as things go smoothly, American is a good choice. Also, their personnel are trained very well - not true of some of the other legacy airlines. But, American consistently plays hardball with their customers if anything "outside of standard policy" is needed or requested. (I've seen them act as though customers are trying to defraud them even when making reasonable requests, or when it is likely that American has made a mistake. Basically, I think they suspect 20 acts of fraud for every one that is actually committed.)

purpleeagl
12-02-2005, 08:27 AM
I have always had good experiences on American. Not to say that I have not experienced weather or mechanical delays and cancellations. Their people just seem to care more than the others.

I have flown many airlines, and having friendly people can make any experience (yes, even a cancellation) more enjoyable or less painful.

I do wish they would get rid of the "Super-80s" on flights over 2 hours. I have been fortunate enough to be able to upgrade on most flights. I almost was in coach on an MD-80 for 4+ hours from DFW to SEA on a full flight. That would have been painful.

gamsmmtl
12-02-2005, 09:13 AM
I agree that American handle thing very well when things go wrong like : delay arrival causing missed connection, flight cancelation due to mecanical or weather.
They are excellent concerning bumping passenger too (volunteer of not).
And thiers vouchers is a good value because the conditions for using it to any passenger of your choice.
The OneWorld elite level privileges are better value than Star Alliance equivalent.
There was a time I was American Gold Member and Gold Star Alliance (Air Canada Prestige)in the same year, 3 times out of 4 I was upgraded to First Class on American.
I got no upgrade on AirCanada even the Business section was empty.
American upgrade thier elite client, you don't even have to ask.
On Air Canada and United, it's a real hassle. And the Red Carpet Club is a shame.
I think the American gate agents have more power to handle thing at the gate
than other airlines. Thier supersivor is always present.
I give up Star Alliance fidelity and concentrate on OneWorld.
I am quite satisfied with Skyteam too because of reduced mileage Awards and availabilies.

Dan

missalf
12-02-2005, 09:24 AM
I agree you can have good and bad experiences on any airline, the difference is the employees and how much they care.

That being said, three years ago we had a horrendous experience on American -- our flight was delayed so we missed our connection from Miami into the Dominican Republic. The supervisor at the reticking counter didn't want to assist anyone and told us we had no options to get anywhere close to our destination that night and would (of course) no offer us accommodations or food vouchers since it was a weather delay. When I called the agency I purchased the tickets through they rebooked me on a flight arriving into an airport just an hour away from our original landing destination. When we went to claim our luggage to make sure we could reticket it the same gate supervisor told us that our luggage had made the flight we missed. I asked how, since the plane took off before we landed. He then said he was mistaken, that our luggage was downstairs but couldn't be located because of the volume of bags. I said that was impossible, and I knew for a fact they could be located. He then said he'd have our bags brought out within the hour. Five hours later we still had no bags (when I spoke to the manager at the baggage counter they said that manager doofus had never claled them). I was assured, however, that they would be found and put on our plane later that evening.

To make a long story short, three days later our bags were finally delivered to our destination hotel with approximately $1700.00 worth of pilferage losses.

American reimbursed us for almost the entire amount after a long drawn out correspondence process, but I made sure to report manager doofus, by name, to everybody I could find and I hope he was fired.

The other incident that occurred could probably have happened on any airline, but in all my travels (and I fly a LOT) it never has -- I was denied overhead space for approximately 4K worth of equpment in an acceptable sized carry-on for an international flight. I was also told if I didn't buy insurance they wouldn't guarantee anything over and above the poundage rate.

Like i said, these could have happened on any airline, but in all my years of flying I've never had luggage issues with any oher airline similar to what I experienced with American. I'm sure others can give you similar horror stories with other airlines too, so take our experiences and lump them into the entire airline mix.

bkstar
12-02-2005, 09:25 AM
I had no bad experience with American and I do like the size of there seats - I get a little more leg room (I'm short - 5'3"). :)
Also, when my son was smaller the FA where great when we travelled. So no complaints here.

b

bobcorr
12-02-2005, 09:48 AM
After 7 years of elite status with American I have switched. They are priced almost three times higher than US Air in my market, and have reduced flights. Also, their people don't treat me the way I am treated with their competition. If they want those outragious fares, they have to earn it.

winsheeper
12-02-2005, 10:37 AM
We had a TERRIBLE flight on AA last year. Both legs of our flight were hugely delayed due to mechanical problems, causing us to overnight midway to our destination and missing fully half of our getaway time at our destination. We finally arrived totally stressed out. It was a disaster. After the vacation, I wrote to AA requesting to be comped another flight to make up for it all, and they sent us a measly $400 voucher for flights for which we had paid about $1600. We won't fly AA again after we use the voucher.

Paul Friedrich
12-02-2005, 10:43 AM
We live in Dallas where AA is THE 8,000lb gorilla. They have ruled the roost here since their move to DFW and cause our ticket prices to be much higher than the national average. Thirty five years ago, federal authorities decided that it cost too much to support facilities in both Dallas and Ft. Worth and forced the construction of DFW located between the cities. For legal reasons, Southwest Airlines was allowed to remain at Dallas Love Field, subject to the federal Wright Amendment which restricts flights to other than the four adjoining states to planes with fewer than 56 seats. American retained three gates at Love, though they did not use them because they felt that the restrictions protected their markets well enough and SW was only a regional non-entity as far as they were concerned.

In 2000 a new startup, Legend Airline, built their own terminal at Love and started flying 56 passenger planes on routes that competed with AA. So, AA returned to Love with 56 passenger planes to "compete," ie, run Legend out of business. It cost AA dearly, but sink Legend, they did.

Now, SW wants the Wright Amendment repealled so they can fly anywhere they want to. Recently a congressman attached an amendment to a federal bill allowing Wright to be amended to exempt MO from the restrictions. SW will begin flights by mid December. So, guess what AA is doing? They are reopening the three gates they have at Love to "compete" with SW. It's estimated that SW can gain as much as $80mil in revenue, and that AA will loose $100mil "competing."

AA has a bankrupt corporate mentality that will, sooner or later, end them in bankruptcy court. Meanwhile, we will avoid them whenever possible. The only AA flight we have taken in a long, long while was the week after 9-11 when our flight was cancelled and, after several days, AA was our only ride home. I will admit that it was an excellent flight, but then, we've never thought there was anything wrong with their flight crews. Last month when our son and family came for a visit, AA baggage handlers destroyed an expensive baby stroller. This could have happened on any airline, but it was AA's corporate stance not to accept any responsibility for what their employees did, that will cost them future flights.

travel
12-05-2005, 09:41 AM
I love American Airlines. They fly to more places out of my little regional airport than any other airline. They have been pioneers here, and I can get anyplace I need to go on American, quicker, easier, and usually cheaper than any other airline. They fly both regional jets and 737s out of our airport. I had a HUGE problem getting a bereavement ticket paid for last week to attend my brother's funeral, but they finally figured it out. I've had bags destroyed on several airlines, so that's definitely not exclusive to American. Every problem people have listed here I have experienced or watched someone else experience on another airline. Except for about 6K miles on Delta from a recent (and horrible) trip to Maui (they changed our XNA/SLC/OGG routing to XNA/CVG/LAX/OGG without warning and made a 9-hour day into an 18-1/2 hour day with two 4-hour layovers), all my miles are on American, and I can't see giving my allegance to anyone else anytime soon.

I think someone asked about the regional jets. I know that AA acquired a bunch of turbos with the TWA takeover, but with all the miles I fly on American, I haven't seen a turbo in a couple of years. They used to fly turbos out of here, but are all regional jets now, and every little southern airport I fly into that used to be turbos are all regional jets. I really do like those planes...I'm in the minority, I know, but I like them.

Jason's Storm
12-05-2005, 10:28 AM
Is there anyway to tell the differance between their older TWA 757 jets and their "newer" (or at least the ones with video), just by flight number?

~JS

hwyman
12-06-2005, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by Jason's Storm@Dec 5 2005, 12:28 PM
Is there anyway to tell the differance between their older TWA 757 jets and their "newer" (or at least the ones with video), just by flight number?

~JS
14935


I know most of the American 757s I've been on have been video equipped. I don't know if they are the old TWA ones or not.

Jeanie821
12-06-2005, 09:31 AM
The old TWA aircraft have video equipment. What they don't have are power ports. :(

rampo
12-07-2005, 10:04 AM
Overall, my experiences with AA have been pretty good, although as with most American carriers they have had the same deterioration of service and perks over the past few years. More Room Thoughout Coach WAS sweet. The AAdvantage FF progam is still one of the better ones (it's got me flying first class on Cathay Pacific next spring) but the benefits are not as good as they once were.

I've recently switched loyalty programs because AA no longer meets my travel needs as well as it once did. But if AA's pricing and scheduling work for you, they are probably as good as you will find elsewhere in the US.

ebrener
12-07-2005, 12:32 PM
I' ve flown AA extensively over the last 10 years, as my work used to take me to Latin America often. I've also flowned them domestically. I have to say I am happy with them because of most reasons mentioned above, but one thing I dislike is the ground service at MIA, which is where I fly from. I've never seen such discorteuos (sp?), indifferent, and sometimes just plain rude service. On the other hand, service at other airports, like BOG and LIM, I could find nothing to complain about!

Regards,

Enrique

PrachiM
01-31-2007, 09:59 PM
I recently took a cross-country trip on American Airlines (my first trip with them). I had a first class seat on one side and a business class on the other. I was horrified with the service on business class. The attendant dropped a tray full of orange juice, champagne and water on me. Considering I was on the second seat on the business section of the flight the tray was pretty full of glasses which came down on my sweater (which is now spotted with juice stains which refuse to come out despite dry-cleaning), jeans and drenched the papers and mobile which were in my hand. This was even before the gates to the flight had actually closed. Despite my request for a cleaner or some sort of drying or cleaning agent I was shocked to know tha there was nothing on flight.. and of course, no attempts were made to get them while the door's were still open. How come AA doesnt know that this is not such an unforeseeable event that the attendant drops something on you... ??!! and they had no arrangements whatsoever for this accident. Expecting them to have a spare shirt, or garment on flight was of course a fantasy which didnt come true.. I was forced to sit on soaking jeans and sweater for the four and half hour long flight! And yea, my request for a different seat was denied despite the fact that there was seats available. The best they offered was to put a thin blanket on my seat so it doesnt soak from thebottom... Yea they conviniently forgot that the back of the seat was wet too!! To add insult to injury I was refused to stand in the front cabin, which I wanted to do becoz it's obviously uncomfortable to sit in wet jeans on a wet seat!!! And the weirdest part is that the attendant comes to me towards the end of the flight to say, you need not worry about a thing, the ground ticketing will pay you a voucher for cleaning your clothes!!! And not to forget: It took about 3 to 3.5 hours for my sweater and jeans to dry up, which was the most uncomfortable experience ever! I also called their costumer service department which lamely offered to compensate me with a 100 dollar travel voucher in return for the most uncomfortable and inconvienent my jounrney I ever had. I am very angry and upset with the service.

I travel business and first class frequently and have never had any sort of bad or sour experience before, but undoubtedly this was horrific. I definitely will never want to fly with them again.

deangreenhoe
01-31-2007, 10:41 PM
I've had things spilled on me more than once while flying. Yup, OJ was one of them. The term "horrific" was coined by the media to describe the events of 9/11, taking the word "horror" one step further to describe the event.

I wouldn't call getting splashed with some OJ horrific. Unfortunate and uncomfortable, yes. But accidents do happen everywhere. Perhaps American Airline's response was a bit lackluster, but I imagine if you expressed a somewhat overstated response to the situation, they may have not taken you over seriously.

Ned
01-31-2007, 10:48 PM
Welcome to Tripso, PrachiM. Happy to have you aboard.

This won't make you feel better, but I don't think the service you got would have been better if you were in FC. I am surprised, however, that they didn't do more to soak up the liquid out of your seat.

I have great sympathy for you, but accidents can happen on the plane, just like they can happen anywhere. A similar incident happened to me a couple of years ago on a US Air flight from PHL to SFO. More on that in a moment.

It's true that what happened to you was not an "unforeseeable event," however, it shouldn't have been unforseeable by you either. When I travel, I plan, to the extent possible, for things to go wrong, and prepare to the extent possible, to be prepared to remedy the problem. Have you ever seen a restaurant have a change of clothes available for patrons on which they spill a drink or food? I eat at some high class, expensive restaurants, from time to time, and I've never seen it. To expect the plane to hold up departure to obtain detergent, towels, clothing, whatever, is unrealistic and never going to happen.

I think that AA should have done a few things to help you.
They should have brought to you towels and/or napkins, or whatever they had to help you get the liquid out of your clothes and seat as quickly and completely as possible.
If the plane was full they should have given you blankets to cover your seat, and a plastic bag to put under the blankets, to prevent seepage, to make you as comfortable as possible.
If the plane had an empty seat, they should have immediately invited you to move to the seat, even if it meant an upgrade.
They should have pampered you during the flight to the extent reasonable, such as offering you free drinks, a free headset for the movie, little things like that to make you more comfortable.
As opposed to the $100 voucher, they should have offered you $100 cash to pay for the cleaning of your clothing.What happened was an accident. Personally, I don't think a further voucher, for a free trip, for example, was warranted, but, of course, they should have done much better for you during the flight.

On my US Air flight from PHL to SFO a couple of years ago, the FA spilled hot tea in my lap about 20 minutes into the flight. Thank goodness the hot tea was more like tepid tea or I would have been seriously hurting. I was already in first class, and the FC cabin was full. US Air first class seats are leather, so while I was drying myself off with towels the FA gave me, she was cleaning and drying my seat. If the seat would have been cloth, like yours, that would have been a real problem, but I feel confident the FA would have lined the seat bottom with a plastic bag for me and then put a blanket on top of that. It wouldn't have been as good as a dry seat, but it wouldn't have had the problem you had with the wet quickly seeping through the thin blanket.

Unlike you, however, I was prepared better for this problem. Mostly, in case my checked-in luggage doesn't make it with the flight, I always carry a complete change of clothes with me in my carry-on (shirt, pants, underwear, socks, etc.). After drying myself to the extent possible, I took out my change of clothes and went to the lavatory. I washed up and changed my clothes. I put the wet clothes in a plastic bag (always have them too) and then in my carry-on. I also always carry a non-woven cloth wash cloth, and towel with me in my carry-on, and used them to wash in the lavatory.

When I sat down again, my seat was dry and so was I.

When I landed and departed the plane, there was a US Air gate agent waiting for me with a $100 check to use to clean or replace my clothes. I was satisfied with the check. I thought US Air handled the situation as well as could be expected. At the same time I realize that I was more fortunate than you in that I had a leather seat versus your cloth seat, but I was better prepared too.

I agree that AA did a poor job assisting you, but regardless, in the future, may I suggest you always carry a complete change of clothes with you in your carry-on, both for accidents on the plane, and in case your checked-in luggage doesn't make it to your destination with you.

clarkef
02-01-2007, 10:47 AM
Prachim, I am sorry for your situation, but I concur with Ned that expecting the airline to have either spare clothing or hold up an entire airplane full of people is neither realistic nor fair.

Accidents do happen, and yes AA's treatment was lackluster, but hardly horrific.

JBM
02-01-2007, 12:18 PM
My issues with AA have less to do with service and more with their business culture. It goes back to the bad-old-days when Bob Crandall ran AA like Scrooge, and his idea of customer service was that the customer should just pay the fare and shut up.

I was encouraged a couple of years ago when AA announced it would remove some rows of seats in coach in order to provide more leg room, but they backed off that relatively soon and went back to the old setup.

Recently, AA announced bonuses for executives, but when various unions howled about that and wondered where their bonuses were, the current CEO said something to the effect that they should be grateful that AA stock is worth so much more than it used to be. Back to the old Crandall days, I guess.

Of the legacy carriers, I prefer Delta and United. I have no qualms about flying the newbies, such as Frontier and Midwest, since their service makes up for them not being a "big boy." I've never flown JetBlue, but I wouldn't be averse to trying them when the opportunity arises.

PrachiM
02-01-2007, 01:22 PM
I couldn't agree with most of the points that all of you raise. I am not complaining about someone dropping something on me. I completely understand that this can happen to and/or with anyone. My problem revolves around the treatment that was given to me after the mistake of splashing me with OJ and champagne. I thought it was humiliating to seat on a wet seat and being refused to stand in the front cabin to dry my jeans (since sitting in wet a jeans on wet seat can get very uncomfortable). The most humiliating part was being told that I might be a threat to security and thats why I can't stand there, while there was already another passenger standing there. I was specifically told by one attendant to stand somewhere in the isle to dry-off! Considering people frequently move to and fro from their seats to the lavatory's this was not feasible. My problem definitely revolves around the service and the behavior that was metted out to me.

Ned
02-01-2007, 04:24 PM
P., as I said in my post above, AA should have helped you a lot more. They should have brought to you towels and/or napkins, or whatever they had to help you get the liquid out of your clothes and seat, as quickly and completely as possible. The FA should have worked much harder to accomodate your need to get dry, and get your seat as dry as possible. The FA should have compensated for the accident with better attention and service.

Nevertheless I don't see the situation as "humiliating." Unlike apparently you, I think many people would have felt humiliated standing in the front of the plane in pants which were obviously wet.

Be that as it may, I'm not sure why you feel singled out by the flight crew. Since 9/11 there are rules which don't permit passengers standing at the front area of the plane, near the cockpit entrance. First class passengers used to be able queue up for the front lavatory, but no more. When a pilot goes to the lavatory, no passenger is allowed anywhere near the front galley/lavatory area. Those are the rules, like it or not. The rules say that anyone hanging in the galley/lavatory area in the front of the plane is a security risk.

Traveling out of PHL I don't fly AA very often, but from my limited experience, I don't think they're generally any better or any worse than any of the other airlines. I flew on AA a few times last year and actually was impressed by the service I received.

There is no doubt that you were very uncomfortable, and by the end of the flight, very "put out" with good reason. The service you received should have been better, but I can't see how you were humiliated, or that your experience was horrific. I perceive those words as being too strong. I'm sorry if this post seems insensitive to you, but my experience and knowledge paints a different picture for me.

Finally, I hope you will take my advice, and put a full change of clothes in your carry-on on future flights, so you can be prepared for an accident or lost luggage in the future.

I couldn't agree with most of the points that all of you raise. I am not complaining about someone dropping something on me. I completely understand that this can happen to and/or with anyone. My problem revolves around the treatment that was given to me after the mistake of splashing me with OJ and champagne. I thought it was humiliating to seat on a wet seat and being refused to stand in the front cabin to dry my jeans (since sitting in wet a jeans on wet seat can get very uncomfortable). The most humiliating part was being told that I might be a threat to security and thats why I can't stand there, while there was already another passenger standing there. I was specifically told by one attendant to stand somewhere in the isle to dry-off! Considering people frequently move to and fro from their seats to the lavatory's this was not feasible. My problem definitely revolves around the service and the behavior that was metted out to me.