View Full Version : American Airlines - A Recent Experience

Boss Raptor
31st Jul 2004, 09:12
A physician friend of mine travelled business class last week Chicago to Brussels on American Airlines - this is his experience;

Business class lounge - only first drink is free, rest you pay for...

No seat back entertainment (in business or economy) - handed out individual DVD players to those in business together with a big folder of DVD's :p

As I say he is a doctor and he stated that the F/A who was in his Business class section was 'in her 50's and clearly clinically obese' in his medical opinion - apparently she was huffing and puffing just to get the trolley up the aisle...and her backside bashed the seats as she walked along...she was that wide

Here's the best bit - whilst the F/A mentioned was in the galley preparing the meal service my friend clearly saw her take the lobsters claws out of every seafood starter about to be brought round and stuff it in her mouth, eating it there and then...

Then after meal service she sat in her crew seat doing her crocheting and blatently ignored all service bell calls for the entire flight

Surficed to say he was not impressed...more shocked I think...unfortunately he is not of a character to have complained at the time as as he said it wouldnt have changed things anyway during that particular flight he would just have been treated even worse :*

31st Jul 2004, 09:27

Oh dear. That sounds like an awful experience:(

It may be just my opinion but having read lots of trip reports, it seems that the quality of service on board US airlines transatlantic varies a good deal from very good to very poor.

I have never had a bad cabin crew expererience on BA/VS premium cabins ( nor on AC domestic) and would generally choose them over the US carriers in most cases.



31st Jul 2004, 14:34

Not a pleasant experience, we share a hotel with American and Delta in London and its scary when you look at how old they seem to be and indeed, I would question some of the crews capabilities in trying to evacuate an aircraft! I remember getting onto a crew bus with our crew ranging in age from 19-50 (more on the younger side of 35) and the American crew laughing saying we could barely tie our shoelaces......WELL AT LEAST WE CAN SEE THEM WHEN WE LOOK DOWN!!! :E

1st Aug 2004, 16:03
I believe that United have some FAs over 70 years old. Top of the seniority tree, of course, they tend to bid for the transpacific routes. Presumably they still manage to pass their checks.

Yes, AA has long done those tacky individual DVD players, right from the days when they were a new concept, rather than PTVs. I guess, like Betamax or 8-track (or MD-11s!), they just chose the wrong technology.

Regarding the FA doing crocheting, correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't that require implements that are not allowed past security ?

Boss Raptor
1st Aug 2004, 16:14
Very good point WHBM - crochet needles, metal, plastic or otherwise and not one I had immediately picked up on - was too enthralled/amazed by Ms fatty stuffing her face !

1st Aug 2004, 17:51
Hmm interesting thread,in November I'm off to San Diego to do hour building before starting commercial training.Last year went to S.Diego to get my PPL.Flew BA last year in economy which was very good I must say,comfy,food good and entertainment was sufficient.
However this year I got a good deal flying from Belfast City(BMI A321) to Heathrow.Then onwards to Washington and SanDiego with United Airlines.Apparently 747 both ways,anybody been on them and what have their opinions been??Only reason I went for them is the price including taxes and return/transfers etc came out at 407.80.


2nd Aug 2004, 21:35
Oh gawd :)

Am off to MIA on a freebie 1st Dec - I won two J class tix so am staying in my villa in Orlando for a cheapskate's break ;) I do hope I don't have the same experience as the BRU flight.

Then again being a freebie I don't think I'm in any way justified to have a winge, will I?

Let's hope the paid-for Y class to JFK for Crimbo is up to par!

cheers ;)


2nd Aug 2004, 21:50
I am shocked at this story.

Apart from the prospective danger of the crochet needles - did anyone give a thought to health and safety ( regarding the FA sticking her paws in peoples' lunch).

If we pilots neglected our duties, other peoples' health and passenger comfort and safety like this - we'd be HEADLINES.

Shame on them, shame on the management for allowing it.

To all those great FA's out there thanks for the top quality job!!
:\ :ok:

6th Aug 2004, 15:14
I have an American Airlines story. I used to cross the Atlantic frequently, and Boston was more convenient than Kennedy. I arrived once at Boston. Next day I had an early appointment in Montreal. The last flight Boston to Montreal had gone. The first flight Boston-Montreal next day was too late for my purposes. What I could do, said American Airlines, is fly right now to NY; stay there overnight; and catch the very early first flight NY to Montreal next day. Good, said I, please so arrange, and the good lady did. I now had the tickets. Said she, you will need a place to sleep in NY. True, I shall. She got on the phone, but it was not easy. Most places were full. At last she found one, but the restaurant was closed for renovations. Was that Okay? No prob, I said, I'll arrive late and leave early, so I don't need a restaurant. She booked me in and gave me the confirmation number. Thus far, I was very impressed. I had taken a note of her name. My flight to NY was called and off I went. Reading my book in the aircraft, I heard my name called on the PA. Passenger Davaar please identify himself. I did. The FA told me that the lady at the AA counter in Boston, after I had left her, had continued the search for a NY hotel near Kennedy with a vacancy and a restaurant; had found one; had booked me in at the new one; had cancelled the reservation at the first one; had called AA flight operations; had passed the message to the captain; and so to me. Wow! American Airlines lady at Boston, I have never forgotten you.

P.S. I did write to the President of American Airlines, commending you.

6th Aug 2004, 15:25
It's good to hear that the few can go above and beyond to assist the customer in times of need Davaar. But that is certainly not the norm on US carrier transatlantic routes. My experience, along with that of my family, of crossing the pond on non-BA or non-VS operated flights is not a happy one. The entire customer service experience needs serious fixing by American based carriers. To my mind they are simply not competitive.


6th Aug 2004, 16:17
Ozzy. Very few people fly transatlantic frequently enough to be able to tell the difference between carriers. If you do fly a lot of miles (like in the top 1% of travellers) you need to pick the frequent flier scheme and carrier which treats its elite flyers the best. If you pay to fly in the cheap seats, that's going to be a US based carrier. If you pay to fly in the expensive seats you might be right to go with BA/VS (you forgot the best, British Midland), but you pay through the nose for something that's poor value for the extra cash you pay. If you aren't going to get into an elite programme, take the cheapest flight you can get. You don't need to be loyal to the airline, they will not be loyal to you.

B Sousa
7th Aug 2004, 19:51
Where do you think the term "Cattle Class" came from?? American Carriers........It does seem that others have now caught on.
On the other side of the coin I have recentlly traveled coach on Air Mozambique and Kulula.com and both were pretty good.
Considering that everything aside we are there for the travel not the cuisine. I sometimes forget.

8th Aug 2004, 02:38
"Stuffing lobster claws in her face" is exactly why you should keep that digital camera in your carry-on. A shot of that, along with her knitting and I think the president of the airlines would like to have a chat with you -- before the networks did. For as much as we pi$$ and moan about the media, they're also quite usefull if you're willing to feed them the story.


8th Aug 2004, 23:45
'in her 50's and clearly clinically obese
That would make her an ideal weight by US standards then....

9th Aug 2004, 09:51
Be careful people. F/As have designated break periods on longhaul flights. The fact that she didn't respond to the call button may well have been because she was on break and someone else, perhaps occupied elsewhere, was due to respond. What an F/A does in his/her break period is their concern.

Boss Raptor
9th Aug 2004, 10:01
On a break for virtually entire period of flight after meal service to descent leaving her small C class section unmanned - dont think so - regardless service was then non existant from whomever or however it was supposed to be covered

9th Aug 2004, 13:00
All airlines have their ups and downs. About 12 years ago, BA service transatlantic was frankly crap, even in Club class, while American was very good, both in Business and economy. These days, I find it the other way round and rarely use American. Some of this may well be the fact that the American cabin crews haven't been that well treated by the company. One point I do find interesting about American, especially on domestic flights, is the lip service paid by CC to the safety briefing - probably because nobody flying in the US appears to take any notice.

About 12 years ago, I was flying back from the US. My wife had gone to her parents house as her mother had just died, and she couldn't remember which AA flight I was on, or where I was coming from, but needed to get a message to me. She called American in London at 2230 on a Sunday night, expecting that they'd get a message to me when I landed. It took 55 minutes for them to track me down to the Admiral's Club in Raleigh-Durham, and give me a message to 'phone her urgently. I figured that was superb service, although I have a feeling it wouldn't happen to day. I did write and thank the management, but they never replied........

Although give American their due, my BA Gold card gets me into their Flagship lounges when travelling on them in the US, even when it's not supposed to!

9th Aug 2004, 16:02
I was once one of several receiving tasks from a client in Boston. It was early in the day. He was a man with, as it were, a heart of gold, qualified by his often being very very brusque. My task would take me to Chicago. I went to the airport on the off-chance I might soon catch a flight. American had one just leaving, but still at the gate. They shot me through the system and I made the flight. I met my man at Chicago, at an office just off the airport, got through the business, and returned to the airport. American had a flight just leaving, etc., etc, for Boston, but they shot me through the system and I made the flight.

Back to our HQ hotel in Boston. We had an early afternoon conference with the client. His fiery eye lit on the young Davaar: "When the hell are you going to Chicago?"

"I've been, and I'm back".


Once again: Thank you American Airlines.