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American Airline, the worst international service

American Airline, the worst international service

May 25th, 2004, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,552
United srill has free drinks on international flights.

I have to say that Continental is also dreadful on the transatlantic route.

I too like BA but they're very stingy with their miles on discounted economy tickets, so in general I fly with United which isn't too bad as long you qualify for an economy plus seat...it really does help to have "status" with the airline.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We flew AA LAX-MIA-EZE in January and I don't remember much about the flight so it probably wasn't too bad or good.

We came home thru Santiago. The check in was a chaotic mess. The lucky ones got thru in two hours.

Once into the airport everything was fine and the flight home thru DFW was OK :-B
ed is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'd have to agree with Buck on the flight attendant issue. If he wasn't drunk or ignorant to them and they had an attitude problem then they should find another line of work. There have been plenty of times when patients would come into the doctor's office I use to work at and I wasn't in the mood to be nice but I plastered a big one on my face and was pleasant. When you have a public job it is YOUR JOB to be at least tolerable.

Stephanie is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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My last DFW-FRA flight on a AA 777 was wonderful (albeit in first class).
We're doing BA 777 DFW-LGW in July (business class).
On the bad note, have you ever flown Lufthansa coach to Europe?
Also, AA's legroom is much better than Continental or Delta for US, MX and Central America flights (and the 757 to the USVI is not too awful).
mikemo is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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First class and business class do not enter into the discussion, we are talking coach only, if we start comparing premium classes this thread would never end, Buck
buckspc is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 05:06 AM
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I think it depends on which class you are in.......sadly.

We were in Coach on AA to Miami (service was bad) went first class from Miami to Barbados (service was great) It is too bad that you cannot get decent consistant service in coach.

As far as the attitude of the flight attendents, they should be glad they have a job. My daugher was laid off from NWA 2 1/2 years ago.
manycruiser is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2004, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Personally most of the AA employees I deal with have an attitude problem. (And this includes those I run into who just happen to work for AA. I met a woman a few days ago who was just horrid.. her real life job is Flight Attendant for AA!)

I had an AA manager tell me the "attitude" problem was due to poor morale because of layoffs..... Now let's see, if I make the customers really mad and they change airlines that will help me keep my job?
CarolA is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 587
The attitude problem with flight attendants is general in the industry. Sometimes there is a nice one, but overall, they have a problem. Seems like they are not happy about the type of job they do, serving, and attitude is a way to get even with their employers. Have several friends working on the ground for AA and UA, and they all talk about FA's attitude, and how confused they are. They just need to land..........
miguelgcuadra is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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After reading many posts by you, I just wish I could be a fly on the wall when you're flying or you could be a fly on the wall when I'm flying.

I just don't have the same experiences you do. Last year I flew 65 segments on AA and out of the 65 flights I had a total of 2 bad experiences with the AA FAs. One, I can't explain to this day. I don't know what his problem was, but he had something against me. The second one was just a bad FA. Not sure what triggered her behavior towards all passengers, maybe it was personal problem, stiil no need for the behavior, especially when you work in this busines.

The majority of the other experiences were just as I expected them to be. The FAs were very professional and did the job as per the job's description. And then there were few that were just simply amazing and wonderful.
So, maybe you have expectations that are way above of what normal is. Did you ever consider that?

Also the AA ground crew at TPA is one of the best in the world. Thanks guys , see you Tuesday! (we have a regular here that's also AA check-in desk clerk at TPA)

BTW, AA is recalling many of the 2400 furloughed pilots as well as many of the 5700 FAs, so according to your theory the morale of the AA employees should be up.

I guess they can't be that bad!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 05:32 PM
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Just because I am anal about things like this, Something About Mary came out in 1998 - 6 years ago.

I'm just sayin.
SusanM is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 05:50 PM
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I find that flight attendants are usually quite friendly if one approaches them in a respectful manner. Perhaps the key to your experiences (Miguelcuarda) is just what you put in your post "serve". Technically flight attendants are there for safety, that is their primary function. They do perform services, but people who treat them like servants are destined to be dissatisfied. A friend of mine is a flight attendant ( a nice one) and she has a college degree, post graduate work and speaks four languages. Needless to say treating her like a servant will get you nowhere. Before you ask, why does she do it then, she does it because she does like people, travel and mostly the flexibility of her schedule. She says that they walk a fine line of being a safety enforcer and performing customer service, but the safety thing comes first. From what I understand most airlines treat flight attendants very badly, but want a lot out of them. All I want is a smile and a safe airplane. I have had flight attendants give me great advice about my destination and more often than I would have thought, a free drink for "being nice". Try it, you might have a different view.
wills is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 09:09 AM
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Keep in mind that my AA travel is in an out of Nashville. This used to be a hub and during the downsizing service went WAY down and has never really recovered. The fact that a gate agent called me a word that rhymes with Witch because I asked her to retrieve my ticket from the trash (where she threw it!) might have a definite influnce on my feelings. (I had to get a supervisor to get my ticket out of the trash, I could not get to the trash can and he was convinced that somehow I valuted over the counter and planted it there!) I have a strong feeling that if I mainly used another airport I might have a much different experience.

I do know that my Delta experience in Nashville is better since I have gotten to personally know some of the employees.

Overall I agree that FAs are not as "nice" as they were in the old days. However, in thier defense most airlines have reduced the numbers to the bare minimums required by law and passenger seem ruder then they used to be also.

All too often I see passengers who seem to view the FA as thier personal servant. No, the FA is not required to lift your steamer trunk into the overhead or entertain your child. I am amazed weekly at the rudeness of the average flyer. I am old enough to remember when flying was an event and I miss some of that!
CarolA is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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My next door neighbor is a FA, and some of the stories he has told me about passenger behavior is unbelieveable. His first rule is always say please and thank you, which I always do.
The me first generation has taken over the world and the rest of us have to suffer for it. One example, in Europe drinking of any age presents no problem. US, all kinds of rules and restrictions from hrs, to age, to innings, to quarters, to days, hrs, and on and on and we still have problems, serious trouble. In Europe families come in and they all have wine with their meal, doesn't matter the age of the children. Why can't we do it that way here? you go figure, Buck
buckspc is offline  
Jun 5th, 2004, 02:20 AM
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Buck, just my opinion, in COACH, I would agree that service on AA, as well as other US carriers (US, UA, CO, NW, DL), etc., is not up to par with other international carriers. The Asian carriers are the best in the world when it comes to service and cleanliness on their flights, in all classes of service.

On AA, however, they DO have the most room in Coach, unless you are flying UA Economy plus (I am talking US carriers, here), so if flying coach, I would still choose AA, but in the end, it all comes down to which carrier best suits my schedule, price, etc.

I will agree that AA used to be much better in Coach to Europe, but with cutbacks, all airlines are the same in Coach. As for FAs, it really depends on what kind of day they are having. I fly AA constantly within the US and Caribbean and it honestly depends on the FAs day or previous flight. If they dealt with delays and nasty passengers, that makes them even more pleasant during your flight. If you are polite and they are not, simply point out that bec/ they are having a bad day, they should not take it out on you, a paying customer or they should switch jobs. Obviously, say this nicely, and apologize to them for them having a bad day, "I really feel for you, etc.", and their attitude generally changes. If it does not, ask for their name or look on their badge, and report them to customer service and they may do something.

Just my 2 cents.
budg is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2004, 08:53 AM
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I flew AA round trip from Atlanta to Rio just this last weekend. I go to Brasil 4 times a year and cost is important to me. I got a priceline ticket for 500 bucks and thought - big deal AA - it's cheap. I normally fly United (collecting miles) and have found the service on UAL to be the best. On my AA flight I saw a FA say to a woman who was helping an old lady with her bag say, and I am not kidding, "I don't do baggage". And you know what, the drink thing is an issue. I am certain AA gets those bottles for around a buck and sells them to us for five - someone found this is a revenue center, not cost recovery. Hell, put 3 bucks on my ticket and don't tell me I have to transact while I am trying to get home. Also, take BOTH currencies of the countries you are traveling to. Everything being equal (not dying in a crash), all ariline travel is is the service.

I spend the extra for a bigger plane, inseat video, and a 'free' scotch. UAL has the ebst service to Brazil.
PhilipHerold is offline  
Jul 5th, 2004, 04:17 PM
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Don't make me sorry I added my comments, please.
I had a similar experience to Buck. We flew AA (we are FF with them), to London. LOVED the space. Wonderful seats, however, how surly can people get? I felt it was the attendants taking out on us poor schleps in coach. Couldn't figure out why they were so nasty to everyone. Then switched to BA and got crammed in to a fairthy well, and you guessed it. The attendants couldn't have been nicer. Same way on the return trip. It was such a contrast you couldn't help but notice. I'd never had such bad attitudes on AA. We're not people who fly a whole lot, but come on you attendants. Don't take out your bad attitude on us. We're trying to have a good time going on vacation. I don't remember the movies or whether they charged for drinks, but unless you got caught on a bad flight, don't take it out on Buck. I wouldn't have believed it had I not experienced it too. They really were BAD. ila
Jul 6th, 2004, 04:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,609

I don't think we would have any problems with Buck saying he had a bad experience. I've had bad experience with airlines and compained about my experiences.

For me it was generalizations like "the worst international service going" and "All the Flight Attendants have an attitude problem" based on ONE trip.

Keith is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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OK, so not to be negative, let me share a positive experience. I booked on Varig, and when I was in Jeri, far northeast Brasil, found that they cancelled my flight. As UAL was a codeshare i called and asked if I could get on a flight of theirs. They said, "if you get to Sao Paulo, we'll try to get you on a flight". After short hops to Natal, Salvador and BH from Fortaleza on Varig, I arrived in SP. The April strike was on and there were thousands of people, it seemed, waiting to get out of customs and onto their flights. UAL put me on a buisness class seat and got me home - and when I got back - had given me FF credit not only for the Varig small hop flights, but also Biz class miles. Their Latin American service is the best I have encountered. Their in-country staff is excellent. Perhaps, even with the bankruptcy, their employee owned model makes their service the best.
PhilipHerold is offline  
Jul 7th, 2004, 03:21 PM
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phillip: if you are referring to the fa on the in-country flights, i believe that the fas are not part of the ownership program. they never bought into it, or wasn't asked. and isn't it strange, the one component of the employee owned company with the most visibility and direct customer contact are not employee owners.
kuranosuke is offline  
Jul 7th, 2004, 04:42 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 117
Agree with Buck.
My trip from Rome to the states was the worst experience I've had. First of all, we all got emergency exit seats. Somehow I was upgraded to business. So we told the staff that my company and I were flying together. Then the AA girl replied with a loud "annoucement" that we both would have to go back to economy and got the seats reassigned - the last row right next to the bathroom, and we couldn't put down the back of the seats.
In the flight, flight attendents often shouted at passengers. The first meal was tiny and tasteless. Everyone complained. After a few more hours of hunger, they served tiny cold pizzas...
2fly is offline  

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