Anerican Airlines international flights

Jun 27th, 2014, 07:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,093
Anerican Airlines international flights

This was the 2nd time we ended up with these old planes.

Did it get us there safely? Yes.
Bad parts:
Drop down TV in the middle rows with 1 movie at a time, some inapprpriate for kids
2 of our 3 seat headsets didn't work so couldn't watch anywway
Very uncomfortable seats
Lack of rest rooms so always a line

Our fault for enduring this again. When our flights were booked through tour group they were on British Air at top dollar ($1,500 each rd. trip)

British air going from Chicago to London was excellent with the individual seat monitors we are used to having with 50 movies, etc. and comfortable seats. The 8+ hours went by quickly.

Returning from Paris to Chicago the British Air flight was on American. After the last time this happened we vowed to never fly on one of those oldies again.
The 9+ hours were very uncomfortable.

Someone told us that American now had new up tp date planes so we didn't question it.
BIG MISTAKE---we should have noticed that it was an old 767.

Just a warning to check out the type of plane you are flying on. If we had chosen a cheaper flight with connections involved we would have expected something like this old, crappy plane, but we paid more for a direct flight and expected better.

Again, our fault for not checking further and trusting Globus Tours to get us a decent flight. We fly to Europe every year and should know better.
TPAYT is offline  
Jun 27th, 2014, 07:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,825
Had the same experience, really uncomfortable planes on TATL (LHR- DFW). Overhead bins are smaller so as to not block those drop down monitors. Seat spacing is horribly cramped. At least the FAs were pleasant!
Seamus is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 12:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Why blame the agent? Did you tell them your preference? They booked you on a non-stop flight from Paris back to Chicago, and many travelers would immediately realize it wouldn't be British Airways. Other clues include the flight number, and as you've yourself realized, the aircraft type.
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 03:31 AM
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Just to add---we did mention it to the TA because it had happened before. She was the one who said American now had new planes. But it all comes back to us of course. Having had the experience, we should have made sure of the type of aircraft.

Live and learn!
TPAYT is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
We had a shockingly old plane for an American flight from Dallas to Miami. Is it really possible to ascertain what type of plane will be used when booking the tickets? Can't the airline change the equipment on you without notice?

Is American the worst offender in this regard?

The worst thing about that ancient plane was the overhead bins' size. The flight attendants had a hell of a time squaring everyone's carryons away, because the bins in the center wouldn't close with regulation size bags inside. The bags seemed to fit, but when it came time to close the bins, no go. So the flight was delayed as many pieces of luggage were taken off to be gate checked.
NewbE is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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Posts: 17,062
Lessons to learn from this (and similar experiences.)

1. Travel agents know squat. "American now had new planes." True, but not all of their fleet (over 625 planes on mainline service) is new, some of it is still old. In the US, and in many foreign countries, travel agents know very little about air travel, because they don't get paid commissions by the airlines, so it's not important to them. Next time vote with your feet.

2. The magic words on airline reservations are "flight operated by..." With codeshares and mergers, you need to know who is actually doing the flying, not who sold you the ticket or put their flight number on somebody else's plane.

3. Yes, it's absolutely possible to learn the type of plane and the seating plans before you buy the ticket. Different aircraft types have different seating plans and capacities, so if an airline "changes planes" at the last minute, it results in huge problems for them, due to people losing their seats or finding that their seat assignments have changed because the new plane isn't laid out the same as the old one. They REALLY don't like doing this.

4. In economy, AA's 767s are very light on amenities, because they're old, and that was the standard back then. They're replacing the 767s over time, and refurbishing some as they go, but transitioning to new planes (reconfigured 767s, new 787s) takes time. But in point of fact, within a couple of years, or so AA claims, their fleet will be one of the youngest ones flying.

5. We had a shockingly old plane for an American flight from Dallas to Miami... Yes, some of AA's domestic flights are operated using old MD-80s (similar to DC-9s) which had bins on one side that were smaller than on the other. These planes (also some 757s) are being retired at a fairly rapid pace, and being replaced with newer 737s or various Airbus single-aisle planes. But they're still flying, all the more reason to see what plane you'll be using.

It amazes me that people shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars for plane trips, and do less research on what they're buying than they would on a $200 vacuum cleaner.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jun 29th, 2014, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,171
They do sometimes change equipment at the last moment, had that happen once on a flight to Dublin but got to the counter quickly to ask for the exit row. I use seat guru and 90% of the time it helps.
TPAYT, can't wait to read your review, sure hope your Granddaughter had a wonderful time with you.
flpab is offline  
Jul 4th, 2014, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 308
The time to use Fodor's is before you book your flights. So many people that are new to travel or travel infrequently do not understand what they are buying. Gardyloo speaks the truth.

I have to use a travel agency for my international flights, but I always research the routes on and, based on equipment, schedule and price, tell the TA exactly what to book for me.

AA has a couple of new Aerobus short/mid-range planes flying some routes domestically; these are nice. Their best long haul is the 777-300.
VolCrew is offline  
Jul 4th, 2014, 07:43 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,093
I agree with all of you. We have been traveling to Europe annually for many years and we should have known better.

We started booking our own flights years ago after a travel agent didn't listen to us.

We also aren't tour group people but because we were taking our GD for a short trip to London & Paris we wanted to maximize our time. Globus had a family tour with 1 tour day in London and 1 tour day in Paris with the rest of the time on our own. It seemed to fit.

My mistake was in trusting a TA again and thinking that she would follow our instructions.

I hope this thread helps others.
TPAYT is offline  

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