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Is AA the worst airline on the face of the planet?

Is AA the worst airline on the face of the planet?

Aug 27th, 2009, 07:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,432
'I didn't say they were perfect...but I'm going to go back to the Virgin comparison cuz that's the only angle I have left...'

1 or 2 flights? Haha...you're funny. Haha. Very funny stuff there. That's tight.

It's almost like a little kid..."my airline's better! MINE'S BETTER!" You're not a little kid, are you?

So you're ready to make the blanket statement that "most people are satisfied with AA" based on some straw poll you've taken in your mind based on the responses you've read on this thread? Good God, I hope you don't work in public policy. Care to make that poll scientific?

Obviously you want to be right. Like I said before, you're right. You're a great guy...very on-the-pulse about all things air travel. I mean who else would willingly fly over 1m miles on an airline that's world-renowned for their customer service and safety--I think that's an act of charity in and of itself. God knows I've only flown once or twice in those...what do they call them, planes?...so what do I know?

Done with you on this--find someone else to bicker with. You must be out of people to treat horribly on the Lounge.

...maybe I suggest calling 'Kylie & Chris' over to your place for some company?
filmwill is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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VX uses VS's top-notch lounges

No lounge access at LAX (where VS is in a different terminal and doesn't have a lounge). I think lounge access is limited to 3 airports.
Patty is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 01:28 PM
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I may be naive, but AAFF has given me some very good info in the past and I would defer to his judgment on anything having to do with AA.

I fly infrequently but when I do fly with AA, I am always satisfied. I've had no trouble getting FF award seats and am usually able to upgrade to BizClass when purchasing coach tickets.

Use to fly Continental, but prefer the configuration of AA's planes. Never had any problems with Continental, so I'm sure they are as good as anybody else.
bettyk is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 189
I'm nearing 4.5M miles on AA over the course of my career (obviously, I travel a lot) and I'm Exec Platinum. I agree with most posters - AA is not a perfect airline (and none of them are) - but I prefer them over any other airline that I have flown (and I do fly other airlines from time to time). I've been premium on UA as well as DL and keep coming back to AA.

I just booked a flight from CA to Boston for the amount of $261 RT. I am absolutely amazed that they are able to stay in business with low prices like that. No wonder that they need to charge for snacks (and let's face it - most airline food is crap and no one ever flew somewhere in order to get the free food) and checked baggage.
Lynn_Gibson is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 02:02 PM
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you and I know you will not be sitting in the back...

the beauty of EXP
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 02:02 PM
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I agree with AAFF that every airline has some "bad apples" working there - but I disagree that they all have the same attitude toward customer service. And even if you've had good experiences with an airline doesn't mean others haven't had legitimate complaints that may have p**sed YOU off had they happened to you.

Here was my bad experience with AA: in December 2006 I was flying to see my folks for Christmas from Portland cross country. Flying through ORD - often a bad idea at the holidays and in the winter. Anyway, there was a delay of my flight partly due to Chicago weather, and AA offered me a voluntary bump (with an AA travel voucher) through Phoenix. Phoenix sure sounded better than Chicago for a winter connection, and the flights weren't much longer than my originals. So I took the bump.

The AA agent in PDX made a couple of mistakes. He assumed an hour connection time in Phoenix would be sufficient at a busy travel time when in fact connection from Alaska to Usair required a CHANGE OF TERMINALS - that is, you exit security, go outside, take a bus to the other terminal, and go back through security. An hour at Christmas time, with long security lines? Near impossible. Even though AA probably listed that as a "legal connection time" at PHX, it was a terrible idea at a busy time. The agent also neglected to call USAir to put me on what turned out to be an overbooked flight; USAir later told me that was REQUIRED in such cases, the AA agent couldn't just book it over the computer...

Anyway, needless to say, I missed the connection in PHX due to no fault of my own, and there was no way to avoid being stuck in PHX overnight. I ran as fast as I could trying to run to buses, etc. (USair had no record of my reservation anyway.) Clearly AA's agent made mistakes. However, this is NOT my beef with AA. Mistakes happen, people are human.

My beef with AA is how they HANDLED this issue. First of all, no one I talked to on the phone or at PHX ever apologized or admitted a mistake - in fact, they kept implying I had somehow been at fault for missing the connection, like I stopped at the airport bar or something. And they refused to offer me hotel or meal vouchers for being stuck overnight. Worse, when I called to ask numerous times or at the AA desk in PHX, AA customer service was rude or sarcastic more than once. When I asked about getting AA to put me up in a hotel overnight, one smartass asked if I wanted the number to Hotels.com. I was also told by more than one person that AA didn't give hotel vouchers anymore (not true). And more than one AA employee suggested that since I got an AA voucher, I should be happy to use some of it to pay for my Phoenix expenses and be stuck there overnight (so what was the POINT of getting a voucher???)

It became clear to me after talking to numerous AA employees that they have a "Customer is always wrong" attitude - that is, don't give the customer the benefit of the doubt. Assume the customer is trying to get something from AA for free; assume AA isn't at fault, because that could cost AA some money.

Now, what would it have cost AA simply to take responsibility (even give me the benefit of the doubt) and give me a cheap hotel and meal voucher? Not much, and I'd surely still be a loyal AA customer today as I was for 10+ years before that. I call that short-sighted and stupid. A company with a real customer service culture wouldn't have even had to think about that easy choice.

I know AA isn't the only airline with the "customer is wrong" attitude but others like Southwest, Alaska, etc. do not seem to have that attitude, in my experience. So, I've taken my business elsewhere from AA. (I used my AA voucher toward a trip to Italy in 2007 but that was the last time I ever flew AA.)
Andrew is online now  
Aug 27th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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What was AA's response to your letter to customer service?
Gardyloo is online now  
Aug 27th, 2009, 02:52 PM
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I didn't see any point in writing to customer service - because again, my beef really wasn't with the AA agent's mistake in PDX, it was with their whole attitude - not just one "bad apple." What was I supposed to say, "Dear AA, I think your customer service attitude is awful?" Yeah, I'm sure I could have written and gotten some miles or something, but that wouldn't have made me wish to fly AA anymore, so what would have been the point?
Andrew is online now  
Aug 27th, 2009, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,001
Anybody that would think AA is the worst airline on the planet really, really needs to fly more. If you want a lousy airline, you might try Spanair. Or Alitalia.
travelgourmet is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 07:28 PM
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Or Alitalia, yes indeed. All of my Italian friends in Italy refuse to fly Alitalia. The stories they can tell. And at one time they were a great airline, "way back when".
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 07:45 PM
Original Poster
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Legacy carriers = US carriers

Sorry--title thread is misleading. If I could edit I'd post as: "Is AA the worst airline in the US and ranking amongst the worst carriers on the face of the planet?"

We could definitely devote a whole new thread to worst airlines of the world. And you're right: Alitalia is a real stinker. I thought they had almost all but stopped flying (with their 50% load factor) until I saw one of their birds @ LAX awhile back--then they were gone as quick as they came. Apparently their return lasted about a month or two. That's how good they are!
filmwill is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 418
Someone please clarify this point for me. When reading the AA Advantage rules regarding a miles +$$ upgrade from US to Europe, I understood it to rule out only the Q codes. Am I mistaken and it also included O? Thanks.
travlintoes is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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From AA's website:

The following fares are not upgradeable:
Fares booked in I or O
Fares booked in Q between North America and Asia, Europe, India or South America.
bettyk is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Here's the link:

bettyk is offline  

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