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Is American Airlines that Bad (in First Class)?

Is American Airlines that Bad (in First Class)?

Jul 17th, 2013, 02:39 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,507
Is American Airlines that Bad (in First Class)?

I am starting to plan ahead for a possible trip to Argentina in December, 2014. We would like to use our Alaska Airlines miles to fly in Business or First Class due to the long flight. I would prefer to fly LAN, but it looks like all of the options from Seattle would involve 2 or 3 stops in each direction (i.e, Seattle to LAX to Lima to Buenos Aires). We can make it with just one stop in each direction (at DallasFW) if we fly American Airlines.

The American Airlines flights I can book right on the Alaska website, one leg at a time; for LAN I would have to call and book roundtrip. I have no idea what the availability of award seats on LAN looks like.

So my question is---would it be a mistake to just go ahead and book on American? I ask because my secretary used to be a travel agent and she says to "never" fly AA. And we never have, not because of that but because we fly British Airways to Europe and Alaska for domestic flights. So what has AA done to get this bad reputation---or is she wrong?

The good news is it loooks like it is a 777, which would be a new experience for us.

Your thoughts are appreciated.
enzian is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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In first class you will be fine. But the U.S. airlines like to keep the Fasten seatbelt sign on to avoid those lawsuits.
wally34949 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 03:12 PM
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I like AA's business class. They will roll out the rest of their 777-300ER classes in 2014. These are lie flat seats, unlike the 777-200ER that currently flies from the U.S.


Try to book your flights such that you either fly into or out of Mendoza, as that's the wine country airport.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 03:22 PM
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I think you have to take with a grain of salt any statement that goes "Never fly Airline X." If the person is talking about some obscure airline in some obscure country, yes, it's warranted. But I don't think such statements are justified about an established airline like American.

With AA, you're not going to get the legendary first-class service of an Asian airline like Singapore Airlines. If it's a three-class 777, you will get your own cordoned-off area with a comfy seat that folds down and lies flat when it's time to sleep. You'll have a table/desk and plenty of room to store your things. The seating is 1-2-1 so every seat is an aisle seat. If "we" is you and one other person, you probably want to try and get two middle seats so you can converse with each other. The food will be several cuts above what is served in economy.

Not that I have that much experience being wined and dined on airlines, but I've flown AA First Class to EZE and I thought it was very nice.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 03:39 PM
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Well, first, you can't book flights for December 2014 until around the end of January 2014, so cool your jets.

Second, who knows what AA's schedules or equipment deployment will look like then; there may be 773s assigned to EZE, or you might end up on an ex-US Airways Airbus, or... It's highly possible (probable?) that AA and US will be deep in the throes of "integrating" their operations (outright prolonged laughter) by then so you might find yourself connecting in Charlotte instead of Dallas, or maybe Philly, or maybe Phoenix. Not to mention Miami or LAX.

AA has announced it will be converting its existing 777-200s from 3-class service to 2-class, starting in... ? However when they do so they'll be using the new business class seats up front - lie-flat, very nice chairs, also in 1-2-1 configuration, so even if you ride in biz instead of FC it will be a better experience than the current business seats on the 772s. The current first class "Flagship Suites" on the 772s are very good, with their swiveling chairs and big wide beds; and reports of the FC suites on the 773s are that they've saved most of the good points of the current suites but have updated everything.

So be patient and be prepared to take whatever you can get. Premium award seats to deep South America in the northern winter are often hard to come by.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 17th, 2013, 03:41 PM
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Thanks! That helps a lot.
It is not really the comfort of the seats or th elevel of service that I am questioning--I am sure those will be fine. It is the overall reliability of the airline---things like on-time record, cancelled flights, etc. Do they have a good record in that respect?
enzian is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 04:22 PM
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In many many flights on AA all over their system, most in business class or first class, I can count the number of seriously delayed, cancelled or otherwise fubar flights I've had on my fingers, probably with a couple left over. Personally, I've found AA to be exceedingly good to work with (compared with other airlines) over the years. No guarantees, of course, but you could really do worse.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 17th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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I was posting at the same time as Gardyloo's previous response and didn't see it until now.

Yep, I know I can't book until Jamuary, but I like to scope things out well in advance so I am ready with a game plan when the time comes. It wasn't until last night when I spent an hour or so exploring options that I realized we couldn't fly LAN unless we make 2 stops each way. So I started playing with the Alaska website. Delta does the route too, but with two stops in each direction like LAN, and their one-way bookings use too many miles. So it comes down to American.

I hadn't thought about the merger and what it means for classes of service, type of plane, etc. I'll just have to wait and see what shows up when it is time to book.
enzian is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 07:01 PM
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We flew AA in F from EZE-JFK on a 777 last year and it was fine. There were some minor problems with service, but I complained to AA management at DFW and they later called me at home to apologize and gave DW and I 25K miles each as a peace offering. Overall, I have no regrets.

Vic's travels: http://my.flightmemory.com/vogilvie
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jul 18th, 2013, 04:35 AM
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I've flown on an airline that someone said "my travel agent said she NEVER refers anyone to them as they are so terrible". We flew business with them (no first class from Australia - only two classes) and they were absolutely fantastic. The plane was fabulous as too was the service. Ignore the comment.
MissGreen is offline  
Jul 24th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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Just flew AA from Rome to JFK in business class last week. We thought it compared favorably to Delta's business class, and the crew was truly outstanding.
WWK is offline  
Jul 25th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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We flew roundtrip to Rome on AA in a 767 in economy and it was much better than I imagined. I was prepared for terrible service and old planes. The service was surprisingly good and the planes were in good shape.
wekewoody is offline  
Jul 28th, 2013, 06:53 PM
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When looing at on-time flights you need to factor in the time of the year that you'd be flying. There can always be weather delays.
Underhill is online now  
Jul 29th, 2013, 03:56 AM
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Back in a days when I flew many, many miles for living and for pleasure I mostly flew in F or C class and used OneWorld Alliance partners for my long haul flights.

Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, AA, BA, LAN, Qantas, Iberia.

Here IMHO are the way I remember the airlines:

Qantas and Cathay Pacific - Just wonderful in every which way, the ground crews, F Lounges, the flight comfort and service, food, especially on Qantas. Rate them about the same and #1 and #2 in no particular order.

AA - wonderful suites on the 777s. Food very good, above average. Flight service - good but not the same as the 2 above. Ground crews very helpful but I have to admit I had top status so yes I had access to the best in the system when things got complicated or needed changes. Rate AA #3.

BA - very nice, ground crews very accomodating, overall a great experience, but something was just not right to me about the flight crews. Can't really pinpoint my thoughts about it but I will have to rate BA as #4 in the alliance.

Japan Airlines - very nice and enjoyed the flights. #5

LAN - also very nice but it was C class so I can't compare it to F class on the previously mentioned airlines. #6

Iberia - good flights but only #7 IMHO.

Delays? - it happened on all airlines. Weather, occasional mechanical, staff shortage, but that's travel. It's not an exact science just yet.

It's the service, helpfulness of the ground staff, etc. that really helps in these situations. When flying in F or C class, you will get the perk of dealing with the staff that can go the extra mile for you.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Aug 8th, 2015, 11:29 AM
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I gotta tell you - my wife and I just went to Hawaii - here is an image from our "first class" seats - dirty as hell and the service was the worst I have ever encountered.It depends on the equipment and the route you are going. Make sure you are on a newer plane - as the one we were on was more than a few decades old - and it hadn't been cleaned in months or more.

Image: https://cl.ly/image/1L3w263S1d31?_ga...565.1436550887

American Airlines - First Class Fail.

Here is my latest experience on upgrading to first class from LAX to Maui (OGG)...
My advice...Don't.

These are images are from our way out - this might seem pretentious but for those of us that actually pay full price for upgrades (rather than get them for free) this is what i want you all to at least know: the service sucked ( think angry, bitter and you get one drink with your food or I'll throw you a nasty look and ignore you for the rest of the flight and slam things down service). But that can be over looked (people have bad days) but what can't is the dirty, nasty tray tables that when asked for something to wipe them down with we were thrown a wet nap. Then the food... (its airline food but it should be edible at the very least) The only thing edible was the rice - stay away from the chicken or the beef - Tasted 3 days old. Yes- that is a drink cart in First Class.
Again we paid an arm and a leg or this. Save your money or take another airline if you want to upgrade out to Kaui. Paid or free upgrades this is not good. FYI
After a bunch of attempts to get this sorted with no remedy I felt I should share this with everyone - at the very least to simply save y'all some money or at least ask what type of equipment you are flying - pretty sure this one was one of the older rigs American Airlines. Total Bummer.
C4D is offline  
Aug 8th, 2015, 11:55 AM
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So you just joined Fodor's so you could resurrect a two year old thread to complain about a flight you took? Okay, well, welcome...
Gardyloo is online now  

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