NY Times: A damning opinion piece on AA Paris - New York Flight

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by kansaskeith, Sep 30, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Great opening line but mostly just an annoying rant.
     
  3. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    I learned the meaning of brio in my scan of the story, which was really, a useless rant. Using the same rationale, they shouldn't be flying SFO/JFK either. Or, anywhere.
     
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  4. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Ouch....... AA marketing folks cant be too happy about this piece..... :confused:
     
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  5. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    I suspect they will just add it to the growing pile of stories such as this I am sure.
     
  6. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    I wouldn't have written it quite the way he did, and if I were the Times' opinion page editor, I might have asked some questions. I'm not going to bend over backwards to defend the negative tone of the column's author, but I think he wouldn't necessarily disagree with you about also not being fit to fly SFO/JFK or anywhere else. The difference, though, is that we have all been trained to believe that the international routes between world-class cities are where airlines traditionally strut their stuff, both because those flights tend to attract the movers and shakers, and also because overwater there's nowhere to set down if something goes wrong - you have to turn around. Obviously AA didn't strut much on this flight.

    I haven't flown them internationally for years, but have talked to others over the last year or two who have told me that even without long delays and mid-ocean turnarounds, AA's overseas service - particularly in coach - has become "unspecial," at best. And now with the airline's labor and bankruptcy problems, it seems it is showing more. If they don't snap out of it on operational reliability, and soon, pax will go out of their way to avoid the company.
     
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  7. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    True, but you could say this about almost any US-based airline, couldn't you?
     
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  8. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

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    Some of the condescending FT replies on the AA forum are really unfortunate IMO. The OP was entitled to vent and it is too bad for AA that he did so in a public forum such as the NYT, but that is the way it goes. It speaks to the growing issues with this carrier and to some extent other N American carriers as well. Yes, of course, MX incidents occur, but as other have said, it is how these are handled that make or break an airline's reputation. It is no coincidence that N. American airlines hardly feature in any surveys about "best service" or "best airline" anymore. Very sad IMO.
     
  9. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    It appears to be another unfortunate attempt by the pilots and their union to break the airline...and again I will say the pilots and their union are taking an extremely unfortunate situation and making it worse...I have lost total and complete respect for both the pilots and their union... If they really think this will improve their situation, they are quite blind to reality...
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The diversion to LHR? Or the cancellation of the flight the next day?

    It appears, at least from the NYT OpEd, that we don't actually know enough to judge that.
     
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  11. mayaman

    mayaman Silver Member

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    I think everyone has a horror story to share about various airlines over years of flying, and think this is one of the many. Choosing to fly in a roundabout way to Istanbul this past summer instead of direct from LA on Turkish Airlines(I was told I was crazy for not doing it), I was prepared for the worst. I must say my AA flights were fine, even my flight back from London to Chicago was pretty good. Got fed more than I thought(expected), movie wasn't bad, and FA's were attentive. So yeah I could share stories of UA, Delta and even Swiss Air flights, were I thought we weren't going to land, due to faulty equipment, such as the landing gear getting stuck or capitan stating "we should have de iced the plane". I think mishaps will always happen no matter what, and some are just horror stories, which may even cause PTSD.
     
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  12. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

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  13. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    We have all been on flights from hell at some point if we travel extensively. If the person who wrote this was not a prefessional writer, I would be more concerned. I have to believe that he embellished every chance he had in writing the piece. We fly AA to Tokyo a few weeks ago and nothing could have been better. The flight was on time, everything worked and the service and food were excellent.
     
  14. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Marcwint I remember when you went to Tokyo because for a time it looked like we might be able to meet up in the Los Angeles Admirals Club as you were westbound. So I too was flying that week. I had no horror stories, though looking back on it there were considerable signs of grumpiness on one 5-hr. flight coming home (hardly the first time, but certainly noticeable while not catastrophic) .

    I looked for a time frame in the New York Times piece today and didn't see one, but most things I read say things got considerably worse in reliability of operations beginning about Sept. 13, and I wondered if the Times column writer had traveled in this most recent period (since 9/13).

    Maybe you and I, marcwint, got our trips in just in time!
     
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  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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  16. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    True, we don't know exactly what happened, but then again, it is an op/ed piece, which are usually written to share an opinion which will generate a response... we all have opinions, and mine is stated above! ;)
     
  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Anyone's an opinion... No issue with that.

    I suspect there's a ton of paperwork and investigation etc. triggered by a diversion, so I suspect even malicious pilots wouldn't fly a 767 ful of pax out over the Atlantic and then divert back to LHR with a bogus justification.
     
  18. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    AA has not been doing well lately, for a plethora of reasons. The op piece, while rather obnoxious, just says what most who have flown them recently have been saying. We just don't put it in print (well, actually, many of us do, here in MP or FT, but that's not the same thing). I'm actually just waiting for AA to implode and try a merger (if they do attempt a merger, I hope they get rid of most of the pilot unions personnel; they're acting like children).
     
  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Don't they already have a pilot shortage due to retirements before the bankruptcy filing? And it's not like US' pilots aren't unionized... In fact, don't they have TWO pilot unions?
     
  20. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    Good point. But I can blindly hope that those gentlemen would act like professionals when their company is undergoing some severe financial difficulties. That being said, they are still unions, so probably a silly hope on my part.
     
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  21. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    This same article could be about anything.

    Give me 30 minutes and a computer and I'll have something similarly damning worked up about the long line at the Target returns desk I experienced last weekend.
     
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  22. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    I follow your point but don't totally agree. Unless you were returning something from Target Pharmacy, I suppose, I don't see how that experience could have brought to your mind life-or-death sittishness that many pax would have had from an altimeter failing over open ocean, or landing with fire engines, or seeing another plane hosed down from presumed overheating the next day. And I was unaware that individual Target stores all around the country were -- suddenly beginning Sept. 13 -- being closed a few minutes before they were to open when people in red shirts were finding store maintenance items they weren't seeing in the months before.

    But if you do need a computer on which to come up with your 30-minute diatribe, Target would probably be happy to sell you one. I think they even have a Loyalty Program now :)
     
  23. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Well obviously the specifics of the situation are ... specific. ;)

    I would have been fine with the writer complaining abou the experience, but the creative extrapolation into the failure of AA, the US airline industry in general, and even the US is all rather tedious and melodramatic.

    Was it frustrating, perhaps a bit scary, and an overall awful experience? Sure. But that could happen on any airline, so while entertaining for many, it's really just a "Dear Diary" story that is masquerading as news.
     
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  24. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    gotta admit, the line "But the language she spoke--Martian--" was a great line
     
  25. thetravelanalyst

    thetravelanalyst Silver Member

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    I think there are 2 things going on with the op-ed writer's story. One AA should be "blamed" for, the other, not necessarily AA's fault.

    Faulty aircraft -- As frustrating as it might be to be re-routed to LHR, I'd much rather have that than be at the bottom of the Atlantic. So is the writer complaining that the airplane wasn't really faulty or that it should have been flown to Paris despite a broken altimeter?

    AA's handling of the situation seemed inept at best in that they didn't come up with a workable solution to get everyone to Paris in as timely a fashion as possible. But that's to be expected with all that's going on lately . . . so, what else is new? (e.g., I may chance flying AA to to Richmond on Friday. If I do, I'm expecting to run into a challenge or 2 and will adjust my expectations accordingly).
     

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