Thoughts after 7 months flying with AA

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by rwoman, Jan 18, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    On my way back to LHR this past weekend, I was mulling over my experiences on AA since my first TATL on AA metal last May in order to complete the Platinum status challenge...these were my first AA flights since 1994 when AA took me from Gulfport, MS to Eugene, Oregon after completing bootcamp and initial training with the Navy.

    Prior to requesting and completing the status match, my opinion of AA was pretty much non-existent, although friends had horror stories....of course most of us know people who have horror stories with one or more of the carriers....or have had said experiences ourselves! Moving to the UK and traveling on BA for work, along with AA/BA direct flights to most places I go, motivated me to look into the status challenge.

    While my experience with AA and BA is still comparatively limited...here are my thoughts on AA thus far:

    Customer Service:
    - Airport: Airport agents have been acceptable (functioning) to very friendly and helpful. My experience at SNA over Christmas was excellent!


    - FA's: I've had a couple of FA's that were functional, but most have been friendly and more than willing to assist passengers. For domestic flights, it's been a range from functional to really good. On TATL flights, the crews have been very personable and their interest taking care of pax was apparent.

    Upgrades:
    So far, I've had good luck using 500-mile upgrades. With flying TATL, they add up fairly quickly and I have not had to worry about not having sufficient numbers available to use on domestic flights. That said, I'm not anticipating getting the u/g DFW-LAX or LAX-ORD on 28-29 January...I believe ex-LAX flights to the other hubs likely compare to those on DL...very difficult to get unless at the top of the elite food chain.


    In flight:
    - IFE: This is one of the most disappointing aspects of my experience on AA. I find the screens can be grainy and the options are limited WRT to movies, TV, etc.
    - Food: For coach food, it has been pretty good...and always edible. Although I prefer Diet Coke, I appreciate the fact AA offers Pepsi products and Dr. Pepper. :)

    Baggage:
    I've been fortunate that most of my AA flights have had Priority tagged baggage. In most cases, I've found the tags DO WORK, including LHR, ORD(customs), MIA (customs), and ATL. For me, this gets me out of the airport faster and I really appreciate it!

    Admirals Club:
    I really like the AC's I've used, as well as the BA lounges. Each time I've used an AC at DFW, they've given me a coupon for a free drink or bottle of water - I like not having to spend $3 on a bottle of water! I think they do this at most AC's, but I've only taken advantage of it at DFW. I do wish (free) food options were better, but I can always choose to buy something in the lounge or in the airport.

    AAdvantage:
    I feel like I've been able to accrue miles very easily, although the 100% plat bonus has helped a great deal! I have yet to use them for award redemption, but doing so for upgrades was painless.

    Overall, I've been really pleased with AA. This motivated me to work to remain a Plat member by ensuring some flights were on AA or BA in November and December.

    At some point, I may consider EXP, but I'm happy as an AA Plat for now as it compliments my being a DM on DL.

    Thanks for reading!
    :)robin
     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experiences with AA!
     
  3. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Yep. My hope is AA can upgrade to a 1980's Sony Walkman at evey seat. At least it's a move in the right direction.
     
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  4. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    One thing I'd like to add...while aa.com is not perfect, it does bill me in USD no matter where I'm flying from...saves me some $$ in foreign tranaction fees! ;)
     
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  5. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    Absolutely agree; it's downright embarrassing. I can't believe the IFE is a main screen movie on small, grainy drop-down TV sets in Y.

    Overall I think your evaluation is spot-on from my perspective, too, and the pros far outweigh the cons. Glad you're enjoying AA!
     
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  6. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    That depends on which site you use. All flights booked on the US site are US$, but flights booked on other national sites are normally billed in the local currency of that site. I have three domestic currencies, so I book the AA flights on whatever site uses the currency I want to book in. That also can give you the "synthetic fare point" advantage. The downside is that any and all changes then must be managed through the fare desk in the country of purchase. The EXP/Plt lines seem quite able to help but there si often a delay for fare calculation when making changes that way.
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Because I never use IFE it matters not to me. I did notice that my last AA flight had the new Samsung Galaxy, so I imagine they are much much better.
     
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  8. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    While I live in the UK, I get paid in USD and have US credit cards...part of why I prefer to pay in USD on aa.com or, for DL flights, call the DM line.

    :)
     
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  9. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    I enjoy the new Samsung tablets in Business, as well, though I find the options limited and the classifications of the movies a bit off, but in Economy it's a disaster. I think I've read here that there are aircraft with personal IFE at every seat in Y, but those are definitely NOT on the int'l routes I fly (from what I hear - I've been lucky enough to avoid the Main Cabin until now, though my luck has run out and I'll be in the back next week).
     
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  10. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    If you choose the DL US site you can also do that without the need for a call. I'm also DM.
     
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  11. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Since they "aligned" fare codes with AF/KL, pricing ex-LHR tickets has been in GBP. Prior to this, it always priced in USD.
    This has been the case, even using the US site.
     
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  12. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    The Samsung tablets are much better than the IFE option they replaced - better picture and better selection. For personal IFE in coach, you need to be on the 777s.
     
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  13. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Right - most if my flights have been on the 777, but I think that screen could be far better. :)
     
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  14. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    Yes, it could be. Unfortunately, it is part of the seat. That may make it much more difficult to update.
     
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  15. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    I must agree. I am retired with no business flying, so EXP is out of the question, as would be "Platinum" if I didn't have my 2 million miles lifetime. Thus, I remain "Platinum," (and unlike Robin, I don't have high DL status as a complement). And, to paraphrase Sammy Sosa, "Platinum been berry berry good to me." Even the Platinum Desk works wonders for me when I call it during a flight interruption or cancellation, and my upgrades clear a lot more often than one would think reading comments about upgrades on these forums. Yes, I realize EXP would give me "free sticker upgrades," higher priority, and better international lounge access than I have now, but still, Sammy's quote applies well for me and American "Platinum." Other than an occasional nonstop G4 MD-80 out of ICT, I appreciate AA "Platinum" so much I haven't flown any other airline in two or three years now. . . .
     
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