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  1. #16
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Thanks for the specific info on equipment and codeshares! Very very helpful.

    I'm flying an Airbus A319 for this April's trip. When I looked back at my last American flight, from Miami to Boston, it was a 737-800. I don't know if that was the retrofitted one. In that instance I had booked a seat that got me priority boarding, so I had no difficulty getting overhead space. The passengers and the flight crew were all unusually surly, but that may have to do with the Miami location. That's a really crazy airport.

    This upcoming flight is only two hours, so I'm not as concerned about comfort; just getting my bag on with me. @glarus, for an overnight flight, I think I'd take the trouble to go into Boston if it meant getting a better airline. I have read hints that JetBlue might start offering a direct to London, which would be worth it!

    I found your post hilarious but have to admit I've had similar thoughts! On my last transcontinental Delta flight I was moved into a middle seat -- despite paying extra for aisle seats; there was a plane change -- and it was one of the most miserable experiences in my recent travel history. And my limit is 8 hours; I can't imagine 14 hours on a plane.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    ...

    This upcoming flight is only two hours, so I'm not as concerned about comfort; just getting my bag on with me. ...
    Considering youíre an expert TB traveller, I donít think youíll have an issue. So far the flights Iíve had with AA seem way more organized than the flights I used to do with Delta. My preferred airline is still Porter, but Iíd take an AA flight over a Delta flight any day.


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  3. #18
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    The last time I flew American, the top of my backpack (the skinny part) was sticking out 2-3 inches from under the seat in front of me. They told me I either had to get it entirely under the seat or put it overhead, so I ended up folding it under. Not sure if that's unusual; I usually fly Delta and that's never happened to me before.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juliana View Post
    The last time I flew American, the top of my backpack (the skinny part) was sticking out 2-3 inches from under the seat in front of me. They told me I either had to get it entirely under the seat or put it overhead, so I ended up folding it under. Not sure if that's unusual; I usually fly Delta and that's never happened to me before.
    Iíve only heard that in exit rows, and that was on Delta.


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  5. #20
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Thanks again. To follow up on this after my trip (warning: long post):

    1) From the standpoint of getting me to where I wanted to go, this flight was fine. This route was unaffected by the Boeing 737 Max 8 groundings. I did get the dedicated American AAdvantage credit card from Citi ($99 fee after the first year). This turned out to be a game-changer in terms of putting me in Group 5 boarding. I'll go into this more later, but groups 8 and 9 were not allowed to take any overhead-sized carrry-ons.

    2) Customer service was awful. Compared to Jet Blue, everyone, from the passengers to the flight attendants and gate agents, seemed stressed out and angry. Nothing directly affected me, but on the flight home, I was exhausted from getting up early to drive into Charlotte, and closed my eyes once we were airborne, ignoring the service that came around distributing pretzels and drinks. Suddenly, I felt something 'plop' into my lap. This was the flight attendant's way of ensuring pretzel delivery, I suppose? I handed it back to her and later explained how inappropriate it was to actually drop food directly onto the customers. She genuinely did not understand why this was a problem, and told me that she thought passengers appreciated waking up to find their pretzels.

    3) I boarded in Group 5, out of 9 groups. Once seated, towards the back of the plane, I was astonished to see the flight attendant close the bins when they were only about half-full. Apparently, the gate agents at that time started tagging and gate-checking any carry-ons intended for the overheads, announcing to passengers that the overheads were "completely full". A family got on screaming and shouting about this, when they realized there was plenty of space. They had a daughter going to a sports event and wanted to ensure she had her specialized equipment. It was sad, because they were distraught, and the gate agents and flight attendants were completely unsympathetic; I later found out the father had been threatened with arrest when he tried to keep his daughter's bag. I myself asked why they closed off the bins, and received a non-answer. On de-boarding, I took up this question with the head flight attendant, who was more communicative than the rest. It turns out that this is American policy, and indeed the same thing happened on my flight home. Combined with the fact that the least-experienced, least-savvy travelers are usually boarding in the later groups, it led to a lot of confusion and anger. It seemed completely unnecessary.

    4) With every step of the process of check-in and printing out my boarding pass, there was relentless up-selling. Don't I want to pay more to sit closer to the front? Would I like to purchase Priority Boarding? On each flight, we were subjected to a loooooong pitch for signing onto their credit card. I noticed that the ticket price for my route was about the same as Jet Blue, but after "upgrading" to receive the same amenities that are standard on that airline, it would have been more expensive.

    5) Will I fly American again? Probably not for a domestic flight where Jet Blue is an option, even though it will require me traveling all the way into Boston and therefore adding a few hours to each travel day. As much as it leaves a sour taste in my mouth, though, I'll probably keep the credit card, because sometimes it may be unavoidable to use them.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  6. #21
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    Every so often I wonder if it's really worth the extra time to drive to Boston to take JetBlue. Thank you for answering the question!

  7. #22
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    The "Airline Quality Report" (link via Lifehacker) is out for this year (not that I actually know what that is!), but no real surprises:
    "And which airline was the biggest offender? Well, you may have your least favorites, but you might need to reconsider a flight on Frontier and American Airlines, both of which ranked poorly in on-time performance, baggage, and customer satisfaction."
    Delta and Jet Blue were at the top. Even Spirit was ranked higher than AA!

  8. #23
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Thanks! That really confirms my own experiences lately, at least with Delta, JetBlue, United and American -- have not flown the others.

    Quote Originally Posted by turnleftbrighteyes View Post
    The "Airline Quality Report" (link via Lifehacker) is out for this year (not that I actually know what that is!), but no real surprises:
    "And which airline was the biggest offender? Well, you may have your least favorites, but you might need to reconsider a flight on Frontier and American Airlines, both of which ranked poorly in on-time performance, baggage, and customer satisfaction."
    Delta and Jet Blue were at the top. Even Spirit was ranked higher than AA!
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  9. #24
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    This is very interesting. I frequently fly out of NY and my experience with AA and Delta doesn't match the airline quality report.

    I have had unusually good luck with American. American generally gets me to where I need to go close to on-time and with minimal drama. On several flights over the past month, attendants let people in coach use the business class/first class bins because the ones in back were "full". Their terminal in JFK also is amazing. You can run through it very quickly because there aren't many stores in the terminal and they have a very wide corridor. I have a normal Admirals Club membership but AA let me bring my son into the Flagship Lounge, which has champagne and wine laid out on a massive table in addition to piles of food on a buffet table. Brooke Shields was there and shattered a mug all over the floor. Ah, how the other half lives!

    My Delta flights are delayed about 50% of the time, sometimes hugely delayed, and for some reason their practice of handing out cold chick-fil-a food (not in NY but I have gotten it in Atlanta and FL multiple times) as compensation actually tends to make me more angry than happy. Their terminal in NY also is packed with stores, people milling around, and complete chaos during boarding because the area where people line is squeezed into a tiny space to accommodate all the overpriced stores in the terminal. Delta generally does have more laid back and less gruff attendants. The AA people sometimes act like they are in the armed forces.

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