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American Airlines - American Airlines Shoddy Service
Posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 at 3:53pm CDT by 7117a89d
Company: American Airlines
I too have grown frustrated and disgusted with American Airlines. I have to wonder what deal or under the table kick back has to be going on with SATO since they seem insistant on booking American Airlines time after time for what seems to me to be an overwhelming majority of travel between the US and Europe.
My father worked for TWA before it was bought out by AA. I remeber the high level of service and quality they held themselves to even after the strike. So when we were first flying AA I was excited. Unfotunately AA has grossly failed to meet my hopes and expectations.
When we first flew AA it was from Raleigh Durham (RDU) to London (Heathrow). I thought it was very peculiar and rather poor form to not offer any of the families flying with young children advanced boarding. Even Southwest generally offers that or atleast the last time I flew them a few years back they did. I must say between two kids under 4, luggage for an international move, and car seats it made things a little bit more difficult than they needed to be.
On a flight from Dallas (DFW) to London (Heathrow) I first experienced the WORST service I have ever recieved from any airline. We had to fly from El Paso to Dallas to hit the connection to London, but they were unable to tell us what our seat assignment was for the Dallas flight to London and that we could find out in Dallas. No big deal I thought until we got to Dallas.
My husband and I were travelling with our two young children, the youngest did not travel well at the time. It took two of us to literally manage the both of them, and I??m not talking one parent managing one and the other parent managing the other. Between meals and one needing to go to the bathroom it took both of us to manage the two of them, especially with the youngest not dealing with traveling well.
In Dallas they inform us that our seats are broken up? two seats together at the front of one section and two seats together at the back of that section, so we weren??t even one in front of the other. There would be no way for one of us to keep an eye on the other if he or I had to go and use the lavatory. My husband is not as familiar with flying as I am so while they told him we could see about swapping seats with some people once we were on the plane he didn??t think of any other options. When he informed me of this I just knew it wouldn??t do so I went up to the counter, re-explained the situation, and asked if perhaps they could facilitate the seat swapping. At the very least could they call up people next to us so we could arrange a seat swap BEFORE boarding. The woman behind the counter looked at me like that was the most genious idea she had ever heard of and said she would. So I waited patiently. After a while she said she had to go an see to something and if I would move to the side of the desk her gentleman colleage would see that it was arranged. So again I waited patiently, but to no avail. After a time the guy looked at me and said I would have to go to the back of the line to board. I reminded him while I was up there waiting and he somewhat rudely said that he knew that but now since they were boarding the plane it was too late.
Fortunately there were some nice people who did swap with us but my annoyance didn??t end there. We did not have any time in Dallas to catch something to eat, so once we were in the air my husband stopped one of the flight attendants and inquired as to when the meal would be served. The woman??s very rude response was that they would get around to it. Never mind the fact my husband asked very politely and simply wanted to know in order to attempt to placate my daughters who were very hungry as I am sure most concerned parents would do.
Our annoyance didn??t end there? my daughter had a tray table in front of her that was broken. It did not lie flat at all and tilted downward more than a little. The flight attendant when they finally ??got around?? to serving the meal practically plopped/dropped my daughter??s plate onto her tray. Had my husband not had quick reflexes the tray would have slid straight into my daughter??s lap spilling hot food all over her legs! The lady did not even take a second to appologize and because of the state of the tray table my husband spent the whole of the meal with one hand on my daughter??s tray to keep it from sliding into her lap. I could not believe it.
So, as many a miffed consumer would do I wrote to AA when we got home and informed them that I thought their service was lack luster, and paltry and their employess were downright rude! They did not even give me the courtesy of a response.
This last trip I took we flew again from London Heathrow to DFW (than connected on from DFW to El Paso). We were flying for the purposes of bereavement. Having gotten wise to a few things I decided to try to make a few arrangements and inquiries ahead of time in some regards. First I called and inquired if they had children??s meals available to arrange. The woman on the phone answered very rudely and like it was something everyone should know that they hadn??t done children??s meals for nearly two years!
After a response like that I decided for my next plea that I would email them. An international flight is very hard for anyone. More so if you have to wake up ridiculously early to travel a little ways to an airport, not to mention the bereavement situation had given my husband and I very few nights sleep with a couple rather full days before hand. I explained the reason we were traveling and very politely (not bringing up my past frustrations with AA) if for this reason they would consider upgrading us to a higher seating class? any seating class they might have 4 seats available for any leg of the flight. I was hoping for a little bit of wiggle room for the kids and and hoped that my rather tall and long legged husband might be able, in his greif to have a chance to stretch out and get some sleep before he hit the ground in El Paso and had to help his family deal with the death of his father.
Not surprisingly AA responded with their general rules regarding upgrades and that they only offered complimentary upgrades in the case where coach had been over booked. They of course were sorry to dissapoint.
My response was that AA never failed to dissapoint, but what really got me was that on the flight from DFW to ELP they ended up squeezing as many people on the plane that they could? some AA flight earlier had been delayed and some people had missed an earlier connection to ELP? and they did comp an upgrade to many people? except those (us) that had requested one earlier for what I would think was a viable reason. And they ran out of coffee on that flight! Go figure.
So, I have to fly them twice more? ELP to DFW and then DFW to Heathrow? and I??m wondering just what else they are going to do to make flying them even more miserable.
Before this trip that was made because my father in law passed away I had resolved not to fly them unless I had to? I still feel that way even more strongly and I swear I will never fly them on my own dime? flying them on the government??s dime is bad enough because they??re still making money on account of my family and I, but I intend, once I return home to investigate what contract or arrangement they might have with the US military and/or SATO and write a complaint to my congressional rep.
As much as the government tends to bail out the airlines you all too may consider writing to your congressional representative and complain about the quality of AA and that you object to your hard earned tax dollars going to bail out such a shoddy airline!