I think the recent Emirates Airline TV advert with Jennifer Aniston starring in the main role just about sums up the drawbacks of American Airlines. Lol.
I fly American Airlines First Class very often for US domestic flights only. After seeing how bad the customer service is on board American Airline flights I now understand why a lot of Americans fly British Airways and are happy with the service. American Airlines actually make British Airways look good in comparison.
Let’s start with check-in at the airport. American Airlines (AA) typically offer a luggage check-in service in front of the airport departure building. Whilst the AA staff do their jobs putting on the baggage labels and checking in your bags when they hand you the tickets, they also let you know that “your gratitude would be appreciated” as they put their hands out to receive a tip.Let’s get it into perspective the AA staff are just doing their jobs. Why should they get a tip for doing this? I always feel that I have to tip though as the power is in their hands. Clearly you want your bags to arrive safely at your destination. It is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Is it worth risking not tipping in this situation to see what happens? More importantly, should this tipping culture be allowed at an airport? It feels like bribery to me.
Another slightly irritating observation I made when flying AA is that as a domestic passenger flying first class within the US you are not allowed to use the first class lounge. Only exceptions granted are BA or AA Gold cardholders – by the way, something I would never aspire to become. More importantly, this rule does not seem right to me as passengers may also take longer flights within the US — so why can’t domestic passengers use it? In Europe this would never happen. As a result, first class passengers have to wait with everyone else for their flight.
The First Class American Airlines is just ok. The best thing about it is the size of the bed and chairs they are large and comfortable. The most bizarre thing on the last few flights I have taken is that there has been no TV unit. When I asked the helpful hostess why they were removed I was bluntly informed: why not?! It seems crazy to me that if you are on a long flight in AA’s First Class that the TV sets would get taken out. It is like going backwards in life.
The food in AA’s First Class is not great. On a recent flight I was served cannelloni that looked and tasted so bad that I just could not eat it. Also AA’s First Class do not offer champagne, just sparkling wine. I just stick to the American chardonnay. All in all, I am not impressed given that this is supposed to be a first class service.
Now to the on board AA staff. Their attitude has a lot to be desired. On my most recent flight the steward forgot to ask my husband if he would like to have a drink. When he pointed out that he had been left out, then the steward just went: “Just wait ok!! I will serve you in a minute”. No apology. He then smashed the beer down in front of my husband. I was a little speechless to be honest, but did not dare to say anything as we had not eaten at this stage and did not want to risk it. During the entire flight he had a vendetta against another staff member calling her stupid and shouting at her in front of the first class passengers and barely lifting a finger to do anything but expecting her to do everything. I mean he was scowling the whole flight. Not a single smile from him, no offer of a second drink. We kept asking the poor hostess who was permanently getting abused from him. Maybe you know him.
The last straw for me was when we landed we asked for our coats 3 times, every other first class passenger had received theirs and he told us to wait. Then people started to disembark the plane and I started to get irritated now and asked yet again for our coats. He eventually gave us our coats, but it is amazing that he would show this kind of reaction. Why? just give us the coats.. It seems like a continual thing on American Airlines. It is pure luck if you get a good crew on a flight. The crew are quite often unhappy. I don’t know what the pay is like for the staff, but as a customer I should not have to worry about that.
To finalise this blog, I just wanted to add the Emirates Airways advert and hopefully you enjoy and see where I am coming from.