Sep 182009

All kinds of bizarre financing going on here, just to keep the airline above water* ‘through the global downturn in air travel.’

With everyone from Al Gore to British doctors insisting that we all reduce our carbon footprint – i.e., no flying for the plebs – and governments slapping green taxes on airfare left, right, and centre, I wonder just when exactly AA thinks passenger traffic is going to pick up again.

Especially when the service they offer is such utter, utter shite.

I myself used to be quite a loyal AA customer, in the grand old days of four years ago, when I could buy a ticket for a service from my local airport direct to Gatwick for $350 (incl. tax). I would fly on a not-obnoxious Boeing 777 and the flight attendants would bring me tomato juice with a friendly smile.

These days, you can’t buy a ticket like that for less than $1200, and the service flies to Heathrow instead. It runs on 747s (shite) with incredibly rude cabin crews who tell you off for getting out of your seat to use the toilet.**

Since the last time I flew on that dismal AA service (July), I have flown on the Virgin Atlantic service from DC to Gatwick (August). I did not mind in the slightest that I was routed through DC, because what I lost in time was made up for by VA, who outshine American like the sun outshines the moon. On the beautiful new Airbus with seat-backs designed to shift down and back rather than recline onto someone’s patellae, the flight attendants encouraged us to walk about the cabin to stretch, plied us with complimentary booze, and provided us not just with pillow and blanket, but also woolly socks, eyemask, and teeth-brushing kit. Need I emphasise that on most other airlines, those are things you only get in business class or better? And I was in economy.

And the whole thing cost me HALF of what I would have paid on American.

Needless to say, I wrote American a letter explaining all of this, and their eventual response was that they hoped to continue to provide me with good service. Ha! They only way I’d fly American again would be if they dropped their fare to $1 (incl. tax). For all those people whose ‘shares in AMR jumped 18% on the back of the news,’ my advice to you is: sell up now, motherfuckers.

*You see what I did thar?

**Mind you, this is still better than Thomas Crook. But then, so’s a bowlful of steaming ordure.

  3 Responses to “American Airlines sucks”

  1. I’ve always had good experiences with Continental and BA (well, apart from that one time I got stuck in Houston for 14 hours on a five hour trip to San Diego). But I was seriously peeved when they started charging you a fiver for a drinky-poo. Bearing in mind I once drank eight G+T’s on a flight from Amsterdam to Norway, a transatlantic flight would bankrupt me. I don’t drink much any more, but it’s the principle of the thing.

  2. I actually thought AA were OK but then that was 3 years ago…

    It’s KLM and Delta who have really fecked me off in the past…

    And the late and unlamented Belgian outfit – what the hell were they called?

  3. I have a pal who’d travelled AA a couple of times. Said the cabin crew were hatchet-faced, rude, did as little as possible and fucked off to their lair as soon as they could. He also said the food was ‘disgusting’

    In truth, I just assumed he was exaggerating. And how can food be ‘disgusting'; poor, inadequate, tasted better, sure. But disgusting?

    But, you’ve guessed it. He was right in all respects. Flew Miami to JFK, then on to Heathrow. Not really sure why the cabin crew were there. Up until the last second before push-back passengers were wandering around the cabin talking to their friends, and buggering about with the overhead lockers: not a word from cabin crew who were nowhere to be seen. And aren’t cabin crew supposed to check things like seat-belts and that seat backs are erect? Apparently not with AA. And the food; disgusting natch (and I speak as one of those rare [weird?] types who can eat just about anything and see the in-flight meal as a bit of an event). I tell you honestly, it was genuinely nasty and – first time ever -I left it.

    Fortunately, I didn’t pay directly for this crappy experience as I was on a package. But go with AA voluntarily? I should fucking co-co.

    PS the Belgian outfit was Sabena.

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