Just When I Thought American Couldn’t Get Worse…

Just a short while ago I wrote about my American flight between Los Angeles and New York, which was boarded despite us not having any pilots. For 90 minutes we weren’t really told where our pilots were coming from, or when they’d arrive. The level of communication was simply pathetic.

American-A321

Well, it gets even worse. About 90 minutes after our scheduled departure time (two hours after we boarded), it was announced that both of the pilots had arrived, and that we were ready for departure.

The safety video screened twice, though we didn’t move.

About 15 minutes later the captain made an announcement.

“Folks, bad news. We were called in from opposite sides of the coast to operate this flight just a couple of hours ago, and we scrambled here as quickly as we could. What they failed to do was look at our duty day, because the first officer had already timed out five minutes after he got to the plane, so can’t legally operate the flight to New York. They should have known this, and shouldn’t have assigned one of the pilots with the longest duty days. I’m not sure if they are going to find us another first officer or what, but we will keep you updated.”

Minutes later the main cabin door opened, though initially they didn’t want to let people off. I told the flight attendant I really wanted to get off the plane, and after talking to the gate agent they let us deplane.

I headed to the Admirals Club, and managed to get rebooked on a flight to Providence with a connection. It’s a redeye on an ex-US Airways A321 rather than the fully flat bed I had to JFK, and it will get me in about five hours later than I would have otherwise arrived. But at least I won’t have to drive by myself for over three hours in the middle of the night, after not having slept on a flat surface since Friday night.

The Admirals Club agent who rebooked me was fantastic, and I think she summed it up perfectly — “I’m just embarrassed to come to work nowadays. I remember when we still operated a reliable airline. Now I spend most of my time just apologizing to customers.” Kudos to her for being the one person I interacted with today who “gets it.”

For what it’s worth, below is the status of the flight I was booked on, as of now.

American-Flight-Status

Perhaps I should email customer relations with my concerns, so they can send me a form response not addressing my issues, and offering me 2,500 bonus miles?

Sorry for venting, but thanks for letting me vent. It sucks that this stuff seems to happen at the worst possible time. While I’m dreading a night in an uncomfortable domestic first class seat after not having slept in a bed for days, I’m happy I won’t be driving myself through the night when I probably shouldn’t be.

Comments

  1. Probably would delete the part about the agent who re-booked you. Given that AA knows your last name, and I’m sure there’s an electronic record of who rebooked you, it could land her in some hot water… Should probably delete this comment while you’re at it.

  2. @ Justin — In my opinion she should be given a promotion, and not punished for that statement. She’s the only sympathetic employee I’ve come across today. She was also the only person to acknowledge American’s problems, other than the captain. Kudos to her for that, in my opinion.

  3. Why continue to fly AA? If you’re based in LAX, there are so many other options.

    IT meltdown aside, DL is vastly superior in every way. SkyTeam is trash, but domestically, DL can’t be beat.

  4. The truth is that very little if anything in life is under our control – most of the time life simply happens, it comes to us, and very often it happens far differently than we might have wanted or expected.
    Eckhart Tolle put it this way:

    Always say yes to the present moment.
    Say yes to life and see how suddenly it starts working for you rather than against you.

    The Poet Rainer Maria Rilke said:

    If your life seems poor, do not blame it.
    Blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.

  5. Ben, I think you’re amazing. With everything you’re going through, you still find a silver lining. You’re way more resilient and patient in these circumstances than most travelers. We’re here for your venting (but please get some rest tonight. You don’t know what’s ahead tomorrow)

  6. Sadly, this seems to be an increasingly-common occurrence with AA. Thankfully you are a savvy enough traveler to push when you needed to. I really feel for those like you who are in a stressful situation hurrying to an emergency – but who don’t know any better but to just wait out the delay. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if your original AA flight ends up being cancelled after all of this.

    AA really needs to get their shart (thanks JonNYC) together.

    And, again, best wishes with the situation that forced you to fly back from the other side of the world.

  7. Awful for this to happen given the circumstances at what I’m guessing is an already stressful time. Unfortunately I think this is more typical of the experience those of us who travel a lot (domestically) and mostly for work when plans aren’t flexible.

    I’m not usually an American flyer but have heard a string of awful experiences lately from colleagues who fly American often. I no longer use them as backup on Thursdays as every recent flight has been delayed 2+ hours…

  8. What I am more interested in is, what compensation can a typical passenger expect from a 5 hour delay. You mention 2500 miles, if you write a letter to complain, and they don[t address any issues (Yes I remember reading that post)

    One of my biggest gripes is that airlines often are not accountable for their mistakes. As a customer it can cost us huge dollars, as you may have lost a good part of a non-refundable hotel reservation, or even missed a connecting flight on a different carrier or a lost wages for not showing up at work. I have had to eat, and pay for all of those costs I mention because of delayed AA flights.

    Was AA proactively willing to offer its customers any compensation for the dalay?

  9. Just saw your post after emailing customer service myself. Every flight seems to have a snafu these days. Boarded F class yesterday DFW-FLL (family of 5). Overhead bins were already full ….with crew bags. On a flight from PBI to DFW last week a cleaner needed to disembark the aircraft with passengers coming in, the male F/A tells him to say, “Just move out of my way a**hole.” Unbelievable.

  10. Sorry to hear about all your trouble getting where you need to be. Best of luck with your next attempt, and best wishes to you and your family.

    Small consolation, but AA sent me a form letter with 7,500 miles after I complained about an ORD-LAX segment last week was delayed 15 hours. Maybe since the switch to revenue based earning, they’ve gotten less stingy. I even got the miles despite being rebooked and arriving only three hours late. It would have been 90 minutes late, but the second flight was also delayed. 😉

  11. Yup, I have had a few delays due to crew availability on AA the last few months.
    How come the pilot didn’t raise the duty time issue when he was called with the assignment?

  12. I fly those LUS A321 klunkers all the time from SAN to PHL and back. Sleep is possible. Safe travels, Lucky.

  13. Ouch. Sorry to hear this.

    Unfortunately, as others have said this is no surprise with AA nowadays. On my way to a family wedding recently they managed to get me there with 3 connections and in economy rather than the direct flight in business I was booked on. Not to mention that I got there without my bags (wedding clothes) and after it had already started. And what hurt even more was the way everyone I talked to at AA just didn’t seem to give a s**t. They gave me 10k miles as a “gesture of goodwill” and explained that the reason they don’t give anything else is because they “don’t guarantee their flights”. Didn’t even get my refund for difference of class yet. Pathetic.

    I guess I should be happy that at least it was on the way to a wedding. I can’t imagine how you must feel right now.

    But seriously folks, if you’re looking for a long term investment, just short AA’s stock.

  14. I think this ordeal should further bring you towards flying JetBlue Mint given your rave reviews of your flight and JetBlue themselves.

  15. When the dust has settled on your situation, good time to remember that, (assuming you used one of your favorite cards to book your last minute flight) Citi prestige covers trip interruption due to several things, including family illness that requires you to return home. Also expense reimbursement for a flight delay of over 3 hours–
    Here’s hoping all works out from here on

  16. My question is why do you even gamble with these American airlines and their hub trash airlines? They are designed to fail and with their mentality and tech they are built to do so. Find a dependable direct flight airline and stay with it. I flew so many flights always on time an a pleasure to fly with until I had to fly in the US at someone else booking my flights for work. All of a sudden missed flights delayed by 5-6 hours leading to missing last flight and having to stay overnight in some sleazebag hotel for a flight that should have taken only 5 hours arriving 1 day later. Any time flying it was always a crap-shoot on do I feel lucky this time.when flying while I worked with this American company and in the states. The only other time I was screwed was with Ryan air. and there is another company that I will never even think about again

  17. delAAyed again
    someone needs to create a social app where we can mark our delays and keep a customer based on-time record. With DL and AA both, they will delAAy for 20 minutes at a time but it will still say ON-TIME for some reason ..

  18. I have relatives that work for American. They are not treated well at all by corporate. They told me a story that corporate decided to show “appreciation” for the ground crew. On a table, they had ripped open a large bag of bagels and left it on the table, like some groceries that spilled out. They had a bulk tub of butter, cream cheese, and coffee. The workers all looked at that”spread”, at each other, and went back to work. American Airlines give less then a damn for their employees. They surely don’t care about their customers.

  19. Sorry for days that just suck.

    I’d agree that JetBlue is really good with communication. I was on a delay in MCO when the crew’s incoming flight got cancelled. They let us know that they called a replacement crew and they had whatever time. 90 minutes or something to get to the airport. They actually were there in just about 60. There wasn’t much complaining in the gate area because everyone understood what was happening.

    Good thoughts to you and whatever troubles you are going through.

  20. I had two flights within the last 60 days that had he same issue. Flight to Toronto was delayed 3 hours plus coz the captain wasn’t there. A month later a flight from CDG to JFK was delayed about 1.5 hours coz a crew member was nowhere to be found.

    Absolutely pathetic!!!!

  21. @Lucky I want that women’s job. I would have rerouted you through SFO flt 356 at 745P there were 16 seats and then flt 256 1045p to JFK . Would’ve been transcon still and gotten into JFK 630am. There’s 5 seats in first and 2 in business on that one.

  22. So overnight in LA and take the first flight in the morning.

    You do realize that (very) frequent business travelers encounter issues much worse than this, and complain a lot less.

  23. I can’t blame you for ranting. I’ve been so frustrated at AA at times that I ranted for days. My last two AA flights had major, MAJOR issues. When I had to talk to an agent both times, multiple times, they obvious didn’t give a crap. HUCA didn’t do any better. I wrote in a few emails to AA customer service and not surprisingly, they never responded. Too bad AA miles are so easy to obtain, but I will be using them on other airlines if I can.

    As for Delta, great CS in the few experiences I’ve flown them. My RT from PDX to NYC was the 2nd best Econ flight I’ve had outbound and the worst ever coming back. They made it right though and I respect that. They went well beyond any expectations I had in making the one issue I had right. I just wish their Skymiles weren’t practically worthless.

    I’m a AS person when flying regionally but I just took my first JetBlue flight this past weekend. I was totally impressed with the CS and seat pitch. Free upgrades to Even more space. Give me that seat pitch all day long please!

  24. How can this type of situations happen at all? I love AA, but that is so embarrassing on their part – and the sad part is that AA probably doesn’t feel embarrassed and may not even see anything wrong with this kind of operational absurdities!

  25. I have never experienced so many delays in such a short time frame as I have in the last two months with weekly flights PHL-LAX. Exactly 2 of the westbound flights have been on time, and those delays have been of the 90-120 minute variety. And for some of the weirdest reasons I recall seeing (try underage minor onboard without the paperwork and parents who have already left the airport – how does that even happen?!?).

    I’m far too familiar with those USAir A321s, unfortunately, since we get stuck with those at PHL. Hope you can get at least a little sleep. Safe travels.

  26. I had a similar issue at LAX a couple of weeks ago. We ended up spending the night in the airport because they continually lied to us. Once they finally got a plane that worked, they didn’t have a crew even though they knew for at least 3 hours they were going to need one. If they had at least been honest with us, we would have gotten a room and had a later flight. AA is becoming a 3rd world airline.

  27. @Lucky, while unfortunate it is nice to have someone with your “voice” be able to share the frustration that I and many more experience. My experience with AA was from JFK-AUS last week and it was just as frustrating. Continued delays (3x) without updates. The GA told us they were waiting for a crew from DC. Couldn’t tell us when the DC flight departed, etc.

    That’s why I signed up for JetBlue Card and program. Willing to give it a try because AA has become even worse than ever.

  28. @Ian George Thomson:

    How do you propose that an American citizen who lives in the USA and has family there never flies a USA-based airline on “a direct flight”? Last I checked Singapore Air doesn’t fly to Tampa or Providence.

    @Lucky:

    And now you see why people are willing to put up with “SkyPesos”, or simply have no fucks to give about the “hobby”- because if it’s travel when you NEED to be at Point A at Time B, getting a bunch more miles flying Airline C instead of Airline D means nothing if Airline C can’t actually GET you there reliably. You probably have seven digits of miles in multiple accounts, but in the end, it’s getting where you want to go when you want to be there that is so important for most travelers, and it was important for you this time. Most people can’t do their jobs or be with their loved ones from anywhere on the planet where there’s Wi-Fi or a cell phone signal.

    It’s a bit different than the days you’d fly TPA-MIA-EWR-ORD-IAH-DEN-LAX-SFO on redeyes for $99, isn’t it?

  29. There is no more American Airlines. It’s part of America West and Parker is running it the same way he always has run America West. Guy should have been banned from owning airlines long ago.

  30. This is what happens when you sleep and marry an already known bad service performance company (US Airways). Used to be such a fan of AA when the grass was most of the time greener on the turf. Now these days, they have destroyed the whole AA legacy and service. As a Europe based reader, luckily I don’t have to suffer much, but I do already miss the old AA when I travel with them these days. I guess like Ben, will most probably move more of my personal travel when needed to DL or try our JetBlue for my travels.

  31. You can’t change AA, so may as well take those “2500 points”. However, I wouldn’t waste any time reading the form email.

  32. Is there some way to get DOT’s attention about AA’s crap? I’m not sure what DOT considers to be worthy of their attention, but the comments from this thread seem like enough to say AA has serious problems.

    @Dan: The idea of UA being better than any airline scares me. Sounds like AA may be the new Worst Carrier in America.

  33. I had a very similar flight from MIA to LAX two weeks ago. I was supposed to leave at 9:30 p.m. and arrive at 12:30a.m. The flight was delayed two hours due to weather which I got..I did see the storm so no problem. Then we boarded and the pilot says we are waiting for fuel. Well… We were waiting for fuel at the gate for two hours. So I ended up leaving after 2 a.m. And getting into LAX at 4:30 a.m. I had planned to work that day so was totally screwed up. Anyway, I sent American an email about this and besides the form “we got your email” response have heard nothing. I’m Platinum on American and was flying First so really no email even acknowledging their ineptitude? I was thinking of switching airlines after the program change and this really solidified it for me. Just trying to figure out who to use. Will probably depend on my next big international flight. Although I am leaning toward United because I had an emergency years ago and they went beyond what I expected and took care of me. But who knows how they would deal today…

  34. American=bad service

    I was on a layover with AF when I got a call from my mother saying that my friends were in a car crash. I wanted to work on the AF flight back to Paris, but I was advised not to. I decided to fly on the same flight I would’ve worked on ,LAX-CDG, but the flight was oversold. I ended up flying from LAX-JFK-CDG-NCE with the flight on AA (excluding the CDG-NCE section which was run by AF) and the flight from LAX-JFK had to return to the gate due to an engine problem. We then pushed back 40 minutes later. I almost missed the flight to CDG from JFK because of the delAAy and had to run to the gate. I attempted to board but was informed that the flight had no seats in business after paying ALOT of my money. I was confused. The gate agent told me that people had upgraded and my seat assignment didn’t come through. I was given a refund but then told my bag would go to CDG and they didn’t offload it (I was checked all the way to CDG). So I rebooked on Delta One and they managed to arrange for my bag to be collected by the employees and be waiting with a staff member. The rest of the journey went without a hitch.

    See American, your flights are a disAAster.

  35. AA’s operation is terrible now. It makes me actually miss United. At least 50% of my recent domestic AA flights have had 30+ minute delays due to lack of gates at DCA or LAX…. Wth.

  36. @Marlie- Not as bad as the experience I was given with AA. I was flying TPA-DFW-LAX-LHR (I went to Los Angeles to meet my friends and fly with them back home after spending time in Tampa with my family, which is why I have such a big itinerary) on American and it was a living hell. Sadly, a Delta direct flight from Tampa to Los Angeles didn’t work for me and I wanted to be in LHR at a specific time to meet my parents from their commute to Australia, so I thought booking AA would work. I was wrong. In LAX, we had to wait 20 minutes for a gate. Great, thanks American . You’ve just made my tight connection even more stressful. I ran to the AA gate only to find the flight was delayed for a long time. I asked if I could change to BA and the agent told me yes but I wouldn’t get my hold bag. I asked why only to discover that it was still in Tampa. I couldn’t call my parents because they were on the journey to Dubai from Sydney so I was stuck. My parents would be worried sick if I wasn’t there and all I wanted to do was get home. I made the decision to stay in my friends apartment for the day until I got a call that my bag was in LAX and I could fly home. It was eventually sent to LAX and I flew home.

  37. I mean a it only arrived 6:30 minutes late (6:04 am)…..

    My flight was delayed an hour yesterday because the onboard printer was broken and they couldn’t find anyone at the DFW c terminal that knew how to manually print the load balance sheet. The FA’s were not amused bye the ineptness of Dfw ops.

  38. Ahhh Ahhhh what are you complaining about ….

    You were on a plane at least … my wife reservation vanished out of thin air yesterday … it took 2 hours to check her and ou twins in at JFK . They just could not locate her reservation for this return flight …. I now have a better appreciation for delta that I flew last week. On time flight … yeah seems like a dream for a texas based passenger flying AA regularly.

  39. The sad part to all of this is that it really isn’t just AA. When I started working in the travel industry there were at least 10 major US carriers. We are now down to 4! And other than WN (Southwest) the other 3 use smaller carriers to conduct a lot of their flights. Between overbooked flights, staff spread thin and the lack of customer service training that was once the focus of most businesses it’s almost an epidemic. The unfortunate thing is that businesses believe customer service is only external. If a company overlooks their internal customer service, their external service inevitably fails. I’d definitely send AA your feedback and hopefully point out how they are not only failing their external customers but also their team…the face of their company. Hopefully, someone will take notice.

  40. Lucky,

    aren’t you afraid the Admirals Club agent might get retaliation from her comments? I mean she’s the person who rebooked you (so that’s logged in an IT system somewhere), and your identity is hardly a secret.

    I know she went your way, but she’s slagging off her employer in front of a customer, so I’m pretty sure that’s grounds for constructive dismissal…

    I’ve often thought about some of your quotes from airline staff, but this time it makes even more sense because she’s actually doing a good job but risking her job being quoted publicly.

    Not a criticism, but a genuine question.

  41. I had a similar American Airlines experience leaving SFO last month. Passengers boarded only to find out there were “NO” AA employees onboard. No flight attendants or pilots. Gate agent never checked. We were consequently de-boarded until crew arrived about 30 minutes later. Crazy.

  42. If the pilots knew, shouldn’t they have alerted someone before getting on the plane or taking the assignment?

  43. AA has been nothing but horrible. Two major issues in 3 weeks. Customer service is arrogant and derogatory. The only way I got any satisfaction was to place a complaint on twitter. They left my 96 yo and 87 yo in-laws at jfk after delaying their flight 4 times then canceling it and told them come back tomorrow. They are horroble. They use to be the only airline we flew. No more though

  44. @ Theresa !!!
    The same thing happened to me at Miami
    I was taking a flight from MIA to LAS
    The flight showed up on time when I left for the airport. When I got there it showed online that the incoming aircraft never left LGA yet
    Then about 1/2 hour before the flight showed up on time still
    Strange
    Then I figured it out
    Since they were at a hub and the flight was to leave at 9:50 pm and arrive at Vegas as 11:59 pm Vegas time they just used another 737-800 that arrived shortly earlier and was to be parked at the gate all night. We boarded on time and say on the place for an hour and a half. The pilot mentioned they needed fuel
    Totally disorganized. Got to Vegas a 2 am instead of midnight

  45. @Alex As Ben already stated the employee in the admirals club was very helpful. Her statement was one of empathy. She empathized with the customer and provided a quick solution to his problem. That’s good customer service.

  46. Sorry for the circumstances under which you’re discovering how low AA has sunk. I hope your situation improves.

    All of the legacies come under fire regularly, but the experience of flying AA really has deteriorated in the last couple of years. This year I’m using my AA Platinum status to do status match challenges on both United and Delta–today’s my first Delta flight in over 10 years. AA was fun for a while, especially when I was Executive Platinum, but their hard product was never as good as the competition and their communication was pretty terrible.

    Most of my trips are overseas but I won’t be flying as much going forward so I’m looking for a civilized experience in economy as well as responsive customer service.

  47. Ben – Unrelated question. I purchased an extremely overpriced domestic flight in late July (AA) using my Citi Prestige points. I took the flight in August (post revenue based). AA awarded 50% of distance for the award miles and not the 5 points per dollar (excluding tax).

    It’s about 1,000 add’l miles (or 760 under the 100% distance) that I feel I am owed. They have already rejected my missing mileage claim. Any idea on the right amount of miles for this? Will all Citi Prestige bookings only earn 50% of miles flown on AA?

  48. To your point re: canned customer relations responses…

    I realized AA was a lost cause when I received the same cookie cutter reply from customer care several weeks ago. As an Executive Platinum flyer, I have been accustomed to AA’s (erstwhile) top-shelf customer care. For me, an empathetic employee with a willingness (and empowerment) to “right” bad situations is crucial.

    Back to my recent AA customer care encounter:

    I told the robotic airline rep that I was not satisfied with her canned response, and I asked for a phone call from her supervisor (remember when AA actually had an INBOUND customer relations phone center for top tier customers?!)

    Since AA’s customer care people no longer have the ability to accept incoming calls, what followed was a mind-exploding sequence of missed calls and non-actionable voicemails:

    “Mr. Smith, this is Wanda from American Airlines customer care. You requested a call. I will try you again at a later time.”

    (Sorry, Wanda, I have this pesky day job…which is coincidentally responsible for my 150,000 miles of air travel. I’ll try to stay clued to my phone.)

    “Mr. Smith, this is Angela from American Airlines customer care. Since we have been unable to reach you, we will consider this matter closed. Have a nice day.”

    !%$&*#

    Maddening. Just…MADDENING.

    I shot back a terse email to customer care threatening to cancel all of my upcoming AA flights. Wonder of wonders, I received another call a day or two later (I was answering every damn phone call by this point).

    “Mr. Smith, we have been trying to reach you for some time. What exactly can we do for you?”

    My request was simple:

    1. Undo this catastrophe that is U.S. Airways’ idea of “customer care” (BRING BACK THE PHONE LINE…more importantly, bring back the capable AA CUSTOMER SUPPORT AGENTS)

    2. Explain to me why you charged my credit card twice for the same itinerary, and then instructed me to fill out a refund form on aa.com (in other words, why is YOUR problem now MY problem? Fix this, and don’t ask me to fill out a damn form!)

    Throughout the call, the supervisor with whom I spoke was combative and unwilling to resolve my double billing (“Sir, you will have to fill out the refund form if you want us to address your billing issue. It doesn’t matter that you are Executive Platinum. The rules are the same for everybody.”)

    Realizing my call was going nowhere, I ended my call by asking two questions:

    1. Where are you based?

    Answer: Phoenix

    2. Which airline were you with pre-merger?

    Answer: U.S. Airways

    I’m DONE. Suck it, AA.

  49. I am so done with AA, UAL and Delta. All of my SFO – JFK flights from now on will be jetblue mint. The customer support for the former 3 are just so bad. I flew JAL in January on business class. The points were directed to AA. AA couldn’t get their act together for 5 months. Each month they told me they will fix the problem but nada. UA cancelled and rebooked one of my flight. Except they forgot to cancel my credit card charge. Initially, I tried to clear it up thinking it was simple, nope. Luckily, Amex bill dispute is one of amex’s best service and I just let amex take care of it. Took 3 months but it didn’t cost me anything seeing how amex gave me an instant credit when I raise the issue. I won’t even get into Delta. In fact, I cashed out my points for one more flight with them this xmas and then I am done with them. I have worked with companies with their mentality. They don’t want to invest money into bridging different IT systems. I am willing to bet much of these intra systems have intermediate steps that are handled by pen/paper, telephone calls or emailing excel spreadsheets. Which means lots of human errors. I have seen more than my share of that type of workflow from huge organizations. Its shocking but it happens.

  50. In the last month I have flown DL, UA and AA, the first two being transcons. DL had a major mess because of weather in ATL. I rebooked us for the next morning while in the air. DL’s website ASKED me if I wanted to rebook. I couldn’t believe that. I scouted the hotels around ATL and found tons of points availability. Didn’t book a room because I wanted to see if DL would do anything about rooms. They gave us a room – because of a weather delay. What? It was the first time we had flown DL in years. What treatment!

  51. They gave me 5,000 Aadvantage miles when a LAX-MIA flight cancelled earlier this year due to bird strike in the right engine when the plane was enroute to LAX from SYD…

  52. Gave up on AA about a year and a half ago, and reading and hearing stuff like this, I think I made the right move. This is just so typical of what’s happening to them, from everything I hear. Such a class act for so many years, and now, so sad.

    People laugh at me when they hear I left them for United, where I’ve now worked up to ‘1K.’ But go ahead and laugh, I really have had better luck. Far better.

  53. I am a million mile with AAsses, and I am so pissed off at these jerks that I could spit. They used to be the best airline in the USA, but in the recent past they have consistently shot themselves in the head with stupid move after stupid move. While I hate Delta and United more, I lament the passing of a decent, even at times great airline into “Frontier Airlines big brother”. YUK!

  54. Kudos to you for writing so compellingly that readers believe, or claim to believe, that a captain would say, “They should have known this…,” and an Admirals Club rep would say, “I’m just embarrassed to come to work nowadays,” about their employer.
    No way either remark was made (outside the windmills of your mind), but makes good fodder for the Jet Blue and Delta loyalists / employees / buddy pass riders who are commenting.

  55. Same thing happened to me at JFK, gave our aircraft to the LHR route that had a mechanical issue, I guess they were more important than us. Rebooked on an old 767, then pilots timed out, got us new pilots, that they timed out on tarmac during a long wait for de-icing. Flight eventually cancelled 16 hours later. Rebooked for next day, gave us 20K miles each, but we lost a vacation day. I was just going with the flow, until I learned that AA assigned pilots that were about to time out. What a fAAilure.

  56. This is part of why I never fly US airlines internationally. They just don’t get the word, “service”.

  57. @Craig Stanton
    Really? I believe Lucky 100%. Have you heard some of the things that come out of airline employees’ mouths? It’s hilarious (and wonderful)!

    Last AA flight I was on an Airbus plane, it was taken out of service right before departure for MX problems. F/A started complaining loudly about how these “darn French planes aren’t any good. The French don’t know how to make an airplane. It was so much better when we only had American Boeings.”

    People say a lot of strange things, especially when they’re stressed out/frustrated.

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