American

American Is Deferring Delivery Of Their A350s… Again

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It sure seems like American isn’t terribly interested in actually taking delivery of the A350s they have on order.

American is in the process of refreshing their longhaul fleet, which includes taking delivery of Boeing 787-8, 787-9, and 777-300ER aircraft.

American was originally supposed to start taking delivery of A350s in early 2017 — they have a total of 22 A350-900 aircraft on order. Last July American announced that they’d defer delivery of these new planes an average of 26 months, and only start taking delivery of them in late 2018. This was done to decrease capital spending, and also as a response to economic slowdowns abroad.

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Another Perspective On The American Airlines Strollergate Incident

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There’s another first-hand account of the events that led to the altercation between the flight attendant and the mother of twins onboard an American Airlines flight recently.

Previously, we really only had video of the aftermath of the situation which mostly consisted of a woman sobbing in the front of the cabin and a first class passenger trying to aggressively defend her. We didn’t know much about what went on to cause all of that.

Well, this version provides a good bit of detail about what went on at the back of the plane. “Eric” was a passenger seated toward the back of the plane. He shared what he observed with Gailen Lee David who posted it on his Facebook page. I think before we go any further, it’s worth pointing out that David is a former American Airlines flight attendant who was fired by the company. That may or may not influence what he posts, but it is worth noting.

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American Airlines Flight Attendant Grabs Stroller From Mother Boarding Plane

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It’s the weekend, and lately that means we get an incident of airline personnel behaving poorly that goes viral. This time it involved a mother and her baby who were boarding an American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Dallas.

We don’t know exactly what happened, but it seems that the mother tried to bring her baby stroller onboard the aircraft. That’s not normally allowed on flights within the US, so the flight attendant stopped her. But according to other passengers, he actually grabbed it from her, hitting her with it — presumably incidentally — in the process. And it almost hit the baby. That left the mother sobbing uncontrollably in the front galley, and that’s when someone decided to start recording.

The actual incident is mostly over by the time the video starts, and instead we see the aftermath which includes a male passenger getting up to defend the woman. He asks for the flight attendant’s name, probably so he can formally file a complaint. Then a bit later he gets back up and tells the flight attendant he better not do that to him or he’ll… well, you get the idea.

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Great American Business Class Fares To Hong Kong

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At the moment American has some attractive business class fares for travel to Hong Kong this summer. These aren’t super low fares, or anything, though I think for the right person they have the potential to be very attractive.

American has ~2,400USD roundtrip fares between Vancouver and Hong Kong, which you can route via Los Angeles.

For about $100 more, you can fly via Dallas, on American’s longest flight.

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American Is Adding Flights To Cartagena, Colombia

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Early last year I visited Colombia for the first time, and had an incredible time. I only visited Cartagena and Bogota — I loved Cartagena, while I wouldn’t return to Bogota. However, I’ve heard that there are lots of other beautiful parts of the country as well.

As an American Airlines loyalist (well, at least historically), the issue is that American only flies to Bogota, so we flew to Bogota, and then connected to Cartagena on Avianca. It was an easy enough process, though it was also sort of annoying to connect, given that Cartagena isn’t that from the US.

In fairness, Cartagena is already served by other US airlines — Delta flies from Atlanta, JetBlue flies from New York and Fort Lauderdale, and Spirit flies from Fort Lauderdale. I’m surprised American doesn’t fly there, given that they’re traditionally the strongest US carrier in Latin America.

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Two Very Different Ways Of Recognizing Elite Status In Economy

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Upgrades across the board are tougher than they used to be, which is probably because airlines are doing a better job of selling their first class cabins at discounted rates, and are also reducing the size of first class cabins on many planes. So airlines have been putting some effort into making the economy experience a bit better for elite members, in recognition of decreased upgrades.

For example, American offers Executive Platinum members in economy a free snack and drink. It’s a gesture that goes beyond the dollar savings — it’s nice to be recognized for your business and feel appreciated (especially since the loyalty program as such isn’t doing much nowadays to encourage people to feel that way). I’m spending more time in economy lately, and that’s perfectly fine.

At the moment I’m on an American A319 with a power outlet and an empty middle seat (which is exceedingly rare nowadays), so I’m every bit as happy as I’d be in first class.

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Are A Lot More NFL Teams About To Lose Their Charter Flights?

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Yesterday I posted about how American would no longer be providing charter service to six NFL teams for the 2017 season. Those teams included the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

American cited a lack of resources for the reason why they can no longer offer this service. To me, that just means they think they can make more money with their regularly scheduled service than they can providing charters. In fact, I sort of expect that they simply raised the price for next year and only three teams were willing to pay it.

I didn’t really view this as too big of a deal since other airlines offer charter services to the sports teams as well and would probably be interested in picking up these contracts. But it turns out that a whole lot more teams might soon be affected.

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American Tells Six NFL Teams To Take Their Business Elsewhere

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The major US airlines aren’t just in the business of flying scheduled routes, as most also run a thriving charter service on the side. Sports teams have become one of the biggest customers for these services. That’s because the days when professional sports teams fly commercial are long gone. For that matter, many college teams now charter planes to travel to road games as well.

In the case of college and professional football teams, flying commercial really isn’t an option anyway given how many players, coaches, trainers, and other personnel travel with the team, not to mention the equipment needs.

Well, Forbes is reporting that American Airlines is terminating their relationships with six NFL teams, citing a lack of aircraft to service these teams.

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American Closed Their DFW Admirals Club Gym

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Typically Admirals Clubs are nothing to get excited about, though for years one of the locations had a pretty cool amenity. Specifically, the American Admirals Club in the “A” concourse had a mini-gym. I wrote about this in a post last year about nine great airline lounge amenities. Ultimately it wasn’t the most exciting gym, though it had a treadmill, bike, and elliptical.

Being able to get in some cardio between flights is great, both to get some movement, and also to work off all those warm nuts and cookies. šŸ˜‰

Well, unfortunately it looks like this feature has been discontinued. I’ve been told that the DFW Admirals Club gym has been closed as of April 10, 2017. I’m not sure what exactly caused this — the equipment was certainly on the old side so perhaps they just thought it was underutilized and wasn’t worth investing in.

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American Downgrades Sydney Flight And Suspends Auckland Flight

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American has announced a huge schedule change today, where we’re seeing a lot of routes getting their plans swapped out. Given how inconsistent American’s longhaul fleet is, this means you may find yourself in a different seat than you expected.
American’s latest schedule change

While there are a lot of schedule changes, there are a few routes I find especially interesting, including some domestic ones:

— Starting in November, Dallas to Sao Paulo is being upgraded from a 787-9 to a 777-300ER
— Starting in November, Los Angeles to Sydney will be downgraded from a 777-300ER to a 787-9
— American’s Los Angeles to Auckland flight will be suspended from August to October, and will then be upgraded from a 787-8 to a 787-9
— In December through March, one of American’s daily Los Angeles to Honolulu flights will be operated by a 777-200
— In December through March, American’s twice daily 757 Phoenix to Honolulu flights will be consolidated into one A330 flight

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American & Qantas Are Cutting Reciprocal Mileage Earning Rates

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Well here’s a curious move, that I suspect may have an ulterior motive. American AAdvantage and Qantas Frequent Flyer have just cut mileage earning rates for travel on one another. This change doesn’t impact any of their other partners, but rather both airlines are just cutting mileage earning on one another.

In and of itself that’s not unusual. Airlines often renegotiate their contracts, and changes are typically reciprocal. That’s because you don’t want to create some great arbitrage opportunity that will cause members to switch programs.

Here’s how the American AAdvantage mileage earning rates for travel on Qantas are changing:

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Great American First Class Fares From Atlanta To Hawaii

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American has just published some great first class fares to from Atlanta to Hawaii for travel over the next year. It’s not unusual for airlines to get into “fare wars,” and since Atlanta is a Delta hub, clearly this is the start of one.

At the moment American has first class fares of under $1,150 roundtrip from Atlanta to Honolulu, which is a great deal for such a long journey. Fares are about $100 more to Maui or Kona. The basic restrictions on these fares are as follows:

— 14 day advance purchase required
— No stopovers permitted
— Valid for outbound travel April 10 through May 25, 2017, August 15 through November 15, 2017, November 20 through December 12, 2017, and December 26, 2017 through March 7, 2018

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The Sad State Of American’s Domestic First Class Meals

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The amount of domestic flying I do has been greatly reduced the past year or so. I do a lot more international travel, and a majority of my domestic travel consists of short hops, rather than 2-4 hour flights. I’m able to plan stuff so that I can hop around the country in a fairy logical order, rather than doing several transcons per week.

As a result, I’m not spending as much time in domestic first class as I used to.

A couple of years ago I wrote about how I mostly stopped eating on domestic flights, because the food (at least on American) was both unhealthy and unappetizing. It’s one thing for the food to be unhealthy, but at least make it taste good. Unfortunately American wasn’t doing very well on either front.

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Ridiculous: It Took 75 Minutes & 5 People To Issue My American Ticket

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American is one of the only US airlines I know of that still issues physical ticket credit vouchers. For example, if you need to cancel a ticket, you can call in and apply that value to a ticket just by mentioning the ticket number. However, if there’s any residual value after that, you’re issued a paper voucher. Even American’s bump vouchers are still issued as paper vouchers.

This is clearly intended to cause breakage, since they know people may lose them, and that some people may be discouraged by having to mail them in or visit an airport to ticket. That’s the only reason to issue paper vouchers for anything in 2017.

Over the weekend I noticed that I had a voucher from a previously canceled ticket that was nearing expiration, so I decided to use it to ticket a reservation I needed to make. The catch is that the ticket was for travel within a week. Usually I’d hold a ticket online and then go to the airport to ticket, but you can’t hold a ticket within a week.

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