American Airlines

Nickel and dining seems to be the new way for airlines to make money. I don’t know how widespread the practice is, flying from DC to my LA layover was my first ever domestic flight. Maybe all the national airlines do it.

First is the overhead compartments. The pilot mentioned repeatedly that it was a full flight so we were required to keep our winter jackets with us. Like airline seats aren’t cramped enough. Next time get planes that have bin space for every seat in the house.

The in flight entertainment was some move I really wasn’t interested in. That’s common enough. What also is common is have a guide of what movies are going to be shown. We were told there that information was available I in the sear backs, but my row didn’t have anything but safety cards and a few rough looking magazines. But that all wouldn’t bother me so much if AA didn’t want to charge for the headphones. I’ve never been on a flight where you need to pay for the headphones. At least they had the sense to try and spin it that passengers are given the option to use their own headphones. I had that option when you weren’t shaking folks down for a few bucks.

Even after the movie that I didn’t want to watch the entertainment didn’t get much better. The showed NBC shows like The Office, complete with commercials. I have to deal with commercials at home and now on a flight? Also why couldn’t they play 30 Rock? That’s the best show NBC has had in years.

They plane has wifi! That’s pretty awesome right? Well I thought the same until I saw how much it cost. What is this, the year 2000? If you offer wifi you offer free wifi. It should be against the law not to
Speaking of six hours, I figured that a 11 AM flight would offer something in the way of lunch. Seriously, it’s a six hour flight. I could have gotten a bite at the airport for a fraction of the cost of the food on the plane. That’s right, I said ‘the cost of the food on the plane.’ Everyone else I’ve flown on had included something to eat. LOT hooked us up with cookies for an hour hop. But not AA. If you want a tasteless looking sandwich and a bag of chips be ready to shell out $10. For that price I could have gotten a gargantuan burger and fries at Five Guys before leaving. And that would be enjoyable. Of course I’m no rich guy so I passed on lunch. But at least there was complimentary soda or juice. You know, the bare minimum of service.

I really wouldn’t mind this sort if stuff from Southwest or RyanAir. But AA is behaving like a budget airline without passing savings in to customers or even admitting they’re not top tier anymore.
I’m lucky because I bought my ticket through a website. My second leg from LA to China is on China Southern and they give two free checked bags. AA is forced to comply with that although with a sign at the gate boasting ‘First checked bag free!’ I feel like they wish they didn’t have too.

I know it’s hard for the airlines these days. Maybe this is the new normal. Between trimming back freebies, cutting flight attendants pay to when the planes are only actually flying, to overbooking flights, American carriers just aren’t that nice anymore.
If it wasn’t for the mileage rewards no one would willing fly these legacy carriers and now I see why.

The view was awesome though.

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