Tried American again - Ugh

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Mar 10, 2015
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Again I was dissapointed. I had to fly domestic on a mini vacation to Los Angeles with my children and given that American is the main airline in Philly, they provided the least expensive option (except for Spirit), plus they had a non-stop flight with decent departing/arriving times. However, the flight reminded me yet again to try and avoid American as much as I can.

Check in was inconvenient. I used the on-line check in on my mobile phone, which usually is easy, for other airlines. But American required that I send each boarding pass to a separate email address. Fortunately for us, each of my kids have their own phone and own email address. But what if my kids were younger or didn't have a phone? How is a parent supposed to get the mobile boarding passes for their children if they don't have 3+ email addresses on their phone or access to a printer? The only other choice is to check in at the airport, taking more time and definitely eliminates the convenience of mobile check in (plus gives you a worse boarding group assignment unless you pay American an additional $42 each ticket for preferred boarding).

I paid for better seats to get my family seated together. The best I could get was 2 seats together (window and aisle) and a third accross the aisle. Better than 3 middle seats over several rows further back in the plane. Naturally, 2 of our 3 entertainment screens didn't work, nor did the plug for cords for ipad/iphone. I politely mentioned it to several FAs, more to let them know about it could be fixed for later passengers. We come prepared with stuff downloaded on our ipads and portable chargers, so at least we kept ourselves entertained. And our shows weren't interrupted by the airline's spiel to buy their frequent flyer miles credit card.

Several flight attendants were very rude. As I was getting my kids seated, we had 2 carry-on suitcases, and there was a lot of other people around us. As I was lifting the first suitcase above me to put in the overhead compartment, I heard the attendant saying, some ways behind me, "right, right, right". I had no idea he was talking to me. THe carryon didn't fit above the aisle seats (too short), so I tried above the middle area, and the case did fit. The attendant then came up saying "I told you dumbass to put your suitcase above the middle area to you're right. " How was I supposed to know "right right right" meant "I" was to put your suitcase in the compartment to your right with so many other people around.

Later on, another attendant was rude to my daughter when she asked for a drink, something about "you didn't order one" (it was a bit hard to hear due to other kids around us). I don't know if that was related to the screen issue (other flights I've been on with other airlines, you could order drinks from your screen, but we didn't have working screens ). This same FA then gave her a glass absolutely full of ice and just a splash of soda. I don't recall anyone asking if we wanted to order food, I wonder if that was also only done via the screens that didn't work. Good thing we had a good breakfast before the flight and snacks we brought ourselves (plus a bottle of water purchased after security).
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#2
The attendant then came up saying "I told you dumbass to put your suitcase above the middle area to you're right. "
If the FA actually told you this, you should definitely report him to management, there's no way he should be calling a customer a dumbass, that's absurdly inappropriate. If the FA didn't say this to you, you shouldn't be putting it into quotes.

Have you contacted AA about the non-functional seatback screens? A (polite) note through their website will almost certainly get you a voucher or some miles as compensation.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#3
If the FA actually told you this, you should definitely report him to management, there's no way he should be calling a customer a dumbass, that's absurdly inappropriate. If the FA didn't say this to you, you shouldn't be putting it into quotes.

Have you contacted AA about the non-functional seatback screens? A (polite) note through their website will almost certainly get you a voucher or some miles as compensation.
True, JAG, but who wants miles or a voucher on American???
 
Feb 21, 2018
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We just completed a trip on AA out of PHL to PHX and back, and considering the state of air travel today we thought it went pretty well. I've flown AA a couple of times in the past three years and had no issues.

It's my understanding that mobile boarding passes do not determine your boarding group...your fare bucket is probably the first determining factor and then maybe (I say maybe because I'm not really sure) the actual time you check in. Groups 1-4 are always going to go to Elite travelers and those willing to pay extra for that privilege. I've always been assigned to either group 5 or 6...I've seen it go all the way to 8. Since you already have a seat assigned, I really don't care when I get on. I know my seat will be there for me.

I've always checked in from home and printed passes...we don't use mobile...but on this last trip coming home from PHX I didn't have a printer available. I still checked in on my mobile, made sure I had passes (emailed them to me) and then when we arrived at PHX just used the kiosks to print them out. Very simple and not a long process.
 
Mar 10, 2015
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I did write an email to AA and was contacted pretty quickly by Donald Cullo, Customer Relations.

He was sympathetic to what happened with the bad screens. I didn't have names of any of the FAs, but he made a note of my complaints and said they'd look into additional training. He also said that the mobile boarding passes should be able to go to one email when there are children involved, so he made a note of my issue with that as well.

He offered me $100 vouchers for me and each of my kids. I accepted that. I anticipate another flight next winter/early spring either again to visit my mom or for a cheer competition. Given that AA is the dominent airline out of Philly, there's a good chance I'll use them again, especially if I can get a non-stop flight.
 
Feb 24, 2018
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I think the Philly routes are the old US Airways flights. I avoid flights that connect in Phoenix, Philly, Charlotte, pretty much anywhere that was a US hub, rather than American. The planes are old and horrible and some don't even have entertainment for transcontinental flights. Usually, AA gives customers a full can of soda, so I'm surprised you received just a cup of soda. Did the FA really call you a "dumbass"? What did Donald Cullo say about that?