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I’m an AA platinum and 5k away from platinum pro. I recently flew AA105 from LHR to JFK in business on an award ticket. Below is the experience. What do you think is the appropriate compensation?
AA crew handling the left aisle could not have been any more indifferent and impersonal. This interaction began when offered a pre-boarding drink. The crew member approached with a tray of drinks and asked, “Do you want one?” There was no, “Good evening sir, we have water, orange juice, and champagne. Would you care for a drink before we depart?” Then when asking about meal preference, the crew member came by and said, “You wanted the chicken, right?” There was no, “Good evening Mr. (last name), I see you’ve requested the chicken, is that correct?” Crew members have the flight manifest, so addressing passengers by name is possible. Even “sir” would have felt appropriate.
The problems continued after take off. I could not get my entertainment screen to play any movies, shows, etc. To inform a crew member, I hit the call button after the plane leveled off. The crew member walked right by my seat requiring me to call after her. I informed her of the situation and asked if the system could be reset. Other passengers around me were having the same problem. It’s my understanding that the whole flight entertainment system was then reset.
Unfortunately, the problem persisted after the reset, and the crew member tried to reset just my system to see if that would solve the problem. It did not. There was no apology made for the lack of entertainment made by a crew member, the purser, or pilot. It was more like, “It is, what it is.”
For the more than seven-hour trip, my flight entertainment consisted of staring at the overhead flight path map. I purchased a Wi-Fi plan to bypass the time, but within no time, the Wi-Fi was going in and out, had an unusable speed, or was down.
The flight continued to get worse when dinner was served. Unfortunately, the appetizers included fish and onions, so I could not eat them. Not the biggest issue since I snacked in the Cathay Lounge at LHR (the food in the Admirals Club did not look enticing nor did the environment look relaxing). I took two bites after being served the Broccoli-Stuffed Chicken entrée and sent it back. The chicken and schupfnudel could not have been more overcooked. It was simply terrible. The simple chicken salad meal I had on BA Club Europe was far superior.
Except for sitting in the front section of the plane, at no time did I feel like I was traveling in business class. No crew member addressed me by my name, thanked me for being a priority member, or even seemed to care. They hurriedly walked up and down the aisles giving passengers no time to hail them as they passed by.
I think the only thing you can request compensation for is the non working entertainment system. The rest (bad service and terrible food) is to be expected on most flights operated by AA and it doesn’t matter which class of service you’re sitting in.
[QUOTE=”Clem, post: 61599, member: 2278″]I think the only thing you can request compensation for is the non working entertainment system. The rest (bad service and terrible food) is to be expected on most flights operated by AA and it doesn’t matter which class of service you’re sitting in.[/QUOTE]
Agree with [USER=2278]@Clem[/USER] that you will probably receive some miles for the IFE failure. If you took screenshots of the Wi-Fi fail (if it was a true fail as opposed to it just not loading as quickly as desired) you may be able to get a refund or a credit.
As for the surly crew – well AA is known for its inconsistent cabin crews. Had good crews my last two international flights (LHR and DUB) but both in smaller J cabins than a 772 or 77W to JFK. And had an awesome AA crew (yes, I am writing that) on LAX-PEK this summer; the return PEK-DFW was one of the worst crews I’ve experienced on AA. It is simply hit or miss but I wouldn’t expect any compensation for not being addressed by name or the [email protected] food.
I received 10,000 miles for a broken IFE on an AA flight from PHL to CDG a few years ago.
As for the crew, as the others stated, it’s up and down. The food is generally bad but that’s just my opinion as I notice that others in the cabin seem to finish their courses.
I’m EXP with AA I recall a few flights on J award tickets in the past, where I was treated in a similar manner as you describe and it made me wonder but I’ve also had the same treatment on revenue tickets. Although others here at OMAAT might disagree, I believe there could be subtle crew bias against those flying on award tickets in premium cabins in spite of elite status.
[QUOTE=”Gia, post: 61615, member: 1566″] […] I believe there could be subtle crew bias against those flying on award tickets in premium cabins in spite of elite status.[/QUOTE]
I don’t necessarily disagree, but I do think the inverse is also true – I know AA crews can see your status, obviously, but I believe they also know what fare class you booked into, whether an SWU was used, etc. I find that being EXP and flying a paid business class ticket does definitely get you a “thank you, Mr. OCT, for flying with AA”, being addressed by name when the crew comes around for PDB, etc. Nothing can change the food AA serves, however, especially out of PHL, which often seems to be the same main course as served domestically (the Asian vegetarian option is exactly the same). I just don’t have any expectation that what AA serves will be any good; that way I am pleasantly surprised if it is good.
Completely off topic, but I received 8500 miles when I was bumped from an aisle seat in F to a window by a CK. I called the EXP line before boarding to ask why my boarding pass had changed, and was told that “AA head office changed it, sorry, but I can offer you miles….”