11 Things American Airlines Does Well

Filed Under: American
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I’ll be the first to admit that I give American Airlines a hard time. That’s because I do believe that they have a lot of room for improvement, though I continue to largely fly them  when convenient given that I’m based in Miami, so options are fairly limited.

For example, on balance I don’t think United is any better, but I don’t complain about them as much because I don’t fly them as much (they have a small presence in Miami). Meanwhile Delta actually is better, so I usually have nice things to say when I fly them.

Anyway, I wanted to mix things up a bit and be positive, and in this post I wanted to share 11 things that I think American Airlines does well. You know, maybe there’s something to be said for positive reinforcement.

In no particular order, here’s what I like about American Airlines:

High speed wifi

A vast majority of American’s mainline fleet now features high speed wifi, including almost all of their 737s and A320 family aircraft. I’m impressed by the pace at which they’ve retrofitted this throughout their massive fleet. This is an area where American is more or less on par with Delta, and where they’re way ahead of United.

All American A319s have high speed wifi

International lounge access

American Airlines offers excellent Flagship Lounges in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York, which are the best easily accessible international airline lounges offered by any US airline.

These lounges can be accessed by oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members traveling internationally, as well as all oneworld first and business class passengers. As a point of comparison:

  • Delta SkyClubs are superior for domestic lounges, but Delta doesn’t have any special international lounges
  • United Polaris Lounges are superior to Flagship Lounges, but are only accessible by international business class passengers, and no elite status will get you into those lounges

So there’s something to be said for American having very nice lounges that are also easily accessible.

American’s Flagship Lounge Los Angeles

Oneworld Emerald status

It’s not that American deserves full credit for this, since it’s more about the alliance than American. However, oneworld Emerald status is my favorite alliance status that exists, and I love the lounges it gets me access to.

From the Qantas Lounge First Class Lounge LAX, to the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge HKG, I pinch myself every time I get to use one of these lounges when not flying first class.

Cathay Pacific’s First Class Lounge Hong Kong

Flagship First Dining

I’m conflicted about whether or not to include this. On one hand, it’s just about the most impressive thing offered by a US airline. On the other hand, it seems like a horrible way of allocating resources.

American offers Flagship First Dining in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. These are private, gorgeous spaces with a la carte dining. The food and service are generally quite good, but more than anything I just appreciate how tranquil these facilities are.

This is exclusively open to three cabin first class passengers (either traveling on 777-300ERs internationally, or A321Ts on transcons), and Concierge Key members are also given a couple of passes to use this every year.


American’s Flagship First Dining New York

International business class seats

While this won’t be the case forever, as of now I think American offers the best international business class seats of the “big three” US airlines. They have direct aisle access on all widebody planes, and their 787s and 777s all feature good seats.

To compare this to Delta and United:

  • Delta only lags American a little bit here, though the major differences are that Delta hasn’t yet reconfigured most of their 777s (most of which feature outdated herringbone seats) and Delta also has more 767s than American, which feature a product I strongly dislike (Delta has 78 767-300/400s, while American only has 22 767-300s)
  • United’s new Polaris seats are great, though they still have a long way to go in reconfiguring planes, as there are still 777s with eight seats per row in business class

American’s 777-300ER business class

Transcon product

American has the best transcon product of the “big three” US airlines. They fly specially configured A321s with just 102 seats, including three classes of service. Generally speaking:

  • Upgrades are reasonably easy, since you have 30 premium seats and only 72 economy seats
  • Business class passengers get access to American’s excellent Flagship Lounges, while first class passengers get access to American’s incredible Flagship First Dining
  • Elite members are eligible for complimentary upgrades on these routes at their normal upgrade window, unlike at Delta and United (at United they’re not eligible at all, while at Delta they’re only eligible day of departure)

American’s A321 first class

Citi AAdvantage Executive Card

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is my favorite airline co-brand credit card. It has a $450 annual fee, and comes with an Admirals Club membership.

That’s potentially a good deal in and of itself, though what makes this card so special is that you can add 10 authorized users, and each of them can use Admirals Clubs when flying American, and bring two guests.

So paying a single $450 annual fee for a card that gets not only me lounge access, but also my family and friends, is tough to beat.

American’s Admirals Club Tokyo Narita

Business Extra program

American’s small business rewards program, Business Extra, is the best such program offered by any of the “big three” US airlines. This allows you to earn extra rewards for the flights you book anyway, and I use the points earned to confirm upgrades on flights where I don’t think my complimentary upgrade would otherwise clear. I really like this program.

Business Extra helps me lock in upgrades on domestic flights

Transparency

While I have my fair share of criticism for American’s management, I do have to give them credit for being incredibly transparent, at least compared to Delta and United. This applies in many ways:

  • When American makes changes they typically provide advance notice of them, which is something I appreciate
  • As of now AAdvantage is the only one of the “big three” US programs to still have award charts
  • I find that when I make a media request with the airline, American is the most likely to give me an honest answer (even if it’s not in their favor), rather than trying to sugar-coat or avoid answering
  • In their employee intranet, American generally overshares with employees

Aspects of partner award tickets

While I no longer think AAdvantage on the whole is a competitive advantage, there are two aspects of partner airline award redemptions that I love about American:

  • Unlike Delta and United, American continues to publish award costs on partner airlines
  • The ability to redeem American miles on Etihad and Qatar in business class represents a spectacular value, and also really sets American apart

Aside from that I think award redemption values through American are just “meh.”

I love redeeming AAdvantage miles for Qatar Airways Qsuites

International planes on domestic flights

More so than at Delta and United, American operates a good number of internationally configured planes on domestic flights, meaning you can score a flat bed even in markets that aren’t typically considered “premium” markets.

For example, I live in Miami, and looking at the schedule for tomorrow:

  • All six flights between Miami and New York JFK are operated with internationally configured planes
  • One out of eight flights between Miami and Los Angeles is operated with an internationally configured plane
  • Five out of ten flights between Miami and Dallas are operated with internationally configured planes
  • Five out of six flights between Miami and Philadelphia are operated with internationally configured planes

I frequently fly American’s 767 business class between Miami and New York

Bottom line

I think it’s only fair that I point out some of the things that I think American is doing well. Frankly I’m pretty happy when I’m on an American flight that’s on time and has high speed wifi. Unfortunately the former is something that has been a real challenge for me.

I’m curious to hear what you guys think — what do you think American Airlines does well?

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Comments
  1. Basically, American seems to excel in terms of the premium international experience and the premium transcon experience, terms of hard product (seats and lounges). I agree with this. American’s 777 and A321 Sharklets are fun to fly on, and the Flagship Lounges are nice, especially at JFK and LAX.

  2. Great write-up. One quick thing – “All six flights between Miami and New York are operated with internationally configured planes.” Fairly certain you mean all six flights between Miami and JFK, not “Miami and New York.”

    You hit on the head why I remain an American loyalist, despite it feeling at times like an abusive relationship.

  3. I think you should clarify New York being JFK, since they also fly to LaGuardia but on domestic planes (mostly 737’s)

  4. These are some remaining reasons why quite a few are still CK/EP. Although most of the credit belongs to LAA till Mr. Horton. What has LUS done positively?

  5. Lucky,

    Are American eventually getting rid of their international FIRST, or is it on their newer aircraft too?

    It looks very nice product, and although they are a big airline with lots of premium passengers, with so many airlines removing their first wondering if I should try it soon.

  6. Just received an email from BA saying that their partner award flight rates are changing, but they gave no details. Got any info on this, Lucky?

  7. @JP in Chicago. Totally correct and completely agree.
    If you are in the right sweet spot- AA works super well.
    During a hurricane, I can bank on AA to get me out of town in 5 minutes. That is a great insurance you don’t need in Chicago but we do here in Miami.
    @Lucky- thanks for this post.

  8. And can’t forget MIA-PHL on that last point you made. Sure, it’s almost always the crummy 767, but I’ve had a very good upgrade success rate (as a lowly Gold) on the 2-3 daily 767 frequencies. There’s also always tons of award availability on those domestic wide body flights, which can be great value for a last second Avios redemption (unless the changes I mentioned above are disastrous)

  9. @ Dennison — You need to be flying American first class to use it (if you’re using based on the class of service), as other oneworld first class won’t qualify, as far as I know.

  10. @ Aniron — Nope, just their 777-300ER planes have international first class. Those planes should keep the product, but no new planes are getting it either.

  11. To me a thing they do well is working with numerous credit card partners – Chase if you count using Avios, Barclays and Citi is a huge advantage that allows more points bonuses and options for cards. I do wish they would allow Avios to book more than just anytime awards, just charge more. But’s it’s still good to have 3 options to get points in that way.

  12. @ JL100 — Great point, though at the same time they’re the only one of the “big three” US carrier programs that doesn’t belong to a transferrable points currency.

  13. Flying outta DFW for 20 years, I didn’t pick my parents or my airline
    Yes, there are many that are good with AA but of late, the miles don’t go far.
    Seems like I can only redeem AA miles on OneWorld only if a leg is on AA ie i cannot do DFW-DOH-BLR on Qatar using AA miles and the options to redeem flying international seem very limited
    I always liked their phone support

  14. I only fly american. Sometimes I fly nonrev d3, but even when I can’t fly standby I still go with them. I earn thousands every month on the AAdvantage card. I have been able to get last minute rewards tickets for only 30,000 miles on the SAME DAY. I love the service. All the FAs are great, except the old ladies from TWA and the other airlines that AA absorbed. They work the minimum just to keep their flight privileges. God help them in an emergency, I don’t think they can throw that emergency door out the window. The food in first class is first class. I don’t mind the sandwiches in main cabin but my only complaint is sometimes there is no food offered for sale on LAX-JFK or LAX-MIAMI. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, I don’t know why?

  15. Hi Ben,

    I basically agree with your assessment of American: I would even say, that in terms of the mileage cost, and availability of business class tickets American in, my view, beats hands down every major airline in the world (not to mention that American, like Delta and United, doesn’t charge any award redemption fees, although Delta has a redemption award charge for one way flights originated overseas.) Unfortunately, unlike United, American passes their partners redemption fees.

    Also, I find their new Flagship lounges–not Admiral’s– to be quite exceptional (I experienced one in Chicago, and another in Miami).

    I sincerely hope American will not follow suite of Delta and now United and will also introduce so called “dynamic” scales of award ticket redemption, which is in my view, just a way to robe their loyal customers their hard-earned miles.

  16. Are you taking into account the business class seats that rock very badly when your neighbor moves?

  17. The one issue I wish they would simply address is the boarding process.
    CK members can barely get thru the throng of people massed at the front.
    Group 1 can barely make it to the line before they immediately say “We are now boarding Groups 1, 2 and 3).

  18. you forgot to list #12 :

    No one comes with lame excuses better than AA for cancellation of TLV service and brainwashing their employees to parrot the talking points online despite DL and UA continuously doing mass expansion of TLV service.

    Of course, the dumber than rock employees also parrot the point about how PHL is all connections, and conveniently neglect that AA, unique among US3, has hubs at literally every single one of the largest destinations of both business and leisure demand from TLV – JFK MIA LAX ORD,…

    all while AA thinks everyone else is at the same level of intelligence as their employee base who actually believe they couldn’t make it work financially from any hub instead of the true reason that management , out of fear of shareholder lawsuits of breaches of fiduciary duty or broader accusations of malfeasance, completely refuse to even acknowledge that outstanding judgements having proper standing.

    They can keep hiding all they want while DL and UA laughs all the way to the bank.

  19. Tough pill on the Avios deval. I imagine they’re not going to have two different distance charts – must be going to Zones.

  20. @ David — I obviously don’t love those, but I’d still choose them over Delta’s 767 seats.

  21. It seems like American is pretty good for their premium services, but maybe not so much for domestic economy class.

    These are the reasons I dislike American the most and try to avoid flying them (disclaimer: I am based in SFO so United/Alaska/Southwest tend to offer better schedules anyways).

    1. Rolling delays. United and Alaska, when delayed, announce a delay early on and generally stick to it. United actually gives you a lot of information too about why the flight was delayed.
    2. Pre-merger US Airways domestic aircraft. Been a while since I’ve been on those, but on all of the ones I’ve been on, there is no power and they always seem like they’re falling apart inside (broken armrests, seats that are splitting, etc.).
    3. I haven’t found myself on an Oasis plane yet, but things are definitely getting tighter at the back of the plane.

  22. Ben,

    I just wanted to leave one more comment for people who are “enamored” with Delta: I live in Atlanta, where Delta has its headquarters. It basically monopolizes international travel out of Atlanta–even our local newspaper lament the lack of international competition at our airport. (For years, it has had sweet-heart” deals with the city of Atlanta that manages the airport, basically preventing other airlines–with a few exception– from launching direct flights overseas out Atlanta).

    You live in Miami, and I did a little comparison of how many international airlines fly out of your city versus of Atlanta. It turns our that you have 29 international airlines, we have in Atlanta only 13!

    Besides, it’s such as sneaking, conniving airline in terms of their award travel: just within last year, they–using that pathetic “dynamic system– basically surreptitiously increased their mileage requirement for one way business class ticket from Atlanta to Europe from 75,000 miles to 86,000 and now 105,000 miles!

    It beats me how could anyone could call Delta the best American airline?!

  23. As Ben said, every airline has its own problems but at least American doesn’t try to cheat on you, as Delta does–and probably United will, after Nov. 15, 19…

  24. I really appreciate this post. They definitely do some things well and this is it. The wide bodies on domestic is huge for me. I fly from tpa and route via Mia all the time. I’m flying the 772 Friday actually. That’s a huge plus even for a quick 3 hour flight! And their lounges are good in spite of little food in ACs. Their flagship lounges are great.

    Worth noting they have contracts now with BA / CX for Flagship First Dining so that makes it a justified use of space (MIA and JFK)

  25. Delta started upgrades on its transcons as of April 1, 2018. So it is only United that doesn’t offer this perk.

  26. @ Sean — I’d choose to fly JetBlue Mint over anything else. My point is that they have the best product of the “big three,” and they also offer the best transcon ground experience, which is an area where JetBlue really lags.

  27. HenryLAX needlessly and off-topically rises to the defense of UA again!

    Such blatant conflict of interest trolling…

  28. AA has a clear identity crisis. Domestically they’re lowering quality and standards to match the LCCs.

    Internationally they’ve got a solid fleet minus the rocking seats.

    They should mimic the solid part of their international fleet with the domestic side so there’s a true solid product offering across the board.

  29. One thing I will say about your comment with DL’s 777’s not reconfigured to the New Delta One Suites, is that actually all 8 777ER’s have completed the mod, and 4/10 777LR’s have completed the mod. So maybe a little more than you think. The rest 6 LR’s are expected to complete the mod by October

  30. Spot on! As a 6-year CK, I would add the CK program, which is fantastic! As a 20-year Miamian, I would add AA as the perfect Hurricane evacuation partner…during the last hurricane, they evacuated locals for $99 on any available flight in coach and $150 in first. And our pets flew free in the cabin (as an aside, there were 35 dogs in the cabin on my 777 to DFW, and not a single fight…2 humans did have a conflict onboard however). Now, all that said, my relationship with AA is strained on a weekly, if not daily, basis…you know all the reasons so no need to rehash. No doubt, I would switch airlines if at all possible. There’s simply none better on the domestic routes I fly out of Miami.

  31. The first six reasons you list are heavily weighted advantages and the reason I remain an EXP. I also think the A330 business class seats are excellent. AA has invested in their wide body aircraft and have the most consistently best J product among the US3 for international flights.
    The DL1 Suite is very nice but unfortunately only the CDG route works for my business travel. The DL 767 J product is bad and there are way too many of those klunkers in use. And finally, we will all be on Social Security when UA finishes it’s rollout of Polaris. Kudos to AA.

  32. CKJeffMIAMI- They offered those Irma fares only after 2 or 3 other airlines had announced their own discounts. AA had no issue charging me $750 for MIA-BNA-LGA (I needed to get to PHL) after JetBlue had already announced $99 fares from FLL. I was in tears on the phone and they had zero sympathy. In AA’s defense, following the storm I complained to the high heavens and they refunded me the full cost.

    One final thing re: them being the “best” for hurricane evacuations out of Miami: I’ve found that they are the WORST option to choose. The amount of employees who either did not notify/show up to work the Irma evacuation flights was through the ceiling. AA cancellations were rampant. Although they may offer a greater volume of evacuation flights, I think booking with a non-MIA/FLL hubbed carrier is the best idea. Their crews are more likely to not be based in the path of the storm (and thus more likely to be working, not running for their lives like we all were).

  33. “I continue to largely fly them when convenient given that I’m based in Miami, so options are fairly limited.”

    4 words for you:

    JetBlue out of FLL.

  34. Domestic first class desserts on lunch flights of approximately 4 to 5 hours. LAX – ORD, for example. The evening ice cream sundaes aren’t bad either. Also, American beats Delta on first class meal service on flights around 900 miles and on late night longer flights.

  35. “Aspects of partner award tickets” – also (as of now at least, and for many years) AA has kept partner pricing in line w/own metal pricing (though of course that will change).

    Different from UA which has charged ~15-20% more miles for partners for years now.

  36. I almost exclusively fly AA. I started flying them because I lived in Dallas 25 years ago, and I fly them now because I am lifetime Platinum, even though I live in San Francisco. I have seen a lot of change over 25 years of flying (and almost 2.9M Million Miler). At this point, I am pot committed to my airline… but I fly other airlines if I can get a better direct flight, e.g., Las Vegas, Portland, Vancouver.

    Admirals clubs are still meh. I carry the Citi AAdvantage Credit Card so I can get in, but I also carry the Amex Platinum. If SFO Terminals 2&3 were connected in SFO, I might get rid of the Citi Card because the Admirals Club has always been subpar, and I love the Centurion Lounges. At least they are finally starting to offer free well drinks – which you could get the the Crown Room and Presidents Club as far as I can remember. Notwithstanding the Flagship lounges, Admirals Club has always been a head scratcher.

    Maybe I don’t have the patience, but the AAdvantage program seems pretty bad these days. It is really hard to use awards other than the AAnytime. $15k EQD’s for EP this year… ugh. Systemwide Upgrades are almost pointless, especially compared to the previous eVIP awards. I want to go business class to South America 9 months from now, and I can’t get a MileSAAver and SWU isn’t available… so I will likely drain the account for an AAnytime Award.

    American has frustrated me with inconsistent application of upgrade rules at the gate. On the same day, I had two different set of rules applied (ie, I was #1 for an upgrade, and they gave it to someone else even though they got there late). My spouse and I always seem to get split on the board, and no one can really explain why. First world problems, but I miss the good ole days when most of this stuff was cleared ahead of time.

    Maybe I am getting larger, but the plane bathrooms sure feel like their are getting smaller on the new planes. Perhaps I should blame Boeing?

    Flight attendants continue to seem unhappy working at American. It sucks for them, but it also sucks for us, because you can generally see it in their service. I don’t think they mean it, but you can just tell when someone likes their job and wants to do it well.

    I like the OneWorld Alliance. I find British Airways and Cathay Pacific to be great alliance members, but I suspect StarAlliance might have better flying options. I don’t fly much to South America, but I find that American covers my bases there. As you mentioned, access to alliance lounges is really nice… and that Quantas lounge in Hong Kong is something special…I haven’t even visited the Centurion Lounge there, which is my normal go to. It does seem that being OneWorld Emerald is better than being Executive Platinum, if you know what I mean.

    Probably enough ranting…

  37. Ordering regular meals before flight is another thing AA does very well. Surprisingly DL didn’t even offer that service until recently except Asian dishes in business. AA does warm nuts (no 7th grade jokes please) great, too. DL has copied but not equaled AA on this.

    I agree about business-class seats. Many bloggers raved about the D1 suite initially. Slapping a door on a business class seat doesn’t make it a suite. The D1 suite looks great but feels cramped.

  38. I’m just in low level shock that my favorite travel blogger had nice things to say about American. Although you didn’t mention they serve your favorite drink in flagship dining 🙂

  39. I am a NYC based AA/OW Exec Plat … I fly to LHR a lot and, typically, AA/OW can get me there. I had to go to JAC and the AA connections were lousy … so I flew DL thru SLC and, I have to say, I understand why DL has the reputation they have. Super professional, super polite ground and air staff. Granted weather conditions were perfect but I am really over AA’s operational problems and the ongoing withdrawal from NYC.

  40. I’m hub captive at DFW and frequently frustrated. And yet, I’m at the Admirals Club in Chicago eating a decent soup, roasted vegetable salad, nice coffee, all of which I accessed using my AAdvantage Executive Card. While my lowly Platinum status didn’t get me in First on my flight here from DFW this morning (was 47 on the upgrade list of 74) and it’s unlikely to get me upgraded on the way home tonight (10 of 26), I was able to snag Premium Economy seats in the 787-8 and 787-9, upon booking, because domestically they are main cabin extra. I’ll no doubt enjoy the complimentary Woodford Reserve on the way home too.

    For the most part, the employees I interact with are good – sometimes great (I’m thinking of the FAs on a recent flight to LGA who thanked me by name for being a Platinum while I was in coach).

    As a hub captive, my options aren’t all that great. Southwest ain’t what it used to be. They’re no cheaper and the operations, which used to be rock solid, haven’t been great for a few years. Frequency out of Love is typically less than what AA offers to most cities too. Because I have even low level status on AA, I can move, typically with little or no cost.

    So while the silver birds aren’t exactly silver anymore, there have been some perplexing management decisions, and disgruntled employees seem more prevalent than at Delta, I’m fine. I guess my real frustration was that they were “going for great” and I believed they could get there. Management decided that fine was good enough.

  41. 305-to each their own, I certainly respect that. But for me and the 280 other folks and 36 dogs on that 777, we were pretty pleased. Jet Blue isn’t for me…hate those little airbuses. I try to stay off of them on AA longer routes too. Glad AA refunded you!

  42. Living in Chicago, I usually split my business/loyalty 40% United, 40% AA, and 10% each to Southwest and Delta. Not intentionally but I just don’t fly enough to earn meaningful status on any airline. AA gold status isn’t worth an extra $1,000 a year in paid airfare. That being said, I’ve found the AA crews out of ORD and DFW to be consistently solid, certainly better than many UA crew and up there with Delta.

    I recently took advantage of a crazy fare sale on AA’s new MUC route via CLT and – wow – the legacy USAir crews were pathetic. I felt like AA/US/Piedmont/whoever must have conducted recruiting events at North Carolina trailer parks. A r/t flight from ORD-CLT-MUC for just $318 was too good to pass up so I flew in economy (keeps ya grounded, right?) and the lack of professionalism was astonishing. The FAs had no clue how to put together the meals, argued with me over MCE seats getting free cocktails, screamed at people for not shutting their blinds, and actually told my partner “I’m gonna make this a big glass of wine so ya’ll go so sleep sooner”. And it wasn’t a joke.

    Legacy AA was a great airline. Dougie P and his US/HP baggage has done nothing but ruin a great organization.

  43. @—I agree with your takeaway. Just about everything given here is for the premium/elite passenger, which I suppose the writer and many of his readers are. Lucky could add “for premium passengers” to the headline, and hardly miss a beat. In the back AA is bad, and I’m anticipating the fact they still have award charts is a temporary thing until they figure out exactly how they’ll copycat Delta (and now United)

  44. I’ll add their pre-ordering system for meals, which is available for both F and Y buy-on-board, too. I finally had a chance to try it this weekend and it worked great; my pre-order sold out several rows ahead of me but the FA saw my order on her tablet and saved one for me. Though this episode also shows what makes AA so frustrating these days. For every genuine enhancement like the meal pre-ordering system, there’s Dougie’s “enhancements” like the Oasis interiors and their increasingly poor reliability.

  45. Great assessment, I also love american airlines. Been EP for a few years now and have not looked back after flying delta for years. By far, AA has the overall best premium product out there domestically.

  46. I know that you are mostly concerned with business travel (as evidenced by the article), but are there any good things about AA when travelling coach? Not many it seems.

  47. I’ve flying not as much as some of you, mostly because I live in South America, but mostly use AA for my flights to the US. But last saturday Flight 927 to GYE was a complete DISASTER, not for the pilot’s Intelligent decision of returning to Miami for security, after a flaps problem (what Captain told us), but for the maltreatment AA made to the passengers after the failed flight. Eventhough AA was aware of the plane problem at least from 2 hours of anticipation, they keep us more than 3 hours waiting at the airport for the first sign of hotel and shuttles so we could wait for the next flight the following day, complete disorder. When waiting for the shuttle, finally the shuttle and the hotel told us the hotel was full. Retun to airport, again waiting for a solution. Finally a hotel and a shutle, got at the hotel at 1:30 am. Next fight was 9:30 am same day. Finally arrived to GYE, but NOWBODY from AA, our bags were downloaded from the plain nearly 2 hours later from the arrival. The good side, well, finally arrived. The rest is histroy and 15000 AADvantage miles to forget this episode.

  48. Finally a little something positive about AA. Often when reading all the complaints about AA I think I must be flying a different airline than everyone else. This write up and the comments make me realize, I am!

    JFK-based frequent flyer, most of my travel is London, transcon and long haul Asia. That means AA’s network and schedule work for me. International lounges and seats aren’t #1 but they’re really quite good, have improved a lot over the past few years and (most importantly) are really quite consistent). The real seller though is I think OW is by far the best alliance (especially focusing on premium travel). JL, CX, QF and QR are among the best out there and I use them a lot. Never had a major issue using my SWUs and I’m realizing it’s because J to F is probably a lot easier to use than Y to J. I even use BA fairly frequently because sometimes the schedule between JFK and LHR suits better – I’m actually a bit pissed off at Ben for sharing the secret of the 747 upper deck!

    Realize I’m quite lucky in terms of my travel needs and abilities, but it’s refreshing to see/hear something positive about AA – which is much more my experience with them.

  49. I like purchasing basic economy and then getting group 5 boarding with the citi aadvantage card. They don’t Police your carryons and there’s always bin space available.

  50. Only a third of Delta’s entire 777 fleet still have the old terrible herringbone seats – they got 12 already flying with the new Suites.

    However I agree with you that Delta’s overall international business class hard product lags behind AA… with the tiny Vantage seats on all international 767s. They’re getting A330neos this year though to replace 767s on long haul TPAC flying out of Seattle, so that’s a start.

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