American Airlines Still Sucks

Dear American Airlines: please stop sucking. I’m really, really tired of you people sucking. Seven years ago I complained about how much you sucked and guess what: you still suck!

This trip we were stuck for four hours in an aisle with no window. I don’t mean we didn’t have a window seat, I mean the plane physically had no window on our aisle, something we did not know was even possible on a 737. I’ve certainly never seen such a thing before, but just to prove it, here’s a photo:

An aisle with no window!

I was very puzzled about why our row didn’t have a window. When I pointed it out to the flight attendant she looked at it and said, “Oh. Huh! Weird.” And walked away.

Not to sound petty, but four hours in a cramped cabin with no window was pretty excrutiating for me. But more to the point, I was unhappy that we paid the same for our windowless seat as we would have if we’d had a window. Seems like if you’re stuck in cargo you should at least get a discount. Even worse, when we picked our seats, the online diagram made no mention of the fact that these were windowless seats. Seems like that might be some information you’d want to share with your customers.

I’m still not sure why we didn’t have a window. Maybe someone in the airline biz can explain it to me. Via Twitter I was told that there is a ventilation/air conditioning duct on this part of the plane so it’s not possible to have a window here. That’s fine, but you’d think they’d have the ability to tell people this ahead of time.

But when I complained through their customer relations department, I got a very bizarre email that blamed “the economic realities of our business” and “competition” and low-cost carriers like JetBlue:

I regret the seat you were assigned did not have a window in that row. Unfortunately, the economic realities of our business just won’t allow us to make drastic cabin changes with regard to seating. Because of competition between all airlines, we must use each airplane as efficiently as possible. As low-cost carriers and other major airlines make use of all available space aboard their planes, we must be competitive and do the same.

OH. So in other words, I might as well fly a low-cost carrier because my experience is going to suck just as bad on American. Is that what you mean? Because that’s what you’re saying.

So, duly noted, folks. I’ll definitely keep that in mind for future air travel. After all, I have my own economic realities to take into consideration.

13 Comments

Filed under American Airlines, travel

13 responses to “American Airlines Still Sucks

  1. Shutter

    Here’s the deal: if you request a window seat you will be charged extra for it. And just to prove their point that non-window seats exist, they probably blocked off a window with that chintzy piece of plastic you were sitting next to.

    Never underestimate the craftiness of greedy assholes to wring every last penny from you.

    Now you should ask why they cut down the fresh air circulation. Not only can’t you look out the window, you’ve gotta breathe the germs of every sweaty fellow passenger and their kids.

    Greyhound is lookin’ better and better. Kinda tough to get to an island on the Hound though.

  2. I was done with American Airlines when they cancelled my flight to Vegas at the last minute, and I had to buy a last minute flight from Southwest. Before leaving I told them I would be taking the return flight still and not to cancel it, but they did it anyway, telling me if you miss the first leg of a round trip, it’s impossible to keep the return trip. It was supposed to be a free frequent flyer mile trip, instead I had to pay last minute fares both ways.

  3. So speaketh the captains of commerce.

    Here’s where I have a problem: I find these rubes to be so delighted with themselves for walking and chewing gum at the same time (ie making money, and ostensibly, to serve the customer), that too often if the government adds a wrinkle like ‘regulations’, they soil themselves in exasperation, because that hinders the free-market entrepreneur, although admittedly, they have NO business without the social infrastructure they’re whining about.

    Bottom line: cultivate good quality business talent. It’s why I advocated some years ago to the Premier of Ontario that the high school diploma should be reframed as an entrepreneurial diploma. Fortunately they picked up on it and began an aggressive “financial literacy” program across the whole educational system. Some times it’s possible to hit a nerve.

    • SiubhanDuinne

      That was you, was it? I spent many years as an employee of the Government of Canada in the United States as academic relations officer, advocating for U.S. students to study in Canada. The “financial literacy” concentration was quite the buzzword for a few years! Well done🙂

  4. SiubhanDuinne

    Last time I was on an airplane of any description was about seven years ago, and that was only because it was an overseas trip. On the North American continent, if I can’t drive there I ain’t goin’. I’m not afraid to fly, but the experience is so distasteful that I much prefer my own solitary company on the open highways.

  5. Martin Norred

    Just to get in on this party, kinda, cross country Amtrak is no piece of cake, either! To start with, Amtrak is ‘allowed’ to travel the rails belonging to the freight trains, so we spent much time on sidings waiting for clearance. Next, since no one using a CPAP machine ever needs their machine while sleeping,(HAH) I belatedly found out that the train stops in the middle of the night to change engineers. And when they do this, they shut the engine down (does make sense,sorta!) Of course with the engine shut down, they only run battery power to the night lights, so your CPAP plugged into the outlet shuts off! Makes for tough sleeping! If I know about something like this ahead of time, I am able to work around, but when I wake in the middle of the night, with no warning and no air, not exactly a happy camper! In other words, short trips maybe, but long trips for me are out of the question!

    • Katydid

      @Martin; I had to make a 500-mile-each-way trip not long ago, and looked into Amtrak. I was dismayed to find my train would leave at 3:45 am, I would be charged for my suitcase, the fare would be twice what an airline ticket would be, the train would take an hour longer than driving because of the layover in NYC, *and* I’d have to change trains in NYC. So I drove myself, which was cheaper than flying and faster than Amtrak. Trains *can* work–i spent a decade travelling frequently for work in Holland, Germany, and France. Mostly I wouldn’t even bother to rent a car because I could travel cheaper and easier on the trains. We could have that here in the USA, too. We just choose not to.

  6. It’s hard to figure out whether flying deregulated airlines falls under the heading of Dante’s fourth circle of hell, greed, or whether it constitutes the eighth circle of hell which is inhabited by fraudsters, con-men, tricksters and corrupt politicians. Either way, it has become such a miserable experience, that unless my destination is on another continent, I will drive, even if it takes five long days on the road. When I am forced to fly, it is always with a foreign flag carrier, though I avoid third world airlines, particularly from Asia who seem to have a reckless propensity to lose planes. Air New Zealand to London has always been a very pleasant experience with good food and a decent cup of proper British tea. Although nothing will ever replace the wonderful charter flights with Air Caledonia to the UK, hot towels, free single malt whiskey, gourmet food with finnan haddie or lorn and haggis for breakfast before arriving at Gatwick, instead of the endless chaos of Heathrow…oh and to be asked once again by the Caledonia steward “Gentlemen would you care to join us in the rear for Cuban cigars and a wee dram of an Islay single malt?” Those were the days indeed!

    • LOL. I remember the old days of flying, back in the 60s. I was just a kid, but I remember flight attendants (“stewardesses”) passing around plates with sticks of gum before take-off to help your eyes adjust to cabin pressure. I remember all the kids getting little pins with wings on them. It wasn’t the fucking cattle car it is now.

  7. I used to enjoy flying. No more. If the travel requires flying and is impracticle to drive I don’t go. Period. Remember when the President tried to work up enthusiasm for high speed rail service in the U.S.? Our congress, of course, just told him to fuck off. High speed rail would be a great option to the airline conglomerate about right now.

  8. Okay, not really suitable to comment on this topic — though I love blogs that go away from politics for ‘people stuff’ .– since I have never driven, and haven’t even lived in a household containing a car for over sixty years, since neither of my mothers, nor my wife, drives/drove. (Claire, my ;other mother’ had a kid who drove, but she got married when I was 8, and that was the last time.)

    These days, since I am limited enough that most public transit is also impossible — can’t take the steps up to the subway, or take the risk of standing on a bus trip — I am limited to places a friend who serves also as a paid driver can take me, and times when he isn’t at his day job. (As a driver, he and his car could almost qualify for the first man-machine marriage.)

    But I still request you start a once-weekly open thread, for some of the rest of us to have a place to throw our own ingredients into the stew.

    And my first addition is not one that improves the taste — of the ‘meal’ or of the day. nut for the first time there is a poll (from SurveyUSA) that shows Trump beating Hillary, 45-40. (And those who are looking for the ‘great savior from Vermont’ should find comfort that his numbers are 44-40. Only Biden does better, losing by only 44-42.)

    I will refrain from my usual comments about the usefulness of talking to each other and preaching to the choir..