American Airlines » Coach (short haul) » User reviews
Class rating 4.3
- Boarding 6.0
- Seat for sitting 3.9
- Seat for sleeping 0.5
- Service 4.0
- Entertainment 0.9
- Food & drink 3.1
- Punctuality 4.6
- Baggage 4.6
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American's service was awful. My UA flight connecting in IAH was cancelled, so thew rebooked me on American. The boarding was short, but very unprofessional. The seats were in a 2-3 layout and covered with cheap cloth. The flight had no IFE whatsoever. There was no food or drink served at all on the flight. I will give extra points for arrival, however, because it was early. I did not have a checked bag, so I can not rate the baggage service
I flew AA584 from SFO to LAX in economy on the cheapest available seat. The flight was overbooked and there were about 10 people on standby with another 5 listed for upgrade (although there was fat chance of that happening). I am not aware of anyone having been bumped off this flight (compared with the LAX-SFO route where one person was bumped).
I had luggage to check in so had to pay an extra $25 to do so (which I was aware of and prepared for). I'd checked in the night before using the on-line facility. Having used it before I found it a lot easier the second time and knew what to expect when I got into the airport for check-in.
I paid the $50 to use the Admiral's Club, which was comfortable and had a range of drinks and snacks available on demand. Good view of the airside part of SFO airport and I enjoyed watching the planes take off. However I'm not sure whether I'd pay again given that SFO airport was very impressive in terms of the design and comfort - a lot of shops, restaurants offering a range of cuisine (I used a very good Japanese place near the gate for some noodle soup) and plenty of seating in the gate areas.
Flight push back was delayed by 40 minutes owing to the fact that the crew were coming in on a flight that had been delayed. There wasn't a whole lot of information about this and the ground staff didn't really seem to know what was going on. At first it actually seemed as if we were going to board on time because TSA officials were there to do an extra pre-boarding security check, but they then moved off when it was obvious we weren't going anywhere.
When boarding did start for the flight it was fairly efficient - the staff did enforce the boarding group numbers and the priority restrictions for first/AA frequent flyers. Because it was a full flight there wasn't a lot of room in the overhead lockers and they were asking for volunteers to check their baggage for free. My personal view is that they need to do something about their hand luggage size allocation because it was ridiculous to see people come on with small suitcases and big bags that took up all the space.
Flight itself was fine. It's a drinks service only so no snacks and the crew did so efficiently if without any real warmth or friendliness. Flight lasted for 1 hour 10 minutes so there's no in-flight entertainment beyond their on-board magazine but I'd brought a book with me so was prepared.
Seat pitch in economy is a bit of a squeeze. I'm only 5' 4" so it was okay for me but if you're much taller than that then I think it would be too cramped to bear for any length of time.
Disembarking at LAX was smooth and the only problems were due to LAX's poor design and lack of signage, which meant a bit of a trek to get to the baggage reclaim area (and given its proximity to the exterior of the airport, I was a bit concerned about security). Our baggage came out at the same time as a flight arrived from Chicago so there was a lot of confusion as to which bags were coming out first. Not sure if this was due to AA or LAX (I suspect the latter) but the situation was made more confusing by the lack of any information coming from the AA ground staff.
All in all, it was an okay flight - equivalent to flying on one of the better European budget airlines. I'd definitely use AA for internal flights in the US in future.
I took an AA economy flight from LAX to SFO. I'd bought the cheapest economy ticket available via the AA site on the understanding that if the flight was oversold, then I'd be one of the first people bumped off. This is made very clear on the AA website when you book, but there were a couple of people who were warned at the gate that they were going to be bumped and who were not happy about it (which I'll talk about more below).
AA does have flexible economy tickets on its site, which are a couple of hundred quid more but I found out afterwards that you can get a better deal on those if you go through a travel website like expedia, so it's worth taking a look around first.
I used AA's on-line facility to check in 24 hours earlier, pre-selecting seat 27C and printing out my boarding pass. The system was very straightforward to use. I had 1 suitcase to check-in, which the on-line system will tell you to do once you arrive at the airport. Consequently, I was feeling quite smug when I arrived at the AA terminal at LAX to find a madhouse.
AA has gone to automated check-in systems with only 1 desk being manned. There were a lot of people trying to check in to different flights (including some checking into international sites). AA ground crew were around to help but they weren't proactive in coming up to you if you looked confused and although they were courteous, they did not go out of their way to help you through the process.
The check-in screens were pretty simple to use and give you a number of language options to choose from. I'd thought that I'd be allowed to go straight-through to bag check in but instead found myself having to go through the whole seat boarding selection again, this time selecting seat 22D as it would not recognise my previous selection. In addition to giving you the option of checking in a bag (which costs $25 per case with additional charges if your bag is overweight), you can also pay extra for the following:
- to be in the first boarding group at a cost of about $20 (I was in group 2 and knew that I would be at the back of the plane so didn't bother);
- to get an exit row seat for about $15 (these seem to be seats closer to the front of the plane and again, having selected an aisle seat already, I didn't bother); and
- to access AA's Admiral's Club lounge for $50 (which I did take up because I'd arrived early and needed to check my email for an emergency work thing that had come through).
Payment is by credit card only. The machine then printed out the new boarding pass, a receipt for the suitcase check-in payment and the Admiral's Club receipt and ticket for access.
Having gone through all these hoops though, there was no information on where to go or what to do with the suitcase I needed to check in. I ended up having to stop a member of the ground crew who explained that at the rear end of the self-check-in terminals was another member of staff who would print out the luggage tags and see that the case was put on the plane. I've got to say that I found this all to be quite confusing and it would have really helped had AA just invested in a couple of straightforward signs explaining what the process is so that you know exactly what you're doing.
Once the suitcase was dropped off I went through TSA security. Having gone through security checks before I was familiar with the drill (note that unlike the UK, the US requires you to take your shoes off and go through a body scanner) but there were a lot of passengers who didn't know what to do and again, there were no signs anywhere explaining the process. Some passengers were taken off to one side for additional pat-downs and female TSA agents were available on request for those female passengers who'd been selected for the additional security.
Once through TSA, I went up to the Admiral's Lounge. The lounge itself was comfortable, there were plenty of computer terminals if you wanted to work, showers and plenty of chairs and tables. There was a bar that did food for an additional cost but tea, coffee, water and juice was available for free and they also had a selection of free bar snacks and cookies if you wanted something to nibble on. Having paid for lounge access, I had a voucher entitling me to a free beverage so I got a beer. The main advantage of using the lounge is that it's a hell of a lot quieter than the terminal so you don't have to worry about screaming kids.
The massive disadvantage of the lounge (which I found out almost to my cost) was that the computer screens supposedly telling you the status of your flight, are not up to date. Consequently although I knew that my flight had been delayed by 45 minutes, there was no information at all on when it was going to start boarding and nor do the people at the desk give out audio notices of gate updates or departure statuses. I only worked it out when I noticed that none of the other flights departing that day had boarding updates (not even final boarding updates). Fortunately I figured it out before my flight left and managed to race down to the gate where I found that boarding was already well under way and I was the last person in line.
I was told that there was a problem with my ticket and that I needed to speak to a different member of staff who had apparently made several announcements asking me to go to the desk. I apologised and explained that I had been in the AA lounge and had not been aware the flight was boarding, to be told curtly in return that it was my responsibility to get to the gate on time. I can't argue with that principle but it still hacked me off that AA's boards weren't displaying the right information, which is what made me late.
The problem with my seat turned out to be because the system had tried to put me into 2 different seats (the one I'd chosen on-line 24 hours previously and the one I'd selected on checking in the bag). Again, I was told that this my fault and that I should have selected the same seat. I did try to explain that the system would not let me do that but the AA ground crew member wasn't interested in hearing it and given that he was also in the process of trying to bump off 3 other people, I didn't want to argue too much.
Of the 3 people threatened with being bumped off, 2 were eventually allowed onto the flight - from what I gathered, I hadn't been the only person assigned 2 seats so there was more space available than the ground crew had thought. The third person never made it onto the plane for reasons that were not clear to me. All 3 though had bought the cheapest economy seats and they were told by AA crew that this was why they had been selected for bumping.
I was allowed onto the flight, which was packed. 22D was an aisle seat, which gave me a bit more leg room. Note that because the carry-on luggage at AA is quite generous in terms of size and quantity, the overhead bins get filled up really quickly. On this flight all of the bins were full by the time I'd boarded and some passengers were being told that if their luggage didn't fit under a seat (which mine did), then it would be checked into the hold for free.
The flight itself pushed back 45 minutes later than billed. No explanation was given for the delay by the crew, but I suspect this is because SFO is notorious for weather problems and AA only flies one shuttle service between the routes so if the service is delayed earlier in the day, then it has a knock-on effect for the rest of the schedule.
Cabin crew were polite and efficient but not warm and welcoming. The overhead monitors didn't work for the safety video so the crew had to do the demonstrations by hand, which did not seem to please them. I was quite shocked that they didn't bother doing the bit where they were supposed to show you the nearest emergency exits.
After take-off, the cabin crew did a drinks run. Soft drinks were free, but I wasn't sure if they were charging for alcoholic drinks. There were no snacks available. There's also no in-flight entertainment beyond the AA in-flight magazine but to be honest, the flight only lasts about an hour or so, so it wasn't something that bothered me.
The crew did a rubbish collection before landing but kept missing my row so I had to stop one to collect my empty drinks can.
Landing was smooth and disembarking was really easy because on a domestic flight there's no immigration or customs checks to clear. There was a 5 minute wait for checked in luggage to be unloaded onto the carousel but my suitcase was one of the first out and I was out of the airport and in a cab to my hotel within another 5 minutes.
The cheap price of my ticket meant that I was prepared for a bog-standard service and that's what I got. Having gone through the check-in process once, I'm more prepared now for doing it again but it is needlessly confusing in my opinion.
I would pay for access to the Admiral's Club again, but again, having experienced the c****y information service I now know that I can't rely on it to tell me when boarding has started.
We flew from Las Vegas to New Orleans via Dallas F.W. Check in at L.V. was very busy but efficient using the kiosks and bag drop. We expected a baggage charge of $25 per bag but this was not levied!
Boarding was orderley but I cant understand why they dont board rear seats first. We had 25A andB, which we had booked on line FOC.
The seats were comfortable with plenty of leg room. A complimentary soft drink was offered by the freindly crew. Transfer at DFW was made easy by the captain informing us of the gate number for our on going flight before we reached DFW. The flight to New Orleans was punctual and we had the same seats as on the first leg.
We landed 15 minutes early and our luggage was on the carousel before we got there. A very satisfactory experience despite the age of the aircraft. I had expected a noisy flight but this was not so.
The flight was from charlotte to seattle via dallas fort-worth at seat 32D
Noisy because of engines RIGHT infront of lavatories. Crowded flight. The only good thing was the crew good mannered and friendly. American airlines is ok but when you are stuck in the very last seat of an MD-80 I would not accept it.
I have flown BOS to LHR several times recently on AA. The plane type was a 757 set up for domestic travel. The seats were uncomfortable and the plane very crowded. The cabin crew let slip that this was terrible plane to be flying across the pond. Both for passengers and crews.
What's up with AA. Next time I will fly its competitors.
LAX – LAS, January 09. Check is at Los Angeles was quick. The lounge area has enough to entertain yourself for an hour or so. The seat was surprisingly roomy. The service was quick. The staff was rude and walked up and down the chewing gum.
LAS – JFK, January 09. Check in at McLaren was quick and easy. Embarkation was quick also. The aircraft are old, no personal seatback TV. Televisions are overhead and show one movie only. The seat was small and uncomfortable and I was disappointed with the refreshments service. You get one drink for rest and pay for the rest and food. The toilets were in need of a good clean as well.