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AA - the good, the bad, the ugly truth

Monday,  06/15/09  10:09 PM

This weekend I flew to Chicago to attend a conference - out Saturday morning, back last night - and may I just say for the record that American Airlines are horrible.  Not entirely bad, mind you, but overall ugly.

First, the good.

I needed to check in, so I did so online, and I saw (what's this?) the ability to receive a boarding pass on my phone!

Wow how cool is that?  So I did it, and poof!

You just show this on your phone, wave it under the barcode reader, and board the plane.  That's really cool.

Okay, now the bad.

Okay, so the flight was late - that happens - and okay, they had to switch planes - that happens - but how can you end up with no food and no blankets on a plane?  That does not happen.  That is bad.

And now for the ugly.

On the way back I had what must be the crummiest flight of all time.  Picture this: I'm in the "window" seat of the last row, window in quotes because all I can see though it is a jet engine three feet away (see "the view" at right).  In addition to blocking the view it is making as much noise as, well, a jet engine.  My seat does not recline of course, but the seat in front of me is broken and reclines too far, with the result that I have about six inches of arm room.  Seriously I cannot put my coke on the tray table the seat is reclined so far.  Using my laptop is fully out of the question and in fact there is barely room to type on my phone.  (Of course American doesn't have WiFi or power anyway.)  Did I mention they have no food?  Yeah, nothing.  Good thing I ate dinner in Chicago (forgettable steak).  Did I mention they have no wine aboard?  Yeah, only hard stuff (I had an unremarkable cab with dinner, but not nearly enough of it; vodka sounds tempting.)  There is turbulence, too much to sleep, and there is perfume from the rest room behind me.  Overall a "how did I get here" moment, not my best one :)

So that's all bad, but the ugly part was that the flight attendants were rude about it!  They were pretty much "hey it is what it is", no sorry, no gee we'll try to make it up to you, nothing.  So I spent four hours composing a blog post about how crappy American Airlines is in my head. 

And I will not fly American Airlines ever again.