My new AA Experience as a UA flyer

 
Old Aug 6, 12, 9:57 am
  #1  
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Thumbs up My new AA Experience as a UA flyer

This weekend I flew AA (Eagle) home to Chicago for the Naperville Triathlon.
I haven't flown AA in 7 years since I've been over on Team UA for such a while. And of course, I've gotten tired of UA's games; ZERO trust of them to get me where I need to go, on time and drama free.

BDL-ORD on AA's ERDs....yeah it's a little jet, but I did enjoy that A-row all by myself.

Things on AA I enjoyed:
- No nonsense, no drama; check-in was easy and fast at BDL. The boarding passes are well laid out and easy to read making finding the imporant info very quick.

- Gate staff were fast, friendly and professional.
NO gate scrum at BDL or ORD (cuz Eagle jets are smaller?)

- We left right on time, something I have NOT done on UA since Jan. 2012. In fact, we arrived at ORD 30min early.

- Valet carry-on luggage was handled quickly and I was on my way. Checked luggage was out on the carousel in less than 10min.

- ORD back to BDL, we were delayed 40min. due to horrible weather where the aircraft was coming from.

- ORD T3! I really really enjoyed T3 over T1. T1 always seems congested with nowhere to sit and nowhere to eat. T3 was BUSY this weekend but it didn't feel packed or loud like T1. Lots of character to that terminal and I think a few nicer places to eat. Concourse G in the rotunda was pretty cool, got to hang out in the urban garden in seclusion before my flight on the 2nd floor (shhhh!!!! don't tell anyone it's up there)

- Interaction with the AA.com mobile site and app, I was able to manage my flight status and delay pretty easily.

- ORD skycap at T3, even though it required a Lincoln handshake, I was checked in with my bag checked in less than 5min. The line inside DID NOT MOVE.

- AA/Eagle terminals and gates and planes just seemed classier. The boarding passes were on nice card stock, and THEY CAME WITH BLUE AA ENVELOPES! I didn't know anyone still did that. (Is that why they're bankrupt?)

- Eagle on-board snacks: The snacks were only $4.00 and decently tasty. I had the cheese and crackers which came with crackers, "cheese product", shortbread cookie and Craisins. I was satisfied for my late night flight. Better sized and better priced than UA's snack boxes.

- Eagle in general. Even though I may be sanctioned to RJ flying on AA, I'm glad it's with Eagle. It's basically AA, and not "some 3rd party airline "dba" with another airline's name painted on their plane.

Thinks I Disliked about AA:
- The check-in line at ORD was quite old school. I needed to check my bag and the counter had just a few agents attending. No hybrid layout with computer screens. All staff/manaual. The check-in line did not move. Either their system is inefficent (UA point here) or people in front of me just had tons of issues. IDK, I left the line for sky cap.

- Priority AAccess did not allow me in, even though I have the P-AA access with the Citi credit card. A red coat told me that's only for Security and Boarding.
You know what? That's fine. Keep it that way. UA has destroyed the experience for Elites.......and I'm not Elite so no skin off my teeth. I'm just a credit card scrum.

IN SUMMARY:
I'm glad to be on AA now. It reminded me a lot of what the UA experience used to be back in 2011 and earlier. AA seems to run a nice, no-nonsense ship with most flights on time. The staff were all friendly and professional and I never felt like I was "bothering" any of them (like at UA as of late).
Hopefully they'll come back to good health and compete a little more at BDL. I'd love to get some mainline to Chicago from here. But....Eagle is nice for now.
I'm glad to be back on Team American

Last edited by JBEagle1000G; Aug 6, 12 at 9:57 am Reason: format
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Old Aug 6, 12, 10:03 am
  #2  
 
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I believe you're mistaken about AA check-in at ORD, or else I misunderstood. There are, in fact, banks of self check-in computers in T3. There are usually several rows of 6 screens with 1 agent at the end who does the actual weighing and tagging.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 10:45 am
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I wouldn't get used to saying AA and on-time in the same breath, but outside of that I don't have too many complaints with them.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by Zach1213 View Post
I believe you're mistaken about AA check-in at ORD, or else I misunderstood. There are, in fact, banks of self check-in computers in T3. There are usually several rows of 6 screens with 1 agent at the end who does the actual weighing and tagging.
Really? See i'm very new to their ways.
I saw those lines but I thought those were for "carry on baggage only."
Was I mistaken. If I need to check a bag can I use those kiosks as well?

Originally Posted by umaa83 View Post
I wouldn't get used to saying AA and on-time in the same breath, but outside of that I don't have too many complaints with them.
^^^ LOL! Ok.....
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Old Aug 6, 12, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by JBEagle1000G View Post
Really? See i'm very new to their ways.
I saw those lines but I thought those were for "carry on baggage only."
Was I mistaken. If I need to check a bag can I use those kiosks as well?

Immediately inside the doors, there are occasionally single or double computers for carry-on only. Past that, between the doors and the "normal" check-in counters, there are many banks of computers where you can check your bags (depending on where you are in the terminal and which door you go in). You'll check in on the monitors, the employee at the end of each row will tag/weigh your bag, and then you'll bring it over to a drop-off point where someone will put it on the belt.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 11:22 am
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As someone who switched over from UA to AA, I noticed the same things you did. I've found the experience far better than I remember when i flew AA 2 years ago. So far I much prefer the AA terminals compared to the UA terminals (DEN, ORD, LAX amongst others). The clubs are nicer and more importantly the people are nicer. 9 times out of 10, I am thanked for my business.

My last UA flight was 5/20 and I don't regret switching. The status match helped ease the pain
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Old Aug 6, 12, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by Zach1213 View Post
Immediately inside the doors, there are occasionally single or double computers for carry-on only. Past that, between the doors and the "normal" check-in counters, there are many banks of computers where you can check your bags (depending on where you are in the terminal and which door you go in). You'll check in on the monitors, the employee at the end of each row will tag/weigh your bag, and then you'll bring it over to a drop-off point where someone will put it on the belt.

Awesome! Thank you.
I'll pay closer attention next time I'm home. ^
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Old Aug 6, 12, 1:20 pm
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I think one point that you make that I can definitely agree with is the difference between T1 and T3 at ORD. T3 is still very busy but no overwhelmed like T1 especially with regards to dining as the T1 restaurants often have a long wait.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 4:28 pm
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The big question is will you move back to UA once the merger glitches have been fixed?
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Old Aug 6, 12, 4:33 pm
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Probably not...they'd have to fix A LOT. I don't even like the new polices or procedures.
The network IS very good....I'll give them that but AA's isn't bad....it's just kinda "Eagle Heavy."
AA would have to decline in service, come up with unfriendly policies and be at a cost disadvantage for me to jump ship again. Besides, I get better deals with their credit card than with my old UA card. Double miles on AA purchases, 25% discount on inflight purchases, 10 redeemed miles back, Priority AAccess security and boarding. 1st bag free.
All around I've found AA to just be a "classier" operation in general. UA used to be too, but they're just so .......... cheap and gimmicky now. IDK.
I'll be at AA for a while unless something really pushes me out.
It takes a lot to disgruntle me, for real.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 5:10 pm
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Hopefully Eagle will buy some E-jets making Eagle heavy a good thing.

AA is good but I find them a bit rough round the edges and not refined enough. So long as they cut costs that have an impact. What is the point of cutting to save $0.1 per plane and risk loosing customers. Ironically AA is the bankrupt airline and whilst I haven't travelled with them for just over a year they seem to have kept most people happy.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 8:25 pm
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Sorry, OP. I got hung up on "Naperville Triathlon" and then the lights started flickering and I smelled burning toast, and I couldn't read any further.

What was the upshot? You liked AA?
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Old Aug 6, 12, 8:29 pm
  #13  
brp
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Originally Posted by grumpymonkey View Post
Sorry, OP. I got hung up on "Naperville Triathlon" and then the lights started flickering and I smelled burning toast, and I couldn't read any further.

What was the upshot? You liked AA?
Yeah, I think that was the gist of it, when all the fluff was done.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 8:51 pm
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Nothing wrong with the fluff. Was a pleasant toilet read nonetheless.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:50 pm
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Originally Posted by AA-Flyer-SAN View Post
Nothing wrong with the fluff. Was a pleasant toilet read nonetheless.
Now your iPad is dirty!
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