Bad First Class Experience - Contact AA or leave it?

 
Old Aug 5, 15, 9:13 am
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Thumbs down Bad First Class Experience - Contact AA or leave it?

Hey all, really conflicted as to whether I should say something or just leave it be.

I flew last night TPA>MIA>MSY with a companion on the same record. We were offered at check in to upgrade the MIA>MSY segment for $90 each. Headed home from a less than perfect vacation (beach trip ruined by record rains), we decided to splurge a bit and go for it.

On board, there was no PDB service. The attendants were all at the front having what seemed to be a comedy club based on the amount of laughter coming from the galley. The first class attendant even closed the door 5 minutes prior to departure and went through the safety video despite bags still being loaded. Shortly after playing this, they re-opened the door to let another passenger on, as well as to have some maintenance performed, which delayed us for approximately 20 minutes past the scheduled departure. Even during this, still no PDB. We also had to re-do the safety video because a new passenger joined and he played it too early.

Once in the air, the attendant took drink orders and served them once at 10,000ft. This was the first time I ever had to pour my own drink in F (No big deal to me, but never had this on AA before) while other passengers were given their drinks pre-poured. Shortly after passing drinks out, the snack basket came around. The purser passed out to the first 2 rows, and then handed the basket to another attendant to finish passing it. We were the only 2 seats that were not offered the basket. I saw her go back into the galley, thinking maybe they were restocking it, but after about 10 minutes, I had to ring my call button for them to come by and make it right.

Once on the ground in New Orleans, it took 45 minutes for our priority bags to come out. Normally, this station is very good for getting the priority bags out quick, but not tonight.

Overall, I am not too happy with what I received on this flight. I have had much better F experiences on shorter AA flights. What does everyone here think about this?

Note: We had 5E and 5F on a 737-800

Last edited by joepercussion1; Aug 5, 15 at 10:17 am Reason: Wrong seats quoted
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Old Aug 5, 15, 9:18 am
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The no PDB is a common occurrence on AA operated flights in my experience.

Not sure what you are looking for from AA but it is definitely something you could write in to customer care to let them know of your experience.

Living in South FL you indeed came at a bad time with all the rain we received the past week. We have been in a drought so it was needed. Sorry your beach experience got ruined by it.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 9:24 am
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I am not really looking for anything from AA. I would really like to let them know about this, as I am sure this is not standard service procedures for them. If a few miles were given, I wouldn't turn them down, but I am not expecting anything.

Of many F flights this year on AA and US, this is the first time I have not seen a PDB, so maybe I have been lucky.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by joepercussion1 View Post
..I am sure this is not standard service procedures for them...
Sadly these days it's becoming more and more standard.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by joepercussion1 View Post

Note: We had 5D and 5E on a 737-800
Does 5D exist on any of AA's 737s? I presume the OP was referring to the third-row left-hand side aisle, 5B.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 9:57 am
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Originally Posted by joepercussion1 View Post
I am not really looking for anything from AA. I would really like to let them know about this...
if it makes you feel better, then let them know. But I can promise you that AA is well aware of the situation. If they wanted to provide a better short-haul F product, they would invest in it. But as your situation indicated, people aren't wiling to pay for it (you got the last minute upgrade offer at check-in, which means that they couldn't sell it or even give it away to upgraders).

Lower your expectations and you'll be fine.

(also, on a 20 minute delay at the gate, there's nothing wrong with ringing the call button to ask for a drink - or just walk to the galley. It always works for me).
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Old Aug 5, 15, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by GullwingSL View Post
Does 5D exist on any of AA's 737s? I presume the OP was referring to the third-row left-hand side aisle, 5B.
Sorry, I meant 5E and 5F
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Old Aug 5, 15, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by cynicAAl View Post
if it makes you feel better, then let them know. But I can promise you that AA is well aware of the situation. If they wanted to provide a better short-haul F product, they would invest in it. But as your situation indicated, people aren't wiling to pay for it (you got the last minute upgrade offer at check-in, which means that they couldn't sell it or even give it away to upgraders).
Kind of a circular argument, no? People aren't willing to pay for a crappy product--it doesn't follow that people aren't willing to pay for a better product.

More to the point: PDB and more generally consistent service cost hardly anything. If AA sold one more first class seat on 10% of flights it would pay for the beverages, and being consistent in service standards doesn't come with any direct costs at all.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 10:40 am
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Bad First Class Experience - Contact AA or leave it?

Send a complaint in to AA, crAApy service shouldn't be ignored IMO. Most likely nothing will come of it but if they get enough complaints regarding the obvious degradation in service levels maybe something will eventually happen. Keep it short and impersonal and send it in!
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Old Aug 5, 15, 11:09 am
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The more we accept crAAppy service, the more we will get it.

We know AA responds to complaint volume, because they acted when 80% of their complaints were about the determination of in-flight meals and made improvements.

I think twisting these managers' tails could have an effect, but we're going to have to tell them (when it's good as when it's bad).

(When I let my EP/EXP lapse, with Platinum for life I'll put in my four annual segments but I'll be a completely free agent; whether it'll be AA or another airline will depend on whether current leadership gets its act together and establishes a corporate culture that values customers or not. This, IMO, will be particularly important as they bring the many changes due to AAdvantage I expect.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 11:21 am
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As others have said upthread, by not reporting this it makes it acceptable. Now there's nothing to say that reporting it will change anything, but at least you did what you could and the ball is in AA's court at that point.

Unfortunately service like this is all too common now. It's really unacceptable when there isn't even a meal service to prep for (not that that really should change anything). When the only offering you're providing is a beverage and a bag of chips, you should really focus on being able to do those well, I mean, how much effort goes in to pouring a drink?
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Old Aug 5, 15, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
As others have said upthread, by not reporting this it makes it acceptable. Now there's nothing to say that reporting it will change anything, but at least you did what you could and the ball is in AA's court at that point.

Unfortunately service like this is all too common now. It's really unacceptable when there isn't even a meal service to prep for (not that that really should change anything). When the only offering you're providing is a beverage and a bag of chips, you should really focus on being able to do those well, I mean, how much effort goes in to pouring a drink?
I would write to AA. I did this recently for segments between DFW-OGG-DFW. I had to write two, one for each segment. I did not ask nor receive compensation, but they did respond to one and said they would investigate.

I recommend giving as much details as possible to get their attention.

Last edited by ddistler; Aug 5, 15 at 12:09 pm Reason: spelling
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Old Aug 5, 15, 12:20 pm
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Thanks for all the insight. I just send them a message, so hopefully I get a response soon. I will report back with what they say.
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Old Aug 5, 15, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
The more we accept crAAppy service, the more we will get it.

We know AA responds to complaint volume, because they acted when 80% of their complaints were about the determination of in-flight meals and made improvements.

I think twisting these managers' tails could have an effect, but we're going to have to tell them (when it's good as when it's bad).

(When I let my EP/EXP lapse, with Platinum for life I'll put in my four annual segments but I'll be a completely free agent; whether it'll be AA or another airline will depend on whether current leadership gets its act together and establishes a corporate culture that values customers or not. This, IMO, will be particularly important as they bring the many changes due to AAdvantage I expect.
Could you please clarify this statement? Why do you feel the need to put in 4 segments per year? If this is a requirement of Platinum for Life, then it isn't really "for life", is it? I was not aware of any such requirement to retain this status, but would appreciate knowing if this is the case

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Old Aug 5, 15, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by joepercussion1 View Post
Once on the ground in New Orleans, it took 45 minutes for our priority bags to come out....Note: We had 5E and 5F on a 737-800
I'd complain about the bags, if you were in 1st class and it took 45 minutes to get them. For the other stuff before departure and in flight, that's so trivial, forget it.
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