ORD - SFO ... just demoralizing

Old Jan 24, 20, 2:28 pm
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ORD - SFO ... just demoralizing

Hey FT peeps. I used to be here a lot.

I'm an AA Exec Plat. It's just demoralizing. The other day I was flying ORD-SFO on an evening flight. Sitting at the gate waiting to board we were treated to the following announcements:

* Plane is full please check your bags (fine, that happens everywhere)
* There is no food on this flight of any sort because it leaves at 8:10
* In first class there is no meal or food, please buy something now

The plane loaded and left maybe with a 15 min delay (again, fine). Then once we got in the air the first round of announcements:

* Please wear your shoes in the bathrooms as they haven't been sanitized and the "liquid on the floor isn't water"
* The IFE (back seat screens which are getting rarer) is finicky and the FAs don't have any special powers to make it work but you can always turn it off so - there's that
* Again there is no food - please don't ask
* PLEASE APPLY FOR THIS BARCLAY'S CARD OMG THIS AIRLINE IS SO AWESOME

I know nothing of the above in and of itself is crushing ... but once we got in the air and all the above announcements were done ... how was I supposed to feel good about my AA loyalty and for choosing that flight?
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Jumpgate View Post
Hey FT peeps. I used to be here a lot.

I'm an AA Exec Plat. It's just demoralizing. The other day I was flying ORD-SFO on an evening flight. Sitting at the gate waiting to board we were treated to the following announcements:

* Plane is full please check your bags (fine, that happens everywhere)
* There is no food on this flight of any sort because it leaves at 8:10
* In first class there is no meal or food, please buy something now

The plane loaded and left maybe with a 15 min delay (again, fine). Then once we got in the air the first round of announcements:

* Please wear your shoes in the bathrooms as they haven't been sanitized and the "liquid on the floor isn't water"
* The IFE (back seat screens which are getting rarer) is finicky and the FAs don't have any special powers to make it work but you can always turn it off so - there's that
* Again there is no food - please don't ask
* PLEASE APPLY FOR THIS BARCLAY'S CARD OMG THIS AIRLINE IS SO AWESOME

I know nothing of the above in and of itself is crushing ... but once we got in the air and all the above announcements were done ... how was I supposed to feel good about my AA loyalty and for choosing that flight?
Seriously? Is there anything even remotely concerning here other than the “liquid on the floor”? Quite frankly, I would appreciate if they gave me a heads up about that issue, as well as that I should buy food before boarding because I CHOSE to book a flight that leaves outside of AA’s meal windows.

I am a chronic complainer to AA and there’s nothing here to complain about.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:41 pm
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I mean - I get it ... but why can't I expect functional and working IFE? Expect sanitized bathrooms? Hope for broader meal windows and food-for-purchase choices? I mean ... are we so desensitized to the s**t AA is pulling that we feel like "complainers" by maintaining those basic expectations?
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Old Jan 24, 20, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by rumboj View Post
Seriously? Is there anything even remotely concerning here other than the “liquid on the floor”? Quite frankly, I would appreciate if they gave me a heads up about that issue, as well as that I should buy food before boarding because I CHOSE to book a flight that leaves outside of AA’s meal windows.

I am a chronic complainer to AA and there’s nothing here to complain about.
Definitely the lavatory issue is disgusting. But the overall tone is that the FAs can't be bothered to interact with the customers, and that's worth complaining about.
"Please don't ask" about the food (even in first class)
"Please don't ask" about the broken IFE (even though there are reboot and troubleshooting steps available)

Except of course the Barclays. "Please ask about our credit card commission". I think every time you fly on AA you should complain about the sales pitch. Over on Delta, the IFE plays silent ads about the credit cards. Maybe if AA limited their signups to the IFE, they'd have the impetus to fix the damn things and not rip them out instead.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 3:25 pm
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I'm assuming that flight would be a light snack in F. It's out of the time window for dinner so nothing new there. Every flight is "we are completely full so some of you check your bag." I would assume you would hear like announcements on DL and UA. State of the industry. Count yourself lucky your not some poor slob in Group 8/9 that will be forced to gate check or sit far away from their bag.

Disgusting bathroom. There's no reason for the lav not be cleaned particularly for a 3-4 hour flight. Unfortunately the AVOD is going to be eventually yanked out, at least with Parker under the helm.

Some of this is AA (the bathrooms), some of it is what air travel has become. I count myself lucky I get MCE, some occasional upgrades (even as a PP I'm not clearing very often) and have an AC membership.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 3:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Jumpgate View Post
I mean - I get it ... but why can't I expect functional and working IFE? Expect sanitized bathrooms? Hope for broader meal windows and food-for-purchase choices? I mean ... are we so desensitized to the s**t AA is pulling that we feel like "complainers" by maintaining those basic expectations?
1. IFE is going away, so it is no longer a guaranteed offering. Buy tickets on an airline that guarantees IFE if you really want to ensure you have it.

2. You would be surprised to know that most bathrooms aren’t sanitized between flights. Same as the onboard ovens. And that isn’t AA-specific either. It is just that there often aren’t glaring indications of this fact. Sad another way, if there wasn’t “liquid” on the bathroom floor and the FAs hadn’t made an announcement about said liquid, would you have been aware that the bathroom had not been sanitized? Probably not.

3. Again, the airlines have set meal windows. When you opt to purchase a ticket that has a flight that operates outside of the established meal window, then you should expect no meal. If there is an airline that doesn’t have meal windows or has meal windows that more appropriately suit your needs, you should certainly book that airline. Is the source of the angst that AA promised you a meal upon booking and then did not deliver on the promise during the flight?

I don’t think most of your gripes are “basic expectations”. Other than the lavatory issue, there isn’t anything here that was a secret to you at the time of booking.

That leads me to ask...why did you book this AA flight?
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Old Jan 24, 20, 3:51 pm
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By your argument it’s fine that they’ve turned into a tier 10 airline as long as they’ve set expectations that they're crappy. I guess we just disagree.

I can’t find any public facing AA web site or press release that says seat back IFE should be expected not to function. I read forums too so I know it’s being phase out, but that’s a far cry from my expectations being set that it should not work let alone being told not to bother a FA should my seatmate’s work fine and mine not. Point me to anything authored by AA that I somehow missed that would have allowed me or any other passenger to view the seat back IFE as a “bonus” should we be lucky enough to have one that works.

And I guess I’m supposed to be OK with an airline allowing its plane to turnaround from a major hub with the lavs flooded with urine from the day’s previous flights as long as they tell me that’s the case.

And I guess I shouldn’t expect an airline that must get food requests post-8 PM often enough that at the gate and in flight their make a point of telling people “don’t ask” to not maybe stock some pre-packaged hummus.

It’s sad that we’ve been beaten down so much by AA that this is the case and we defend this behavior.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
Except of course the Barclays. "Please ask about our credit card commission". I think every time you fly on AA you should complain about the sales pitch. Over on Delta, the IFE plays silent ads about the credit cards. Maybe if AA limited their signups to the IFE, they'd have the impetus to fix the damn things and not rip them out instead.
And play it on what? The IFE that was pulled out or not installed on new planes?
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Old Jan 24, 20, 4:11 pm
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Originally Posted by james318 View Post
And play it on what? The IFE that was pulled out or not installed on new planes?
Your reward for having to put up with Oasis cabins and bringing your own device is not having to hear the sales pitches.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 4:31 pm
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I am utterly amazed at how people think a business operating like this is normal. While I wouldn’t be surprised if any of this happens and likely would not start a new thread for it, it definitely is appalling that some AA flyers are that loyal and think the OP is the one with the issue. One of my last AA flights the FA outright lied in my face and then expects me to cower in terror of being kicked off the flight for saying she was lying.

if it was AA or DL at the same price, DL all the way. If AA was cheaper though as bad as those things are money talks.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 4:44 pm
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The attitude conveyed by the inflight announcements is appropriate if the cabin is full of second graders and the flight attendants are teacher-chaperones.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Jumpgate View Post
It’s sad that we’ve been beaten down so much by AA that this is the case and we defend this behavior.
This is the point. Yes, AA is just upholding what has sadly become standard for the industry, but that still doesn't make it acceptable.

In a capitalist system, there are only two ways to compete - on price, or on product differentiation (or some combination thereof). When Richard Anderson became CEO of DL, he made it clear that DL would compete with product differentiation. Even though Anderson is gone, that general direction at DL hasn't changed. It's no where near carriers like SQ or CX, but it is generally a number of steps ahead of AA (and UA) in the passenger experience, especially for elite flyers. But as long as Parker is at AA, the focus will be on price. Period.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 5:12 pm
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The lav issue seems to be my only concern here but like others have said, it's nothing new. Perhaps someone actually walked into the bathroom without shoes so the FAs were trying to give everyone a heads up that the bathrooms aren't clean. The fact of the matter is airplanes are disgusting. I bring sanitizing wipes and do my own part because frankly we know that they aren't cleaned like they should and that's not just AA.

The IFE while annoying should never be expected on AA and as an EXP you know that. Even if there is IFE, I hardly ever use it (plus then you aren't forced to hear the CC pitch). I fly enough to know to bring my own entertainment. Case in point, whatever I downloaded on my ipad didn't work the other day so I pulled out a book. I suppose you can complain and may get some miles.

The food thing to me actually seems like a positive. The fact that this flight left at 8:10 and the gate agents made a point to tell people there isn't food is actually a nice touch. I'm sure a few people planned to just buy on board or get a snack and this saved them a decently long flight being hungry. And I'm sure the FAs were getting asked which is why the announcement was made.

I used to try and give AA the benefit of the doubt but after a few rough experiences I am no longer sympathetic. That being said, I don't see a lot going on here and a lot of it could be up to interpretation. If all these remarks have a positive tone they actually aren't that bad.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by WiscAZ View Post
The food thing to me actually seems like a positive. The fact that this flight left at 8:10 and the gate agents made a point to tell people there isn't food is actually a nice touch.
The point is the attitude is bad, not that the message is unnecessary.
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Old Jan 24, 20, 5:49 pm
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Taking off your shoes on a domestic flight is bad enough. But what kind of animal goes into a public restroom without shoes?!
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