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How does AA have such pleasant employees?

How does AA have such pleasant employees?

Old Sep 27, 22, 11:03 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 164
I've had many good ones. That said, the number of just downright nasty agents has been higher than most. One that seems to typify my interactions over time took place a few years ago. Stuck at JFK for 2+ hours at 4 AM with a check-in issue and routed to multiple lines (Gold at the time - but no elite line was open at that time for check-in). Then our young son got pulled aside at security. Wife ran ahead with the other kids. Flight attendant asked her snarkily if she was going to go with them to Miami, or wait at JFK for us. We did make the flight, there was no need for her to be a jerk.

Maybe I fly them more than many other airlines so I've had more bad interactions, but I can't say they've been consistently good. I have had at least a couple of really bad experiences each year. It does seem to be improving though, hoping that continues.
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Old Sep 27, 22, 1:00 pm
  #47  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: AUS & EGE
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 57
I've only had excellent service from agents at the ACs or FLs. One of my home airports being AUS definitely stacks the deck there, because those folks are incredible.

I'd agree with the comments above, 20% of segments have exceptional FAs, 70% of the time they're fine, then the other 10% they're absent/rude/having a bad day. When we fly TATL we almost always sit in the middle seats of the 1-2-1 config, and it's pretty amazing how different service can be in one aisle versus the other. That inconsistency is really the hallmark of AA onboard service, you never know when you're going to draw one of the 10% from the bottom. I don't fly Delta enough to have an opinion, but the spread seems about the same on United.
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Old Sep 27, 22, 3:10 pm
  #48  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 622
Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler;[url=tel:34632223
34632223[/url]]As someone who’s been flying AA (and, before that, US Airways) since the 1990s, I can count on one hand the number of bad employees who I’ve encountered.

I find flight crews, Admirals Club staff, gate agents and phone agents to be pretty pleasant and professional almost all of the time (and in many cases, very nice). They are certainly more likeable than employees of a few other carriers.

How does AA find people who are consistently pleasant? Is it a mandated corporate culture, hiring practices or something else?

I’ve definitely seen a range from Brightline (amazingly good) to a few mass transit providers (mostly fine but with some really awful people here and there) so not all transportation companies are equal.

Thanks.

EDITED TO ADD:

I’m serious.

I almost never check in at the airport or deal with ticket counters.
My recent TATL flights have been a joke. Horrible.
Domestic....average
Goin-2-AA is offline  
Old Sep 27, 22, 3:27 pm
  #49  
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: DFW
Programs: AA PlatPro, AS
Posts: 131
Originally Posted by RRROOO View Post
I've not had a problem this year, but during COVID travel, AA flight attendants were the rudest *itches I've ever seen. Marching up and down the aisle trying to catch someone with their mask not on properly and barking orders at them. Talking loudly at them and causing a scene.
I think they hired their FA's last year were former prison guards. Rough and nasty looking.
I’ve had the opposite experience… most FAs during COVID travel were way more friendly than I recall from pre-pandemic, at least with the DFW-based crews. When demand increased this year, there was a noticeable change (understandably, IMO). But it’s really just luck of the draw.
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Old Sep 27, 22, 9:18 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Programs: AAdvantage GLD; AGR
Posts: 3,089
Originally Posted by Parkdesigner View Post
My four TATL tips in the past six months... at best it's been indifferent crew, and many times just downright rude. I've found I'm not alone in this observation... other road warrior types remarking the same when "there is no more XXXX on the plane" or "nothing can be done about the broken XYZ for the next 11 hours."

Honestly, I think we all know it's not the crew's fault the very expensive seat won't recline, or they forgot to cater any specific drinks this trip... but maybe not bark it at us? (I know, I know, like asking a zebra to change its stripes!)
The last two pursers to London each made it clear, we are cattle, in their way, and WHY won't we just be good and go to sleep. STOP asking for things. Pffft!
I have consistently found AA’s transatlantic crews to be grumpy and unenthusiastic about serving passengers. Seems to be why they keep the cabin temperature high and like to insist that everyone keep the shades down even during daytime flights. I suspect they believe that having reached the lofty heights of the seniority that allows them to pick transatlantic trips they deserve not to be disturbed by any pesky passengers as they concentrate on their sudoku/chatting/whatever in the galley.

This is not at all the case on BA, which I have come to greatly prefer.
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Old Sep 27, 22, 9:45 pm
  #51  
Used to be 'Travelergcp'
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New Orleans
Programs: AA Plat, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 2,745
I’ve had good experiences overall, but I’ve found the level of enthusiasm and politeness is inversely related to their seniority. What other service industry has a union staff who don’t work for tips and more or less can’t be fired for poor service? I don’t blame them when the incentives are all wrong.
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Old Sep 30, 22, 11:49 am
  #52  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Durham, NC (RDU/GSO/CLT)
Programs: AA EXP/MM, DL PM, UA 1K, WN A-List, HH DIA, Hyatt Glob, IHG Dia-AMB, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC
Posts: 33,342
My experience is:

- Check In Agents: 50/50 on nice/mean. In 2019 my wife and I were flying out of ORD and we put our bag on the scale at the check in desk and the agent noticed the checked bag tag from our last flight and asked us if we had expected her to remove it. My wife and I still joke about it

- Admirals Club Agents: >95% great. The ones at RDU are just wonderful too

- Gate Agents: Can go either way. My home airport ones are pretty good but there are some very rude ones at CLT especially who don't want to be helpful. I am sympathetic though

- Flight Attendants: Also can go either way. Again I'm sympathetic. Here at least I tend to remember the good way longer than the bad.
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Old Oct 1, 22, 12:45 pm
  #53  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Reno, NV
Programs: NFY, AA EXP, Marriott TE
Posts: 437
Originally Posted by salut0 View Post
I have consistently found AA’s transatlantic crews to be grumpy and unenthusiastic about serving passengers. Seems to be why they keep the cabin temperature high and like to insist that everyone keep the shades down even during daytime flights. I suspect they believe that having reached the lofty heights of the seniority that allows them to pick transatlantic trips they deserve not to be disturbed by any pesky passengers as they concentrate on their sudoku/chatting/whatever in the galley.

This is not at all the case on BA, which I have come to greatly prefer.

Ha ha! I recall from the days of NW, there was even a nickname: The witches of Gatwick

All the best, James
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fdog is offline  
Old Oct 1, 22, 3:37 pm
  #54  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
I can't tell if the OP is joking here. One trip through PHL will change that for sure.
HA! Flew from PHL including checking in at the counter with a not so simple itinerary last week and couldn’t believe how pleasant and good natured everyone was including the TSA at A-West. No joke - totally serious. Usually it’s neither great or awful, just Meh! so the experience really stood out.
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Old Oct 2, 22, 8:15 am
  #55  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: SBN/IND/MDW/ORD/JAX
Programs: DL DM, AS MVP, AA, UA, B6, HA, WN, Delta SkyClub, Alaska Lounge, Global Entry, CLEAR
Posts: 469
Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
I can't tell if the OP is joking here. One trip through PHL will change that for sure.
Just flew AA out of PHL last week, went up to the priority desk to check my bag in, agent just points to the next person down the line, then that person also pointed to the next person, and it was a cycle of pointing until I get down to the second to last agent there who finally helped me. No words spoken, just pointing. I was the only passenger in the A East check in hall so it’s not like they were busy. Back in January 2021 I flew PHL-ORD on a 788 with my friend who’s PLT, Admirals Club was able to get me on the upgrade list and when I get to the gate I ask if I can have the only remaining window in J as I was #1 and the only one on the list. She says “we’ll see” and gives that seat to a non rev instead.
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Old Oct 2, 22, 9:03 am
  #56  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: CMH, SEA
Programs: AA Executive Platinum; AS MVP Gold, oneworld emerald
Posts: 2,595
Originally Posted by coke cans and winglets View Post
Back in January 2021 I flew PHL-ORD on a 788 with my friend who’s PLT, Admirals Club was able to get me on the upgrade list and when I get to the gate I ask if I can have the only remaining window in J as I was #1 and the only one on the list. She says “we’ll see” and gives that seat to a non rev instead.
Just want to clarify here: your friend is Platinum, you don't have status, and it's upsetting that you didn't get the last J seat? Did your friend get upgraded? I'm confused.
nineworldseries is offline  
Old Oct 2, 22, 9:05 am
  #57  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: SBN/IND/MDW/ORD/JAX
Programs: DL DM, AS MVP, AA, UA, B6, HA, WN, Delta SkyClub, Alaska Lounge, Global Entry, CLEAR
Posts: 469
Originally Posted by nineworldseries View Post
Just want to clarify here: your friend is Platinum, you don't have status, and it's upsetting that you didn't get the last J seat? Did your friend get upgraded? I'm confused.
I was linked to his reservation and manually added to the upgrade list by an AC agent, he had already been upgraded.
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Old Oct 2, 22, 11:37 am
  #58  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,036
Originally Posted by coke cans and winglets View Post
I ask if I can have the only remaining window in J as I was #1 and the only one on the list. She says “we’ll see” and gives that seat to a non rev instead.
Do you mean you did get upgraded but to a center seat? I don't expect to get a choice of seat with battlefield upgrades; it would be above-and-beyond service if I did. On the other hand, if you weren't upgraded and there was a nonrev in J (or an empty seat) then that would be worthy of a complaint.
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Old Oct 2, 22, 1:02 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: SBN/IND/MDW/ORD/JAX
Programs: DL DM, AS MVP, AA, UA, B6, HA, WN, Delta SkyClub, Alaska Lounge, Global Entry, CLEAR
Posts: 469
Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead View Post
Do you mean you did get upgraded but to a center seat? I don't expect to get a choice of seat with battlefield upgrades; it would be above-and-beyond service if I did. On the other hand, if you weren't upgraded and there was a nonrev in J (or an empty seat) then that would be worthy of a complaint.
It wasn’t a battlefield upgrade, I was the only one on the upgrade list and even with non revs it was not a full cabin. But the gate agent cleared non revs first before the upgrade list and gave a non rev the seat I explicitly asked for. I got upgraded to a center seat but with it not being a full cabin at all and me being the only one on the upgrade list I was not being unreasonable. I’m Platinum on Delta and I’ve asked for a specific seat when I’m #1 on the list with multiple seats open and their agents would do it and with a smile on their face.
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Old Oct 2, 22, 3:15 pm
  #60  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: New York, NY
Programs: AA ExPl, DL PM, UA Silver, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Titanium, probably some others
Posts: 2,862
I have had a mix of experiences on every airline. I haven't found AA to be particularly better or worse than the other carriers or that certain classes of service are better than others. I flew JFK-LHR in F this summer and on the flight there, my crew was wonderful, went out of their way to make my experience comfortable and enjoyable. The crew on the return could not have been bothered to do anything.
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