Posts Tagged ‘AMR; American Airlines; Lousy Service’

American Airlines Makes Holiday Travel Go From Bad To Worse

January 4th, 2010

Visiting my Parent’s in Michigan is always hard, they live a long ways from the nearest airport, and prefer to pick me up at Toledo (TOL) because the airport is easy to get in and out of by car.  This limits my flying options, because American Eagle is about your only choice if you are going anywhere other than Florida from there.  American Airlines made the travel even worse than usual while flying on Christmas Eve.

I left San Jose (SJC) early on the 24th, and I travel pretty light, a roller carry-on, and a back pack. Boarding San Jose, to Chicago (ORD) the girl at the podium calls "if any passengers would like to change to an exit row seat please approach the podium". Turns out two gentlemen had asked for a wheel chair, and as they were sitting in an exit row you can’t have a wheel chair.  When the gentlemen learned that they wouldn’t be sitting together if they moved, they said, they could live with out the wheel chair, but it might be good to have one at the other end.

At this point the Attendant should not have let them keep their seats, if we crashed and they had to pop the exit door I would not want to trust that the guy with heart palpitations who can’t make it up the Jet Bridge to have to open the door to let us out.  But she caved and let him keep his seat.  I wasn’t going to make a scene so I let it go, and just came to terms that I was likely to die in Lake Michigan.

I realize the DET Nigerian Terrorist made flying back bad, so I flew with just my backpack.  Put my net book some jeans and my Zune in it, and started for home.

On the Chicago to Toledo leg of the trip I got stuck next to a woman who didn’t fit in her seat with the arm rest down.  She was clearly large enough to require two tickets.

On the return trip, Toledo to Chicago on New Years day I got stuck next to just a 6 year old who’s mom was 6 rows up.  I like kids, I was a Camp director, but why are mom and dad sitting next to each other and I’m stuck with little Denis the Menace?  This may be the "parents" fault but I don’t care you shouldn’t be able to have a kid that age sit by them self with a stranger.

Chicago to LAX was over sold, and I was asked to valet my back pack.  Since my Laptop was there for entertainment, and because I didn’t trust it in the frigid checked compartment, I took just it on the plane.

20 minutes before landing the Steward told me I needed to store my laptop in the seat back pocket.  I complied and sat quietly… When we touched ground the pilot announced the local time and I realized that boarding had already started for my flight from LAX to SJC and that I had to catch a shuttle to the other terminal so I needed to move.  I left my new Netbook in the seat back pocket.

When I got to the Gate I realized what I had done.  Reported it to the attendant who told me to call lost and found, which was closed.  Then she tried to call to the other gate, but no one was there.  I waited to the last possible moment (2 minutes) and then boarded for SJC.

American’s Lost and Found is only open from 8:30 to 3:30 and is close for an hour for lunch.  They are also closed on weekends.  Making them pretty much worthless.  I will continue trying to call them, but next time, I will fly anyone other than American Airlines, because "adjustable headrests for my added comfort" doesn’t make up for having less legroom than Virgin or Jet Blue, lacking Internet on any of the flights I was on, and having incompetent attendants at the gate podiums.