Check-in wasn't easy. I was traveling on a frequent flyer ticket and AA couldn't do electronic ticketing because of the Brussels Airlines BRU-THF leg. I came upon a nasty AA agent upon trying to check-in at the 'quick spot' on the left side of the terminal. Left her and went to the 'normal' line. The PSR (Passenger Service Rep) asked why I was going on this line and I told her I wasn't 'feeling' the agent on the other side. She pushed me to the front of the line and apologized. I was impressed with her quick handing of the situation. We’ll call the scorecard even at this point.
A nice agent checked-me-in. Security took 10 – 15 minutes. There were only 2 positions open which seemed too few. The TSA agent considered confiscating one of my >100ml cologn bottles but stopped when corrected by a colleague. He apologized, half-heartedly, after disciplining me that the bottle was too big. Minus points for TSA.
And about AA’s sort-of-new T9 at JFK, the gate areas feel cramped, the walk out to the gate, down escalator, up escalator, turn the corner, is, well, weird. Think Atlanta but not as easy.
I watched the FCO flight take a delay because the guy loading the bags couldn't get it right. I was also taken aback by the lack of urgency the ground handlers displayed in preparing this aircraft for departure. A side note in the name of full disclosure. I worked for AA from 1974-1978 and though I know that makes me a dinosaur I can tell you that causing a delay was akin to losing your job back then. I didn’t witness any of that urgency as I watched the ground crew at JFK delay the FCO trip.
Anyway, rant-over, I boarded the PTV-less 763 sitting at a window in the back above the rear cargo hatch. The same guy from the Rome trip took an extra 20-30 minutes loading our bags. The Captain came on twice to apologize for the delay as “we’re ready to go but just waiting for the bags to be fully loaded,” – no kidding. Minus a couple of points here.
We push off and are airborne after about a 30 minute taxi and wait, which isn’t bad at JFK at this time of day. I’m now ready to enjoy AA’s well-marketed “Flagship Service.” Are you with me so far? OK, here it is:
- can of soda, no pretzels or snack, just a drink in a plastic cup
- chicken or beef dinner, served in all plastic, very small portions, stale bread wrapped in cellophane, uneatable dessert
- Nothing until “breakfast” – never saw an F/A except when they were “forced” to through service
- Coffee, barely a roll or something inconsequential
- That’s it folks
We arrived at BRU about 30 minutes late. So here’s the final score
Trip average: 50%.
That number feels right. Compared to LH, or AF, it was probably more like 40%. The part of me that loved AA as a kid was very very disappointed that this trip was a sample of “Flagship Service.” Long gone are the days AA21 was catered by the 21 Club.
After the lengthy walk from one side of BRU to where the SN/Brussels Airlines flights depart I boarded the 09h30 (or there about) service to THF.
This little trip included a nice drink and snack service. Certainly better than AA’s “Flagship Service” and this, from a low cost carrier.
Anyway, the thrill of this trip was landing at THF and being parked under the famous roof. The sense of history smacks you in the face as you deplane, for those old enough to have a deep understanding of the Berlin airlift.
Anyway, the new SN or whatever it’s called leaves from a nice area at BRU, was on-time, including pleasant F/A’s and good service. The only complaint I had was that a part of the wing was loose and shook at take-off and landing, when the flaps were lowered. That was a little disconcerting. Aside from that this trip was fun.
That’s it folks, sorry for the lack of photos. One ending note. About 2 years ago I decided to give AA a shot and switched my allegiance from DL/Sky Team to AA/One World. I’ve decided that for 2008 I’ll be returning to DL/Sky Team. Though I know they’re not perfect now that I’ve had quite a few AA Flights to compare it too, I’ll take DL customer service and crews and food any day. I so wish it wasn’t true because of my past with AA, but I must be honest.
B707Stu From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 918 posts, RR: 4 Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5430 times:
Quoting B707Stu (Thread starter): A nice agent checked-me-in. Security took 10 – 15 minutes. There were only 2 positions open which seemed too few. The TSA agent considered confiscating one of my >100ml cologn bottles but stopped when corrected by a colleague. He apologized, half-heartedly, after disciplining me that the bottle was too big. Minus points for TSA.
Sorry for the typo, that should read < 100ml cologne bottle
Semsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks ago) and read 5206 times:
It's a shame because when AA began transatlantic service about 10 years or so ago, the meals were excellent in addition to the 34" legroom. I think Delta is trying to improve on what the other US airlines serve. On CO and AA it's better to bring one's own food.