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ORD-LAX-ORD On AA  
User currently offlineAna767 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 138 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3887 times:

This was my first trip on AA since 1988. I had a credit on American so the trip was essentially free.

July 5th
Flight 1519
Departure 0815
Arrival 1029
Equipment 757 (N633AA delivered to AA in November 1990)

Here are some quick observations:

- Terminal 3 was pretty much deserted when I arrived around 0615. There was no wait at the self check-in or at security. (There was, however, a crusty mulleted lady at the x-ray machine who thought she was clever to when she responded to my question about what to do with my drink as I passed through the machine with a surly "Drink it.". What a comedian! I thought about pointing out her rudeness, but I figured it could lead to my body cavity search. Besides, I kind of felt sorry for her because of the pathetic auburn mullet resting on top of her head.)

- There was a mock up of MRTC in Terminal 3. On one side were 2 rows of yellow airline seats that had other airlines' 28 inches of leg room and then 3 (or 4) rows of American's 34 inches. I sat in both, and frankly, the 28 inch side was a little more comfortable - not because of the legroom, but because of the design of the seat.

- The 757 had the old interior. This was the same fabric AA had when I flew them back in 1988. This was kind of surprising to me. I felt the light blue fabric kind of gave the cabin a not-so-professional feel. Maybe that's just my opinion, but I have a feeling AA decided to change to a darker blue for this same reason.

- When I booked my itinerary, the AA website said that this would be a breakfast flight. I wondered if this meant a hot breakfast or Bistro Bag. It turns out that it was a BB. I'm not really a fan of these things. I think it's bad enough when a meal is really more of a snack. But if an airline is going to serve this type of food, I prefer the UA box format that's delivered to your seat. IMO, the bagged ones you pick up as you board get in the way when you're trying to find your seat and stow all of your other luggage. I'm going to try to restrain myself as I tell you the contents of the bag because I basically thought it was crap. I'm not a picky eater at all, but I didn't touch anything in my Bistro Bag. Inside was a mini bowl of Total cereal, a micro-bagel (cinnamon raisin) packaged in plastic, a bag of raisins, a tiny carton of milk (probably around 4 ounces), and a little container of cream cheese. I'm not much for eating sweet things for breakfast, so I would have been completely out of luck if I hadn't brought my own plain bagel and cream cheese. I would have been much happier if AA had offered some kind of breakfast sandwich that I've heard other airlines serve.

- There was a $5 charge to watch the move (Big Fat Liar). I only saw 3 or 4 people pay for a headset. After the movie were short pieces from 60 minutes(I think), CBS Sports, David Letterman, and a full episode of King of Queens.

- When I went to the back to look for some magazines, the FA let me know that AA no longer carries magazines. I guess this is another cost cutting measure.


Here are the details of the return flight

July 7th
Flight 1386
Departure 1553 (delayed approximately 30 minutes)
Arrival 2154 (delayed 20 minutes)
Equipment 738 (couldn't get registration number)

- This aircraft had the new darker blue interior. I found it to look nicer that the old one, but the seats, despite having a headrest, were a little less comfortable than the old style ones.

- On the 738, the audio and video controls are located on the part of the armrest meant for your arm (on the 757, they are located on the inside of the armrest by your thigh). For me, this was not comfortable. The area around the volume and channel buttons are hard plastic that do not make your arm (and especially the elbow) feel good when you rest it on top.

- Once again, a Bistro Bag was offered. This time it included a turkey, pastrami, and cheese sandwichette, a small bag of Lay's potato chips, a few baby carrots, 2 Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies, and a packet of Hellman's Dijonnaise. The sandwich was small yet edible and the cookies were pretty good. I didn't eat the potato chips because I had had enough grease that day already. And I didn't touch the carrots. (I've ranted about these on a previous post because I don't think there are that many people that enjoy raw carrots. I know I don't. I figure most of these carrots are just thrown away.) I'm really starting to wonder if I would prefer airlines to not even serve food if the offerings are going to be so meager. Sometimes nothing can be better than something.

- The movie (Rumor of Angels) this time was "complimentary". I wonder if it was because the flight was slightly delayed due to MX issues or because nobody would pay $5 to see a movie that no one's ever heard of.  Big grin After the movie was a short documentary about Route 66, a piece about Arthur Ashe, and an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. I didn't mention this before, but the audio entertainment was slim pickin's. This was the first time I've flown that a Top 40 type channel wasn't offered.

- MRTC was definitely a benefit, but it was less noticeable that I thought it would be.

I know a lot of my observations were more like gripes. It's not that the flight were totally awful, but the small things just added up. On my next trip to the West Coast, I think I'll be returning to UA.





16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4742 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3839 times:

Oh dear, looks like your trip on AA left much to be desired huh? Would UA be any different though? I read somewhere that AA was reinstating meals on some flights.

Anyway, how was the 738? Comfy?



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineFlyboy36y From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3039 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3831 times:

There was a $5 charge to watch the move (Big Fat Liar). I only saw 3 or 4 people pay for a headset. After the movie were short pieces from 60 minutes(I think), CBS Sports, David Letterman, and a full episode of King of Queens.

Was the charge for the headsets or the movie itself?

Great report. Very unbiased with little bitching. Just the facts!


User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3141 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3823 times:

I know a lot of my observations were more like gripes. It's not that the flight were totally awful, but the small things just added up. On my next trip to the West Coast, I think I'll be returning to UA.


Great trip report. I can see how AA compares to United. I personally think that you will enjoy United better on your next trip. Why?:
-Free entertainment
-Channel 9
-Boxed meals that the f/a will distribute
-Hot bagle sandwich or breakfast burrito
-PTVs on select widebodies
-Widebodies!
-Economy Plus™

I can't wait to see your UA report, when ever you take your flight.

I L U V 7 6 7


User currently offlineAna767 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3776 times:

Ryanair: The 738 was pretty nice. The interior looked new and professional, but the cabin had a slightly claustrophobic feel. Somthing I forgot to mention before was that the video monitors were suspended from the ceiling. I thought all monitors in 737 NG's were the drop down kind located under the luggage bins. As far as the meals were concerned, this was one of the flights that had just gotten meals back. Evidently, for several months nothing was served on ORD to West Coast flights.

Flyboy36y: The $5 fee was for the movie. After it was over, the flight attendants passed out free headsets to watch CBS Eye On American.

ILUV767: You hit the nail on the head. All the reasons you mentioned, plus the free magazines (I'm big on that) make me prefer United. I think this may be the perfect example of Gordon Bethune's idea of making a pizza so cheap no one will eat it. In other words, it's possible to take cost cutting a little too far.


User currently offlineUALbrat From United States of America, joined May 2006, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3771 times:

Great report! You know, your observations make me think that perhaps I've been too easy on AA recently -- I tend to let MRTC and the generally wonderful people of AA make me forget about the other things.

I had no idea about the magazines! Jeez, what's next, no paper in the lav?


User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3141 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3745 times:

Another thing...I noticed that you said that there was a mock up of MRTC showing how one airline had 28" and AA has 34" of pitch. Well...last time I checked none of the majors here in the USA offer 28" of pitch. It is usually around 31 or 32". Sheesh!

I L U V 7 6 7


User currently offlineAna767 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3725 times:

ILUV767: My point exactly. The only carriers I've heard of that have 28 inches are some of those European charters. Kind of misleading, isn't it?





User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (12 years 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3703 times:

Great report! Very interesting. It seems that American is trying to become a low-cost carrier without the low costs to the customer. I flew to Waco, TX this past April on American Eagle (no full-sized jets out of MKE to DFW with American), and I can say I only flew American because the fare was the lowest available. I was careful to select a CRJ-operated flight, because when I flew CO to San Diego last December, the MKE-HOU leg was on an ERJ-145 which was very uncomfortable, and I didn't want to spend 2+ hours in another one.

Going for the cheapest fare makes the lack of service/food onboard somewhat justifiable, but what they DO offer is pretty sad. I think American will see a loss of customers if competing airlines offer more bang for the buck. Live and learn.


User currently offlineAdam84 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1400 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3656 times:

I feel basically the same as you about American Airlines on these points.

-The old seats look like garbage
-The new seats are less comfortable then the old ugly ones

I basically had the same Bistro service you had (SFO-DFW) but ours had cinammon cheerios, milk, plain bagel, cream cheese and raisins. I actually thought it was quite good and quite filling.

MRTC was not very noticeable on the 767-300 I flew (even though the legroom was quite good), but it was very noticeable on the F100 and MD80s. On those aircraft I was actually able to stretch my legs so they were straight and my shins were not hitting the seat.

I still like American Airlines, but from your report and my experience I feel they could improve on some very important markets (west coast flights).



User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2046 posts, RR: 22
Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3651 times:

I agree with the bistro bag business. AA needs to re-think this. With just a tad more expense, they could make folks so much more satisfied. I guess the baby carrots are some sort of concession to health-food folks. Doesn't work, though.


II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offlineCMK10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3661 times:

I enjoyed your report although i must say that I stand by AA on everything. Oh by the way, i love raw carrots  Big grin
DC-10's Forever



"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
User currently offlineFlyboy36y From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3039 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3636 times:

Oh yeah. I love AA, but they are going downhill and FAST. MRTC in the MD-80 was great for me... but my flight had a sorry excuse for food. My Breakfast Bistro had less than yours did. I did not even get cereal! It was an insult. Also there were no magazines. I remember a time when the NY Times was offered on flights. I really blame Mr. Carty for this. He has quietly cut many AA services and made it almost no-frills. To make matters worse he has not set a concrete date as to when service will begin to increase as opposed to decrease. He has not even indicated that it will EVER go back up. Right now I am only sticking with AA to get my miles. As soon as I use them I will be able to start clean at another airline. AA uses smaller planees than it's competition on many routes. Just as an example: JFK-SEA 757 on AA, 767 on DL
LGA-DCA ERJ140 on AA; 737/A320 on Delta/US Airways


User currently offlineRob2507 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3583 times:

Well, I checked out that display of MRTC at ORD. The display of the "other guys" seats says that the pitch is 29", not 28. But, I didn't have a measuring tape so who knows what it really is!
Anyway, a tip on this and some busy other AA routes--my flight yesterday LAX-ORD, 1576, had an equipment change, swapping a 752 for a 763. Can you say "2 class flight on a 3 class plane"? When they had finished switching around all the first-class pax who couldn't get first-class seats on the new plane (only 10 first seats on the 763 vs. 22 on the 752), I asked if they had anything left in rows 7-10. The agent replied "How does 7H sound?" So, even though it was coach service, I got the biz class seat. The first class pax seated next to me in 7J had upgraded using FF miles, so they gave him his miles back plus a $400 voucher towards future travel.


User currently offlineAna767 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3556 times:

After I typed my post, I started to wonder if it was 28 or 29. I guess you cleared it up. In any case, 29 inches is not standard. The only 29 inch pitch I know of is on NW's DC-9's. (That's what the website claims anyway. From first hand experience I would guess it's probably more like 31 though.)

User currently offlineBlink182 From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 1999, 5480 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (12 years 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3532 times:

I agree. I think AA's service is starting to decline.

Regarding the Bistro service, I think they could make it a little bit nicer without spending any extra money buy putting the food in boxes and having the flight attendants hand them out in flight. If you have had British Airways' "All Day Deli" this is what I am pretty much talking about. I usually have faith in Carty, but I would feel much safer if Crandall was top dog for the airline. The employees might not have loved Crandall as much as they do with Carty, but Crandall had a way of getting things done without hurting the company. I think Crandall might be handling this situation differently if he was still with AA.

As for service, it needs to come back when the market is better. I am sick of AA(and the rest of the US majors) claiming 9/11 as a cause for service cutbacks. I am reasonably sure that when airlines are profiting again, we won't see any of the service come back(as usual). However, I do remain optimistic as the full service carriers will hopefully retain their status as one and keep service standards up with a doubtful, but hopefully maybe even increase? It will be interesting to see what happens when the 9/11 consequences start to fade away.

Regarding the new interiors. I know for a fact that the 757s,F100s and A300s will get them. It is just a matter of when. Supposedly, AA is holding off on the new interiors for those three aircraft(and TWA too) to save money and once the markets are better and American is profiting, the aircraft will see the new interiors. I assume that the newer 757s introduced after the new interior was decided on were delivered with them, so there is a chance of taking a 757 with the new interiors already in place.

blink




Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3141 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3446 times:

Blink182 wrote:
I assume that the newer 757s introduced after the new interior was decided on were delivered with them, so there is a chance of taking a 757 with the new interiors already in place.


Actually, from what I have heard, all of the new 757s have been delivered with the old seats.

I L U V 7 6 7


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