I fly American regularly, about 50,000-100,000 miles a year, and I have been for all 18 (almost 19) years of my life. In that time, I have yet to encounter a rude flight attendant or to have any major problems that wouldn't be expected as a pass traveler. Sure, there have been some delayed flights, a few cancellations, but they always handle the situations well and leave a very favorable impression. In all of my travels, American has not lost a bag of mine. I can think of only one time that my bag didn't arrive with me, and it was because I planned a connection in LAX for myself that was too tight. When my bag got to Indianapolis in the afternoon, though, they had it sent up to Purdue for me and it was waiting at my apartment when I got back from class.
I really like to see what American is doing now, in their attempt to become the world's leading airline, and I hope they succeed. For decades, American has been looked to as a leader in the industry, as an innovator, and as an example of how things have been done. If you don't believe me, look at their innovations and decide for yourself if other airlines look to American's innovations... Computer Reservation Systems (CRS) and Yield management - American debuted Sabre years before anyone else had a sophisticated computer system to handle this job, and even though all of the airlines use these now, Sabre remains the largest CRS in the world. Frequent flier programs - American Introduced the AAdvantage program well before anyone else introduced theirs, and now you can't even name a major airline that doesn't have one. Further, American continues to innovate with AAdvantage, as the first airline to expand the program beyond air travel, giving miles for everything from buying a car to buying stocks to getting a mortgage to charging anything on a credit card.
One last point, and this doesn't really affect the passenger I guess, but American is a good company. They do a lot to help the community, including building Give Kids The World Village in Orlando and being named just this week as one of the largest supporters of the Make a Wish Foundation. They are also active with the Susan G. Komen foundation, a breast cancer research charity, and with other community benefiting groups.
To anyone who hasn't yet flown with American, I reccommend that you take the opportunity to do so. They are an excellent airline with service quality that won't be matched in this country. From friendly employees to great aircraft to revolutionary innovations, American has led the way in air travel and will continue to do so. (Especially now that AA and the APA are getting along!)