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American Airlines Just Made a Stunning Decision That Changes Everything About Traveling In Coach

Discussion in 'Vacation Travel Information' started by MULTIZ321, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    American Airlines Just Made a Stunning Decision that Changes Everything About Traveling In Coach
    By Bill Murphy Jr./ Inc./ inc.com

    "It's all about free booze--and whether flight attendants have to act like traffic cops. American is bucking the trend.

    Coach class used to be the great equalizer.

    But now, there's coach--and then there's "REALLY coach class."

    There are the premium coach passengers up front, who enjoy basic perks that used to be available to everyone on board.

    Then, there are the unwashed masses in "REALLY coach class," looking with envy toward the folks ahead of them in premium..."

    [​IMG]
    CREDIT: Getty Images


    Richard
     
  2. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    The logical approach, which Alaska Airlines does, is to have an upgrade list for those Main Cabin Extra seats, based on flyers who have attained at least the minimum tier level in the airline's frequent flyer program or the programs of its partner airlines. When the premium seats are still available, shortly before boarding, passengers get upgraded into the vacant premium seating using the list.

    That way the flight crew doesn't need to play enforcer.
     
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  3. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We just flew to and from Mexico on American on CRJs. AA was not able to assign us seats (for free) on the 2 Mexican legs. We could have paid $55 each, but somehow over $200 when the worst possible outcome would be to make a new friend for a couple of hours. Seats were assigned at check-in (free) and lo and behold, they were MCE seats. WooHoo!

    Jim
     
  4. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Honestly, AA has become our least favorite airline since America West/USAirways took them over. If there’s ANY other option we’ll take it.

    Of course this is always subject to change. Every 5 or 6 years there’s a shift and another airline jumps up to become our least favorite. A few years back I was Delta.
     
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  5. WalnutBaron

    WalnutBaron TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I've pretty much washed my hands of the major domestic airlines--AA, United, Delta--if there is any way to avoid them. For whatever reason, they seem to be making a race for the bottom--rock-hard seats, narrower seat pitch (despite the fact that people are a lot bigger than they were twenty years ago), more people stuffed like sardines in coach with seats that soon may not recline.

    On the flip side, there are the smaller airlines that still strive to provide excellent service and a pleasant flying experience: JetBlue, Alaska, Southwest, Hawaiian (and Virgin America before it was absorbed by Alaska). I always check these first before booking with one of the majors, and will only do so as a last resort if the others cannot meet my schedule or don't fly to a desired destination.
     
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  6. BocaBoy

    BocaBoy TUG Member

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    Delta has been my least favorite of the legacy carriers for the past 15 or more years and it is not even close.
     
  7. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The ONLY thing Delta has over AA is it’s comfort plus class, which is hands down better than AA’s economy upgrade, which essentially gets you what used to be a regular economy class seat. Other than that Delta is right down there with AA.

    Ordinarily we’ll fly either Delta or AA into West Palm Beach because Southwest doesn’t have a route into PBI from our home resort. Things have become so bad that next year we’ll fly into FLL, just so we can fly SWA, even though the return flight home will be at the crack of dawn and we have to make the longer drive on the dreaded I-5.
     
  8. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    With Alaska's acquisition of VA, Alaska isn't really a small airline any longer. They're not to the level of as the mega-carriers, but big enough to be a threat to the other airlines for them to start paying attention. Hence Delta terminating their previously cozy relationship with Alaska, and the changes making it more difficult to earn FF miles on AA flights.
     
  9. jwalk03

    jwalk03 TUG Member

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    Southwest also isn't "smaller" at least not domestically. It carries more US passengers than any of the legacy carriers annually for the last several years.
     
  10. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We fly Southwest mostly, Jet Blue sometimes and are really impressed with Aer Lingus. They have helped us co ordinate our overseas trips. We call them and tell them where we want to go and they make the intineary as easy as possible. We have had bad expierences with AA and Delta and avoid them.
    Silentg
     
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  11. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    That's good to know.
    We almost booked them for a flight to Toulouse, France, and may regret going with AA instead.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  12. Zinjanthropus

    Zinjanthropus TUG Member

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    I noticed no one dared to utter the "S" word. Rhymes with "jeer-it" and sucks your soul from your nether regions. Cheapest flights online but after you pay for air to breathe and a dozen other normally free extras, you wish you'd flown any other carrier. Shhh, don't say the name or it will know.
     
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  13. jehb2

    jehb2 TUG Member

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    At this point all I want is to be able to sit with my kids. I bring my own food & snacks. I fill up my water bottle after clearing security. I don't need their pillows or blankets. I have my iPad & iPod so I don't even need entertainment. I'm even the first to give up my carry on (when they announce they'll gate check it for free)
     
  14. Jayco29D

    Jayco29D Guest

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    It all depends on the flight and airplane. It is hit or miss with airlines. We recently flew Hawaiian Airlines and that flight was terrible because they do not have wifi. I don’t know if that is typical of Hawaiian Airlines but it left a bad taste in my mouth.
     
  15. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Some of us remember flying when there was no wi-fi, anywhere.
    Somehow, we managed.
    .
     
  16. Jayco29D

    Jayco29D Guest

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    Ha, ha. I am old enough to remember those days too. Not that long ago, actually. I do not know how I managed. I am old enough to remember when there were wired dial phones and public pay phone booths. My mom had one of the first-ever “wireless car phones” years before cell phones came out. LOL I am happy to say I am not quite old enough to remember the horse and buggy but I do remember flying on 747s as a younger person and that was all the rage. I am sad they are being retired but glad I got to ride on the second level in first class a few years ago. Now I will really date myself: I remember when smoking was allowed on airplanes. Glad those times are over - yuk! Next, I am hoping we will have “car planes” since I hate traffic. Hope innovation continues and I certainly hope the airlines will incorporate technology into their industry better than now. I was not imporessed when JetBlue first started but flew on them last year and wow, they have really great airplanes and use of technology. It was one of the best flights ever.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  17. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    One thing I really miss is the airborne Piano Bar and Cocktail Lounges.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  18. Sapper

    Sapper TUG Member

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    I'll skip the details, but the analogy is this:
    Loading on to a United flight, I asked the flight attendant to hang my suit jacket in the closet. I was rudely informed that "that is what the overhead bin is for".
    Loading onto an Alaska Air flight, I asked the flight attendant to hang my suit jacket in the closet. She took it with a smile, hung it for the flight, and returned it (with out me asking) just prior to landing.
    Looking like a disheveled schlub going into a business meeting vs looking like a professional is worth the difference in ticket cost. Not to mention potential damage to an $800 suit jacket! I fly Alaska now every chance I get, regardless of attire.
     
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  19. PDXGolfer

    PDXGolfer TUG Member

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    This has been my experience as well. I fly Delta a lot for business trips, because I have status with them (Silver). And, on almost every recent trip, I've been upgraded to at least premium economy, even occasionally to first class -- after purchasing standard economy seats. I've asked Delta flight attendants to hang my sports jacket in the closet, have not been turned down, and get the jacket returned to me prior to landing without asking. (In contrast, I too have gotten the "that is what the overhead bin is for" from AA flight attendants). However, most of my business travel is in the Pacific/Mountain time zones; occasionally in the Central time zone. So, I don't know if that might play a factor in the luck I've had (so far) with my flights on Delta (less crowded, more accommodating, etc.).

    Conversely, I've had Alaska flight attendants be indifferent to food allergies of family members on leisure trips to Hawaii -- and that's in the first class cabin! Not to mention, the food in Alaska first class to/from Hawaii has been quite disappointing (even for non-allergy sufferers like myself). Delta will go out of its way to announce to the entire cabin that a passenger has a peanut allergy and, therefore, they will not be serving peanuts on the flight. And, on longer trips like to Hawaii, I can make a special request for gluten free meals for family members.
     
  20. Sapper

    Sapper TUG Member

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    The analogy was just just one example. The United flights were IAH-DEN and IAH-ORD, the Alaska flights would be multiple trips between IAH-SEA.

    By "AA" flight attendants, do you mean Alaska or American? American has gone down hill since the US Air "merger", I'd be surprised if they would hang a jacket even if you are flying first class. I can't blame the employees with American though (or any of the legacy majors), the long term employees have seen their defined benefit retirement vaporize, continuing pay "restructuring", worsening medical benefits, and flight benefits turn into flight headaches. This may be one reason the up and coming airlines like Alaska have happier employees, things have not really crashed and burned for them the way they have for the legacy carriers.

    I will be the first to admit Alaska Air food is not the greatest, they do try to make it a bit more interesting than the standard fare though. Unfortunately, most of it is kind of a swing and a miss.

    The peanut thing is because they do not want to be sued, or God forbid a medical diversion that will cost them a ton of money... not because they care about the allergy or passenger.
     
  21. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We are flying United from Maui next month in first-class, and we are also flying late April, United to Boston in 1st, then American Airlines back from Boston in 1st. I am anxious to see if these flights are going to be much different from our Alaska experiences. I would guess they will be similar. I don't think we have ever flown AA because they are not a major player in Denver.

    I have flown Delta, ATL to Denver in first and found it rather unimpressive. The guy next to me wasn't at all friendly. I just asked if he was a businessman, and he was. It was a whopping $40 extra to fly First, so the seat's comfort alone was worth the money.

    We tend to book Alaska exclusively for Hawaii in 1st because it's the least expensive from the coast. It's just less stress to fly to/from Denver and stay at hotels each way. We do not drink anymore and don't take the free alcohol on planes, even when we did drink pina coladas because they don't serve those. :) Rick's stepmom has a drink every single flight, at least one, so she definitely enjoys the alcohol on the flight. She is 89, so why not?

    The food on Alaska is just odd stuff. I should keep my menus to remind me of the odd choices. Just give me scrambled eggs and sausage or bacon. I don't need a strange vegetable stuffed with egg and cream with mustard sauce on top. Very odd. :)
     
  22. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Our sister-in-law flew United for 33 years, but she was originally hired by Pan Am, then it was absorbed by another company, ultimately absorbed into United. She lost her benefits almost completely. It's something most people do not know. The pilots organized and fought to maintain both salary and benefits. The flight attendants lost the battle with the airline, even though some of the FA's spoke in front of Congress to fight the loss of wages and extras they had before. She is very bitter, 65 now, and her only benefit was health care premiums until she turned 65. She will be covered by medicare soon, and she will get no pension. She is still working full time for a small city government in Ohio. She had to build her Social Security and will probably work until she is at least 70 to build her income.

    She is not paid well, and she lives a meager existence. She is going to be fine, but she no longer travels, even though she should get United flights for free. There was no availability for her, last time she tried to get to Denver to see us. She has to fly standby and waited at the airport all day once, just to get a seat. So much for those benefits.
     
  23. Sapper

    Sapper TUG Member

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    I feel for your sister in law. What they have done to the employees over the decades is near criminal.
     
  24. Jayco29D

    Jayco29D Guest

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    I have good stories and bad stories on all the airlines. It is hit or miss depending on the flight and crew. I do love flying first class international. Nothing beats a full bed. I have flown first class with a full bed on United a few times to/from Europe and on Turkish Air to Istanbul - always using points. In first class for international flights, I have always had a great experience and excellent service. In coach class, one never knows. I tend to fly United the most, then American and Alaska. My choices are based on where we live and where we have FF programs. I do not fly Southwest or JetBlue very often but lately JetBlue has improved. I like JetBlue now. I used to hate JetBlue when they started. Southwest is hit or miss for me. We flew Hawaiian recently - the crew was nice but did not like the boarding process and the old planes have no wifi. JetBlue seems to be the most technologically sophisticated airline with more space. I would fly JetBlue more but they are not big on the West Coast. I really like that JetBlue has family pooling for FF miles, although I do not fly them enough to know if their FF program is any good.
     
  25. Sapper

    Sapper TUG Member

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    Hawaiian is in the process of buying something like 20 A320NEO to replace their A330 on the CONUS to Hawaii routes. This will increase the flight frequency, and possibly lower fares as the aircraft are more efficient, which should make them more competitive when SouthWest begins flights out to Hawaii later this year.
     
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