Even though this will be my last year as an Executive Platinum, I still tend to fly with American Airlines more often than not. They’ve made
somewhere around 84 a ton of changes to their soft and hard products over the years which have generally made things worse for the majority of their passengers. This post isn’t about those changes. It’s about stuff that sucks and they need to fix.
So, based on an extremely scientific survey process of spending somewhere around 14 minutes thinking about what bugs me, may I present to you (in order) the top 3 things American Airlines needs to fix.
3. The App (which I generally love, btw)
American’s app is great at a few things: airport maps, upgrade lists, and standby lists. What it’s not great at, though, is booking tickets and picking seats. You cannot book a ticket through the app, instead you’re sent to the mobile website, which isn’t the best. Same for seats. Oftentimes you can change seats in the app but with regularity I’m sent to a mobile site to change my seat (usually on international flights). While these things aren’t the worst things ever, fixing them would go a long way towards making American’s app among the best.
2. Legacy US Airways A320 jets
[see? I don’t even have a stock image of one of these they’re so awful]
The legacy-US Airways A320 jets are an embarrassment to modern aviation. They are old, decrepid, extremely safe (not trying to imply they’re not), and are miserable for the customer.
Stepping aboard one of these gross jets will introduce you to some pretty significant disappointment. Namely, that there are no power outlets nor screens in the seats. Yes that first part is correct, no seat power on these awful jets. In 2017. American needs so replace or upgrade these jets quickly.
(yes I’m a little biased here, I fly out of DFW most of the time, and many flights are now operated by these gross jets)
1. Inconsistent Boarding Times
This is my main annoyance. On a domestic flight they will typically list the boarding time as 30 minutes before departure, but with astonishing regularity I will leave the Admiral’s Club and get to the gate at exactly 30 minutes before departure time only to find out that boarding commenced a while ago and we’re now on Group 5, leaving little to no overhead bin space near my seat.
I have plenty of friends who fly American as well and this is unfortunately extremely common these days, and nobody is happy about it.
I get it, some of these seem petty, but…
I get the changes that airlines
feel like they can get away with have to make in order to stay competitive, but the one thing they should always make sure they do is keep their promises. Even something as small as the boarding time thing can start your flight off with an annoying experience, which really degrades the customer experience before the flight even starts. These stupid little things are indeed stupid little things but they add up quickly amidst the rest of the benefit changes that American has shoved down our throats.
It’d be easy to focus on unachievable things like rolling back the AAdvantage changes, or really anything that Scott Kirby approved, but these things are little in scope and should be doable. Gestures like that will go a long way of engendering customer loyalty and making the flight experience more predictable.
Enough of my opinions though, what do you think American should fix? Tell me in the comments below!