This Seems To Be A Growing Trend with American Airlines
I had to take the time to write this because on Tuesday, I found myself overly pessimistic about American Airlines and my experience with them over the past year. Specifically, I was scheduled to take a morning flight from DCA to TPA, in order to make it to a friend’s memorial service who recently passed away from cancer. The service was very important to me that I attend, as I wanted to be there for a dear friend. However, as has been the case throughout the past year and a half, American Airlines made it rather difficult.
On the way to the airport, I got a notification that the flight was delayed one hour an ten minutes because the inbound aircraft, which was coming from Miami, was delayed. I tweeted AA to see if the issue was mechanical, just to get an idea if there was a possibility the flight would be delayed further it was more just a one time delay for something that was going to be sorted out. I know they couldn’t go into details, but I wanted to be proactive in seeing if I should switch to a flight to TPA that was scheduled for 1:59pm (the afternoon flight from DCA). Sure enough, Twitter gave me a generic response that they are working on having the flight up in the air as soon as possible. Yes, I assumed that was the intention, but thanks for spelling it out for me!
By the time I got through security and to the Admiral’s Club, the flight was being pushed back even further, so I asked the desk agent at the club if she could put me on the 1:59pm, since now that arrival time was about the same as my original flight and the inbound aircraft for that flight was supposedly in the air, lessening the likelihood that the flight will be delayed.
Alas, however, that was not the case. A mere 15 minutes after switching flights, they delayed the flight 30 minutes. I went to the desk agent and she said it was mechanical issues, but there is a flight leaving in 5 minutes to Charlotte, where I could catch a connecting flight to TPA. I decided not to risk it, with the thought that it would be much better to be in D.C. (where I live) if my flight got canceled then to go to Charlotte and for something to happen there and be stuck (I know it wasn’t likely, but American never seems to fall short on that end).
Sure enough, I ended up getting into TPA 3 hours late and missing 2/3 of the memorial service, the specific reason I was going. This had been a regular trend on most of my American flights, where I am usually seeing a delay of 30 minutes or more every time I fly them. My anecdotal record with them has been even worse when it comes to international flights, as every single international flight I have had since August 2015 has had a delay, cancellation, or both. I know that travel is unreliable, as are pieces of equipment, but if American Airlines is truly going for great, I think they have to do more to ensure that people don’t miss out on a memorial service for a friend, a trip with that special someone, or a business meeting somewhere in the world. They have a lot of work to do, and this experience two days ago just really brought it to the a head for me, as this time the occasion for my travel was very near and dear to my heart. American Airlines nearly failed me entirely, and it seems to be the growing trend with them (personally speaking).