American Airlines promises you’ll be cold, tired, hungry & cramped

Service = brand. Policy = brand. Experience = brand.

This should be obvious by now, but apparently someone forgot to tell American Airlines. At least, that’s my feeling now that I’ve returned from a vacation week in Hawaii. I made the round-trip on American Airlines, and I hope I never have to fly AA again.

At a functional level, AA delivered on most of the basic promises of air travel: they got me to Hawaii safely and on time. They didn’t lose my luggage. The flight attendents were polite, friendly, and competent. And yet, I will never fly with them again.

I expect to do business with companies that respect me as a human. AA didn’t do this. Instead, they exploited their advantage at every possible opportunity.

It started with the $25 per checked bag charge. This added up to $150 for my family bags for the round trip. Who knows how much my ticket cost? I can’t remember. But $150 blackmail at the gate is easy to remember. $150. I remember this. $150.

You know what else I remember? The $10 sandwich they sold to me on the plane. Sell isn’t quite the right word. Extortion is more like it. You are their captive for 6 hours. They know this and exploit it.

I remember the $4 cookies my daughters couldn’t live without too.

But the worst insult: $8.00 for a pillow and blanket. On a six-hour overnight flight? Why in the world you would want to increase your customer’s discomfort?

The result? American Airlines brand: cold, tired, hungry, cramped, and tended to by greedy bastards. Nice work guys.

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