Airline gripes grow bigger all the time. Okay now it’s happened twice. The first time was an American Airline’s flight from Barbados to Miami about a year ago. The second time was another AA flight from Puerto Rico to Miami. Both were booked in top cabin (although on those runs it’s called “business” but it’s the front of the plane none-the-less). Tickets were paid for, not redeemed.
We were seated in row 5, hungry after getting up at the crack of dawn for a long travel day. The plane took off on time. The flight crew got up and began asking passenger what they’d to drink and eat for lunch. The flight attendant on our side of the plane just walked right by our seats, right by, badabing, didn’t stop to ask what we’d like.
Okay, so we waited for it and waited for it while watching all the other passengers being served food and beverages. Finally I got up and went to the flight attendant and asked why we were being ignored (suffice it say we looked nice, were well groomed and dressed). She stuttered and stumbled and said “Er, I don’t know maybe it has to do with non-revenue.” “Non-revenue,” I gasped, “We are paying passengers, not even upgrades or mileage redeemers (scum bags that is apparent those may be to this particular stew). “Well I don’t know,” she shrugged.
Finally a stew came over and said they were out of food but did have shrimp. I am allergic to shellfish and told her so. We were out of luck. I looked sad, but kept my cool, but still wondered why and how this could happen. Finally we were offered a roast beef salad that they said was slated for the cockpit. I kind of felt sorry for the pilots if this were true, but figured they probably weren’t allergic to shellfish.
Needless to say this didn’t bode too well for American Airlines. Especially since that earlier flight I mentioned had a similar problem. Only this time we weren’t the only passengers ignored. Turns out that the Barbados ground crew was taking too long for the captain’s liking to load on the food so he left without it. How would you like to shell out over a grand for seats and not get food. Oh we got something to eat but it wasn’t good.
And if you’re wondering, yes I did write a complaint on American’s web site and Twitter account. The airline awarded us each 3,000 into our frequent flyer accounts. That was nice but it could have been more especially if they want to keep our business. But then with all the money airlines are making these days from baggage fees to every other nickel and diming tactic, guess they afford to lose a customers or two.
Readers of this column know the Diva doesn’t do coach if she can help it. So our last few flights have been in first or business on Delta, Hawaiian and Virgin America and all three fared much better, way better than American.
As you might know American recently merged with USAirway and hopefull the union will produce better service, watch the video and be the judge.