Flying the Friendly Skies?
October 31, 2012 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Is it "safe" to fly American Airlines again?

Back in late September/early October there was a lot of press about how American Airlines' pilots were using extremely rigid adherence to the rules as a way of dramatically slowing down travel, to the point where something like half of their flights were delayed more than an hour. I'm looking at booking flights around Christmas, and AA is roughly half the price of any other airline. This is between Chicago and New York, so I have lots of options. Has anyone flown AA recently? What can I expect?
posted by Oktober to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can consult this summary of cancelled flights once the airports affected by Sandy are open again.
posted by halogen at 6:50 PM on October 31, 2012

Best answer: This doesn't prove much, but since you asked: I flew four legs on AA the second week of October without any delays. I was concerned about potential problems before the trip, but would be less concerned after this experience; it was fine.
posted by Snerd at 7:27 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just one anecdote here, but I flew just over a week ago, and virtually every single plane I was on (4 total flights) was delayed. For one memorable flight, the pilot came on the loudspeaker to say that take off would be delayed; the luggage handlers that worked our plane went home because they weren't willing to give overtime due to the recent problems with the airline management. So I haven't personally noticed anything to suppose the situation has changed. Another plane was severely delayed due to some sort of "mechanical issue", though I have no idea whether it was serious or not.

But, in the end, they got me where I needed to go, even though it often meant getting in after midnight or staying in a hotel. If you haven't got a firm need to be in at a specific time, it should be okay....if slow going.
posted by nasayre at 7:29 PM on October 31, 2012

Best answer: In my recent experience, American is much better than United and equal to Delta and Hawaiian. AA is inferior to JetBlue, Southwest, Alaska and Frontier.

I fly a lot. On that route I would take Southwest out of Midway to LaGuardia. Southwest is good at being on time and has 5 non-stops a day and a three connecting flights. If Newark is an acceptable airport you've got even more options.
posted by 26.2 at 8:18 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah, if I was flying by myself I'd take Southwest to LGA every time. Sadly, we'll have our 6-month-old daughter with us, which limits our options. Ultimately, AA was being a dink about making us pay for her, even if she sits on a lap, so we're flying (ugh) United.
posted by Oktober at 8:23 PM on October 31, 2012

I don't get how Southwest limits your options if you have a lap child. My first daughter flew as a lap child (at no charge) on Southwest flights probably sixteen times before she was eighteen months old, and my second has been on four Southwest flights. What's the problem you envision there? Maybe I will need to look again at our Christmas trip...
posted by PsychoTherapist at 4:47 AM on November 1, 2012

I've flown AA twice this month and and flying them to Houston on Saturday. Business as usual, as far as I can tell.

There was a 300-pilot picket line at DFW Airport yesterday; the newscast said it was unusual because negotiations were almost complete (or something to that effect).
posted by Doohickie at 10:33 AM on November 1, 2012

Flying Southwest limits your choice of airports at both ends, which affects your to- and from-airport transit options. Some of those are more or less convenient for babies and their carseat/stroller/diaper bag requirements. Also they're more likely to do something odd like have you change planes in St Louis.
posted by expialidocious at 10:39 AM on November 1, 2012

I've flown AA to Mexico City, San Francisco, New York twice (last trip was 2 weeks ago) and I experienced no delays on either leg of any of the flights. I'm also based in Chicago. Just my 2 cents.
posted by zombiebunny at 2:06 PM on November 1, 2012

My family of seven - and my brother's family of five - flew to Orlando two weeks ago on American. Everything went fine - no delays, no lost luggage, and the staff was really friendly.

It's only an anecdote (or two) but it's true!
posted by tacodave at 4:51 PM on November 1, 2012

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