For many years, my preferred airline has been American Airlines. I have privileges with them for life after having accumulated in excess of 1 million miles. I’ve always had great service and can recall only one flight cancellation with them after hundreds of flights.
This past weekend, I needed to book a trip to Austin, Texas, in December. I was asked what airline I prefer. I could not say American Airlines–not now, not in light of all the flight cancellations that make business travel with American Airlines a real crap shoot. I’ll be flying on Southwest Airlines, an airline I have a lot of respect for in terms of “doing what they say they are going to do” and being business-friendly.
I can’t afford to take a bet on whether I’ll make it to Austin or not. It’s a big enough crap shoot to travel by air anyway with all the packed flights and few alternatives if you miss a flight or a connection. American Airlines has, as of late, made business travel an even riskier bet.
American Airline is in bankruptcy. For most airlines that have gone through bankruptcy, this has been little more than a minor blip on the radar in terms of passenger impact. American has set a new standard–not one they should have aspired to.
I understand there are issues with the unions. But, do the unions and management not see that the American Airlines brand is being trashed because of all the nonsense? Do they not see that people who can’t have a reasonable expectation of getting from Point A to Point B won’t book travel with them?
I’m going to need to hear that these problems are a thing of the past before I’ll want to book any flight with American Airlines. And, perhaps you should to before booking a flight with American Airlines.
Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com