American Airlines was named best and worst airline in the same week?

The headlines on American Airlines today were confusing.

Dans Deals highlighted how the Wall Street Journal called American Airlines the worst U.S. airline for the second year in a row.

Meanwhile American Airlines is giving away free flights to its employees and trumpeting how a magazine called Air Transport World named AA the airline of the year.

So is AA the best or the worst?

I guess it depends on who you ask.

Ask an average customer, you may hear it’s the worst.

Ask a business analyst, they may say it’s the airline of the year.

As the WSJ shows, AA is at or near the bottom in almost every category that matters to customers: Delays, cancellations, lost baggage, on-time arrivals and customer complaints.

In the few times I’ve flown AA recently, I’ve enjoyed the on-board experience, but it’s getting onboard that’s the hard part — nearly every flight is delayed.

So why did Air Transport World like AA so much this year?

Apparently they liked how AA has continued to function and profit while completing the merger with U.S. Airways that began in 2015.

Here is AA’s sappy video of executives talking about how proud of themselves they are:

Points and miles enthusiasts haven’t been very pleased with AA recently, as award flights have seemingly gotten harder and more expensive to book.

Want an award flight for a reasonable number of miles? Expect to book far in advance or deal with terrible date/route options, as I found out recently:

screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-3-40-49-pm

There’s a reason this award flight is only 12.5k miles.

AA also moved to a revenue-based miles earning system, as I mentioned last year.

This article is a good explanation of why some frequent flyers are angry at AA.

On the positive side, late last year AA became the only airline to offer a credit card from two different banks, as Barclay added an AA card with an easy 40k-mile bonus to the usual array of AA cards from Citi.

If you have an opinion of American Airlines, I’d love to hear it.

3 thoughts on “American Airlines was named best and worst airline in the same week?

    • Ah great! I’m a fan of their planes and their service (free movies, yasss, though my plane from Philly to Zurich was cramped and straight out of the 90s). But I’m always delayed! Admittedly those delays have been helped by having access to their lounges, thanks to the Prestige card. Thanks for the comment!

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  1. I think actually flying on their planes is pretty good. The entertainment, food/drinks and flight attendants all seem pretty good, IMO. It’s just using miles on their airline seems incredibly hard. I can never find a decent redemption, let alone a good one. Plus they try to push using BA on flights to Europe and I refuse to pay those absurd surcharges.

    Liked by 1 person

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