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American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

concord nh
Level Contributor
4,328 posts
51 reviews
American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

Over on the TA American Airlines Forum there are thousands of reviews all over the place with more positive reviews in the average to very good section. However, there are still many thousands in the poor to terrible sections.

I can get a wonderful price for a flight from Boston with layover in Philly then to Athens and the same for return. I can pick my seats without a charge and the flights have good departure/arrival times and short layovers in Philly.

I've flown with numerous other airlines, some with very good reviews and some with so-so reviews. However, all worked out for me, got me/wife to our destinations safely, mostly on time and no problems with customer service or travel mix-ups.

I've never flown with AA so would appreciate some advice.

62 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
Level Contributor
4,666 posts
20 reviews
1. Re: American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

Lots of people fly them everyday without issue. Odds are in your favour.

Arrive early and hope for the best.

Level Contributor
256 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

The reason there are reviews all over the place is because everybody has their own opinion based only on their own experience. By asking your question you will get the same situation. Just follow Downtown's advice.

concord nh
Level Contributor
4,328 posts
51 reviews
3. Re: American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

I think any time you fly you do "hope for the best", not just the flight, but at the airport(s) with checking in, security, waiting, etc.

The only disappointing flight I had was with Al Italia with a 3 1/2 wait on the tarmac due to a "wheel problem". The wait was terrible but once we took off had no other problems and land safely, albeit very later than we had anticipated.

I guess there are no guarantees when flying but the more positive reviews the better chance of a happy flight.

It's just with all the reviews all over the place for AA I'm a bit hesitant about booking so hopefully I'll get more responses.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
17,730 posts
118 reviews
4. Re: American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

They are similar to the other major USA airlines like united or delta. They all have good days and bad days. Remember very few people go online to post a review that their flight was uneventful. Most of what you read are the people who had issues.

I’d be careful with short layovers. I’d want at least 2 or 3hours, especially on the return where you have to clear immigration and customs in PHL.

Edited: 09 December 2017, 19:57
Palmetto, Florida
Level Contributor
5,800 posts
5. Re: American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

If you are happy with price and schedule then I would say go for it. It would not be much better or worse than any other out there.

My own experience: I am generally happy with the service on flight itself. I have not best experience dealing with AA customer service pre flight or during connections when there is disruption/change to the scheduled. So yes, a bit of luck to your experience.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Level Contributor
4,274 posts
6. Re: American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

>>> got me/wife to our destinations safely, mostly on time and no problems with customer service or travel mix-ups.<<<

And if that's your priority, it'll probably be perfect. A few pointers to the "whinges" that appear on this forum as opposed to in the review section.

1) AA have some aircraft without AVOD (seat back screens) on International routes. There are many that are "aghast" at such antiquity and horrified they weren't warned. It's a seat to Athens, if you must know about the IFE check the details on AA's site for that flight.

2) Baggage being lost, or baggage mis-connect, is normally not the airline it's usually the airports fault but as the airline are the ones that have to sort it out - they get the blame.

3) They've been on the go a long long time, so they have aircraft that have seen a lot of service, and as many expect a "brand new state of the art" aeroplane, they whinge just because it's not this years model. What are AA supposed to do? throw them away to meet wholly unreasonable expectations?

Economy is economy with very little to choose between them all, apart from very small details. You will get there and back safe n sound in a virtually identical seat space. 31" x 17.5" ;-)

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
52,719 posts
1,769 reviews
7. Re: American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

We flew the “old US,” back when they were “local” to us, and also part of Star Alliance. Only issues that we ever had were some delays (usually into/out of SFO. Have only done the “new AA” a few times, and on short-haul Domestic. All of those have been near to on-time, and about the same, as our many, similar flights in UA.

I agree with the above, that a reviewer’s expectations, and personal bias, can come out in the Reviews. I saw 100’s of Reviews for UA, that basically ignored the details of the flight, but based UA for the Dr Dao incident. Many were along the line of “good, on-time flight, but I hate what they did to Poor Dr Dao... “

Rather than look at spreads, or ratings, reading the text of the Reviews, was better - and often reading “between the lines” helped.

Good friend flies PHX-CLT (or JFK)-FCO often, and always on AA. He has had nothing but good to say about AA, but does not write Reviews.

Also, more folk seem to write Reviews, when something goes amiss. I am probably one of the few, who try to write one for all flights - the good, the bad and the ugly.

I’d sort by similar routes, and read, rather than look at spreads, and bubbles. I did just that, when trying to decide between QF and VA. Finding reviews with useful details, free of emotion, and extreme hyperbole, was difficult. Just too many whining about cancelling a non-flexible ticket, and not getting 100% refund...

Best of luck, and fly safely,


Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
52,719 posts
1,769 reviews
8. Re: American Airlines . . . OK or Not?


Very well-stated.

Sums it up nicely!


Level Contributor
1,800 posts
553 reviews
9. Re: American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

I did the trip from PHL to Athens return with American - they used the A330 with a 2 class configuration (business and economy). Both flights left on time and arrived on time. If you have got a good price + schedule and are happy with that, there aren't any other airlines that will get you to Athens from the USA that are significantly better. If you want significantly better, then you have to pay extra for business class.

Level Contributor
3,975 posts
26 reviews
10. Re: American Airlines . . . OK or Not?

Thousands and thousands of people fly American without reviewing it anywhere. When was the last time you reviewed an airline? People tend to post reviews only when they have a problem, therefore the ratio of bad to good reviews is highly skewed.

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