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Much of LAX is under construction, including the runways and (most noticeably) its terminals as the airport continues to modernize and update its offerings. But while the jackhammering and plywood will remain for a few more years, new things are already starting to be revealed.
Yesterday, American Airlines announced its new nonstop service to Sydney. The flights will begin on December 17 in a OneWorld partnership with Qantas, flying the flagship Boeing 777-300ER (pending regulatory approvals). Here's a bit more about what will be on board:
American’s new service between LAX and SYD will be operated by the state-of-the-art, three-class Boeing 777-300ER with best-in-class premium customer offerings. The aircraft’s products and services feature all-aisle access, fully lie-flat seats and a walk-up bar in the premium cabins; Main Cabin Extra seating provides more legroom; and all seats feature personal, in-seat entertainment screens with up to 250 movies, over 180 TV programs and more than 350 audio selections, international Wi-Fi capability, and universal AC power outlets and USB ports.
I recently flew roundtrip from Chicago to Kauai and the third party who arranged my flights didn’t have my American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier number at the time of booking. Oh well! I figured I would just take care of getting the flight credits when I returned home.
Sitting down with all of the information I had available (flight numbers, dates and confirmation code) I hit a snag on AA.com when asked for my ticket number. American has a link that says “What is my ticket number?” (seen in the screen shot above) so I clicked it. But instead of being able to look up my ticket number with the information I had available, it simply showed me where to find that number on documents I didn’t have in my possession.
They also require the airline code, but when I tried to look up the airline code for US Airways, which I flew for one leg, the link provided proved equally unhelpful. Luckily, that was easily found via Google.
If you happen to follow American Airlines on any of its social media channels, you may have noticed the ubiquitous hashtag #NewAmerican — usually accompanied by a picture of a smiling cabin crew or snaps of a flashy new Dreamliner. The slogan came about with the merger of AA and US Airways, to suggest a united company soaring toward new horizons. Still, the term is now tossed around like a rag doll — and this contributor wondered what it truly meant in real-life terms. That is, until I flew a simple domestic leg from Las Vegas to Chicago, one that opened my eyes to a brand new experience that supersedes any new lounge, refreshed inflight menu or brand-spanking new aircraft. This experience captured the heart of any personal interaction: The Care Factor. It's something intangible — you can't carry it off the plane — but it's what makes me really think an airline can get us excited about flying again.
Here's what happened.
Airport Lounges / Airline Lounges / ORD / American Airlines / Chicago Travel / American Eagle / → All Tags
It's not often that we find ourselves saying that we actually enjoy a U.S. air carrier's choices for an airport lounge. But our tune might be changing after experiencing first-hand how American Airlines is taking their #NewAmerican mantra seriously. On a recent flight out of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, we were pretty impressed by the fresh design and approach behind the sliding door of American's Admirals Club. It's all part of the carrier's larger rebranding strategy, which has also included overhauled menus, refreshed cabins, a plan for new uniforms, and now some lounges that are comfy enough for any frequent flier.
In-Flight Entertainment / Rankings / In-Flight Music / Delta / Southwest Airlines / JetBlue / American Airlines / → All Tags
Icelandair aires Björk. Norwegian Air Shuttle plays unpronounceable Scandinavian artists like Röyksopp. And Hawaiian Airlines leaves passengers with some soothing ukulele. In-flight music sets the tone for an entire journey. While boarding your flight, would you rather hear some overly dramatic piano cover of Asia’s "Heat of the Moment" like it’s 1982, or bounce to the addictive electronic beats of The XX?
We decided to examine the music on various US airlines. Who has the best tunes? To decide, we considered criteria like modernity, tempo, mood setting capabilities, variety — and number of piano or glee club cover songs.
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The brand new plane, the first for AA of 42 787s on order, left Dallas-Ft Worh Airport for Chicago-O'Hare, a typically rote domestic flight turned celebration for the introduction of the aircraft.
Now we have good news and bad news.
The bad news is that the AA 787, which has already been inducted into domestic service, has had her party and you're a little late to it. The good news is that, with American welcoming more than just one 787, there's plenty more partying in the near future.
In-Flight Meals / Food Travel / American Airlines / 757 / Europe Travel / Economy Class Travel / → All Tags
It may have taken a few years, but American Airlines has finally come around to offering a better breakfast in economy class, on long-haul flights.
You see, it used to be that passengers in the back of plane, on transatlantic flights between the U.S. and Europe, were treated (we use the word sarcastically) to a small and salty hot dinner then, several hours later and before arrival at the destination, a greasy croissant would arrive on a tray. Said croissant would leave grease marks all over the tray, be accompanied by orange juice and little side packets of butter and jam, and altogether make you feel as though your face were a grease slick until you eventually had a chance to shower away the memory of the flight.
We first complained about the meal way, way back in 2011, and went on to take a distinct interest in airline breakfast meals over the years. See our "Surprisingly Awesome Airline Meals" category for times when airlines actually got it right.
Now, the AA has finally cleaned up their act to change economy class breakfast into a pleasant little boxed meal containing things you might want to eat, and wouldn't feel gross for ingesting after a lengthy trip.
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Bad news for those looking to score a trip aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner here in the nifty fifty, as a couple of carriers are changing up their plans and orders as apparently the latest isn’t necessarily the greatest.
United has a whole bunch of 787s on order, and that’s in addition to the ones they’re already flying. According to the Associated Press and ABC News, United is pretty cool with the 787; however, they’re just looking for something a little bit bigger for certain routes. Boeing will still be their bird of choice, as the plan is to trade in some of the 787s for Boeing 777-300ERs. All in all they will be reordering ten of the different planes—hey, at least they didn’t call Airbus!
For so many years, the often-heard excuse for poor experiences aboard airlines was always about money. Why did they stop serving food? Why are there more seats on board? Why have routes disappeared? Why are they charging for bags? It was because the airlines were poor, or about to be poor, and were doing the best they can to make ends meet.
According to the Dallas Morning News, American Airlines made a profit of $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2015, crushing its previous first quarter profit record of $480 million. In January, USA Today provided more details about airlines' soaring stock prices and historic 2014 profits.
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In-flight duty-free is nearly dunzo.
At some point last week, American Airlines unceremoniously ended in-flight sales of duty-free items, removing the sticky catalogs from seatback pockets, shutting down the duty-free website, and canceling that time when, in the calm middle of the flight, flight attendants ask if you'd like to spend $75 on a run-of-the-mill bottle of scotch.
While the reason for the cancellation isn't clearfrequent flyers around the internet have rumored that it's a contractual disagreementwe do know that American isn't the first to put the products back on the shelf. In August of last year, Delta did the exact same thing, quietly calling it quits on their in-flight duty-free.
We've gotten over the shock after the Delta news, and realize it's not such a huge issue since airports and other international airlines aren't giving up their own duty-free.
Airline Mergers / American Airlines / US Airways / New American / Airline News / Travel News / Frequent Flyer Miles / AAdvantage / Dividend Miles / Airline Loyalty Programs / → All Tags
US Airways' 767-200s have finished flying.
And planes painted in US Airways' flag livery are taking turns in the paint shop, emerging with AA's shiny #newAmerican stripes.
Next up on the laundry list of to-dos before the merger completes is to close up US Airways' frequent flyer program, Dividend Miles. Think of it as "spring cleaning" for AA, as the process is in full swing right now.
File this one under "what the hell were they thinking?"
American Airlines got a request from a an Illinois family whose young daughter had died. Understandably, they were too crushed to take the vacation they had all planned to take together, and they were hoping to get their airline tickets refunded. This matter should have been handled immediately, quietly, and in its entirety.
So of course that's not at all what happened. Instead, the airline sent an apologetic note, expressing their sorrow for the death of the girl but firmly explaining that the tickets were non-refundable. Mom shared her story on her Facebook page, and from there nature took its course.
An online rage mob formed (kind of appropriately, in this case) and on Tuesday American ended up providing the refunds.
Quote unquote "We fully refunded [her] ticket last night and apologized to [the family] for not doing so immediately when she first contacted us." No kidding.