Despite a poor experience with American Airlines last week which involved an agent with true little mAAn syndrome and led to the police being called, I am happy to report that I had a great inflight experience last weekend while flying to Missouri for the Seattle Seahawks vs Kansas City Chiefs game. I flew first class on 500 mile-upgrade certs on AA from Sacramento to Dallas and onward to Kansas City. In Dallas, I met up with my partner who flew in from our home in San Diego and then we continued onward to Kansas City. I cleared both segments to the forward cabin, but as my partner was traveling on an award ticket which is not upgradable, he had a seat in the rear cabin. So doing what any frequent traveler would do I traded him seats from Dallas to Kansas City–yet that is not the point.
My family and I dressed in green in a sea of red
The flight from Sacramento to Dallas wasn’t anything to write home about as it was a typical first class experience with a crew that was fairly attentive. Service was decent throughout the flight and we were even offered a pre-departure beverage of water or orange juice. It wasn’t the what would you like to drink pre-departure beverage service, yet these days, even getting a beverage before departure in the forward cabin on American takes an act of God, so already I was impressed! There was only one breakfast item choice for the entire cabin (granola—which was good) and the FA’s failed to hang my jacket, but that was a blessing in disguise as the FAs forgot to return the jackets at the end of the flight.
As someone who flies first class often, I wasn’t overly impressed with the inflight service but I was content. However, what really impressed me was on my connecting flight to Kansas City from Dallas: different plane, different gate, 1.5 hours later, same crew. Now sitting in the rear cabin, the FA recognized me and welcomed me back the minute I boarded. Then when I wasn’t seating in the forward cabin the FA who was helping serve both cabins asked me why I wasn’t seated up front as she noticed my name on her passenger roster. I told her that I traded seats with my partner who I met up with in Dallas and she smiled and told me that it was very kind of me to give him my seat. Then not even five minutes later she hand delivered me a drink from the forward cabin, a diet sierra mist & vodka—the same drink I was drinking on the previous flight! I didn’t even ask, she just hand delivered! Then if that wasn’t kind enough, about 30 minutes later, about ½ through the flight, the other FA from the forward cabin brought me a refill after she had served the first class cabin a drink and offered them a snack! Again I was delightfully surprised!
It is amazing how cabin crew can make or break a flight and it truly is the little things that an airline does that makes a big difference. Initially, after my interaction with AA last week I was rethinking my airline loyalty–after all, never before have I been harassed or cursed at without just cause nor have I ever had the police called on me—yet when I stop and reexamine everything, I remind myself that I cannot let one interaction ruin a great relationship that I have developed with AA over the last two years.