Why I turned into an American Airlines fan; reconsidering

But over the past few years, American Airlines has always emerged as a constant nuisance, including flight disruptions and poor customer service.

American aircraft.

Airbus


One case from last June in particular stood out, which involved fighting for a new flight from Columbia to Miami after my carrier canceled my non-stop to JFK in New York.

Waiting for another flight at Bogota Airport in Colombia.

Waiting at Bogota Airport in Colombia for another AA flight. The flight was canceled the night before for an undisclosed reason and I was told I would be on a flight two days later, even though there was space on the Miami flight leaving in a few hours. In the end, the manager put me on a flight that same morning.

Taylor Reigns / Inside


Others might like Americans, and I would probably have bad luck every time, but nonetheless, it made me dread driving the carrier.

AA Central Line Rebooked in Miami.

AA’s Miami rebooking center line had hundreds of people long after I landed from Bogotá. I tried to get a gate agent to help me rebook my flight to JFK, but was told that only the rebooking center could help me. There were several gate agents in their offices and they couldn’t help me, which surprised me.

Taylor Reigns / Inside


However, since the beginning of 2022, I’ve paid the airline twice. Surprisingly, both experiences exceeded expectations and the service and comfort changed my mind about American plane travel.

A regional airliner of American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


I took two different American flights two weeks apart – the first from Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. to LaGuardia Airport in New York on an Airbus A319…

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


… and the second from LaGuardia to Montreal-Trudeau International Airport on an Embraer 175 regional airliner.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


Going on the first flight, my expectations were low. However, I was surprised by the service and the ease of the trip. In the capital, the process of checking in using the kiosks was smooth and I passed through security and at the gate within 15 minutes.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


I was able to get my boarding pass at the airport, but I also got it in my iPhone wallet app. Luckily I flew on a Tuesday evening so the flight was half full and the boarding didn’t take long.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


The seat was assigned 18F, which was a window, and luckily there was no one next to me, so I was able to spread out a bit.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


However, the seats were too spacious for the one hour flight. According to SeatGuru, the American A319’s main cabin seat space is 30 inches.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


Source: SeatGuru

Although this sounds cramped, I didn’t feel as cramped or uncomfortable as I did on other carriers. For reference, I’m about 5’4″ and on the smaller side, so I can fit into tight spaces a lot easier.

Flying American Airlines.

Main cabin seats.

Taylor Reigns / Inside


For those pushing six feet, it may be worth upgrading to the extra American main cabin on the A319 since it has 34 inches of pitch.

Flying American Airlines.

Additional seats in the main cabin (exit row).

Taylor Reigns / Inside


In addition to the roominess, I liked the headrests on each seat, which I find a good alternative to a neck pillow, which I never enjoyed using. I especially appreciate the headrest for flights where I’m stuck in the aisle or middle seat, which makes falling asleep easier.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


In terms of seat padding, it was nothing special compared to other carriers, although it was still more comfortable than lower-cost competitors like Spirit or Frontier.

Flying American Airlines.

The thin yet still comfortable seat padding you find on competing legacy carriers.

Taylor Reigns / Inside


The American A319 was also delivered in terms of overhead locker space, which easily stores my suitcase.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


Meanwhile, the drawer table was big enough to work on my laptop and store snacks. It also had a placeholder for a drink, which is a small detail but still appreciated.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


Although I was very disappointed that there were no in-flight entertainment screens, the carrier did add some nice amenities, including a power outlet and Wi-Fi…

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


…comfortable lying down …

Flying American Airlines.

There was a lot of space between me and the armrest.

Taylor Reigns / Inside


…and broadcast to my personal device.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


After resting, we pushed back from the gate on time at 5:00 PM and enjoyed a smooth flight to NYC.

Flying American Airlines.

The ultimate approach in LaGuardia.

Taylor Reigns / Inside


Unfortunately, due to the short flight duration, there was no service on the plane, although I was offered water, and I ate some of the foods I brought with me.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


After my positive experience from the capital to LaGuardia, I went on my trip to Montreal with greater hope. And once again, America delivered.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


After crossing the new LaGuardia Airport for the third time this year, I made my way to Gate 42 to board the American Embraer 175, which has recently become my favorite airline to fly.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


The flight was operated by one of America’s regional partners, Republic Airlines.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


Boarding was quick and I was in my seat in no time. Fortunately, I was upgraded to the Main Cabin Extra during check-in, going from class 23 to class 12, and got the whole class to myself.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


Fortunately, the Main Cabin Extra’s seats offer enough room to handle the deep stoop, though I’m not sure how much room will still be available in a regular economy. This would be the only drawback I had with the American Embraer 175.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


While there was no air service on board the one-hour A319, Embraer flight attendants provided express service for food and beverages on board, which included pastries and a drink, such as tea, water, coffee, and orange juice.

Flying American Airlines.


Taylor Reigns / Inside


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