American Airlines will be starting service between Seattle and London from the end of March 2021 and the plan was to have the service bookable from early May of this year. The crisis that unfolded since the original route announcement saw American Airlines delay the opening of reservations for its newest route but, following a recent schedule update, tickets are now on sale.
Back in the middle of April, American Airlines announced a series of measures that it was taking to (mostly) try to stop its more frequent flyers from defecting to other airlines. These measures included elite status extensions, Admirals Club membership extensions, and, amongst other things, a promise of future American Airlines Vacation credits. Details of these credits are now being emailed out to AAdvantage elite status holders.
American Airlines offers a Premium Economy cabin on most of its long-haul fleet and this is a review of the airline's product on its Boeing 777-200 aircraft flying between London Heathrow and Los Angeles. With a flying time scheduled at well over 10 hours, there was plenty of time to get a good sense of what the American Airlines Premium Economy cabin and service are all about.
American Airlines chose to use Sunday afternoon to announce that it is looking to raise at least $3.5 billion through a combination of a public stock offering, the issuing of loan stock, and a new secured credit facility.
One very noticeable theme that has been running through the travel world since the current pandemic brought daily life to a grinding halt has been the theme of airlines doing everything in their power to withhold refunds from customers to whom refunds are owed. With that as a backdrop, I wasn't sure what to expect when I submitted a refund request to American Airlines but, as the title of this post suggests, I've been very pleasantly surprised.
Back in February, American Airlines backtracked on two key positions it had taken in recent years. First, the airline did a u-turn on its relationship with Alaska Airlines and the two are now best friends and, just a few days later, American Airlines forgot that it had been calling for Qatar Airways to be banned from operating services to/from the US and announced a strategic partnership with the Middle Eastern carrier. The first stage of that partnership has now kicked into action.
For the past few days, I've been drafting a blog post which was going to point out something that I found interesting. American Airlines, the airline that has done a superb job of destroying its loyalty program, making its aircraft increasingly uncomfortable and generally annoying as many of its customers as possible, appeared to be negotiating the current crisis with a rarely seen level of skill...at least as far as customer service goes.
Up until now, American Airlines has been waiving change fees for bookings made through 31 March 2020 (today) but with no sign that anything around us is getting any better soon the airline has now extended that booking period by a month.
American Airlines operates its best narrowbody aircraft (complete with lie-flat seats in First & Business Class) on a few select transcontinental routes on which the airline feels that it needs to compete for premium passenger traffic. One of the routes on which these aircraft operate is the route between Los Angeles and New York (JFK).
The latest big changes to hit the US airlines are the ban on travel between select European countries and the US (which comes into force tonight) and the ban on travel between the US and Argentina that the Argentinian authorities have announced. In response to this very fluid situation, American Airlines has moved to reduce the number of flights it plans to operate in the coming months very significantly.