American Airlines: Thumbs Up

I recently flew round trip from Las Vegas to Tokyo. I chose American Airlines because they had the lowest fare. I had a bit of trepidation because I’d never flown American internationally (and only a few times domestically, none of which I can remember). However, despite a couple of delays the travel was an overall positive experience.

I liked flying American because:

  • Flying a single airline meant not having to deal with transferring baggage at Los Angeles. On the return flight I did have to claim my baggage in Los Angeles because I had to go through customs; however, there was a “recheck” kiosk just outside customs minimizing the hassle.
  • In Los Angeles, American’s domestic and international flights leave from the same terminal. This meant I didn’t have to hike over to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. In fact, it was only about a 5 minute walk from one gate to the other.
  • American uses Boeing 777s. I prefer these over 747s for a couple of reasons: 1) They are smaller, which means less time deplaning. 2) Each seat has its own video screen, and you can individually select what movie you want to watch.
  • I was treated well by American’s employees.

The only glitches were a couple of delays. On my outbound leg from Los Angeles to Tokyo, the plane had an avionics problem which took 1.5 hours to fix. On my return leg from Los Angeles to Las Vegas there had been a sick passenger and the carpet in the aircraft needed to be steam cleaned. To American’s credit, rather than make us wait an inordinate amount of time they put us on a different aircraft. However, it still took about an hour to make the switch. I consider both of these glitches bad luck and not the fault of American Airlines.

Overall it was a very positive experience, and I saved about $250 over my first-choice airline, Japan Airlines. Next time American will be my first-choice airline.

American Airlines Boeing 777

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