Today I am flying American Airlines from Seattle, WA, USA to Manchester, England, UK via Chicago. I am spending 6 hours plus in the Chicago airport.. actually in the Admirals Club.. for such a long layover, well worth the $50 daily price.. feet up, wifi on, food and drinks available and a nice view of the control towers and blue skies.
Today American Airlines announced they were buying 460 new planes and taking options on hundreds more. I guess they need to pretty much replace the whole fleet with more fuel efficient planes. You can read more here at the Forbes article.
I think I know how they are scrimping and saving to buy these planes. When I checked in today, I found it was a much longer process than normal.. WHY? Well as soon as you have identified your flight info you are given an option to buy AAdvantage miles.. that woudl be $350 some or $550 some for me this round.. WOW. And then there is the first class upgrade offer, the excess luggage charge ( since I am flying to Europe I get one suitcase checked free but a second would have been $50.. the domestic charge is now $$25 for the first and $35 for the second) and just when I thought I was done they gave me ONE MORE OFFER.. I had been placed in boarding group 2.. if I would like to board with group 1 .. just $9 will do it. And here I thought the boarding groups were for efficiency in loading.. gullible me !
It probably goes without saying that there was no free food on this flight.
My last trip was on Korean Air, this is such a shock after that experience. Maybe it is the newer planes that allow an airlines to charge a very competitive price and still provide nice seats, good food, pleasant service, checked luggage, and a wide variety of movies, all included. (The bowing to the customers isn’t happening here at American either.) So new planes may help.. but I think there must be other factors at work here as well. What are your thoughts?