American Airlines is Truly Awful Except For Its Generous Loyalty Program

by Anthony Losanno
a large white airplane on a runway

Advertiser Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat earns an affiliate commission for anyone approved through the links below. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. We work to provide the best publicly available offers to our readers. We frequently update them, but this site does not include all available offers.

In May, I wrote about a bad experience with American Airlines (more here). Some readers agreed with me, while others defended the airline and called me elitist, entitled, and worse. My skin is pretty thick. But, I’m not the only one taking issue with the airline. Passengers and my fellow BoardingArea bloggers have recently been sounding off on why flying American is bad, yet its loyalty program seems to be one of the best (for redeeming partner airline awards).

This passenger had to deal with so much water dripping over her seat that she was happy she wore a raincoat.

This passenger was served raw chicken with a nice yellow, Simpsons-esque tint.

I guess raw chicken is still better than this unidentified pile of garbage served in First Class.

Overhead bins are missing on some planes.

And, the flight attendants find it so ridiculous that they laugh and take pictures.

Another is facing a 27-hour delay to Buenos Aires and was given a $12 voucher. Ben at One Mile at a Time documented similar frustrations with American’s disastrous handling of his husband’s recent flight.

Here’s another tweet around delays. Weather was horrible in the northeast yesterday, but it seems American bit off more than they could chew and did not have crew in place to cover all of its flights.

Comedian Michael Rapaport had some colorful, NSFW words for American after they dumped him in Fort Meyers instead of Miami due to “not having enough gas.” American apparently also didn’t apologize.


18-hour delay turned this flight into a private party! ✈️🥳 Watch how the amazing crew and I made the most of it! #americanairlines #flightattendant #airplanetiktok #privateparty #FlightFun #delayedflight #fyp #viral

♬ Makeba – Jain

One passenger was delayed 18 hours. Other passengers gave up or found other flights. This left TikTok user @phil.stringer with his own private plane (since he was the only remaining passenger).

American Loyalty Points

I guess the bright side to all of this is that American still has a good loyalty program if you want to redeem for partner flights. You can earn Loyalty Points through shopping and other activities. It’s possible to gain status and earn enough miles for premium seats on partner flights without ever having to step foot on one of American’s planes. That means you can fly Japan Airlines or Qatar Airways without ever having to be rained on in the cabin or served raw chicken.

Frequent Miler details why AAdvantage is his favorite loyalty program, but how long will it be before this is devalued? If it’s too good, you know it will be getting cut.

Anthony’s Take: I stand by my assessment of American Airlines. The latest posts, tweets, videos, etc. show that the airline has not properly invested, has poor customer service, and has scheduled too many flights this summer. I’ll stick with Delta and some United flights to fill in the gaps.

User Generated Content Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.


Gene June 27, 2023 - 1:20 pm

Generous? If you spend $250,000 on AA cards, you earn EXP with the benefits and 250,000 miles worth about $3,250. Those same charges elsewhere can earn you at least 500,000 transferable points (probably way more, like 2 million, if you churn) worth $8,000. So, you have to pay $4,750 or much more for EXP. That is in no way generous.

geo1004m June 27, 2023 - 3:45 pm

So you’ve cut and pasted from the Twitterverse and offered that up as a “fresh” blog post? Clickbait…

Christian June 27, 2023 - 7:37 pm

Some interesting and amusing/horrifying stories but I truly don’t see American overall as being any worse than United or Delta. Just mentioning flying on Delta is a guaranteed fight with my wife because we’ve gotten burned so badly and enough times. I’ve had bad experiences on American but as a whole they’ve actually been the best of the Legacy 3 carriers.

Jacob June 27, 2023 - 9:30 pm

It is so sad that the US has such lousy airlines. It is a really bad reflection of the country as a whole.

Daniel Loquiro June 29, 2023 - 6:38 am

Your blog is truly horrible. What a waste of time. I’ll make sure to mark a spam on Facebook.


Leave a Comment

Related Articles