The American Airlines Experience: Orlando Trip Review

by Jake Smith

My almost seventeen hour travel day started out with a two hour drive to the airport. I was stuck in between Orlando airport and the three south Florida airports West Palm,Fort Lauderdale, and of course Miami. For me I had family members riding up past Orlando that day so I opted to go up to Orlando. This trip had me particularly excited as it was my first time flying American. This trip would take me from Orlando down to Miami on Americans A321, then on to Philadelphia on the aging 767-300, followed finally by my hometown of Boston on the E190. So as you can see I got a taste of everything that American has to offer (other than the 777 of course). I’ll try to fit in all the flights below.

 

When in Orlando I was met by a large security line and I unfortunately didn’t have CLEAR which is a new service being rolled out in many airports to expedite the screening process. So I had to sit in the longer TSA line. After the long wait I was finally on my way to terminal B on Orlando’s monorail train. My gate for the first leg was 58 and as soon as I got there I was met by our arriving aircraft coming in from Miami. As the other two flights were connecting flights we didn’t face security.

 

The boarding process was a bit different from what I’m used to at Jetblue but it was relatively efficient. Miami was a different story. Our inbound aircraft was delayed by 3 hours which meant my connection in Philly was just cut down to 30 minutes instead of 3 hours. American offered free rebooking but this was my one chance to get to try out Americans aging 767’s and I have to say I regret taking this flight. You can see more below.

 

Once we all got on board we were finally able to get on with the trip. So let’s hop straight into it. Once at cruise we weren’t offered any food or drinks on the two short flights (Orlando-Miami & Philly-Boston), instead we were offered a small drink. I wasn’t disappointed as it’s a very short flight and I wasn’t expecting anything anyways. However on my flight out of Miami we were offered Americans wafer cookies which I must say weren’t that bad and the common soft drinks,water, or a good selection of juices. Below you can see the 3-3 cabin layout on the A321. This was the only aircraft to have IFE onboard for this trip.

 

How was the Inflight experience you ask? Terrible, I felt like I was just another paying customer on board. In my past experiences with Jetblue & Delta that wasn’t the case. I felt right at home with both airlines and the fight attendants made sure of it. Interacting with everybody in the cabin and making everyone laugh was the highlight of those two airlines. Let’s get back on topic here, if someone asked me which airline I recommend it’s going to be Delta. You want to know why? Take a look at my trip review posted a while back on the 757, it will give you an inside look at just why I love Delta. I believe in second chances, heck I gave spirit another chance and it ended worse. This seemed to be the case with American, after a sloppy first flight my second wasn’t much better. In fact it was much worse. The third flight? Well it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either.

 

Overall all I think American wasn’t what I had hoped. The bright spot was the offer to rebook us on another flight earlier that day but in doing so we walked from one end of Miami’s terminal D to the other at least THREE times. I had to of walked a mile or two that day in Miami’s airport alone. The service wasn’t great, I was not impressed by Americans hospitality which was no where to be found. The aircraft weren’t to bad aside from the 767 which was very old with no IFE and an outdated cabin. The flight attendant telling me to close my window shade even though I paid specifically for a window seat all made for a rough flight. Maybe I’ll give American a third chance down the road but from everybody I know that flies American it’s not looking to good.

By Anthony C.

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