American Airlines is a major airline that just underwent Chapter 11 reorganization. They merged with US Airways to form one of the largest airline companies ever. They offer 273 destinations in the US, North America, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, and Asia. Its' extensive network is based out of five hubs: Dallas/Fort Worth, JFK in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and O'Hare. Most of its planes are taken care of at Tulsa International Airport. They belong to the Oneworld airline alliance, working to coordinate services with British Airways, Finnair, Japan Airlines, and others. American Airlines also contracts out its regional air services to Envoy Air, SkyWest, and others. ExpressJet operates its American Eagle carrier brand. When they merged with US Airways, the result was the largest airline in the world. The merger was a good move for these companies, as it helped revitalize a company that had been hampered in recent years with financial issues.
There are many positive things about flying with American Airlines. They do a pretty good job in terms of in-flight entertainment. On the planes that are fitted with back seat TVs, it is possible to get on-demand entertainment. Planes without this feature allow passengers to check out on-demand tablets for in-flight entertainment needs.
If you are looking to be entertained on one of their flights, you will find the following options:
- 250 movies on international flights and 150 movies on domestic flights
- Up to 180 TV shows
- 350 audio sections
- 18 American Airlines Radio channels
- Up to 20 games to play.
You can also bring your own device to stream the items above, including laptops, an iPad, the Galaxy Tab, or any device that runs iOS or Android OS 3.2
There is a lot to like about the fact that American Airlines is continuously upgrading it's fleet. Every week, American Airlines gets at least one new plane. These include Boeing 777-300ERs, Airbus 321s, and Airbus 319s. The old fleet of Boeing 767-300s, and Boeing 777-200s are continuously being upgraded to include lie-flat business class seats and other seating options. The Airbus planes should provide more comfortable seating options for flyers, especially in terms of bigger and better seats.
According to Flightstats.com, their flights have arrived on-time roughly 82% of the time.
There are a few issues that can become a part of your travels when using American Airlines. When we called in, we had questions about "upping" the liability on your checked baggage. Delta lets you up your baggage liability to $5000, but American Airlines seems to avoid doing this.
Some customers have had problems with American Airlines and their e-vouchers for various types of refunds. On an issued ticket, you cannot apply a voucher to get a refund. If you have no more planned trips for the year, the e-voucher is going to be somewhat useless if you don't use it by its expiration date.
One customer also paid for a seat upgrade, but when they got to the plane, they still found their old seats. The customer found out that they would need to pay more to upgrade their seats again.
One potential issue with the in-flight entertainment options are the planes in which they are available. When researching the AA fleet on their website, the best options for in-flight entertainment are on Boeing planes. Airbus planes have not been upgraded to the fullest extent as have Boeing planes up to this point. If a customer gets on an Airbus, they may have difficulties getting tablets, overhead video, or streaming video. Older Boeing planes are also sometimes lacking similar features for clients as well.
The Bottom Line
We recommend American Airlines because of their top of the line in-flight entertainment, many destinations, and large number of daily flights. Because of their length of time being in business and their recent merger with US Airways and their resources, we feel confident in recommending them as an airline at this time.