Any advice with American airline companies?

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Douggie
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Any advice with American airline companies?

Post by Douggie » Wed May 28, 2008 5:05 pm

I'm close to ordering a plane ticket for AWA and I was wondering about the quality of airline companies. From what I've seen the difference between the cheapest and the second-cheapest is 100 EUROs and then another 200 for the third-cheapest. The choices are American Airlines, Continental and Northwest (which merged with Delta from what I understand) in the order from cheap to more expensive.

I don't really care about airline food and foot space, because that's stuff I'll survive anyway. I am concerned about lost luggage, delayed/cancelled flights and bad ticket administration and such. Because the difference of 100 or 300 EUROs is quite a lot (I can buy an XBox 360 with that money! or a Wii!).

Any experiences or horror stories on any of these 3 airline companies?

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Post by JaddziaDax » Wed May 28, 2008 5:27 pm

I've had my cheap ass bags tore to hell by both AA and Continental.... but I had cheap ass bags.... if you have good sturdy ones you should be okay..

for short trips such as a con I usually only do carry ons... that way I'm in charge of how much destruction my bags go through, however if you are staying in the states longer than just the con you might want more luggage...

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Post by Otohiko » Wed May 28, 2008 6:01 pm

Are you definitely flying on an American carrier? Cause I'd actually suggest not taking that :P They're all in a bad situation recently. If I were flying from Europe to America or vice versa, I would probably be flying Finnair, KLM or Czech Airlines. I would probably NOT be flying Air France, Lufthansa or British Airways. But I'd rather fly those 3 than any of the American carriers.

Generally speaking flying into Atlanta is always problematic, the airport there is very overloaded and is notorious for delays and luggage problems, but I guess you don't have much choice there. It's generally advised that if you fly through the US, you avoid Atlanta and Chicago (lol, ironic considering where the cons are).
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Post by JaddziaDax » Wed May 28, 2008 6:21 pm

Avoid LAX like its the plague... I hate that airport O.o

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Post by Nessephanie » Wed May 28, 2008 7:24 pm

Otohiko wrote:It's generally advised that if you fly through the US, you avoid Atlanta and Chicago (lol, ironic considering where the cons are).
Bah Chicago is fine. (I assume we're talking O'Hare) It's not a complicated airport it's just large. The layout is pretty straight forward though, just follow the signs >_>.
Especially if whoever is picking you up knows their way around.

With all my flights in the last three years in the states (flying into Atlanta and Chicago both) I've never had any problems on any of the airlines I've flown. (Alaska, Delta and United) Maybe I've just been lucky. Once I had a three hour delay flying out of Chicago, but that was weather related.


(btw, are you flying into Chicago and driving down with us? (Brad, Jay and all of us) or are you flying directly into Atlanta? I can't remember hehe :3)

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Post by BasharOfTheAges » Wed May 28, 2008 7:57 pm

O'Hare has problems more because of the weather than anything else - storms go through there and cause delays almost constantly. Then they're so packed that getting back on schedule is a pain in the ass.

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Post by EvaFan » Wed May 28, 2008 8:01 pm

In all honesty you'd be safer taking a fishermans boat. USofA airline companies dont give a shit about you or your luggage, they just want your money.

Though im speaking from our experiences.
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Post by Coffee 54 » Wed May 28, 2008 8:38 pm

I just got back from a lovely little trip to Colorado and I picked up two little gems of advice in the process.

1) Don't fly on little planes over mountains.
Turbulance was so bad I thought I was going to throw-up... big time. Although everyone else on the plane seemed fine, which just made me mad. :x
Little Plane + Mountains = Sick and Mad

2) If your checking a bag, use TSA approved locks.
I got home and found my cute little luggage lock in two pieces stuffed into the top pocket, with a note from our friends at homeland security reminding me to use only TSA approved locks... You know, so they can root through my stuff without having to break it. I am so inconsiderate. :cry:

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Post by BasharOfTheAges » Wed May 28, 2008 8:39 pm

Eva-Fan wrote:In all honesty you'd be safer taking a fishermans boat. USofA airline companies dont give a shit about you or your luggage, they just want your money.

Though im speaking from our experiences.
Wait, are you implying there are businesses within multi-billion dollar industries with extremely-high barriers to entry who's position is almost that of a commodity in terms of importance that actually care about people?

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Post by JaddziaDax » Wed May 28, 2008 8:54 pm

speaking of TSA be sure to look up all the rules on liquids and other items allowed on the plane/carry on... or just buy your shampoo/toothpaste etc at your destination because you are only allowed travel size products in a 1 quart zip lock bag in the usa... make sure you put them in the ziplock too..

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Post by surfsama » Wed May 28, 2008 9:19 pm

This is probably more than you asked for but if it helps save a few bucks...

http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/reports/atcr08.htm

As for personal experiences, read my vent.
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Post by godix » Wed May 28, 2008 9:44 pm

If at all possible mail your shit ahead of you. Find someone in the US who's going that you trust and fedex your crap to them. If you don't trust anyone over here then some hotels will accept and hold packages for you provided you have a reservation but I'd check with the hotel first on that. The hassle of not going through checking in, and losing, your luggage is worth it. It also makes security easier if you just have a small carry on bag without much in it as well. Then there's the fragility issue, fedex is generally kinder to boxes than airlines are to luggage. Do the same on your way back, last stop before hitting the airport and going home should be a fedex store to send all your crap to your home.

Don't pack toothpaste, shampoo, and other crap like that. It's easier to just stop by a walmart at your destination and pick up that stuff. If you think about it some you might even be able to get away without packing a full set of cloths. You planning on buying a t-shirt at the con? That's one less you gotta pack.
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Post by wurpess » Wed May 28, 2008 9:58 pm

Effective June 15th, American Airlines will be charging for 1st checked bag. Not sure if it applies to you or not. But reading the guidelines on what they do and don't charge for, it sounds like if you went with them, you would at least be paying for checked baggage coming in. (But it sounds like you would be ok leaving. Unless you just put everything in a carry-on. Then you're fine.) I was ok with Northwest, but if they merged with Delta, then I don't know. (Didn't really like Delta. :?) I don't think I've ever flown with Continental. Though I think Godix's idea(s) is probably best luggage-wise.
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Post by Kitsuner » Wed May 28, 2008 10:13 pm

JaddziaDax wrote:speaking of TSA be sure to look up all the rules on liquids and other items allowed on the plane/carry on... or just buy your shampoo/toothpaste etc at your destination because you are only allowed travel size products in a 1 quart zip lock bag in the usa... make sure you put them in the ziplock too..
I really don't get why someone would bring toothpaste or shampoo or the like ON the plane. Most flights aren't nearly long enough to suggest things like that to be necessary/useful.
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Post by BasharOfTheAges » Wed May 28, 2008 11:10 pm

Kitsuner wrote:
JaddziaDax wrote:speaking of TSA be sure to look up all the rules on liquids and other items allowed on the plane/carry on... or just buy your shampoo/toothpaste etc at your destination because you are only allowed travel size products in a 1 quart zip lock bag in the usa... make sure you put them in the ziplock too..
I really don't get why someone would bring toothpaste or shampoo or the like ON the plane. Most flights aren't nearly long enough to suggest things like that to be necessary/useful.
So they don't have to check a bag and risk having it disappear? I know plenty of people that go on short trips with just a carry-on bag so they don't have to deal with the airlines losing their luggage.

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