If you ever happen to see me in an American Airlines business class cabin you can bet your butt that I either got upgraded or they had some huge fare sale. Not that I don’t buy premium class seats. I just won’t pay premium class prices for such an awful product such as American Airlines business class when the competition almost always has better pricing coupled with a product that is light years better. In fact, even when I’ve been upgraded for free, I feel like I paid way too much.
Take the Charlotte to Punta Cana flight I had on New Year’s Eve. I got upgraded and found myself in a decent A330 business class cabin that has a fairly decent hard product (seats) and hoped it would in fact be an enjoyable experience. Those odds got slightly dropped when the flight attendant came up to me and asked what pre departure drink I would like to have, to which I replied “Champagne please”. Her response? A punching “we don’t have champagne, we only have sparkling wine” accompanied with an eye roll. While technically right, she illustrated the very reason why I and many like myself will never rid ourselves of our hard earned money to buy an American Airlines premium seat, the soft product (service) is so inconsistent and when it is consistent it’s for it’s indifferent/borderline-rude flight attendants.
My girlfriend was in seat 6F and was being serviced by a different flight attendant that was starkly different than mine, she was the exception to the rule. She was nice and knew a thing or two about service. Mine on the other said all the right things but non verbally communicated ever so loudly that she hated her job, hated me, and had an aura of utter disdain. Sure, Ide hate to be working on New Years Eve too but there’s something to be said about acting as a professional.
Now don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t out right rude, and therein lies the problem. If she was blatantly rude then I would imagine that she would get enough complaints from customers for management or the union to do something about it. But when it’s simply indifferent service it doesn’t make enough waves to warrant attention. In fact many other passengers may not have even noticed her nochalantless and slight facial expressions of boredom but they are probably the passengers that have never travelled on Emirates First Class, Cathay Pacific, Eva Air, and Qatar Business Class, to name a few, therefore they have come to accept this standard of service as just that, standard. I’m here to tell you It’s definitely not.
When it came time to serve lunch, she came over to me and said “Chicken or lasagna”, I selected the lasagna and she pointed at the arm rest and said “The tray is over there, open it” and sped off.
The lasagna wasn’t that bad, it was actually pretty decent and so was the chocolate cheese cake served for dessert.
So, an overall decent flight with an upgrade to a fully lie flat seat that I can’t complain about but also a reminder why I don’t buy premium seats on US airlines.