On Saturday, I took my first American Airlines flights since their reservations system cutover on October 17th. I had not purposely sought to avoid flying them, I just hadn’t needed to. I was excited when a last-minute travel requirement popped up earlier this week and American’s pricing was exactly what I wanted. The route of flight was ATL-CLT-RDU. Both flights were former US routes with US (and US Express on the E175 from CLT to RDU) crews with a connection in Charlotte. I purposely booked a longer layover than necessary so I could work in an Admirals Club visit too.
This was my first set of “sub 500 mile” flights since American introduced complimentary upgrades on flights of 500 miles or less as well. I’m sure flying on Saturday morning played some roll in this, but both upgrades cleared immediately at the AAdvantage Gold 24 hour window.
American’s reservations system cutover went very well, and nearly a month after the event, my flights were fine. There was one little issue using the AA iPhone app to check in. I “went through the motions” with check in, and the app just returned to its home screen without giving me a boarding pass. A look at AA.com indicated that I was already checked in, but AA.com would not give me a boarding pass either. For a second, I thought I might be a recipient of the dreaded SSSS, but after closing the AA app and rebooting my phone, I reopened the app to find a boarding pass. That was the only glitch of the trip.
Every employee I interacted with was pleasant, the first class F/A’s on both flights managed a full pre-departure beverage service (pretty typical of US crews in my experience), and Charlotte remains one of my favorite places to change planes if you have to make a connection.
The Bottom Line
With the reservations cutover behind it, American can now focus on providing a seamless travel experience across legacy AA and US routes. American remains a viable alternative for Atlanta travelers depending on your travel patterns.
-MJ, November 15, 2015