Hello from the fabulous DCA Admirals Club. Fabulous because this is the best domestic airline lounge staff anywhere….and I visit a lot of lounges with a lot of different airlines. I am truly blessed to be able to access lounges when I travel, and the fine people that staff this Admirals Club are simply second to none, and they’ve taken care to make sure that I eventually get to Chicago. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about why I will not book any additional travel on American Airlines until it gets its operational act together.

The reason I’m still in the Admirals Club is because my flight to Chicago went mechanical. You might remember that I’ve experienced a lot of problems traveling on American this summer. I blogged about them here, here, and here. OK, that’s not a lot, but they were pretty darn important trips. It isn’t lost on me that I paid for them both with miles, but should that really matter? I don’t care if schedules aren’t guaranteed. Operating as reliably as possible is part of a social contract between an airline and its customers. Being on time shows that an airline cares.

As of now, I will no longer book any new travel on American. I have one trip remaining, to Miami for a short cruise over the Thanksgiving holiday. This is the trip that I politely requested American refund after my European snafus over the summer, mainly because I don’t trust them to operate in proximity to on time. They of course, refused. I am tempted to ask again, but I won’t. I will only ask this. American, please, please, please, be on time for my Miami flights. I do not have the luxury of dealing with your lack of reliability on this trip. I am seriously considering buying tickets on Delta’s new nonstops from DCA to Miami and just walking away from my November reservations on AA. In the end, it will probably cost me less.

If you wondered who I’m flying now, wonder no more. I status matched to United a month ago where I’ve since flown 7 flights, all of which were on time, and 6 of which I cleared into First Class. United isn’t perfect, and I certainly think AAdvantage is a better mileage program overall than Mileage Plus. But I can’t argue with numbers, and right now, by the numbers…United is running a better airline. God, I can’t believe I just said that.