Accommodations, DESTINATIONS, International, Road Trips, Shopping, TRAVEL, Travel Planning

Grateful for the Yawn Factor

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I’m of the opinion that travel is more interesting if there are problems.  “Everything was perfect,” might make for a great vacation, but you could bore your friends to death with that kind of travelogue.  Lost luggage, crazy GPS instructions and rude hotel clerks make better copy.  Hopefully, I won’t put you to sleep today, but our travel to Egypt was without incident.  That all changed once we got to Cairo, but that’s for later.

I Flew on American and I Liked It

This may not be a newsworthy item for you, but it was for me.  I’ve sort of hated American for a long time.  For years, every travel horror story I lived through began with, “I was on an American flight…”  I carried that anti-American chip on my shoulder for a long time, but in recent years I noticed that other airlines were doing their part to be as awful as I thought American was.

Most recently that was Lufthansa.  I’d always counted them on my favorites list, but then I flew them to Frankfurt.  The plane rattled so much I thought it was made out of Tinker-Toys.  Bill claims the flight wasn’t that bad, but if I hadn’t been sitting next to him, I would think he must have been on another plane.  Bottom line, I could no longer say my worst flights were American.

My other problem with American had to do with Love Field and the Wright Amendment.  As a Dallasite, I love Southwest Airlines and Love Field.  The Wright Amendment tied the hands and feet of both, in favor of DFW, and I didn’t like it.  I also loved Legend Air, which was a Love Field underdog that I maintain was run out of business by American.  I’m always for the underdog.  I go out of my way to avoid Walmart.  I won’t buy anything on Amazon.  I hate most chain restaurants, too.

This American flight snuck up on me.  (Yes, I know snuck isn’t really a word, but I like it better than sneaked.)  I wasn’t the one to make the reservations and I thought we were flying British Airways.  It wasn’t until a few days before the flight, when I was researching baggage allowances, that I realized my British Airways flight was going to be on American.  By then it was too late to do anything about it and I knew Bill was tired of hearing American Airlines Hysteria.  I just lived with the revelation.

A Brand Spanking New 777

So we got to the airport, parked our car, rode the shuttle to the terminal and checked our luggage curbside.  It was easy.  It was a late-night flight, so the airport was pretty boring.  We had a nice chat with a lady in the L’Occitane En Provence store.  In fact, she sensed my concern and we actually prayed together.  Finally it was time to board.

Let me tell you, our plane was so new I think it just rolled off the assembly line.  Nothing rattled.  Everything was pristine.  There were bells and whistles I hadn’t even thought to wish for – and we were in economy.  Even the food was decent.  I watched a couple of movies.  I was even able to sleep!

So, American Airlines, I know you weren’t losing any sleep over my grudge against you, but I want you to know it’s over now.  I can easily say my best flight ever was on American.  Singapore Air still holds my best-food-on-an-airline award, but the shepherd’s pie on American’s return flight was pretty decent.  (BTW Sing Air, I liked your old paint job better.  This new one is boring.)

DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, International, Road Trips, TRAVEL, Travel Planning, United States

Expedia, American Airlines and Me

Last week was great. I started my blog, heard Target had lower prices than Wal-Mart and found a great bag at Chico’s – but the really good news was American Airlines divorced Expedia.  These two have been fighting since December, but an American Airlines radio ad alerted me I must go to or Kayak to get American Airlines tickets.  I won’t be going there.  I’m definitely on Expedia’s side.

This will be bad news to Expedia Victim – a nice guy who follows me on Twitter.  He’s apparently had a bad time with Expedia and I’m very sorry about that.  I’d love to commiserate with him, but the problem is, Expedia has been very, very good to me.  Whatever gearhead wrote the logic for their site understood me.  I can always find what I want and if I go away and come back another day, I can find it again.  Buying stuff is easy.  I understand what the word “non-refundable” means.  They send me nice emails, but don’t bother me with spam.  We have a great relationship.  From time to time friends and family convince me to go check out the latest, the greatest or the cheapest, but I always end up back at Expedia.  I don’t like bidding, and I don’t like playing hide and seek, but I like cheap prices, easy.

I don’t feel the same way about American Airlines.  To me, American is sort of the bully of the airport, because I can’t go from A to B without having to deal with them – but I didn’t always feel that way.


As a Dallasite, who’s lived here since the days Love Field was THE airport, I grew up thinking all planes had either Southwest or Braniff on the side.  Nonetheless, we were all very excited when DFW was built and American Airlines came to town.  Then I started flying on American, but soon I felt that  ‘doing what they did best’ meant making my travel experience as miserable as possible.  They gave me rotten seats, lost my luggage and made me late – a lot.  They probably don’t care, because I’ve never racked up enough frequent flyer miles to matter to them, but when I do fly, I hate it when the only reasonable way to get where I’m going is on an American flight.


I won’t pretend American is the only airlines that knows how to ruin an itinerary, but I was living on the Central Coast of California when I decided American was a bully.  A teeny tiny little airline started a route between Love Field and LAX.  I had to drive four hours to get to LAX, but I’d do it to fly Legend Airlines, because Legend was the only airline flying into Love Field (besides Southwest, which is not part of this story).  My elderly parents were scared to death of DFW.  Whether they were flying to me, putting my little sister on a plane or coming to pick me up, they felt at home at Love Field.

Legend did a lot of things right, but their schtick was flying planes small enough to bypass the Wright Amendment.  However, teeny tiny little Legend bugged great big American.  It’s not like Legend was going to put American out of business or anything.  Still, American hammered them in the courtrooms of America.  As soon as one judge upheld Legend’s right to fly, American would go file another case.  Then American reconfigured a fleet of planes so they could fly out of Love Field, too, and set off a price war in which no teeny tiny airline could compete.  But did the giant go after Legend so American could serve passengers who wanted to fly out of Love?  No – when American won it shut down its Love Field operations.

That’s when I began going out of my way to avoid flying American and that’s why I’m cheering for Expedia.  American may not remember Legend Airlines, but I do.  Do you?

UPDATE: January 1, 2015 – A lot has changed since 2011.  The Wright Amendment has expired, American Airlines made up with Expedia and Southwest Airlines can fly anywhere it wants to.  Some things haven’t changed.  I still avoid American Airlines and I still love Expedia, but I also love Trip Advisor these days.