One of the most frustrating things in travel happened last night, the plane was broken and we didn't know it until we were already boarded on the plane. The problem turned out to be a fuel system valve that wasn't opening properly.
One an airplane there are usually multiple fuel tanks that are filled depending on how long of a flight the aircraft is on. The airplane has tanks in either wing and either one or more center tanks in the fuselage of the plane. A plane must be properly balanced in flight at all times, otherwise the pilot would have to fight the weight imbalance throughout the flight or in the worst case scenario would cause an emergency. In order to balance fuel loads, there is a fuel transfer system on all aircraft that allow fuel to be re-balanced. It can be redistributed from center tank to wings, or from wing to wing to keep the weight of the fuel in balance. Sometimes fuel burns faster in one engine than in another so fuel is consumed faster out of one side, this re-balancing system is important to proper flight.
The valve that allows the fuel transfer was broken last night on our plane and needed to be fixed. After boarding the plane, mechanics were on and off the plane over the next half hour. Sitting in first class really helps to reduce stress as you are in the front of the plane, can see the work being preformed and the pilots can talk to you and keep you up to date. This crew was exceptional, keeping everyone up to date through the whole process.
Issues came in when I checked the flight status on my phone... On Time.... WHAT!? We were already past departure time by about 20 minutes when I checked and the status showed us mid flight. This needs to be corrected. I understand that American and for that matter, no airline wants to have to deal with a delay. People on the plane are not the only ones looks at the flight, people are being picked up upon landing and may think the plane is en route. It is very important to keep the status up to date, especially for such a short flight.
So how about it American, let work on updating the delays a little bit better, this is a the second time in a row I've had this issue.