American Airlines

New Delta and American Safety Videos

Last week American Airlines announced the release of their interesting and shiny new safety video. Not to be outdone by American Airlines, Delta announced their new safety video less than 24 hours after American.

American Airlines has a very interesting video. It is attention grabbing, and fun. Reactions have been mixed, but I actually like it quite a lot. It is interesting enough to capture your attention, even if it isn't perfect, it does its job in a fun way. 

Delta, apparently jealous that American Airlines was getting press for their safety video, then released their safety video the very next day. It has a video game theme and in my opinion is much worse than the American Airline video. Delta's video is an unfortunate attempt at interesting that falls flat with me. It's just the safety speech with some odd visuals.

Safety videos can be important for passengers who haven't flown recently or fly extremely infrequently. Those of us who fly regularly, the safety speech just gets tuned out, I know where the life vests are, I know how to buckle a seat belt. So when airlines add interesting twists to the safety video, it can grab your attention and make the mundane interesting again.

We are regular flyers though, so we'll probably see that video 400 more times, and it'll get boring again at some point.

American Airlines New Uniforms

American Airlines released their new uniforms, a design that until today had not been updated in 30 years... crazy.

While the new design doesn't seem to be much of a departure from the previous design, the new uniforms do look sharp. 

Flight Attendant Uniform

Flight Attendant Uniform

Flight Attendant Uniform

Flight Attendant Uniform

Pilot Uniforms

Pilot Uniforms

If you go flying with American soon, check out the new threads.

American Airlines Credit Cards Banned from Android Pay

Finally Citi got me my Executive AAdvantage card yesterday after losing the first one. A quick activation of the card and I went to add it to my Android Pay app. After adding all of my information, the app contacted Citi servers and was rejected. I have seen this sort of thing from Citi in the past where you had to explicitly tell Citi to activate Android Pay or Google Wallet. Their answer was very unexpected.

On the phone, a Citi representative informed me that this had nothing to do with Citi, but American Airlines does not allow Android Pay to use their cards.... WHAT? WHY?

Sometimes I feel as though we live in a world of companies run by people completely confused by technology. Whether American Airlines knows this or not, Android Pay and Apple Pay are the next step in payment technologies. Apps like Apple Pay and Android Pay are easily updated by Apple and Google respectively. That means security flaws can be patched quickly and pushed to customers. Physical cards are prone to attacks that cannot be quickly corrected. We've already seen work arounds for chip cards, meaning they are already vulnerable right off the bat.

Once again, technology is dragging old companies kicking and screaming into the next generation. Perpetually afraid of the next evolution of technology, companies seem to always put up a fight until they finally give in.... then they realize the new way of doing things brings more revenue and less fraud. We've seen it happen with the move from physical movies to digital, now I see this happening again in the payment arena.

Chase has been a prime example, these companies attempt to make their own payment system, completely ignoring that people do not want to use 25 payment apps for their cards. We want a single app that has everything in it. Verizon already attempted to create ISIS the payment system, renamed after the rise of the terrorist group, the payment system is dead now, having never gained any traction in the market. Chase has their own payment system which I'll predict now will die a quiet death in the next few years. 

Customers want one app, not a massive catalog of payment apps. Android Pay and Apple Pay offer that, we just need companies to support these systems.

Farewell American… It Was You

Hello from what is surely the shortest flight I have even been on. Currently I’m in the air aboard Delta in their MD90 first class cabin. In the time I’ve written this far in the article, we’ve  reached cruise and began our decent back down, pretty short flight. Offically this flight marks the first miles I am earning toward my Gold Medallion Status Match/Challenge. This also means that I’m breaking up with you American Airlines, and it was you, not me.

Soon I will be in Atlanta where I will be greeted by Delta’s Sky Club lounge, and one of my most hated airports ever. Now that I know how to make travel more enjoyable, we shall see how Atlanta stacks up with my other frequent flyer experiences under the belt.

I will be earning status with Delta farely soon, currently I have been awarded temorary status with Delta. I will get to see how things differ at Delta vs American Airlines, and ultimately see if this switch was the right move for me. So far my impressions have been fairly run of the mill. Service is about the same as American, first class seats domestically are similar with maybe more power outlets than I’m used to (US Airways old fleet still doesn’t have power).

The one negative standout for Delta is that they run an older fleet of planes. Right now we're getting ready to land an MD90. These planes often exceed 25 years old, and boy are they loud when it comes to air noise. Glad I have noise cancelling headphones now, they will certainly get some use.

We are readying for touchdown, so I'll finish my thoughts here. Delta is the new norm for me now, I look forward to seeing what they will have to offer vs American Airlines.

Updates on Last Week - Aircraft Changes and Delta Status

After an eventful week in my travel preparations, I have a few updates I thought I'd talk about. 

What to do when an airline changes your aircraft?

My article last week covering what you should do when an aircraft is changed out on you has some updates now. While I did not change my Virgin Atlantic flight, I did remember last night that I had never checked the aircraft on my Qatar Airways flights. Guess what? They changed both my planes out. My original booking was in a 787-8 with an amazing business class, my second flight was much shorter from Doha to Dubai, only about 45min in the air. The Dubai segment was to be flown by an A330. 

When I checked last night, I was now on board a 777-300ER for the long flight from Johannesburg to Doha, and a 787 from Doha to Dubai. Now I love the 787 from Doha to Dubai, but it's hardly a chance to try a good seat, I'll barely be in the air on board that plane. The 777-300ER has a pretty bad business class and one I'm not keen to review, especially for the 9 hours I'd be in the air. 

I made a call to American Airlines on this one knowing full well this would not be as smooth as my Emirates plane change that could not have been easier. American Airlines should take a look at how Alaska Air handled my issues and put those practices to use. The first person I talked to at American refused at first, then went to talk to their help desk who told him to refuse me again. 

Knowing full well that not all American reps are made the same, I called back and tried again. She refused again to actually talk to Qatar, but did agree to put a note in to Qatar to change me to the 787 flight. Well that was progress at least. I don't hold any hope that they will correct this, but maybe a few more tries will get this corrected, we shall see. For now I'm booked in a really crappy seat on a long haul... at least it's lie flat. I'll get to review 2 different products on Qatar though, so look forward to that.

Delta's Status Match Website is Broken

This one did finally move in my favor. If you remember, Delta has a dead web link to submit a status match. I made them aware of this a good 6 days ago now, but nothing seemed to be changing. Yesterday, Delta finally gave me an update over the phone... persistence pays off sometimes.

They did inform me that the webpage will be back up Sept 2nd and they were willing to give me a special link to get me in before the page was fixed. So keep an eye out for the updated page, should be working at the end of this week.