ATW Editor's Blog

AA's Flightpath to Nowhere

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If evidence were ever needed that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process does not necessarily impose a measure of control over business practices, then look no further than to a couple of recent op-eds about flights-to-hell experiences with American Airlines.

In his exquisitely written article in the New York Times Sunday Review, Gary Shteyngart details a nightmare journey from Paris to New York via an unscheduled stop at Heathrow.

And in his article, Friend don't let friends fly American Airlines, Slate blogger Matthew Yglesias relates a personal tale of a US domestic flight gone awry.

As we've reported at ATW, tensions between AA management and its pilots union have reached a new level, with hundreds of flight delays and cancellations in September that AA says were caused by a significant increase in maintenance write-ups by pilots, many right at the time of departure, and higher-than-normal sick usage by pilots.

Both NYT and Slate authors send a clear message: Don't fly American. "The cost of the fight is that the airline can no longer reliably deliver passengers to their destinations. So stay far, far away," Yglesias says.

With people now making their holiday travel plans and airline choices, you have to ask where is the logic to this fight? Unless self-destruction and Chapter 7 are the desired outcomes.

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