A Letter To American Airlines From a Traveling Family

Dear American Airlines,

My husband and I have been traveling the world for the past 14 months with our toddler daughter. We have taken thirty flights over that period of time and most of them have been fantastic. Most of the airlines that we have used have been well-organized, accommodating, helpful, and happy to have our business. The only airline that hasn’t been this way for us, has been you.

Now, please keep in mind that you have been our airline of choice during our travels. In fact, we used our AAdvantage card to pay all of our bills for two years prior to our trip so that we could use our points to fly with you.  American Airlines was the American airline that we thought was the best.


So, on that note, I have some comments about the way we have been treated during our travels with you. I am hoping that you will be able to fix some of these things for the families that will book with you in the future.

First, when we have taken a flight on your airline, we have been unable to choose our seats ahead of time. Then for some reason, we are almost always given seats in the back forty along with, apparently, all the other families with young children.  I know some may think that it would be a toddler party back there with them all together, but that is really not the case. Just because I have a child does not mean that I want to be around every other child on the plane. Not only that, but by putting all of us families with young children in the back, it takes us much longer to disembark. So when our children are tired and cranky (and quite possibly having a melt down), you are making us wait the longest to get them off the plane. It doesn’t make sense to me, and obviously many other airlines agree with me. Your company is the only one we’ve traveled with that places all the younger children in the same area… and always at the very back of the plane. You may want to rethink this seating strategy.

Secondly, nearly every American Airlines flight we have taken has either been delayed or cancelled. There always seems to be some issue with the plane or the computer system. It’s a bit disconcerting when we board a plane, get settled, and then have to disembark because there is something wrong with the plane. Shouldn’t someone have checked the plane thoroughly before all the passengers are boarded? It’s hard enough to get on and off the plane one time with children, let alone having to do it twice. Not only that, but then to have to put hours of our time into getting reimbursed for our costs (hotel, taxi’s, etc) from you is painful. And the vouchers that we received after the fact (and after we complained numerous times) were barely enough to cover the various costs that were incurred

The third thing that I feel I must comment on, is the horrible customer service we have received during our flights. For example, on our last flight with you (From Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow) the fasten seat belt light was on for at least 4 hours of the 7 hour flight. There was very little turbulence during the flight.  I am not a pilot, and I do not know if there was something going on besides turbulence, but it seemed a bit excessive. Not only that, but a toddler needs to use the restroom pretty often, and to be told each time that “the seat belt light is on” in a short tone by the attendant each time, was not very helpful. I understand that we must be told for liability purposes, but a helpful and kind tone would be wonderful.  It has been very rare on our flights with you that we have had a nice and helpful flight attendant.  Maybe some updated guidelines on customer service are in order?

Finally, I want you to know that I understand that you are a massive company and that there are always going to be things that happen to upset someone somewhere. I understand that occasionally things will go wrong in all aspects of life, but consistently when we have used your services, we have experienced the issues above. We, at And Three To Go, are not giving up on you yet, American Airlines. We have hope that you can change the things we have mentioned and that travel for families with toddlers on your airline will become a more pleasurable and comfortable experience.


And Three To Go


**This letter is in response to OUR experiences with American Airlines only, and may not be the experiences of anyone else. You can check out our legal stuff here

We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject, whether agreeing with us or disagreeing. Please feel free to leave a comment!


photo credit: caribb via photopin cc

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