American Airlines

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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Satisfaction Rating

My wife had a scheduled trip to a volleyball tournament. The day before she was to leave one of our granddaughters was taken in for an emergency operation on her skull due to a traumatic brain injury that occurred a year ago. The first leg of the trip was on Southwest Airlines. When I called Southwest and explained the circumstances they cancelled the ticket and refunded the money on the spot. Not so with AA. They want PROOF. A letter from the doctor(s), and the documents from the hospital. Then, after they review the information, I was told they MIGHT refund the money! Kind hearted AA. Watch out who you choose to fly with!

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My partner of 22 years died unexpectedly 2/3/17. American want to issue him a credit. I have been fighting for 6 weeks to get them to understand that he will never use the credit. Some people just take up oxygen and most work for American Airlines.

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I recently booked a trip to Ireland for my family of 4 SIX MONTHS IN ADVANCE. I did this because I wanted to ensure my family sat together along with the other small family we are traveling with. I mean that what you do right?? Plan early pick your seats? So I got an email a few days ago that states "we moved your seats". No my family which includes a small child is sprinkled across the plane. So I called to get it fixed and they simply said "we have the rights to move you whenever you want". The only seats now available are what are called preferred seats and cost extra.

So I told them I wanted to have my family together. Customer service rep said the only thing I could do was buy seats so we could be together. I responded "I bought seats together originally." The rep said "No you never purchased seats." So what is the $2000 a ticket that got charged to my credit card?? Response... "Those are just tickets." This is absurd! Obviously I will never use AA again. So now I have to spend an addition $822 for my family to sit together or have my 4 year old sitting with a stranger. BRILLIANT!

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So on March 10th we get an email saying that "If you are flying into Philadelphia on the 15th you can change your ticket due to the weather free of charge." So my company decides to play it safe and postpone the meeting until the 30th (the next available time the reps could all get together and be available for the presentation). I call in to get it changed and I'm told that the only day I could change my flight to would be the 17th.

Now I don't know if you have ever tried to schedule a meeting between a group of busy people but most will tell you that it's like herding cats, and the 30th is the next best time we could all get together for the presentation due to other commitments. I just wanted to change my flight to the 29th. (Mind you I was willing to pay the difference in pricing for the ticket.) BUT NOOOO, if you wanted to use your ticket for a day that you actually needed it for, you would have to pay a change fee (more than the price of the ticket in the first place, mind you).

Who are they to decide my schedule? WTF kind of policy is it to say when I would be able to travel? How can a company say "Hey we recommend you change your travel plans due to forces outside your control. We'll even let you change it for free," and then turn around and charge you for following their advice. That is a crime.

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My flight to Las Vegas was canceled the day prior, and I never received any notification of the cancellation. When I called Customer Service to inquire, they informed me that the flight had been canceled and if I wanted a refund, I had to apply for one... for a flight that never existed. So I applied for a refund and just found out they only agreed to refund the ticket itself, and not the $100 I had paid to upgrade my seat on each leg. This does not sound legal - the attempt to steal money from me for a flight that never existed. All money spent relating to a canceled flight should be automatically refunded immediately. How is this not their procedure?

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I've now flown two flights so far with American Airlines. On the first flight, they demolished a suitcase completely, and two suitcase belts were no longer there. On the second flight, they demolished both of my suitcases completely and another suitcase belts is gone like my name badge with my address. After the flight to Germany I reported the two damaged suitcases. But American Airlines does not reply at all and I can buy two new suitcases on my own expense now. These are already 3 suitcases I did have to buy new. In addition, they put me on another flight on the last flight and I did not get reimburse the costs for Economy Plus even though I had a much smaller seat in the normal economy, which was also 22 rows further back. The costs which have resulted from both flights cannot make up for the cheap tickets. I also find it unbelievable that American Airlines does not react and I reply at all. This is very ungrateful.

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On my last AA flight I signed up for a AA credit card. I was told I would get two round trip tickets free in the U.S. Not true. You get 40000 miles, which is one round trip ticket, near as I can tell. Also, they charge you $95 for the privilege. This is fraudulent and deceitful marketing.

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I just finished my return flight through American Airlines and I can safely say I will never travel with them again. Poor customer service. Why get mad at me? I'm not the one who broke the plane and yes I have lots of questions concerning my connecting flight. Two broken planes at first airport. Very bad hotel at third (they gave me a voucher because I missed the last flight out). Coming back the first two flights were good and I started to hope... Third flight was delayed two hours because the pilots didn't show. Huh? We couldn't get any info. Finally on plane then sat for two hours waiting to be de-iced. It was a half hour flight! On tarmac and for flight I froze. No heat. Just cold air blowing on legs whole time. Take my advice. Fly another airline. Cheaper fare not worth it. This my third flight with American Airlines and it will be my last.

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Worse customer service. Had the chance to talk with Clarissa lobby agent at LAX. She was the most rude person I have talk in LA. Not helpful at all. Why American Airlines employees are so miserable???

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I'm a Senior Manager with my company that unravels extensively domestic and international and have personally flown on many carriers and out of all of them American is the worst. I've missed business meetings which have cost the company and myself. This week I was scheduled to be in Sacramento and due to someone not checking a transponder, basically not doing their job, I was delayed and 1 1/2 hours on the tar mat. This cost me a meeting with the client, who was scheduled months ahead of time and I explained this to the desk attendant who said and I quote, "nothing I can do for you," and walked away leaving me standing there like ok.

After hours of trying to calm down choked it up to just a bad day and dealt with my client, but NEVER let something pass when it shows its true face. Just 5 days later American again was delayed with no explanation and I again missed my connecting flight which is now going to delay me for another meeting. I'm done, down to a man none of our managers will EVER utilize American again. As stated earlier we fly extensively and there is now a memo for our concierge device not to use American. They are rude, unprofessional and out and out terrible. I'd rather fly Spirit and they suck. I did even get offered compensation. PATHETIC!!!

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I booked a flight on AA. What a mistake. It took 2 hours before I got my confirmation email. When I did it read leaving and coming back the same day which was clearly not what I booked. I called. 45 minutes on hold. Finally I got a rude representative who blamed me for their inferior website. I finally got her to change the departure to the correct date. She made me pay for seats again although $130 although I told her I had a confirmation email that I had already been charged $260. She told me it was not charged to my AMEX. Of course a few days later it was charged. Called them back and they put me through hoops advising I could only get a refund online. I inquired about changing my return flight and was told the change fee was $200 which was more than the cost of booking a new flight. Add on baggage fees, etc. AA is total ripoff. The only airline worse than AA is Spirit Airlines. Avoid!

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I'm Allen ** and booked a ticket from Atlanta to Miami with my friend, I can't believe how I was treated today at the airport. my friend brought her dog on the plane and didn't a credit card to pay for the dog, so as a good friend I am I paid it for her, after I purchase 125 for the dog I continue to board my flight and the agent told me that they gave my seat away, I asked over and over again why would they do that and they still gave me no answer but said they will try and find another open seat for me.

I continued on of why would they take me off a flight that I purchase, still the manager Robert did not have answer, even another customer said they were treating me unfairly and she also to would make a complaint, I got her information also, I recorded the whole conversation on my phone for proof. This is very disturbing and I feel I was judge for no reason and took off a flight for no reason. I missed a important meeting. I'm very stressed out. On top of that I was stuck at the airport for 5 hours and was escorted off by police for no reason. This is beyond bizarre, if anyone could help me please give me a email, thank you so much.

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I had the worst experience today. My flight was delayed for two hours which for me meant not presenting at a conference. Customer relations actually called me after filling out the AA complaint form state that currently there is no Federal law that would force AA compensate for such a "short" delay. The reason why I flight was delayed: One of the pilots didn't show up!

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I bought two tickets for $422 each ($845 total) and my guest had to cancel. Mind you, they cancelled 2 MONTHS before the flight. I paid in full for the 2 tickets and my guest who cancelled ended up getting rewarded $200 in travel credit. So basically they didn't have to pay a dime and got rewarded $200. I have been an AAdvantage member for years and I have called/emailed multiple times and they don't care. The associates have been rude and one even hung up on me. It's a shame because I liked this airline but after the way they treat their loyal customers I will never fly with them again.

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March 8, 2017. I made a reservation from Houston to Lynchburg VA, round trip for a price of $600 a week ago. Today I found out I cannot take the trip so I called and was told nothing they can do. For another $200 they are willing to give me an extension on the flight. Not good enough. They are going to sell this seat at full price. I am giving them plenty of notice. The flight is not till May 25th, so that is 2 and one half months from now. They sold the same seat twice. Yet they are not willing to do anything for their customer. I hate American Airlines, I will never fly them and I would encourage no one pays their hard earned money to this rip off company.

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Flight from Portland, OR to Texas and then connecting to Fargo, ND. Had purchased upgrade and when we got to Texas told I didn't check in (what, it was a connecting flight). Even though I had printed ticket in hand of upgraded seat, rude gate attendant told me, "I can't help you. We are going to be boarding the plane soon, take it up with the stewardess." So, I did and she said, "Well just sit in that seat and we will figure it out if someone comes that wants that seat". I went to the seat and it was MIA. There was caution tape all over the area but no seat. I was lucky there was an empty "crap" seat available or I would have been left in Texas.

Here I am 19 days later, on the phone for over an hour now fighting to get my money back. Why would I pay for an upgrade that I didn't even get? I had to throw a hissy fit on the phone as they initially told me, "You fall in a gray area and will need to email someone else". I said, "No way, I have been on here for over 1/2 hour. Get me your supervisor." Suffice to say, my request for credit has been entered and now I have to wait for someone to review it to decide if I get it.

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Flew from Miami FL to Santiago DR flight 2365. We are missing lots of items. Mostly gifts for our family. Robbed of my money, time and emotional satisfaction. This is some BS. Please clean it up. Im sure its not the 1st time.

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So after reading previous comments, I notice they are all the same. So maybe I shouldn't sound like a broken record. Or, maybe I should just confirm the lack of customer service as others have expressed in these reviews. My wife and I booked a 6AM flight from BTV>DCA for a 2 pm wedding. A decent price for each way at $103 each way. 3 weeks later, they notified us that the 6AM was cancelled and we were put on the 2:15 flight. Well, obviously that flight didn't work. We called customer service up to cancel the BTV>DCA but we wanted to keep the DCA>BTV flight as that minimally changed. In order to do that, customer service said we had to cancel the WHOLE roundtrip flight and rebook the DCA>BTV as a one-way. As a result, the "bottom of the chain" representative charged us an extra $20/seat as the new price that changed over the course of 3 weeks raised to $123/seat, one-way.

Essentially because THEY cancelled our flight, WE had to pay an extra $20/seat. Before the "bottom of the chain" representative said she couldn't do anything about it, she initially offered another flight with one connection that landed at 1 PM. Obviously, she didn't listen to my reasons because how are we supposed to get to downtown DC, dressed and changed for a wedding in 1 hour? That doesn't take into consideration the 70% on time rating that flight had. We then immediately filed a complaint through AA with the main issue of "why do we pay the extra difference when YOU cancel a flight and the replacement flight doesn't work?" Now don't forget, they do allow you to get a refund if your flight is changed by 61 minutes or more. But BUYER BEWARE... if one flight is changed, your other flight on a round trip is affected and you are expected to pay the difference in rebooking (i.e. they don't let you keep one leg of a one-way flight).

When I filed the complaint through the "higher ups", they were playing me like they were doing me a service. They refused to give me a partial refund, full refund or an upgrade. But... they did give me a bonus 25,000 miles or two $20 vouchers. Now why would I accept that? So I can purchase another flight and put more $ in the pockets of this company who obviously doesn't care about customer service? Their offer of settlement was solely in their own interests and not the customer's interests. Buying off customers is their theory of settlement. Instead, upset customers will leave for another airline. Bottomline is they weaseled $40 out of me and they are trying to weasel more future flights out of me. I will take my business elsewhere.

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We had a vacation planned in Hawaii. Had a 7:30 am flight from Las Vegas, NV to Los Angeles, CA with a 9:30 am connection to Hawaii. Arrived at American Airlines gate at 6:15 am. Flight showed "on time". 5 minutes before boarding the flight was changed to "delayed" for 12 hours. Missed the connecting flight to Hawaii. Had to back to ticketing and reschedule the entire trip. Waited in Las Vegas, NV for 8 hours. Did not arrive in Hawaii until the next day. Wasted $350/day hotel room. Ticketing agent and supervisor had a "don't care" attitude. Terrible airline.

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This company scammed us out of $65 and refused to reconcile. We purchased a single reservation flying from Costa Rica to Houston with an 18 hour layover in Dallas. They charged us $65 to recheck our bags after the layover, even though this policy is listed NOWHERE on their website or in any of the confirmation emails I received, not even in the fine print. Even after laying out our case to customer service via email (good luck ever getting someone on the phone if you have an issue! They wouldn't talk to us), they refused to refund the extorted money, despite repeatedly expressing that they wanted us to fly with them again. This airline loves to SCAM its customers then expect you to bring your business back. Myself, my traveling companion, and both of our families will never fly with American ever again no matter what the cost.

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I was notified as I arrived to the airport that my flight had been cancelled to Nashville. I spoke to a representative and was told that I would be accommodated with a hotel voucher because of the flight cancellation. When I finally spoke to a representative at the airport they told me the flight cancellation had nothing to do with them and I would basically have to figure it out on my own.

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On Feb 22, 2017, my friend was supposed to fly down from South Dakota to visit. He called American Airlines asking what time he should be at the airport so he could make his flight. Upon his arrival at the airport he was told he was too late even though he showed up earlier than he was told on the phone by the female at American Airlines. Not only did he not get on his flight because he was misinformed he had to pay an extra 280$ to be able to fly out today. This is after they weren't willing to refund the 350$ ticket I paid for even though there was no one using said ticket. They acted like they were doing us a favor by waiving the additional $235. Callan was going to need to get here. This airline was just rude and very uninterested in what they did wrong. I will never use this airline again. The employees are rude, unreliable, and uneducated on things they really should know. Horrible experience.

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It all started when I received a gift certificate for a flight as a birthday gift. I used this to purchase a flight that, as the date approached, I could no longer use due to a personal conflict. I was issued a voucher to use at a later date but, because I would be changing the flight, will be hit with a $200 change fee reducing the value by two thirds. When I tried to book another flight and use the reduced amount to pay for my girlfriend's ticket, I was told it was also non transferable. I spoke to a couple of different agents and finally a supervisor who literally laughed at my frustration.

She was actually taking joy in her unwillingness to help. I've now tried to use AA for a couple of flights and all they can do is reduce the value over and over with absolutely zero regard for the customer. NEVER in my 20 yrs in the service industry have I ever seen such a complete and total disregard for the customer. They will never get my business. I would rather hop on a bus cross country before choosing to let them get one dime ever again.

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So I cannot express my disbelief on how bad this experience was. I chose to redeem miles to go from Dallas to Dulles which showed to be 12,500 miles, completely unaware that there was a $75 fee to redeem those miles. On the other hand, there was a direct flight to Dulles or $81. I called customer service less than 2 hours of booking my flight to see if there was any way I could get hay refunded and go ahead and book the $81 flight instead. After hours on the phone I was lead to, what I believe, no conclusion. Either I cancel the ticket and lose $75 and refund 12500 miles OR keep my flight, an $81 value, for $75 and 12,500 miles. Either way a lose-lose.

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I read some of the blogs posted and realize that as a lowly Platinum member I should not expect good service when Executive Platinum members are experiencing horrible customer service as well. I travel often and have used American Airlines (reluctantly) for many of my trips. Since the merger with US Airways (I was a US Airways customer primarily as based out of Phoenix), the service on all levels has deteriorated (which was amazing that this could even happen.

This is the latest round which had me, who handles many challenging situations without difficulty - reduced to near tears. I contacted AA about a month prior to my trip as I had to add another trip to a full schedule. I had booked from PHX to LHR through JFK. This trip included a leg to and from Tel Aviv before returning to Phoenix. Complicated schedule. I added FL so would have been home approximately 10 hours total so called AA to ask about changing the ticket to fly from FL to NYC then on to London. The person I spoke with said that the change fee would be more than $200 as it involved international travel. I said, "Then I guess it makes more sense to take a one-way to NYC as an add on." No further discussion was involved - no "Wait - let me tell you the ramifications of taking that action". I make my reservations and flew from MCO to LGA, spent the night with my daughter in NYC.

The next morning - the day of my trip - I thought I better call the airline and make sure they don't cancel my trip as I am not getting on in Phoenix. The result - Stacy in a snarky tone - told me that it now cancelled my entire trip. I asked for a supervisor. Long delay (presumably while she told Marie all about it) then Marie got on the line and in a similar less than helpful and very aloof tone informed me that since I made the mistake - it was policy that the entire trip was cancelled. I am in NYC - have business in London and Tel Aviv and am now without any travel reservations. And ZERO help from Marie. After a very long delay, she informs me that she can rebook this for $6,500! I paid less than $1500 for the entire trip originating from Phoenix initially! Oh, they GRACIOUSLY agreed to waive the $300 change fee - like that was going to make all the difference.

I ended up paying $1800 for just the leg to London. I rebooked - on my own through CheapOair - another flight (better schedule) for $1250 for the London, Tel Aviv-Phoenix flights. Interestingly it was a partner airline of American - British Airways but Marie never gave that option. I board the same flight that I was originally scheduled for that was so empty that people were able to take full rows and lay down. But AA had to really overcharge me for that - again - a mere Platinum member. The two groups around me both shared their horror stories for the same flight - literally all of us had a negative experience with AA for this specific flight!

I wrote to AA customer service and Carmen responded that since I didn't board, I negated the flight. You only have 2,000 characters for this so not a lot of space. I responded that I had actually called - twice about this prior to the trip. She called me - I answered and said that I was on international rates so if she was going to just indicate there was nothing she could do - we might as well hang up. I should have done that as this was the result.

I do travel on Southwest and NEVER have an issue with them - and they are friendly and helpful. I can rebook a trip and not have devastating consequences. I wish they flew everywhere I need to go. But I will be booking a lot more on SW within the US - clearly it is not worth trying to get miles to maintain a status with American - no such thing as a valued customer!

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4th flight from Miami to Santiago delayed but this one took the cake. Had a very important meeting and the flight was delayed for 12 hours. No desire to help, they make you feel as if they are doing you a favor. Plus I have to throw a mission to get my refund, horribleee!!!

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It started with me unable to check in online. Then, upon arrival at the airport, I PAID to upgrade to priority boarding to ensure my carry-on bag fit. However, because my bag had 2 components, the gate TOOK one of my bags forcing it to be checked. I had no other checked bags and completely tailored my trip around only having carry-on and not checking bags. They refused to listen, work with me, or consider doing a gate check that did not require me to go to baggage claim. HORRIBLE.

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In a domestic flight I was not allow to board because I was 5 minutes late boarding the plane after 10 minute of opening the gate. I guess their policy is that you have a narrow window of 10 Minutes after boarding begins to board your plane. If you don't board within the 10 minute rule, they close the plane. Well I learned the AA policy is that if you're not there within those 10 minutes. You lose to your flight. And they put you in the next flight with caring the impact it causes. If the flight changes gates and if you have to run to the next gate you need to run and beat the 10-minute rule. Very rude customer service.

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American Airlines out of Philadelphia today had people checking bags as you walk to screening. "Your bag is too big you have to check it." The same size bag I have used for 20 years. A lot of upset passengers. And they do not care. I use to be AAdvantage Platinum. Stopped flying with them for bad service and treatment. First flight with them in a long time and now I am reminded why I quit.

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I took flight TO227 on the 27th of January out of LAX to Kona. Upon arriving at Kona My bag was not there. American Airlines was no help finding it. Finally a woman from Hawaiian Air at another counter called a friend at LAX to try to track down my bag. For some reason my bag had been sent to San Francisco instead of the Hawaii which was a straight flight. After opening my bag I found out why my bag had been opened. Multiple things had been stolen out of it. Called American Airlines, talk to their complaint department, was told to file paperwork and six to eight weeks they would contact me. Didn't take them 6 to 8 weeks to steal my things. Very disappointed American Airlines. Very disappointed in the entire flight. I am a retired member of the special forces firefighter EMT and member of the Mountain Rescue Association. I have never been treated worse by an Airlines. Will never fly American Airlines again.

Expert Review

Erika ArmstrongAirlines Contributing Editor

From the front desk of a busy FBO to the captain's seat of a commercial airliner, Erika Armstrong has experienced everything aviation has to offer. She is the author of A CHICK IN THE COCKPIT and her aviation articles can be found at Consumer Affairs, Plane & Pilot, Flying.com, Disciples of Flight, NYC Aviation, Contrails, Mentor, General Aviation News and Business Insider.    More about Erika→

American Airlines is the world’s largest airline by fleet size and revenue. With headquarters in Ft. Worth, TX, they have an extensive international and domestic network with 953 aircraft making it the largest commercial fleet in the world.

  • Track your bags: From check-in to carousel, you can track your bags from your smartphone, laptop or tablet.
  • Business Extra: Travel reward program that earns your company points toward traveler awards while the employee continues to earn his or her AAdvandage miles.
  • Oneworld: American has an alliance with the world’s leading airlines which gives their customers access to 1,000 destinations in 150 countries.
  • Global Support: If your flight is delayed and your connection is in jeopardy, the Oneworld Global Support will do their best to allow you to use dedicated fast track lanes through immigration or security.
  • Travel with your pet: If you follow the rules, you can travel with your pet to all 48 contiguous United States.
  • Best for International travelers, vacationers, business travelers, pet owners and frequent fliers.

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