“Nine hours each way for a 3.5 hours distance between two mid-sized airports”
Flight from Pittsburgh to Albuquerque
- Round Trip
- Number of Stops:
- 1 stop in Dallas, Texas
- Date of Flight:
- April 2011
- Seat Class:
I fly often from Pittsburgh to Albuquerque. Unfortunately there are no direct flights. Since most combinations cost about the same, I tend to select mine for the shortest possible end-to-end travel time.
This was the third time that I went with American in the recent few months. The first two times the flight into Albuquerque was delayed a over one hour, but I though that was a coincidence. The DFW to Pittsburgh flight was also late at least once before. We waited on the tarmac for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Turned out the mechanics fixed something on the plane, but then went home as their shift ended, but forgot to "sign off" on the repair.
This third time, I had enough. On the way to ABQ, the DFW-ABQ flight was again late, significantly over an hour. Then on the way back, it was April 15, and there were a lot of storms. However, there were no strong storms either in Dallas, or in Chicago.
Yet, the ABQ to Dallas flight was delayed; they said for at least 2 hours, but could not say anything more specific. I saw the Chicago flight at the other gate, and I transferred to that one, since I was worried that I would not catch my connection to Pittsburgh.
Well then, after we boarded the plane, they delayed the Chicago one. While I was watching the Dallas flight leave, they also told me that in fact, it was the same crew that would go on to Pittsburgh, so there was actually no chance that I would have missed the flight going through Dallas.
Finally we got to Chicago. The airport was packed and the terminal was very uncomfortable. Even though they must have had thousands of people in the airport, most places closed (to be fair, that is not specific to American or DFW / ORD). To make things more fun, they tried to get me to stay overnight in Chicago because my seat on the plane was broken.
Anyway, I finally got back to Pittsburgh, and has plenty of time to figure out that in this particular case, it took about nine hours each way, bout 3 hours longer than scheduled, through airports that were NOT directly affected by the storms that day.
You get the impression that airlines in general don't give a crap about getting you there on time or in some semblance of comfort. Yeah, they try to be on time, but they drop the ball often at the connection part. American seems to be at the front lines of not giving said crap. Rationally, this is because customers do not react to bad service, and decide only on the ticket price and in some cases, the schedules.
Well, if you got this far reading my comment, be aware that in my experience, with American, on this particular route, the schedule is consistently not followed, and you will likely spend 2-3 more hours getting to where you are going.