I fly for work. A lot. I have worked with airline clients; I know what is "force majeure" and what is not. I have tried most airlines out there at one point or another, before settling into my current go-to. This is why, on my flight from Reno to Dallas to Birmingham yesterday, I was not okay with all the ways I saw myself, and the customers around me, being taken completely advantage of. Below, the letter I just wrote to their customer service department; I'll keep you posted if I hear back from them (doubtful) and whether they do anything about it (WAY more doubtful)*:
Where to begin? Everything about this flight was terrible. The boarding process was a mess. When the plane was almost completely boarded, the gate attendant came on the plane and forced a passenger to deplane because "the plane was overweight and he booked too late," something which I assumed would have been figured out before the ticket was sold in the first place. Then, additional checked-in passengers were prevented from boarding for the same reason. When we finally backed away from the gate, it was extremely short-lived; we had to pull back into the gate, and NINE additional passengers were made to deplane, again for weight reasons. Then, we sat at the gate for 49 minutes (I had a 55-minute connection which, had the flight status been forthright and honest in the first place, I would have worked to reschedule). I managed to pry open my laptop in the comically cramped seats which are supposed to be suitable for the average American (I'm 5'3" and 120 pounds) and got next to zero work done, because the $17.95 WiFi was all but non-functional; the biggest rip-off I've seen in a while. The pilot did his best to make up speed in the air, but when we finally were allowed off of the painfully hot, smelly, decrepit aircraft, I had to sprint through the Dallas airport with all of my things, which I didn't want to check because of the ridiculous baggage fees. The attendants on my flight did nothing whatsoever to warn the connecting flights that we had been delayed, and at least one-third of the plane was found running to attempt to catch their connections. I was the last person to make my connection to Birmingham and when the door closed behind me, I sat on the flight, drenched in sweat (another non-cooled American flight in their fine hub city of Dallas, where they should certainly know better). Suffice to say, I will not be flying American again as long as I can help it.
* I used all but 99 of my 2,000 allotted characters.