Flying One World
I returned from a short USA trip recently and thought I'd tell you about some annoyances on this trip!
First I was charged US$80 for a third checked in bag by American Airlines on my way home. The weight was OK on the way over when I checked in with Qantas but American Airlines knew nothing about extra bag/weight allowance for Qantas Gold flyers (Platinum One World Alliance). My friend, who was dropping me off told me privately that in his opinion this was 'bullshit'. He was promptly told off for using this term by an eavesdropping American Airlines employee, and was told to 'shut up'! Not wanting the fuss we toned down our conversation whilst the first employee checked on the extra bag situation. The oddball American Airlines employee who just told my friend to ‘shut up’ stood across the counter listening to our conversation. I asked him if he was listening and he said 'yes'. Strange!!
I also asked if they could make sure the PRIORITY tags would be affixed as American Airlines often forgets them. They did not do it then and never did later either. No big deal... just makes me think why bother with all this nonsense if you need to argue about it.
Technical problems with American Airlines flight meant I was re-routed and I ended up waiting in LAX for 13 hours. The international lounge there has no computer access, and short of a wrapped sandwich and some fruit there is no food either. I checked into an airport hotel for the day.
Then on return home I checked my points balance and discovered I got no points for any of the American Airlines flights, it stated 0 for both columns. I called up Qantas and they advised me that the ticket I had earned no points on the American Airlines flights, and yes, American Airlines could charge me for the extra bag. Wow, I had never heard of that! It was the second time I booked through Flight Centre, and knew I was on a special Qantas (USA via Japan) ticket where I had to overnight in Japan on the way over. Did not seem particularly cheap at $2K but I had to go to Tokyo in any case.
Also on this trip, my wife heard she got the job she had applied for earlier and had to start a week earlier than expected. No change to her ticket was allowed and she had to buy a new o/w ticket back to Australia. We understand conditions and did not argue with the extra unfortunate expense. We put her on a United flight home, stuff the alliance!
Another grudge on this trip was that both American Airlines and Qantas had the same movies on the long flights, which was not so bad except that American Airlines now charges you for alcoholic beverages (which quenched my thirst quickly) making the trip particularly long and boring... With a few wines and ales the seats always seem more comfortable, you sleep better and get there quicker - and yes the hostesses do look prettier too with beer-goggles!
The food on American Airlines was minimal as well; especially annoying as the no frill connecting 3hr American Airlines flight to IAD had no beverage service either.
I can no longer see the point of flying One World. I have had my fair share of disappointments with them in the last 2 years (post 9/11?), and do not feel like reading all the fine prints and conditions or arguing. In the past I never had these issues.... Now it seems the order of the day....
Sorry about this rant, it's just not the first time I have been let down by OneWorld...