Travel in 2018

So after a five month hiatus in America my wife and I have decided to travel back to China. A large company offered me a good position, so it seems the right time to go back.  A lot has changed in the word of air travel and even though their has always been a big difference between Asian and American flight companies, things have even gotten worse.

While I was leaving America, one of my bags was a half a pound over weight. They charged me 100.00 dollars for the half pound misjudgment.  My other bag was actually 5 pounds over. I knew this one was over and was hoping they would let it slide. But I was willing to pay a charge if I had to. That one cost me another 100 dollars. So, the total after my 3000 tickets for me and my family was 10% higher.  When I told the woman at the counter that the airlines must really need the money, she looked at me and said “one more comment from you and you won’t be going anywhere today!” 

I guess after Delta and United decided its okay to beat passengers that don’t want to give up their seat, American Airlines wants to have a go and use the power they hold over us too. So when we’re at their counter we keep our moths shut as to not upset them and end up in jail or stranded in some airport, paying another 3000 dollars to get to our destination.

The plane ride from America to Asia is grueling.  We were in a different state and had to layover in Chicago. The flight was at 7 am and my daughter is only 4. I was hoping they would at least have a pastry or something for her to eat.  The flight attendant offered us nothing.  Chicago was, of course, delayed.  Not by much but by about a half an hour. 

We’ve been delayed in Chicago before and American Airlines always gave food vouchers to keep their clients happy.  Not this time.  In fact when I went up to enquire about the layover, They expand  in a very stern voice that the plane would be there soon and I should just go sit down and wait.  I joked to them that we had been delayed in Chicago before and was then told that this delay was obviously my fault because I was bad luck and that I should go sit down.

The food on the way to Asia was terrible. It was a 14 hour flight. They gave us lunch and a snack that was a spicy sandwich.  When I said my daughter was 4 and couldn’t eat a spicy pimento sandwich, they responded with that’s just the way it is. She would have to go without until the brunch that would be served a few hours later.  

We landed in Shanghai and spent the night in a hotel. The next day we returned to the airport in the hotels free shuttle service.  My wife was flying to her hometown while I go to Beijing and get us set up in a house.  I went with her to check in on her china airline.  Both of her bags were about 2.5 kilos over weight.  That’s about 5 pounds.  The woman behind the counter looked at her, smiled and checked the bags through.  I watched the two of them walk through security and walk to terminal 1 to get my flight. 

I have two bags. One of them is the same 2.5 kilos overweight.  I asked how many bags I could take.  The woman said I would have to pay an overweight charge on a second bag if I wanted to take it but that the 2.5 kilos she wouldn’t charge me for that.  She then said that I could carry the other one.  I said but that will give me three carry ons.  She called her manager and he said that’s fine you can carry all of them.  I am waiting in the airport now to board but I am sure they will serve breakfast on our 2.5 hour flight to Beijing at no extra cost.

American Airlines has really gone down hill. I’m sure I speak for a lot of us when I say I will not fly with them again. Not that my 3000 dollars a year will make a difference but then again with them stealing every dollar from us they can, who knows, maybe they’re on their way to bankruptcy anyway. In all my years of flying internationally I have found that asian airlines have friendlier staff, laxer rules, food on every flight and just a generally all around better atmosphere.  The also seem to have more experience of flying us to those destination we all crave for. I guess if you want to know why China is becoming a larger economy than Americas, one only needs to look at the airlines and the services you receive on them.


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