I just returned from an international flight from Knoxville, Tennessee to Barcelona, Spain and Athens/Piraeus, Greece to Knoxville, Tennessee. I don’t recall if I’ve ever traveled on American Airlines but we did fly with them on this trip.
Let me begin by saying it is necessary for me to have a wheelchair when traveling. I have Multiple Sclerosis as well as several other conditions that make it difficult to impossible to walk even short distances and certainly not while carrying any kind of luggage or bag. From the moment we arrived at Tyson McGhee Airport in Knoxville the personnel of American Airlines went out of their way to accommodate me. My husband was struggling with his and my carry-on bags as well as the two camera bags I insisted on bringing. In addition to pushing me in a wheelchair, he was assisted with the baggage.
The short flight to Charlotte, North Carolina was great and on deboarding the plane a wheelchair and American Airlines representative was there to help us get to our next flight.
Once onboard the international leg of our journey we were again assisted with getting our bags into overhead compartments. The crew on this flight was wonderful; cheerful with all passengers, eager to assist with any needs, and making certain the passengers were comfortable.
We were served above average airline dinners including free wine! I know I have NEVER received free wine on a flight. During the over nine hour flight we were also provided several snacks and beverages, free headphones in order to view movies (there was a large variety to choose from), listen to music, play games, or just track our flight.
Landing in Barcelona, Spain the flight attendants made sure a wheelchair was there for me and helped my husband gather our belongings and get us on our way to our transportation to our hotel. The girl who pushed my wheelchair refused to accept a tip in spite of my insistence!
Our return trip was even better if that is even imaginable. We returned from Athens/Piraeus, Greece. Carnival Cruise Lines provided our transportation from the Athens port to the airport. On arriving at the airport a Carnival representative let American Airlines know we were there and ready for assistance. A cart was brought to us for our luggage (we had a lot of baggage after two days in Barcelona, a ten-day four country cruise, and the addition of multiple souvenirs) and a wheelchair was there for me. We were guided from the entrance to the ticketing desk to check in for our boarding passes, every step confidently handled by our American Airlines assistant. We were moved through security quickly and efficiently, I was treated with great respect and assured I was no problem, they were happy to help, and again did not want to accept a tip. In fact the attendant was able to maneuver both my wheelchair and the wheelchair of another passenger. He kindly stopped at the Duty Free Shop so both my husband and the other passenger could do some last minute shopping! He even offered to wheel me around the shops if I wanted to buy anything or just look around.
I was wheeled directly to the plane, assisted to board, and we were helped to stow our luggage. I lost track of the number of meals, snacks, and beverages we received. My husband wasn’t feeling well and was given tea on more than one occasion to make him more comfortable. Leaving the plane an American Airlines representative was there waiting for us. This little woman was the most amazing person I have ever dealt with in an airport. Not only did she wheel me from place to place, she helped my husband gather our luggage, load it onto a cart, and get us through security. When I decided to add my carry-on bag to checked luggage she helped my husband get it done quickly. From one terminal to the next via a shuttle, she was there, making sure we kept track of all our bags and even carrying one to ease the load on my husband.
The flight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania may have been short but from the moment we boarded we were treated wonderfully. The flight attendant got my husband’s carry-on into the overhead and told us to let everyone else leave the plane when we landed and she would help him remove it.
Also on the fight was a woman with a small Yorkie type dog in a carrier. Kiki is a ten year old service dog who is a comfort to her anxiety ridden “mother”. The attendant brought a cup of water to the woman so she could give the dog some medication before take-off. Passengers were also served a light snack and a beverage! In spite of leaving later than scheduled, we arrived in Knoxville, Tennessee on time.
Back home in K-town I did have to wait for a wheelchair but once it was there I was taken care of. The attendants took us to baggage claim and helped get our bags unloaded from the baggage claim belt. Once assured my son was there to help us and take us home they left us.
In addition to all these conveniences, American Airlines offers a neat app for your phone that enables passengers to check in, track flights, and best of all, track baggage! I knew where my luggage was all the time; no stress or worry about lost luggage.
I can’t imagine ever taking any other airline than American Airlines in the future. They go above and beyond in assuring their passengers are treated like special guests. Flying can often be unpleasant, especially on long trips. Cheerful and helpful airline employees can make all the difference.