Scott McCartney, the Wall Street Journal's veteran (and Dallas-based) travel reporter, recently offered a word of advice to the literate public: If you or a loved one is considering stepping onto an aircraft in the foreseeable future, make sure it's not one operated by American Airlines.
"American's operation is in shambles," McCartney writes. On Sunday fewer than half of American flights arrived on-time, a quarter were at least 45 minutes late, and 92 flights were canceled. Monday was even worse. It's competitors had no such trouble. United, Southwest and US Airways all got the vast majority of their flights to the gate on time.
The reason for American's abysmal track record of late is, of course, the ongoing bankruptcy of AMR, its parent company. Pilots are not taking kindly to pay and benefit cuts recently imposed and are calling in sick, grounding flights for minor problems and just generally doing things slowly, all the while denying any coordinated effort to do so.
Denny Kelly, a former pilot and aviation expert, told NBC the same thing. And a recent consumer satisfaction ranking by airfarewatchdog.com ranked American ninth out of 10 carriers -- and that was before the recent surge in cancellations and delays.
Also: American Airlines hates both Disney World and 5-year-old girls, since it charged a family extra to sit together during a recent trip there. And do you really want to fly on an airline that hates Disney World?