Flying American? Wear wool sweaters … or carry extra cash

An American Airlines Boeing 757-223 landing at...

Image via Wikipedia

My credit card philosophy has always been simple: Put everything I can on one credit card that earns frequent flier miles on one airline, in my case, American.

Don’t worry: This is NOT an ad for American Airlines. Its seats are built for kids or vertically challenged adults.  The American crews I’ve met tend to be pretty surly, none of the easy good cheer of, say, Southwest. And after losing my bags on one thunderstorm-interrupted flight, I always stuff everything into a carry-on, which, of course, saves me from one item on the airlines’ growing list of hidden fees.

But hey, I gotta have a fix. American flies a lot of places. And I’ve always got miles toward a leg to somewhere, California or Hawaii, Florida or France, that keeps me hooked to the system.  Who wants to lose miles?

Still, even I’ve got my pride, American.  So I’ve pay you $5 on board for some stupid stale snack pack. So I’ve flown six hours with my knees jammed against the reclining seat in front of me, my feet turning numb. So I’ve been stopped cold for sneaking from boarding group 4 to group 3 in a desperate attempt to assure my carry-on can be jammed into the overstuffed bins overhead.

Enough. Now I’m supposed to pay $8 for a god-gersnuffled blanket? Oh, really.  Give me a blankety-blank break.  This is more obscene than the ads Southwest uses to make fun of its competitors’ nickel-and-diming. Turns out, it’s also true.  As of May 1, USA Today reports, American Airlines will charge $8 for a blanket on flights over two hours.  Shorter flights? Deal with it. Just freeze.

Remember when air travel was fun? Oh, I’m sorry. You’re not that old.

Anyway.  This time I’m tearing up my credit card, moving to Continental or Capital One or Southwest. Changing airlines for good … at least after I use those miles I’ve accrued for a visit to Calfornia this summer.

American, you damn well better have a seat for me.  I’ll carry extra cash to stay warm.

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About jerrylanson

I teach, write, coach and sing, though you're not required to listen to the latter. I'm a journalism professor at Emerson College in Boston. My third book, "Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves," was published in November by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing. You can read a sample chapter at www.jerrylanson.com. My passions are politics (generally liberal in outlook), music, mountains, golden retrievers and my grandchildren, though not in that order. Please stop by and mix it up with me. I always answer those who post.
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