If you find your self at the Orlando Airport and have a little time the AA Lounge isn’t a bad spot to spend your time. Like most American Lounges nothing real special but the house wine, some beer, the bar spirits and the usual array of snacks is complimentary and will keep you alive till your flight.
The Lounge is located on two floors with bar and food at the lower level. Last week Char and I were trapped by weather in Fort Lauderdale with no lounges for 8 hours so trust me I’m not complaining. I usually wouldn’t blog about an AA lounge, none of them are great but the lounge in Orlando does have some of the most attentive staff I have ever seen at an AA lounge and that is worth mentioning.
With weather delaying about half the flights today the small AA lounge is packed but watching the staff you would thing business as usual. To a person they have been friendly, helpful and very attentive. AA must have a new be nice policy because from check in to the lounge employees have been excellent, and today is a difficult day for them.
We got to MCO at 3:00 PM and ran into one employee at check in that had been at work since 3:30 AM and didn’t know when she would be escaping. Like every one else that worked for AA she was a happy, helpful pleasure.
I have to compare our pleasant experience in Orlando to the nightmare we had to experience in Fort Lauderdale last week. That flight was with Frontier and like their American counterparts today the Frontier staff was overwhelmed by the weather problems and numerous delays last week. The huge difference was the Frontier employees were not coping, they were grouchy and customer service was poor when you could find a Frontier employee.
I chose not to blog about our experience last week because the circumstance in FLL was tough and in a lot of ways I felt sorry for the Frontier staff that appeared to just be worn out and very short staffed.
Having said that, the AA staff we have run into today is amazing. Any group of employees can shine when things are normal but the Orlando AA crew is shining even though I know the massive delays here tonight are making their jobs much harder. Lately I’ve seen a lot of bad press for the airlines but when you meet a friendly, passionate, and helpful employee that you know has been on her feet helping people for 12 hours, you have to applauded her work ethic and the work ethic of all the AA employees we have encountered today that are shining under the haze of delayed flights, harried passengers and a very crowded airport.
When you’re worried about catching flights, worried about being stuck in an airport and feeling harried a group of really good employees like we encountered today make a huge difference. I must admit the free Chardonnay and little squares of cheese are also a good moral booster.
So, if you do find your self in Orlando, check out the little lounge at gate 53 and if the staff is as excellent for you as they were for us make sure you say thanks.