American Airlines Miami Atlanta In-Flight Entertainment System
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

1,000 AAdvantage Miles Compensation For Inoperable In-Flight Entertainment System

On a recent flight from Miami to Atlanta aboard an Airbus A319 EOW airplane operated by American Airlines on which every seat was equipped with an in-flight entertainment system, mine was out of order for the entire flight.

1,000 AAdvantage Miles Compensation For Inoperable In-Flight Entertainment System

Although the duration of the flight was less than two hours, it was delayed — and the monitor in the seat back in front of me displayed the following words:

Micro-Sd Card
Communication Error.
Please check Micro-Sd Card.

American Airlines Miami Atlanta In-Flight Entertainment System
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

I first called attention to this issue to a member of the flight crew, telling her that I was unable to watch the safety video. She looked at the screen momentarily and said that she would return to try to fix it.

She never returned.

During the snack service in which Biscoff cookies and a choice of beverage were distributed to all of the passengers seated in the economy class cabin, I informed a different member of the flight crew of the issue. His response was that he had never seen that happen before; but when he is done with the snack service, he will have something for me.

He returned after the snack service was completed and — through a small electronic device which he held in his hand — gave me 1,000 AAdvantage miles as compensation for the inoperable in-flight entertainment system; and that they should appear in my membership account after the flight has completed.


I have mixed feelings on this experience: yes, that was a quick and easy 1,000 AAdvantage miles to have earned for doing practically nothing — although I would have preferred to have had access to the in-flight entertainment system for that flight, as everyone else had access — but on the other hand, I just cannot help feeling that perhaps that was not enough and wondered if I am simply being ungrateful.

American Airlines claims to make things great for its customers. I did not feel like they made anything great with the resolution of this issue. Instead, what was done was simply better than nothing at all, I suppose.

The 1,000 AAdvantage miles still have not been added to my membership account at the time this article was written.

What do you think? Should I have received more in terms of compensation — or just be happy with what I got?

All photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

  1. @ Brian — I certainly hope that a manual safety demo occurred. Otherwise, I would contact the FAA with a complaint.

    1. No manual safety demonstration was performed by any of the members of the flight crew, Gene.

      I am just curious: would contacting the Federal Aviation Administration with an official complaint resolve anything?

  2. 1000 AAdvantage miles have a value between $0.00 to $30.00, depending on how and whether you use them.

    Seems fair, although to me the missed safety video is a higher concern. Presumably you watched a neighbouring screen for that? (and read the safety card of course!)

    1. I was seated in an aisle seat, JAXBA; and the neighboring screens were difficult to watch due to glare and the angles.

      The volume was loud throughout the cabin; so hearing it was not a problem.

      I do look at the safety information card — as well as feel for a life vest and note the location of the nearest emergency exit — as part of my routine once I am seated aboard the airplane.

  3. It really is a short flight and not all airlines offer inflight video.
    By the way, I did once file a complaint regarding a seriously defective seat belt that did not hold tight. After weeks of being drawn out the complaint was closed. Evidently the FAA politely asks the involved airline to ch4ck if there is a problem.

  4. Thats pretty bad. Same thing happen to my spouse & I on a Delta flight HNL to LAX, granted it was a longer flight but Delta issued up 15,000 miles each. The flight attended came around with a digital pad scanned my ticket and issued 15k to my account on the spot. At the time I held Delta Gold status so unsure if my status also made a difference. We were still able to connect to the entertainment through our phone although it was a much smaller screen.

  5. @ Brian — I wasn’t suggesting you complain for more compensation, but rather to report the safety violation.. AA should be fiined. I would have requested a manual safety demonstration before departure.

  6. I would have asked for 1000 miles if it was working! Obviously I am not completely serious about that but I find them intrusive, distracting and in many cases completely unsuitable for children. I would rather the airlines invest in better internet, better food service, more comfortable seats, etc.

    1. I can agree they are not suitable for children. I been on I few flights where kids were playing games kept tapping and pushing the screen which of course you can feel on your head. Not very nice when your trying to sleep but have a kid pounding on the screen. Ahhhh

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