The mystery continues

So, I have come to realize that my flight was not actually operated by American Airlines. No siree..though my ticket said American Airlines, and they announced themselves as American Airlines, my flight was actually on PSA Airlines. 

Now, PSA Airlines is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines, but they’re not the same thing, so legally, technically, American doesn’t have to do anything. Because they’re not PSA Airlines. Even though they own PSA Airlines.

Furthermore, the FAA doesn’t have to do anything. Even though they ostensibly have oversight of the aviation industry. Even though they have a complaint form on their website for consumer complaints and issues, they do that as some sort of mystery courtesy, to make consumers and airlines passengers, I don’t know, feel better? Feel like someone cares if they have a situation wherein they are trapped on an airplane being harassed by a flight attendant.   Unless I can prove that flying on that plane was unsafe (and I don’t think they will take “psychologically or emotionally unsafe” into account), the FAA is not required to respond in any way.

Because it seems that no one is responsible for any part of this journey. Ironic, then, that the only person who attempted to even admit that someone should take responsibility is James L. who, I will say again, was an excellent customer service agent. 

Sadly, I fear it’s too late to change this blog title to Dear PSA Airlines (A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of American Airlines).


  1. It sounds like you were harassed at minimum and harassment is a crime, pretty sure the FBI and/or local police are called to respond to incidents of, “disruptive passengers” on flights. Maybe you should consider filing a criminal complaint. At least the airlines would be forced to take notice.


  2. The FAA regulates and cares about safety. They do not oversee service, discrimination, nor harassment.

    You’re only just now realizing that you were flying on a regional airline, not AA mainline? I thought you wrote that you were a frequent & experienced traveler. Not to mention that US Public Law 111-216 enacted on 2 Aug 2010 mandates that airlines disclose the operating carrier at the point of sale prior to ticket purchase. That’s what those words “Operated by PSA” on the schedule means. The higher flight numbers are also a clue….different flight number ranges are assigned to different airlines that the mainline contracts with.

    Regional airlines have existed in the USA since the late 1960s. Originally known as trunk airlines and later commuter airlines, now any US scheduled airline with airplanes with 10 or more passenger sears, or turbo jet engines, or payload capacity over 7500 pounds operates under 14 CFR 121 regulations just like the big airlines do.

    Deregulation occurred in the US in 1978, and a few years after that you started seeing code share agreements between air carriers and regional airline airplanes being painted in the same livery of the major airlines.

    The major airlines contract with regional airlines to do their flying on shorter or lower capacity routes. Some regional airlines are wholly owned and some are separate companies, but each major & regional airline will have it’s own air carrier certificate issued by the FAA.


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