Ask Andy: American Airlines bankruptcy

(WMC-TV) - Five billion dollars in the red and ready to follow the path of nearly all of its competitors, American Airlines' parent company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.

Travelers will barely even notice.

"American Airlines and American Eagle are operating normal flight schedules, and our reservations, customer service, AAdvantage program, Admirals Clubs and all other operations are conducting business as usual," the airline stated on its web page acknowledging the bankruptcy filing (

"I think airline employees will see a difference," said Vicki Rush, CEO of A&I Travel Service, Inc., of Memphis (, referring to potential staff reductions and benefit restructuring. "Travelers probably won't (see a difference)."

Rush said although she did not expect drastic fluctuations in American Airlines' fares, flight routes or frequent flyer programs, she did recommend that travelers who are considering American Airlines book their flights 60-80 days out from their travel dates instead of the conventional 90 days. She said that should ensure competitive rates on the flights most likely not to be canceled.

She also said where travel insurance is normally a smart investment, travelers should be careful buying it to cover tickets sold by a delinquent airline.

"Many good insurance carriers will eliminate tickets purchased after an airline goes into bankruptcy as being covered, so don't buy it unless you know bankruptcy is included," she said.

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