American Airlines Has A New Strategy To Deal With Roaches On Their Planes

Last year I wrote about the American Airlines Roach Coach, a Boeing 777 that had to be taken out of service for more than two months because of an insect infestation. Today it flies mostly to London Heathrow and back.

American Airlines widebody aircraft find themselves in a variety of countries, taking on a variety of cargo, and with passengers bringing on things that they probably don’t want to disclose to customs. Planes get infested with a variety of insects. American has a new procedure for dealing with cockroaches in particular – and only on their widebody aircraft.

  • Follow up treatments are being scheduled
  • They’re being set up at “achievable intervals” (American doesn’t have enough widebody aircraft, so doesn’t want these planes out of service frequently)
  • And they’re monitoring to ensure the treatments happen.

According to a change in procedure memo dated August 1st though, when cockroaches are sighted on board it is literally an option to defer treatment.

Cockroaches now have their own dedicated procedure at American Airlines. Notably, other pests including “bed bugs, flying or other crawling insects” are handled differently – with just a “single, ad-hoc treatment process.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. This isn’t newsworthy. Pest control procedures are standard and, yes, like the vast majority of maintenance issues, they can be deferred to prevent service interruptions (assuming country-specific agricultural regulations are still followed).

  2. A tad off-topic, but what, exactly is that aerosol spray being used by flight attendants while they walk down the aisle on some international flights?

  3. When I saw the headlines of your post “Roaches” I immediately thought you were referring to AAs executives flying in the company planes
    By the way the AA Executive cockroaches must have come from Delta headquarters if you look at what AA now charges to redeem miles for an award.Outrageous 450k one way for a business class flight.Good luck to them I just redeemed the same award for 55k in another program to Europe

    I no longer care if I earn their mile currency at all though I may miss their roach cuisine broken seats, dirty cabin interiors and cranky granny crews

  4. Still people come to Gary’s blog to negatively review Gary’s content……
    But anywho, if I ever saw a roach on a plane, I’d demand a full refund and miles lol.

  5. #joanie adams – so, yer blamin’ it on Texas?

    Good to know.

    (Ps… humans don’t get infested with roaches. Consider the food carts, or being parked in an airport overnight.)

  6. I have encountered roaches on both American and United. They must take control of the problem thru a diligent program of spraying and trapping.

  7. German roaches are the hardest to eliminate in a home bc of their size and multiply fast, easy fix on a plane but one spray won’t eliminate due to possible resistance

  8. @baron first you have to Prove you did not bring the bug onto the plane, that there was actually a bug and that it altered your experience.

    For Mr. Baron and everyone else who feels they will get a refund because he saw a bug….. ha ha…. every food place , every hotel in the world has these things. The Roach has been around 320 million years. Thus Baron you humans came after them and are illegals.

  9. Of course humans do not get infested with roaches. Their belongings do!!! You couldn’t figure that out?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *