American Airlines: Worry About Your Own Ass First!

We’ve all been there, done that.  Gotten on a plane where we have a connection.  Plane gets delayed a little.  Flight Attendant asks if you have a connection, then tells you to talk to the Captain on your way off the plane.  Captain verbally accosts you about your clothing and has called your connecting flight, saying you’re not allowed to board unless you’ve changed your clothing.

Wait.  What?

This is beyond bullshit…  Okay, I get the fact that people may not like the word “FUCK”.  And it’s probably not a totally great idea to wear a shirt with the word on it.  Specifically, a pro-choice shirt that reads, “If I’d Wanted The Government In My Womb, I’d Fuck A Senator”.  But you know what?  That’s your choice.  If you want to do it, you can.

So where does American Airlines get off telling a passenger that she can’t get off the plane before talking to the Captain?  The same Captain who took the time to call to the passenger’s connecting gate and told them she wasn’t allowed to board her connecting flight until she changed?

I have my own love/hate relationship with American Airlines.  I once flew DFW to LAX on an MD80, my seat on the “2” of the “2/3” side of the plane, in the exit row.  Only thing is, I was forced to stand up in the back of the plane the entire time, not allowed to use my seat.  Why?  Because the man who sat next to me was so large that he took up all of his seat and about 80% of mine.  The only way I got through takeoff and touchdown was by raising the armrest and forcing myself to sit in the aisle, while still strapped into my seat (with the seatbelt at maximum length).

I complained to American.  Their response?

Nothing.  Not a word.

I complained a second time.  Again, nothing.  Their customer service finally sent me a blank email – just my email address and their return address.  I told them they did this, and asked for a proper response.

Almost five years later, and I’m still waiting.

Is it any coincidence that I was an AAdvantage Executive Platinum at the time, and since that day, have lost all my status and have not set foot on an American plane as an AAdvantage member since then?  Nope…

So American.  How about you worry about your own self first?  You know – get yourself through bankruptcy and turn your company around.  And stop harrassing your paying passengers!  Yes, sometimes there’s a fine line – but your employees not only crossed it, they flew past it so far you can’t even see it in the distance.

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It’s all about the customer service

Got good customer service?  Think again.  Some of the most troublesome conversations that I have had as a traveler have been with American Airline’s Executive Platinum line and AVIS First customer service.  These are the ELITE levels of these two companies, and it seems, some of the most incompetent people work there.  Want a real world example?  I just called AVIS First customer service a bit ago, and this was my conversation:

Me: Hi there. I’m coming in on AA 5044 and we’re delayed 4 hours. We won’t be in until at least midnight. I want to make sure you’re going hold the center open.
AVIS: Well sir the center closes at midnight.
Me: I know, but my flight information is on my reservation. Don’t they have to stay open if flights are delayed?
AVIS: If you want us to stay open after closing time, you must alert us 3 days in advance.
Me: 3 days in advance? So I have to know 3 days in advance if my flight is going to be delayed?
AVIS: Yes sir.

This is complete nonsense, but it is exactly what this person was trained to say!  The more and more I work online, the less I expect out of companies.

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