American’s Follow-Up Regarding My Customer Relations Complaint

Filed Under: American

Yesterday I shared my recent experience with American customer relations. I was flying business class on American from New York to Los Angeles, and the power ports on the entire plane weren’t working, which meant I couldn’t be productive.

American-Business-Class-A321 - 17

I got a response from American less than 20 minutes after submitting my complaint, but it failed to address my issue:

  • They suggested that the issue may have been that other people in my row were using power ports, which was using up all the available power
  • Instead of acknowledging the issue and saying that they’ll make sure that the plane’s power ports are fixed, they told me I could check American’s website for more information on power ports (which would only confirm that there should have been working power ports on my flight).

If this were an isolated incident I’d just ignore it, but this is the second email in a row I sent to American customer relations where I got a response which completely missed the mark. The last email I sent was last year, where I simply wanted to thank a crew for fantastic service and they couldn’t even respond to that accurately.

I had responded to the email response I got from them, and not surprisingly didn’t get a response within 20 minutes that time.

I did, however, get an email last night from a “senior analyst” at American customer relations. I’m not sure if it was in response to the follow up email I sent or in response to this blog post, but here’s what he had to say:

In short, we didn’t get this one right. Again. While I’m pleased someone responded to you quickly, our response didn’t quite meet the bar. I wanted to assure you that your feedback, like last time, did reach the right people so that it could be addressed. That said, we could use some improvement in the precision of our response. We want to get it right every time and I apologize we didn’t quite deliver this time. We’ll do better.

That’s short and to the point, and I appreciate that. He offered to hop on a call, but my goal isn’t to beat a dead horse, and I figured I didn’t have much to say beyond what I’ve shared already. But I did want to pass on the response, for those who were wondering.

Do I expect anything will change radically at customer relations as a result of my feedback? Absolutely not.

But I guess I’d sum up my advice as follows (they probably don’t care, but I’ll share it anyway):

  • If the response is actually generated by a human, wait more than 20 minutes to send the email. Even if American is just incredible and generates responses within 20 minutes, schedule to send out the email later. Responding that quickly makes it seem like no effort was put into the response, or that the email was auto-generated (which, on second thought, seems to be exactly what happens). But waiting 2-12 hours to respond looks much better, in my opinion.
  • If the response is computer generated, be more generic. The fact that the response came within 20 minutes makes me suspect that the email was auto-generated based on keywords in my email (even though it was signed by a human). If that’s the case, they should respond more generically. If someone complains about power ports, simply apologize for the issue and say they’ll work on improving their reliability. Having a form email say that others in the row may have been using the power, or to check American’s website for which flights have power ports, only makes them look incompetent.

Bottom line

I just wanted to pass on the further contact American initiated with me, for those of you who were interested. It’s nice to at least have the issue acknowledged without them making excuses, so I really appreciated the response from them. Not that I expect things will actually change, but at least I did my part to share feedback. 😉

  1. Thanks for sharing, and well done Lucky!
    The response you received originally was pretty sad, but I’m glad someone actually acknowledged they messed up and would try to do better moving forward.

  2. I just sent them my own dilemma because the LAX agent Mgr wasn’t aware about the China 144 hour stop and refused to let me and wife fly until I beg and asked someone for assistance and they had to call Dallas for verification but by the time they got approval my flight left already, 3hrs in the counter, and they moved me to Cx but 144 hrs doesn’t apply because my original 3rd country is HKG. I requested for payment on my additional booking for a diff 3rd country.

  3. These online reps based in who knows where just look for key words and copy and paste responses. I have some funny ones from some of the emails I have sent!

  4. I find Delta’s customer service way more proactive and responsive than AA. I had a flight where right after take off the entertainment system was not working properly. They tried to reboot it couple times but at the end we were informed the entertainment system would not work during the entire flight. It was frustrating since it was a day flight from Europe to the US so most passengers were awake and not having entertainment system was bad. By the time I landed in the US I turned on my phone and there was already an email in my inbox from Delta customer service apologizing for the inconvenience during that flight and already depositing xx number of miles in my account. Wow!!! I did not have to waste my time complaining to them.

  5. Its because of your blog, I’ve sent exact emails like yours back and it gets a cut and paste response.

  6. Aha! So that would explain why I’m always asking “Did this guy even read my email?” after getting one of those initial “personal” responses: it’s computer-generated. Makes perfect sense when it comes to some of my more hilarious/infuriating non-answers that have a perfunctory touch on the subject in question, but completely miss the whole point. It’s either that or a high percentage of customer service people either don’t care or have zero-level reading comprehension.

  7. I had the same experience with AA. In my case, I paid for MCE and due to an equipment change was seated in a row with standard leg room. I asked for a refund of the MCE fee for that leg, and I they responded with an apology that I was unhappy with their change fees and refund policy. To their credit, when I reiterated my complaint, they refunded all MCE fees on the itinerary even though I only asked for one leg to be refunded – so either they didn’t read the email (again), or they were generous in their response.

  8. I doubt that a computer is automatically replying or that would happen in a matter of seconds, not 20 minutes. More likely, a representative is working an e-mail queue and has a list of pre-canned responses to reply to your e-mail with. In most cases I doubt that the rep is actually typing anything, they are just selecting which pre-canned response to send you. This is why while the subject of the reply might make sense the actual content of it does not really solve your issue.

  9. They must have seen your blog post, I’ve gone back and forth with them on 2 different change fees and their only response is that they have no flexibility in the matter and that I’m stuck paying $400, more than half the total amount I spent in the first place. AA is terrible on customer service and it’s going to lead my business elsewhere. A little flexibility and they’d have me hooked rather than driving me away like this. Silly way to run a business if you ask me.

  10. It’s nice to know that my business doesn’t mean anything since I don’t have a blog.

    As is seen on FT, especially in the meal thread, American really doesn’t care about customer service just about their bottom line.

  11. @ Sice – Has AA ever been known to be flexible regarding changes for revenue tickets? It wouldn’t matter even if your change fees totaled more than the cost of the original ticket.

  12. Almost all of the staff at airlines, never actually fly. Many times, they have NO IDEA what a customer is talking about. Since they don’t experience their own service (or lack thereof) and certainly, have no basis to compare their airline to any world leader airlines. It is almost hopeless to even attempt to communicate. It starts at the gate, with gate agents barking and yelling at the customers, poorly laid out boarding areas, terrible terminals, and mass confusion. Continue on to the surly Flight Attendants and the lack luster interiors, dirty planes, cramped quarters, and abysmal carry on baggage situation. Forget service, food, or kind words, even in First Class. Then the entire process repeats itself, with the mad rush to disembark (not de-plane, that is not even an English word). If you call or write, you rarely get an answer or are able to make your point.
    I doubt the senior management ever flight a competing US airline, much less a foreign carrier, to see how they could improve.
    All in the name of saving $ 33 so that masses of people, who rarely fly, can bring the service and experience to the lowest common denominator.

  13. I agree with their horrible customer service. I’ve now flown 4 international flights in business class in the past 6 months where either the power ports didn’t work or the entertainment system was broken. I finally complained and they sent a generic response with no offer of additional miles. After all these years, I no longer find enough value as an Executive Platinum flyer and am finally ready to jump ship.

  14. @ Joseph – American’s quick response to Lucky was likely because the complaint didn’t involve the company giving up any money or making any concessions. On the other hand, you shouldn’t expect that insistent emails will get AA to give an inch about anything like its change fees.

  15. I had THE worst customer service experienced with any airline with AA when they lost my luggage for 3 days and refused to reimburse anything as I had not filled in a form.

    I will never fly AA if I can possibly avoid it given the way they treat their passengers.

  16. I used to fly AA on business as an Executive Platinum — 5 years running — and I cant count the number of times that outlets or seats didn’t work properly. The flight attendants got to the point that so many things were broken so often that they would just roll their eyes and apologize…sometimes. More often than not, I just got the eye roll. I used up all my miles and just don’t fly AA anymore. My friends on Facebook are quite happy since they have to read many fewer complaints now.

  17. @ Sice, if you changed your flights at 2 different times, I don’t see what you are complaining about. I recently had the same situation with a trip to HKG. I first changed the trip from late Sep to early Oct and then changed it to late Oct. When I purchased the discount ticket instead of a flexible ticket, I agreed to pay $200 every time that I changed my mind. That is pretty standard with most airlines. When you buy a discount ticket it costs you every time that you change your mind. Some tickets can not be changed, even for a fee, so consider yourself lucky. On the other hand if you made 2 changes at the same time, you should only be charged $200.

  18. The larger issue is this is the business responds in this country today. I wouldn’t said this 10yrs ago but I have learned that business,big business just doesn’t give a damn.That’s why the response you received was so inane. It’s about money and that’s all they care about and Government does nothing, just makes noise to keep the peasants calm.Coincidently, Great Van Sustern was on an AA flight yesterday or day before and had similar problems with AA. She was tweeting them and were they answering. LOL, I suggested she come to Ben’s site (Gave her the link) as I had learned more in a year reading posts and tips than in the last 20yrs. Thanks Ben keep it up!

  19. When you are highlighted in AA’s investor presentation, they’re going to be paying attention to the blog. 🙂

  20. whether automated or just a brain-dead association of keywords to a canned response doesn’t make much difference in my mind, it is still enraging to have a carefully considered feedback email treated with such disdain.

    I’m not sure I agree with the delay idea: it simply adds more obfuscation to an already opaque interface between customers and the service provider.

    What I do think would be more honest: have the email state that it has been auto-generated based on keyword association with common problems and send it back within 5 minutes!

    but add a link to say something like: “our experience is that these answers resolve customers problems most of the time. if we didn’t answer your question, please click this link to ensure that your original question is reviewed by an experienced analyst.” – or something less wordy.

    that way the experienced analyst wouldn’t be trying to fix a bad feeling. it would be building off perhaps a neutral feeling.

    the problem with most “customer service” departments is that they care about neither one. despite all the assurances of customer focus, fixing your problems and NPS scores etc they are designed to save companies money by inter-mediating between the customer and the company.

    they are designed primarily to keep customer interactions down and to make them as cheap as possible and to make the company feel good about itself.

    that isn’t “customer service”. that’s “interruption management”

  21. You know they pay close attention to your blog. They’ve used your quote in their investor presentation.

  22. Did you give them a heads up prior to the flight that you would b on the flight and had a blog like you did to score the upgrade at the Sheraton in Frankfurt?

  23. So you are saying that American Airlines basically treated you exactly like they would have treated any of us in that email situation.

    Most of the airlines are horrible at customer responses. My favorite was from united, they responded to my complaint of a very very large passenger who needed my seat, thus squashing me on 1/2 my seat for my 6 hour flight. United sent me their “customer of size” policy in response.

  24. I have to give kudos to UA for at least trying to deliver better customer service. They may not always get it right the first time, but I’ve noticed quite an improvement in their service recovery. On a recent flight from IAH – AMS, the overhead reading lights weren’t working in the J cabin and the only available light on this overnight flight was from the IFE. The cabin crew apologized and mentioned that this had been an issue with this particular aircraft for over 2 weeks.

    So, I wrote an email to UA 1K customer service when I got home. They responded with a thoughtful email and generous token of goodwill for the inconvenience (travel voucher good towards a future flight). I really appreciate UA owning up to the issue and actually showing me they appreciate/value my business. Had this happened on AA, I have no doubt they would have simply told me to go pound sand.

  25. AA could give a rats ass about any client no matter their ‘status’.

    They are whores like most airlines and treat their clients like garbage.

  26. A simple fuse that maintenance was to lazy and the flight crew too stupid to reset. Then Siri’s little sister answering “key word” emails with responses that make no sense. Sat on an American flight from US to Europe a year ago with the entertainment system completely hosed, and none of the power ports working. Fortunately I brought an analog book to read.

  27. If you make a complaint about anything, make sure to spell out what you actually want from them to resolve the problem. If it’s reasonable it might happen. They are not paid to be inventive. It has worked for me with Qantas who are in the same mould as AA as far as Customer Care et al is concerned !

  28. You will find more of these issues occurring. As a flight attendant for AA most items we write up are not being fixed by maintenance. These customer experience issues are being swept under the rug due to DPs insistence on 100% on time departures. Everyday we leave with inop entertainment screens, broken lavs, broken ovens, broken reading lights. Nothing gets fixed at base stations cause in the general scheme, they are insignificant. Last night we sent a 777 to BA where the MC lights wouldn’t dim the whole red eye flight. Just saying!

  29. So I buy a paid first class ticket IAD to LAX for $1,200. My outbound flight is cancelled for a mechanical. I HAVE to get to LA so I jump off the plane and buy a walk up ticket on Virgin America for $700 one way in coach. (fantastic flight, BTW) On my return the next morning – you guessed it- flight cancelled for a mechanical. AA offers me a flight – in coach – on the red eye the next day. (~36 hour delay) No dice. I buy a walk up ticket on -you guessed it – Virgin America – for $700 in coach. (another fantastic flight, BTW) I write to AA and ask for my miles since I’m trying to qualify for Platinum and my first class flights were worth ~10,00 qualifying miles. AA’s response – you didn’t actually fly on AA so drop dead. How about some Aadvantage miles for the inconvenience of two canceled mechanicals in 24 hours? “Drop dead” How about a voucher to help me out on the for the extra $200 I spent – in coach – to get to/from LA because you are unable to operate your flight? “Drop dead” . they did, however, graciously offer to refund me for the flights they cancelled. . Wow, impressive, huh?

    Three months later I get call from “Executive Customer Relations” and they want to know why I didn’t fly enough miles to requalify for Platinum? I hung up.

  30. AA is terrible with Customer Relations.
    @Chris – UA much better – recently received a voucher for multiple issues such as power ports etc.
    @glenn t – that would be an interesting topic – what would be a ‘reasonable’ compensation for various inconveniences – power ports, entertainment systems, seats that don’t recline etc – x a constant for distance and day or night flights.

  31. After reading the posts about AA customer service and then reading all the disgruntled responses here it does make me wonder: is there any legacy carrier worth being dedicated to? We are leaving United because well…it sucks on all fronts (and that’s coming from someone who was 1K last year – ok the 1k phone line is good that’s one good thing you get for flying 125,000 miles with them). AA at least has some nice new planes, albeit with bad food and apparently a lot of issues getting things to work. Don’t they understand the irony of having a “business class” which they fly with no power, ergo: no way of doing business? Then there is Delta, they’re mostly efficient and on time and seem to get it mostly but I kind of hate their seats in business, only the A330 have reverse herringbone and with only a narrow 21″ width, while AA’s are 26″ on their 777-300. I digress, it just seems to me that none of the US legacy carriers seem to really get what it takes to run an airline with a consistent product that delivers.

  32. Ben,

    As others have pointed out, your quotes are now making it into AA investor presentations, and you have obviously had a lot of major media exposure in the past year. As such, your customer service experiences (especially at AA, but broadly in US aviation) are likely to have little relevance to the average traveler.

    That’s not to say the low competence in general won’t catch up to you occasionally as in the case of the 1st email!

  33. Your experiences and reviews are even less relevant to me now. With posts like this and the public brouhaha that inevitably follows, everyone is going to treat you like gold. And when they do it well, you won’t be able to tell that you’re receiving special treatment, everywhere and all the time. And they’ll treat all other customers like sh!t and get away with it. Can’t trust your reviews anymore, man.

  34. @Lucky – Unfortunately it makes me more upset because the average traveler wouldn’t even get an invite to “hop on a call”. It is obvious that they messed up and after realizing you have OMAT – they better fix the PR mess.

    I have had issues and have sent emails – receive the same response and that’s it. Inflight Entertainment keeps rebooting on several flights from DFW-NRT. Seats broken, etc. It really doesn’t matter to them about fixing the problem.

    Maybe the only way to get a response is to get a blog and post it…

    Cynical about AA and ready to bail on them.

  35. The thing is, the latest highly-praised reply is in fact also mechanically generated—it is generic and does not indicate any awareness of the specific issue.

  36. AA customer relations ‘ service is terrible since the merger. I don’t generally complaint but I have 2 matters which required contacting them and my experience was beyond frustrating.

  37. When I knew my days as EXP were over: Valentine’s trip to N Africa was cancelled mid-trip by AA and they said they couldn’t rebook us. At all. No protection on any other flight. No help from lounge AAngels, twitter, EXP line, zip. (They claimed mechanical, but the odd thing was that same plane was instead routed DFW-CDG.) Had to return to airport of originating flight, and there went the special Valentine trip that had been extensively planned. It took many, many months of begging to get any refund at all. Not once was there an offer of miles or an offer to reimburse, say, lost hotel expenses. Many calls, many emails. Repeated canned email responses.
    But then I am not an influential blogger who is quoted in AA investor presentations and glorifies their product to the public. No hopping on a call for me.
    You’d better believe I would have been happy with a mere power port issue.

  38. The endless “I’m not a famous blogger” whining is more obnoxious than being squashed in an AA seat with missing window by the fat guy next to you. Well, you’re not a billionaire who can jet around the world on private planes, either, so get over it.

  39. Instead of giving Lucky a hard time that he got special treatment, how about realising that what he is doing is actually getting AA to acknowledge their service failures and start trying to fix them. The fact that AA take time to read this blog and takes it seriously means that they are far more likely to actually change things they are getting wrong and pointed out to them via this blog.They want a positive review on a blog that has a huge amount of frequent flyer subscribers and engagement, and therefore they will take Lucky’s complaints and reviews seriously – which can only mean improvements for the rest of us

  40. I feel your pain. I had a very frustrating experience myself. I had an issue with booking an award ticket and, as a former US Airways and American employee, I was just writing to help them train their employees better. The multiple generic form letter responses I received instead of a single person actually reading my message were beyond infuriating.

    They really need to overhaul customer relations, as there’s no surprise people are switching with the insulting replies they send.

  41. Lucky – not trying to defend American for their response to your complaint. As (i’m assuming you’re) an EXP they should be taking your comments seriously and provide a well thought out response.

    That said, i’d have to guess most of their ‘complaints’ are from infrequent flyers complaining about a late flight, a lost bag, a missed connection, a cramped seat, or something that was their fault but they want to blame on AA (not being allowed on a flight because they showed up 2 minutes before departure, having hidden city ticketing not work out from them, a flight attendant who was rude because you were drunk).

    Not saying those people dont deserve to be heard but i think complaints like the above can be handled by a computer or someone overseas copying and pasting from a database. Infrequent travelers will fly AA regardless as long as theyre the cheapest option to get from Chicago to Orlando.

    Maybe you just got lumped in with them?

  42. Ben:

    I’m happy that American Airlines followed up on your email complaint, but it would be disingenuous of you to assume that it’s not due to your blog’s popularity.

    I’ve never had any complaint about American Airlines, but based on the other comments I am reading here, it appears that this type of follow up by American is not normal, and is due to your “celebrity” in the industry.

  43. So for us non blogging serfs, it’s business as usual. They just don’t care. All these big companies, it’s all about $$$$$$$$ Why else would an airline plan for 10 across economy seating? Why else with record low oil prices are ticket prices not lower? Why else do you have to go through mind numbing layers of automated customer service steps before reaching a real person. All about the $$$$$

  44. The folks here who think this response is a sign of AA ‘wanting to do better’, get real. The airline likely gets hundreds of such complaints each day, none of which would ever receive a respectful response. Lucky’s complaint has only been recognized due to this platform I.e. his blog. Let’s get real here, and realize that the service the rest of here receive will in no way get better from tomorrow. Lucky’s however most certainly will.
    The only recourse left is voting with your wallet when you’re unhappy with a service rendered That’s a language they will understand.

  45. Ben, you’re facing #firstclassproblems, which is at least one step more privileged than #firstworldproblems. It’s good for you to get a dose of reality once in a while, lest you think that everyone walks about in an elite bubble of specialness. Also, customer service is a myth.

  46. Ben, I’m like you in the sense that I complaint rarely, and am often submitting compliments instead. HOWEVER, I really feel that you may have overreached on this one. They did refer specifically to the issue you raised by acknowledging … “Regardless of the reason why there was no power”, so they didn’t ignore your point. And they compensated you for the inconvenience. The last time I personally had an issue and emailed customer service for my principal airline – I received a cut and paste reply (too many full stops and oddly placed commas were the giveaway) that was so generic I was surprised they waited over 2 weeks to reply. This was despite decent status and a premium cabin.

  47. “Your experiences and reviews are even less relevant to me now. With posts like this and the public brouhaha that inevitably follows, everyone is going to treat you like gold. And when they do it well, you won’t be able to tell that you’re receiving special treatment, everywhere and all the time. And they’ll treat all other customers like sh!t and get away with it. Can’t trust your reviews anymore, man.”


  48. Lucky,
    The story of your email dealings with AA Cust Serv makes perfect sense to me, as in my past life I worked in similar roles with two major U.S. carriers. Customer Service departments often draft responses to letters or emails using a system of prewritten paragraphs. The agent simply clicks on whatever paragraph(s) most closely relate to the issue at hand. That’s why the reply pretty much ignored who you were and your status with AA, and basically started with the canned greeting, “Thank you for your interest in American Airlines.” While your complaint was about the lack of power points on the entire aircraft, in the agent’s eyes your complaint was boiled down to non-working power points. So, he/she chose the most-appropriate paragraph available which was to explain why power may not have been available at your seat. Of course they missed the entire gist of your complaint but their job is to receive emails and send replies. At their level there is very little thought put into the reply. Fortunately your follow-up response to their inane reply was intercepted; probably because they didn’t have a canned paragraph available. Smarter heads prevailed, and AA’s response to your follow-up was “hand written”, so-to-speak and as such was appropriate to your complaint and to your status. I’ll add that AA’s further offer to discuss the matter via phone is commendable.

    Sadly, the demands of social media and the shear volume of emails today do not always allow for personal responses. Customer Service agents do what they can with the tools provided to them.

  49. This is the America West d/b/a US Airways d/b/a AA customer service model. I just stopped emailing AA altogether.

  50. A couple months ago I was on a DEN-ORD flight on American in the bulkhead. The middle seat was open on the flight. After the final cabin check before landing, a very large man stumbled down the aisle and sat down in the middle seat between me and the woman sitting in the aisle. He was very clearly incredibly drunk. He began putting his arm around her. Passing out and coming to and putting his arm around her again. I immediately private messaged AA upon landing notifying them of the incident. When the man then began putting his arm around me, I messaged them again. The only response I got was, to paraphrase, “Sorry this happened, we’ll review our procedures to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

    But this wasn’t enough. They have to make sure that this incident is taken care of. And by that I don’t mean that they need to compensate me or the woman next to me. They need to address the issue with this guy. How do I know they didn’t?

    When the woman and I deplaned, we alerted the crew and described the man. My connection was right next to the gate where I deplaned. I waited and watched to see if AA personnel, security, or Police would address the situation. I watched the man stumble off the jetway with two drunk friends. No one stopped him. No one talked to him. Clearly no one found out if he was boarding another flight. And they walked on to wherever they were going.

    AA was notified both electronically and in person and didn’t lift a finger to address an in-progress incident with clear courses of action that should have been taken. Why would anyone expect them to handle minor customer service issues properly?

  51. You really are Lucky! I submitted a complaint 3 days ago, am an exec plat and have yet to hear anything back yet.

  52. I love how all these complaints are coming out, I’m glad I’m not the only one who faced rudeness/incompetence at the hands of these people.
    I was boarding a (very delayed) flight once and was told by the gate agent that I couldn’t take my cabin baggage sized bag on board and that I’d have to check it in. When I asked him why, he asked me ‘are you first class?’ I wasn’t, and I told him so. He looks me in the eye and says, ‘that’s why’, and proceeds to completely ignore me even though I’m right in front of him. I check my bag in, as I couldn’t afford to not take the flight (no way I could miss work the next day, and this flight was 9.30pm or so). I realized as soon as I got home that my iPad was damaged and unusable. After 45 mins waiting on the phone, I’m told to fill out a form online and submit it for review, and it says on the form that they bear no responsibility for any electronics/equipment damage. What the f*** kind of disclaimer is that? $600 gadget down the drain, and NO recourse.
    And the ‘are you first class’ question still makes me bristle. I fly economy as I consider spending X10 fare a waste of money and I don’t get value out of a $5000 ticket vs say $750 ticket, especially when the journey is just 6 or 12 hrs long. I’m a doctor and work in an ICU, and if that gate agent ever is a patient of mine, I’d love to ask him if he’s first class. (But I won’t, coz I’m not an a$$hole)

  53. I used to like the service from the social media team. They were quick to respond to a Twitter DM or even a Tweet. Even that has really dropped off. I was on a flight in January from DFW-PIA. I heard the pilot tell the ground crew 2X “Do not unplug us. The APU is not functioning.” Sure enough, they unplugged us which caused a delay and an upset pilot. Here is the Twitter conversation:
    My Tweet: I love it when someone “unplugs” our @AmericanAir plane that doesn’t have an APU and everyone has to deplane. #dfwpia3045
    2:55 PM – 26 Jan 2016
    AA Response: American Airlines ‏@AmericanAir Jan 26
    @gpotts5626 The disruption surely affects us all. The ground plan is to complete maintenance and get going shortly here.

    In what world does this “affect us all?” At least be genuine. There was no maintenance. This was either written by a machine or someone who doesn’t speak english well.

  54. Have another one to report: On a flight from JFK to FCO some of the overhead lights, the ones like spot lights above you, could not be turned off in the business cabin. FAs tried to do everything and the purser assured me that she had written it up. Needless to say that made sleeping nearly impossible. CS responded with a whopping offer of 2000 miles. I found that inadequate. Next email back to them I tried to quantify my comfort by designating a % of the miles used for the flight. They apologized and upped the ante a bit. Here is the response:

    “When I read your recent correspondence, and then reviewed your previous contacts, I could see the situation from a different perspective. I don’t blame you for being upset with us and am glad you’ve given us this additional chance to make amends.

    We’d like to extend a tangible “I’m sorry” and put this matter behind us. Accordingly, I’ve credited an additional 8,000 bonus miles to your AAdvantage® account totalling in 10,000 for your inconvenience. This mileage adjustment should be reflected in your account very soon. We would consider it a privilege to welcome you aboard again.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us. It helps us to receive comments such as yours, and we conscientiously follow through to be sure proper procedures are met. I assure you your letter is being put to good use.”

    I just wonder what “reviewing previous contacts” means. Good thing I send kudos as often as dings.

  55. I bought 2 American Airlines tickets in August last year to fly from Rome to San Salvador in Central America.using an online website My fly was booked for December 2015 but I got pregnant and asked for a full refund: US-16RONDEAU-B78L04 – RFMC. I sent them all the documents they asked to fulfill their zika refund policy. I just got their answer and it is only a partial refund. What should I do?

  56. I was stranded in Halifax for a couple days due to weather – December 2016. Once flights started to come back online there was the expected overbooking of all flights.

    I patiently waited a couple hours to talk to a rebooking agent. The agent told me I would need to wait 3 days until I could get a flight home. I suggested I could buy my own flight to Toronto (for $500) then have American Air rebook me out of Toronto to my ultimate destination of Birminhham AL. I was told Toronto was over 300 mile from Halifax so American Air could not offer me a rebooking. My only option was to wait 3 nore days. I ultimately paid Air Canada plus Avis over $1000 to get home.

    I fly over 100,000 mile a year. I plan to diligently work to not fly American Air unless I absolutely need too. I BELIEVE NOT HELPING A STRANDED PASSENGER BORDERS ON UNETHICAL PRACTICE.

  57. The maddening computer-generated e-mail responses from American’s customer relations department are creating an alienating environment for customers; we have lost control over most aspects of our interactions with the company. I began to go down the rabbit hole when I tried to receive a refund from Allianz Global Assistance “Deluxe Domestic Trip Protector” plan (advertised on American’s website). Allianz’s reimbursement requirements for a recent flight cancellation were so restrictive that it rendered the insurance useless to me. I then contacted two live American reservation agents to cancel my flight and discuss the following:

    1) American Airlines should propound more transparent communications about the limitation of “trip insurance.” It is not trip protection.
    2) Make a one-time exception and issue a partial refund or travel voucher for the flight I cancelled since I thought I was covered by “trip protection” (but was not).

    In response to my mail correspondence to American, I received a generic email thanking me for contacting them with a “compliment” or “answer a complaint.” Following this, I called a reservation agent about the absurd e-mail I received in response to my 2-page letter, and the reservation agent said I needed to speak to customer relations. I was told they could not transfer me, and the best way to contact them and seek a resolution was to send an email via the website. I was told that the customer relations department was geared to respond to e-mails and not letters. I copied my letter into the company’s website. Shortly thereafter, I received another generic email and then a phone call. I could not understand the caller and hung up. When I tried to call American Airlines customer relations, the automated system would not put me through without an extension number, and there was no option to speak to a live person. When I called reservations again, I was told that they cannot transfer calls to customer relations; that customer relations handles concerns through the company website. I now have three case numbers and not one person at American Airlines has actaully responded specifically to my concerns. This canned interface with customers needs to end!

  58. I am going to be following up with a letter to American Airlines Headquarters. I ran into the following issues recently after booking a vacation threw AA.
    1. Mechanical issues, delays and cancellations on 9/15 caused us to miss our cruise.
    2. We ended up flying out of Detroit instead of Toledo.
    3. We had to stay overnight in Miami. They put is up in a hotel I wouldn’t have booked if I was vacationing in Miami.
    4. We had to take another flight on 9/16 to St. Kitts to meet our cruise.
    5. We had to stay overnight in St. Kitts for two days, pay for our own food and taxis.
    6. We paid for round trip transfers but only needed one way.
    7. We missed a lot the first three nights of the cruise. We had a Sky Class Loft Suite which had numerous amenities and benefits that we payed extra for as well as we missed various reserved and plan activities.
    8. Having to go threw customs and immigration several times during this trip. (more than usual)
    9. Not being able to sleep in or sleep well.
    10. The worry, stress and uncertainty of what now?
    11. The extra expense, travel and time.
    12. Having to tell this story over and over again.
    13. The unprofessional staff that we ran into that didn’t believe us, didn’t care or blamed us for our travel mishaps.
    14. Our preparation for this vacation was mostly wasted. We didn’t wear half of the things we packed and purchased special for the cruise due to missing three days and everything was wrinkled badly from moving from place to place.
    15. Had the same issue returning home on 9/22. Our flight was delayed in Fort Lauderdale and then canceled three hours later. They wanted us to stay overnight and fly out on Monday morning and return home on Tuesday to Toledo. I ended up finding a flight on my own from Miami to Detroit. We rushed over to that airport and that flight was also delayed . So we flew into Detroit instead of Toledo five hours later. Instead of getting home at 10PM it was 3AM.

    I finally after five complaint entries online was able to talk to a customer care representative. He stated all he could do for us was give us a $300 voucher times two for airfare. After all of the mishaps I don’t know if I ever want to fly American Airlines again. That’s a drop in the bucket for them. And the whole time we were going through this mess they wanted to blame us for booking our flights on the same day as our cruises. I booked everything for this vacation through them. Where I live we have a small airport and we only have one airline that flies out of it and that’s American. Most of the time we are very limited as to travel and I have to fly from another airport but I do try to patronize our airport. This will be the last time and I definitely wanna let others know about the poor customer service.

    Thanks for reading……

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