Up yours, says American Airlines

Got a reply from American, finally. Unfortunately, it doesn’t address any of my concerns.

August 7, 2006

Dear [Me]:

I am so sorry for your unhappy experience when you traveled with us to Las Vegas. There’s probably nothing more frustrating than having to travel when bad weather conditions play havoc with airline schedules. From your description it certainly sounds as if the delay was aggravating and uncomfortable, and it’s unfortunate we didn’t do a better job of overcoming the many challenges we faced. I am especially concerned that we missed opportunities to mitigate the effects of the weather disruption.

Unfortunately, many times we don’t have too many options to help make such situations less trying. Still, your comments enable us to understand things from our customers’ perspective, which is crucial as we strive for better performance next time.

Although we do whatever we can to minimize weather related problems, our schedules are not guaranteed; there are simply too many uncontrollable factors for us to make such a commitment. For this reason, we cannot assume financial responsibility for our customers’ personal time lost or for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of operational difficulties. Instead, you have my assurance that we will always work hard to get you to your destination on time. I hope you will give us another opportunity to do so.

This is an “outgoing only” email address. If you reply to this message by simply selecting the ‘reply’ button, we will not receive your additional comments. Please assist us in providing you with a timely response to any feedback you have for us by always sending us your email messages via AA.com at http://www.aa.com/customerrelations.


[Some CSR] Customer Relations American Airlines

So I replied to them via their crappy web form. They tell you not to reply to the email they send you, but then they don’t give you any way to reply via the web form that makes it clear you’re replying to an email they sent you. Here is my reply:

I sent you a letter complaining about terrible service, and you sent me a reply blaming it all on the weather. I should have been more clear in my first letter – the first delay was mechanical. Subsequent delays may have been weather related, but the first delay, the one that pushed my flight from Thursday evening to Friday morning, was a mechanical problem with our plane.

Please contact me as soon as possible. I do not consider this matter closed, although I do appreciate your apology in the email I received this morning.

I suppose my reply might have been a little snippy.  But I was hoping for something a little more substantial from them than “Sorry, we don’t control the weather”.

This is not over, American Airlines.

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