Best & Worst Airlines: Follow-Up

As a follow-up to my recent post on the “Best & Worst Airlines: 2008,” I wanted to provide an update on my rant about American Airlines. After canceling a day of meetings due to an inconvenient delay, I was told by American Airlines customer service that I could mail a letter to their claims department in Texas (no email or phone option). After two months, I finally received this generic response:

May 9, 2008
Dear Mr. Jones:

Thank you for contacting us. We obtained your email address and hope you don’t mind that we sent you an email in reply. We were eager to touch base with you. After reading your comments, it is clear that we let you down – we apologize. Your comments serve as a reminder that we cannot afford to overlook our commitment to consistently provide quality service to our customers. I am truly sorry we disappointed you.

At the same time, we very much appreciate your honest feedback. Your comments represent areas of our service that receive our continual review and we are renewing our focus on key service areas — “on time” flights, efficient and courteous assistance, timely information — and all other products and services important to our customers. The details you provided give us an opportunity to improve and you have my pledge that we are working hard to make your next overall travel experience with us the best it can be. In the spirit of goodwill and appreciation, we’ve made arrangements for an eVoucher (see details below) for you to use toward the purchase of another ticket to travel with us. Again, thank you for keeping us informed. We look forward to the privilege of welcoming you aboard American Airlines very soon.

Sincerely,

L. Milam

Customer Relations
American Airlines

To clarify, my suggestions in this letter were:

1) Improve customer service by offering online surveys as well as email support. I told them to take a page out of the Jet Blue book: be pro-active. use technology to provide more efficient customer service.

2) I asked American Airlines for some form of compensation for the cancellation of my 3 business meetings and I suggested that I will never use the airline again. As a result, they sent me a $50 voucher which is a joke!

I understand that this airline is struggling and will most likely go bankrupt soon. I appreciate their response but it was hardly timely. If they’re going to email me a response, why did I have to mail a letter to Texas? Moreover, a $50 voucher is a joke and it’s hardly enough to get me to book another flight with this sub-par organization. Once again, I think American Airlines should ditch their stupid in flight magazine and focus on a 21st century website. Look at your competition!