American Airlines Being Proactive in Service? Pinch Me!

April 8th, 2008 at 7:40 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Okay, so I’ve not been exactly my wordy self on any of my blogs. As usual, life, and more specifically work, got in the way. I spent the last two months in San Diego as a testifying technical expert in a patent trial – my first such trial. Fascinating experience, but not one I expect to repeat anytime soon.

But that’s a different subject. The purpose of this post is to express my pleasant surprise at an e-mail I just received from American Airlines a few minutes ago:

April 8, 2008
Dear Mr. Richter:

We know that you expect on-time departures and arrivals and there is no question that light delays are disruptive and frustrating. We are sorry for the interruption of
your travel plans on March 31.

Although we cannot guarantee our schedules because of the many variables associated with airline operations, we would like to offer a goodwill gesture as an apology and to encourage you to fly with us again. I have added 4,000 miles to your AAdvantage® account. You will shortly see the miles posted to your account at
www.AA.com/AAdvantage.

Please also remember that our first responsibility to you is your safety. We will delay, cancel, reroute, or divert a flight in order to keep this commitment, even if it brings inconvenience. We appreciate your understanding of this promise.

Thank you for traveling on American. We look forward to serving you again soon.

Sincerely,

B. J. Russell
Customer Relations
American Airlines

This was completely unexpected, which is what makes it such a pleasant surprise. Usually one only gets a “reward” of points like this after filing a complaint, but this was a spontaneous offer. It’s unusual in my experience for any travel-related business to be proactive in this way. Kudos American Airlines! Especially as I am only a mere Platinum flyer – I lost my Executive Platinum status because I did not fly enough on American last year.

The back story:

On March 31st, I was attempting to fly home from an overnight in Washington, D.C., to find my flight from DC to Miami an hour late (which was still actually okay, but quite tight). But when I arrived in Miami, I found my connection to San Juan to be an additional two and a half hours late, meaning I would miss my connection to Bonaire (it ultimately turned out the flight was over four hours late, but I had made plans to overnight in Miami and fly to Curacao the next morning). The folks at the American Airlines Admiral’s Club gave me a hotel certificate for the MIA Airport Hotel (the one right at Terminal E) and a couple of negligible food vouchers ($10 for dinner, and $5 for breakfast). Much to my surprise, the hotel was a real pit – closet-like rooms, in serious need of repair, but that wasn’t American’s fault – they were trying to do me a favor and have me stay nearby. I ended up paying for a night at the nearby Sofitel Miami (much nicer but at a price) and getting some work done too as well as a very good night’s rest (something which would not have happened at the MIA Airport Hotel).

 

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2 Responses to “American Airlines Being Proactive in Service? Pinch Me!”

  1. Mercy Says:

    That is a amazing that they did that without you even complaining! I did have some screwed up flights a few years ago and AA gave me 4,000 miles for my account too. Those are the kind of gestures that keep me as a customer.

  2. Jake Richter Says:

    Yeah, I still am amazed. Not having to complain, and getting an automatic apology…