When was is that the Airlines in this country decided that the customer was the least important part of the equation? It is just mind blowing how inconvenient air travel has become in the past few years. Not only has it become a major pain in the butt, but the people who work for the airlines seem to have been given some type of pass to be nasty to the customers who pay top dollar to be treated like cattle.
So why the rant? My wife was scheduled for a flight this afternoon at about 4:30 and she figured since she had some time she would go to the airport and see if she could go standby on an earlier flight. There were three flights before hers and there were between 3 and 10 empty seats on each one of them. Now logically you would figure if you have a later flight and there are empty seats on an earlier one they would welcome you onto that flight. That is where you would be wrong if you were flying on American Airlines.
You see… she went to the airport 5 hours early and asked if she could go standby on an earlier flight. They told her no, but she was more than welcome to pay another $75 to change to an earlier flight. She replied “no…I am willing to go standby and see if there is an open seat.” The cow behind the counter told her that she could not do that and would have to pay the $75 to change her flight. Being thoroughly annoyed by the attitude of the woman employee behind the counter she asked if it would be possible to speak with a supervisor, to which the sky cow said “only on the telephone.”
When the supervisor finally got on the phone my wife calmly explained that she had recently flown on American to both Tel Aviv and the Far East and was a decent customer. She asked if it would be possible to go standby on one of the next three flights. The supervisor at RDU Chris Clark, told her no that there was no such thing as standby any longer as it kept people from buying inexpensive fares and going standby on better flights. In her disbelief my wife asked him if he was serious and he told her he was serious and that he was done with her and hung up the phone. Now remember that she is a good customer and American Airlines just does not care.
Figuring she might be able to talk to the gate personnel, she went to the gate where the agent told her the same thing…that just this past Friday they had gotten rid of all standby flying to get people to pay more for their tickets. She asked if there were empty seats on the plane and the guy told her there were 6 empty seats, but he could not help her. He did at least acknowledge that it was ridiculous.
I guess the bottom line is that there is no other industry in the world that gets bailed out by the federal government and then turns around and does everything they can to screw the people who gave them the money to save their assess. Well…maybe Wall Street too, but the airlines are the biggest assholes in the country. I was under the mistaken impression that they were in the customer service business, but apparently they couldn’t care less about the customer’s experience… only the fare.
I can tell you that I personally will never fly American Airlines again and I am going to do everything in my power to spread the word and let everyone know that AMERICAN AIRLINES SUCKS!
Please spread the word and let your friends know that all American cares about is that you pay the most for your ticket and you are truly just and after thought to them.