American Airlines Sucks

Truly the worst customer service in America

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.

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About The Social Media Badass

I am the founder of the social media agency The Big Fat Mouth which specializes in creating campaigns that translate into positive returns for brands, celebrities and professional athletes. We know the difference between someone or something being "on social media" as opposed to using social media to drive brand awareness and the accomplishment of campaign and corporate goals. If you don't know what I mean then you should be calling us.
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7 Responses to American Airlines Sucks

  1. I’d be interested to know more details about your story. first off, your wife flew AA to/from Tel Aviv?
    she really must be special since AA doesn’t fly there! what fare ,( type and amount ) were you paying and for what destination? you say ” there is no other industry in the world ..” that does NOT pass on it’s costs to the customer. what industry charges you less today than it did in 1958?
    you expect more for less. maybe you should revise your expectations. YOU have no RIGHT to cheap travel. AA has gone bankrupt because you are not paying enough to cover it’s costs. the employees have taken quite a lot of sacrifices to pay for your low cost travel. You should be thankful for the fare you pay! And do try to be nicer to the people you interact with. while you are calling the gate agent a COW you can surely imagine what she is calling you in her head.

    • First off let me say that I did not call the woman at the counter a cow, I only thought it. I was nothing but polite and asking for help. She however was rather nasty and when the supervisor hung up on my wife she thought it was funny enough to cackle…and is was a cackle. So now that we have that straight… let’s get onto the other points. I guess she flew from RDU to somewhere on AA before she took a partner airline to Tel Aviv. I guess AA does not fly to New Zealand either, however all of us flew it as far as we could on the way and then flew on AA partners. Everything was checked through to the final destination, so to me that is all AA. You are right though, technically outside the US is was not AA. Not that it matters since all of those experiences were positive anyway.

      If you want me to feel bad for the airlines, you are barking up the wrong tree. They are bankrupt because their business model is broken and clearly people are voting with their feet and not traveling as much on AA. As the owner of my business, I get to set the price of my products, If my clients don’t want to pay my prices they can go elsewhere, so I have to be sensitive to their needs and try to keep them happy. The airline industry does not feel the same way, which is why they are in the trouble they are in. As far as revising my expectations, not a chance. I will revise my choice of airlines as there are still some airlines that believe they have to take care of the customers. In the end they will be the ones that survive while the others fade away.

      As far as what industries charge less than they did in the past? Are you kidding? The entire technology sector is cheaper now than in the past. As systems become more efficient prices generally go down. The airlines have become less efficient and less effective over time so they have to keep the prices high to make up for the lost business, inefficiency and general incompetence.

      I do feel bad for the employees who have taken it on the chin for lousy management from the top. It is not their fault that the company is poorly run. Having said that, if they took some pride in their work maybe people would want to fly AA more often. It is a viscous cycle, but at the end of the day you have to look at the golden rule. The one with the gold makes the rules and in this case it is the customer. If AA catered to their customers instead of to their investors, the rest of the business would take care of itself.

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  4. Willguy says:

    It’s very hard(but some of us still are!) to be nice after you’ve been through what some of these employees of thirty to fourty years have endured. I certainly understand why a psgr could become angry after being treated badly either on the ground or in the air but AA has taken all of the tools that we need to execute our job thoroughly and in the process 30% of our pay and benefits! Now we have to try to figure out what the heck to do with this whole bankruptcy thing!
    After spending 33 years at AA I for one am looking for something else to do. This whole mess has hit alot of us right between the eyes. I’m sorry for your bad experience.

  5. j says:

    Please read the airline’s policy prior to travel to avoid this unnecessary ranting.

    http://www.aa.com/i18n/utility/sameDayTravel.jsp

    I too often see passengers like yourself who demand things that are not entitled to you. American Airlines treats all customers fairly, if you politely asked the agent and your request cannot be entertained, please note that they follow the airline’s outlined policy and guidelines.

    Also, I am almost certain all travel time choices were available at your time of booking. Whether or not you had extra time is not the airline’s place to accommodate you.

  6. Michael Hanley says:

    I had the exact same experience when I had a 2 hr. layover in Dallas for the final leg of a trip to Austin. I went to the gate of an earlier flight and the attendant told me the same thing -even though there were a lot of empty seats! She said my ticket fare type did not permit this unless I paid another $75.

    I was in disbelief! Then, a flight crew standing near the counter (he looked like a pilot) said “Yeah, we’d like to still fly DC-10’s but we cant do that anymore, either.” …Less than helpful. I can’t believe they do this to their customers. This situation is common and all other airlines have no problem filling empty seats on a flight. It costs nothing and serves the customer’s needs. Apparently, this is not the way AA chooses to operate.

    AA has earned my wrath! I’ll avoid using them and make sure all my employees do the same. I want to expedite a change in leadership at the airline.

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