After several bad experiences with AA/USAir this week, I sent this email to AACustomerRelations@aa.com as a reply to a voucher they sent. Not surprisingly, it’s an unmonitored account. The automatic reply instructs one to fill out this form. After looking at the 16 (yes 16) required fields on the form, I decided to just post it here and call it a day. Posting here also fires this into Twitter’s maw, that might get a social media person’s attention at American for a nanosecond, but I expect little else.
Thank you for this voucher to compensate for the lackluster experience your airline provided today. This voucher, however, is of no value to me since my days flying with American Airlines/US Airways are numbered. Today’s flight cancellation due to “mechanical issues” is just the latest in a string of bad experiences over the past few days.
I doubt anyone at American will read or respond to this. Nonetheless, I’m going to detail these experiences for my own catharsis:
- Thursday: Mechanical issues forced me to postpone my flight until Friday—I was notified about this after I arrived at the airport.
- Friday: After arriving in Philadelphia, passengers with valet bags were waiting on the unheated jetway. After about 10 minutes without any activity, some of the passengers realized that no one had begun to unload the baggage. There was no communication from the gate staff about the situation, even as many of the passengers went into the terminal to warm up. In the end, the captain and co-pilot saved the day by unloading all of the valet luggage hauling it up the jetway stairs. They both deserve credit for dealing with the situation rather than just watching passively.
- Friday: Still in Philly. Since my flight was delayed for an hour or so, I had ample time to watch as bags were slowly loaded and unloaded from other flights. I’m not sure if the crew was short staffed or not, but I’ve never seen such disorganization on the ground.
- Friday: Yes, still in Philly. About an hour after we were scheduled to depart, we were strapped in and ready to go. Unfortunately, we sat at the gate for another half-hour before the pilot announced that no one had started loading the bags (not a surprise). Eventually, we took off, about 2 hours late.
- Sunday: I received an alert that my flight had been cancelled. American’s automated system rebooked me for a flight in the morning. I called to see if there were any other flights that might get me to where I need to be tonight. I was given two poor options. One on American didn’t leave much travel time to the airport, the other on Delta had an out-of-the-way connection and late arrival time. The option I wasn’t given: the non-stop flight on Delta that left around the same time as my original flight.
Over the years, I have ignored people’s complaints about declining quality and chosen American more than other airlines for business and personal travel. However, after these recent experiences, I am joining the growing number of voices that have little good to say about American. Additionally, after I complete the travel I’ve already booked, I will avoid American altogether.