Your Call is Unimportant to us. So is your Loyalty.

Just when I think that the major international airlines are lumbering awake in the face of their impending doom, I am reassured that, alas, they are just as obtuse as ever. An ongoing battle with one of them, American, serves as confirmation.Aa_logo_2

Last spring, we flew on one of American’s OneWorld partners to Europe. In total, we flew about 8,000 miles, which American refused to credit to our frequent flier points. "It didn’t go through," I was told at first. Only after finding all my receipts, boarding passes and itineraries, then faxing them to Dallas and waiting for weeks, were we rewarded with a grand total of 1,077 points each.

Calling the customer service center proved to be a fruitless endeavor, as well (that was after searching the web site for a number to call, which took some time). Each time I called, I was immediately put on hold and forced to listen to Muzak. If American doesn’t want disgruntled customers to call, this is the way to do it. I gave up.

This is no way to treat a dwindling base of loyal customers. They have far too many choices and you need them more than they need you. If you want examples of good customer service, look at what JetBlue and Southwest are doing. Their customers are fanatically loyal.

Yet the big airlines wonder why they have problems. I would tell them to look within. You can’t blame fuel and labor costs for everything.

One thought on “Your Call is Unimportant to us. So is your Loyalty.

  1. My latest bad experience goes something like this:
    The flight was delayed by a couple of hours. On landing I claimed my baggage and intended to report items that went missing from my bag during my earlier outbound flight 2 days ago. The airline’s baggage office is closed and everyone at the ticketing counter has left for the day. And this when they have delayed flights still coming in. The only airline that had both its baggage office open as well as their ticket counter manned was JetBlue. And they helped me out! They told me how to contact and complain to the TSA about my missing items.
    Well guess who I am flying next time.
    BTW, the other airline, ATA, also screwed me out of mileage points on an earlier occasion.