Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Another US Airways / American Airlines Customer Service Fail

5 Minutes

Recently I learned one more way the new US Airways / American Airlines tortures their most loyal customers.

After booking a recent business flight my client's needs changed. In fact, they changed twice....which resulted in having to change my flight dates and times. All those change fees and increases in fares resulted in an alarmingly expensive, yet short distance trip.

On the day I was to return home circumstances changed again. This change would afford me the chance to stand by for an earlier flight. So I checked online and saw there were lots of open seats on the earlier flight. Catching an earlier flight would mean a lot to me. I'd get some time in the office, miss rush hour in Phoenix and be able to pick up my aged dog from the kennel a day earlier.

So I went to the airport knowing that standing by for same-day flights has always been a perk for  ultra elite travelers. A reward for our years of loyalty.

At the counter I was firmly informed that, despite being a decade long Chairman, a 2-Million Miler and now officially Lifetime Platinum (whatever that is worth), I could not stand-by for the earlier flight. I'd have to pay a fee (that was more than the original ticket price) or cool my heals the next 6 hours and 5 minutes at the airport.

Why you ask?

5 minutes. 

The 6 hours and 5 minutes gap between my standby flight and my original flight meant standing by was "impossible".

News to me. She advised I call the Elite desk.

The sympathetic customer service rep at the US Airways Elite desk clearly tried to negotiate a waiver with her supervisor, but when she finally came back she on confirmed this policy was "written in stone".

She then offered me the opportunity to spend another $200 to return home on the earlier flight (that would very soon depart with lots of empty, unsold, seats).

With the exception of Alaska, most domestic airlines continue to amaze me. I work in a service industry and I know how to my keep clients happy.

Our big domestic airlines work hard to remind their customers that they do not.

Mr. Parker, I now join many of your most "valued" customers in openly welcoming Emirates (and pretty much any airline - foreign or domestic - that truly demonstrates they value customer loyalty).

PS: I've had 6 hours and 5 minutes to send notes off to my congressional representatives stating that protectionism of lousy domestic airlines should never stand in the way of open access to America's airports.



Roadboy's Travels © 2015

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