Posts Tagged ‘Airline ticketing policies’

 

Something Special In The Air

Friday, April 11th, 2008

“We’re American Airlines, something special in the air.”

For years, that jingle played incessantly on radio and TV. No more.

If American has a slogan now, I don’t know it. There’s none on their website’s homepage. They surely don’t have the balls to dust off ‘something special’ right now.

Aircraft Inspections Affect Some AA Travel

We are very sorry for inconveniencing you with the cancellation of a portion of American Airlines’ flights which started on April 8. Additional inspections of our MD-80 fleet are being conducted to ensure precise and complete compliance with the FAA’s directive related to wiring in the aircraft’s wheel wells. For more information about the progress of the inspections, please check our Press Releases. Please be assured that safety of our customers is, and always will be, American’s first priority.

You know how companies that put you on hold often say, “Your call is important to us,” even when you know it’s not? I feel the same way¹ about, “Please be assured that safety of our customers is, and always will be, American’s first priority.”

Do they really think I’m buying into that gratuitous throwaway?

My friend Farrell’s relatives, visiting from Israel, were scheduled to fly AA from New York to Palm Springs. They got as far as Dallas… took a long pregnant pause at DFW… then continued to LAX (a few hours drive from Palm Springs).

Their bags? Right. This isn’t a fair tale. They followed two days later.

When I last left them, my sister-in-law and her friend were arguing with the AA clerk because AA promised $100 p/day p/person for clothing or necessities. AA since retracted that. In the meantime, Vered (Farrell’s wife) had taken the four of them to shop yesterday since they only had carry-on (my advice was to pack as much as possible in their carry-on’s).

I think we’re in the process of watching a meltdown of the so-called “legacy” airlines. With Frontier going bust, since its creditor would not support the majority of their cash, and the merger chatter going on, it’s a matter of time before prices continue to rise and consolidation becomes an actuality.

Please don’t think it’s only American I’m upset with. I’m still smarting from Southwest’s cavalier attitude toward safety inspections, and they’ve been my airline of choice for years.

The part of this that upsets me the most, is the way the airlines look at customers. Airline ticketing policies and contracts are one-sided, and often arbitrary and unreasonable (like one way fares often costing more than roundtrip). Their advertising does its best to hide full disclosure.

Why would they expect us to respect them or have brand loyalty when they so obviously dislike us?

¹ – “I take full responsibility” goes on that list as well, especially when said by a CEO taking non responsibility.