American Airlines–Good job

I fly American Airlines because I always have. This summer I’m using American Airline frequent flyer miles to fly to Dubai and India. I booked my flights through their customer service operators and had a lot of fun talking to the operators about my flights, my upcoming trip and the like.

Last week while coming back from SxSW, our flight was just about to take off: We had backed out from the gate, the plane was in motion and the flight attendants were giving the safety instructions and everything. STOP. The pilot gets on and says “we have to stop.” Due to weather in Dallas, the plane cannot take off.” The threat of lightening, put the airport ground crew in danger. Ok, that’s understandable. But, the pilot went on, “because we pulled out from the gate and the ground crew is inside, we have to stay on the plane.” For three hours. Oh, and there was no air conditioning. The flight that was supposed to get into DCA at 6:40 pm, finally landed at 10:00 pm.

It sucked, but it happened. It wasn’t the jetBlue 10 hours, or even my friend Fritz who was stuck for 8 hours. But it wasn’t fun. They even made us pay for snacks! But whatever. We were stuck because they Airport put the safety of the crew above our convenience…and that is the right thing to do.

That being said, I just got an email today from AA. It was an apology plus 6,000 bonus miles. It’s like I took a trip from DC to LA without paying. American Airlines did the right thing. I didn’t expect this bonus, the delayed flight didn’t make the news, so this wasn’t a reactionary thing ploy to win back customers. This was the right thing to do. So I’m going to talk about it.

Below is the letter:
Dear Mr. Rosenberg:

After hearing from our manager in Dallas/Fort Worth about the delay of
flight 1900 on
March 13, we wanted to take the opportunity to apologize to you. That
situation must
have been frustrating (to say the least) and we are genuinely sorry
that we didn’t get
you to Washington, D.C., as planned.

It’s completely reasonable for our valued customers to put on-time
flight departures
and arrivals at the top of their list of expectations from us. For
that reason, the
on-time operation of our flights is one of our most important service
goals. While
the delay of your flight was necessary, you can be sure that we will
continue our
efforts to depart as scheduled.

Sometimes an apology and promise to do better just aren’t adequate and
so we’ve added
6,000 Customer Service bonus miles to your AAdvantage® account. This
adjustment should appear in your account very soon, and you can view
your account via
our web site at

Your continued business means a lot to us and we’d consider it a
privilege to welcome
you aboard again soon.

This is an “outgoing only” email address. If you ‘reply’ to this
message by simply
selecting the reply button, we will not receive your additional
comments. Please
assist us in providing you with a timely response to any feedback you
have for us by
always sending us your email messages via at


B. J. Russell
Customer Relations
American Airlines


2 Responses to American Airlines–Good job

  1. Keren says:

    6,000 miles?! That’s great – they just don’t want the JetBlue backlash. I’d sit on a plane for a few hours to get those miles, maybe. See this is why AA rocks. Now if only they had regular and inexpensive flights to STL…

  2. Personally, I wondered how this all came about. I am in the air conditioning industry and maybe just dont get it. I enjoyed visiting though!! Have a great weekend!

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