OK, this is random, probably only meaningful to me (and MrsMJonTravel), and maybe even petty on my part.  But I felt like blogging about it.  If you think I’m being difficult, comment to the blog.  I’d love to hear alternative points of view.

It’s probably a good idea to start this post with a little background.  I recently sent what I believe to be my 2nd complaint ever to American Airlines.  I wrote an actual letter, and faxed it to AA Customer Relations.  Long story short, I described my summer of travel problems at the hands of American (some within their control, some not), and I made a request.  Recognizing that American is under absolutely no obligation to do so, I kindly asked that they cancel a reservation I have for travel to Miami during the week of Thanksgiving, and refund the purchase price.

Frankly, I don’t think American is currently running a reliable enough airline to reasonably assure an arrival in Miami somewhere near the scheduled time, and on this particular trip, I simply don’t have the luxury of risking it.  Yes, I know I could say this about any airline, but no other airline has so interrupted my travel plans on very important trips this summer.  So there you have it.  I didn’t really expect American to do what I asked, but I would certainly have been impressed if they went the extra mile.

Well, here’s what they had to say:

Dear Mr. Jackson:

Thank you for contacting Customer Relations. We welcome the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

You’ve certainly been on too many flights lately that have had operational issues. We apologize. We know that on-time performance is one of the most significant aspects of our service because we recognize that our customers make important plans based on our schedules. At the same time, however, we recognize that some delays are inevitable regardless of our efforts, and I’m very sorry that you were inconvenienced when your flights have not operated on time.

In evaluating your request for a refund of your tickets in November, we carefully reviewed our policies and procedures as they relate to this matter. While I am sorry for the situation, we must respectfully decline. I am sorry.

Please be assured that we will continue to focus on our commitment to improve the timely operation of our flights. We will use your comments to remind all of us that we must do a better job of making situations such as you described a little less frustrating.


(Name Withheld)

Customer Relations

American Airlines

OK, so they didn’t refund my non-refundable ticket.  And Lord knows, I could’ve gotten along all day without the “we have carefully reviewed our policies on this matter” which we all know is a load of hooey.  Given the things I described in my letter, I would have expected more.  Something like, “thank you for flying American.”  Or “we look forward to welcoming you aboard future flights.”  Or maybe even “we look forward to providing you with better service on future flights.”  OK, some combination of all that.  Maybe I just needed to vent.  Sure, had they fascinated me by doing the unexpected and provided the refund, I probably wouldn’t be posting this.  But this response left me wanting more….way more than a refund for a service they’ve yet to provide.  What say you?