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Is American Airlines Starting a New Trend?

Over the past few months I have had very long flights delays, have been diverted to Oklahoma City not once but twice (lucky me), and had three flights cancelled–including one that was Boston-bound for a funeral (sorry A.L.) I was trying to attend.

One of my colleagues (thanks AB) also has had lots of cancelled flights as well as many other delays, and last week received this email from American Airlines:

—-Original Message—– From: AmericanAirlines.wecaare001@aa.com [mailto:AmericanAirlines.wecaare001@aa.com] Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 1:07 PM To: XXXXX@marcresearch.com Subject: R2007/07-23803-00251-004-00

July 18, 2007

Dear XXXXXXXX:

We know how important it is for our customers to rely on the on-time departures and arrivals of our flights. However, there is nothing more frustrating than learning your flight has been delayed – or even canceled – while attempting to get to your destination as planned. Therefore, we hope you will accept our apology for the disruption of your travel plans on July 11.

Although our schedules cannot be guaranteed due to the many variables associated with the operation of an airline, we want to show our concern for your disappointment. As a sincere gesture of goodwill and to encourage you to continue traveling with us, I have added 8,000 Customer Service Bonus miles to your AAdvantage® account. You can view this activity soon via our web site at http://www.aa.com/AAdvantage.

While the safety of our passengers and crew members will always take priority over on-time departures and arrivals, we hope that you will give us another opportunity to serve you when your plans call for travel by air. It would be a pleasure to welcome you aboard American Airlines.

Sincerely,

B. J. Russell Customer Relations American Airlines

I give American Airlines a lot of credit. Good for them! They are not only apologizing, but giving frequent flyer points to their valued customers. I also like the email address they used: americanaiirlines.wecaare001@aa.com. I like the “we care” with the extra “a.” Maybe it’s just me.

  • Do other airlines do this?
  • If not, will other airlines follow?

My sense is if they don’t they will. This is a great idea for many reasons.

The question for today is: How many miles should airlines give their valued customers when they experience a delay?

Since these programs are probably in the infancy stages and we have at least 4 readers from airlines, perhaps we can help them in their thinking.

How many miles would you like to get if:

  • Your flight is cancelled?
  • Your flight is delayed two hours or less?
  • Your flight is delayed two hours or more?

I look forward to your answers and your creativity. On behalf of all of the airlines, I thank you for your comments.

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