- Appliances, Equipment, Tools
- Arts, Crafts
- Building, Construction
- Business, Finances
- Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Vehicles
- Clothing, Shoes, Apparel
- Computers, Software
- Consumer Electronics
- Delivery, Moving Services, Storage
- Gambling Games
- Games, Gaming Consoles
- Government, Police
- Health, Beauty
- Home, Garden
- Internet Services
- Jewelry, Watches
- Job, Career
- Kids, Baby
- Law, Civil Rights
- Magazines, Newspapers
- Nature, Environment
- News, Media
- Online Scams
- Online Shopping
- Pets, Animals
- Products, Services
- Public Transportation, Taxi
- Real Estate
- Restaurants, Bars
- Scam Contests
- Society, Culture
- Sports, Recreation
- Stores, Shopping
- Travel, Vacations
- TV, Music, Video
- Unauthorized Charges
- Unsolicited Phone Calls
- Wedding Services
American Airlines doesn't know north from south!
Posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2007 at 7:34pm CDT by 9193ac45
This is the complaint letter I sent to American
Airlines and their ridiculous response. I am sending
these two items to the VP of Customer Service at the
airline in hopes of a respectable response.
Unfortunately, there is no email address for American
10696 Culbertson Dr.
Cupertino CA 95014
Mobile: 415 425 1399
June 8, 2007
American Airlines Customer Relations
P.O. Box 619612 MD 2400
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9612
Fax: (817) 967-4162
“I’ve found you a flight on August 6th from New York
JFK Airport to the San Francisco Bay Area. There’s an
early morning flight from JFK to Los Angeles,” the
American Airlines international frequent flyer
(Advantage) supervisor informs me, after having spent
20 minutes trying to book my trip to Venezuela.
“Sir, I need to fly back to the San Francisco area, “
I explain again.
“I did find you a flight to the Bay Area. The only
available flight to the San Francisco area is to Los
Angeles on August 6th,” he answers.
“Los Angeles is in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA! I am in
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA! There is an 8 hour drive from my
town to Los Angeles,” I explain, very annoyed with his
“Oh. We have no available return flight using your
miles to San Francisco,” he responds nonchalantly, not
even excusing himself for his lack of basic
geographical knowledge about the most populous state
in the union.
This was part of my conversation with a male
supervisor at American Airlines Advantage
International reservations on Thursday June 7, 2007.
No, I was not watching a Saturday Night Live skit or a
Daily Show sketch. I was really talking to an advanced
staff member at a travel company who thought that Los
Angeles and San Francisco were twin cities. Yes, we
have earthquakes out here in Gold Country, but the
tectonic plates don’t move so much that suddenly south
and north collide. When did Southern California’s
smog-opolis relocate? I am not choking on smog.
I feel insulted that as a long standing American
Airlines frequent flyer account holder I have to
interact with your staff who are ignorant about
geography and where your airline flies. However, this
asinine conversation was just the culmination of a
long attempt to contact your reservation department.
“Welcome to American Airlines. We know why you fly.
This call may be recorded for quality assurance.
Please tell us what you are calling about.
Reservations, Flight and Gate Information or
Advantage Services?” asks the overly cheerful female
“Reservations,” I say in my clear, standard American
English with no regional intonation or foreign accent.
“I heard Advantage Services, is that right?” the
female recorded voice asks me.
“No, RESERVATIONS,” I enunciate.
“I’m sorry. I can’t understand you. I think you want
“RESERVATIONS,” I state again and then press “0” to
avoid the stupid voice prompt system and talk to a
Finally, I’m connected to a reservation agent after
five minutes of hold time. After telling her my
frequent flyer number, we get disconnected.
I call again and get dragged through the faulty voice
recognition system, where I clearly state that I am
calling for an international frequent flyer
reservation. I get transferred to three people, with a
hold time of about five minutes before each clerk
answer my call, until I get to speak to someone who
can actually make an international frequent flyer
reservation. I ask to speak to this woman’s
supervisor to explain my annoyance with the
non-recognition menu system. Her supervisor spends
more than 20 minutes to find me a round trip flight to
South America’s oil rich socialist haven with a return
to the Bay Area. Besides the fact that there’s little
availability and it looks like I have to linger in New
York for a few weeks before I can get back to
California, your senior reservation specialist thinks
Los Angeles is in Northern California.
Your airline’s motto is “We know why you fly.”
I fly to get from Point A to Point B. Not to Point C
because of the ticket clerk’s ignorance or folly.
Everyone else I know flies for the same reason.
Really, we do like to get to our destination. We don’t
pay hundreds of dollars for bags of peanuts and little
pretzels. Do you know why you fly or where to fly to?
Next time I book a ticket home to San Jose,
California, can I expect to be deported from San Jose,
Costa Rica because I land without my passport because
the American Airline pilot confused the two San Joses?
A few years ago, I called your airline reservations
department because I wanted to use my miles to fly to
Beirut, Lebanon and Damascus, Syria and I knew
American Airlines didn’t have flights there. I asked
the reservation agent about what partner airlines fly
to those two countries. She looked on a map and said
that American’s partner company, El Al, flies in the
“That’s an Israeli airline. The only flights they have
to Lebanon and Syria are on military planes,” I inform
the airline representative.
I don’t fly with a bullet-proof vest or parachute. I
was looking for a passenger aircraft, not a military
target. I don’t look good in camouflage and I don’t
think El Al will fly me on a joy ride to the Levant.
Does American Airlines train its staff in geography?
How about some basic geo-politics? What’s next? Are
you going to book me to North Korea via a Chinese
airline when all flights to Seoul, South Korea are
full? Please, hire people with a clue about the world.
Or at least train them.
These telephone agents are your airline’s front line.
They are the first impression your customers have of
your airline. The impact on me, your customer, is that
I can’t take your company seriously. Your staff is
inept. Your telephone systems don’t work. Your
company is a joke.
Are you trying to go bankrupt like most of the other
airlines? With customer service like this, you’re on
the fast track to ridicule and insolvency.
Last year, I flew about 50,000 miles domestically and
internationally for business and leisure. I used
United, Delta,and their partner airlines. I was never
treated so poorly as I was yesterday. Their phone
systems work and their staff know their heads from
Please re-vamp your phone menu system and clearly
state the numbers I can press on my touch-tone phone
to avert your non-recognition menu disaster. World
maps are cheap. Buy some. It’s summer break now and
there are lots of world history teachers available.
Hire some to teach your reservation staff.
By the way, I never did get to make my reservation to
Caracas because there was no availability to fly me
back to Los Angeles… oh I mean… San Francisco, in late
July or early August.
Please don’t send me some form letter stating “we
really appreciate your input and will take it into
consideration for our staff training.” Tell me how you
are improving your telephone menu and personnel
education. Tell me why I should consider giving
American Airlines another chance.
P.S. The CA in my return address isn’t for Canada.
It’s for California. No international postage
American Airlines' lame response:
June 27, 2007
Dear Ms. Zaraysky:
Thank you for contacting American Airlines Customer
We received your letter and were eager to send you a
reply as quickly
Since we noticed the email address included in your
profile we took the
liberty of responding to you electronically.
We are sorry you experienced difficulty with our
personnel when you called us recently. While we're
learn we let you
down, at the same time, we're glad you took the time
to share with us
As a company committed to our customers, input such
as yours is
critical to our
Accordingly, we have forwarded a copy of your email to
personnel within our company for further review.
Thank you for giving
opportunity to improve.
Ms. Zaraysky, we depend on our customers to let us
know what's working
and what's not
and you have our assurance we will continue to improve
and expand our
system's capabilities and the proficiency of our
We hope you don't mind we've sent our response via
continue to send us
your comments through any communication channel most
we'll get to your feedback faster and respond more
quickly if you
contact us again via
http://www.aa.com/customerrelations. This is an
"outgoing only" email
you 'reply' to this message by simply selecting the
reply button, we
your additional comments.
Margaret J. Fevens