Wednesday, August 16, 2006

You Pick:

Dear American Airlines,
Your counter lady was really mean to me. Give me a free ticket, please.


American Airlines Customer Relations

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been a loyal American AAdvantage member and American flyer for many years and I have never been treated as poorly as I was on Monday in the Piedmont Triad International Airport. I made a reservation using my AAdvantage miles on May 4, 2006 for travel from Dallas-Fort Worth to Greensboro on August 11-14, 2006.

I promptly received my itinerary via email, which I forwarded to the individuals providing my transportation to and from the airport. (Please see attached email) My return reservation was for Flight 1255 on August 14 at 5:20pm. I arrived at the airport at 4:00pm to check in and check my luggage. The employee at the desk was unable to find my name on Flight 1255 and called Linda Pratt over for assistance.

Ms. Pratt addressed me in a very condescending voice, speaking to me as though I were a child who had never flown on a plane before, and informed me that I had missed my flight. She told me I had signed up for Flight 4435 at 11:09 that morning. This flight was not the flight for which I bought a ticket, as it would not have worked with my plans. When I explained this to Ms. Pratt, not only would she not listen, she continued to state loudly that I “did not sign up for Flight 1255 and she could prove it.” She would only repeatedly tell me that I signed up for the wrong flight and since I had no proof (tickets) that I was wrong. I have always understood the purpose of e-tickets to be that they are in the system and unnecessary to carry along – I have flown American many, many times and never had a problem prior to this day.

Continuing to chastise me in a loud voice for my “mistake”, she labored to tell me how difficult it was going to be to get me onto Flight 1255, sighing and rolling her eyes at my apparent stupidity.

If a mistake had been made within the computer system, I would have certainly understood that and waited for my ticket correction and a simple apology on behalf of American Airlines. Instead, Ms. Pratt embarrassed me to the point of tears and humiliated me at the ticket counter over a mistake which, as you can see from the attached documentation, I did not even make. The flight turned out to be perhaps half full, so the drama with which she struggled to add me to the flight for which I had already purchased a ticket seems clearly unnecessary.

Upon arriving home, I re-checked the email from American (attached) and verified that I had, indeed, been on Flight 1255, departing at 5:20pm as I had tried to tell Ms. Pratt.

I have never been treated with more arrogance or less customer service in my life.
To make things worse, when she assigned to me my “new” ticket, I lost the window seat I had specifically chosen to attempt to lessen the potential nausea from my pregnancy.

It is difficult for me to understand why an individual working in the customer service industry would address a polite, agreeable frequent flyer with such disdain and deprecation when the situation could have been very simply remedied. My hope is that something will be done to prevent Ms. Pratt from treating customers in this manner in the future. Living in north Texas, I often encourage my visitors to fly American due to the ease and vast availability of flights into DFW, but I am now questioning the continuation of this practice. I look forward to your response and, hopefully, an explanation of what caused this problem.

Thank you,

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