Premium service awful - 860,000 miles and I am done with AA

 
Old Feb 22, 06, 8:59 am
  #1  
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Premium service awful - 860,000 miles and I am done with AA

When I think of all of the business, personal and family travel I have steered to AA over the years it makes me so angry. It's just not worth it.

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BACKGROUND:
On the 1-4pm flight MIA>DCA last week there was NO FOOD IN F - nothing. A bag of eight peanuts. I was shocked - a three hour lunchtime flight in F and not a single thing to eat. UA has meal service. US has meal service. When US doesn't have meal service, they pass around an awesome snack box in F throughout the whole flight. In fact the FA insisted that I go to AA.com and offer my feedback - she seemed humiliated that the F "service" was limited to drinks and peanuts.

I wrote to AA, describing my frustration and disappointment, and received a condescending form letter. 860,000 miles, AC membership since 2000, Platinum since 2001, and this is what I get? I have one more trip with these jokers scheduled for next week, from now on I will go out of my way to avoid AA.

----
THEIR RESPONSE:
February 22, 2006

Dear Mr. LewDog:

It has always been our goal to make traveling on American pleasant and enjoyable for
all our customers. I am sorry that your recent experience has caused you to question
our commitment to quality customer service.

We have a greater investment per customer in our first class cabin because we allocate
more space for each customer than we do in coach. The privacy and comfort associated
to the extra room are the most significant differences when traveling first class.
Although the other components are important, space is clearly the highest cost element
of the total package.

Still, I am sorry you were disappointed when a meal was not offered on your flight.
It is always helpful for us to consider our products and services from our customers'
perspective. We try to be responsive to our customers and carefully assess our
performance based upon their reactions. In this way we can identify those service
elements that are most appealing as well as improve those that produce a negative
response.

As we determine the appropriate action in this regard, your feedback will be
considered. Thank you for giving us the benefit of your observations. It is a
privilege to serve you.

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 AA.com at
http://www.aa.com/customerrelations.


Sincerely,

xxxxxx
Customer Relations
American Airlines


This email message and its contents are copyrighted and are proprietary products
of American Airlines, Inc. Any unauthorized use, reproduction, or transfer of
this message or its contents, in any medium, is strictly prohibited.

---------
MY RESPONSE BACK (sure to be ignored)

This is the kind of poor excuse for a form response that has sent me, my colleagues, and others heading for other carriers. Your service has turned into a joke and is not worth the premium fee associated with it. What a shame.

By the way - you may wish to alter your form letter responses a bit so that they don't seem quite so condescending - when several posters on FlyerTalk report the exact same response from you - verbatim - , your "commitment to quality customer service" is clearly nonsense.

I am disgusted with AA, an airline that I have given over 860,000 miles to.
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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:23 am
  #2  
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I agree about you being upset, but not sure if it's worth throwing in the towel over. If I were you, I'd call customer relations (they may be requested by calling the PLT desk) and telling them your story. Explain that you were upset enough about the meal, but the least AA could have done was write you back with a "good" excuse. Tell them what really upsets you is the response you received. IME, they will be very appologetic, and will likely help you reach that MM status you are so close to a little quicker.
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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:24 am
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I hope this helps AA improve.
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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by LewDog
I am disgusted with AA, an airline that I have given over 860,000 miles to.
1. No, that's 860,000 miles that have been given to you.

2. AA1370 MIA-DCA is a 2:22 flight leaving at 1:37 P.M. and is not scheduled for a meal service; perhaps a glance at the schedule pre-flight may have informed you as such.

3. At least you got a nice comfy seat in a 738, rather than the wonderful CR7 that lots of us have the privelege of riding into DCA...

Every airline has meal "windows", and they're generally published info for those demanding enough to want to book their "meal" flights as such...trust me, you really didn't miss anything by "losing out" on an in flight meal. You may have even added some time onto your life
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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by fredmartens

Every airline has meal "windows", and they're generally published info for those demanding enough to want to book their "meal" flights as such...trust me, you really didn't miss anything by "losing out" on an in flight meal. You may have even added some time onto your life

In theory that's the case. But there are so many screw ups with that, that it's hard to believe what's published. For example, AA.com had my BOS-SFO as drinks only in F (obviously not the case).
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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by fredmartens
1. No, that's 860,000 miles that have been given to you.

Trust me, you really didn't miss anything by "losing out" on an in flight meal. You may have even added some time onto your life
First, I completely disagree with your first statement. These miles are not a gift -- they are the product of a cleverly devised program to keep customers loyal to an airline. A customer earns the miles as a product of his loyalty and goodwill. AA (or any other airline, for that matter) would not have an FF program if it were not economically beneficial.

Second -- although you might be fine without a meal on a 2.5 hour flight, I understand the OP's frustration. I was on a MIA-BOS flight in F on Sunday night and was very pleased with the dinner meal service (pasta, salad, sundae). It is an important component of the trip for me as well. I too would be dissapointed to not be offered -- at least -- a snack.
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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:46 am
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I have to side with the OP on this one - I would think that on a 1 p.m. departure that is scheduled for 3 hours flying time, they could offer a snack in F (i.e. chicken salad wrap).
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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by Fly AA J all the way
In theory that's the case. But there are so many screw ups with that, that it's hard to believe what's published. For example, AA.com had my BOS-SFO as drinks only in F (obviously not the case).
Indeed, AA.com has a problem with this, however Expert Flyer shows teh accurate information as has been discussed in a number of threads over teh past few months.

As for the OP's comments I think its quite ridiculous to completely give up on AA after this one little thing, especially when they have presumably done pretty well for the OP if he has flown 860,000 miles on them up to now. I have endured far worse than this on AA (i.e. one bathroom operating on a plane of over 100 people for four hours) and have never even considered giving up.
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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:54 am
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If someone pays (as opposed to being upgraded) to fly F they should expect more than peanuts and drinks; by not providing more edibles would drive such a person to another carrier's more upscale service (assuming that such service exists .) It should not be up to the passenger to have to check for the published amenities for an F flight.
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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:56 am
  #10  
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<<may wish to alter your form letter responses a bit so that they don't seem quite so condescending - when several posters on FlyerTalk report the exact same response from you - verbatim - , your "commitment to quality customer service" is clearly nonsense.>>

I do understand why you expected something more than nuts, but I don't comprehend why you anticipated any other response. If mass market enterprises had sufficient staff to compose individual replies or provide other personal attention, frequent traveler programs would not exist. AAdvantage is nothing more than a proxy for the recognition one might receive from a smaller business.


dennis
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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by nrr
If someone pays (as opposed to being upgraded) to fly F they should expect more than peanuts and drinks; by not providing more edibles would drive such a person to another carrier's more upscale service (assuming that such service exists .) It should not be up to the passenger to have to check for the published amenities for an F flight.
I didn't see anywhere in the OP that said he paid for the F ticket...
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Old Feb 22, 06, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by nrr
If someone pays (as opposed to being upgraded) to fly F they should expect more than peanuts and drinks; by not providing more edibles would drive such a person to another carrier's more upscale service (assuming that such service exists .) It should not be up to the passenger to have to check for the published amenities for an F flight.
Pays for the ticket vs pays for upgrades vs earns upgrades thru flight vs is given free upgrades by flying 100k miles -- IMO, it's irrelevant. Once you're in the cabin, F is F is F is F.

But, to revisit my pet peeve, the front of a narrow-body domestic a/c should be called "Business", not "First".
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Old Feb 22, 06, 10:03 am
  #13  
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The post sort of begs the question. What's the alternative? I've found AA flights to be among the cheapest for me almost every time lately. Theoretically I would pay slighly more to stay on AA and get miles, but I have't had to.

So is there some magic airline with both better service and better prices. Presumably you're not talking about moving on to Greyhound and from what I hear UA is no peach either, and you ain't getting no meals on the LCCs... not sure what the threat is. If you really want to make an impression you should tell them which carrier you intend to switch to, and why. That might get you a real response.
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Old Feb 22, 06, 10:08 am
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Follow-up rant about space

[QUOTE=LewDog] We have a greater investment per customer in our first class cabin because we allocate more space for each customer than we do in coach. The privacy and comfort associated to the extra room are the most significant differences when traveling first class. Although the other components are important, space is clearly the highest cost element of the total package.


This statement is what I find most troubling about this whole issue. It seems as though AA has almost admitted defeat. I understand that this particular flight is outside of the meal service window, but, when AA starts saying that space is the main benefit and not necessarily all of the other amenities that are supposed to come along with that space, thats where I have a problem. If all I wanted was some extra space, Ill sit in the exit row. If I want a meal and to be treated like a premium customer, Ill sit in F, whether I pay or use stickers. Its the little things like taking your jacket and being greeted by name that make First class what it is supposed to be. And if space is to be the only perk, then someone should tell AA they need to refit all the MD80's, because 4,5,6 A and B are some of the most cramped FC seats when someone reclines. Rant over.
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Old Feb 22, 06, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by fredmartens
1. No, that's 860,000 miles that have been given to you.

2. AA1370 MIA-DCA is a 2:22 flight leaving at 1:37 P.M. and is not scheduled for a meal service; perhaps a glance at the schedule pre-flight may have informed you as such.

3. At least you got a nice comfy seat in a 738, rather than the wonderful CR7 that lots of us have the privelege of riding into DCA...

Every airline has meal "windows", and they're generally published info for those demanding enough to want to book their "meal" flights as such...trust me, you really didn't miss anything by "losing out" on an in flight meal. You may have even added some time onto your life
totally agree and then some.....

is it 860K miles or is it 430K miles plus Plat bonuses? or possibly even less.... not that it matters that much, but if the OP joined in 2000 and Plat from 2001 and assuming that he did just over 50K miles per year, that's ~300K actual flying miles....

DCA-MIA is 2:20 flight time and that is gate to gate, hardly a 3 hour flight

the flight is outside meal times.....

and finally, no mention of paid F, so I assume 2 stickers(either free or $60 on top of cheap Y fare) and if that's the case, let him find a better deal somewhere else.

Last edited by andrzej; Feb 22, 06 at 11:01 am
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