Answering reservations phone: AA vs DL

Old Jan 31, 20, 10:49 am
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Answering reservations phone: AA vs DL

My wife and I have been both DL Diamond and AA EXP for years. We fly both a lot, usually in paid J or discount F. We try to use the internet whenever we can, but at times need to call in to make human contact. We have the dedicated line for both DM and EXP. My point is the difference in wait times to get connected between the two carriers is substantial. There are almost never wait times for the DL DM line. They are routine for EXP, and frequently go to over an hour.

Yesterday afternoon, I needed to call EXP and was told I had to wait an hour 20 minutes for a call back. It eventually came, but at a very inopportune time. I checked around and there were no catastrophic weather issues affecting the country. AFAIK, corona virus has affected all the airlines equally (doubt it was corona). The wait time for AA's reservation have deteriorated badly, IMHO, to the point of unacceptability. I'd be interested in others' opinions/experience---or am I in the midst of a major statistical aberrancy in airline interaction
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Old Jan 31, 20, 2:52 pm
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So experience with DL, AA EXP can be busy at times, and at times you are connected right away.
The EXP line is not the same as it used to be, but I dont have a problem on a call back, even an hour later..
but that is just me.
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Old Jan 31, 20, 3:03 pm
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The problem with a callback, I think, is that if you miss it, you're hosed. IME, they don't try to call you again. If they could guarantee the callback time (and perhaps give a specific time of day, like 1:25pm), that would probably be okay, but I think the time is just an estimate based on the queue.
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Old Jan 31, 20, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
The problem with a callback, I think, is that if you miss it, you're hosed. IME, they don't try to call you again. If they could guarantee the callback time (and perhaps give a specific time of day, like 1:25pm), that would probably be okay, but I think the time is just an estimate based on the queue.
IME if I miss the first callback, they initiate another call back a few minutes (10?) later.
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Old Jan 31, 20, 4:36 pm
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As a non-status passenger, I find that staying on the line gets me to an agent faster than the wait/callback time estimates. However, it involves having 40+ free minutes to sit and have hold music on, which not everyone has the option to do. Regardless, it's a bad look from an airline that purports to be one of the best in the country.
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Old Jan 31, 20, 4:58 pm
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I can confirm the second call back if you miss the first, happens approx 5 mins later and had this multiple times
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Old Jan 31, 20, 5:29 pm
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The wait time quoted is almost never right. Will often quote 20-30+ minutes and if I just hold I'm through to an agent in less than five to ten in most cases
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Old Jan 31, 20, 6:41 pm
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As a UA 1K only during the most extreme IRROPS did I ever wait more than 30 seconds or so.

Not sufficient experience with AA yet to compare. I have found the EXP agents to be better than most UA agents.
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Old Jan 31, 20, 7:03 pm
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I make my living designing and deploying contact centers. Unless I know there's something big going on, like a major weather event, I always stay on the line. Overflow agents get logged in, agents get assigned to different queues, and all of a sudden, your 30 minute expected wait is over in 5 minutes and you are talking to an agent.
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Old Jan 31, 20, 7:34 pm
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Currently the wait in the EXP queue is "over two hours" despite what looks like a totally clean map on fly.faa.gov.

I suppose cancelling all flights to China may have created some extra demand for agents, but I'd think that was predictable? By comparison the Delta Diamond wait is apparently 19 minutes if you take both estimates at face value.

(FWIW, this is the longest wait I've encountered for either.)
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Old Jan 31, 20, 10:12 pm
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Could the wait today also have to do with Systemwide upgrades expiring?
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Old Jan 31, 20, 11:55 pm
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You also have to remember that the stated wait times are for general callers. If your number is tied to your status, the wait time is much shorter as you get priority.
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Old Feb 1, 20, 6:32 am
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Not always true.I'm an ExP and called in on the ExP phone # last night. I had an itinerary on hold w/upgrade space both ways.I bought it, then called AA to use my last 2019 upgrade. I was told there was a two hour hold, stayed on the line for over 20 minutes before I gave up and cancelled the trip. Lost the upgrade and have the same flight on hold for less money elsewhere.
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Old Feb 1, 20, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by Rukes View Post
You also have to remember that the stated wait times are for general callers. If your number is tied to your status, the wait time is much shorter as you get priority.
I don't think that's true. It certainly wasn't yesterday. It took two hours and thirty seven minutes to get my call back.
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Old Feb 1, 20, 9:04 am
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I too had this last night with the EP desk -- about 2 hours for the return call. I assumed it was all the EPs calling in to use up their SWUs at the last minute (like me).
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