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17 April 2006

I recently realized that I never made a link from this blog to my rant about airlines.

I came to this realization when I actually had a fantastic experience with American Airlines. They’ve reaffirmed their place in my head as “least crappy airline” and maybe even moved up to something like “good” – a first for any airline.

The condensed version of the story: I needed tickets on a specific set of flights (that my wife was already booked on) which were sold out online. I called American directly and got a very nice woman who sat on the phone with me for 20 minutes or so, working through all the possible options with me. In the end, she came up with an option that got me onto the flights I needed, at a lower price than regular retail, and in exit row seats (both of us!) for 3 of the 4 legs. Amazing.

I haven’t had that kind of customer service, on the phone with a big company, ever. Thanks, American.

P.S. – yes, this means I’m going to Hawaii for Holly’s wedding.

Update – they screwed it up

A few weeks later I was at to check into another flight, and I discovered that my flight was cancelled. Apparently they didn’t finalize the reservation, and it eventually cancelled itself. I called them, seething mad, and they told me that the return legs were full and that my choices were to return one day later at a cost of $250 or two days later for no additional charge. They refused to actually fix it, or give us a discount, or waive the $250.

We took the “two days later” option. Funny thing is, the hotel for those two extra nights is going to cost us about $250.

The only upside to it is that we’re now in the exit row for all four legs.

Net result: ignore all the nice things I said above, please. All airlines are crap.

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