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phoenixflyer
Topic Author
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:12 pm

Great Service On AA. Typical?

Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:44 pm

I don't mean to imply that the service on AA typically isn't great but what happened to me I never expected. I'm just wondering if this was normal practice or did I get lucky?

I was scheduled to fly PHX-DFW-BOS where in Boston I had 45 minutes to make it to South Station to catch a bus up to Maine. I didn't check any luggage but I still was worried I would miss my bus. I'll never know if I would have made it because I missed my connection in DFW. It wasn't my fault though. The flight from PHX landed early but the gate was being used so by the time we pulled up to the gate, we were late. I got off the plane and ran to my connecting gate but just missed the flight. The gate agent saw me and said it wasnt a problem, that she would put me on the next flight out, but then I miss my bus and am stuck in Boston for the night. So I told her this and she said she could fly me into Portland. She got her supervisor and the supervisor had me explain again why Boston wouldnt work. She was understanding and asked again if Portland would be better or would I be stuck there too. I told her then, that Augusta would be perfect for me. So she booked me on a US flight from BOS to AUG. No problems, no hassle or begging. She just went ahead and booked it.

So is that sort of service typical for a missed connection?
 
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MKE22
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:58 am

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:56 pm

No, thats just a good person. I was on my home from PNS, and was talking to a gate agent about how I might miss my connecting flight because we were delayed. I got stuck in ATL on easter once before, so thats why i was nervous. I asked her what she could do, and she said that she wouldn't even bother looking because there are more important passengers they had to get to other connecting flights. On top of this, she talked to one of her friends about nothing for 10 minutes which got us out 10 minutes later! Bottom line is that was just a good gate agent you had.
 
44k
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:07 pm

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:47 am



Quoting MKE22 (Reply 1):
Bottom line is that was just a good gate agent you had.

And you had a bad one.


Of course I can't speak for all AAgents out there, but the situation described by OP is not atypical. I do all possible to help stranded passengers and my fellow co-workers do the same thing (from observation).
 
aa1818
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:03 am

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:04 pm



Quoting Phoenixflyer (Thread starter):

I've had great experiences on AA many times before, similar to that.
Many people have bad experiences but to me the good far outweigh the bad times with AA with regards to everything- gate agents, FAs, on time performance baggage etc.

AA1818
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
 
AR385
Posts: 6936
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:14 pm



Quoting MKE22 (Reply 1):
No, thats just a good person.

I agree. I have never had bad experiences on AA. Nor have they been exceptional either. More on the average side.

However, once, I got an ugly reservations agent on CO, who was very rude. I called the 1-800 number to complain, and after I told my story and gave the name of the agent, they upgraded me to BusinessFirst, for free.

As a result, I always try and fly CO. So, I guess customer service does in the end impact the bottom line.
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:59 pm

Yeah, I suppose I'll join the chorus.

AA is - at least in my opinion - a pretty straight-forward experience most of the time. 90% of the time it won't be fantastic, but 90% of the time it also won't be horrific. It's just average.

But, that being said, "average" is a vast improvement over what some other airliners deliver these days. In my times flying AA, they do deliver pretty much on what they say they will: they generally get you there safely, and on-time, and with ground and cabin crews that are - if not warm and fuzzy - at least good at what they do.

One thing that always does strike me about AA compared with some other airlines I've flown on - both in the U.S. and elsewhere - is that while AA may be a bit utilitarian, at least in Coach, they are very good and getting the basics done. AA knowns how to get you from A to B and, generally in my case, with my luggage (if I check, which is rare). Beyond that, connections with AA are usually smooth, and if something does go wrong - AA's agents are all pros. There is none of this poorly trained, or uncertain of what to do, little experience, etc. I've never meet an AA agent who didn't know their way around SABRE backwards and forwards, and who couldn't get done what me or any other customer needed in a minimal amount of time.

In addition, AA also still allows you to speak to a living, breathing human being in the United States of America - what a novel concept - if you call their 800 number. They've now made it more difficult to get to the live person, as have just about all companies these days, but if you just keep saying "agent" again and again, eventually a real human being who is fluent in English comes on and again, just like with the gate agents, I've never met an AA res agent who didn't know exactly how to do their jobs 100% with SABRE, even if the attitudes were sometimes lacking. The same can not be said for some other airlines.

So yeah, AA can sometimes be basic, but by and large - in my countless experiences with AA - they generally deliver their product, albeit "basic," fairly consistently time after time.
 
aajfksjubklyn
Posts: 458
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RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:34 pm

I love AA's new phone system for Platinum fliers, welcomes you by name, I assume through a caller ID type system. AA has always accomodated me in situations like above (original post). Plus the option of getting where you need to go in lieu of waiting three days for the next available flight is what makes them a superb airline. If I got stuck on LCC, god only knows how many stops I would have to take to get where I was going and then end up in Islip, 2 hours from home.

Also, I respect AA as well for keeping their US call centers alive and well.
 
AIR757200
Posts: 1466
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 8:30 am

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:39 pm

That's great you had someone willing to explore that option for you.

We try to find alternate airports, if it is within reason.
 
cjpark
Posts: 1225
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RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:08 pm

All it takes is a smile and a polite non threatening additude and you will see wonders performed before your eyes. Oh yes, it helps to reward those who help you. This reward may be nothing more than a kind comment made on the behalf of the employee who helped you to an associate of theirs or even a letter to a supervisor. Remember what goes around comes around!
"Any airline that wants to serve the [region] can go to DFW today and fly anywhere they want," WN spokesman Ed Stewart
 
AAgent
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2001 11:41 pm

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:29 pm



Quoting Cjpark (Reply 8):
All it takes is a smile and a polite non threatening additude and you will see wonders performed before your eyes. Oh yes, it helps to reward those who help you. This reward may be nothing more than a kind comment made on the behalf of the employee who helped you to an associate of theirs or even a letter to a supervisor. Remember what goes around comes around

Too true! Passengers often have more influence over the outcome than they know, and it all stems from the attitude they present to the assisting agent. If you approach the agent in a pleasant manner most agents will move the world to help you. However, if you display an unsavory attitude, your options instantly become limited...very limited. Be nice! As Cjpark wrote, "remember, what goes around comes around."

Best Regards,
AAgent
War Eagle!
 
commavia
Posts: 11489
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:38 pm



Quoting AAgent (Reply 9):
Too true! Passengers often have more influence over the outcome than they know, and it all stems from the attitude they present to the assisting agent. If you approach the agent in a pleasant manner most agents will move the world to help you. However, if you display an unsavory attitude, your options instantly become limited...very limited. Be nice! As Cjpark wrote, "remember, what goes around comes around."

Indeed it is true.

A friend who used to be a veteran TA/GA at JFK for years - beloved by both customers and coworkers alike - always used to say this: the passenger, in 99% of the cases, sets the tone. That's why she said she always loved working the flights to the Caribbean, even with the flying liquor bottles, vudu dolls at the gate, and car fenders/mini fridges with each pax. At least they were grateful. She hated working the transcons with the snobby businessmen.

Once had a really arrogant businessman on the morning JFK-LAX 201 (she used to call that flight her "baby") pull the attitude. He was a "customer of size" as we'd say nowadays (this was probably 10 years ago), and demanded to be upgraded on the full flight, and have an additional seat - unpaid for - blocked to him to give him more room. He used the adorable "do you know who I am?" routine that every agent is all-too-familiar with. Went on about how he was best friends with Crandall (aren't they all), "kept AA in business," etc. Anyway, she made him wait until after all the other pax had boarded, and then cheerily - without missing a beat - gave him seat assignments for 8B and 10F. Serves the a**hole right.

I always try and go out of my way to be nice to the agents - especially in OSO situations. They bust their a** day in and day out dealing with, on the ground, all of the lovely sh*t that the FAs soon get to enjoy at 30,000 feet.
 
PanAm747
Posts: 4711
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:46 am

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:56 pm

https://www.airliners.net/discussions/aviation_polls/read.main/138598/

Check out my response as to what happened when I missed my connection!!

The golden rule of travel - if you need something from an agent, show your manners and your courtesy. They have the power to make it happen or keep you stranded.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
YYZbound
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:11 pm

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:37 pm

I genuinely enjoy flying for AA. I've been with four airlines and I have to say, as much as the corporate culture of AA drives me crazy and as mediocre as they are in so many amentities, I really like my job with them moreso than the other 3 I was with.

Don't get me wrong, AA is definitely the Britney Spears of the airline industry right now and I think people enjoy bashing them LOL. And rightfully so in a lot or respects. But, personally I just ENJOY being nice to people and making the journey fun for them. . .and I also see to it that I have my own personal mindset in gear before I step on that airplane.

There's quite a few of us at AA that are like that  Smile

GOD I can't wait till those damn 757's are re-done though. . .LOL
 
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MKE22
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:58 am

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:57 pm



Quoting 44k (Reply 2):
And you had a bad one.

Maybe it's just Delta. I got stuck in ATL once for easter and all they did was give us a hotel room, and new tickets (no upgrade). I guess people who fly CO are lucky, because I have heard good things about CO.
 
N587NK
Posts: 246
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:26 pm

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:51 pm

I had a 6 hour mechanical delay on NW last month and misconnected and had to overnight in DTW. All the flights were full the next day into my destination and I asked the agent and he gladly put me on a flight into another city 2 1/2 hours away(which is where I was going anyway so it worked out better for me) plus I recieved a total of 3500 bonus miles from the delay  Smile
 
PiedmontINT
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 8:12 am

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:52 am



Quoting YYZBound (Reply 12):
Don't get me wrong, AA is definitely the Britney Spears of the airline industry right now

nope, children can still ride in AA's planes.

thank you, thank you.. i'll be here all week.. Big grin
 
YYZbound
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:11 pm

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:24 am



Quoting PiedmontINT (Reply 15):
nope, children can still ride in AA's planes.

Ah very nice, very nice indeed! Good one!!
 
ualcsr
Posts: 381
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 12:53 pm

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:48 am



Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 11):
The golden rule of travel - if you need something from an agent, show your manners and your courtesy. They have the power to make it happen or keep you stranded.

Bingo. I guess it's an observation of life in general; as an agent for UA, I was much nicer and amenable to courteous pax than to rude ones.

My experiences with AA have also been good. I remember back in the late 90s trying to non-rev on UA to IAD to connect to CDG. The flight was extremely oversold and I never would've made it. I ran to AA with a back-up ID90 and asked the agent if she would consider using the ticket for MIA-DCA. She checked me in, took the ticket and called the gate---all for a non-rev from a competing airline. I still wonder if that agent is still at MIA because I've owed her supervisor a commendation letter for a long time. Oh well.
 
eghansen
Posts: 281
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:33 pm

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:11 am

I have always found the crews and ground staff on AA very professional. They usually seem very senior, but since I fly out of San Diego, this is probably a high-seniority station.

Most of my complaints with AA are with the shabby old planes, particularly the MD-80s. The planes are very noisy, especially in back and do not have much overhead storage space.

I have also learned when flying American long-haul to bring some food of your own as AA is very skimpy. Even on long flights such as LHR-LAX, which is 12 hours all during daylight, the meal service consists of one hot meal and a second service that I would call a snack.

But of course, none of this has anything to do with the crews and staffing and it is quite possible that the senior crew may even be embarrassed about how skimpy the service offered on AA has become and attempts to compensate with kindness and consideration.
Nowadays, it is hard to tell when the commercials end and real life begins
 
AR385
Posts: 6936
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:54 am

After what happened to me narrated in reply 4, I wrote a letter to Continental to let them know I was very happy with the service I received by certain reservations agent. I always try to let people know when I am happy with a certain service. I got the following letter back:



"Dear Mr. XXXX

Thankyou for your letter regarding your recent flight. I enjoyed reading your letter, and quite frankly, it made my day!

We are very proud of our employees who reflect care and sensitivity in accommodating the individual needs of our customers. In the service industry, nothing is more important than the impression we make with our customers. One of Continental's primary goals is to have the highest standards of excellence exemplified through our service and employees.

I have shared your letter of commendation with XXXX and her supervisor. I am proud to have received your acknowledgement of her outstanding performance. .

It is unusual when people take the time to write about something good, an I sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulnees in doing so.

Sincerely,

XXXX"

Again. Among many reasons the above is also one that makes me choose CO everytime I can.

Manager
 
floridaflyboy
Posts: 1606
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:26 pm

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:05 am



Quoting Ualcsr (Reply 17):
Bingo. I guess it's an observation of life in general

That's very true. It works in aviation, and anywhere else where you interact with people. As most of you know, I work in retail, and of course have the privilege of meeting a lot of wonderful people from all walks of life in our stores. However, when there is a problem, and the guest is understanding and polite (even when it's our fault), I am so much more inclined to do everything in my power to make that situation right for them. However, if they are rude and short-tempered with me, I will continue to provide the most professional service possible, but I'll drag out that company line and not take one step beyond what is required. The Guest/Passenger absolutely sets the tone in a lot of cases (not all), and it is in their best interest to always set a good one.
Good goes around!
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: Great Service On AA. Typical?

Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:10 am



Quoting AAJFKSJUBKLYN (Reply 6):
Also, I respect AA as well for keeping their US call centers alive and well.

Those call centers are great. This past august I was connecting to LAX via ORD and our 763 broke down before we could board. Thinking ahead, I called the AA gold desk and they set me up on a backup reservation via STL. She was very nice on the phone. I Didn't end up needing it as they brought in one of the 752 slave ships as a replacement.

Quoting MKE22 (Reply 13):
I guess people who fly CO are lucky, because I have heard good things about CO.

They're good but they're not that good. Being from NJ, I've had my good and bad experiences with CO.

Quoting YYZBound (Reply 12):
I genuinely enjoy flying for AA. I've been with four airlines and I have to say, as much as the corporate culture of AA drives me crazy and as mediocre as they are in so many amentities, I really like my job with them moreso than the other 3 I was with.

I concour. I don't like AA management right now. I feel bad for the good people for who work for AA because they know whats going on and they really do try they're hardest (you run into a few bad apples every now and then, but for me it's been a while.) If it wasn't for the on-board professionalism, I would have said goodbye to them sometime in the last 2 years. Being eilte is a perk though. Even as gold, I get upgraded a fair amount without even trying.
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