Blog Archive

The Small Victories . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It's sunny and brisk in Austin today, and although I'm stuck inside an office when I'd rather be lying like a cat in the sun (with licking myself purely as a secondary option), the day got off to a good start when I triumphed over American Airlines with the power of the written word.

Several posts ago, I described the brutal odyssey of myself and my bags from Austin to Taos, NM on Christmas Day. Nothing went as planned as there were late planes, missed connections and no baggage upon arrival in Albuquerque.

I made a mental note to email American a strongly worded dissertation that highlighted their shortcomings, and after doing so last week, I just received a response that apologized profusely and assured me that two travel vouchers were being mailed to me to use on future flights.

On the American website, electronic complaints are allotted 1,500 characters (not words) to keep things economical I suppose. That is not a lot to work with in expressing your frustration, and I used 1,499 of mine making sure that every venomous thought came through loud and clear.

American heard my roar, and to their credit, responded well to it.

They were clearly in the wrong, which is becoming increasingly true in an industry where costs are being slashed, personnel trimmed and overworked, bags missing, and so it's a natural trickle-down effect for a nasty attitude and poor service to be passed onto the travelers.

A vicious cycle to say the least, and although I see no near-term solution for it, I'm merely happy that I've got two vouchers coming in the mail.

It's the small victories . . .



  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. 1,499 words! hahah Somehow that doesn't surprise me. Good for you. I hate American Airlines. They're like a big bully who thinks they don't have to work to keep customers. I am all about Southwest if I can possibly fly with them.
    Happy Hump Day! If you had used a dog analogy instead of a cat, I would say "go hump something."

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. What is the voucher for though...a free bag of peanuts??? A note to let you know your bags will get there in a timely fashion this go around???

  5. Anonymous Says:
  6. What is the voucher for though...a free bag of peanuts??? A note to let you know your bags will get there in a timely fashion this go around???

  7. Jlee - Since I'm at work, humping something would likely get me a free trip to HR, but thanks anyway. And most of the airlines seem like bullies now (but I still like SW I just wish they went more places).

    Miss Ash - Good question. It should be for money off my next flight. If not, another email to AA will be forthcoming.

  8. Anonymous Says:
  9. Congratulations on sticking it to the man. The sad thing is you have to fly on their airline again.

  10. Anonymous Says:
  11. OK...first, a negative airline story. Years ago, before 9/11, my hub went hunting in Wisconsin. He checked his bags at LAX, including his guns, which were immediately stolen by, presumably, the baggage handlers. He got a token few bucks from the airline, but it didn't cover his father's childhood rifle or the Winchester commemorative whatever-it-was.

    Now a good story...last year, he went to see his bro in Utah. Delta asked if he wanted an earlier flight, in which he would be bumped up to first class and given a travel voucher for the "inconvenience" of arriving forty-five minutes early.

    I guess, like any other service business, it's hit or miss.

  12. slopmaster Says:
  13. hey, AA did their part, but you wonder about the other travelers who don't have a blog and don't know how to use the English language to describe their frustration. I guess they just blow themselves up.

  14. Sarcastic - I know. That's the double-edged sword part of this victory. Selah.

    Wendy - That's an awful first story as I'm sure your husband was mad as hell. I know I would be for a gun that had sentimental value (although I don't have a gun, I can still empathize). But I wish that second example would happen to me as my general feeling is that most service-oriented businesses are going downhill fast. I might be biased right now.

    Slopmaster - A fair question. But I say screw those people. Ha. They probably have a computer AND a righteous anger and if you express it properly, you sometimes get rewarded. Ha.

  15. Anonymous Says:
  16. I'm just waiting on my passport and I am out of here.
    You're lucky you got anything out of them!

  17. Anonymous Says:
  18. Only 1,500 characters allowed to describe Christmas day anguish! What a bunch of Scrooges--although I guess they made up for it in the end.
    Congrats on your victory!

  19. Anonymous Says:
  20. too bad you have to use the vouchers on American!

  21. Girlbehind - Where you going?

    Lucy - Thanks, and although they made it up for some of it, I would have traded the vouchers for a stress-free trip.

    Rob - Good point.

  22. Anonymous Says:
  23. I can only imagine your frustration! I'd have done the exact same thing you did...but then thought that accepting a couple of vouchers to fly AA again would be the equivalent of getting a comp meal at the same restaurant where I got food poisoning...

    Way to vent though!!!

  24. Orchid - I just got the voucher today for $200 - not too shabby, but it could have been better.

  25. Anonymous Says:
  26. I was hoping that you would have gotten a free ticket, but $200 is pretty good.

    Good on you for speaking up.

  27. I know. I was hoping for a free ticket as well, but $200 was worth the cost of sending an email.


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