Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thanks to Twitter, American Airlines finally gets it right (for this cancer patient)

Before leaving for our trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, I had a doctor's appointment. Turns out, I could not take such a long break from treatment. So I spent $700 changing our return flights so we left a day early and I could go straight from the airport to my chemo treatment at Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City. After spending 10 days in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay with a million different moving parts, flights, tour groups, buses, and you name it, everything went without a hitch. We boarded our American Airlines return flight in Buenos Aires, flew to Dallas, then got on the connection to Salt Lake City. All looked fabulous.

And then as we were sitting on our flight, all buckled and ready, the flight attendant announced that American Airlines' baggage handler had rammed the truck into the plane and it was too damaged to fly. We all needed to get off the plane and wait for a new plane. She thought maybe 30 minutes. Right. Big Fat Liar. I immediately called customer service and there was another flight that left almost three hours later. Lucky me, because I didn't trust a word out of American Airlines' mouth and got on the phone immediately, we got on that one.

I got to Huntsman four hours late, almost didn't get my appointment at all, and caused all kinds of employees to have to work late.

I emailed American Airlines. I paid $700 for a flight that American Airlines did not deliver on and it was their fault. Sweet rep sent me a $100 travel voucher. I was outraged. I almost emailed them back and then it hit me: Go public. I do Twitter! And so I complained to the world via Twitter. American Airlines was failing cancer warriors by not living up to the flights and money I had spent. It took a week but I got an email yesterday: $700 travel voucher. Better!

Lesson learned: Going public works. Failing customer service reps don't get to hid behind anonymous incompetence. I highly recommend it if you must. And American Airlines finally made good. I am satisfied.