American Airlines Loves You

We love getting tips about nice things happening to good people. No, really. We do. American Airlines misplaced the flight crew for one of our readers’ flights, delaying he and his wife for a really, really long time at O’Hare. Then the magic happened. Without complaining, or contacting American Airlines in any way, Larry got the following email.

American Airlines writes:

    Dear Mr. [Awesome Consumerist Reader Named Larry]:

    We know how important it is for our customers to rely on the on-time departures and arrivals of our flights. However, there is nothing more frustrating than learning your flight has been delayed – or even canceled – while attempting to get to your destination as planned. Therefore, we hope you will accept our apology for the disruption of your travel plans on December 30.

    Although our schedules cannot be guaranteed due to the many variables associated with the operation of an airline, we want to show our concern for your disappointment. As a sincere gesture of goodwill and to encourage you to continue traveling with us, I have added 7,000 Customer Service Bonus miles to your AAdvantage

    account. You can view this activity soon via our web site at

    While the safety of our passengers and crew members will always take priority over on-time departures and arrivals, we hope that you will give us another opportunity to serve you when your plans call for travel by air. It would be a pleasure to welcome you aboard American Airlines.

    This is an “outgoing only” email address. If you ‘reply’ to this message by simply selecting the reply button, we will not receive your additional comments. Please assist us in providing you with a timely response to any feedback you have for us by always sending us your email messages via at


    B. J. Russell
    Customer Relations
    American Airlines

Larry writes:

    My wife & I visited my parents in the West Palm Beach area over the holidays. On the way back, we were scheduled to fly from the West Palm airport to O’Hare, then on to LAX. The flight to O’Hare was delayed by about 15 minutes, and when we landed in Chicago, there were only about 20 minutes left to board our flight to LAX.

    As soon as we got off the plane, we started hustling to our gate. Upon double-checking the gate number, we saw that our flight was delayed by about 45 minutes. This was not too bad…time for a bathroom break and a breather.

    We made our way over to the proper gate and noticed that the flight was now delayed for a few hours. Rather than getting in to LAX at 8:45 PM, we were now scheduled to get in around 1:00 AM. We knew there was bad weather across the plains states, so that might have been it, but almost every other westbound flight from LAX was leaving on time. AA representatives has no response. At first they said it was weather, then they said they didn’t know why the delay. Eventually, it came out that there was no available flight crew (!) for our flight, nor the one following it. They had to wait for one to come in that had enough rest. You’d think they would have planned this better.

    Surprisingly, in this morning’s e-mail, I received the attached letter from AA. Please note that I had not yet called them to complain about the delay and the fact that nothing was offered to the passengers (meal vouchers, other flights, etc.). Kudos to AA for being proactive.


Good job, American Airlines. Way to be on top of things. You made a customer so happy he wrote us about it. Keep this up and soon you’ll be L.L. Bean. Then again, it does occur to us that American might have only apologized to frequent fliers. Hmmm. Maybe we’re jaded.—MEGHANN MARCO