The airlines have been under quite a bit of fire lately, and it seems for good reason. But recently, I had an excellent—and totally unexpected—customer service experience with American Airlines.
I was flying home to Chicago from a media trip to Roanoke, VA, via Philadelphia. The first flight was scheduled for 7:05 a.m., landing at 8:43 a.m. I had exactly 52 minutes to change concourses to make the second flight at 9:35 a.m.
The Roanoke flight on American Eagle was delayed an hour due to a software issue. There was no way I could make my connection. My plan was to find the nearest AA customer service desk at Philadelphia International Airport and ask, “Now what?” But I didn’t have to.
An agent was waiting for me when I got off the plane. She handed me two boarding passes: One was for standby on an American Airlines flight to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago leaving in an hour. The other was confirmation for a flight leaving in two hours. I’m no high-miler, just an average traveler, and this was impressive.
I scurried to the gate for the standby flight, where the agent told me boarding would begin in 15 minutes. I asked about my chances for making the flight, and she told me to hang around, so I did. I waited and waited as boarding calls came for all the various groups and other standby names. The waiting area emptied out. Oh, well, I figured. I could enjoy a nice breakfast before heading for the second flight.
Then my name was called. Not only did I make the standby flight, but I was treated to a premium seat!
Thank you for the hospitality, American Airlines!