WE HAVE A FEW trips planned to and through the States before the end of 2008 but we won't use American Airlines. Jake McKee provides us our rationale. Jake recently traveled from American's hub in Dallas to NYC to chat about some of the work he completed at the Lego Company, inspired in part by The Cluetrain Manifesto. But Jake had a problem with American Airlines after his conference talk. The airline charged Jake an extra $359 when he changed his departure date from New York (he moved it ahead) in order to attend his grandmother's funeral. The airline told him, “American reviewed the policy a few years back and decided that since funeral homes, doctors, and clothiers don’t discount their rates, we shouldn’t either.”
The American Airlines response could have come from the Ryanair Book of Protocol. Jake says, "When I told Irving, the supervisor, that I’d been a loyal customer for years and that I felt that the fare difference (i.e. we charge more for certain times of the day for the exact same overhead) should be waived if for nothing else than because it was the best way American could return the loyalty I’d shown them over the years he said: 'I'm not here to argue with you, sir.' And I’m not here to argue with you either, American. In fact, I’m not here to fly with you, defend you, or support you. Not only have I lost interested in maintaining our quasi-relationship, I’ll now actively work to find alternatives to using you."
You can add a family of three to the list of the no-fly American public. We spend more than $1000 crossing the Atlantic every time we fly west, often twice a year. That's real money gone from the AA revenue stream.