Some American Airlines’ Employees Need Remedial Training

I enjoy scoring cheap paid or complimentary upgrades prior to my flights. Earlier today, I had the option to upgrade the Northwest Florida to Charlotte portion of my itinerary for $57. The flight was operated by a CRJ-900, which I have never flown.

American Airline CRJ-900
American Airline CRJ-900 courtesy of psa airlines.

I began the check in on the American Airlines’ application, but quickly cancelled the process when I saw the potential to upgrade. The application was closed because I did not expect to see an upgrade option for a government fare. A government fare is one booked through a military travel office and cannot, usually, be upgraded using cash or miles.

I decided to go ahead with the upgrade purchase. I opened the application to see I had already been checked in. How???  The next thing I did was call American Airlines. I received an automated message stating all of the agents were handling calls due to inclement weather throughout the United States.

I was then asked if I wanted to receive a call back from the airline in between 56 and 107 minutes. What???

American Airlines Phone Call

The call was returned in 84 minutes.

American Airlines Phone Call

The call went like this:

Agent: Mr. Short?

Me:  yes ma’am, good evening. 

Agent:  how can I help you?

Me:  um, I had the option to upgrade earlier, but now the option is…

Agent:  well, it looks like you checked in already so please try at the airport. 

Me:  ma’am, that’s why I’m calling. I didn’t…

Agent: the system says you did. Besides, you are on a government ticket…please hold while I call fare control. 

(Ten minutes later)

Agent:  Mr. Short? Yes, the only segment eligible for upgrade is from Northwest Florida to Charlotte. 

Me:  yes ma’am, I was trying to…

Agent:  well, if you want to upgrade that segment, you have to purchase a regular fare while using your government fare as a discount. 

Me:  Ok, how much would that run me?

Agent:  $600 additional. 

Me:  LOL. I’ll pass, but how did it go from $57 to $600? 

Agent: look, Mr. Short, this is the only way possible. 

Me:  I’m good. 

Agent:  ok, you can talk to the agent at the airport to see if you can get the upgrade. 

WTH just happened?! I have not flown American Airlines regularly for quite some time and now I remember why. This rude agent and the disrespectful male flight attendant on my outbound leg to Tampa leave a lot to be desired. Is it so hard to be cordial? Professional? Or sound a bit enthusiastic?

Come on American, get it together, this is unacceptable.


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One thought on “Some American Airlines’ Employees Need Remedial Training

  1. I just flew Singapore Airlines Rob, from Istanbul to Singapore to Bangkok, over a good 12 hours. BEST flight service and customer service ever. So friendly, warm, helpful and generous. My wife and I joked, saying it was just like flying a US airlines LOL. Hands down, the US will never sniff top airlines awards for eons until they get their customer service and overall vibe in order.

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