Open Letter to American Airline’s Customer Relations Department

American Airlines

Hi American Airlines,

I’m a pretty easy-going girl, and I can let little inconveniences slide as long as all responsible parties do their best to right the wrongs committed. But when they’re not… well, let’s just say I love a good strongly-worded letter.

As my loyal readers already know, on August 29, I was scheduled to fly from Miami to Dusseldorf, with a connection in Chicago. But instead, after the crew members of my incoming flight lost a log book, my flight to Chicago was delayed for two and a half hours. Despite the fact that I spent several hours on a runway and in the airport waiting for the airline to correct its careless mistake, I took it in stride. When we arrived in Chicago, my second leg had long departed and I had to stay overnight. I made the best of my unplanned night in Chicago, because that’s the kind of person I am. And because I knew that American Airlines, to whom I’m quite loyal, would compensate me for my trouble.

In fact, I had that compensation in mind when I booked a hotel that was only $98 a night instead of $200 and by using Uber Pool and paying $3.12 instead of getting a $30 cab. Because I didn’t intend to cost the airline any more than I absolutely needed to for my accommodations. I even forgave the fact that I missed a day of work when I was flying to Germany the day after I was supposed to.

When I contacted you to reimburse me for my expenses, I was told you could not cover the cost of my missed train in Dusseldorf, which I had to re-book for the following day. Let’s talk about that train ride, shall we? My original train ticket, which was a comfortable 5 hours after my flight was scheduled to arrive, cost me $32.50 on the high-speed train (ICE) from Dusseldorf to my destination. When I arrived a day late in Dusseldorf, I was faced with two options: a new $80 ticket on the high speed ICE train, or a $47.57 ride on the local trains that would be an hour longer. Once again, in an effort to not spend more than I needed to, I went for the cheaper option.

Funny enough, it was on that lonely train to my final destination that some weirdo jacked off in front of me. If I had been on the popular ICE train, I probably would not have had to go through that. But I wasn’t. Because my flight to Dusseldorf was a day late, and I had to buy a cheaper train ticket at the last minute.

However, according to your Customer Relations representative:

While we do our best to operate our flights as scheduled, the many uncontrollable factors associated with air travel make some delays and cancellations inevitable. At the same time, your ticket purchased for travel with us is an agreement of transport to/from the cities in your ticketed itinerary. We cannot be responsible for travel on a train purchased outside of your American reservation.

Well, here’s the thing… It’s an agreement of transport to/and from a specific city on a specific date and time; not a day late without warning. And this wasn’t because of bad weather or an emergency; it was because your crew lost a log book. So it’s not an uncontrollable factor; it was an error on the part of your airline and your staff. And frankly, maybe me and other flyers should be concerned about your airline crew who we entrust to fly us 35,000 feet in the air and their carelessness with FAA regulations.

At the present moment, I have 72,812 miles in my AAdvantage account. Do you know how much I have to spend on your airline to accrue that many miles? And yet… you can’t spare the $50 it cost me to re-book my train ticket as a result of your error. That’s good to know. I’ll keep that in mind next time I’m deciding what airline to fly home on.
Sincerely,
A disappointed flyer