Monday, December 19, 2011

an open letter to american airlines.

to whom it may concern:

let me start this letter by saying that i understand that your company is claiming bankruptcy, that the nasty economy finally caught up to you and you're in a sticky situation. how can you keep up the service and quality that your repeat customers are accustomed to and still make enough money to stay afloat? however, i don't think you are all that concerned with your customers. making enough money? enough, i'm sure, considering your prices and all of your hidden charges. taking care of passengers? not so much. let me tell you why i think that.

you see, a few days i boarded a plane with my two small children and my father. a tricky situation to begin with - a game of who sits where and with whom? who walks and who gets the stroller? and what in the world do i do with these kids on a two hour flight? i planned out naptimes, snacks and activities for two hours on a plane. then, different activities for the insane layover and more activities for the second 2 hour flight.

everything was planned. and, of course, i know that not everything goes as plans. but explain to me why i sat on your airplane for two hours because of some paperwork problem? two hours on a fairly full plane, sitting at a gate with two small children, because your mechanics made a simple and supposedly easy repair and then, presumably, filled out two hours of paperwork. regardless, two hours sitting on a plane? and what do you do to help this problem? a glass of water and free headphones for a tv program that went twenty minutes without sound. seriously,

the flight was uneventful, but upon arrival in miami, we practically ran through the airport - the seventy two miles from your plane to customs - so as not to miss our connecting flight. two small children, remember? collect our bags, leave the airport and go back through security. i get it. i do, really. people died because some crazies got on a plane and now we have to take our shoes off and get body scans. but didn't we go through security for the first flight?

with just a few minutes to feed my children, we found our gate and then found something to eat. quick. because our plane was going to board. except it wasn't. because again, dear american airlines friends, your flight was delayed. not by much, but enough to make our race through the airport completely unnecessary. we board. and then sit. again. this time because the airport took the ground crew away from my flight to service another.

delay upon delay.

again. uneventful flight. luckily my kids slept most of the flight. they would have slept peacefully for the full flight except that not only had the flight been delayed in the beginning, it circled the philadelphia airport for at least 25 minutes in the air before landing. thank you, american airlines. that's what i needed to end my day. 25 minutes of kids asking why the plane wasn't "going down" and were we "stuck" in the air.

i sincerely hope that you figure out the mess you're in because it is no longer pleasant to travel with your airline. and, like you say on all of your flights, we customers do have a choice. you are not the only option out there.


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