First world problems.
American Airlines has screwed me over today.
5 a.m. I get an automated call from American Airlines telling me that my flight is cancelled. I’m given a number to call. And when I do, the wait time to talk to a person is 20 minutes.
I get on Southwest.com and find a flight that works, and then I wait.
American tells me that they have me booked to Chicago on Saturday, one day later than the original flight. I ask them to put in my record that I’m taking a different airline, but will definitely be on the return flight on American, and they assure me that I won’t have any issues.
So I book the Southwest flight, and I go back to bed.
What I DIDN’T do on American today.
Tonight, from my hotel in Chicago, I try to check in on-line. And I get an error message.
After 20 minutes on the phone with the American Airlines reservation center, I’m told ‘you have a seat, and it’s confirmed, but not assigned, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Please show up at the airport early.’
How can a computer system book my ticket, but not give me an assigned seat, and then not allow a phone representative to put me in a specific seat?
I have to wait to get to the airport? After they canceled my flight this morning? And after they gave me no explanation for the cancellation? And after they told me they couldn’t get me to my two-day conference until tomorrow?
First world problems.
All of my firm insistence, ‘I prefer flying American over other airlines and this is why I’m a loyal customer’ pleading got me nowhere tonight. I’m losing my touch when up against faceless bureaucracy and nameless technology.
Yes, there ARE reasons to fly Southwest.
For tonight, American Airlines is on my **** list.
An update, as of Sunday, May 24:
American Airlines did indeed have a seat for me on the inbound flight, and even got me on an earlier flight. I was home before 8 p.m. But I received a vague ‘integration of systems problems” explanation, no apology, and still no word at all about why my initial flight was canceled. I try to be a loyal customer, but American Airlines seems to be joining other carriers in making that a difficult thing to do.