On a recent trip to the US, I had several unhappy encounters with the airline named after the country in which it is located. TripAdvisor reviews with titles – in A-Z order – like Abusive Staff, American Airlines is god awful, Bad Customer Service, Horrible, Terrible Customer Service, and Worst airline ever confirmed my unpleasant experiences. I laughed and cried as I read them while still in the throes of jet lag. Just Google “American Airlines Sucks” to see how many blog posts have been written and YouTube videos created in dishonor of this airline. With nearly 3 million results, this article is at the top of the heap: American Airlines sucks: How to lose a customer.
Aside from the usual delays, standard fare as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly due to a lack of staff to cover every flight, there was a cancellation to a connecting international flight with very short notice, no reason, and zero compensation.
The pièce de résistance was an encounter with Dennis, an ignorant and stupid AA ticketing agent who said we needed a COVID-19 vaccination with a negative result within 72 hours of departure and the MySOS app to travel to Japan. After telling him that neither was true, i.e., Viet Nam lifted its COVID test requirement in mid-May and transit passengers in Narita only need to wear a mask in the airport, he waddled over to his “supervisor” not once but twice. The latter confirmed the part about the COVID test but still insisted we needed to download the app.
After a precious half hour of wasted time, as the already long TSA line grew longer, we were on our way. The moron’s parting “gift” was that he forgot to give me tickets for two connecting flights, which I had to pick up in LAX after yet another delayed flight. Another AA employee told that he didn’t “finish the job.”
It wasn’t until I boarded the Japan Airlines (JAL) flight, kind welcome, smiling faces and all, that I breathed a sigh of relief, and started thinking about that glass of plum wine on the rocks.
There’s no place like home.
Shalom (שלום), MAA