The fallout continues over the debacle that was American Airlines‘ operations on Dec. 29.
While those of us in the industry certainly knew a lot about the airline’s operational meltdown — a result of a non-ending series of storms that moved south to north on that day — and a series of mistakes made one on top of another, it never helps to have your mistakes plastered across the pages of the Wall Street Journal. (Sub required) Then everyone finds out about it.
Granted, all airlines suffer from operational issues. Northwest passengers endured their own marathon on a plane a couple of years ago. I was part of the legendary September meltdown a few years ago at O’Hare that saw me sit on a diverted United plane in Indianapolis for 6 hours.
But I have to admit, I think Scott McCartney hit some nerves with this article.
While the article details many mistakes on the part of the airline, the most damning part of McCartney’s story is that even after passengers had been stuck on the ground in a plane for hours and hours in Austin — when they finally did get off the plane, there was little special effort on the part of the airline to take care of them. There is simply no excuse for that.
Much less were there any apologies offered by the airline. As McCartney wrote,
“American’s [PR flack] Mr. Hotard says the airline is truly sorry for the mess. He says one reason the airline may not have contacted customers to apologize is that its Fort Worth headquarters, where customer-service specialists work, was closed for four days over New Year’s.”
Would we hear JetBlue say something like that? Or Southwest?
I highly doubt it.