Pros: Lower price on fares. Connections. Good selection of flight times.
Cons: Too many restrictions when compared to others. Awful customer service.
I get the terrible phone call from my sister in Texas - we have lost a second brother. I have to fly from California to Texas - right away. My mother, who lives in Virginia, wanted to pay for my ticket as she was unable to fly out for the funeral. Pull out the 800 numbers and away I go.
American Airlines was one of the first airlines I called for fares. Their overall fare was lower than others as was their bereavement fare.
The selection of flights was fairly accommodating - from looking online it was roughly the same number of flights to choose from as other major airlines.
I was going to a smaller town outside of Dallas, Texas and needed a connecting flight. Yup, American Airlines did have a connecting flight to the small Wichita Falls Municipal airport.
Hmm... lower fares, plenty of flights, connecting flights going where I need... so what could be the problem??
~~ Customer Service ~~
In short - the multitude of people I spent hours on the phone with were not at all concerned with trying to get me on their airline. If I got a ticket, OK and if I didn't...
Payment was going to be credit card by a second party - my mother. Guess what. American Airlines will only take payment from a second party if they physically go to the airport and pay there. "No exceptions for emergencies such as this?" "Nope". So I ask to talk to a supervisor and see if this was the case. "Nope, no exceptions at all, period"
The information needed for the bereavement fare at first seemed easy enough to supply. Name of the deceased and relationship. Each time I spoke to a new person - and I spoke with about seven different people total - I was asked for another piece of information. Date of the funeral, name of the funeral home, phone number of the funeral home, address of the funeral home. Each time I asked "is there anything else you will need to know?" and was told just to get the form letter from the funeral home. Yet, with the next customer service representative, they needed just one more thing or the previous representative didn't bother to enter in all the information that I gave them. When I mentioned that I had given the previous rep the requested information, they sighed and then got rather short with me.
Finally, all the information is entered - MCI is gonna love me. Somewhere around Representative Number Four, I mentioned that my mother in Virginia would be the one paying for the ticket. Finally towards what I thought was the end of my Adventures With AA Customer 'Service' I was hoping to put down the phone and pack. Um, nope. My mother - who doesn't drive and lives about one hour from the nearest airport - would have to the airport and pay for my ticket. Could she call American or they call her and confirm that she is the cardholder? Nope. They have to see her ID even though she isn't the one flying.
Three Motrin later... I give up and call Delta.
There was one tiny little thing that American Airlines could have handled better and not have left me so sour on them. Not once did anyone utter the phrase "oh, I am sorry for your loss." The representatives were at times abrupt, seemingly didn't let me know exactly what information they needed from me and if they felt they were not going to book this fare, they didn't enter in the information I had given them