With air travel safety at the forefront of media speculation, the basis on which an airline survives today may truly be in the customer service offered. With airlines struggling to maintain security, while remaining profitable, the airline industry continuously strives to become a more efficient working machine. Of the domestic carriers, however, there is one, in particular, with a history of mistakes both in safety, security and customer service. Granted, this is one of the largest carriers in the industry. However, the ratio of passengers to complaints is disproportionate to the competition thereby indicating this airline may continue to suffer and eventually lose ground altogether. Who is this domestic airline? American Airlines.
Top FIVE Reasons to Avoid American Airlines:
Consumer Complaint Index:
In the January – June 2006 USDOT analysis, American Airlines ranked highest among 20 domestic carriers, in complaints. With the highest number of passengers, this figure was out of proportion when considering the second ranked carrier, in terms of passengers, reported only 83 complaints compared to American Airline’s whopping 580. In June of 2006, this figure was, alone, 100.
Again, as reported by the USDOT, for the period January – June 2006, American Airlines reports the greatest number of flight problems at a rate of 146 with 25 of these in June 2006.
The USDOT report, for the period January – June 2006, also reports American Airlines, when compared with all domestic carriers, sustained the greatest number of discrimination complaints.
For American Airlines, this is a severely compromising issue in terms of customer service. While it is understandable, when considering the number of bags flown each day, luggage will be lost. However, in the case of American Airlines, who, once again, carries the highest incidence rate, it is not so much the lost luggage as it is the lack of customer care or customer service in handling the retrievel of the luggage. There are many reports of individuals who have waited up to four days to have luggage returned to them. In this age of heightened security, one has to wonder where the bag is for four days?
Worst On Time Record:
American Airlines carries one of the worst on-time records in the industry. Again, considering the number of flights, this record is still sadly gruesome in ratio to the level of business. In fact, this on-time record may be inversely proportionate to the lost luggage. As reported, luggage does not make a profit. On time records do. When American Airlines employees are faced with the dilemma of luggage verses taking off, the plane will win out and take off without all luggage loaded.
Personally, I have flown American Airlines many times. Without knowing these facts, I strongly feel American Airlines is the worst domestic airline carrier available. For this reason, I will pay whatever additional monies need to be paid to avoid this domestic airline carrier altogether. When considering the facts as outlined, it is no wonder my instincts were right. American Airlines needs to work out the issues “at home” before competing with the big boys.