When I received an email with the subject “American Airlines Apologizes For Your Flight Delay,” I got a little excited. “Yes! They’ll probably offer me a free flight or some frequent flyer miles or something! Then my hours of meaningless waiting at the Seattle-Tacoma terminal won’t be for nought!” Alas, it was not to be. Here’s the email:
Dear Tyler Butler,
On two separate occasions during the past week, we experienced technical difficulties with our computer systems, causing some flights to be delayed. We understand that you traveled during both periods and likely were doubly inconvenienced.
Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced, and rest assured that we are working diligently to take corrective actions. We greatly value your business, appreciate your understanding and look forward to delivering the service you deserve in the near future.
Executive Vice President Marketing
I suppose I was dumb to assume that there would be some sort of incentive for me to continue my association with their airline included in the email, but there wasn’t. As I thought about it more, I realized that flight delays are just something you have to deal with when you fly, and the fact that I was expecting to get something out of my suffering was a by-product of a suffocating atmosphere of “customer-is-always-right” consumerism. So, though I initially wanted to call them and give them a chance to offer me something, I decided to keep my mouth shut.
Maybe I did get something after all?