Monday, October 16, 2006

A spoonful of sugar (Oh, honey, honey)

In the Grand Scheme of Traveling Incidents, some events are soon forgotten. But sometimes, you don’t forget (a miracle for me) and you’re saddled with a need to document the episode—with the officials. Thus was the case after my 11.5 hour captivity in the Pittsburg Airport (scroll to return trip).

In order to share my thoughts with the powers that be, I tooled around American Airline’s website (or maybe it was my AAdvantage account—yes, we have already come to the end of my memory miracles) and found a place to submit feedback. One of the drop-down menus on the form presented two choices which I’ll sum up as Good News and Bad News.

First I submitted a Good News form which named the names of two gate agents who remained upbeat, kind, sensitive, TRUTHFUL, hopeful, polite and helpful throughout a very long day. Next I filled out the Bad News form regarding this same incident which entailed a brief summary of my numerous delays and a complaint about my luggage, or rather lack thereof. I quickly received auto e-mails confirming that my messages were received. I felt proud of me (doesn’t take much) that at least I spoke my mind to the airlines rather than mumbling only to myself, my spouse and a host of friends--again. (Okay, I did that, too.) I figured that was The End.

But alas, a week or so later I received an e-mail from AA containing the Good News that they were SORRY about my day and that for my trouble they’d credited my frequent flyer account with 5,000 miles. I was grateful and am still in shock since airline complaints often fall into the same black hole as political campaign promises. Why, I wondered, did this particular complaint produce an apology and a “thanks for your loyalty?”

I can’t help but think my spoonful of earnest verbal sugar regarding two congenial and attentive gate agents might have set the perspective stage for the receipt of my complaint. Perhaps someone noticed I wasn’t strictly a whiner. And that would of course be a Mega-miracle, both that they noticed, and that I’m not. Right, honey?


Oh, honey. Honey, honey, honey. Hows bouts you get yourself a drop-down menu so I know exactly where to file my … thoughts concerning this issue?

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