Knowingly assigned an "inoperative" seat on Long Haul Flight

Discussion in 'American Airlines' started by Ling Li, Dec 7, 2016.


  1. Ling Li

    Ling Li Newbie

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    AA Ref#1-23467232186:

    I embarked on a series of AA flight on Friday, Nov 18 (AA2374, AA6006, AA193) and was seated in 5J on AA 193. However, when we were airborne, I noted that my seat did not recline, which is clearly not optimal given a flight time of 15 hours. My points are the following:
    • It appears that it was known to AA that there was a problem with the seat PRIOR to departure. However, I was not informed and hence did not have the option to make alternative arrangements. Response from your Customer Relations Officer highlighted below and photo I took on the aircraft.
    • To avoid any misunderstanding, because of the different seat configurations of our various aircraft along with the restriction to allow a seat to recline as part of the design to accommodate qualified disability passengers (in the front and/or back row of the seat that doesn't recline), there is no guarantee that a provided seat will recline.

    upload_2016-12-8_11-23-25.gif

    • While we make every effort to complete all repairs promptly, realistically we cannot always be completely successful. Occasionally, there is insufficient time for our maintenance crews to ensure all customer service items, like the recline feature on a seat, to be operational and still dispatch the aircraft on time. In such instances we may defer repairs in the interest of an on-time flight departure. Let me assure you, however, that the repair of safety related items is never postponed.
    • From what I can gather from your response, does this mean that in future, when I travel on business class, there is no way that I will know prior to boarding whether my seat will recline (reason given by airline was to accommodate disabled passengers)? In addition, whilst there is NO guarantee that a seat will recline (which I appreciate as it could well break down without any notification), does this also mean that there is no obligation for AA to inform the passenger even when they know? Not once have I come across this in my many years of international travel.

    • It has been stressed several times in the earlier exchanges that the gesture of 10,000 miles is offered and intended as ‘goodwill’. I am not sure how to take this as I find the reasons offered thus far somewhat unacceptable. When we enter into agreements, surely there are some expectations in terms of service levels. I have been in the service industry for many years and struggle to understand what has been communicated to me. I am also a frequent traveler of the ‘One World Alliance’. Hence, I believe I have some idea on what “good” service looks like.
     

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  2. Living in Reality

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    If you can find a mech that "knows" seats they can show you the mechanical release for those type seats. the standard coach seats do not have them as they are total mechanical. The aircraft is also supposed to have a "paper manual" on addressing these seats but, beware, these seats using the mechanical levers move suddenly so whatever action you want to move, hold onto it good!
     
  3. Rogallo

    Rogallo Veteran

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    Welcome aboard America West!
     
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  4. IORFA

    IORFA Veteran

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    dba American Airlines!
     
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  5. bob@las-AA

    bob@las-AA Veteran

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    This is not the correct arena for resolving this claim. Resolution can only come from AA.com
     
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  6. 1AA

    1AA Veteran

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    The flight attendant's are suppose to know how to use the manual functions of the seats. Then they can pass it on to the customer to use. An inconvenience but it is better than nothing.
     
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  7. eolesen

    eolesen Veteran

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    10,000 miles on a broken seat isn't good enough as compensation here.

    I've had this happen in the past on Iberia, and was given a refund between the cost of the business class fare and their premium economy. No questions asked.
     
  8. DallasConehead

    DallasConehead Veteran

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    I guess the company not only screws its employees but its customers to.
     
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  9. john john

    john john Contributor

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    And how exactly was this done? specific...These tools are not available for the front line workers at the NEW American Airlines. The agent can queue the PNR with remarks but no guarantee who are what will be done
     
  10. eolesen

    eolesen Veteran

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    Let's see... the flight attendant found out the seat was broken, wrote down my seat number on a sheet of paper, and probably filed a paper report on landing. Either way, I got my compensation and an email a week later.

    Hardly rocket science. Even a luddite like you could have managed that.

    Last I checked, doesn't AA equip its FA's with tablets or smartphones?

    Presumably there's a way to do an irregularity report on those. Or maybe someone figured out how to load the Cosmo app...

    Either way, Iberia is one of the industry's worst carriers for service, and they managed to get it right. AA could do it if they actually were customer focused, but I'm still not seeing evidence of that.
     
  11. wcs

    wcs Advanced

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    I'm not a customer service employee but I have to take john john at his word that there is no procedure
    for frontline AA employees to address such problems with any guarantee of resolution. At least the frontline employee is unlikely to get feedback on their request to address these problems.
    Either way you didn't answer john john's question."Probably" and "presumably" are not necessarily what Iberia actually did to reach the results that you received.
    You've had experience as a member of management and should understand the frustrations frontline employees can experience without adequate pathways to be able to resolve customer service problems.
    Your name calling and looking down on the frontline employee illustrates the problem with management that perpetuates lack of improvement in customer service.
     
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  12. IORFA

    IORFA Veteran

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    Purser's have a specific email to send issues to. It is reported to us that a response is generated to the customer within 24hours. Since we send the issue and all available info to them, they usually are more than generous in their response.
     
  13. wcs

    wcs Advanced

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    Thanks IORFA, but according to john john's post agents have limited capability in this area. Their ability to queue a PNR provides for zero feedback to the agent and no real guarantee of real passenger satisfaction. I'm glad Pursers have been given an more streamlined avenue to resolution.
    I was disappointed with eolesen's response to john john. After complaining about AA's response to the OP eolesen belittles john john for asking a legitimate question; how can AA agents adequatley address a passenger's reasonable complaint. eolesen has portrayed himself to be someone with a significant amount of experience within the AA structure. The name calling wasn't called for. The inadequate answer as to how Iberia resolved the problem wasn't helpful. If you don't know, it's ok to answer a question with "I don't know".
     
  14. DallasConehead

    DallasConehead Veteran

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    Well, it sounds like maintenance did their job and placarded the seat. The agent did their job and assigned the seat. The FA failed to report the passengers frustration with the inoperative seat. Case closed.
     
  15. IORFA

    IORFA Veteran

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    Maybe. If a non purser was on the flight working the purser position, then they wouldn't know the email.
     
  16. eolesen

    eolesen Veteran

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    #16 eolesen, Dec 29, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
    WCS, your defense of John John is admirable, but let's be clear -- I don't look down on front line employees. I have no tolerance for John John or his attitude. It's guaranteed he will manage to find the black cloud for any silver lining and complain about how management fails everyone.

    Someone who is truly customer focused would have found a way to make sure the customer was made whole. If not empowered to do something about it, you find someone who is. Citing the 'lack of tools" as an excuse for not being able to file an irregularity report is simply bull5hit.

    Further, an agent wouldn't be the one dealing with the consequences of an inop seat discovered after takeoff. The FA would have been the last line of defense to do something proactive, and if the customer wanted it addressed upon landing, it would have probably been handed off to a supervisor in the arrivals hall

    And no, I'm not guessing on how Iberia handled it. They contacted me, which means the FA followed thru. This was long before tablets or smart devices were in FA's hands even on airlines like BA who were early adapters of the technology. However it was reported, it was done in a way that at least pretended that they were sorry for the situation and were willing to place a value on the inconvenience without me having to even ask.

    IORFA, isn't a qualified purser more or less required on an overwater international flight? This was LAX-HKG.
     
  17. Glenn Quagmire

    Glenn Quagmire Veteran

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    Well that settles it then. :rolleyes:
     
  18. IORFA

    IORFA Veteran

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    Required? Sort of. Required to be bid that way, but IF the company is in a bind they will most assuredly send it out filled with a non purser. They don't have a separate reserve list of just pursers at AA. Although looking at the SA bidsheets it looks like they do. For the most part they try to fill it with a purser qualified f/a, just it can go out with out one. Rare, but does happen.
     
  19. john john

    john john Contributor

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    #19 john john, Dec 30, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
    Again the frontline workers reported the problem and management compensated the passenger, Frontline workers/ supervisor are not empowered to reimbursement. Just report the problem. They are told to email and Q PNR’s.The tool is to report the problem to management
    and management takes it form their

    Lay blame where blame is due
     
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  20. eolesen

    eolesen Veteran

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    #20 eolesen, Dec 31, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
    Oh, I do lay blame where it's due. Now that they're unionized, the agents seem to hide behind the same "that's not my job" mentality that USAir did for decades, and the customers suffer. It's management's fault for putting up with that type of mediocrity. The union and its members are either to blame for not getting management to provide agents with the tools they need to provide better service, or to blame for intentionally not letting agents get those types of tools and empowerment.

    Sad. AA was a much better airline prior to the bankruptcy and the merger... Now, just about everyone I knew who was a loyal AA flyer is now either flying on DL or UA.

    AA's bottom tier ranking for complaints in the DOT reports bear that out. They've been last of the big four pretty much all year, and that includes the months where DL and WN had huge system failures.
     

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