Insight into American Airlines Customer Service

The following is part of an article from the Los Angeles Times that brings to light the plight of a handful of American Airlines passengers who opted in to an unlimited flight program. In order to do this, each passenger had to pay well over a quarter of a million dollars for entry only to find that American is now targeting their usage as part of a wage saving initiative. The link to the full article is found at the bottom.

The Frequent Fliers Who Flew Too Much
By Ken Bensinger, Los Angeles Times
There are frequent fliers, and then there are people like Steven Rothstein and Jacques Vroom. Both men bought tickets that gave them unlimited first-class travel for life on American Airlines. It was almost like owning a fleet of private jets.
Passes in hand, Rothstein and Vroom flew for business. They flew for pleasure. They flew just because they liked being on planes. They bypassed long lines, booked backup itineraries in case the weather turned, and never worried about cancellation fees. Flight crews memorized their names and favorite meals.
Each had paid American more than $350,000 for an unlimited AAirpass and a companion ticket that allowed them to take someone along on their adventures. Both agree it was the best purchase they ever made, one that completely redefined their lives.
In the 2009 film "Up in the Air," the loyal American business traveler played by George Clooney was showered with attention after attaining 10 million frequent flier miles. Rothstein and Vroom were not impressed.
"I can't even remember when I cracked 10 million," said Vroom, 67, a big, amiable Texan, who at last count had logged nearly four times as many. Rothstein, 61, has notched more than 30 million miles.
But all the miles they and 64 other unlimited AAirpass holders racked up went far beyond what American had expected. As its finances began deteriorating a few years ago, the carrier took a hard look at the AAirpass program.
Heavy users, including Vroom and Rothstein, were costing it millions of dollars in revenue, the airline concluded.
The AAirpass system had rules. A special "revenue integrity unit" was assigned to find out whether any of these rules had been broken, and whether the passes that were now such a drag on profits could be revoked.
Rothstein, Vroom and other AAirpass holders had long been treated like royalty. Now they were targets of an investigation.
*To read the full article, click here.
"The word 'listen' contains the same letters as the word 'silent'." - Alfred Brendel
Insight into American Airlines Customer Service Insight into American Airlines Customer Service Reviewed by Joe Burlas on April 20, 2012 Rating: 5

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