My last blog seems to have gotten the attention of the folks at American Airlines. They reached out to me via email. From a journalistic stand point, I think it’s only right that I publish their very thorough response and in fact thank them for taking my complaints seriously. Thank you, American Airlines. I honestly didn’t expect any response at all. I’m not completely satisfied with all the answers I received, BUT it is nice to be heard and acknowledged.
August 23, 2011
Dear Ms. Lord:
Thank you for contacting us via Twitter. A link to your blog was forwarded to my attention ad we appreciate this opportunity to respond to your concerns. We are sorry for any confusion caused by the renewed focus on our carry-on baggage policy. Since you travel with the same baggage on most flights and haven't had a problem until recently, we can understand your disappointment.
The Federal Aviation Administration diligently audits airline conformity of mandated policies and procedures carry-on baggage restrictions being just one of the areas of compliance assessment. Recently, some audits have pointed out a lack of consistency on our enforcement of carry-on baggage policies. As a consequence, our agents have received additional training related to carry-on baggage requirements and are working hard to consistently apply the associated restrictions. Accordingly, we now must use a more conservative judgment by restricting more carry-on bags than we previously did.
In addition, even if your carry-on bag is within the allowed size, you may be asked to gate check your bag if the overhead bins get full. During the boarding process, the flight attendants have been asked to notify the gate agents when overhead bin space begins to diminish and our agents act accordingly. Nevertheless, if your baggage was within the guidelines when you traveled with us, then we do sincerely apologize that you weren't allowed to carry it aboard with you.
Just to clarify, if your bag fits in the overhead bin or underneath the seat, it does not mean that the item is an "approved" size for carry-on baggage. Our policy is that the one carry-on bag may not exceed 22 long x 14 wide x 9 tall, and it must be able to fit in the baggage sizers that we have available at our ticket counters and gate locations.
However, we are truly sorry you didn't receive your baggage in Nassau. We know how frustrating it is for our customers to be without their belongings, and we continually look for ways to improve and refine our baggage handling procedures to minimize such experiences.
We understand that our apology and promise to improve doesn't change the inconveniences you've endured. We would like to make amends in a tangible way and encourage you to give us another opportunity to prove that you can rely on American Airlines. Accordingly, we have credited your AAdvantage® account with 5,000 bonus miles. This adjustment should appear in your account very soon.
Ms. Lord, we consider it a privilege to have you as our customer. We will continue to work hard to retain your business.