Customer service really matters

A young man at the Nashville airport saved my butt yesterday, and I want to take a couple of minutes to let the world know. As you know, I’m on the road through tomorrow visiting clients and making presentations. I had a very important meeting at 6pm in New York yesterday, and my American Airlines reservation was to get me there at 4pm. The inbound flight to Nashville was delayed by almost two hours, and the airline wasn’t able to help me get there in time.

So I hiked to the next concourse where I met Brian from Delta Airlines at gate B‑10. Their flight to Kennedy was set to leave in about five minutes, so he called American to get the ticket “moved” to Delta. They wouldn’t do it. “It’s not that they can’t,” he said. “They just won’t.”

To make a long story short, Brian made several calls and I got on the Delta flight just as they were shutting the door. It was the only way I could possibly have made the meeting last night in New York, and his service is exactly the kind that will succeed in a world where customers are increasingly able to call the shots. American Airlines failed in their agreement to get me to the Big Apple in time, and that should’ve triggered a desire to please me. That it did not is the kind of thing companies big and small need to address in the new world. Because I can tell you this: I won’t be flying American in the future.

So now I’m in LaGuardia waiting a flight to Chicago and another meeting. I love LaGuardia. They have a display case by the ticket counter that shows items you’re not supposed to take on an airplane. I smile every time I see the chain saw. Who knew?


  1. And you can now share your story online. Companies didn’t have to worry about that in the past.

  2. There’s a reason I check before I check any other airline when needing to book a reservation, and it has nothing to do with price.

    Southwest, simply, has always gone out of their way to deliver good service with a good attitude, and to do their best to make things right when things go wrong.

    American used to be my favorite, but that was long ago, when they cared about being my favorite.

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