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American Airlines to offer instant inflight compensation

Inflight entertainment not working? Special meal given to someone else? Complain now and receive instant compensation (kind of).

I’ve always considered complaining to fall in the domain of the active rather than the assertive. While not one to shy away from confrontation, I’m not likely to complain because complaining requires time and effort. So my seat was broken and there wasn’t an empty one in Economy. Oh well. 


If I’m not going to kick up a stink at the time of the problem, you can bet I’m definitely not going to store my outrage until I can attempt to call a customer service representative. I’ll save that for when I have to deal with the telcos.


But American Airlines, like others before it, are making the process of complaining and compensating much easier.


According to the Chicago Business Journal, American Airlines cabin crew are being trained in the use of a new software that will allow them to offer on the spot compensation to inconvenienced or disgruntled passengers in the form of AAdvantage miles.


The iSolve software is part of a larger de-escalation training (or ‘apology training’ as some are reportedly calling it) that will take 12.5 hours of training time from current cabin crew.


“We’re resolving the issue at the first point of contact," an American Airlines spokesperson told CNT. 


"Let’s say you have an issue on the aircraft. Currently, you’d have that issue, send complaints to customer relations, and they’d give you some form of compensation. But that’s after the fact. This resolves [the issue] right there."


Airline management have reportedly claimed the move will allow cabin crew to "offer passengers a more tangible expression of their concern (along with a verbal apology) when things don't go as expected in-flight." 


However, some have raised concerns that once passengers are aware that they may receive miles for complaining, situations may arise that will actually call for de-escalation. Perhaps it’s a chicken and the egg thing.


American Airlines joins Delta and United, who have similar instantaneous compensation programs in place.


Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 12 January 2018

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