Econ­omy pas­sen­gers could wait longer on Amer­i­can Air­lines

Lodi News-Sentinel - - BUSINESS - By Hugo Martin

Amer­i­can Air­lines is tak­ing some heat af­ter an in­ter­nal memo leaked telling em­ploy­ees that their first pri­or­ity dur­ing de­lays or can­cel­la­tions should be to get elite pas­sen­gers to their des­ti­na­tions, even if it means us­ing a com­pet­ing air­line, but econ­omy pas­sen­gers shouldn’t get that op­tion.

The Fort Worth-based air­line said it is­sued the memo be­cause the pol­icy, which it de­scribed as sim­i­lar to the re­book­ing stance of some other car­ri­ers, had not been made clear to air­port staff and was be­ing ex­e­cuted in­con­sis­tently.

“It’s im­por­tant to note that it is the same pol­icy as other air­lines,” Amer­i­can Air­lines spokesman Cur­tis Bless­ing said.

How­ever, blog­gers have com­plained that Amer­i­can’s move is more in line with dis­count car­ri­ers than with large air­lines and fur­ther sep­a­rates elite fliers from every­one else.

Most ma­jor air­lines have “in­ter­line agree­ments,” which out­line how much ri­val air­lines will pay one an­other to fly a com­peti­tor’s pas­sen­gers in the case of flight de­lays or can­cel­la­tions. To avoid writ­ing a check to a com­peti­tor, an air­line will re­book a pas­sen­ger on a ri­val car­rier only as a last op­tion. Dis­count car­ri­ers don’t usu­ally have such agree­ments.

Here is what to ex­pect if an Amer­i­can Air­lines flight is can­celed or de­layed for sev­eral hours, as out­lined in the memo.

The first pri­or­ity is to re­book elite mem­bers of Amer­i­can Air­lines’ AAd­van­tage pro­gram and busi­ness-class and first-class pas­sen­gers. The memo spells out the pri­or­ity or­der, with Concierge Key sta­tus mem­bers at the top.

Agents are in­structed to try first to book such elite pas­sen­gers on an­other Amer­i­can Air­lines flight or with air­lines that have close busi­ness ties with Amer­i­can Air­lines, such as mem­bers of the same air­line al­liance. “Do all pos­si­ble to keep on (Amer­i­can Air­lines) and (joint busi­ness part­ners), but al­low fastest itin­er­ary to fi­nal des­ti­na­tion” even if a com­pet­ing air­line must be used, the memo says of elite sta­tus fliers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.