This is why you call customer care

Yesterday was kind of nuts. I had a routine day trip to Nashville planned, which started out going well. My Southwest direct flight was full, but I got a window seat and got some reading done. It landed on time, I got to the office, had some great meetings, and went back to the airport. It wasn’t until my flight home that things started to get a little weird. As we approached DFW, the captain came on and told us due to bad weather we had to circle for a while. After about 30 minutes we were diverted to…Longview. (It’s somewhere in East Texas.) While there, I called the American customer service to figure out how to get home, because it was obvious I was going to miss my connection. But because I hadn’t actually missed it yet, they couldn’t do anything. What she did tell me was that there were almost no seats available on the later flights home, and that once we arrived I needed to go to the gate agent for help. Awesome. After spending an hour sitting on the tarmac in Longview, we headed back to DFW. We were originally supposed to arrive at 630, and by the time we finally arrived it was 9. Oy. Of course, once we started to taxi we found out there was another plane at our gate, with mechanical problems to boot. At this point, I looked on my phone to see what flight they had put me on (as my original connection was long gone at this point.) They had me on a flight for the next morning!!! Unacceptable. I called customer care again, and explained how I did not want to wait until morning to fly home. The man I spoke to was able to get me on the last seat on the last flight out that night. Hallelujah.

If I had waited until I got inside and was able to speak to someone face to face, it may have been too late. Plus every gate agent I saw at DFW was frazzled and overwhelmed from dealing with so many delays. This just reiterates the point: if your flight is delayed, or canceled, call your airline’s customer care immediately. If you get someone who says they can’t help you, call back and try with someone else.

The only redeeming part of the flight to DFW was that I had the only empty seat on the plane next to me. Thank goodness for small miracles.

Readers, have you ever had your airline’s phone line help you out a lot? Or, on the flip side, be really terrible?



  1. American has the most inconsistent agents I’ve ever dealt with – as you saw, the first one refused to help you even though you were clearly stuck in a bad situation of the airline’s making. But to answer your question, I prefer to deal with customer service over the phone rather than in person whenever possible.

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