Thursday, April 17, 2008

More Woes For American Airlines

Still reeling from the grounding of it's MD-80 (just an old DC-9 with a different name) fleet AA is being hit with more labor unrest. Incensed over the awarding of $40M in bonuses to top executives, the workforce is taking action, including a clip on CNN where a recently commended flight attendant used her awards forum to lambaste her employers. Disgruntled employees have even set up a website to share AA horror stories. By comparison, American's feel-good "We Know Why You Fly" site has no feedback forums or even a Contact Us link!

But help could be coming soon for the frustrated traveler in the form of new regulations that require airlines to financially compensate (up to $800) bumped passengers. This should curtail the industry's practice of overbooking flights & then denying boarding to ticketed flyers. I've always hated this practice since it generally targets the lowest fare/least status passengers first. These tend to be the non-frequent flyers, often the elderly, who are totally bewildered by the situation & as I've witnessed, reduced to tears.

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