Flying can be stressful, and sometimes, all it takes is one inconvenience or misunderstanding for a situation to escalate into a viral video.
In 2017, a slew of disputes — both serious and silly — involving airline employees and passengers were making headlines. Fort Worth-based American Airlines wasn’t immune. In one incident, an attendant allegedly took a stroller from a woman boarding a flight to Dallas, knocking her with it as she held a baby in her arms. Later in the year, the NAACP issued a travel warning, advising African-Americans that they could be subject to “disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions” if they fly American.
Attempting to make good on some very bad PR, United announced 10 policy changes, like compensating customers up to $10,000 if denied a seat. Dallas-based Southwest vowed to stop overbooking flights. As for American, the airline is requiring employees who deal with passengers to train in de-escalation. The training began last summer and will continue for several more months, the Los Angeles Times reports.
American recently announced another method to smooth over annoying but not dire inflight inconveniences, like “entertainment issues, broken seats or meal shortages,” according to Dallas Business Journal.
The company is rolling out a software later this month called iSolve on the tablets attendants use on flights. It will allow employees to compensate passengers on the spot with AAdvantage miles when certain inconveniences happen inflight.
The catch? You have to be a member of American’s frequent traveler program.
Some flight attendants worry passengers will complain just to get additional miles, Dallas Business Journal reports. But it’s already in place among American’s airport customer service managers, reservation agents and social media staff.