American Proactively Handing Out Miles After Massive Shutdown

In case you hadn’t heard, American Airlines had a major meltdown Tuesday, effectively electing to ground their fleet for most of the afternoon.

It’s the type of meltdown you’d expect in the middle of a merger of two airlines, except that’s not what happened. They’re nowhere near merging computer systems. This was just a run-of-the-mill disaster.

I actually was flying American Tuesday. I had my connecting flight scheduled in the timeframe where things melted down, I just happened to be lucky enough to standby for an earlier flight, making my impact exactly zero.

I received an e-mail today (image below) from American, apologizing and awarding me 7,500 miles for the disruption and “appreciating support as an Executive Platinum member.”

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If I was one of the disrupted people, there’s a reasonable chance I’d be asking for compensation in excess of 7,500 miles.  However, initial reports are that American is being VERY proactive in terms of re-routing people on other airlines and being very flexible with changes.

It concerns me a bit that an outage like this could happen, but not to a level of panic. And, while I’m sure there will be nay sayers, I feel that American actually cares more about satisfying its customers, so the proactive response doesn’t surprise me.

They’re not perfect, no airline is. In my opinion though, American commits more thought to how to fix an issue like this than their competitors.  In the end, that’s why I give them the benefit of the doubt here.  Heck, maybe an outage like this makes them even more cautious when they ultimately meld the two computer systems together post-merger.



  1. I’m glad that’s your experience – it’s not mine. I just got off a flight from O’Hare — my ticket was first class, they chose to cancel my flight and use that aircraft and renumber it to a different flight. After chaos at the airport I was put on the plane in the last row of coach and then was told I was not entitled to compensation. i now have to waste time fighting this – does not make me feel like American cares about satisfying its customers.

    1. Brian, that’s a crappy story, no doubt. And, out of thousands of flights I’m sure there are other stories like yours. We’re you in paid F or was it an upgrade? Trying to figure out what you should ask for as compensation.

  2. I used Chase sapphire points to purchase F ticket. What is frustrating is at the time I purchased the ticket, I had coach options that were significantly less expensive.

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