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American Airlines always welcomes customer feedback as we seek to evolve our product and service offerings in ways most valued by our customers. We seek and collect customer input in a variety of ways, including listening to our employees who talk to and interact with our customers on a daily basis. This engagement takes place on multiple fronts – both online and in person – and we have developed many tools to stay connected with our customers' ideas, opinions and experiences. Our Customer Relations team responds to customers and channels their feedback to the proper departments within our company.
Online Surveys - More than 250,000 surveys are distributed online each month to American Airlines and American Eagle customers. These surveys solicit feedback on dependability, gate and onboard interactions, aircraft boarding, cabin interiors, baggage handling and other issues. Results are used to track the progress of our customer service efforts and gather feedback on new service enhancements. For example, information received from online surveys helped improve the self-service machine checked baggage process at LAX. By revising the layout of the machines we reduced wait times and improved customer satisfaction. In 2011, Spanish language surveys were introduced, with additional language surveys planned for 2012.
Customer Focus Groups - More in-depth knowledge of customer behavior is often needed to help improve our customer service. Numerous customer focus groups centered on very specific issues are conducted to provide deeper insight into the factors that drive travelers' preferences. For example, focus groups have been used to design Dynamic Air Awards, which offer more options for elite status AAdvantage members to redeem their miles for award travel.
Customer Correspondence – Many customers contact us to tell us what they think about our products, performance and people. These comments are passed along to the departments and employees involved. Customer feedback is also tracked to identify emerging trends and monitor the effectiveness of new initiatives. In just one example, customer feedback helped American update its personal entertainment devices in premium cabins with new Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets that provide a library of entertainment options.
Social Media - Maintaining a strong, online social presence provides us the opportunity to connect with customers on a personal level. Using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus and blog participation, we maintain an open forum where our customers are invited to share their experiences and ask questions. Feedback from this engagement is shared and considered within our organization, and often results in improvements to our product and service offerings. As an example, a number of online discussions noted differences in the inflight service between American and our joint business partners. In response, we have better aligned our service by offering complimentary beer and wine on international flights between the United States and Europe, Asia and a number of South American countries.
Feedback from Frontline Employees - Flight Attendants are able to share valuable observations through their interactions with customers using an online reporting process. Their feedback on customers' favorite choice of meals and onboard products is used to improve our inflight service. As a result of customer requests for more nutritious food items, healthy alternative snacks were added to our food for sale menu.
In collaboration with our advertising and promotions agencies, we very carefully review our global advertising materials to ensure they are fair and balanced with regard to audience segment, market positioning, and treatment of gender, diversity, environmental issues, ethics and religious beliefs.
As a global airline, we understand and appreciate the diverse needs of our customers and we work hard to continuously listen to how those needs evolve over time. Over the past several years, American Airlines has developed and launched multiple digital platforms that provide customers from diverse backgrounds, unique travel insights and social based channels to engage with fellow travelers. Some of these initiatives have included: