Remember when Southwest Airlines was threatening to inflict live music on passengers taking select flights and most people recoiled in horror at the thought of being stuck for hours without an escape while subjected to an interaction they didn’t invite? Essentially, that is the daily life of a flight attendant, but the music is replaced with a series of requests and complaints that may result in gigantic scenes filmed by onlookers and destined to go viral. (Of course, they do get paid, which is nice.)
Anyway, American Airlines is working to help flight attendants ease their struggles by allowing them to issue compensation for problems before things get out of hand — and with all the decreases in seat and bathroom size, they have a lot to make up. This means flyers don’t have to take it up with customer service after they land or devolve into an in-flight tirade. It’s a boon for everyone involved.
Next time you are flying American Airlines and they don’t have the vegetarian meal you ordered, your headphones don’t work, or your seat won’t remain in the upright position, there is immediate recourse. It’s called iSolve, a software that flight attendants will have loaded onto the tablets that they’ll start carrying later this month. Presently, Delta and United Airlines have similar programs in place.
Currently used by reservation agents, customer service managers, and social media support, iSolve will allow flight attendants to offer a fix as the need arises in-flight. Unfortunately, they are only able to credit the accounts of people enrolled in the AAdvantage program with miles. As much as everyone wants to get their hands on cash or vouchers, that’s not the way this works.
As a secondary measure to address complaints before things get blown way out of proportion, flight attendants are also taking a mandatory 12.5-hour class in “de-escalation.” There are whispers calling it “apology training,” as it is simply intended to diffuse situations with before a customer complaint subjects other passengers to a screaming match that ends with someone being dragged off of a plane.
How many miles do you think you get when you complain about the in-flight band?