Back to Blog

Airline Apathy

Tweet

What happens when a flight is grounded and the airline refuses to make it right? In the case of Rhonda Perling, the airline met their match. Almost. Rhonda was unrelenting in her pursuit of an appropriate resolution, but it took an extra nudge from TrustDALE to finally settle the dispute.

A Vacation in Peril

Rhonda Perling was excited to be a chaperone on a very special trip. Her son and several other high school seniors had worked hard all year long and were finally ready for the spring break trip of a lifetime. They were on their way to the Dominican Republic. Or so they thought. But once they got to the airport, things took a quick turn for the worse.

At first, American Airlines, the airline the teens had booked with, said that their flight was delayed. As time went on, the flight was delayed over and over again. Finally, Rhonda Perling decided she had to do something.

Rhonda waited in line for two hours before she got a chance to speak to someone. When she got to the front of the line, she found that the representatives she wanted to speak to had grown frustrated and angry. All the while, Rhonda kept her calm. She was forceful but polite. Still, her complaints went nowhere.

Rhonda Saves the Day

After hours of delays and fruitless conversations with the airline, the students’ flight to the Dominican Republic was finally grounded. To make matters worse, American Airlines refused to put the students on another flight. It looked like the vacation had ended before it started.

Unwilling to take no for an answer, and upset to see her teens lose out on something they had worked hard form, Rhonda took action. She found a flight on another airline, Delta, and paid for the tickets herself. She and the teens made it to the Dominican Republic and were able to celebrate the spring break they had worked so hard to earn.

A Reluctant Airline

Although Rhonda had managed to get everyone to the Dominican Republic, she wasn’t done with American Airlines. After their trip was over, Rhonda contacted American Airlines to request reimbursement for the difference between the cost of the canceled flight and the Delta flight she had to purchase last minute. But the Airline wouldn’t do it.

Rhonda was not easily dissuaded. She contacted the airline every week. She sent emails and even tried to contact the CEO. Rhonda posted on social media to try to get American Airlines’ attention, but the airline wouldn’t budge.

Calling TrustDALE

Rhonda had done everything right, but American Airlines wouldn’t honor her request. So she called TrustDALE. Once we got involved, the airline agreed to make up the difference and reimburse Rhonda for the extra money she spent. However, the airline would not make a public statement.

Unfortunately, some companies, especially the big ones, just ignore their customers. And sometimes all it takes it some extra nudging from TrustDALE to finally break through. However, that kind of lousy customer service comes at a price. Even though American Airlines did eventually make it right, they’ve lost a few customers for life. Rhonda was happy to get her money back. But this experience has soured her, the teens she flew with, and plenty of her friends on ever doing business with American again.

The lesson here is that customer service matters. TrustDALE can sometimes step in to get a resolution, but by that point, a business has already lost a customer for life.

To find companies that will treat you right the first time, always use a TrustDALE certified business. They are all screened by Dales 7-point investigative review and all backed by Dale’s trademark $10,000 Make-It-Right™ Guarantee.