American’s regional carrier PSA, which it owns, cancelled 3000 flights in a week when their computer systems in Dayton, Ohio melted down.
American Airlines is patting employees on the back for how they handled the crisis. And indeed it was hard on employees who were called in early for their shifts to deal with the backlog of rebookings, and who had to deal with unhappy customers that boarded flights and were then held for hours waiting for the manual release of their flight — which may never have come. They had no way to know whether a flight would be dispatched until it happened (or got cancelled).
Here’s what American is saying to employees:
While the front line may have done well, management did not. American stuck it to customers flying mostly in and out of Charlotte for days on end while refusing to issue a travel waiver.
American’s systems apparently don’t allow for waivers to apply only to PSA customers, or to customers only on a specific range of flight numbers (which would have had the same effect). Instead passengers had to wait for hours at the airport to find out whether flights would cancel or roll the dice and not go — but if their flights traveled they’d be out the money for their tickets.
The airline was unwilling to risk some customer flying to Charlotte but not on PSA being able to change a ticket with no fee — someone, somewhere might have gotten a benefit from the ordeal — so they wouldn’t issue a Charlotte waiver.
And now American says they’re doing a comprehensive review of PSA’s systems, notably they aren’t saying they are doing a review of the systems of all of their regional carriers. However Barn. Door. Shut. already on that one.
American should be auditing the systems of all of their Eagle carriers including those that they don’t own, too. Indeed it’s shocking there aren’t comprehensive systems audits to begin with.