American Airlines Stops Some Onboard Compensation From Staff

**Update: 06/09/20 @ 16:20 UTC –  An American Airlines spokesperson shared further information about the current approach; details below**

American Airlines will no longer be able to compensate customers on board for unexpected incidents that could result in complaints. Previously, the Texan outfit could use a digital tool to resolve a number of inflight issues. However, since yesterday, the carrier will no longer be using this system.

American Airlines
American Airlines is making a change to its customer service approach. Photo: American Airlines

Short-lived process

According to View From The Wing, AA is asking its employees to express that they care and acknowledge what the customer is saying if there is a complaint. However, they are unlikely able to offer on-the-spot compensation. Ultimately, this development is a result of the firm trying to save money.

The operator introduced the iSolve at the beginning of 2018 in a bid to help de-escalate a situation. There are several catalysts for complaints during the traveling process. Therefore, any tool to help smooth out an unexpected incident would go a long way.

However, several employees were concerned about this introduction from the beginning. They felt that passengers would be more inclined to complain since a quick fix can be made. Moreover, AAdvantage miles were up for grabs.

Subsequently, in the summer of 2018, AA sent a memo to its staff with clarification on what they can compensate through this process. The airline was already having issues with the system just half a year into its debut.

Below are the four service categories that staff can usually use iSolve for:

  • Cabin comfort: Broken reading lights and dry cleaning.
  • Catering: Meal shortages and missing special meals (not including food for sale shortages).
  • Inflight entertainment: Inoperable IFE (not including connectivity issues).
  • Seat issues: Broken tray tables, inoperable seats, and seat swaps.
American Airlines in Washington
There is like to be several more amendments to the way US-carriers approach their business this year. Photo: Getty Images

A change in procedure

According to a memo sent out to staff members, the software will be in suspension for most aspects. However, the company can still use it for some preflight factors.

“Effective 08JUN20, iSolve will be suspended through 2020 for goodwill compensation through airports, reservations and flight attendants,” the memo reads, as reported by View From The Wing.

“A closer look is being taken at every aspect of our operation, including tools and technology. As part of this review, the decision was made to suspend iSolve. The tool will still be used to provide compensation for pre-removal and downgrades by Support functions.”

With ticket sales low amid the current climate, AA is looking to save money. Photo: Getty Images

An emphasis on customer service

American is asking its employees to be proactive in preventing problems before they occur. Yet, if there is an issue, the airline wants its staff to resolve it and apologize.

Nonetheless, even though employees will no longer be able to give compensation during the flight, it doesn’t mean customers can’t escalate a complaint. Passengers can still express their frustrations through AA’s customer service department. For more information, visit the airline’s website.

American’s flight attendants have been going through 12.5 hours of de-escalation training. Therefore, this practice will now be more important than ever.

Simple Flying reached out to American Airlines for further comment. A spokesperson said that airline upholds its commitment to quickly resolving customer service issues.

Routing complaints through the customer relations team will make it easier to identify trends in customer complaints or service failures. Additionally, it will assist in providing standard levels of compensation. It will also help to proactively address commonly reported issues with operational leaders.

What are your thoughts on American Airlines no longer offering inflight compensation? Do you think this is a good move for the airline? Let us know what you think in the comment section.