March 24, 2008

A Two Thousand + Dollar Lesson

I heard back from American Airlines today.

March 24, 2008

Dear Mrs. Marcelain:

I'm sorry for what happened to your laptop during your trip on March
I know it was disappointing to discover that your belongings were

While we work very hard to avoid these mishaps, unfortunately, they do
occur. However, certain items are not covered under our Conditions of
Carriage. We
do not accept responsibility for computers and other electronic
equipment, computer
software, photographic, video and optical equipment, or any other
similar valuable
items. American assumes no responsibility or liability for such items,
regardless of
whether American knew or should have known of the presence of such
items in checked or
transferred baggage. If any such items are lost, damaged or delayed,
you will not be
entitled to any reimbursement under American's standard baggage
liability, or under
any declared excess valuation. Information about our baggage liability
policy is
displayed at all ticket counters. For additional details visit

Our position in no way suggests that we are insensitive to what
happened. Again, we
are genuinely sorry for the damage to your laptop. Please be assured
that we will
work harder than ever to restore your confidence in our ability to
provide good
service. We realize we must earn back your respect.


Customer Relations
American Airlines

Who was to blame for I am tooooooo!!! danged nice. I didn't want to cause a ruckus and was unaware that to get my bag from the walkway to the storage bin under the plane was about throwing it from one place to another. On my way back home I actually saw them throwing bags from the door down to the trolley, some made it, some missed. By this time I had stood my ground and my bag was in the storage compartment on the plane. I really thought valet checked baggage was placed carefully and carried like it was full of breakable stuff, not chucked from here to there. Live and learn, that's what life is about right?

So this is a reminder to all those people who are rule followers like me. Sometimes you just have to say, "that will not work for me, let's find another solution, and if they don't listen like my little flight attendant didn't listen, say it again, and again." Because it can be very expensive to not ruffle some feathers.

It certainly was a very nicely worded letter, maybe I should buy Simon some lunch for being so sorry and concerned about my broken laptop.


Sarah said...

Dave Ramsey calls money spent for such life lessons "Stupid Tax" -- where you pay a large sum of money to learn an expensive lesson. I've paid more than my fair share of Stupid Tax in my life. So sorry you're having a turn...

Anonymous said...

You should ask them what they are going to do to work harder than ever to earn back your trust. Taking responsibility for their mistake would be great. Love you sorry you have to deal with this.


Michelle said...

Man! That's lame....but you were so funny when you said maybe you ought to buy Simon some lunch! LOL

Amber Joy said...

Oh my poor dearest Tammy,
I hardly know what to say. No words can offer comfort to you at this time, I'm sure.
It is a great loss and the burden is made heavier by the feeling of injustice and being wronged.
AAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Does THAT express how I feel for you?!!!
Forget American. There are lots of other airlines.

Julie said...

Do you have insurance through your Photography Studio...maybe it would be covered there. Worth checking. I would also ask the airline for compensation in the form of free flights, upgrades etc...I would be a bit squeakier. In a nice way of course.

Cindy said...

Tammy, Lyndsey's Great Uncle John who you met at the wedding was a pilot for American for years,maybe he could give you some insite as to how to work the system and get better results. It's worth a try.
Email Kendra and get his information.

Nic and Vanessa said...

So basically, American isn't responsible for any of your belongings??? When they broke the handle off my luggage, they said the same thing. I wrote them back and told them that I have seen the way they handle bags, and that it was unacceptable. They gave me extra miles to my AA account, but my bag is still broken and has to be lifted quite awkwardly...

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

I did the same thing with a work computer! I took it on a business trip and without thinking, checked my bag - so 100% my fault. I totally thought my company would fire me or at least make me pay for it, but thankfully they didn't.
A few years ago Matt stepped on our laptop screen and was able to find a replacement on eBay. Someone's computer fried and they were selling the parts - so you could go that route. I feel your pain!

Roxanne said...

Yes, although his letter was worded nicely, I think you need to squeak some more. . .nicely. . .but loudly about exactly how they plan to earn your trust back.

This infuriated me, and it's not even my laptop.

Troy M. Stirman said...

The key is consistency and persistence. I have seen the most ardent of employees at businesses who hide behind their "policies" crumble under the steady dripping of clear, cool water from the lips of the determined customers who suffer under this insane response...the only thing you will lose is time.