Matt In San Diego Is An American Airlines Bad Customer Service Apple

American Airlines gate agent Matt in San Diego is a real bad apple. He made the start of my trip miserable, and he seemingly did it because he made a mistake, didn’t want to admit it, and made himself feel better by threatening me.

This is my blog, and I share a lot of personal travel stories here, both my successes and failures and the reasons why I do things. So it only feels appropriate to share with readers how a gate agent got the better of me.

My wife, daughter and I spent a few days in San Diego. The non-stop flights home to Austin (on Southwest and Alaska) didn’t work for me, and I had a $99 companion ticket valid for two people, so we flew American Airlines through Dallas.

When we travel with my two year old we bring a stroller, though she’s also great walking through the airport. It’s a YoYo stroller bought specifically for travel, to be able to collapse it and stow it in the overhead bin. The stroller’s dimensions are well-within carry on limits. This stroller has been all over the world and on dozens of flights in the U.S., within Europe, and Asia Pacific where stricter rules often apply.

As we walked up to board our flight in San Diego, American’s gate agent Matt said “strollers must be checked.” I smiled and offered that this one collapses and is no problem to fit in the overhead. He pointed to the bag sizer beside the boarding door and said “show me, people say that all the time and it’s not true.”

So we showed him. We took my daughter out of the stroller and collapsed it. It fit inside the sizer just fine, because its dimensions are within American’s rules. He got mad. “You’re still going to have to check it, or you won’t be boarding this flight.”

Ok, I wasn’t going to fight him. But this meant having to wait on the jet bridge for the stroller to come out, rather than having extra time to connect in Dallas – to stop make stops for our daughter before our next flight. That just makes travel a little more difficult when you’re flying with a two year old.

He wouldn’t even let her stay in the stroller down the jet bridge. He confiscated it at the gate – perhaps now knowing that it does fit in the bin, he presumably wanted to ensure we didn’t board with it, since he realized it would fit. And that meant I even needed to wonder whether the stroller would be boarded or not.

Now, I tweeted this and the American Airlines twitter team backed Matt up.

American’s social media team argued that all strollers must be checked but that’s not actually what the policy says. And a spokesperson for the airline confirms, “our policy does allow for compact, collapsible strollers to be taken on board the aircraft and placed in an overhead bin, provided there is enough overhead bin space.”

Even if there was a policy to forbid strollers that are smaller than a carry on, that’s not Matt’s understanding of the policy. He wanted to prove to us that it was oversized, which is why he insisted we put it in the sizer – to show us it wasn’t an allowable carry on based on size.

I suppose I should give Matt in San Diego more of a benefit of the doubt. The airline did just tell agents to become more zealous enforcing carry on bag sizes.

He shouldn’t take it out on customers, but it’s possible he was just having a bad day – I only dealt with him once perhaps he’s not always a jerk on a power trip the way he was towards my family. Although, perhaps he’s just ill-suited to the role:

And after describing the gate agent I dealt with,

Update: and another one,

The thing is, Matt is an outlier. My family had a row of Main Cabin Extra. A flight attendant on board saved space in an overhead bin for us (this wasn’t a plane with the new bigger bins). I thanked her but explained we didn’t need the space, since our collpasable stroller had been confiscated at the boarding door. She apologized.

And then during the flight when she came down the aisle with the traditional water, snack and sanitizer bag Sonora thanked us for our business and apologized again – knowing that it sets the travel day off on the wrong foot. She even offered us drink service of soda, juice or water (a service that doesn’t return to coach until next month on American).

Later in the flight she even came back with a thank you note, the first I’ve ever gotten flying American. And I was in coach. She made every effort to turn around a bad interaction with the airline – and she did.

The problem, though, is that the outliers like Matt bring down the reputation of the airline. They also bring down the morale of the employees who work hard to go out of their way to take care of customers. It’s tough to work alongside bad apples who get away with it day after day and reap the same rewards as those who love their job and live it each day. And Matt will go on treating customers this way, creating resentment towards his airline.

Fortunately for me I’ve never had an interaction like this one with anyone else at American Airlines in 10 years as an Executive Platinum member. And getting to fly with Sonora? That was actually a treat.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] My carryon is a Samsonite Winfield 2 hardsided spinner that fits perfectly in the overhead on a CJR700. On the way down the South Bend gate agent suggested plane side checking and I told them it fits and they shrugged and let me go. In Dallas the AA gate agent glared at me when I told her it will fit and that it fit on the way down and still put a tag on it. I simply carried the bag on and tossed it into the overhead (at least she did not take it from me like AA did to my fellow blogger Gary)! […]

Comments

  1. These agents are beat up everyday at work! Day in and day out pressured to keep flights going and on time safe departure. There are standard rules and reasons for boarding so as not to cause delay. A delay trickles down to making a flight late, inconveniencing passengers missing connections and the aircraft could run late from there on. My point is with the world and pandemic etc. etc. these people have to work hard, quick and smart and with a hundred passengers or so they don’t have the luxury or time to hold court in the boarding area and asses your stupid stroller! Everyone is trying to do a great job. Gary you have to put the shoe on the other foot sometimes and quit thinking you’re so privileged. There are bad apples in every single place of business so don’t let your hurt feelings try to hurt the whole great bunch at American Airlines! I know for a fact they are very good at taking a gate checked bag, stroller, wheelchair etc.from the bridge to the aircraft bins and back to you fast and effectively. You sir are a total $ss for writing this petty bunch of BS trying to get back at a great group of hard working people. Shame on you Gary and congratulations you win the “ all about me! “ award. It.s an airplane and guidelines need cooperation. Quit crying around and if Matt is an issue it will catch up with him on it’s own. All I see is a person trying to do a job as quick and effeciantly as it is supposed to be. Safety is another big factor! People like you sir really tick the rest of us off.

  2. Gary..you said tou each had a carryon 3 in total. Plus the stroller which makes 4. The agent working the flight probably realized it might be full and his experience told him the overheads were going to be full thus. At the end of boarding there would be a mad rush to check bags at the gate. Delaying the flight. Still an entitled jerk

  3. @Ron, (or is this Matt from SAN?)

    Don’t include me in “the rest of us” – I’ve also dealt with Matt @ SAN multiple times, and hopefully won’t have to again on my flight to SAN next week. The guy is an a-hole and it’s quite apparent that he does not enjoy his job, and certainly shouldn’t be interacting with customers.

    Also – where is it in the post that Gary is trying to “let your hurt feelings try to hurt the whole great bunch at American Airlines!” – he noted specifically “Fortunately for me I’ve never had an interaction like this one with anyone else at American Airlines in 10 years as an Executive Platinum member. And getting to fly with Sonora? That was actually a treat.”

    Perhaps a reading comprehension class might help you in the future.

  4. @steve jenney – let me clarify: we each had personal items that fit underneath the seat and our only carry on among the three of us was the stroller.

    And the agent (1) did not indicate the bins were full (they were not) and (2) did not have an issue with the carry on bags in front of us or behind us.

  5. Who is this guy Ron? He has the customer service attitude of an employee of American Airlines. Only on AA (among American full-service carriers) do I often have to debate agents to let me carry-on the same roll aboard I always use. I recently asked for a soda in the back gallery on a flight (I walked to them) and the agent said “we’re going above and beyond by serving you this drink.”

  6. I’m still wondering if Gary is going to speak to this “clarification” of the written policy by a “spokesperson”. I’m not trying to pick sides here but I have difficulty blaming employees for not following unwritten rules when the written rules seem pretty clear. Now attitude and unprofessionalism are another thing, independent of that. But it seems like Gary came into this situation loaded for bear knowing that his particular item was basically outsmarting the written AA policy, and I do wonder if that may have started a chain of escalation.

  7. Kudo’s to American Airlines!
    It’s crazy to see the oversized items passenger’s
    Attempt to bring on board!
    I seen and experienced delays and getting hit on the head with items that should be checked!
    THANK YOU MAT AND AMERICAN AIRLINES!

  8. Let’s be clear. Gary made a fair and balanced observation about treatment he received from American Airlines. He also shared his opinion about it. He did not name-call using terms that need $$$. I am always amazed at the hypocrisy of many. In calling out Gary for complaining, they themselves complained. If they apply the same standard to themselves they are applying to Gary, they would have to call themselves superlatives for being arrogant $$$’s (their words not Gary’s or mine) in their comments. Today it seems to have become OK to use anger, name-calling and intimidation to ‘cancel’ opinions we don’t agree with. What a shame! Thanks to Gary for staying adult and dispassionatly sharing his experiences- bad or good. I have appreciated his consistent free contributions to us road warriors.

  9. Spend $10 and buy a small bag to put the stroller in, then it’s just a carry-on bag. I’ve traveled with my young children both alone and with family, so this isn’t coming from someone with no idea where you’re coming from.

  10. There’s rarely a way to assess an event like this with 100 % objectivity. My pick of airlines to make my go to is based on overall competence and bot isolated incidents. But as for strollers, I really like the suggestion made by another commenter about buying a zipped bag to put it in a d making it a discreet overhead bin item.

  11. Poor service at AA is almost routine but when you encounter really bad service or worse, someone who uses their position to exact retribution for simply being asked to do their job, it is a responsibility to report the incident or person and hope enough complaints causes a change.
    About three years ago I had an incident which fit this category. I fly out of a smaller airport that connects to DFW so it is common to see the see the same AA personnel on a regular basis. It is also common for a ticket agent to then also be the gate agent. I observed one agent several times snap at passengers for asking simple questions or making routine requests. Since I carry on most of the time, my only personal dealings with her were showing my boarding passes. She never offered any greeting or said thank you to anyone. Not pleasant but no reason for me to get involved. Then my wife and I were traveling to London on First Class tickets. Since we had too much luggage for carry on, we stopped at the ticket counter to check bags. She did not put one of the Priority tags on our bags when she started to attach the bag tag so I said, “please put a priority tag on our bags”. She snapped back “you are traveling on BA out of Austin and they do not pay any attention to our tags”. I said “I have flown to LHR several times and maybe it is my imagination but it seems to help get the bags on the carousel faster when I have a priority tag”. She proceeded to ignore me and attach the bag tags with no priority tags. My wife and I left the counter without any other exchange. At the gate, here comes the same person to board the flight. A couple of minutes prior to boarding call the gate agent pages me to the gate desk. She tells me “I have downgraded your wife because there is an inoperable seat in First Class and we are full”. I said “we are travelling on First Class tickets not on upgrades”. She said “it does not matter I have to move someone to coach”. She then picked up the mic and called for boarding. There was no one else to talk to and we could not miss the flight so I turned away resolved to save the fight to communication with Customer Service. As I turned away a man walked up to the counter and gleefully said, “hey I just got a text that I have been upgraded” and she handed him a ticket. I was boiling at that point because it was obvious this was retribution for simply asking for a Priority luggage tag, but I thought, be cool it is just a one hour flight to DFW and we can’t get kicked off this flight. When I sat down my seat mate had laid their boarding pass on the arm rest. I noticed the person was a Gold who had been upgraded. That combined with the person who received the last second upgrade proved my point.
    As soon as possible I communicated my whole story to AA Customer Service. The reply I received was, they were not able to substantiate all of the facts in this situation but AA was sorry for my experience and awarded 20,000 miles to both my wife’s account and my account for our trouble. It would have been very easy for them to look at the passenger manifest and see my wife was downgraded despite having a First Class ticket and other passengers were flying on upgrades with one being upgraded after she was downgraded. AA was just not willing to admit an employee had acted out of spite. The real reward was that gate agent was evidently fired because I have never seen her at the airport since. I hope it was a learning experience for her on how to treat customers in a service industry. If nothing else I spared a lot of future passengers from having to suffer her poor attitude and service.

  12. I think we should give more empathy to service representatives who engage with high volumes of customers daily. In the airline industry, flight attendants and gate agents’ positions add additional layers of challenge along with the high volume of customers. They must ensure every customer completely follows a set of rules before and during every flight, without exception. Purchasing a compact stroller is a reasonable approach to make travel more efficient. However, I can see a gate agent having the same daily conversation with most other customers who do not realize their stroller cannot be stored in the overhead bin. Over time the gate agent may just mentally default to “You have to check your stroller” for simplicity’s sake just to keep the high volumes of customers moving in the right direction.

    I also think its wildly unfair and insincere to name an employee in a blog or social media post because of a less than perfect customer experience. There are better ways to provide feedback about a negative customer experience.

  13. @Hepworth

    With regard to your words:

    “When was this post written (not published)? My guess is on that flight from SAN to DFW. Gary fuming and cranking away on the iPad/iPhone/laptop and complaining to the FA while wife rolls her eyes and deals with the 2yo.”

    My bet is that his wife wasn’t too happy with the situation either. Why? Because: 1) a gate-checked stroller going into the hold is more likely to get damaged (and also dirty when without a cover) than a family’s folded up stroller that is placed into the overhead bin and being watched to make sure no one tries to stuff other stuff into the same overhead bin in a negligently reckless way that can damage the stroller; and 2) waiting for a gate-checked stroller on arrival can eat up precious time that storing a stroller in an overhead bin (or closet on some flights) saves for a connection.

    Now, go think about what would have happened if Gary’s gate-checked stroller slowly came back at the connection airport and was then found to be broken. He and his wife (and the child) would now have lost time waiting for the stroller, have a child they may need to possibly carry on top of the other stuff, and also have to figure out what to do with a broken stroller during the transit. [Broken strollers are more cumbersome to use/carry than a stroller in good condition, but ditching a broken stroller airside is also not a great idea.]. How does someone in Gary’s situation at SAN minimize the risk of having to deal with a broken stroller during an airside connection and yet have a stroller airside for convenience? By having a stroller that can be folded up to meet the cabin baggage policy and get it into the cabin, as that minimizes the chances of the stroller becoming checked-in luggage of any sort (including gate-checked-for-gate-delivery luggage).

    My bet is that if the folded stroller was in a black (or other colored) opaque soft bag/case and could still meet the size limits, then it would probably also come with fewer issues at times when dealing with airline agents at airports.

    Other than perhaps not placing the stroller into a case/cover, I don’t see what more Gary and his wife could have done that would indicate better planning than average when it comes to flying with strollers for airside use by a 2-year-old. Maybe ditch the stroller from the start and use a back carrier thing in which to transport the child? For some, definitely; but it’s not possible for all adults to manage that; and there are often other reasons to want to have a stroller accessible for the journey.

    Checked-in strollers do get broken at times, especially if they aren’t packed securely before being checked-in/handed over to airline agents.

  14. Good for you for calling out bad behavior. I get it that we as passengers are constantly bumping into the rules and we need airlines to maintain policies to keep things orderly for everyone. I have also in the past 5 years seen agents on a power trip when being asked “how” or “why” by customers who just want to get to their destination in the least inconvenient way possible.

    I’ve seen a particular agent in Phoenix once try to BAN a passenger from a specific flight because she didn’t like the way the customer, being charged a $200 change fee at the time on a relatively close fare, dropped their credit card on the counter and said “a $200 change on a $220 fare lovely. Here American, take it.” She stopped what she was doing and tried to call the gate agent to convince them to ban the passenger! The gate agent wasn’t having it. We in the line were appalled. And yet, when it was our turn no one dared to say a word to this agent. Someone in the line indicated they had seen her “power trip out” before and had called a supervisor, who backed the agent in the past.

    Somehow Delta and Southwest never seem to have these problems. Clean it up, American.

  15. I say NO GRACE for snarky service people. MILLIONS out of work would take your job in 5 seconds right now. Matt was professionally trained in customer service by AA. If you cannot be professional go find another job. Fired! Shame on AA for being as….. to parents traveling.
    Further, the pandemic has enabled these self proclaimed demigods permission to be absolutely rude!
    I never fly AA or Delta. Never had a positive experience!
    Be nice or shut it Matt!

  16. I love how the gate agent above refers to customers as “pax”. And then begins threatening *you* by the end of the post. That says it all doesn’t it?

    We have been on your side all along, gate agents and flight attendants. And still ARE to the 95+% who are there to HELP customers in a civil way. We know the airlines have designed a system that is archaic and brutal to customers and we can see that it is surely also oriented that way towards employees like you. We know your jobs have become harder for the same money. We’re not stupid; we expect no less of the airlines.

    But you are the ones making your living doing this. It is your job to help us understand the un-understandable and to help people like us make it through. You’ve agreed to be the hall monitors of the system (sorry), among other things. When we want to know exactly what our airfare or baggage fee allows us to do and why or why not, we expect an answer with patience – not threats. This comment applies to only a small percentage of agents but like a bad teacher or a bad cop, they make it way worse for everyone including you. Don’t close ranks and defend them.

    To the flight attendant in this story and the many others like her who tried to ameliorate a bad situation – YOU are why we keep flying and yes we write in and try to get your promoted. That definitely happens. And, thank you for doing a difficult job with grace.

    just a PAX

  17. Bad take, man. No need to make sure you get your way. You feel the need to make the point that while your daughter is perfectly capable of walking the airport (irrelevant to the piece, but sets the tone of showing how great you all are), but nonetheless want to create some extra difficulty for someone because you needed to make a point.

  18. Matt needs to be retrained in customer service. Was he ever trained?
    Demote Doug Parker to gate agent.

  19. @CW – this gate agent *did not think strollers were not allowed* on board.

    He only thought this one must be too big, challenged us to put it in the sizer, which we did and showed that it fit because its dimensions are within those permitted by the airline.

    Once shown he was wrong he became belligerent and threatening. That’s my beef in this situation.

  20. @Gary thanks for confirming this detail. Either way it seems that the written policy could benefit from an update.

  21. Perhaps your social skills need an upgrade. You would actually jeopardize a man’s career because you were inconvenienced? Egotisticle, self aggrandizing, and self obsessed. And you call yourself a “thought leader”. Good luck with that.

  22. Petty much? What are you to do next? Try to get him evicted so he can be homeless? Pathetic.

  23. I’ll admit, I’m a bit surprised to find an article whining about travel. As I’ve discovered from traveling, we like to complain how hard it is, but at its core we walk a few feet, hand other people all our bags and stuff to deal with, then sit on a plane while it easily and safely takes us hundreds or thousands of miles. We watch movies and eat, read or play candy crush. Then we magically arrive at our destination and tell everyone how bad it was.

  24. Just a follow up on the most likely reason for all of this. He had already reached the maximum number of carry on items and, like so many others, was shocked that no exception for his highness was made.

  25. @ John luffred: Gary’s stroller fits in the American Airlines baggage sizer. Therefore, this baby stroller is not oversized passenger baggage. If Gary’s baby stroller fits, you must acquit!

    I have had a gate agent tell passengers on my flight that carry-on must be gate-checked because all the overhead bins were full. Fortunately, I was video chatting with another passenger who already boarded. It was easy to see that about 75% of the overhead bins were open, and there was plenty of room to accommodate carry-on passenger baggage. I was then told this was to help the flight depart on time and carry-on baggage slows down the boarding process.

  26. @Brian – in this case,

    – there was still overhead bin space
    – the agent never suggested there wasn’t
    – those who boarded before and after me were allowed to bring on rollaboards

    So I don’t think any exception was needed for my highness.

  27. Gary, sorry for your experience. Each city/station has gate agents like Matt who effectively enjoy being police officers of enforcement of “dumb rules” to the detriment of customer service. Having been an AA Gate Agent myself in SFO and DFW, I have experienced guys like Matt too. Used to be guys like Ralph Richardi who used to be the GM in SFO and VP of DFW Airport would encourage his gate agents to make common sense decisions to preserve passenger goodwill and on time dependability when it came to “dumb rules”. Ralph retired in 2007 and was very well respected every where he went by his employees because of the support he gave to his employees in situations just like yours.

    I had a police officer AKA aggressive gate agent in DFW pull the same thing on me with a pet stroller that an agent at the Ticket Counter offered to put on an escort tag for me. I was flying with my 15 year old dog in cabin. When I got to the gate, this gate agent removed the escort tag and cited some local DFW policy mumbo jumbo regarding strollers. I could not argue because I needed to be on the flight so I just took the heat and rudeness from this Gate Agent. However, I saw this same Gate Agent again after returning back to DFW, confronted her in Terminal C and I gave her a piece of my mind about how she treated me.

    I agree with the writer of the previous post, buy a bag that will hold your folded stroller so you never have to deal with agents like Matt again.

  28. This is a huge prick move on your part. He may have gave poor customer service but using your bully pulpit to trash a man and getting your followers to pile on is worse than anything he could have done. I sincerely hope American sees what you are doing bans you and revokes your account. In fact I think I’ll send this to their social media account and ask for exactly that. If you hate the airline, and judging from the constant poor articles, you clearly do, then you need to exert extra effort and fly someone else.

  29. It’s hilarious to hear all the Matt-defenders. I suspect they are a bunch of over-entitled, unionized public or airline workers, who specialize in doing as little as possible at work. They don’t like the thought of customers asking for the service that they pay for.

    Bottom line: if you consistently do a lame-ass job at work you should be fired. It’s a job, not an entitlement.

  30. @GUWonder You write, “My bet is that if the folded stroller was in a black (or other colored) opaque soft bag/case and could still meet the size limits, then it would probably also come with fewer issues at times when dealing with airline agents at airport.”

    You have described potential baggage discrimination based on a passenger’s baggage skin color. Many passengers want to know, does baggage skin color matter when checking your passenger baggage in the sizer at an American Airlines gate?

    Because my inquiring mind wants to know, as part of a fair baggage testing program, I proposed a boarding gate discrimination color test. One day travel with a folded baby stroller using a BLACK soft bag. The next day travel with the same folded baby stroller packed in a transparent soft bag with identical dimensions. If the BLACK bag is allowed, but the clear bag is refused, that might prove airline discrimination due to the skin color of your passenger luggage. As a traveling passenger, when you see baggage skin color disparities, say something.

  31. “black (or other colored) opaque soft bag/case” may not work out the same as a transparent soft bag if dealing with an airline employee hostile to collapsed strollers being taken on board the flight as cabin baggage. If the airline employee can’t see that the bagged item is a stroller but otherwise fits the size (and, where applicable, weight) limits for cabin baggage, then they have one less thing to fuss over.

  32. @ Gary Leff is a pos
    Really? Send to AA social media account? Do you fly much on AA? Ignorance like yours must be bliss.
    I may not agree with all of Gary’s posts but I appreciate the insights and perspective that he brings to the table based upon his experiences.

  33. @Mark – don’t read anything into Matt’s use of the term “pax”. “Pax” is simply a neutral industry/colloquial shorthand of the word “passenger” and as such doesn’t connote anything either positive or negative. On any given day I would find myself typing the word “passenger” 50-100 times a day in various parts of the system such as a PNR (reservation), an operational report, etc. “Pax” just cuts the keystrokes a bit. Other shorthand we regularly used included “cxl” (cancel), “inop” (inoperative – which could refer to anything from a broken window shade to the cancellation of an entire flight), “Comat” (company material – often station paperwork transported to HQ via canvas duffle or similar), and of course the one that got the most use during my years working nights in LAS….. “intox” (that one is pretty self-explanatory). In any event, while Matt exhibited some less-than-sterling behavior that morning, his use of the term “pax” doesn’t carry with it any particular connotation.
    Just my $.02

  34. Gary should have just complied. The stroller is not needed on the aircraft. Unlike a bag that may have medication or something else.
    Gary just wants to get what he wants. The stroller would have been brought to the gate long before he even got off the aircraft.
    Customers always complain about customer service when agents don’t bend backwards for them. You are boarding a plane just for a ride. You shouldn’t expect the world.

  35. Gary takes pleasure in bashing AA . Actually that’s the only airline he writes about. I’m beginning to think he is being paid under the table by other airlines to do so. If the service is that bad or you don’t like it fly another airline and complain about them. The fine print on the ticket only states you are guaranteed a seat and may not even be on the flight you wish to go on. Everything else is complimentary service.
    Even flight attendants stop passengers who are bringing strollers onboard . It’s not about your stroller. It’s about everyone and everything

  36. As I’ve stated before. American is a marketing firm that flies planes. I left American years ago for Delta. Gate agents are hot and cold everywhere you fly. Toss of a coin.

  37. Sorry you come across as entitled from the last few posts. Do you really need to be right at the time? Get some empathy and let it slide as you just looked like the HA triggered ya.

  38. As an avid flyer and AA cardmember, who usually has to book American, I feel for you. I dread the agents/reps that I deal with before boarding. There is no “good morning/good afternoon”, just “ticket and ID” without even looking your way. Any question is answered as if I’m taking from their previous time. And that is when I’m not told that I must use a kiosk. Most of the time, the kiosk tells me that I must see an agent, and then I have to make a line that is now much longer than when I arrived. I’ve had their reps stand in front of an automatic airport door as I’m trying to enter the airport, while they chat with another rep. I’ve had to go over to the next door and they have not had a care in the world.
    Their service continues to decrease drastically outside of the flight time. I have been very pleased with the team onboarding, never had any issues, always pleasant and polite. A real pleasure!
    I have to fly American at times because their flight options fit what I need. 2 other airlines are not at our main airport and another 2 don’t have the times I need to go back and forth with the same options. I got their credit card so I could have some priority, as it stated, but even that is an issue when a rep isn’t aware of all your benefits.
    I really hope AA can restructure their service team from arrival at the airport to boarding. It is a shame but I think with all the people that do voice their concern over subpar treatment, AA should have done something about it by now. And they haven’t.

  39. We tend to put ours in a pillowcase and a tote bag, then we have what we need when we need it and nobody gets snotty. We count it as a carry on so they don’t question the number of items.

  40. I guarantee Matt is a —–, and that is why he is angry. I know, politically incorrect, but accurate.

  41. AA Lost my luggage flying to Dallas for business. The counter agents were smirking when they explained to me that hopefully my luggage would show up tomorrow but I shouldn’t have checked my work clothing. Btw..the original flight was full and they “graciously ” offered to check my carryon with my work clothing for free. When the remaining miles in my account are used AA can kiss my grits.

  42. I think you are a very lucky person to be able to travel the world with your partner and your 2 year old. This stroller does look fabulous.
    I sense your frustration, but I certainly hope that “Matt” is a pseudonym. I don’t think it is kind or considerate to so publicly crucify an individual ( for a possible error in judgement). I have no idea who Matt is, but have you ever considered that someone may be suffering on their own, and to be so publicly humiliated could be damaging to their welfare.
    I think that you could have simply contacted the airline about the “policy” , or even vented to them what you perceived as poor customer service. ( But honestly, checking a stroller is not the worst thing that could happen to you. It sounds like a first world problem to me. )
    PS I have flown from Australia connecting through LAX and JFK to Boston on my own with a 3 year old, a 2 year old and a newborn infant. I was so thankful for any compassion shown to me

  43. you jest, right? Heidi, in this day & age you want G to use a fictitious name . . .when so many of the respondents here know of this self-abhorred lout? He should be ostracized. I’m sure he cannot be discarded because of union blah blah blah, or playing the orientation card. Dig? Maybe Matt should be cancelled. And since our friend here has a well-read blog (read: bully pulpit), all (including AA) should take notice.

  44. ! ,
    What an interesting name you have used… “!” . I am assuming that your parents did not name you “!”. I am assuming that you are using a Pseudonym to protect your own identity, so that you anonymously say whatever you want to say, and you won’t be criticised.
    I think if Gary had a complaint about Matt then he should have simply taken it up with the Airline. We were not there to witness how Gary was responding to Matt. We only have one side of the story.
    I think this particular stroller does look great. It is seemingly made to be travelled with.
    Matt did not deserve to be so publicly ridiculed over the checking of the stroller.
    It was not necessary to rip Matt apart on social media, and to refer to him as a “bad apple” to make a good headline.
    Matt may or may not be the perfect employee. But he deserves the benefit of the doubt.
    But being torn apart on social media, can impact ones mental health… and we should all be kinder to one another.
    Just like you “!”, Matt deserved to be anonymous.

  45. @Gary – Just wow.

    We flew AA on May 7 & 8th. First flights since FEB 2020. CRJ700 direct from SBN to DFW and back. We have a carry-on that fits in the AA size checker and in the overhead on a CJR700. On the way down they attempted to gate check and I said it fits and the SBN folks shrugged and said OK.

    In DFW the GA said you must gate check. I said I am in 1st class and it fit in the overhead on the way down yesterday. She glared and put on a tag anyway. Since she did not force me to give up my bag I simply took it onboard and it fit no issue as before.

    It will be interesting to be back flying Delta this month to see what it is like in 2021.

  46. Just flew American for the first time and I think it may be the last. Their customer service rep in Chicago O’Hare was really nasty to us when we missed our connecting flight. Maybe he was tired IDK, We aren’t used to traveling so we didn’t know what to do AND needed help. The plane was late and we missed the connecting plane by 30 seconds. It cost us hotel and meals aNd an extra day in long term parking. Also there’s no number to call if the rep isn’t there. You have to use the (dirty) phones at the airport kiosk. Sigh…

  47. We have not flown for 10 years. But this week MY wife flew from Charlotte to Memphis to visit sick older lady. Nothing good to say about the customer service of American Airlines. Bunch of idiots.

  48. Hey Gary – Thanks to you, @TravForUs & @WTXJET we have Matt’s name, physical description, employer, & location. Your one sided inflammatory tirade puts him in danger & is a violation of twitter community guidelines. Set it free dude

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