American Airlines IT Team: Too Mired In Management-Speak To Ship Products? [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • I’d say this was impossible to parody, but Weird Al already did it. (HT: @xJonNYC)

    • American’s IT team has focused on their vision and mission, and on partnering with the business to focus on high value work in order to propel their transformation forward.
    • They’ve now taken the important step forward through a re-defined taxonomy, which will help them reconceptualize and support their products and shape their goals across the business.
    • I’m not even joking.

    I guess we know why you still can’t confirm an American Airlines upgrade online. In fac, the only upgrades that could be confirmed online (Business ExtrAA) have been eliminated.

  • Air Canada forced to honor policy mistake quoted by its chatbot

  • Hilarious.

  • The guy who checked into the Wyndham New York and requested a rent-controlled lease and then used that demand to try to take out a mortgage on the property. Six years into the drama, the guest has been indicted for fraud.

  • Every Sheraton, ever.

  • Thailand will cover medical bills for tourists and pay out a death benefit, too, trying to lure back travelers. (HT: @crucker)

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, 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. Hard to believe that these folks could understand what this means let alone execute on it.
    As a CK, we used to get invited to quarterly focus groups where management would ask questions to get objective feedback from users. At the end of each session, they would ask an open-ended question, often “what part of AA do you hate the most, or needs the most improvement.” The winner each time was “”. Wasn’t even ever close. Comments ranged from “a website conceived for children”, to “cumbersome, unreliable and semi-useless”, to “a speedbump to any passenger that knows what they’re doing”. One two-part comment comes to mind: (a) Anytime announces an “enhancement”, it never is…and [to Gary’s point], (b) You cant book specific fares, upgrade, waitlist or chat (unless you fall into the pre-populated questions designed for neophytes). But design a landing page with a cartoon, a cute jingle or a contest?…they’re world class at that!

  2. Interesting how it’s ok, or even humorous , to call out race of someone behaving badly…but only if they are white. Would it be hilarious if it were loud black passengers and white hero?
    No, that’s just a crazy scenario, totally unrealistic I know.

  3. Just FYI, IT is not Software Development so anything you use has absolutely nothing to do with their IT department having any sort of changes.

    The IT team is going to support backend and developer work, not do the work. Nobody on the IT staff is working on the website. None of them are working on the booking system, the app, or any of it.

    They are working on making sure that the engineers doing the work are able to do their work, connect to the systems they need to do the work and run the work. To put it another way, the IT team is working on AA’s WordPress infrastructure, they are not making the blog posts to put it in terms that relate to this.

    I know it’s easy to confuse all tech work with “IT” but that’s not how it works at any company I’ve ever worked at. Blame the software development teams and their priorities but that’s Engineering work, not IT work.

  4. First of all, I was the CIO of 2 national companies and the CTO of another. Alignment with executive mgmt and business goals is necessary. I frankly wouldn’t read too much into a mission statement (which is essentially what this is).

    That being said AA does need to up their IT game. Hard to believe this is the company (and I know it is really US Air and not legacy AA) that gave the industry yield management software, the SABRE res system and the frequent flyer program. Max Hopper is spinning in his grave

  5. I have to laugh at some of the commentators that always have an answer on What an Airline Needs To Do, What they consider is Proper to serve or offer on a particular flight, etc. Ever consider “NO ONE is Asking You?”. Didn’t think so. Word for the wise……..if you have All the Answers, Start Your Own Airline. Some of you need to STFU already.

  6. @Mantis

    You are right. It sounds like anti White hate. All this diversity push really means is less White people. Whites should ignore the R word and do what’s best for their people even if it means telling the truth, offending trouble makers, and keeping troublemakers away.

  7. AC says “the chatbot is a separate legal entity that is responsible for its own actions”. What a ridiculous argument. AC put the bot in place to speak for it. Would they make the same argument if a human chat agent made the same mistake? No, because while the agent may be a “separate legal entity”, they’re still AC’s employee.

  8. I wonder how the paying of medical bills of tourists will work out for Thailand. Will there be fake problems to bilk money?

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