Friday, April 11, 2008

A pleasant surprise

This is worth mentioning, because it is an unusual event.

When I was originally booked to return from the BVI, American Airlines used to have a direct flight from the BVI to Antigua where I could have caught my connecting BA flight to London. For whatever reason AA cancelled the route so the travel agent in Gib had to re-route me via San Juan. So it adds another flight and some hours but that should not be a problem. However as I had a paper ticket I was required to get the physical piece of paper changed with the new routing. The ticketing desk for AA in the BVI is the same airport check-in desk you use to check into your plane.

Researched local knowledge to find out that 5pm midweek is a good time to go as otherwise you are not seen to as boarding takes precedence over ticketing. Turn up and explain my predicament to the ticketing clerk who has handled quite a few of similar enquiries and knows exactly what to do. However some technical issue, being a paper ticket, being issued in Gibraltar, etc prevents her from actually making the change. At the same time AA announces hundred of cancellations on their US flights which use the MacDonald Douglas aircraft pending a review of safety etc. So as you can imagine the reservation and help desks of AA are jammed full of passengers trying to rearrange their flight schedules, no space for me at the airport to get his problem sorted. She has no joy in reaching AA help desk.

An hour and half after I arrived I was still at the airport waiting for this piece of paper to be redone. The ticketing clerk (Kerlene) from AA apologises for keeping me waiting and asks to go home where she would contact me when she had fixed it. Yeah, it is already 6.30pm and she is going to call me… as if!

Well at 9:30pm Colleen calls to let me know that she has sorted the issue out and would I mind popping into the airport so that she can re-issue my ticket! Yes miracles do happen in the BVI… at least AA can claim to have a customer service.

Thanks Kerleen and American!


Anonymous said...

This passenger service agent is a great experience, I encounter her very regularly. Kerlene is helpful, knowledgeable,competent, ethical and very professional. I must add that she is very unlike the scores of American Airlines agents i have encountered through my travelling years. I t is rather refreshing to be on her queue at Tortola's airport. This lady always reminds me of a LEADER, in fact i see all these leadership qualities in her. I am actually of the opinion that she is the manager of this station as she is always called on to solve problems, when everyone is flustered she is always cool calm and collected. I wonder if her bosses know of this gem within this company. I would not think twice of hiring her to manage my business. Actually she is one of the main reasons that i still fly american eagle out of the BVI.
Kerlene, keep up the good work.

Very frequent traveller

Allen B Johnson said...

Hey David, why did you thank American and not the lady Coleen, her name is actually Kerlene and she is very helpful, and very good at her work. I know her because she has assisted me when i thought that all was lost.
A couple years ago, i arrived on Tortola on American Eagle. I was to join a yacht that evening.
It started badly on my arival as the Immigration Officer was rude and very unfriendly. Then the nightmare began... My bags were nowhere to be found. I spoke to an American Eagle representative whose name i think was Rosemary, i heard someone mention her name and i remember her very well as she was attractive with very strange colored eyes. She said something to another one of her co-workers about the end of her shift and she left me standing at the counter.
After I had waited for about half hour, this lady was walking out of the American Eagle office seemingly on her way home. She passed me standing at the counter and doubled back, came to me and asked if someone was assisting me. I told he that rosemary was but i think that she had already left. She then went behind the counter and took care of me. She looked tired and i told her that she looked that way, she only answered me saying that she had been at work since 6 am that morning. It was then 10.30pm.
My bags were delivered to my yacht the following morning just as she promised.
Usually, companies like American Airlines do not appreciate the efforts of their staff in the whole scheme of their profit making.
Lets hope that this lady's efforts are recognised by American.