I have a confession to make. If I am ever feeling down or just need a good laugh, I call US Airways to book an award trip. I’ve shared about two recent experiences with the call center and had another doozy last night. I used to dread booking US Airways awards because it took so long to complete and nothing could be done online, but in an odd way it has become a pleasure to book these awards. Agents still do not know airport codes and are by and large geographically ignorant, which has become the running joke, especially when every agent suffers from the same ailment. On to the call (in progress)–
AGENT: Where in the heck is Trondheim?
ME: That’s a city in Norway.
AGENT: And where do you want to go first?
ME: Oslo, on July 21st.
AGENT: How do you spell Trondheim?
ME: The code is T – R – D
AGENT (snickering): Terd?
AGENT: First time I’ve heard that one.
ME: It’s a beautiful place, you should visit.
AGENT: When I get time off, we go to the lake with my boat and RV.
ME: Oh that’s nice, but what about your flights benefits?
AGENT: The flights are always too full.
ME: Too bad.
AGENT: I’m not finding the flight. Trondheim to Oslo would be on Swiss Air, right?
ME: No, SAS or SK.
AGENT: Oh that’s right.
fast forward to the end of the call
ME: I appreciate your help in booking this. I know we had a lot of legs in here so thanks for getting everything in there.
AGENT: Not a problem sir. The hold is good for 72 hours.
ME: You know, I sure am going to miss US Airways being out of Star Alliance. I wish you the best in your merger with American.
AGENT (confused by comment): Actually, US Airways is acquiring American and we’ll be sticking with Star Alliance. Since we’re the ‘head’ airline, we will be sticking with our alliance.
ME: Hmm. I thought Doug Parker had said something different, but I would welcome that.
AGENT: Yes, we look forward to American becoming part of US Airways.
ME: Thanks again!
AGENT: Good night!
* * *
I really cannot make this stuff up. I share it with you not to shame US Air agents or to poke fun at their limited geographic skills and odd ideas about the merger, but because it seems I have conversations like this every time I call US Airways. And that’s funny, but also fleeting fun since I cannot imagine this will continue post-merger, when the new American Airlines oneworld Advantage program (ahem) takes shape.
But for now, the fun continues and I’ll continue to share my call center stories.
You can have your own US Airways call center experience…but hurry because a merger is coming.
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