This is totally an airline nerd thing, but I spend a chunk of my day each day (sometimes a huge chunk) on the phone with various airlines booking awards. The bulk of my clients are based in North America and lately, perhaps because of the 100,000 AA mile CITI sign-up bonus earlier this year, we have been booking a lot of AA tickets. American Airlines agents have always identified themselves in a very particular way, “American Airlines, first name, last name.” Over the last few days I noticed that greeting has changed.
The whole monotone first name, last name thing without a friendly greeting always made me chuckle because it was the same spiel for every single agent and some would say it with such discomfort, it seemed. Anyway, that’s gone — several agents have confirmed that they now have more leeway in how they introduce themselves with most now saying, “Thanks for calling American Airlines, this is [first name].”
Wow! Breaking news I know.
But for those AA elites who are on the phone with AA a lot, I am sure you’ll notice the difference.
It’s always fun (I use the term loosely) when I am calling United to try to guess whether the agents came from the Continental or United side. Sometimes that is easy enough with dialects in the Houston, Detroit and Honolulu call centers, but usually the way to tell is that ex-CO agents will usually use the term “Premier Line” or just “Thanks for calling United” while the more formal pre-merger United agents will usually identify themselves as the “1K line” even though that technically does not exist anymore and verify it is Mr. Klint they are speaking to.
A day in the life of an expert award booker…