Customer Service At Its Best

Tuesday February 14, 2012 | Filed under: Community

I know it’s de rigueur to complain about air travel, so as a longtime frequent flyer I’d like to share a positive story about a recent amazing experience with American Airlines.

I kicked off a two-week trip to Argentina at JFK airport in New York, replete with all the stress you’d expect from moving a large group of luggage-laden people to a far-off country.

But instead of the usual aggravation, I was greeted with a wonderful surprise – all thanks to the gracious and caring folks at American Airlines.

Elvin – one of the friends joining me on a once-in-a-lifetime trip in celebration of my 50th birthday – got in touch with AA before we left asking if they could arrange a special check-in. The airline responded immediately.

When we arrived at JFK, we were met at the curb with a security person, luggage handler and the head of special events. They walked us into a special check-in counter area and, lo and behold, a big video monitor (pictured) saluted me with a personalized birthday greeting.

One of the security guards told me he’d worked at American Airlines for 35 years and had never seen anyone’s name on a video monitor.

And that wasn’t all. We were then taken through a private entrance to the Flagship Lounge, where AA had laid out a spread for us to enjoy. From there, we were led to a conference room where a big birthday cake with my name awaited.

Once onboard, AA even had a replica sign of the video display and a fruit and wine basket at my seat.

It was an incredible kickoff that deserves acknowledgement – and that should serve as a reminder to anyone in business that we should always strive to exceed expectations for service and make people feel special.

The result can be friends – and loyal customers – for life.

American Airlines didn’t spend a lot of money to make me feel super special, but I’m certainly going to reward them with my business whenever I can going forward.

Let me know what special efforts you’ve made for your customers by posting a comment or e-mailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. By the way, the picture is of the Iguazu Falls – just one of the amazing sights we’ve seen since landing in Argentina.