Man, what a PR faux pas. American Airlines charged a US soldier on his way to deployment an extra $100 for a third bag. An AA spokesman shot off that they have had a policy for several years and that it's never been an issue before, etc. He then blogged with our friends over at DMag on Frontburner giving a series of "ands" behind more trite, sarcastic, and sassy comments.
Maybe their PR guy had a bad day. I don' know. This is relatively small issue, but it could quickly blow up into a big one given the blogging world.
Little of what this guy said follows the basic rules of being sensitive to the needs of someone affected by your organization's policies. No, this guy took a hardline all the way. Mr. Rules. There was no, "We certainly are sympathetic to this situation." It was Mr. Drill Seargent this has been the policy. This is the way it is.
I wonder why I went ahead and flew US Airways last time I needed to go somewhere and couldn't fly Southwest. Some of the bloggers on Frontburner called AA an embarassment. That's unfortunate that they would over-react in this manner. But this also is one more example of when being flexible could have saved a lot of heart ache and bad press.