US Airways Responds

My post last Friday about US Airways pulling my 81,000+ frequent flyer miles and the ensuing customer service disaster (link) got a lot more attention that I had ever expected. The story circulated around Twitter, Facebook, and even wound up at a number of blogs (including the mega-popular “Consumerist” blog). Since then, three big things have happened:

(1) 358 people had posted comments with their own US Airways customer service nightmare stories.

(2) On Friday, a number of US Airways representatives had contacted me by email, via Twitter (as seen above), and they even telephoned my office. I’m currently working with US Airways Director of Customer Loyalty & Marketing Programs who has offered to reinstate my miles, and credit me for the flights that didn’t get credited, which is more than fair, since after all, it was my fault.

>> Note: the first US Airways representative that contacted me was the wife of a photographer who reads my blog and saw what had happened. She works in the Dividend Miles group and offered to help me right away.

(3) In researching my flights, I learned that I had actually taken at least two US Airways flights this year—in 2010 (again, my travel agent apparently did not include my Dividend Miles number. I would call to complain, but that agency moved to a different state, and now a different agency handles our corporate travel). By the way, Matt Kloskowski did the math and figured that our company buys nearly 1,000 flights each year.

In the normal course of business of running an airline as large as US Airways, I’m sure this was all barely a blip on their radar, but I do hope those at US Airways who took the time to read my post, and/or respond, they keep these things in mind :

(1) If we don’t want to do business with a company, that company will never hear from us again. However, if we call, and we’re trying to work something out with you (like I was in trying to get my miles reinstated), that means “We still want to use your service.” This is a decision point for the company —“Our customer is upset, but obviously still wants to use our service. Should we make a sincere effort to try and keep him, or hand deliver him to our competitors?”

(2) Everyone I’ve dealt with at US Airways since that post on Friday has (of course) been great and very helpful, so obviously not everyone at US Airways is as unhelpful and unfriendly as the woman I originally dealt with. That’s a good thing.

(3) US Airways still has a problem. It’s one of two things: (a) US Airways hasn’t empowered their customer service reps to do anything other than read a script. Even if the customer gets upset—they can’t call a supervisor and get them involved to resolve the customer’s issue, or (b) they have empowered them to do more, in which case this was a broken customer service rep, who wanted to be right more than she wanted to help the customer or her company. In which case, I hope they have a record of who I talked with, and I hope they show her the door, because US Airways shouldn’t be paying her to lose their customers.

(4) US Airways has a computer system that shows a history of all the flights I book with them, and they know I’m a member of their Dividend Miles program. It’s 2010—If a customer books a flight and they forget to enter their Dividend Miles number, can’t you have the computer apply it to their record automatically? This would have saved us all a lot of time and frustration.

(5) I am well aware that the only reason I’m getting my miles reinstated (it’s not done yet, of course) is because of the power of social media. If I didn’t have this blog, a Twitter following and Facebook fan page, I’d only be flying Delta and United from here on out.

I’m grateful for all my reader’s comments, for everyone who contacted US Airways on my behalf, and for everyone who retweeted, “liked” it on Facebook, or otherwise spread the story. I also realize it’s not fair that I got my miles reinstated, when so many others who posted similar horror stories didn’t. I think in this case it was a matter of the squeaky wheel getting the grease, and you guys helped me make a lot more noise than I ever could alone, so a sincere thanks to you all.

This is what it comes down to:
How many times have you taken a flight and heard the Captain, or the Flight Attendant say, “We know you have a choice when it comes to air travel, so we thank you for flying [insert your airline here]?” That what’s this was all about. Choice. It’s clear—I was wrong—I didn’t properly manage my Dividend Miles account, but this wasn’t about who was right or wrong (because we know, I was wrong). This was about me making a choice about who I choose when it comes to air travel, and part of that decision was going to be based on how I’m treated, even when I mess up. Do you “nail me” or forgive me? Do we move ahead and still do business, or do we part ways forever?

It’s about respecting us—your customers
If you want us to use your products, treat us like you want us to use your products. Sometimes exceptions to policies have to be made to keep a customer, and companies need to empower their Customer Service reps to use reasonable judgment when dealing with their customers. Don’t read us a script. Listen to us. If we’re complaining, it’s because we’re still want to use your product or service, but you’re making us think twice, or driving us away entirely.

Business is too hard to come by right now. Every customer matters. Just treat us like we do, and we’ll send you money. It’s as easy as that.

  1. Scott,

    It would be nice of you, now that you have the attention of the “upper-mucky-mucks” at US airways, to encourage them to do something to help all the other “little” people, that don’t have a blog that is as popular as yours, with their US Airways problems.

    After reading through the comments to your blog of November 5, it is very clear that US Airways has a customer service problem. And it ain’t a small problem, it is a huge problem. I have only flown US Airways once. However, after reading the experiences of other people, I will never fly them again.

    I hope the people at US Airways don’t think that just because they solved your problem that they no longer have a customer service problem. The facts prove otherwise.

    Company’s and people make mistakes. The difference is how they react to the mistake. US Airways clearly has a long way to go in this department.

    1. I’ll second that. Scott – Assuming that this is actually a company policy that you originally ran afoul of, I’d love to see you reject US Airways and go with UAL or Delta from here on out unless they promise to change their policy.

      I flew US Airways for the first time last week from DC to Seattle, and the experience was lousy enough that it’ll also be my last time. They’ll never know the difference, unfortunately.

      1. If you read the original post you’d see that scott wasn’t booking these trips. A travel company was an they didnt give his number which they should have. Its not like he just didnt pay attention to it and then complained. that’s why this entire thing was argued on a technicality

        If you dont think they would never know the difference of how bad your flight is, have you thought about starting a blog. have you thought about sending them a letter. Have you thought sending your story to companies that would help this situation? I think you should!

  2. I’m sure some “spokeshole” from US Airways will try to rewrite history and tell us all about what a great company US Airways is.

    I can’t wait for the US Airways “spokeshole” to use the mandatory and worn out phrase, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

    Do yourself a favor and Google “US Airways sucks.”

    America’s Meanest Airlines
    Coming in at number 5, none other than US Airways

  3. scott,
    i hope you’ll see this as a constructive criticism.
    you have a well distributed blog and it was very obvious that US Air would contact you to solve the problem. i was hoping that you wouldn’t accept their offer for the sake of being the voice of hundreds of other mistreated customers whose voice got never heard of.

    i am going to be naive enough to hope that from now on US Air will treat all their customers fairly like they finally treated you. however, i don’t think i will live long enough to see that day.

    so what? well, i am sorry to say that by accepting the reinstatement of your miles, you just realigned yourself with US Air. and even more unfortunate is that you have used your readers’ enthusiasm to solve your own problems.

    ahmet ugursal

    1. Scott runs a business and it is in the business’ best interest for the miles to be reinstated. Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see where he said he was returning to US Air as a regular customer. Certainly he has a bully pulpit here but I think the best response is what he has done.

    2. Guys, seriously. You have absolutely no problem coming out here with the “OMG I love your work, Scott! I love your books, I love your Photoshop!”

      But the man uses his own PERSONAL blog to complain about something that BOTHERED him and get’s a result and now you feel like you need to publicly show everyone how you’re better than that by jumping ship.

      Here’s a tip. Why not just vote with your feet and leave.

      You’re totally cool when he uses the blog to promote charitable things he does like springs of hoep Kenya. you’re totally cool when he makes a wish list of all of the features of lightroom and takes them to adobe. you’re totally cool when its free this, and free that. Give me give me give me. I want free stuff and free advice and free training.. but god forbid my idle steps out of line cause THEN i can show how im better than he is.

      I don’t mean to be mean bout it but I just think that it’s WEAK that if he had said eff u to the company he was wrong by just walking away from them. if he accepts the miles hes wrong because he jumped shark. This is his blog, and he can do whatever he wants of it. Including leaving comments from ppl like you guys. Greg

    3. He doesnt owe you or anyone else anything. He has a business to run you can’t simply drop 80K+ miles because you’re upset at a company. Would you throw money out the window at your business?

  4. Yet another big name blogger backing down from an unnecessarily dramatic “I’ll never do business with X” post only to back down after someone makes them feel wanted again. Weak.

  5. Scott,

    I love your blog, but in the same way that you’ve decided to drop US Air, I’ve decided to stop reading your blog.

    I don’t disagree that US Air didn’t handle this as well as they could have, but your response is just outright stupid.

    How do you suggest US should automatically assign the miles to you if not by your number? How many people do you think there are in the US with the same names? Even with the same birthdays? What happens when US Air accidentally assigns to miles to the wrong Scott Kelby – tell me you wouldn’t be the first to complain.

    Yes, US Airways could have handled this better, and I simply don’t believe that you couldn’t have gotten through to a supervisor if you hadn’t tried (not that I’m saying that the supervisor would have done anything differently).

    They offered you the opportunity to get your miles (worth around $1000) back for $300. They WERE offering to split the pain with you, but no, you wanted more.

    You used a public blog to put them into a corner – that’s called bullying where I come from.

    I can guarantee you that every airline in the US would have treated you basically the same. You decided to bully one airline and claimed you’d only fly United (who would have sent your call to an Indian Call center and given exactly the same result) or Delta (who’s miles are worthless due to the high redemption rates)…

    -1 reader…

    1. Frank,
      I don’t think Scott was so much bothered by their potential “solution”, but rather the way it was presented. Even a good deal feels like the short-end of the stick when it’s delivered with a rude manner. Bad customer service is still bad customer service, even when the customer is wrong.


    2. I agree with Frank, seems it’s minus 2 readers.

      With power comes responsibility and even using Nazis for a laugh won’t cover that up. That is twice you showed bad style in a short time, but I still wish you well.

    3. he’s not spider man. he writes a blog. you need to stop getting on the everyone’s a bully bandwagon. Yeah totally. the ENTIRE US AIRWAYS company that serves millions of people were put in check by 300 comments. totally. Considering you work for the airline industry im happy to see you can guarantee that all of them would treat us the same despite all of the stories that talk about how southwest is better and airtran and jetblue.

      And for the record, there are Indian call centers that actually give good customer service. So saying that just BECAUSE their Indian means it would have been bad just makes you look even worse.

      thanks for telling us that you’re racist AND dramatic about your leaving. 20 to 1 you’ll comment on it – which shows you’re not leaving anyway.

      Look he offered a possible way around the miles thing. So you call that stupid. I dont think it would work eather, but since the guy is a photographer and not flight engineer I think he was at least tryin.

  6. I am having a couple issues with them right now as well.

    1 my flight on thursday is only showing up with half the miles

    2 a flight I took last month was booked as a us airways flight, but operated by a different carrier but had a us airways flight number but they won’t give me credit

    Very disappointed

  7. My guess is that this miles policy is a huge costsaving for US Airways. To us those miles are “free” but to the company they represent a cost. US Airways has thousands of customers who might all lose their miles at some point and will all start calling when it happens. Miles are offered to get customer loyalty but it is a big cost, so companies will do everything to keep that cost under control. Hence the script.

    Now could they have treated you differently? Yes, for sure, no doubt. That lady wanted to be more right and that is wrong. But she also has no way out, there are only those three options, and no supervisor escalation path. Tough job, if you ask me.

    A simple warning mail telling people that they might lose your miles if they do not take a flight within the next 6 or 12 months is easily sent. If they then not take the flight then this has been a choice, and one cannot complain about losing the miles, and the company has still saved some money. (or sold another flight. Win win for both)

    1. “Let this be a lesson to any other company that wants to screw with a NAPP member.”

      Correction: Let this be a lesson to any other company that wants to screw with Scott Kelby. US Airways clearly doesn’t care about you unless you have a popular blog read by thousands of people. Scott Kebly will come out of this with everything he asks for and probably more. The rest of us peons will never know what it is like to get that kind of treatment from US Airways.

  8. I totally agree with yur sentiments on customer service having suffered at the hands of various european airlines in a similar manner over the years but I feel your comment on the fate of the customer service rep is wrong. Surely the right response would be retraining and a change to the company policies rather than a sacking!

  9. This might just be one of your best post ever:)

    ” I am well aware that the only reason I’m getting my miles reinstated (it’s not done yet, of course) is because of the power of social media. If I didn’t have this blog, a Twitter following and Facebook fan page, I’d only be flying Delta and United from here on out.”

    This is exactly why people like you need to engage yourself in issues like this!
    Volume is power! :)

  10. This might just be one of your best post ever:)

    ” I am well aware that the only reason I’m getting my miles reinstated (it’s not done yet, of course) is because of the power of social media. If I didn’t have this blog, a Twitter following and Facebook fan page, I’d only be flying Delta and United from here on out.”

    This is exactly why people like you need to engage yourself in issues like this!
    Volume is power!

  11. You are not a blip on their radar screen. You have a name, a reputation, and a following and fan base that creates power through social media. If you didn’t have those, if you were simply Mr. Jon Q. Public, you would not have gotten the attention of the airline. Yes, there were and are so many more who don’t get treated the way you did. The corporation (it does not matter what the name of the corporation is) only cares because eventually this would have become a PR disaster for them. I am absolutely sure that each tiny little customer by themselves will continue to be treated as annoyances to be ignored. Adobe does it, even upstarts like Topaz Labs does it.

  12. Over the years of me reading this blog I’ve adopted more of your business swag than I’ve learned in college! haha

    I love that the first lady who contacted you was a photographer!!! Keeping our photography community strong!!

    @Ken Toney!! I agree, ” Let this be a lesson to any other company that wants to screw with a NAPP memeber.”!!! lol

    I feel bad about my last comment now, well, selfish towards your other staff members a little – lol. Regrading to when I said it’s time for you to get a NetJets card…if you got one it would be pretty messed up that a portion of those other 1,000 flights are flying reg while you have your feet up in a NetJets haha I mean if the company’s balling like that then go ahead.

    Hmmm what if you and Matt chipped in and sent started sending Dave on a NetJets to his trips to Canada and tell him it’s for picking on him so much on the shows lol!

    The power of social networking still amaze me.

    My final thought now…US Airways should pay you now for providing them with so much research of their customer’s thoughts! Or tell them Dwayne Tucker said to give you 500 out of that 1,000 flights free in 2011 for saving them your 1,000 flights and the other counts of flights from the readers of this blog including me!!!

    @USAirways I’m glad you all responded…sharp move!

    Miami, Florida | Nassau, Bahamas

  13. Kelby : 1
    US Airways : 0

    Well done Scott, i agree with all the points you’ve made, particularly the one about it being 2010 and the system should automatically pick up you dividend miles number.

  14. Scott,

    Very well said (and handled)! You Americans are very lucky to have the choice that you do. Here in the land of Dave Cross, we have a grand total of two major airlines. One is bad and the other slightly less so.

    Have a great Monday.

    Trev J.

  15. TBH would have hoped you had told them where to go and switched provider with integrity intact.

    It’s clear from the first post that US Airways’ CS sucks, and seems to suck for a large number of people. Highlighting this and the damage it can do is a laudable thing to do.

    However accepting their offer (it would be an even bigger PR gaff for them not to make that offer and you probably realised that) subverts the point you made in the first post, and comes across as a way to get your way (“hey, you jacked off the wrong guy, I’m going to use my internet army to get my miles back”) rather than a principalled point (“US Airways CS sucks, and I refuse to use that company because of that”).

    I’m sure you didn’t really intend for it to come across that way, and to be fair if it’s $1000 at stake it’s quite a large statement (well, would be for me!), but it does somehow lack a little “integrity”. The point of your original post now reads more like “US Airways CS really sucks and if I didn’t have a huge internet following I wouldn’t use them again” and suggests little hope for us little guys!

    1. Hi Duncan:
      I told the Customer Service Rep that if they didn’t give me miles back (enough for a free round-trip first class flight), that I wouldn’t fly US Airways again. However, now they have given me my miles back. That’s all I wanted in the first place. What would I have gained if I don’t take that flight?


      1. Pay no attention to the people who think you should have refused their offer of Miles Reinstatement.
        I am amazed at how small minded and mean spirited people can be; I shouldn’t be of course, but as Greg Saltzman said they all want the goodies and freebies and then try and dig the knife in.
        You have done nothing wrong, keep up all the amazing work you and the guys do.

      2. I hope you do use the miles. However, I also hope that behind the scenes you tell your current travel agency that you prefer to use Delta and United first and foremost. And only use US Airways as a last resort.

        This is no different than when you have to complain to the BBB or PayPal because a company would not handle it correctly using the normal path. If I have to contact the BBB, the customer service has already failed. If the company corrects it after it gets a nasty report on file, does it then make the company acceptable? I personally don’t think so. I will of course take the settlement, but I would never use that company again or recommend them to others. I hope you feel you are in the same situation.

        I am still glad you aired your situation on the blog. I’d much rather learn from others mistakes/experiences, so thank you again for sharing your story.

      3. Hi Scott,

        The problem is they will continue to bully those without media clout. You are happy and you represent 100 plus travelers a year. But, has anything really been learned by US Airways? Has their policy changed? Is it likely to change? Is their someone out there today dealing with the same issue who isn’t getting their miles back? Probably.

        When you pull out the big guns and make the threat of walking away – you should walk your talk. If I used a “gotcha tactic” to get money from my clients would I expect to pay the price? Yes. But just like US Airways I would be weighing the downside vs. the profit. I doubt your issue cost them very much money at all. A bit of bad press. Sure. But how much are they profiting from that $300 per person “gotcha.” I’m going to guess it is net positive and therefor will remain in place.

        Walk away with your 100 travelers and they may actually change their practice. Otherwise. A cheap solution to a bit of bad PR.

      4. Oh how quickly they slay their champion.

        Yes Scott got “special treatment,” which he acknowledged, but ask yourself why. What do you think that influence cost? It’s probably a safe bet that Scott has slept a lot less than most of us in the years it’s taken to build his reputation and influence. If you’ve been here long then you know good and well that some of that sleep was lost in service to you… on this blog, for free I might add. Most of the attempts to cheapen Scott’s influence here would not even be heard if he had not paid the price to build it.

        So honestly, give it a rest. Scott Kelby’s graciousness is well known to anyone who has followed him for any length of time. Anyone who expected him to handle this situation differently has not followed him for long. It is one of the main reasons he is where he is today. No surprise.

        If you are incensed enough by Scott’s “special treatment” to complain about it here please, at least climb down off of his bully pulpit and go build your own. From that roost you can handle these situations any way that you want.

      5. Hi Scott.

        You’re right, you eventually got what you wanted and didn’t ask more than that. And arguably there’s nothing to be gained from saying no (I loved the idea of Virgin/Delta/whoever coming in with a counter offer but hey :) other than intangible ‘will’ that you may or may not be able to cash in one day. As I say $1000 is a lot of cash and would be a much to give up for a personal statement

        I guess the question is about motivation. To me, the first post represented one of two things: you’d had enough and wanted to send a parting shot and let people know before moving on, or using the power of the community you’ve created to change US Airways mind.

        If it was the first, then the principal you appeared to be standing by (not rewarding good customer service) is lost. If it was the second, it is to my mind “cheating” and think there are more noble causes you could empassion your following to change for the better.

        But arguably standing by the principal is an unfair expectation people have put upon you rather than you welcoming, and most would accept the $1000 (particularly as that’s all you wanted!) so it’s not like it’s the end of the world that some people are making it out to be on here.

        For those that think it’s mean minded or hero slaying (jeez), debating/disagreeing is a key part of any healthy community, online or otherwise. To those guys I’m sorry that I didn’t agree with Scott’s actions and the personal offence you seem to have taken. I think equally those that have followed Scott long enough know he doesn’t feel the need to have his ego massaged and he’s open to debate, so chill.

        And if anyone thinks this is going to significantly change US Airways approach to customer service (other than checking if someone is famous/published when they answer the phone :) I want some of what you’re smoking! :D

  16. US Airways has fundamental problems in how they treat and value their employees. There is virtually no way that this can’t translate into how their employees treat and value customers.


  17. 1000 flights a year, wow! How does your company address the issue of carbon footprint/global warming in regards to your many miles of flying? There must be an environmental statement on your site somewhere but I cannot find it.

    Glad you got your problem worked out, customer service is one of the most important facets of a successful company.

    By the way, I emailed you my question several weeks ago about your company’s environmental policy and have yet to hear back…

    1. So the guy mentions 1000 flights and now you need to find out how hes protecting mother earth because obviously he’s clubbing baby seals on his hummer on the way to the airport. seriously. OHWAIT if scott doesnt get on the plane they just put it back in the hangar! i forgot.

      i would be shocked if scott didn’t do something for the environment – but i dont think having a statement is the answer either. its like those people that give to charity and need to tell EVERYONE about it. how about you just do it and not throw on the i heart mother earth and heres how hemp shirt.

    2. Kelby Training events gather far more attendees than staff who provide them. Consider the environmental impact if they just holed up in the Tampa area and told everyone around the world that they had to fly there to get the training.

      I don’t believe in waste, but this whole “carbon footprint” crap has really gotten to the point of absurdity.

    3. Owen. You mention global warming as if it’s a fact and every person must address it. Remember, global warming is just a theory. There’s just as many theories out there that say it’s a crock.

      1. Moron or not, theory or not, other folks who do a lot of travel for their photography careers tend to put up statements on their websites about this issue. I do not have an agenda with Scott, as I mentioned in my e-mail to him about this. I am simply curious.

        Thanks for taking the time to give me a kick – hope you feel better!

  18. Scott,
    Good for you. And good for US Airways. Signs of a company improving customer service isn’t necessarily how they a bad complaint, but how they handle a bad response. They have showed that they know they responded badly and are willing to admit they screwed up. That’s a good sign that they are trying to improve. Of course part of that improvement is correcting it at the source. The rep needs to be disciplined or fired. People like that don’t care about customer care. They should be released.
    Love the blog,

  19. Scott,
    Experience at Photoshop World, daily seminars, and dealing with your staff on the rare occasion that I do have an issue tells me that you really believe in customer service.
    Every company world wide could take a lesson on customer service from all of your companies.
    Thanks for sharing,

  20. Good for you, Scott. This decision by US Airways was a no-brainer in my opinion.
    However, I would guess that very few of us out there (regardless of social media) would have the reach and social status to be addressed by upper level US Airways representatives this quickly (if ever at all). That is the reality of the real world with rare exception.
    I do hope US Airways do put its customers first – within logical reasons.

  21. Scott, don’t sell out. If you take the offer USAir has lost nothing and learns nothing. They win because they get to keep doing the same policy of screwing everyone and just appeasing the 1% that have a megaphone. A little disappointing.

  22. You used your international clout, this blog and a 1000 flights a year, to get back what you had earned but what about the 300 plus people who were underserved, mistreated, or otherwise denied reasonable service by USAir?

    I glad you won.

    Too bad the entire airline industry, with a few exceptions, seems to not give a damn about the people they offer transportation opportunities.

  23. I’m glad you were able to squeak loudly enough for them to bring on the axle grease. :-)

    This is, I suppose, one upside to the Internet connected world we live in. Sadly, in the age of rampant outsourcing, scripted customer support is the new norm. Its easier to get a politician to go off-script than a support rep. Even so, the “living” customer support rep is about 14 minutes into their fame, as automated voice technologies take on more of this job function. So in a few years, we’ll all get to rail against a machine and feel nostalgic for the good old days of dysfunctional human customer support!

  24. Perhaps Scott bringing attention to the poor handling of customers by the customer service department will open the eyes of US Air. Did anyone who is complaining think of that? Too many times those at the top of a corporation have NO IDEA of what is actually happening down in the trenches so to speak. This easily could become a turning point for US Air to look at what is happening. For that to happen it WOULD take someone with a blog and following like Scott has to start something. For US Air – who I’m sure is following this now, take a look, evaluate, and change. Now is your chance to fix what is broken, and you’ve already taken at least one small step in the right direction.

    1. I love optimism! But I don’t think any of us will be holding our breath. Airlines are all about getting liabilities like FF miles off of their balance sheets.

  25. This miles problem won’t go away simply because Kelby has a megaphone on this topic. This is a systemic problem that will happen again until USAirways recasts the corporate vision from the top down and makes the needed changes from within.

    My guess if he takes these miles instead of going to Delta or someone else? It will happen again in the future and Scott will regret his decision to stay. Airways did the right thing to reinstate the miles but once an entity shows you it’s true colors, it takes a lot to get those colors changed from the ground up.

  26. It is unfortunate though, that if this had been me, with only a few people reading my blog, it would have not made a difference. Companies, (not just airlines) need to take incidents like this and apply it across the board to provide superior customer service yo help the little people who do not have an amy of camera toting photographers behind them.

  27. It’s unfortunate that so many customer service reps are only allowed to read from a script. Customers can tell that they’re doing it, which makes the entire transaction insincere. It’s supposed to be done to provide a consistent level of service to all customers. Unfortunately, the experience is consistently bad.

  28. Scott,
    Glad to see everything worked out for you! There’s a huge gap between what most companies give and what most customers want, and it was unfortunate that you got caught in the middle. At the same time, I’m glad US Air decided to man up and give you your miles back even though it took some coercion. Best of luck in the future!

  29. What this tells me is that, unless you’re a large company or a blogger with a lot of clout, you shouldn’t fly US Airways. Because for the individual customer their approach to service is “F.U.” – their stance only changed once this post was “gathering momentum”.

    I’m sad to see that you sold out, Scott. No longer flying with them would have sent a much more powerful message.

  30. What I find strange is that people are upset that you are going to accept something that was yours in the first place. You earned the miles by flying on their airline and paying for that right. They never sent you a warning saying that the miles were going to expire or that you were going to lose them, instead they just took them back.

    Then they basically asked you to pay a second time to get your miles back.

    You made a call, got no satisfactory response and few years ago, that would have been that. But the world has changed and with Blogs, Facebook and Twitter there is a way to use the power of social media to bring light onto a situation that usually would have been relegated to the “letters to the Editor” section of a local paper.

    Do the people who think Scott should forfeit his miles understand that he earned them?
    They were his to use as part of the deal he made with US Airways every he bought a ticket?
    The real problem here is that the miles shouldn’t expire to begin with.

  31. The lesson here is simple. The CEO of US Airways needs to be featured on “Undercover Boss” doing Customer Service Representative work and find out what it is really like in the trenches for his own people. He can then learn how to fix his company.

    Anytime I have dealt with anything with Kelby Training it has been a pure pleasure. Events run on time, issues are dealt with promptly and courteously on the phone, mistakes in orders I have made have been resolved in my favor. The entire customer experience at Kelby Training is due to actual people caring about their customers and the impression they make while dealing with them. Scott has set an example in his company, his employees are happy to emulate it, and it is a win-win for everyone.

    There is power in social media, and before the “interwebs” there was the saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” so this isn’t really anything new. It is simply magnified by technology. If US Airway isn’t listening, hopefully other service providers are, and they will stand out from the crowd by doing excellent customer relations. Word of mouth works both ways, once word gets out about the excellence a company provides, people will flock to use that product or service.

    There is even Scripture for this: Proverbs 22:29- “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”

  32. Don’t worry. I know Scott and I know everyone he deals with at US Airways is hearing that they shouldn’t just help him, they should help all their customers better, every day. That’s the way he runs his own company. US Airways has a tremendous opportunity here to step up and make some changes. Which will benefit all their customers.

    1. Well said Janine.

      It is illogical to assume that US Airways feels they have put out this PR fire by pacifying Scott. Hopefully this wave of negative publicity –started by Scott, and joined by hundreds of dissatisfied customers– will be a catalyst that results in substantial policy change.

      If they are so obtuse that they still don’t make changes, then Scott could light himself on fire in the middle of O’Hara’s US Airways Terminal, and it would change precious little about their attitude towards their customers. – (though some of the rather LOUD voices who have taken Scott to task for.. GASP, taking back his miles, might want to consider it. ;)

      In the end, the reach of this blog was used –NOT misused– to right a wrong (mission accomplished), and maybe, just maybe bring about more substantial change in the process (time will tell). I fail to see how that is worthy of criticism.

      One last thought to ponder:

      To those regular readers of this blog who feel that they kinda “know” Scott Kelby, even if you have never met him; Which of the following scenarios do you find more likely??

      A: Scott: Hangs up phone with stupid CSR & says, “I’ll show them, I-I-I-I have a large and influential blog. I will use my minions for my own design, & then after US Airways inevitably succumbs to the pressure, I will take back my miles, and leave all the little readers to deal with their own problems. MWWahahahahaha!!

      B: Scott: Hangs up phone with stupid CSR & says, “I am SO pissed right now! U know what? Im going to tell all of my readers just how pissed off I really am! Im going to tell them why I’m not planning to use US Airways anymore (why? ’cause they took my freakin’ miles, that’s why.) Who knows? Maybe somebody @ US Airways will read it and decide to make it right. (As in, gives me back my miles, and hopefully fix the stupid policy). Yep that’s what im going to do….’furiously typing’..

      A or B…….. yeah, that’s what I thought. Adios haters. :D

      1. While I’ve already expressed my support for Scott’s position, I personally don’t get the “You’re-either-with-us-or-you’re-against-us” mentality I keep seeing here. I think we’re all mature enough that we can permit and accept contradictory opinions to our own. Just because someone disagrees me doesn’t make them a “hater.”

      2. “just because someone disagrees (with) me doesn’t
        make them a “hater.”

        You are correct. Name calling, & attacking Scott unfairly, & illogically based on parameters that he never ever implied or asked for,.. that, makes them haters. :)

        … although in fairness, if u read all 6 paragraphs of my comment, and only remember “Adios haters”… it was indeed an epic fail.

  33. Good for you Scott! I think you just dealt with a problem in the best fashion you knew how. I’d say that’s pro-active.

    I would not let the nay-sayers get to you, because when it comes down to it, I bet they all would like to have gotten the response and results that you did. You work hard at what you do, you’re great at it, and your web presence just happened to help you solve a problem.

    Remember, you can’t please everyone all of the time. On the flip side, I’d say you make tens of thousands (if not more) of folks happy then the few who disagree with you. Excuse my terrible grammar. :)

    Keep up the great work and know you have the support of a LOT of people out here!

  34. Ok so US Airways CS sucks point taken, lesson learned…. can we get back to photography now? I need my photography fix for the day and US Airways posts just arent doint it for me. :)

  35. For those who complain about Scott using his “clout” and blog….well it is his blog! Scott does not moderate his posts and I believe anyone would do the same. Who knows maybe US Air learned from this and Scott may have picked up more followers! As for me it was good blowing off some steam.

  36. Scott, thank you for going to bat with US Airways for all of us! I hope it results in not only a settlement of your dispute but also in an overall change in the way they, and other airlines and businesses, do business in the future. Also, thanks to US Airways for hearing, listening, and responding.

  37. Mr. Kelby,

    You are a typical member of your generation. The majority of the members of your generation makes mistakes and then blames someone else for those mistakes. Instead of whining like a two-year-old why don’t you act like an adult and take full responsibility for your actions? You (or your representative) did not correctly fill in all the blanks when booking your flights with US Airways. This is not the fault of US Airways – it is your fault. Accept that fault and tell yourself, “Okay, I made a mistake this time but it won’t happen again.”

    As for the issue of good customer service I must inform you that your company is far from being perfect. I have sent emails to you on two separate occasions complaining of things that you did that I felt were not only classless but downright pathetic. I received generic replies to those emails from a woman I do not know who told me that the issues would be looked into and that I would be informed when a decision was reached. Those two emails were the last I have heard from your company concerning these problems (it has been over two years ago, now).

    If you indeed take pride in yourself and your company in providing good customer service then I feel I should have received emails back from you concerning my problems, not emails from some know-nothing, uncaring flunky. If you just want to have one of these flunkies pretend to take care of any customer service issues then your company is just like and no better than the majority of the other companies out there in the world, i.e., US Airways. This is something that I think you should consider. After all, it is your name that is on the company letterhead.


    John T. Tillman
    NAPP Member Number 864753 (well, at least until November 2011)

    1. hey john:

      wait a minute! You didn’t get a personal email from scott kelby himself when you decided to write to him about something that you called him pathetic on? seriously? did you write that while having breakfast with the head of Sony because you decided to buy a cd last year? or with the owner of levis because you happen to wear jeans?

      my point is this. you john are also a typical response of YOUR generation. you apparently confuse the fact that scott has a blog with “oh my goodness.. i paid as a napp member. therefore scott must handle every email i send to him immediately and include a drop of his blood in the reply to confirm that it is in fact him

      you paid for photoshop tutorials not tea time with the man. get over yourself.

      and assuming that the people who attend to customer service issues are just uncaring flunkies just shows even more how ignorant you are to even bring an argument up.

      you’re lucky it were not me.. i woulda told you to take a hike a long time ago.

      1. I don’t even have the right words to respond to this post, other than to say I completely agree with Greg. I’m tired of this entitlement attitude with people. Yes, you could argue that by Scott posting on his blog, he’s showing that same attitude, but to me, he already had earned those miles, and US Airways was just being lame. I’ve flown other airlines in the past, without my miles expiring (even though it’s been close to 10 years since I’ve flown them).

    2. I too am a member of Scott’s generation. Scott Kelby worked very hard to get his company where it is today. He also instills a culture of A+ Customer Service. I work at a college. I deal with folks of all ages. The ones who give me the most grief are these kids of today. Especially the ones who feel that “Oh, the rules don’t apply to me.” Entitlement is for no one ever. And, John T. Tillman, if you want to see what real Customer Service is, shell out some bucks for a one-day seminar hosted by Kelby Training, or better yet, Photoshop World. You will see how people are supposed to be treated. Are they perfect? No! However, they do their very, very best to resolve any issues that come about.

  38. I have to agree with Luis and Tim. I was expecting a short follow-up to the US Airways story, but then, on this Monday, all we get is a really long follow-up to last week’s post. If this incident had been about US Airways losing all of Scott’s equipment, then, a lengthy follow-up would have made perfect sense. Anyway, all is good, problem solved. Unfortunately, it’s only for one customer. Now, can we please get back to photography?

      1. Hi Scott,

        I’m not criticizing what you did. You got back what was rightfully yours, and if your experience helps others, and US Airways uses this incident to improve their customer service, then, we all win. It’s just that I was expecting some photography news today. But, hey, there’s always tomorrow.

      2. What!? I THOUGHT IT WAS MY BLOG… Bummer!

        Oh well, while I have your attention could you tell me how to get carbon footprints off of my D-700 sensor? See, I was photographing these baby seals in a coal mine in Africa and one of them got upset and just kicked the crap out of me and my gear. Do you know what it feels like to have the 72 mm end of a lens shoved… uh, never mind, I don’t want to talk about it, but you really ought to let Nikon know that they need to make smaller lenses.

        What are your thoughts on mirror-less by the way?

        Anyway, believe it or not, the mining company refused to replace my lens, or even to pay for a lousy cleaning; May everlasting fire consume them!

        By the way, you don’t burn coal do you because if you do you probably support the company I’m referring to and I just don’t think I could tolerate that in a man. Certainly not one of your influence.

        What was I talking about?

        Oh yea, getting carbon footprints off of a D-700 sensor. What’s the best way to do that?

        I know your busy so take the weekend to respond if you need to.


    1. This a blog. Not required reading. I read so many blogs, and when I see topic that does not interest me, I simply do not read that post.

      Please exercise your right to do the same at any time you see fit.

  39. You may remember my comment about the Dutch stand-up comedian. It pissed him off that T-Mobile helped him after the tweets. He has about 45.000 followers, they were afraid it would damage them. He now is taking further action. I am not a fan of him, but I think it is great!

  40. POWER: On the morning USAir announced expansion and bringing back laid off employees, their stock opened down 16 cents per share. I wonder if Scott’s situation had anything to do with that when stock price should have been up?

  41. Hi Scott,

    I think you sold out big time! I’m upset that you wielded the power of your awesome blog to get what you want. I’m upset that you enabled US Airways to think they can only treat their VIP customers with some respect instead of the rest of us little people. I’m jealous that you are the Gene Simmons of Photoshop.

    I salute you.

    You’ve worked very hard to get where you are today, and you have every right to handle the situation exactly as you see fit. I won’t sit here on any kind of high horse and deny for a second that I would have done exactly as you have done. I love your work. You and your company have helped me learn a great deal about photography and photoshop in a very short time.

    In the end, people should consider that you didn’t originally contact US Airways with the “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!!??” diva mentality. You contacted them just as a regular customer according to your original post. Anybody else in the world with a blog would’ve taken to their blog to communicate their great disdain. Your blog just happens to be read by a gazillion people.

    Your blog is YOUR blog and you can use it for anything you want to use it for. You could be blogging about cute little kittens instead of helping your readers learn about photoshop and photography. If anybody else in the world has a problem with you using your blog to your advantage, then they should work their asses off and “get on your level” as it were. I know I will.

  42. Right on Scott. Respect your customers and STOP using scripts. I wish it hadn’t taken nearly 2 years for someone to listen to my issues with Comcast. Finally we have someone who has the cajones to actually buck “Policy” and fix our fairly unique issues. It has cost them many dollars sending techs out almost weekly and giving us a lot of compensation when it could have been fixed by someone who followed through the apparent fault to the deeper issue.
    Your staff at NAPP have always been “listeners” when ever I have called. Thanks.

  43. In this day and age of economic issues, companies have to do more to try and retain existing customers. The marketing budgets don’t seem to do enough to acquire new customers anymore. You would think a company the size of US Airways would have already had programs in place to do nothing more than kiss up to its existing customers.

  44. Scott the easy simple solution to all this and more would be for you to hire me to come back to Fl and be your inhouse Kelby Travel planner or KTP Could book all flights hotels rental cars and always input awards/points card numbers for who ever is taveling. It could be the best move you ever made..

  45. Scott,
    There’s a lot of muck and opinions flying around on this post. One of the reasons I read your blog is that you’re real. You show us that you are human. You’re just another guy out there loving photography and sharing your knowledge. I say each of us can take what we like and leave the rest and “live and let live”. (sorry – I know that’s an old worn out phrase). And here – I’ll be a little more corny – please keep being you and following your gut.

    And your welcome – I didn’t mind helping you get some results from US Air a bit.
    And thanks for the all the tips. I’m already a better photographer becuase of them!


  46. Scott,

    That is great to hear that they have corrected this terrible screwup of theirs. You should not feel bad about getting back what is rightfully yours. It is unfortunate that others do not, but maybe this will force some changes in their policies. I totally agree that the power of social media and the pressure it can bring were very helpful in your case.



  47. Mr Kelby the easy simple solution for all this would be for you to hire me to move back to Fl and become your Company Travel Professional or CTP. I would be able to handle all or your companies travel needs book flights hotels rental cars and so on. Setupa database with every employees bonus numbers and always use the codes, and if someone stayed somewhere we didnt have a bonuc club number we would open one. Heck the money I save you could probably pay for my services. Not to mention the lower number of headaches you would have to deal with. Lets talk about it.

  48. It is great to hear that they resolved your problem. It would be nice if these companies would hear the customer instead of reciting a script. Maybe we needed someone like you to open their eyes and show them that “we”, as consumers, are fed up with the terrible customer service of the companies we trust and use often. Thanks Scott!

  49. Scott, I think it stinks that just because you have two “t”s in your first name that US Airways is giving you back your miles. I also think that your organization should consider 3 words…Motor Home. Take all 1,000 trips in a motor home fueled by used grease from Burger King. I don’t want you to use McD because they don’t let little kids in SF get Happy Meal toys with their french fries anymore. So you need to boycott them and blog about the freedom to choose fries and toys!

    That’s what I think and I’m not changing my mind for anything…unless you want to throw some US Airway miles my way.


  50. I’m so sorry that some of you guys are dissapointed with Scott’s decision to accept the miles. At least he’s being honest about what he wanted. Scott got what we wanted and so did US Air. Principals you say? I don’t know what world you’re living in, but in this world principals will not always get you what you want. At the end of the day, if we want something that bad, we’ll do whatever it takes. Let this be a lesson for everyone. Most of us will bend over for the right amount. We teach our kids one thing, and then they must adjust to the real world. Yes, it’s a hypocritical world we live in. :-)

  51. Now in the world of photographers on here I don’t want this to be taken wrong, but yes even though you Scott admitted you didn’t make sure your miles were on your flight (I’ve done that once myself);) and no they will not worry about one person that lost their miles that was not the airline fault. All I can say to this is for each side of these costumer and company situation now again I’m just a musician as I know you play music as well Scott. I know you have calls and texts and postings on facebook and gear and notes that you have to deal with but just as you take a second to make sure all that is in order ie. guitar cables and picks in case or bag ;) take that second before or even during your flight (yes I know you need that quick nap lol ) to make sure you miles number is on your ticket…..
    Now airlines you want to talk about giving great customer service? Please reiterate the training you give your workers. I’m sure in these time there are people who are unemployed that need a job that would make sure customer service is a way of life not just lip service. Now all the person at the counter could have done as the accept the $25+ dollars in fees for each bag you have during check in is look to see if your flyer mile is on you ticket as they hand it to you with a sincere thank you with the thought in mind that with you patronage you are helping me feed my children, send my kid(s) to college, food on the table, roof over our heads etc……….
    I’m sorry to go on and on, I just hope this reminds that while we may not have the job of our “dreams” that we should still strive to do our best in the job we choose to accept during that final interview.
    If this is read by someone on here I hope it helps if not read that’s fine too.
    But I’m just a musician trying to make a living!
    Btw Scott, I gave my girlfriend a NAPP membership for Christmas last year she loves it and your staff has always been helpful whenever I need to call even the time it was our fault when we purchased your Photoshop CS5 book and for got to add the grab bag on the order. You customer service person very politely explained the mistake I made and was sympathetic and still thanked us for our patronage.
    Now if more people were like your staff!

  52. I hope you stick to your prior post when you said you would avoid them in the future. I’d be willing to bet if you were just another joe schmoe and not a famous guy you are that you would have been told to pound sand. Want to do something good with all of those miles you won’t be needing? Donate them to our military troops so they can use them for travel as needed.

    1. Hi Zack:
      I said I would not fly US Airways again if they didn’t give me miles back. I didn’t start a boycott campaign, I didn’t organize a rally, I didn’t ask anyone not to fly US Airways. I didn’t ask anyone to contact US Airways on my behalf. I just told my customer service story, and all I ever wanted was my miles back.


      1. So if you want all your miles back, what are you going to do with them? If US Airways is such a bad company, I suggest you donate them to Make a Wish Foundation, or Puppies in Flight, or Helping Hands….

        Never realized there were so many perfect people out there.

  53. Can we have this post translated to Spanish and sent to all the major Spanish (from Spain, Europe) companies in every single sector (phone companies, airlines, post services, food, clothing, energy, water and gas, and that includes Nikon AND Canon)?
    Por favor?

  54. Scott:

    Point(s) well taken. See for a very similar thread yesterday ‘Power to the People’. I think you will find you are in lock-step. I have two friends that are ex USAir flight captains. The company has taken a beating over the last decade… and the flight crews have paid the price. That being said, could it be any more important to treat customers with extreme sensitivity?


  55. Scott wrote:

    “…If we don’t want to do business with a company, that company will never hear from us again. However, if we call, and we’re trying to work something out with you…”

    “…how I’m treated, even when I mess up. Do you “nail me” or forgive me? Do we move ahead and still do business, or do we part ways forever?”

    There’s truth in these words and they’re applicable to other areas in life… It’s about forgiveness and grace (unmerited favor). This can apply to interpersonal relationships as well. If I don’t want to interact with you, you won’t hear from me. But if you do, it’s because I want to try to restore the relationship. I don’t deserve forgiveness, but hope against hope you will forgive me and we can move on.

    These impasses happen in all types of relationships. Let’s just hope and pray forgiveness is not a dying commodity or gift.

    1. I’m so glad someone said this. It’s what I’ve been thinking but couldn’t seem to articulate in words. Glad you got your miles back Scott!

      Here’s praying This experience is a movement in the right direction not just for big business but for people in general.

  56. Ah the power of Social Media…awesome stuff!!!

    I said in your first post about this that on average a disgruntled customer will tell 9 others of their experience but clearly with the advent of Facebook, Twitter and so on, this isn’t the case anymore.

    One message and the World hears about it; good customer service was never more important than today.


  57. Glad this worked out for you Scott. I’ve got the same bottom line opinion. No more scripts for the customer support reps. 9 times out of 10 it just gets insulting to the clients on the line.

    Months ago I actually went through a similar disappointment upgrading to CS5 with a scripted customer support representative. I made the decision not to upgrade to CS5 because I could not get real assistance with the particular rep I dealt with. Literally a week later a friend had the same upgrade issue, and was upgraded on the spot by the support rep he had on the phone. It’s left a bad taste in my mouth and I still haven’t tried to upgrade again. Think I’ll be on the CS5 sidelines for a while longer.

    Sometimes you get it resolved, sometimes you don’t. Glad to hear you won this one!

    1. Rich, shoot me an email and let me know what issue you ran into. I can try and help you get help with your issue. jtranber at adobe dot com

      Jeff Tranberry
      Digital Imaging Product Development
      Adobe Systems, Product Manager, Customer Advocacy

  58. Lots of opinions. My 2 cents:

    There was actually a piece on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend about how the Consumerist and other highly trafficked websites are putting the onus back on businesses to make customer service a priority by highlighting instances of bad customer service. This is a good think I think. Obviously in an ideal world all businesses would make customer service a priority. We’d also all get a free copy of the CS5 suite, but sadly this is not the case. Sadly, but understandably. I think the issue of customer service sometimes becomes a little too black and white in the eyes of a single disgruntled consumer. Yes, it seems obvious that good customer service makes good business sense, but just like many individuals, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. This doesn’t mean they have the right to fail to deliver on promised services, but it does mean they are sometimes balancing going the extra mile for consumers with actually turning a profit. This is certainly true of the airlines I would think. I may not be thrilled with rising ticket prices and the fact that I now get charged for checked bags, but is this not better than not having the option to fly at all?

    So while all businesses should make customer service a priority, it’s also the charge of the consumer base as a whole to keep businesses in check when they fail to deliver. Isn’t that what Scott has done here? I would hardly term it “bullying” as I saw someone did. He argued for his right as a consumer as anyone would have. He share his story on HIS blog which I presume you read, as do I, because you take something positive away from it. People seem disgruntled b/c his voice was heard, but isn’t that a good thing? I think the notion that he received help b/c of who he is and that others will not is a bit short-sighted. While we must conceed that sometimes certain groups or people are going to get faster or preferential treatment b/c of their status (or probably better said, their ability to demand attention) this doesn’t have to be viewed as a negative. How could it be a negative if it affects positive change for numerous consumers. Obviously some people think that only select individuals and groups will be helped. But for the airlines at least, the National Association of Photoshop Professional, as cool a group as they might be (Matt Kloskowski aside — no, that’s a joke), pales in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of individual voices that fly every year. So use your voice in whatever manner you see fit and try not to be so disgruntled when someone else exercises their right to do the same.

    The consumers and businesses keep each other in check. So at the end of the day I think maybe it was appropriate that a disgruntled consumer gave a business a second chance when his voice was heard.

    I did find it a little funny that Scott’s post about being disgruntled led to several blog consumers becoming disgruntled. But again, totally within their rights to do so.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

    1. Come on Scott dont hold back tell us how you really fell, can we also assume that no us airways employees or members of their families or people who fly usAir will be elegible to win any of your great give aways ( it would help everyone elses odds ) all kidding aside you and Mr Kelby noth do a great job.

  59. Hey Scott, I agree with you. The main point in all of this is customer service (or the lack thereof). I just don’t get how companies today do not realize that you CAN have good customer service, you CAN pay these folks a decent wage to do so, and you CAN still make money. It really doesn’t have to be either/or. (There are plenty of companies that can be, and have been, cited as examples: FedEx, LL Bean, etc.) In these times of ever-changing technology and increased social networking, how can a company NOT afford to focus on customer service? It starts at the top and has to be woven into the fabric of the culture of the company. You have to hold people accountable for customer service just as you do for sales and other things. Find good people. Treat them well so that they will treat your customers well. Treat your customers well and they will continue to do business with you.

    Yep, you’re getting the attention because of who you are and the clout you and your blog wields. However, sometimes we need a champion with some clout to get the attention of these companies that many of us have tried to do so invidividually. Hopefully, because of your experience, they will indeed begin to change their customer service culture so that the next time one of us “individuals” feels that we’ve been done wrong and complains, the outcome for us will be better as well. Thank you for standing up for the rest of us.

  60. Hi Scott, a wonderful story that sums up the economic times we live in. Just one question . . .
    what does the 81,000 miles equate to? One, five or ten free flights within the US or further afield? As a recipient of British Airways Airmiles many years ago, ten years of worldwide Club Class travel only gave me three UK domestic flights and two European flights. Are these miles worth fighting for or more probably it is the principle that is more important!

  61. Companies that pay attention to the squeaky wheels aren’t improving customer service. It’s just an emergency PR thing.

    If US Air wants to show that it cares about customers, they should be researching how to contact all the other people that had horror stories too – and righting some of those past wrongs.

  62. PLEASE, oh pretty please don’t make this the USAirways blog. :-) You are so much better than that. Thanks for all of your skills, Scott. You are the BEST! Keep teaching and sharing your greatest gifts and let this episode pass. We all feel as though we’ve been screwed at one time or another in life…sometimes we feel validated, sometimes not.

    Just chalk one up for one of life’s many lessons. Can’t wait to get back to “Scott Kelby’s blog”.
    YOU ROCK!!!!

  63. I congratulate you. Its to bad it takes someone of your caliber to effect a change with a company. I doubt any of your readers would have gotten that response. It would be really interesting to revisit this issue in say 6 months and see if anyone is still having similar problems. I had a similar incident with ATT over the iphone 4. I purchased my 3GS on launch day and somehow was denied a upgrade. It seems my phone was not the primary phone on my account. That occurred because 8yrs ago when I brought my wife’s phone to ATT they h’tad to make hers primary in order to bring a Tmobile number over. I was of course told it would not make a difference. I politely discussed the case with the customer service representative who would not talk to a supervisor and followed a script. I explained to her that over 8 yrs I had spent nearly 20,000.00 with ATT and yet someone with an individual plan for 1yr at the lowest rate qualified as a preferred customer upgrade. She was very nice and told me I didn’t qualify as a preferred customer. I paid my 400.00 early termination fee went to Verizon bought 4 android based phones and will never do service with ATT again.

    Although the have seemed to make it right I would hope you will still teach them a lesson and do a majority of your travel on another airline for awhile, since if weren’t for the power of your blog you would still be without your miles. If they were to change their policy then I think we should all support them.


  64. My kids have been saving USAirways Dividend Miles for 15 years and had them all yanked just a month ago, after we jumped through every hoop to try to make sure they didn’t expire. I have contacted their “customer service” and gotten nothing but administrative cut-and-paste responses. They steal from their customers and then put the burden of proof on you to try to get back what is yours. Good for you for getting justice. I wish I were so lucky.

  65. This is actually quite a good demonstration of the principle that the best way to get rid of a stupid rule/law is to enforce it rigidly. If American does not change the rules after this farago they really will not have learned anything.

  66. 1000 flights a year! I’m no accountant (Well actually the AICPA thinks I am, but in my heart I’m a photographer) but I think it’s time to look into getting a corporate jet or two. There are tax incentives if you buy before year end…

  67. wow! I’m reading while on hold with a US airways rep trying to fix a similar simple problem.. the solution she proposes defies common since but she continues to quote “thats airline policy, sir”

    What I’d give for a contact as US Airways with a brain, and the authority to use it to preserve a customer.

  68. Here’s a thought nobody has mentioned… None of these airlines are forced to give anybody any miles over and above the original trip(s) actually traveled. Reward miles are a bonus, a perk, a promotional tool for the companies, much like discount coupons, buy-one-get-one sales, or frequent buyer cards. Bottom line, you would still take your trip, whether you get the miles or not, if you need to travel, so it’s weird that we often think “I earned these miles.” I think I would rather the airlines throw out the miles and offer a flat rate fare structure, rather than making it all the game that it has become. (Maybe the whole reward mileage system has helped feed into their financial struggles.)

    But, I know, that’s a wet blanket on the conversation, and it still doesn’t change the customer service issue, which really is the real problem, putting the customer first.

  69. Too bad for the person who doesn’t have a huge following of photogs and runs across customer service of US Airways. Of course they will make reparations after a huge swell of negative sentiment…I’d rather do business with a company who gets it right the first time without the hassle.

  70. I’m glad you got it worked out with US Air. Now one by one the rest of u need to bring weight to bear on our circumstances.

    Something these corporations need to realize. OK, you should fix the loud, squeaky wheel. Hopefully they’ll sing you praises as loudly as they complained. But what of us lesser squeaks? We’re the little annoying noise that isn’t loud enough to bring the attention of the big guns in the corporate office. But we’re the ones that make that little squeaky noise that slowly drives people away from your product or service.

    Like I did just this past Sunday evening when I again had the opportunity to tell my stories to yet another person.

  71. @ scott kelby this post reminded me how I was treated when I was a member of napp (not being a member of napp right now is not by choice its the economy I can’t afford it) I use to be member of napp layers magazine and the illustrator newsletter.when the illustrator news leterter got cancelled it was said who ever still had a subscription would be teansfered to layers magazine. Well mine wasn’t transferred so I called and asked ten what was going on th lady on the phone was so helpful I was litterly on the phone for like five or ten at the most she aplogized for the inconvenience. And upgraded me to a one year napp membership. I was happy that she upgraded my membership and the most important thing was she made me feel like I was important to her . I’ve also had problems with damaged magazines or missing issues. And with no hesitation u guys would send me a replacemet. As soon as I can scrape one money together im rejoining. Just thought I would share te great customer. Service I got from napp

  72. Glad it worked out Scott. Customer service makes all the difference. And who knows, maybe this is the issue that will turn the tide with US Airways philosophy. Did they also give you a wing pin?

  73. Not only do you walk the walk you talk the talk!!! Background story: I took one of those Santa Fe Workshops a few years back. I emailed the directors, the instructor, talked to them personally, visited their facility to make sure that my being handicapped (my legs were crushed in a car accident) would be OK to take their studio lighting class. They informed me that, yes, they were ADA compliant, that they would accommodate me, help me with the equipment, etc. It was all just “talk.” No help was provided, and halfway through the week I had to quit, exhausted. They wouldn’t refund me my tuition…”we never refund tuition, period.” They never called, never apologized, and to make matters worse, they had the balls to send me the portfolio of work from the graduating class were not only had they removed the photos I had submitted the first few days of class, but they took my name off the list as if I never existed.

    The last day I left, I passed by your class. I had in my backpack, a copy of your book, which you were nice enough to sign, you gave me a big hug and I got a picture of you and me taken by a student from your class. It was the only positive thing that happened that week. I’ll never forget it.

  74. I’m glad to see they worked with you but I still have problems with the way things happened.

    First of all as you mentioned they should apply the frequent flyer numbs to your account automatically when you book a flight. By not doing that they are obviously trying to pull one over on their customers. Loyal customers at that.

    Second. And againas you said, you would not have gotten this far had it not been for this blog and the other social networking sites that you post on. The cared more about the bad advertising than the loss of business.

    And last, in a time when people can’t afford to go flying around they are again taking advantage of their customers by telling them that they need to fly again or pay a fee to keep miles they may have spent a decade collecting.

  75. Scott,
    The volume of comments you’ve received here reflects how raw this kind of mis-behavior by airlines leaves us as customers.

    I’m an optimist, and like to think the leaders at any organization are smart, well-intended people. In that world, the replay of your experience (in you Nov 5 post) would shock USAir leaders into action. Time will tell if the resolution of the situation will go beyond your “squeaky wheel” – and if I’m optimistic or simply naive.

    The 5 lessons you list are spot on. I wrote a post recently outlineing the 10 things I’d do if I were responsible for the customer experience at a major airline. You may enjoy this – or at least find it another lesson we can together wish the airlines would act upon:

    I fly Delta often; see you out there. LCI

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