NEW YORK — When large numbers of American Airlines passengers are delayed these days, they get an apology and are told why the delay occurred.
Under a relatively new policy, the airline is writing letters to the inconvenienced travelers. Passengers across the country this week have been receiving such letters in connection with a Jan. 6-8 ice storm that disrupted operations at Dallas/Ft. Worth, the airline's major hub. Effects of the disruption rippled through American's system.
"The weather created a variety of problems: late flights, cancelled flights, lost baggage, long travel delays, missed connections--a great deal of frustration," Michael W. Gunn, American's senior vice president for marketing, told more than 34,000 customers in a six-paragraph letter.
The letter explained that, during ice and snow conditions, every aircraft must be de-iced before it takes off. It takes 1,000 gallons of a compound called glycol to de-ice a wide-bodied airliner and 250 to 300 gallons for a narrow-bodied plane.