Biz Exec With 1 Million American Airlines Miles Turns on Carrier


A Texas businesswoman who has accumulated nearly 1 million miles with American Airlines wrote a letter to the carrier's representatives to tell them that she believes the airline is "in shambles."

Laurie Applebaum, 50, of Flower Mound, Texas, let 51 of American's top executives, officers and directors have it in a four-page letter that detailed the delayed flights and employees she considered rude during a week in which she took four AA flights.

"I think it has just become a situation that nobody has control of. I think management is in shambles," Appelbaum told ABC affiliate WFAA in Dallas-Fort Worth. "They don't want to bargain or negotiate with some of the unions. And I think all these entities need to come together and decide what they want to do, because they're losing customers."

In the letter, Applebaum didn't ask for anything from the executives or from the airline other than a personal acknowledgment and a guarantee that flights would take off and land on time.

"I didn't call names. I didn't use cuss words," she said. "It's never been like this."

Applebaum said her American Airlines flights were her biggest business expense. But if the beleaguered airline doesn't shape up soon, she said, those purchases might end.

American Airlines told ABC News that it was aware that some customers were upset. "Through October American Airlines reduced its schedule 1 to 2 percent … and increased staffing in all other areas to assist in accommodating customers and … notify them of the options available and the ability to standby for earlier domestic flights at no charge," Bruce Hicks, American Airlines spokesperson told ABC News.

In the past week, two AA flights were forced to make emergency landings, because a row of seats came loose while the planes were in the air. On Thursday, the airline announced it had finished inspecting 48 planes and had fixed the loose seats.

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