Every year when I get my new American Airlines Platinum Card – a nifty perk that makes a lot of difference when traveling, I get a little sheet of eight of these Applause! coupons:
The idea, I think, is to have them in my pocket, and when somebody with the airline does an outstanding job, I am supposed to think about these coupons, find one, write the employee name, employee number and location on the coupon, along with my flight number and date, as well as a special remark.
The last few years, bewildered, I tossed these coupons into the trash with the envelope. This time I thought they’d make a great “bad product” blog entry.
First, airline employees are doing THEIR JOBS when they take care of me while I am traveling with them. Giving them Applause! coupons like giving school children golden stars on their papers seems puerile to me. Do the flight attendants save these and get toaster ovens when they collect a dozen?
And is the airline really thinking that I’ll find a place where I stash these with all the stuff I lug with me when I travel, and then, when somebody gives me an extra friendly smile, I say: Wait, let me find my coupon so I can write down your name and employee number?
It must be some kind of sweepstakes, since you can go to www.jetnet.aa.com and click on Applause!
So I tried this:
It is not a surprise that it does not know who I am.
In general, I like traveling with American Airlines. They do a good job taking me where I want to go. And I spend a lot of money with them.
However, I don’t think anyone would notice if the Applause! program disappeared. I can’t believe it’s working.