In November 2016, I signed up for my American Airlines frequent flyer program, which was tied to a CitiBank VISA card. The written and oral information provided stated that I would receive 40,000 points (miles) after spending $1,000 in the first three months. I did that in 2 weeks and paid off my card in full. I then tried to book a flight, but my earned miles was "zero." I was then told that the miles would be available at the end of my statement period (Jan. 20). They weren't. I was then told they would be available Jan. 23. They weren't. On Jan. 24, I spent another 2 hours on the phone being bounced back and forth between AA and CitiBank reps. No one took responsibility for the situation (great partnership when they blame each other for their joint shortcomings).
CitiBank then finally confirmed that I had met the minimum $1,000 limit in less than three months, so they agreed to "loan 40,000 miles to AA" so I could make my reservation.
Because of all these delays, I had to pay $75 per ticket (2 tickets) because we booked flights within 2 weeks. This would not have been an issue had AA and CitiBank upheld their original promises that the 40,000 miles would be awarded once I had spent $1,000.
I posted all this on Twitter and received responses from both AA and CitiBank saying they wanted to help. I provided the information they requested, and in response I received a message stating that "We understand your concern and want to help in any way we can." Yet no help was provided. Should we assume they aren't capable of providing support/help?
Two additional issues:
1. AA has obviously not heard the phrase "the customer is always right." The representative with whom I spoke asked for my AA number. I told her I had only received the credit card and no AA frequent flyer number. She said, "it's on your credit card." I said, "no it is not. The only numbers on the card are the actual card numbers and your phone numbers." She then said, "It is on the card." WTF? If I say it is not on the card and I am looking at it now, do not tell me it is on the card. Learn to do your job or get a different job.
2. AA hires a bunch of ESL (English as a second language) people abroad to save money. The problems are that (a) their phone connections are terrible, and (b) even when the connections are OK, you can barely understand these foreign AA representatives.
In sum, there's no wonder American Airlines is the airline company with the most complaints in the U.S. Stay away from both AA and CitiBank. It's a bate and switch scam.