Why We Always Check to See If Inflight Audio/Video Works

With the exception of international flights with on-demand audio and video, we rarely use the inflight entertainment systems on any airline. But we always check to see if the audio or video works on any flight that offers it. Why do you ask?

Inflight Entertainment System Being Rebooted - Photo: neekoh.fi, used under Creative Commons License (By 2.0)

Inflight Entertainment System Being Rebooted – Photo: neekoh.fi, used under Creative Commons License (By 2.0)

We learned many many years ago that if the audio or video does not work, the airline will give you something in return. For example, on a recent American Airlines flight from San Francisco to New York, the audio did not work in our Main Cabin Extra seat. The flight attendants tried their best to fix it, but to no avail. We thanked them for their effort and had to resort to working on our laptop to update the deals for this site. 😛

Upon landing in New York, we sent an email to AA customer service about the non-functional audio. In about 2 hours, we received this reply:

Dear The Flight Deal:
Thank you for contacting us regarding your flight today.
Our crew members do not always have the capability to make 
repairs to our audio/video equipment in flight. We know this 
entertainment is a welcome diversion, and we regret that it 
wasn't working.
In view of your disappointment and to make amends, I've 
credited your AAdvantage® account with 5,000 bonus miles. 
AAdvantage® miles can be used to claim travel awards.
The Flight Deal, we hope to welcome you aboard soon. We will 
do our best to see that your next trip is pleasant and trouble free.

When we logged on to AA.com to see our credit:


5,000 miles is worth about $100 to us when we redeem for an award ticket. So basically, doing the simple task of plugging our headset in to see if the audio worked and then writing a simple letter to customer service when it didn’t resulted in us receiving about $100 in value. So always carry a spare headset and plug it in.

Here’s our tips about writing to customer service of any airline in general:

  • Keep it to the point
  • Avoid being emotional
  • Keep it short
  • Ask for what you believe the compensation should be, but be reasonable
  • And only complain if its valid


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