American Airlines tells passengers how to behave, backlash ensues

Consumer satisfaction with airlines has been tanking as carriers tack on fees, strip away amenities and squeeze passengers into smaller seats.

American Airlines wants its passengers to be happy—but they don’t necessarily want to have to do anything to improve the overall customer experience.

This week, the legacy carrier rolled out a new ad campaign that salutes “the world’s greatest fliers.” Who exactly fits this mold?

Apparently, it’s the passenger that brings his or her own noise cancelling headphones on board when a baby is crying. It’s the passenger who “walks faster in airports” and packs like “they’re solving a jigsaw puzzle.”

One print ad reads that the world’s best flier is: “Always upbeat, great fliers make the best of their situation no matter where they’re sitting.”

In other words, American just wants its customers to smile through the pain that is modern day air travel.

On Monday, Fernand Fernandez, American’s vice president of global marketing, saluted the new campaign saying, “Customers really have a huge impact on the flying experience.”

But as the commercial spot began circulating and news of the campaign broke, many on Twitter didn’t take too kindly to the airline’s plea for passive passengers.

Maybe the airline will consider handing out peanuts to passengers who manage to sit quietly through their whole flight.