Absurdly Driven usually looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

American Airlines has endured much over the last couple of years.

It made it easy to perceive the airline as essentially cold-hearted, instinctively money-grabbing and excessively reluctant to heed the cries of customers.

Somehow, though, the coronavirus crisis may have made its senior figures consider the meaning of life. Or, at least, of what being a customer service business truly means. Or, at the very least, the true value of positive customer feelings when business begins to return.

Friends who had travel booked for a future date told me that they'd had no trouble getting refunds from American for flights that wouldn't now happen. Many reports suggested the same.

This is in contrast to the likes of United and Delta, which have not been quite so, well, reasonable.

I wondered whether American's new considerateness was an accident, an isolated act or whether the airline had taken time to consider its world view, specifically its view of humanity.

Suddenly, there it was. American's director of operations communications Ross Feinstein told Skift

We are looking at every single aspect of what we are hearing from our customers. Every idea was listened to and analyzed. We came together to form a consensus as a group to come up with a way to take care of customers.

For too long, American has seemed entirely unfocused on the customer service side. Flight Attendants looked unmotivated, though on a recent trip I did see hope.

Perhaps it's wise when you're going to lose money anyway -- and for quite a while -- and you're going to get a large safe full of bailout money, to make a kind gesture or two.

Yet it's a perfectly human trait to change your attitude to life -- and toward others -- when you're going through extreme difficulties.

So many brands will surely learn over the next year that customers will crave far more  emotional reassurance and uplift than they ever did before.

Humanity is making something of a comeback. I suspect many companies that are currently behaving poorly will be remembered for their stances.

Equally, those that tried to do the right thing and then do it again may be rewarded with the one thing so many brands crave -- loyalty.

Some will fear that American hasn't quite shaken its chillingly commercial embrace, however. Last week, the airline raised its transatlantic baggage fees to $75 in Basic Economy. That's the one-way fee.

I asked why and the airline told me it was to "better align our bag fee structure with our Atlantic Joint Business partners, British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair."

Which some might find deeply convenient.

The timing is imperfect, though one can understand raising a fee just when no one is flying may initially upset, well, no one.

I, though, want to be more naively hopeful. What a great turnaround it would be if American managed to build its post-Coronavirus business on at least an element of warmth and understanding toward customers.

I have a feeling the airline might be tempted to attempt that.

Why, just last week it also emitted an ad expressing not only hope, but the very humanity that's been lacking for too long.

I'm not suggesting American will radically change. I've lived too long for that.

But when you have a negative brand perception, the best place to start correcting it is when you don't really have to, when the eyes of humanity aren't looking too closely at you.

That way, when customers begin to consider you again, the surprise will be so much bigger and more memorable.