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

It's easy to get frustrated when you're flying. 

In fact, from the minute you have to spend hours online trying to find the right flight -- and, just as you're completing your booking, discover that baggage fees have gone up -- the potential for rage is often close at hand.

In recent times, airlines' reaction has often been to either ignore you or, perhaps, throw you off the plane.

But now American Airlines is trying a new approach.

As CNN reports, it's equipping its Flight Attendants with bright, shiny things that they can use any time they spot a passenger in distress.

No, I'm not talking about a mini-defibrillator. 

Nor am I referring to a pair of handcuffs or a Taser. 

I'm actually talking about Air Miles. 

Yes, your friendly Flight Attendant will be able to instantly flatten your furrowed brow with the offer of a few miles.

Say, for example, you've just noticed that your seat is, in fact, merely a flimsy piece of foam. (It happened to me.)  

Or you tried leaning on the armrest and it completely fell off. (It happened to my girlfriend.)

You might hear your Flight Attendant now say: "Oh, how terrible. Would 5,000 Air Miles make you feel better, madam."

What a welcome surprise, one that Delta's Flight Attendants have enjoyed administering for some time.

I worry, though. 

Imagine you've already seen a Flight Attendant offer another passenger 10,000 miles for enduring a seat that mysteriously doesn't recline and you complain about your broken armrest. 

What if you only get offered 7,500 Miles? 

Would the best thing to do be to ululate to extremes about the injustice, thereby hoping to get another 7,500 Miles for your psychological pain?

Or would the Flight Attendant merely have you arrested on landing?

We're flying into the unknown here.

In previous times, you see, gate agents did have the power to offer you Miles for your moans.

This mid-flight tourniquet is new to American. 

All we can currently rely on are the words of its spokesman: "We want the customer to get off the plane feeling good about their experience. It makes the customers feel good and it makes the flight attendant feel good."

It also makes the passenger unlikely to file a complaint in which they use words and phrases like disgusting, disgraceful, and never again. And lawyer.

Published on: Jan 12, 2018