I had an interaction with American Airlines this morning that made me realize why I choose American (even though they cost more than others). Bottom line: I choose American Airlines because their service is worth the price I pay.

The same holds true with almost any business.

In telecom, I can choose the cheapest carriers… but instead I choose great carriers (such as .e4 and flowroute) that offer high quality and great service.

High quality and great service generally means it’s not the cheapest price — but then again, the cheapest solution may cost you more in the long run (lo barato sale caro aka good, fast, cheap: pick two).

Take for example today’s reminder.

Last night I helped my in-laws purchase tickets for a trip on American Airlines. For whatever the excuse, I made a mistake and booked a flight at the wrong time. Big thing: this was my mistake.

I had every opportunity to review the flight times (many, many opportunities) and simply did not. The mistake was brought to my attention this morning and I called American Airlines (with my credit card in hand) to correct my error.

First, when I called… the representative was friendly, courteous, and generally pleasant. This is an immediate difference to other airlines I have had to call (I’m talking to you US Airways). (By the way… I truly hope this new American/US Airways merger doesn’t make me regret this post).

I told the representative that I had made a mistake and what could I do to correct my problem. She helped me change the flights to the correct time and — I’m still shocked by this one — waived the fee (she said this was “sometimes available” when you have booked within 12 hours).

I pay more for American Airlines… but when I have a problem, customer service like this proves it’s money well spent.