Fast Company

What Decade Do They Think This Is?

If the market economy worked exactly as advertised, then American business would have realized by now that millions of women keep their names when they marry these days. Apparently the people who run the airline industry have yet to grasp this fact.

My wife and I discovered this when she had to take a domestic flight while I remained home. I tried to give her some of my frequent-flyer miles so she could upgrade from coach to business class, which the major airline was supposed to allow.

But because we have different last names--shocking, no?--they wouldn't believe that we are actually married. She offered to fax them a copy of our marriage license, but they wouldn't accept that. They insisted that I go with her to the check-in counter at the airport and vouch that she's my wife.

Talk about maintaining a reputation for bad customer service.

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  • Doug Peebles

    Memories... I'll never forget the time that my wife and I switched cars to provide a bit more fuel efficiency on a drive to visit friends in another state. The next day, I parked outside a client's office, fed the meter and ran inside to drop off a package. When I returned the car was gone! One of those "don't park here after 3pm" deals. The folks at the impound lot didn't understand the different last names either. Fortunately, it was the end of the week and being without a car provided the inspiration to do some work around the house. I'm pretty sure the impound gang still talks about that one.