So I bought an airline ticket for a friend today, for him to fly today. I found a fare on cheaptickets for $295 on Delta, but cheaptickets couldn't book it because it was same day (I dunno)... they indicated that I needed to call Delta. I'd also found a Southwest flight for a bit more ($349).
So I call Delta. After wading through the voice-recognition interrogation, I ended up with an agent. The agent sounded as if she was reciting some phrases, but OK, whatever.
So she says the best fare is $481. HA. I say I'm not paying that much, and give her the details on the fare I found, which she fails to find... but while she is failing to find it, she offers me several "deals" that I would certainly be interested in, such as a credit card and a vacation getaway. After it's clear this is going nowhere, I tell her thanks but I'm not interested. I had to hang up on her as she was still going on about the deals.
Then I call Southwest. No voice-recognition, just a queue, and a person answers after maybe 20 seconds. Very friendly, immediately understood what I wanted and had the flights up. She suggested another flight that left later, but would arrive sooner due to delays on the other itenerary. I booked that flight, and that was it.
WHAT a contrast. Customer service people, are you listening? Employ people that are friendly and well-spoken and genuinely interested in customer service. It goes a long way.