American Airlines

Star Half star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.4 out of 5, based on 49 ratings and
223 reviews & complaints.

Most Popular | Newest | More Options >
More filter options:
American Airlines Cancels Flights & Does Not Care!
Posted by on
In July of this year, our flight out of Detroit was slightly delayed due to a storm. We left a few minutes late, made some time up in air and landed nearly on time. However, there was no gate available in Dallas and we had to wait on the plane for about 30 minutes. We were told no worries, our flights were being held. When we arrived at the gate, there was a line of about 50 people and we were told by the attendant that our flight was told to leave early and there were no more flights out. Also that she was leaving soon for the day, and we had to go to another gate to get rebooked. We stood in line for over an hour. There was one attendant to take care of all these folks. We finally got rebooked to reach our destination, but were told there were no overnight accommodations and we would have to sleep on a cot. On cots - really? With a Senior and two small children? The next morning, they rebooked us twice because flights we were scheduled on weren't going to leave the ground due to mechanical issues. At this point we had been in Dallas airport for over 16 hours with only their airport junkfood to eat and no vouchers. I noticed a supervisor and was finally able to get my father to speak to her. Noticing the multiple attempts to get us to our destination were unsuccessful, she rebooked us on an oversold flight with priority booking. We ran to the next gate. Only to have them board the entire flight and not hear our names called. At this point I was scared and in tears. It was looking like a second night in Dallas airport due to an airline with poor planes and poor customer care. I later wrote AA about this experience and was told better luck next time. I wrote them again to express my feelings about their lack of customer care and was told, "We have received your most recent email and want to take this additional opportunity to apologize, once again, for your and your family's interrupted travel. I can understand your continued disappointment. After review and at the risk of disappointing you further, our position remains unchanged. I am sorry. Still, your comments enable us to understand things from our customers' perspective. It would be a privilege to welcome you aboard soon." Of course, I have no intention of ever flying American Airlines again; neither do my family members, nor do our businesses! It's not about the delay, it's about the complete lack of customer care - both during the experience and after! American Airlines simply does not care about their Advantage or frequent flier customers, or any other customer for that matter!
     
Read 2 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
Anonymous on 12/18/2010:
Its airline travel. these things happen. You could have easily got yourself a hotel if you didn't want to sleep on the cots. I really only needed to read the frist 2 sentences and knew what the rest was about.
leet60 on 12/18/2010:
What a horrible experience. I truly empathize with you.

This is very common in the U.S. There are no federal requirements that airlines must meet regarding delayed or cancelled flights. Each airline has its own policies. It’s important to know that airlines are not required to compensate passengers whose flights are delayed or cancelled.

This is one of the drawbacks of the Airlines being deregulated.
Close commentsAdd reply
I Am Sure the Gate Agent Stole My Louis Vuitton Bag!
Posted by on
DALLAS FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- Plain and simple - on 18 January 2009, the gate agent at Miami International forced me to surrender my $1300 Louis Vuitton Keepall, which housed all of my belongings from a cruise vacation. I argued with her and was refused boarding without checking the bag, which fits overhead (and there was room on the plane).

Surprise, surprise, the bag never makes it to LaGuardia in NYC. It was my only luggage item. I completed all the paperwork and submitted it by the deadline (this is very time-consuming). Then, there is the three-month wait.

In the meantime, I filed a police report with Miami PD because I honestly believe the gate agent stole my bag. It is no coincidence that she forced me to surrender a bag, meanwhile there were other people allowed to board with duffel bags much larger than mine. Also, according to MIA airport security, there is no camera surveillance at this particular gate. Coincidence? I think not. The last I was told, the investigators were going to interview the people who worked the gate when I boarded. Apparently, American Airlines staff at Miami Int'l were unwilling to provide information about who was working then. I was also told that the "gate agent" may have been an impostor. This is POST-SEPTEMBER 11th America, right?!

In April 2009, Ms. Terenza Townsend sent a cold letter indicating that my claim was fraudulent and that it was denied. There were no specifics given, nothing. The verbage stated, "some of the information you stated is not accurate," and that they may prosecute ME for fraud. Imagine that!

I needed to be cool, so I waited before I called her. This Terenza Townsend states she did not believe the items could fit in the bag. Also mind you, if there is even the smallest of typos, then your entire claim could be denied. For example, if the bag was 9.7 inches deep and I put 9 inches or 10 inches, then my claim is deemed inaccurate and thus, false.) She also told me that although American Airlines acknowledges my bag was lost in their care, they will not take responsibility. Does that make any sense? No.

I wrote letters to the entire Executive Board. Surprise here - not a single reply. I sent emails. Imagine this - no reply other than "Contact Baggage Services ( i.e. Ms. Terenza Townsend).

I lost everything! My entire vacation was in that one article of luggage and it is all gone. I waited for hours at LaGuardia, hoping my bag would appear, but knowing it would not. The moment I surrendered it in Miami I knew I would not see it or my things again. I had a bad feeling from the start, when she singled me out and denied me to board the plane. Next time, I will get ALL the gate agents' contact information before I surrender anything. I will also take their photo with my phone. These people are hard to locate, believe it or not.

It is now October 2009 and my complaints and appeals have gotten me nowhere. I am making the next move - legal intervention. This experience has caused significant emotional distress. In addition, losing over $6k worth of material (luggage included) cannot go away quietly. It seems that suing American Airlines will be the only viable option.
     
Read 3 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
Eloise on 10/24/2009:
This act of 'theft' could have been committed by TSA, so you might not want to point fingers at AA.
Anonymous on 10/24/2009:
You may have a strong feeling the bag was stolen by the agent, but it could also have been taken by a baggage handler in Miami or DFW. Best not to post a specific allegation w/o proof.
Nohandle on 10/26/2009:
Many members have experienced the same problem with a carryon not being allowed on a flight and they were told it had to be checked at the last moment. The bag would be well within the size and space requirements. It's unfortunate but I don't see as to where you have any recourse. Your word against theirs. That's why I despise flying commercial now. I have no doubt you had an expensive bag. I tell people now to keep the expensive luggage at home for local trips and go purchase a piece of junk for airline travel. Someone within the airlines will steal it or ruin it anyway. Those who travel frequently, and I don't anymore, learned that lesson the hard way.
Close commentsAdd reply
How is this legal?
Posted by on
Starting about six months ago during this economic hardship I was forced due to finances (looked for six months and could only find this job) to take a job as a gate agent with American Airlines. I spent 2 months training at O'hare Chicago and then was sent to Dallas Fort Worth for two weeks of training. Of course the airline required you to wear a suit to training everyday (even though they only pay 9 dollars an hour) so I made sure I packed all my good clothes as well as my casual clothes. For two weeks I basically packed everything I owned from suits, to shoes, to swim trunks. On my way home, a quick flight from Dallas to Chicago somehow, out of the 10 of us checking bags at the same time, mine was the only one to come up missing.
I immediately went to lost baggage to find out what was going on. They assured me that it would be on the next flight and they would deliver it later that night or call if it did not show. Sure enough, no call and no luggage. Going back to work the next day I checked in. Nobody had heard anything but they said it would turn up, this continued for the next week until I finally lost my temper and decided to call the number they had given me. After another week of being bounced around from voice recording to a person who did not have the authority to an answering machine to another voice recording I finally got ahold of someone to send me the form I needed to fill out.
I filled out the form and mailed (and faxed) it in, they had told me it would take up to three months so I patiently waited. In November they called me and asked why I had not sent the form in, even though I saved all the paperwork proving everything I had sent in, I even had my managers signature on the paperwork to prove everything that I had stated. I was given a number of someone who was supposed to help but once he recognized my number (Scott William and Cory Chestnut) he stopped answering and never got back to me once after two weeks of messages that I left him. Finally I went back to square one and went through the process of getting a live person again. After much hastle I got Shawn Murphy(972 425 1090), the only man there who would answer his phone when I called. He said the check had been sent out and it would be there shortly. Two weeks later I began calling Shawn again and he said he would look into it. I asked to talk to a manager however he informed me that managers were not allowed to talk on the phone, even though I heard her insulting me in the background.
At this point they said they were sending out another check and I would have it within a week, surprise surprise, no check. So yet again I called and Shawn Murphy started ducking my calls. I had been checking in and out with a lawyer at this time and told them if they did not send me my check I would be forced to take them to court.
This brings us to yesterday, February 22nd 2011, I finally received a call from Robert at American Airlines 972 425 5240. He told me my claim had been rejected, no reason, just rejected. I asked him how they could lose my luggage and not be responsible, and he just answered "too bad." I told him at that point I would see him in court and he said "good luck going against American in court."
So now here I sit with none of my business clothes and since I worked for the airlines at 9 dollars an hour I can't replace all of my nice clothes I had from my previous job. The ironic part is that they take all lost luggage and sell it at a giant store and make tons of money off of it. I rounded down asking for $2500 and they will not even give me the time of day.
Well, I am off to take these guys to court in the next few days and it leaves me asking myself, "How is this legal?" They steal my stuff and sell it but will not take responsibility.
And yes I worked for AA/AEagle and yes, and a lot of people do steal stuff so be careful.
     
Read 5 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
Anonymous on 02/23/2011:
What does your last sentence mean? Are you suggesting that employees stole your luggage?
trmn8r on 02/23/2011:
$2500 sounds extreme. Does an airline cover a bag for that much?
RoyaltyNMU on 02/24/2011:
And this is meant to help, not for you to call me a thief or communist
jktshff1 on 02/24/2011:
editing does wonders, Doesn't it?
route51south on 04/19/2011:
Since the airlines are going to charge for checked bags, I think I'll use that check-in money and have FedEx deliver it to the destination. Much more reliable.
Close commentsAdd reply
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Unbelievable
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
DALLAS, TEXAS -- To whom it may concern, 7-16-2013

The worst experience I have ever had.. never again will I travel through DFW or on an AA flight again.
I would like to start off by saying the security was the best thing about DFW Int. airport.
Kudos to them for there courteousness, and there friendly attitude.

I would like to ask you a question...
Have you ever been through a bad experience and felt good about it in the end because of the way you where treated?
I have and it's amazing how people who care, can really take a negative, and turn it into a positive. It wasn't the circumstances that was so upsetting to my wife and I, it was the arrogance and the disrespect we had
received from the American Airlines representatives. From not taking responsibility for their own actions, to the fact that we where asked to come out of pocket for transportation and lodging expense after we arrived late from PHX, and missed our connecting flight to Tampa because there ground crew was late by an hour to man the flight. When we landed we watched our connecting flight roll away from gate c-19 as we arrived at gate c-12. ( They told us they could hold that plane when we left PHX) Also note there were 8-10 of us on that PHX flight that missed the connection flight 890 that departed at 6:45..

So they put us on stand by for flight 1072, it was the first flight to Tampa Departing 8:40 p.m. We walked DFW one end to another from gate c-28, to a-39 back to gate c-11 for our opportunity to get to our destination.
( THAT’S ALL THE GATE CHANGES IT MADE FROM 6:45 to 8:30.)

Here's the trouble The plane had open seats on it and they would not book us on it because they said it was weather related... NOT TRUE!!!
You people can wait, we will make you fly stand by again if the plain sells out... Now keep in mind we where not late due to weather we where late due to there inability to staff there plane with a crew .. So we couldn't get on that flight (1072). Now listen to this customer service..
The man at gate C-11 starts issuing stand by for the 7:30 a.m. flights... STAND BY AGAIN WHEN AGAIN WE LOOKED AND SAW THE PLANE WAS NOT BOOKED.
So I confronted the man and asked him why would he not book our flights and give us a seat assignment when we where the priority for open seats, why make us fly stand by again?
As he saw the angry people around him bumped from now 2 flights.. He took back the stand by tickets issued and book our ticket and gave us a seat assignment..

OK fine now lets get to the lodging..
We where told that we would get a cot for the night.. Again not acceptable..
Are you charging me for a ticket I book and don’t show up to use?? YES.
so I am paying not only for a rental car tonight and lodging in Tampa but I am told we won't comp you anything..
Again we are not here due to weather this is your mistake. He issues a voucher for a room, and $25 meal voucher to econolodge in Arlington..
it was 20 minutes away, had no restaurant to redeem the food voucher and we where told we would be required to pay 47.00
for the room plus a shuttle fee of 40 roughly to get back in the a.m.
So we come back to the airport and demand a supervisor.. There are 2 hotels on the airport property, why would you send us 20 minutes away??
And why would we pay anything??? The response given,
“I am sorry but we can't give distressed vouchers to those properties” . So we asked why would we get taken 20 MINUTES FROM HERE?
As we understand there are about 30-40 hotels in the area within 5 minutes...
So we called the Hyatt.. They confirmed that they do work with American Airlines and they needed a phone call to authorize the voucher..

All I can say is if you work for this company I am sorry you don’t have any real choices as to being employed by a reputable company who puts quality and service ahead of the $$$$$ machine.. As to the multiple AA employees I spoke with I was told this was the worst on time airport with the worst customer service, they have visited as if they wear ashamed themselves to be in DFW.. Now I know as a business man when your employees speak of there company with disrespect, embarrassment and contempt there is an obvious leader issue.
People should speak up and you should listen..

MANAGEMENT YOU ARE FAILING IN THE BIGGEST WAY AT THE SIMPLEST OF THINGS IN BUSINESS.. “SERVICE”

To Dallas You will never see one dime of my money ever again.. This reflects on my perception of what your city is like.

To the Heads of AA you can look in the mirror and point the finger at the reflection you see.. As in any organization Leader ship,
and lack thereof is reflected in the attitudes and the demeanor of its staff. If this is your base, your hub, your home, I would think if your going to see class, service and quality it would be here.. UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS NOT.

Make your Billions and be happy, Rape, pillage, and look at yourself and smile, cause that’s all you got to show for it..
Sleep well, I know I won't here on a cot, listening to construction workers in DFW...

Regards
Patrick
Phoenix Az.
     
Read 2 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
olie on 07/20/2013:
This very well could have been weather-related. Remember, there's weather at your destination and everywhere in between.

Mr.olie and Teen.olie traveled from Oregon to Baltimore a couple years ago. Our weather in Wisconsin was beautiful, but the East Coast was barraged with severe storms, in systems that weren't moving. They lucked out and were able to avoid spending the night in the airport
emily schwellenbach on 07/27/2013:
This airline cares nothing about its cutomers, safety or its reputation. So why be in business. Went through similar thiong but they held my luggage hostage and had to stay in a dirty outfit. They gave me a 200$ voucher which I deleted cause if I want to DIE, then I will fly American,
Close commentsAdd reply
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Switch and Bait and Deliver Crap
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
OCALA, FLORIDA -- We needed a new mattress for an old/antique 3/4 bed. We were assured by our sales representative that sizes had not changed in a hundred years.. We gave him the measurements and he again made the above statement, so we tried the merchandise they had in their inventory and made our selection.

We also needed a mattress for our king size bed. We use two twin sets, so we tried the merchandise they had in their inventory and made our selection. We wanted very firm for both sets. We paid for both orders that day 5/19/12 (including a $75.00 delivery fee) and waited for their 5/23/12 delivery day. We told them it would have to be before 4:00pm as we had an appointment and would be leaving. They finally called and said they could not make it and rescheduled for the next day. Supposedly we were first on the list for delivery the next day. The store doesn't even open until noon, so they said they would be here by 2pm. Needless to say they weren't and when they did show up "they didn't even have our whole order". When my husband saw the 3/4 mattress he knew they were to big. They only brought one of the twin sets. After many phone calls back and forth to the store they agreed to return the supposed 3/4 mattress and credit to our credit card.
We immediately knew that the two sets of twin mattresses were not the"firm" that we tried in the store. It was like sitting on cotton balls.
After many many calls, even to our credit card company, they refused to return those cheap, soft, worthless mattresses to their stores. Therefore, they are sitting in my bedroom up against the wall unused and unwanted because they are not what we ordered.
It was such a terrible ordeal with such inferior merchandise "and" organization. I have never written a review before, but after this mess, I feel other customers should know what a crappy experience we had. I would never recommend this company to any one, unless they enjoy getting ripped off......
     
Add reply
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Failure of American Airlines to Honor Commitment to Passengers
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- This letter is being written as a warning to passengers flying on American Airlines (AA) in association with “partner airlines”. I recently (June 15 to July 1) returned from a trip to Ecuador. My flights were booked through Orbitz but were all American Airlines flights. Nashville to Miami and Miami to Quito, Ecuador – returning the same way. The Miami-Quito leg was American Airlines (flight 7638) but operated through Lan airlines.

On the trip from Miami to Quito one of our group (of 10 total) was told by Lan that she had no ticket and would have to go to the AA counter to get proof that she had purchased a ticket. As a result of her trouble we went to the AA counter in Miami (since we had a 3.5 hr layover and thought we had time to spare) and asked them about our tickets. The AA representative behind the counter told us that they didn’t know why we had come to the counter, that we were appropriately ticketed and had nothing to worry about.

Given our friends experience, we asked them to contact Lan to let them know that we were ticketed. The representative, with a supervisor standing next to them said no – because Lan wouldn’t pick up the phone and said – and I quote - “when you miss your flight come back here and I will help you then”. Little did we know that experience was a walk in the park compared to the one we had on our return trip.

On our return we arrived at Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport 4 hours in advance. When we got to the counter, after waiting 2 hours, the agents told four of us that we had no tickets and would have to go to the purchase counter to get confirmation that we had a ticket, then return to the counter (with hundreds of people waiting in line) to get our boarding passes. We meet many other groups (over 25 people) that had been there longer than us, going between the AA counter and Lan counter trying to get boarding passes. Since Lan could not/would not confirm tickets we went to the AA office in the UIO airport. At the office, the lights were off and doors locked. Security guards (extremely friendly and helpful) repeatedly rang a bell to get representatives to open the door.

They (AA reps) then robotically printed the ticket info (which my friend already had), highlighted the flight and said they couldn’t help us because “their part of the trip” (in her case Miami to Cincinnati) was fine and sent us on our way. There were 7 of us (the other lucky people took another airline). Four (including myself) got their boarding passes with 30 minutes to spare. Two made it at the last minute. One got left behind. I can’t tell you how horrifying it is to leave behind a friend, alone, at a chaotic airport, with an airline (s) that is acting like you didn’t even by your ticket (which cost upwards of $1000). She is still there today – although they have put her up in a hotel – she will be returning 3 days late. Many others had the same experience with families and groups randomly split – some “making it” and others left behind.

I am a frequent traveler; having been to many countries and had many interesting experiences. The treatment of passengers by American Airlines and by Lan was by far the most disorganized, discourteous, frankly frightening experience I have ever had – and we were not the only victims. Usually I would contact management and let them know what was going wrong, but I sincerely believe that this is a systemic American Airlines problem. This is meant as a warning to anyone not willing to be mistreated, mislead and even marooned – DON’T FLY AMERICAN AIRLINES!!!
     
Add reply
Thanks AA for making me miss a wedding I was in!
Posted by on
MANHATTAN, KANSAS -- Dear American Airlines Customer Relations,

Today is a big day for me; it is my best friends wedding. Not just any ordinary friend, she has been my best friend since kindergarten. I am a senior in college at Kansas State University and have been in DC for the past two weeks visiting my boyfriend. We fly once a month to see each other through American Airlines.

Today I was supposed to be on an American Airlines flight at 12:30 pm leaving from BWI. I was supposed to be landing around 5:15 and getting in the car with one of my friends to the hotel to put on the beautiful satin, honey colored dress that the bride chose for me to wear today while standing next to her.

This is how my day actually went… I woke up in Germantown, Maryland around 9:00 am and called my best friend to tell her how excited I was for her wedding tonight. The Montgomery County Taxicab driver picked me up at approximately 10:02 am to take me to BWI airport. His name was Cornell, he was a very educated man and talked wonderfully about the new ICC highway we drove on a majority of the time to BWI. He said how impressed he was with the building of this highway; delays were a minimal during the construction. Great guy and outstanding service. We pulled up in front of the American Airline entrance and I paid him $112. I went up to the self-service counter to check in and to check my bag, only to find out that my flight was delayed until after 1:00 pm. This meant that my connecting flight in Dallas wouldn’t be an option because I would of only had five minutes to get to the next gate. If you are familiar with the Dallas airport then you would know that getting off of the plane and making it to the next gate would have been merely impossible (but I’m sure you already know that). So I went to the service counter and was greeted by an agent, Ken Whitloch. I explained my situation and how I was in dire need to get back to Manhattan, KS before 7:00 pm. He tried his very hardest to dig deep into the system to find any possible solution for me to make it to my best friends wedding. I understand that there was nothing he could do, but I am grateful for his effort and kindness. He contacted his supervisor, Nicole Summany (CSM). Over the phone, his supervisor offered the possibility of me catching the next flight with United Airlines that leaves at 4:47 pm to Chicago, and then leaving there at 7:30 pm to arrive in Manhattan, KS at 9:15 pm. So I took that flight because I have no other option than to accept the fact that American Airlines has delayed my flight. They told me that I could not get a refund for my ticket, but they gladly offered me a $12 meal voucher. A $12 meal voucher doesn’t do me any good when I have been fasting for the past two days to fit into my bridesmaid dress. So I decided I would go get a drink to relieve stress and call my best friend to break the news that I would not be standing next to her on her big day. Until I looked down at my voucher and read, “NOT VALID FOR ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES”. As I sit in the lobby area in front of United Airlines, patiently waiting for 4:00 to roll around to check my bags, I decide to give my meal voucher to a younger lady that could probably find some use for it. Hopefully she’s not a drinker. So here I am, still waiting in the lobby. Words can’t explain how extremely disappointed and sad I am, and all American Airlines can offer me is free, cheap airport food.

My mother swears upon Southwest Airlines, refuses to fly with any other airline. Her flight was once delayed and she missed a meeting for work, so they immediately offered her a free flight. Now I understand her commitment to them. In six hours my best friend will be getting married to the man of her dreams and I should be standing next to her. Because of American Airlines I won’t make it. Now I’m short a $12 meal voucher and possibly my best friend.
     
Read 6 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
Ben There on 01/13/2012:
30 minute delays are quite common in the winter, as storms around the country trickle through the networks of all airlines.

It sounds like you had a really close connection, which is something I like to avoid when going somewhere as important as a wedding.

Southwest is a good airline, but they simply don't fly to small cities like Manhattan, Kansas.
Anonymous on 01/13/2012:
This is why I fly out the day before a special occasion. You cannot predict weather or maintenance related delays
Old Timer on 01/13/2012:
+10 LS.
trmn8r on 01/13/2012:
If your best friend ditches you over a travel delay that is out of your control, I would question the foundation of that relationship.

Sadly, delays and (these days) schedule changes at airlines can mess up the best laid plans. If a connection involves only a half hour to switch planes, I would almost avoid that itinerary if it were important to get through on time.

I'm really sorry that you missed your friend's wedding. You are short that voucher because you gave it away, but there isn't anything that can compensate you for missing the wedding, except the understanding of your friend.
JayByJay on 01/14/2012:
You got pretty good customer service there. True you didn't get a free flight out of the deal but a free flight still wouldn't have gotten you to the wedding on time. Flights get delayed, it happens, and we've had some bad weather up in this area the past few days. It's your job to schedule your flights knowing they might get delayed.

Also, it's not the airline's fault that you're fasting.
olie on 01/14/2012:
It's also not the airline's fault that OP stayed in DC with her boyfriend until the last possible second.
Close commentsAdd reply
Out with the trash
Posted by on
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- On September the 25th I flew American Airlines from Seattle to Dallas Fort Worth, and arrived in my home city of Columbus, Ohio at 12:30am. We were supposed to get in around 9pm, but the flight had been delayed. When my head hit my pillow at 2am that morning, I was totally exhausted.

Waking up on the morning of the 26th I started to unpack my bags to hand out souvenirs, and start my laundry. Much to my surprise, my laundry bag was missing. It contained a week's worth of my favorite outfits, some brand new that I had purchased for my trip. I hopped online and got the number for the Seattle Branch Airport right away, letting them know about my missing items. I explained that I found a TSA notification that my bag had been searched, that I thought that they pulled out my laundry hefty bag and just dismissed it as trash and did not return it to my bag. They told me that while the items may very well be at their airport, the policy was for me to report it in my destination city.

I called port Columbus and let them know exactly what happened. The man on the phone said since it was Sunday there was not a lot they could do, but he took an initial inventory and promised that the staff that handles these issues would call me the next day to get the rest of the information They didn't call. I started to call regularly on the 28th, but received an answering machine message about delayed bags and the number to call to check on my claim. I didn't have a delayed bag, and I had yet to get a hold of someone who would give me a claim form, so after leaving messages to call me back, and receiving no answer this seemed a dead end.

I went online to look for a place to claim missing items, but there was no link to be found for this information. Customer reviews repeatedly mentioned that there was nothing to do for missing items via the web, and that they were given the run around when they called to inquire. Calling more baggage numbers online, I continued to run into the wall of a pre-recorded message for delayed baggage expectancies, or was asked to enter a claim number to check the status. Getting a hold of a human being was next to impossible, and when I did they told me there was nothing they could do and that I had to call my home city.

On the 10th of October a woman finally called me back from Port Columbus and left a voice mail. It explained that the search would be a ten week process, and that she hoped I had reported the missing items within 24hrs of my arrival or they would not be covered if they weren't found.

I called back several more times and finally got a hold of a man that took down my information and sent out a claim form to my address. After spelling my name a letter at a time "Jennifer M Cooke," the letter that took two weeks to arrive was addressed to "Mr M Book." The mail man almost did not deliver it, but my roommate was there to tell him that we were expecting a letter from American Airlines, and they must have mis-addressed.

I sent the letter back priority mail, having just a week before the cut off day for them to search. Around the ten week time I called to find out the status of my claim. They told me it would be a little more time. Three weeks after that I received a letter explaining that I could not be reimbursed because of my unusual delay in reporting the missing items.

I honestly feel that every step along the way - from having to report the lost items in my home city, not being called back in a timely fashion, having no way to report the items online, being left a voice mail with no further solution, to having the claim sent to the wrong name, were road blocks set up to make it impossible for me to follow the procedure that would allow me to make a claim in which I could receive reimbursement. I am going to write a letter to this effect and send it to baggage and customer service. Based upon other reviews I don't expect much. In the future I will do everything I can to avoid travel with American Airlines, and suggest you do the same.

     
Read 5 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
Anonymous on 01/25/2011:
First, let me say that your post was very well written. I cannot believe the runaround you were given by American Airlines. That is unbelievable. Then they deny your claim because YOU did not call them in a timely manner. Customer service has gotten worse in many aspects of life, but this is one for the books. I would pursue this any way you can. It sounds like you did every thing right and they are very incompetent. Thank you for the post.
rockfishing on 01/25/2011:
The real problem is with the TSA. They lost the items. AA is in a no win situation because of the TSA. Complain to your congressman.
Anonymous on 01/25/2011:
rock, while I understand what you're saying, AA still owes their customer's something when things go missing from luggage that was checked with them. After all, it's not as if they can call TSA and file a claim.
Mrs. V on 01/25/2011:
Try this url for info in contacting AA people that might be about to help. It's form Chris Elliott's website. He's the Travel Ombudsman and helps people out with travel problems.

http://onyoursi.de/wiki/airline/american-airlines/
barbie39 on 01/25/2011:
Tey contacting Chris Elliot' website. You may have him look into the problem for you. He has done a great job for many frustrated travelers.
Close commentsAdd reply
Lost Baggage with American Airlines
Posted by on
I put my 75 year-old mom on a first class flight with American Airlines from DFW to LAX on Jan 5, 2011, then connecting with Cathay Pacific from LAX-HKG-KUL. AA DFW-LAX flight was delayed by more than 2 hours due to mechanical problem at DFW airport, resulting in my mom missing her Cathay flight at LAX. We were told by AA agent at LAX that the baggages were tagged to transfer to Cathay Pacific, so she couldn't retrieve her bags at baggage claim at LAX. The next day, my mom checked into her Cathay flight at LAX and was told her 2 bags couldn't be found because AA never transferred them over. She was told to check with Cathay Pacific at final destination in KUL Malaysia if the bags were there. Obviously she arrived and the bags were not at KUL. We filed a lost baggage claim with Cathay Pacific in KUL. I called the Cathay Pacific baggage services at LAX to follow up and was told based on their log, AA never transferred the bags over to Cathay at LAX on Jan 5 and they had telexed the message over to AA and had not go any response. We contacted AA directly and were told the 2 baggage tags were closed out from AA system since the flight had arrived in LAX. They do not have baggage tracking system, so they can't tell me where the bags are or whether they were even on the flight from DFW to LAX. I called AA Baggage Services at 1800-535-5225 and AA Central Baggage Service at 1800-866-4010 (after the baggages have been missing for 5 days). I got the same response - the 2 baggage tags were not in AA system at all and they were not responsible to trace them because Cathay Pacific was the carrier to the final destination, so Cathay was responsible. I told them the bags were lost under AA control and were AA even bother trying to trace the baggage? No, not their jobs. They only deal with claims filed with AA. So basically NO ONE is looking for the lost baggages for my 75 year old mom.

I have called and tried to get information for 6 days now and is getting increasing frustrated and helpless. I know AA's customer service sucks but I didn't know they just don't take responsibility at all for lost baggages. If they don't show up, too bad for you. No one cares to look for them.

We paid a lot of money for my elderly mom to feel comfortable about the long haul international flight but it ended up being the most stressful flight in her life. She has had sleepless nights for a few days now worrying about the baggages. She is a 75 year old lady and has lost everything she has got in those bags.

I am extremely disheartened with what is going on. My suspicion is the bags have been stolen but AA is taking no action to investigate on how 2 bags can disappear into thin air.
     
Read 3 RepliesAdd reply
User Replies:
Alain on 01/14/2011:
I'm not sure which agency can help you with this, but give the FAA a call at 866-835-5322 or the FTC at 877-382-4357 and hopefully they can point you in the right direction.
Ben There on 01/14/2011:
It is true that since Cathay Pacific was the last airline to fly your mother, they are the ones responsible for finding and delivering your mom's bag.

Since your mom missed the last Cathay flight of the day at LAX, chances are AA sent over the bag to Tom Bradley terminal but since there were no more Hong Kong flights for the day, Cathay probably put the bag aside and forgot about it. AA on the other hand pretty much has a 24 hour operations at LAX... Someone is always in baggage.

You can also file a complaint with the DOT: http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/index.htm
Alain on 01/14/2011:
Ben, I was hoping you'd see this! I was sure you would have a good answer for the OP! I'm also copying down the website for my personal notes. Thanks!
Close commentsAdd reply
Do Not Connect in Rome with American Airlines
Posted by on
I've flown countless time with American in many parts of the world, having been an American Advantage Platinum member in the past, and cannot recall an instance of such poor service, and certainly nothing remotely approaching the exceptionally poor service which I received in Rome with two of AA's personnel, one of which was the AA supervisor there. This Rome AA supervisor was arrogant, indifferent, and condescending. Below is my experience:

On Tuesday May 11, 2010 I flew on American Airlines from Chicago to Istanbul with a connection in Rome (AA 110 Chicago-Rome and scheduled TK 1862 Rome-Istanbul). The flight from Chicago was scheduled to depart at 4:55pm but was delayed due to mechanical difficulties. Hence, instead of arriving in Rome on Tuesday at the scheduled 9:15am, it arrived the same day at 11:30am.

As I was disembarking from the plane in Rome, I was intercepted by a local representative of AA who informed me that I had missed my connection but that I was “protected” on a later flight - seven hours later to be exact! When I explained that that was an unreasonable amount of time to wait for a connection and that there must be other routes which could get me to Istanbul in far shorter times than nine hours (seven hours waiting plus two hours flight time).

The AA representative showed me on a nearby screen about four flights. The first of these flights on the screen was my original connection originally scheduled for 11:40am but now set to depart at 11:50am, so I asked if I could not board that one. I was told that there was not enough time. With twenty minutes to spare, I took it that, based on the AA representatives rejection, that the 11:50 flight must be in a far-off terminal and gate. The remaining handful of flights presented to me did not appear to arrive in an earlier time in Istanbul.

Having just flown for some nine hours plus delay, I then reluctantly went to the main terminal as directed by the AA. For this I went into the satellite terminal where I had landed, down the stairs to the tram boarding area, waiting for and rode on the tram to the main terminal, waited in line at and went through the security screening checkpoint. There on the screen adjacent to the main terminal security point, I was to discover that the 11:50am departing flight, i.e. my original connection and the one which I had been told I did not have enough time to board, was not only still boarding but that it had been back at the tiny satellite terminal (circular and only 14 gates, grouped in pairs of two) and just by the gate where I had landed!

Disturbed by having been directed physically away from a connection which I could have easily made, I went back to the satellite terminal to speak with a supervisor. [Side Note: There was not any valid reason for my being directed to the main terminal, because even my seven hour later connection was in the very same satellite terminal.]

When I first explained the situation to the supervisor and asked for an explanation, he said that he had to get a flight boarded. So I waited, waited while the supervisor chatted leisurely and jokingly with others. The flight fully boarded and then I saw the supervisor move over to another flight, with not a word nor gesture to me who was by the now empty boarding area waiting for him. So I patiently moved over to this new gate and attempted a couple of times to discreetly get his attention, wherein he avoided even eye contact with me, let alone giving some indication that he understood that I was still waiting for him. Finally, as this second flight was nearly fully boarded, and the AA supervisor was again holding non-business conversation with others and still completely ignoring my presence, I spoke up and explained that I was still waiting for him. The supervisor then said that he would be with me in a few minutes and I continued to wait.

When the AA supervisor finally came over to me, all he attempted to do from beginning to end is to attempt to justify that the original AA representative’s actions. The lies and misrepresentations which came from the AA supervisor are summarized as follows:
Falsehood #1, that the AA representative had not known that the
flight which departed to Istanbul had been delayed to 11:50am. While he may have not know at the time he rebooked me to the seven hour later flight, he certainly knew when the two of us were looking at the same screen at 11:30am.

Falsehood #2, that there were only the handful of trip routing from Rome to Istanbul. Rome and Istanbul are major international airports, only two hours flight apart, and each with flights departing and arriving every few minutes. There were far more options to be routed to Istanbul (or Ankara which I had given as a possible option) than the handful which I was shown.

Falsehood #3, that the original flight AA110 delay was due to weather conditions beyond the airline’s control. The final words of the Rome supervisor as he haughtily and indignantly pushed my documentation across the counter back to me were, and I paraphrase,: “I cannot help someone who is not able to understand that we are dealing with weather forces out of our control.” The fact is that I was on the plane naturally when the pilot, before take-off, informed the passengers that there was a delay due to two mechanical difficulties - one that his windshield wiper had to be repaired. Further, the pilot had informed us that at least an equal amount of time, if not more, would be due to the paperwork. Thus the original flight delay which was the first factor in my missing the connection in Rome was due, not to some unavoidable act of God, but rather due to American Airlines.

Thus, naturally, there is no justification for my not having been directed to board the 11:50am flight, nor to being sent to the wrong terminal, nor for AA claiming that they were not responsible for my missed Rome connection, nor for not rerouting me to arrive in Istanbul in less than nine hours.

Further, neither the original AA representative nor the supervisor even gave my any assistance nor guidance relative to the apparently re-booked seven-hour later flight. During my time in Rome, I noticed that I was not given a boarding pass for the flight, nor directions to obtain one nor told where / in which direction even to go.

The reality is that without Rome AA’s misinformation and misdirection, I would on my own have easily located and boarded my original connection, the nearby 11:50am departing flight. Rome AA violated a primary rule which can be applied to customer service: “Do no harm”.

After my seven hour Rome ordeal, I arrived in Istanbul. Rebooked, paid a change fee for, and boarded the last, 11:55pm, flight from Istanbul to Ankara. In sum, I spent over 24 hours en route, due to the incompetence and intransigence of two, ill-mannered and ill-trained American Airlines personnel in Rome.
     
Add reply
Top of Page | Next Page >