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 junk food 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!
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. ** sent a cold letter indicating that my claim was fraudulent and that it was denied. There were no specifics given, nothing. The verbiage 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 ** 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. **). 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.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- 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'l. airport. Kudos to them for their courteousness and their 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 were 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 were 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 were 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 were late due to their inability to staff their 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 were 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 issues and books our ticket and gave us a seat assignment...
OK fine now let's get to the lodging... We were 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 compensate 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 were 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 were ashamed themselves to be in DFW... Now I know as a business man when your employees speak of their 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 leadership, 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 you're 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, coz 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...
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!!!
MANHATTAN, KANSAS -- 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 **, 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 have 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, **. 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 friend's wedding. I understand that there was nothing he could do, but I am grateful for his effort and kindness. He contacted his supervisor, ** (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.
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 representative's 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 handfuls 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 or 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, or 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.
On Monday December 14th, my fiance, two daughters, and I had a scheduled flight leaving Montreal at 7:45am with one stop in Dallas, Texas. Our final destination was Leon, Mexico at 2:45pm, had everything gone as planned. However it did not, which is why I am now taking time from my holiday to tell you what happened.
We arrived at the American Airlines counter at 6:15am to check in. The line-up was moderate, but we noticed that it was not moving very fast. We did not arrive at the counter until 6:40am. While we were waiting I noticed two things. Firstly, an attendant kept leaving her station to aid those at the E-ticket Kiosk and secondly, there was a couple in front of us who got to jump the line because their flight was being called.
At the counter I was informed that one of my suite-cases was over by 18 pounds and was given the option to remove some items and place them in our other suite-cases to try to lighten the weight. It took me less than two minutes to decide that we were not able to place items in the other suite-cases.
As I turned around to inform the attendant of my decision, I saw that she (**) was preparing to wheel some elderly people to their gate. I approached her and she said she would send someone to help us. My family and I were still standing at the American Airlines check-in counter with no assistance, 15 minutes later. After searching for another attendant, her first reaction was to call people on the radio to figure out what was going on.
Now, at 7:00 am, it was boarding time. After we checked our luggage, she did not offer to try to rush us to the gate. By the time we passed through immigration (and we were given preference as we were traveling with a 7 month old baby) we arrived at the gate, saw the plane and were informed that we had missed our flight by **.
** reaction to when she saw us? "What happened to you guys?" At this point my fiance answered "You left us there." ** immediately was defensive and took no responsibility for what had just occurred. She told us she had sent a gentlemen named ** to help us and called him on the radio. It turned out that ** had gone on break, and very conveniently forgot about the family ** had told him to help with.
After they had contacted the supervisor, the supervisor placed the blame on us, saying that we only arrived at the check-in point at 6:40 and that was not enough time to make our flight. I told them that we arrived there at 6:15, and had waited that long. They then okay'd the crew (**) to find us a flight even if it was with a different airline. They gave us two options, one was Miami ending in Mexico City and then we would have to get to Leon on our own or fly to Chicago, then to Mexico City and finishing in Leon at 11pm.
I feel at this point it is important to note that we booked with American Airlines to avoid travel to Mexico City and to also avoid more than one stop, as I previously mentioned we were traveling with our children. We decided on traveling to Chicago, via Mexico City ending Leon. While waiting for our plane to Chicago, they made an announcement that there was a problem with the plane and that there would be a delay, they did this three times.
After I approached the attendant at the counter and explained that we had a tight connection because of the delay, I asked if they wanted to send us on a different flight. The attendant guaranteed that we would make our connection. So we boarded for Chicago. I think it is extremely important to note at this point that not one of American Airlines employees took the time to apologize to us. On top of that, the supervisor refused to take 10 minutes of his time to speak to us. Working for one of the world's largest hotel chains, I know first hand that this is beyond unacceptable.
We arrived at Chicago at approximately 2:40pm and had to make our connection with AeroMexico at 3:05pm in a different terminal. When I asked for help at the gate they refused to call the other airline or get me any assistant (such as an electric cart to get us there in time). By the time we made it to the terminal at 3:00pm we had missed our flight once again.
So we went back to the American Airlines counter and spoke to a gentlemen named **. After we explained everything that had just occurred, he first asked us to repeat everything because he didn't even believe us. When I went through the story a second time he was beyond embarrassed for what employees of American Airlines had done or in better words, not done.
He began looking for flights for us and informed us there was no flights that night and that we would have to take a plane the following day. At that moment, I refused and told him to look for a different alternative. He said that all the flights were booked and there was nothing until the next day. Then, he found one other option. We would have to fly four and a half hours to LA that night and then take 1:30am flight from LA to Leon arriving in Leon at 6:30am. My fiance burst into tears at this point as our 7 month old was crying and our other daughter was feeling sick already from all the traveling.
I told him it was unreasonable to fly all night with a baby and wanted to speak to his supervisor. The supervisors name was ** and very unfriendly. After he checked on the computer his answer was "You either stay here for three days or you take that flight." At this point, we took the flight. I do want to make a note that one attendant, named **, made an attempt to at least give us one extra seat and she succeeded in doing so. This we were very grateful for and thanked her. However, when we boarded the plane, they had given the seat away.
A couple of things that I would like to mention at this point. I asked ** to look at sending me at a couple of different cities inside Mexico close to our final destination he said "I'm not going to send you to another city just because it is convenient for you." At this point I replied "I don't think you understand, your company had a contract with me to be at 2:45pm in Leon. That was not fulfilled and the least thing you can do right now is try and accommodate us."
** did not seem to understand this. He also did not want to use a different airline. When I requested to try to bump someone on an earlier flight the following morning he simply said "no." I feel it is important to mention I witnessed other companies in the past that when they are in a situation like this they offer a compensation flight for anyone who would give up their seats. They didn't even offer to do that for us. I don't think I need to explain how an overnight flight with a 7 month old baby went. She was crying and grabbing her ears in pain all night.
As a result of all this we lost two days of our vacation. When we got back home we continuously tried to contact American Airlines, we finally receive a response from a ** with Customer Relations. We received a generic apology email and were told we would receive "vouchers" from AA as soon as we provided our mailing address. I emailed back the same day sending our mailing address and asking what the vouchers included.
Over a week had passed and until today I still had heard nothing. I sent another email and included my phone number. I received a call this evening in regards to my follow-up complaint the lady said she was from corporate office and she mentioned that she did not answer my email in regards to my question about what the vouchers included because she was waiting for my address. I told her I had replied with the address and questioned what type of vouchers they were going to send me. She said that she was going to send 3 $150.00 vouchers.
This was not acceptable and when I pointed that out to her she said that she was not calling to negotiate and that my family and I did not give ourselves enough time to catch the plane and she was just sending that as a follow-up. Clearly, I ended the conversation and hung-up. It is clear that customer service is the last worry for American Airlines, and that I can't change that. What I will do though is tell this story to anyone who will listen in hopes that it will at least change a few peoples minds when they are picking an airline to fly with.
I have left many "details" out of my post only to keep this post short. What happened to me on my recent flights on American Airlines should never happen in today's world!!! Certainly NOT after the Delta Holiday bombing attempt on Christmas day!
On December 18th, 2009, my partner and I used American Airlines (AA) to fly from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Guadalajara (GDL), Mexico (#1401). We checked in, and all was going well. We boarded the plane and moved into "take off position." Then we began to sit on the run way.
The "pilot" used the planes PA to state, "we have a bit of a problem because we are loaded with bags from other flights so we have a 'balance problem' with the plane - we have asked a passenger to move from the front of the plane to the back to balance the plane out. Also, some of you will not have luggage when you get to Guadalajara (GDL) because we had to leave it behind to make room for the bags from other flights. Your bags will follow you as soon as possible - we need to make room for the bags from other flights and their passengers. An American Airlines "rep" will be waiting for you to assist you once we land if your bags were left behind."
Once we arrived in Mexico 2 hours later, nearly 1/2 our plane was without bags! One poor lady was having a wedding and her dress was in her checked bag left back at DFW! I had all my medication in my bags-it is real expensive and needs to be kept cold! We began to look for the AA representative to help us with this problem and answer questions and the only person was some 20 year old guy who spoke no ENGLISH! As he filled out the forms he filled it out wrong and NOBODY could offer us any idea when our bags would arrive-all we had were the cloths on our backs!!
We took the paper he gave us and left the air port at 10PM. The next day we began to try to call the "800" numbers to get answers NONE OF THE NUMBERS WORKED! We had to use toll numbers! I FINALLY GOT THIS RUDE WOMAN NAMED **. She kept insisting that I give her a group of "letters" off my form - I told her I did not have them (the idiot never gave them to me). After nearly 20 minutes on the phone with ** the only thing I solved was our bags and my medication "might" arrive in Mexico later that night. Using their website is impossible. We went 4 days without cloths and my medication (about 4,000.00 worth of med's). NOBODY CARED AT ALL!
When our bags did arrive, we were told we could get them "anytime" - that was a lie! We showed up at GDL to get our bags on Wed, December 23rd (we were in a remote part of Mexico and not able to get to the airport). When we arrived we found that AA in GDL has NO "real office" it is a "room" the size of a "closet." The sign reads "open M-F 0800 to 1600." We were there with 20 other people trying to get their bags (even the lady with the wedding dress)! The door was locked.
Again, I called the "toll numbers" and spoke to a REAL PERSON who was not only unhelpful, but insulting and rude. When I asked for a supervisor-I was told "I don't have one." I was able to speak to another person and to make a long story short - I was told to come back the next day! The next day I arrived at 8 AM and got our bags. We were pissed!
During our return flight on 12/30/2009, we were ready for EXTRA security checks due to the Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Delta Plane flying into Detroit. Like many we arrived at 4 AM for our flight which left at 7:50AM. We were not first - 30 or so others we ahead of us. Mexican Security arrived and set up tables and lanes for us to file into - then we waited! NO AA PEOPLE WERE READY TO HANDLE THE CRUSH OF PEOPLE trying to fly home to the USA from Mexico!
Once the AA staff did arrive, we went through the security checks. No keep in mind I am a retired Los Angeles Police officer - I know something about searching people and containers. The searches done of our bags and bodies were worthless! I could have had a "land mine" in my bag and the Mexican TSA would have totally missed it!
Now came the metal detectors - I walked through and set the thing off like I always to. I stopped and waited for what was to come next - NOTHING! THE LADY WAIVED ME RIGHT ON THROUGH WITH A SMILE! SHE NEVER CHECKED ME AT ALL! I HAD BOOTS, A BELT, AND ALL SORTS OF STUFF ON AND SHE DID NOTHING!
We just shook our heads and said, "What the hell! This is NOT security!" As we got ready to board the jet we moved towards the door. Now came the "pat down." FOLKS THIS WAS A JOKE! IT IS CLEAR "THEY ARE JUST GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS" and at the best is it "sloppy" and at the worst, it is going to get someone killed! As far as security is concerned at this Airport, 5 days after a major "terror event" on a flight into the USA - this is unforgivable!
They had some little old lady in a chair taking off her shoes, but the rest of us never took off ours and had them checked. When they did the pat down I was watching the Mexican Security - they only checked the arms and legs-and it was FAST! I remind you that the "shoe bomber" and "Christmas Day bomber" carried their IED's onto the planes! THESE MEXICAN OFFICIALS WERE HORRIBLE IN THEIR SECURITY. The Mexican Army was seen around some of the check points - they were "unarmed!" In 1997, I flew to Mexico and saw men with M16's right in the airport - NOT THIS TIME!
There was no reason for American Airlines and Mexican TSA to be so sloppy-they had lots of time and people were waiting and understanding! "safety first" is what CNN is putting out now - I saw that's a joke! The horrible security and searches we went through the airport is down right UNSAFE! It was very clear we were being "rushed through" all of the security check points. We even arrived "early" at DFW and had to wait for our gait to open up so, we had lots of time!!!
I will never fly American Airlines ever again. This was insane. I will probably never fly back to Mexico because of the lack of security faith in their protection of people flying on planes out of Mexico. Terrorist are everywhere - what will stop them from flying into Mexico, only to rushed through a security check, to board a plane for the USA which is only 2 hours away-all the time in PERSONAL possession of a BOMBS! Nope, never again! Security at GDL is a joke! American Airlines - a company based in Texas and that is shocking and sad! I am a Texan, and now won't support this local business!
I have sent my "observations" of this LACK OF SECURITY to my local Texas elected officials and asked them to look into why the flights from Mexico have such sloppy security on flights into our nation - American Airlines should be on top of this also but clearly they are not!
I am writing to complain about the terrible service my boyfriend and I received from American Airlines. Other issues I am complaining about include the over inflated additional charges I received from the company, the fact that American then overcharged me on these over inflated prices, the lack of a “customer service” department, and how I have received nothing but the run around since attempting to get my money back.
The issues stemmed from a missed flight from Paris, France to Dallas, Texas, with an ultimate destination of Orlando, Florida. The original flight was AA 49 and scheduled to depart on April 2nd, 2009, with the new flight (also AA 49), and many service issues, occurring on April 3rd, 2009.
On the day of our flight, there was a breakdown of the Paris metro system leading to the airport Charles de Gaulle. After paying for a taxi in hopes of making our flight, we arrived 50 minutes prior to departure. We were then informed that check in was closed. The employees asked if it was related the metro system. We told them it was and were told to quickly rush to ticketing so that we could be transferred to and make the Chicago flight which would be closing soon. Here in lies my first complaint.
We were not informed first of all that check in closed almost an hour before take off. Second of all, if American Airlines was aware of this metro issue, why did they not leave the check in time open for an additional twenty minutes? As the day progressed, I met several other people who had also missed flights from American Airlines by a few minutes. Was American simply taking advantage of a poor situation to receive even more money from its customers instead of doing what was best for them?
We rushed to the ticketing desk and stood in line for over thirty minutes and missed the Chicago check in. Our agent was incredibly rude, impolite, spoke over me, and did not answer my questions. The Chicago flight was the last flight of the day to the U.S. I asked her if there were any other possibilities such as flying in to London and then going from there. She told me no without checking.
I asked her if we could fly with another airline in the One World Alliance. She told me it was impossible and that American did not do that. Not understanding this because I had been under the impression that the One World Alliance was there for that reason, I asked her to explain. She just snapped that it was impossible and told me she did not understand what had given me that impression.
After much time, she told me that she could arrange for us to fly out the following day on the same flight out of Paris. We were told the cost would be $280 if we decided to do this. She then explained that by doing this ticket change we would not be guaranteed a spot and if we wanted to have one, it would be an additional fee. I asked her what this fee would be. She told me she would have to call to find out.
After another ten minutes of waiting, she told me the total cost would be $408. We took some time to think about it but then decided to confirm our tickets and pay the $408. We returned to the counter and to a different agent. She typed our information into the system and had all of the information as typed in by the previous agent. We explained we were planning on confirming the flight. She asked if we already knew the rates. Having been given a quote about half an hour before, we said yes.
After being rung up, we left and then looked at our receipts and realized we had not been charged $408, but $475. We also noticed that our connecting flight in Dallas only afforded us an hour and twenty minutes before our following flight departed.
We returned to the counter again and asked about the charge and the connection time. The salesperson just told us that the system charged us $475 and that was what was in the system. I explained that we were quoted a charge of $408. She just restated that the system showed we were charged $475. I decided to not argue the point further and accept the ridiculously high cost of $475. I also mentioned the time to her and she assured me it would be more than enough. Before leaving though, I double-checked and asked her whether the charges would be in dollars or in euros. She assured me the charges were in dollars. We left the airport.
The following day, check in went off without a hitch. As we checked in, I asked two separate employees if an hour and twenty minutes would be enough time and was again assured it would be. We boarded the plane. Upon entering the plane, we discovered that we would not have a seat in front of us and would have to store our belongings. The flight attendant was very helpful. We had three bags between the two of us. After storing the first two in the compartment closest to us, only my purse was left.
Not wanting me to have my purse far away, she asked the person behind me, who I happened to have gotten to know the previous day in line at the ticket counter, if it was okay if I stored my purse under my seat during take off and landings only. The woman agreed, and I did this. However, I was getting something out of my purse prior to take off and a different attendant noticed me storing it there. He told me I had to put it in an overhead compartment. As I began to explain that a different attendant had told me it was fine, he cut me off and told me I had to store it.
I again tried to politely tell him the situation, and he not only cut me off, but told me that I had “no right” to that storage spot and I was “wrong” in putting it there. I was of course livid, not for having to store my purse, but his actions, his aggressive tone of voice, and his word choices. I just shut my mouth as my purse, which included my wallet, passport, digital camera, and connection tickets was placed five rows behind me. I did not appreciate being treated like a petulant child, being snapped at, and being cut off. Unfortunately, I did not get the name of the attendant.
Towards the end of the flight, I asked another attendant about the short connection. I asked if there was anyone I needed to speak with to receive quicker transportation to our gate. She assured me that we would have plenty of time. I was still doubtful that we would have enough time to exit the aircraft, go through the first set of customs, pick up our luggage, go through the next customs check point, check our baggage, go through security, and make it to our gate on time.
We landed and, after doing everything I just mentioned, ran to make our flight. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 4:40 and we arrived at the gate at 4:35 after sprinting the entire time. Luckily for us, the plane had a mechanical issue, thus delaying the flight. Had the plane not been delayed, we would have missed our flight, and our bags, which I saw handlers load at 4:55, would not have made the flight.
On this plane, we had been moved to first class, which I was appreciated and made me feel as American perhaps really did care about its customers, until I discovered that we would not be sitting next to each other. The flight attendant informed me that we had been split up because another couple had requested to sit together. I was not surprised because American Airlines was just further proving how little it valued its customers.
Once we arrived home, I was grateful to be done with American Airlines and figured that they were done screwing me over. Then I saw my credit card statement. Instead of charging us the already inflated $475, American decided to charge each of us $571. Of course American Airlines was going to nickel and dime me and take complete advantage of the situation.
In order to get the difference back, I attempted to contact American's customer service department and apparently, I cannot contact this department because no one is there. I have called reservations twice and been told the same thing. I sent e-mails to American and after waiting three days for something that should have been resolved by phone in five minutes, I instead received an e-mail telling me I should have been charged for $505. Wow. How the number has grown and grown. American just keeps pulling numbers out of thin air.
I am completely disgusted with American Airlines and have already told everyone I know how terrible my experience was. I have posted a copy of this letter on several different consumer report websites, among them ripoffreport.com. I can assure you that I will never be flying with American Airlines again. I also am going to avoid any airline in the One World Alliance at all costs. I feel that any airline that is willing to associate itself with someone as appalling as American Airlines does not deserve my business. I have also forwarded each airline a copy of this letter.
I fully expect American Airlines to return my $96 and believe I should also be given the difference between the quoted price and the (believed) charged price ($67). I have our receipts for the $475 still and have attached it to this letter. Due to the poor treatment I have received overall, I also expect American to refund all of the additional ticketing costs to both of us.
While I have spent a majority of this letter complaining, I did want to commend the one good person I dealt with at American Airlines. I do not know her last name, but the flight attendant named (NAME WITHHELD) of AA 49 on April 3rd, 2009 was incredibly kind and helpful and reassured me during the plane landing when she noticed I looked nervous. I appreciated her kind words and wish I could have properly thanked her. Please let her know she was the only bright spot of my trip with American Airlines.
ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO -- This letter is to complain about service I recently received from American Airlines representatives; **, General Manager- Roswell, NM and **, Supervisor- Dallas, TX call center. My fiance and I were scheduled to return from Roswell, NM to DFW on Friday December 26, 2008, at 3:35 pm. Upon arriving at the Roswell airport at approximately 3 pm we found no employees and no lights on at the American Airlines/American Eagle ticket counter. After waiting for approximately five minutes we walked to the only gate at the airport and spoke with the only employee we could find, the TSA Security Officer.
Because we could not go through security with our luggage, which needed to be checked, he would not allow us to speak to an AA employee (who were all in the gate area past the check point) we asked him to please let the American Airlines employees know that we were waiting at the counter to check in for our flight, he agreed. After waiting another five minutes we went back to the TSA Officer and asked him if an AA employee had been notified that we were waiting to check in to this flight, by this time our plane was beginning to board.
He advised us that the counter employees had been notified, that they were assisting the customers who were in the gate area, and that they would be right with us. Ten minutes before our flight was scheduled to take off we had still not been helped and no one had come to the ticket counter. At this time we went for the third time and spoke with the TSA Officer who again advised us that the AA Agents had been informed that we were waiting and would be right with us. Finally at 3:32 P.M. ** arrived at the ticket counter.
I explained to her that I had luggage to check for the flight that was about to take off. She was immediately unaccommodating, her response was that she was unable to get us on that flight and the next flight left early the next morning. I gave her all of the details of what had happened from the time when we arrived at the airport, and although the plane had still not left she told us that the flight closed at 3:30 and that we would not be able to get on the plane. I then suggested that she allow us to board the flight and fly our checked baggage to DFW the next day.
I further explained that in New Mexico we were visiting family who lives two hours from the Roswell Airport and that my fiance and I live only fifteen minutes from the DFW airport. She refused and was extremely discourteous. Her justification for refusal was that we were required to check in an hour prior to scheduled departure. I let her know that we were there at 3 P.M. no later than 3:05 P.M. and that there was no one available to check us in, also because the Roswell airport is so small (AA/AE is the only airline flying in/out three times a day, one gate and one ticket counter) that I had never experienced a problem before when arriving thirty minutes prior to departure.
She told me that had I actually arrived thirty minutes prior to departure there would not have been a problem, but that it was impossible that I was actually there at that time because they do not close the counter until thirty minutes prior to departure. ** became increasingly impolite and argumentative, accusing me of being incorrect about our arrival time at the ticket counter.
She even went as far as saying that she would have security pull surveillance videos to “prove” it. I suggested that she go ahead and pull the surveillance videos and she could also ask the TSA Officer to confirm the times that we spoke to him. ** attempted to phone the security desk and informed me that they were closed for the weekend and would not reopen until Monday.
She went on to let us know that she could book us on the first flight the next morning and explained that we would need to arrive at the airport at 6:30 A.M. I explained again the distance that my family lives from the airport and asked her to put us on a later flight or to put us on a flight departing on Sunday. She stated that the only way she would be able to do that was if we paid to change the ticket and that the fees would be approximately $600 per passenger.
I told her that I would not like a reservation on the flight that departed early the next morning and was unwilling to pay to change our reservation as there was no error on our part. At this point ** became increasingly belligerent and told me that my “watch must be wrong”. I asked her if, as the manager, she had the authority to waive the $600 change fee.
She told me she did, but that she would not waive the fee and my only option was to “find someone to override (her) decision”. She went on to let me know that she was the highest level manager at the airport so in order to speak with someone else who had the authority to waive the fee I would need to call customer service. While another AA employee was making an effort to speak to me, ** interrupted him stating that there was no need to try to explain anything to me. I just didn't understand. I articulated my concern regarding her lack of customer service. She would accept no responsibility and did not make any attempt to accommodate us and never once apologized.
Prior to leaving the Roswell airport I called your 800 number and spoke with a customer service representative. After explaining the situation this representative offered to book us a flight leaving out of El Paso, TX (three hours from where my family lives) to DFW on Monday December 30, 2008 for $212. Rather than having to be placed on hold, wait for a manager and explain the entire ordeal again I agreed to go ahead and pay the change fee and end the nightmare. Prior to confirming the charge I asked the representative repeatedly, at least three times, to verify that the fee I was paying was for both my fiance and I. She affirmed that it was.
Upon arriving back at my family's home I went on to the AA website to confirm seat assignments for our flight. After searching my account, my fiance's account and checking my email I was unable to locate a confirmation for my fiance. It appeared as though only I was confirmed to fly out of El Paso. I again called your 800 number and immediately requested to speak with a manager. I was transferred to **, supervisor.
I explained to ** the entire incidence as it occurred in Roswell. I also gave him the details of my conversation with the previous representative who confirmed that the fee I had paid was for both parties. He reviewed my reservation and let me know that only I had a reservation to fly out of El Paso and that I would need to purchase another ticket for my fiance to fly.
I repeatedly attempted to explain to ** that my fiance and I were on one reservation originally, that the prior representative guaranteed the change fee I had paid was for both of us and questioned why a new ticket needed to be purchased. ** was of absolutely no help. He continually cut me off as I was speaking, tried to rush our conversation, was unable to locate even the original reservation for my fiance and made zero attempts to accommodate us.
Once more accepted no responsibility and did not apologize. I again expressed my frustration with the lack of service I was receiving; he could not have cared less. As I realized that ** customer service approach was similar to what I had experienced with **, I asked to speak with a manager. He told me that there were no managers available. I let him know that I would not accept that and that I would hold while he found one.
I explained to him that after working in call centers for four years that I knew there was a manager somewhere. After placing me on hold for several minutes, ** let me know that a manager would call me back. I offered to hold until the manager became available. I also asked him to provide me with his last name or ID number. He said that he would not give me his last name, that he could be identified as **. He then let me know that I was unable to hold and that he would have to disconnect the call.
Not long after speaking with ** I received a call from a manager named **. After the awful experience I had with your company that day it was nice to finally speak with someone of her character. ** immediately apologized for the lack of service that I had experienced, confirmed my fiance on the flight leaving out of El Paso on the 30th and even refunded the $212 I had paid earlier in the day. Had any of the employees I dealt with previously placed the same level of importance on customer service as ** I could have avoided this entire horrendous experience entirely and there would be no need to write this letter of complaint.