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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.
     
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My terrible American Airlines experience
Posted by on
On Monday December 14th, my fiancee, 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 (Pascal) 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 Pascal. Pascal's reaction to when she saw us? "What happened to you guys?" At this point my fiancee answered "You left us there." Pascal immediately was defensive and took no responsibility for what had just occurred. She told us she had sent a gentlemen named George to help us and called him on the radio. It turned out that George had gone on break, and very conveniently forgot about the family Pascal 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 (Pascal) 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 too 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 worlds 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 Tim. 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 embarrasssed 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 fiancee 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 Johnny 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 Anita, 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 Tim 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." Tim 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 Maria 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 were they 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.
     
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
According to how it played out in your eyes, you did receive a bit of bad treatment but to go over point by point what you are so wrong about would take too long. If I were you, I'd graciously accept the offer of goodwill of 450usd in vouchers.
Hugh_Jorgen on 01/13/2010:
While their customer service was lacking, you were in fact quite late for your flight. According to their web site, for all flights leaving any city in Canada they suggest being at the airport three hours before departure.
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
I didn't read the whole thing but get the jist. They were right. You did not give yourself adequate time. I always show up at LEAST 2 hours early for a flight. Its common sense. I'm sure they were busy, and some people needed help at the self service kiosk. Remember, youre no the only one who needs help there. there ARE other people. your bag was over the weight limit. You should have been aware of this before you got there. If there was elderly people there, they are persons with disabilities and require more assistance than you needed. As far as not "rushing" you to your gate, that's not their responsibility. Seems to me you could have saved yourself trouble if you showed up there earlier like they suggest you do.

If you would have been there earlier, you wouldn't even be here right now. So your fault. Goodbye!
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
For early morning flights like that, I suggest getting to the ticket counter right when they open. The ticket counter opens at 4am at the Montreal Airport. I would have arrived no later than 4:30 am if my flght was at 7:45 am.

And also, you are not getting any sympathy by repeatedly mentioning how you kids keptcrying and whining. You chose to bring them with you on such a long trip. One of my best friends travels to and from Sweden a few times each year with her two young kids. She doesn't expect special treatment from the airline or the airport just because she is travelling with kids. And she travels alone with the two kids
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
Hugh, those could be the new regulations. This was 14 December when arrival time was an hour and a half for international flights. OP I sympathise with you but what compensation are you entitled to? You lost two days holiday, so your compensation would be the cost of a short trip somewhere for two days. YOu can try arguing for more travel vouchers but you need to set out your claim. Go on their website and see if you can find the cost of a short trip somewhere, say a trip from Montreal to New York and if that's $250 each, then claim $750 in vouchers. But show how you arrived at what you want.
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
Um James, the Montreal Airport website says 3 hours for international flights when you are leaving Canada and travelling internationally. I remember when I worked at an airline and we would advise 2 to 3 hours as well
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
James, an international flight requires at LEAST 2 hours, maybe 3. I used to be a limousine driver. Maybe a domestic flight would be 1 1/2 hours. But I would still be safer being 2 hours early.
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
Tennboy the check in times from Canada have all changed now, but going by my memory, I'm pretty certain that AA's website always said an hour and a half for international flights. In any event I agree, always be safe and go even earlier
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
James, it's two hours you are going from Canada to the US. FOr flights from Canada to destinations outside the US, it's 3 hours. It says that on the Montreal Airport's website
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
eh I would still feel safer being there earlier than that....just makes sense so you don't run into problems the OP ran into.
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
I guess Tennboy and I will make to our flights on time and James will miss his flight and have to wait to be rebooked on the next available flight
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
Yeah and get to listen to this OP and her kids cry.......
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
Lol tennboy
Anonymous on 01/13/2010:
You have a very vivid imagination on what really happened. Without taking account all your dramatic detail, the simple fact was that you were late. You needed to allow more time for your original check in. If you arrived at 6:15am and boarding starts at 7am, you're late. If they took you to rush you through security to the gate then they would have delayed other passengers. I used to work at the ticket counter and the gates at Chicago Midway Airport and I can tell you that if we give you an option and you say it's unacceptable, then tough! At that points it is take it or leave it.
Ben There on 01/13/2010:
1.5 hours is not enough time to check in, fill out the paperwork, clear customs and immigrations, security and get to the gate, especially with kids.
Anonymous on 01/14/2010:
We always get to the airport 2-3 hours early before a flight. Every time you book a reservation they tell you that. If you get a printed confirmation it tells you that. 1.5 hours is not enough time if you run into trouble, as you found out.

No matter how you spin it, YOU began this issue. Next time, be early like everyone else does.
Anonymous on 01/14/2010:
LS.....working for an airline for as long as I did, I can assure you the "everyone else" you're talking about, doesn't exist. Everyone else, likes to show up at the last possible second before the cutoff, thus why they have long lines and complain. Won't hurt some to miss their flight once, cuz they'll surely show up early next time.
Anonymous on 01/14/2010:
Lol Judge, I guess you are right...when we check in for our flights it is always early morning ones and for the first hour or so it is bare. Then it starts filling up as late comers come in...I guess I should have stated 'like the rest of us who show up early' instead of everybody else.
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Lost Bags-Lies, And Poor Security At Mexico Airport
Posted by on
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 Holidy 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. You 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 WOMEN NAMED "MARY." 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 "Mary" 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 Wens, 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-I 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 was worthless! I could have had a "land mine" in my bags 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 ol 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!
     
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User Replies:
DCGirl on 01/01/2010:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that you should never pack prescription medicines in your checked baggage. Never.
Anonymous on 01/01/2010:
Two distinct issues here.
Security/policy etc are dictated by the government of the nation, not airlines. Apparently CNN has you convinced that every foreigner is up to no good. Considering about 8 billion people have flown since Sept 11th, and there have been, what....3 incidents. Your odds are pretty slim something will happen. Your odds at winning the jackpot in a state lottery are much better than being embedded in the side of a building.
let me see? on 01/01/2010:
You are kidding right? I agree everyone in a forign country should speak English so you are not confused. You fly at the busiest time of the year, put your medication in the checked bag, and what's is about your medication needs to be keep cold? was it in a refrigerator in the baggage hold?
Anonymous on 01/01/2010:
Retired police officer.....then you should be aware that the rules in your country do not equal that every other country will have the same. Glad I wasn't on your flight. I would have told you to shut up.

People complain about security, then complain about having not enough or that can do it better yada yada. Everyone is an expert.

And you checked your medication? And had no clothes in a carry on for emergencies? And as upset as you were about YOUR bags, wow...so was everyone else who's bags replaced yours on your flight...you know...the ones who were without clothes longer than you.
Anonymous on 01/01/2010:
You are entitled to compensation of up to $3,300 for delayed baggage according to DOT regulations. You can be sure DOT intends to enforce these regulations as in September 2009 they fined Spirit Airlines $375,000 for violations including this one for compensation for delayed and lost bags.

On the security question you are really out of line. You can't tell the Mexicans what to do in their country. It's like if a Mexican came to LA and said to you, "Officer where is your gun? Why aren't you carrying a gun?"
PepperElf on 01/02/2010:
Plus the airline doesn't control what the security people allow to happen.

As you said "Mexican TSA"

Last I knew TSA was not owned by American Airlines.


as for the meds... personally anything that expensive I've have brought on carryon
John in Texas on 01/02/2010:
I flew 5 days after the Delta flight was attacked this last holiday-I am sure those Delta passengers and the families who lost loved ones on flight #93 on 9/11, will feel better as they fly out of other counties to the USA-we just say to them "don't worry it's not our job to make sure people are safe on flights coming in from other nations or planes that fly over American soil."

I love the mindset on this-It's not our job (America's job) to make sure planes do not explode in mid air as they fly over Americans homes or carry Americans as passengers-no matter where fly from.

As for my "med's" they MUST BE CHECKED I WAS TOLD, "PER TSA" because they have a "frozen" block of gel fluid (ice pack) to keep them cold for up to 12 hours. I cannot carry this substance on the plane (jusy like I cannot carry my gun)-think about what we now are allowed to bring onto a plane these days.

I well understand that not every immigrant is up to "no good"-however, given the "events" of the last 8 months (Dallas, Colorado, Fort Hood Murders of 13, etc..) and now a Delta flight on Christmas-I WANT TO BE SAFE NOT SORRY!!. By my count, our nation has had more than "just 3 incidents since 9/11". Depending on how you look at it-OUR NATION has been dealing these crazy thugs since about 1984, after our buildings were blown up overseas, the bombings in New York before 9-11, the bombing of The USS Cole, and now the CIA workers killed two days ago. Our government and our Airlines claim to be "pro-active" in protecting those of us who do fly. Not waiting till people die and plans crash into buildings or explode in mid air-like the last clown tried and Richard Reid the "shoe bomber" tried. Isn't that what our President is telling us he is doing? Seems "inconsistent" to me from what I and others on AA flight 1040 went through on the 30th.

It is clear we cannot tell "the Mexicans what to do in their county"-I saw that first hand as I traveled! When is comes to this nation people want to be "PC" which over rides commonsense these days.

American Airlines is a U.S. Company, based in Dallas-a state; last time I looked. Texas, has had TWO "terror events" this year. One in Dallas and one at Fort Hood. I am an American, and Texan-I will not accept "sloppy work" or safety failures like this. This company has a obligation to ensure that American Safety Standards are followed-and up grade these standards whenever possible. If the "Mexican Government" won't do it- then American Airlines must make up the slack. The whole checked bag matter is simple "sloppy work" by people who couldn't care less-period. People with "zero" commonsense and problem solving skills.

I seldom watch CNN, but I am aware of "Government Spin". What I saw and is being reported are not the same when it comes to security. Many on my plane had their bags left behind in Texas-the bags on our plane belong to other flights before ours-none of them passengers on my flight 1401. Yes, people on our flight went without their bags for as long as we did-we saw them days later as we tried to get our stuff.

One of which was the women from Texas with her "checked" wedding dress-in her bag! Lord only knows what her wedding was like! We managed-but I will never fly American Air again and I won't be going to the American Air Lines building in Dallas anymore for events-not after this. I won't spend my money on American Companies like this.
Anonymous on 01/02/2010:
John, then don't fly any airline again.You are going to have the same issues with any airline.
John in Texas on 01/02/2010:
Probably won't fly again. It is only a short drive across Texas to Mexico.

Unlike many people in the USA, I will not "settle" for this type of service and half hearted safety. It is clear I cannot trust our government and this president to protect the American public by following simple safety measures. American Airlines now thinks it is too big to fail so why bother cleaning up their act-after all the FED's will throw them some cash if they file chapter 13!

I will take my chances with the drivers in Mexico like our family did-at least I have a fighting chance and get to see the sights along the way. All of my family we met in Mexico-drove! They drove from Los Angeles to Guadalajara-makes sense now. Yea, yea, I know "I have more chances of being killed on the road than in a plane"-you can save that BS!

Flying for me is now like buying any product made by Dodge and GM-I don't spend my money on those American companies either-I drive Fords!
bcd on 01/02/2010:
“I have left many ‘details’ out of my post only to keep this post short.”

Apparently not.
Anonymous on 01/02/2010:
You don't want American cars but you drive Fords? Would that be the Japanese Fords? I myself prefer the Korean Ford. But what we have in common is that we hate American cars but love Fords. Perhaps we can tell the other members here how Mr Bruce Lee Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in Tokyo.
John in Texas on 01/03/2010:
Classic responses from many people
jktshff1 on 01/03/2010:
no, go away voices...
Anonymous on 01/03/2010:
Then drive already. It won't change the fact that our country does not rule the world.
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American Airlines Crapped On Me And Then Overcharged My Credit Card
Posted by on
To: American Airlines "Customer Service" Department,

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.

     
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Ben There on 04/08/2009:
It sounds like there were conversion rate issues with your fees. Did they charge you in Euros? If so, your credit card company might have added its own fee. Also, airlines recommend that you arrive at the airport 3 hours before an international flight and I am positive that the cut off time is listed on the website. For future reference, domestic flights normally have a 45 minute cut off time.

As for the fees, all airlines charge them if you miss a flight and do not make it on standby the same day. I suggest that you look into travel insurance as it sometimes covers trip delay and trip interuptions like this. American is upfront about its fees; It would have been lovely customer service if they would have waived them but at the end of the day they had nothing to do with you arriving at the airport late.

As for getting the entire value of your ticket back, forget about it. While you might have encountered some less than pleasant people during your journey, they did you you from the USA to Paris and back and that is what you paid for.
Anonymous on 04/08/2009:
For a domestic flight it is recommended that you be at the gate two hours before departure. I would imagine it is even longer for an international flight.
msnanny on 04/08/2009:
All of your problems stem from the fact that you arrived late for your original flight. I honestly don't see how you can blame American for that.
Anonymous on 05/04/2009:
Don't ever use them again! If everyone stops using them, they'll be broke in no time!! My wife keeps getting delayed due to electrical problems?? Since when did they let the 3 stooges run an airline?? These guys should get sued up the *&^%. Better yet, next time a plane crashes, the AA execs should be on it!!!
Anonymous on 05/04/2009:
BOYCOTT AA!!!!!
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The Customer Does Not Come First!
Posted by on
ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO -- To whom it may concern:

This letter is to complain about service I recently received from American Airlines representatives; ******* ******, General Manager- Roswell, NM and ***** (last name not provided), Supervisor- Dallas, TX call center.

My fiancé 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 fiancé 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 fiancé 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 **** (Last Name Unknown), 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 ****’s 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 ****- Dallas. 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 Leslie. After the awful experience I had with your company that day it was nice to finally speak with someone of her character. Leslie 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 Leslie I could have avoided this entire horrendous experience entirely and there would be no need to write this letter of complaint.
     
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Ben There on 01/31/2009:
Get to the airport earlier next time... 35 minutes is too late even for an airport with one gate.
spiderman2 on 01/31/2009:
35 minutes before a flight with luggage to check and security to go through and you are surprised you didn't get on the flight? Sounds to me like you bear a share of the responsibility for this situation.
dan gordon on 01/31/2009:
when you fly from small airports the counter agents are also the gate agents. Getting there with too little time was your problem so ranting about the airlines seems silly as you created the problem.
Disaster Worker on 02/01/2009:
Good responses, everyone. Until last February, I typically made about 200 flights a year for business. I always got to the airport 1.5-2 hrs early. Denver and Atlanta, even earlier.
ChristiG007 on 02/01/2009:
So because I was late they were justified in treating me like a piece of sh*t?? I accept responsibility for being late... what I don't appreciate is the way they told me that I was lying about the time I arrived at the airport and the way that I was treated.
Also, whether I was late or not, I was there before they closed the flight, before they should have left the ticket counter (their guidelines say 30 minutes) and attempted multiple times to let them know I was there.
Maybe you all are not reading the second page of my review.
wgaguy1984 on 02/05/2009:
So you arrived at "approximately" 3, meaning you were there approximately at the cut off time. Which is more likely: your watch is off by a few minutes? or they shut the ticket counter down early? Maybe their watch is off by a few minutes. Either way you're partly to blame by cutting it so close, and it was EXTREMELY courteous of them to rebook you the next day for no charge. A CSR should never get confrontational like you allege, but it's their job to enforce the policy you flouted. Good customer service does not mean giving you whatever you want.
leopard on 02/18/2009:
Sorry, Buddy, but this is your fault! Get to the airport earlier next time!
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Where to begin?
Posted by on
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Last October (2005), I decided to spend some of my hard-earned Frequent Flyer miles with American to travel to Dublin, Ireland. I convinced a friend of mine to come with me, and he bought a full price ticket to Dublin. I've been an AAdvantage member since 2001 and my friend has Gold member status. Both of us used American frequently for business and personal trips and were pretty happy with their service (despite the occasional delay or cancellation).

Our journey to Dublin began last week, Sunday, May 1, 2006. We were booked on a flight from Saint Louis to Chicago O'Hare, flight 1677, and were then booked from Chicago O'Hare to Dublin on flight 92. We were scheduled to leave STL at 4:59 PM and arrive at O'Hare at 6:16 PM. Our flight to Dublin was scheduled to leave O'Hare at 7:25 PM.

Due to some weather problems in the area, our flight out of STL was delayed a full hour to leave at 6 pm, but the gate attendant reassured us that we would still be able to make the flight to Dublin leaving from O'Hare at 7:25. En route to Chicago, my friend talked to another passenger who was also heading for Dublin, but he had already been rebooked to go through London and then on to Dublin because another AA agent in STL told him he wouldn't be able to make the connection to Dublin from O'Hare that night!

That turned out to be the case with us, as well. We arrived at O'Hare and went directly to the Dublin flight's gate, but even though we stood there and looked at the plane for a full 15 minutes before it departed the gate, the AA agent would not let us on. We were sent to the "Rebooking Center," which is just a telephone bank, to try to find an alternate flight.

We managed to get ourselves onto a flight to London that would connect to an Aer Lingus flight from London to Dublin. We would get to Dublin six hours later than planned, but it was the best we could get without waiting a full day.

The AA gate agent who put us on the London flight was unresponsive to our questions about what would happen to our luggage, and sure enough, our luggage was not in Dublin when we arrived there the next afternoon. The people at Aer Lingus were extremely helpful; they found and delivered my friend's luggage the evening after we arrived and mine came the following evening.

A wonderful week in Ireland was followed by yet more American Airlines service flubs. We were scheduled on AA flight 93 out of Dublin on Monday, May 8th. My itinerary that came via email said that the flight was leaving from Dublin to go to O'Hare at 12:35 pm, so we arrived at the airport at 10 am. However, when we got to Dublin airport, we found that the time had been moved forward to 10:45 am and that the flight had been closed. After talking to a supervisor at some length about the situation, she escalated the problem to American's site manager at Dublin Airport, Sheila Murphy. Sheila informed us that AA had sent an email update on 3/10/06 regarding the schedule change. I looked through my email and found no such update. Being a computer geek, I explained to her that sometimes email doesn't arrive as intended, or that there may be a bug in their delivery system. She remained unmoved and dispassionately told us she would do nothing for us, that we would have to wait until the flight out the next day, that AA would not pay for our hotel that night, and that those are the risks of booking online. We gave her a resounding piece of our minds and explained that an email notification regarding a two hour move forward of an international flight was a very, VERY poor notion of customer service. Her answer was more or less, "Those are the breaks. Neither I nor American care."

Furious, we spent an extra night in Dublin and arrived early the next morning to catch the 10:45 am flight from Dublin to O'Hare (flight 93). Miss Murphy had printed out our tickets for us, but she put the wrong date (May 8 instead of May 9) on my friend's ticket, causing another minor delay. Otherwise flight 93 went pretty smoothly. We landed at the scheduled time (12:30 pm-ish) in Chicago.

Our flight to Saint Louis, flight 2067, wasn't scheduled to leave until 4 pm. Being well aware of the delays and cancellations that occur at O'Hare in the evenings, we asked an AA gate agent if it would be possible to get on standby for an earlier flight. She scornfully proclaimed that if we had already checked baggage for the later flight (which we had), the FAA would not allow them to put us on a different flight than our baggage. I suspected this was nonsense as I had gone standby on flights before, even when my baggage was checked for another flight, but I couldn't prove it to argue it, so I didn't.

Our 4 pm flight to STL was delayed, and we boarded around 4:30 pm. While boarding, people were told to not block the aisle so that people could get to their seats and the craft could leave on time. How a 4:00 scheduled departure leaving now at 4:52 could be considered "on time" was beyond me.

We then sat on the plane while a "mechanical issue" was dealt with. Considering the rather disturbing buzzing sound coming from one of the craft's wings during flight, I'm not really sure that the mechanical issue was actually resolved. We finally left the runway at O'Hare at 6 pm and landed in STL at 6:45.

After waiting a few minutes for our luggage in baggage claim, we found that it had already arrived on the flight before us, despite the gate agent's claim that the FAA mandates that our baggage travel on the same flight with us.

Needless to say, American Airlines will receive no more business from me, and I would advise other travelers to be wary in dealing with them. Despite their exorbitant ticket prices, they show no interest in serving their customers, and no matter how many times they screw up or waste your time, you will receive no compensation or, for that matter, compassion.
     
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Bababooey on 01/31/2007:

Serves you right for continuing to patronize the schittiest airline in the world.
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Flight 118 from LAX to JFK nightmare!!!
Posted by on
P.O. BOX 619612 MD 2400 FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- American Airlines 118 from LAX to JFK. Flight 118 was supposed to land in JFK but instead this is what happened; We were unable to land as planned at 3:30PM and spent 2 additional hours in the air due to weather conditions. Finally we landed in Washington DC around 5:30PM and the plan was to refuel and head back to JFK. We spent additional 5:30 hours inside the plain as we were not allowed to leave the plain. To top this inconvenience the crew ran out of food!!! I didn't have anything to eat for over 12 hours!!! and no one brought food to the plain nor we were allowed to get out and get some food for ourselves!!! There was a diabetic person on the flight and a small baby!!! I was feeling as I was bout to faint! I was dizzy and weak!!! I really believe this is not only wrong but inhuman! to keep people inside of a plain and not provide them with the basic of the basics - Food!
Moreover - we were finally allowed to leave the plain at 11:00PM and entered the airport. Most of the stores were closed, so we had no option to purchase food!!! There was no AA representative to instruct us about our luggage or what to do for the night. I found myself with a group of people from our flight wondering around the airport helpless looking for my checked in suitcase. Finally, we found the suitcases on our own without AA help and waited for about 2 additional hours to receive our luggage.
After we obtained our personal belongings we found an AA single representative on the top floor and begged for instructions for the night. I was one of the single people on the flight who got a hotel voucher and that was due to my insistence yet I was rudely asked to share the room with a complete stranger!!! I didn't receive a cab voucher and had to pay both ways (Over $30USD)
I was told 3 different departure times for the next morning 10:00AM, 11:30AM and 2:00PM no one new to tell me what time was my flight departing! I would like to add that no food vouchers were provided and due to the late arrival time everything was closed.
I got to the hotel at 2:00AM after having less than 4 hours of sleep I called AA in the morning and was told that my flight is scheduled for 10:00AM after I got to the airport I found that my flight was delayed (again) and now departing at 11:30AM. We boarded the flight and spent an additional hour on the plain waiting to take off.
Needles to say the crew did not serve any food or drinks on that flight!!!
We landed and I got to JFK at 3:00PM on Sunday March 14th
I inquired at the AA stand about me returning flight on Monday March 16th at 06:15AM (leaving in 15 hours form the time I landed!) and was told that most of the chances that the flight will be cancelled. I had to reschedule my flight to the following day.
     
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PepperElf on 03/17/2010:
and carrying more food will just raise the fuel costs


I mean I understand being hungry but once they run out
there's not a lot of choices on what to eat
Ben There on 03/17/2010:
Sometimes with bad weather like this hits there is not much that can be done. Air Traffic Control controls if the airplane can land, and can delay flights into airports for hours because of traffic.

With the new consumer laws going into effect, airlines will face huge fines for keeping people on a plane, even if they have no control over the weather and can't get a gate at the diversion airport simple because there are no gates to be had. To avoid these fines, I expect a lot more flights will be cancelled because of weather, leaving lots of people stranded without hotels.
Anonymous on 03/17/2010:
Even remotely defending the airline here is ridiculous. From all these past events similar to this, any airline should be outright embarrassed at this kind of behavior. I would think they'd be bending over backwards trying to prevent situations like this. At the very least, food should have been delivered to the aircraft. And if the times are correct, no one can tell me that not a single gate was available for 5 1/2 hours. This airline blew it and blew it big time.
Anonymous on 03/17/2010:
I agree with The Judge. This is deplorable. Trapping people inside an aircraft with no food for 12 hours is inhumane, not to mention all the other shortcomings. Anyone who thinks this is acceptable should definitely have a reality check, starting with the airline employees themselves.
biomajor on 03/17/2010:
They were on the ground for 5 1/2 hours in Washington. Someone from the Airline should definitely have gotten some food to these people trapped inside the plane. This is a disgrace!
Ben There on 03/17/2010:
The Judge - if I recall you worked for an airline. I am not defending AA, but from what I understand there were many diversions to Reagan, and and they ran out of gates. This would be a 767, and Reagan does not normally get those large planes. Out of curiosity, how quickly could you unload 10-20 planes with maybe 2 or 3 gates?

In hindsight, AA should have cancelled this flight in LAX. Of course this would have meant a lot of people probably would not have gotten home for days, nor would they have gotten a hotel room but there would have been plenty of food.
Anonymous on 03/18/2010:
If this was a major event, ie, massive diversions, the airline is at fault for using Reagan for all of them then. They have plans for this type of thing and apparently their plans need re-evaluating.

Unloading all the planes with only a limited number of gates would be chaos. Better to have diverted them to other cities...IAD, BWI, BOS etc. They may have run out of gate space but the catering companies have food. Load up a truck and bring it to the plane. Service the lavs if necessary. This isn't that hard of a fix.
Anonymous on 03/18/2010:
Being too lazy to look up the exact details I can tell you a few things are wrong with this post.
On a Tcon 767 a pilot would have to go to his alternate within 90 min, not 2 hrs - there just isn't the gas to hang out that long. I doubt they landed at DCA, IAD perhaps. DCA has too short a runway and if it was a divert point for other aircraft you'd have to hardstand the a/c and there really isn't any space. Further, no gates can accommodate a widebody at DCA that I know of. 51/2 hrs on the ground can't be correct as the crew would go illegal (exceed max workday by law) and no one would be going anywhere as the min rest period kicks.
Was this a lousy flight? Absolutely, just not sure what any airline can do about the weather. As far as timelines etc, can't be accurate thus casts doubt on the story.
Anonymous on 03/18/2010:
The plane was diverted to Washington Dulles and not Reagan. Everything the OP posted pretty much is on the money.
Ben There on 03/18/2010:
Yep, it was Dulles. That does not really change anything though. Just because you have dozens of unexpected planes on the ground does not mean you can magically create 20 extra gates, 15 extra catering trucks, a bunch of air stairs and a staff of 100 to go support those planes on the tarmac.

Playing devil's advocate here: what is the lesser of two evils - sitting on a plane for 5 hours with limited food, or spending an extra 4 days in LA paying for your own hotel or sleeping at the airport? Neither is ideal - even the airlines know that - but when nature hits we have to adjust.
Anonymous on 03/18/2010:
I guess the solution is to bring plenty of food and drink on the plane. That way if you are delayed for 12 hours, you will be prepared. It's sort of like when you go hiking and "might" get lost or preparing for armageddon. Of course, then you will be over your bag limit. What to do, what to do.
karnaim on 03/18/2010:
Well I think the way it was handled is wrong! Right you can't magically create 100 catering trucks, and extra gates.
Can you bring a van and get the people off the plain to get food?
Yes.
Can you order some food and get it on the plain? Yes. What is the big deal? No one expected them to bring a 3 course meal.
After we are on the ground how come other airlines like British airways had representatives looking for their passengers assisting them with questions, giving vouchers for food, taxi rides, hotels etc.? Can they magically create those things?
Jet Blue got a bus to JFK for their passengers, why didn't AA do so?
No - the weather can't be controlled.
Yes - the way the situation was handled could be better.
I think it's a shame that a company or anyone would think it is OK.
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American Airline Customer Service SUCKS!
Posted by on
CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS -- I'm VERY DISAPPOINTED in your whole way of how American Airline deals with customers.

EVERY INCIDENTS LIKES THIS WILL MAKE YOU LOSE MORE CUSTOMERS. THIS IS LETTER that my sister wrote to the public and I'm forwarding it to you, AA airline.

On December 28th, I traveled from Dallas Forth Wort to Indianapolis.

It was nice winter break I had until I found out that my baggage has

been delayed. When I went to pick up my baggage at Indianapolis, I found

out my bag was delayed so I immediately went to the baggage claim service.

The guy nicely asked for the description of my bag and gave me the file locator number. I found out that they didn't give me the tag sticker when I

checked my bag. The guy said that it wasn't going to take more than 2days and they usually ship my bag in 24hrs. After 2days I became impatient and call the 1800 535 5225. They said that since it is a holiday season, there are many bags that are lost and are waiting to be delivered so I said OK fine I will wait. After 5days, they said that since the bag has been delayed more than 5 days the file goes to the Central Baggage Service Department at American Airlines. So it was now the different number. 1800 866 4010.

They said that they were sending me Property Questionnaire to list baggage contents and other pertinent information. They said the mail was sent to my address that day so I had to wait until the letter was arrived. After 2weeks,

when the letter still didn't arrive, I found out that I could print the

questionnaire form online by myself so I had to print it out by

myself and fax them.which means that now its been almost 3weeks since I havnt receive my bag. I have lost my patience. I called several time

this week again but all they are saying is that they received the questionnaire

form and is still on process. When I wanted to talk to the supervisor, the

woman who works over the phone said "we don't transfer the call to the supervisor" I asked why not and she just said "we don't transfer the call to the supervisor" again, as if I was dump or something and when I asked her

"Is this how you do your job?" she just says "Yes, did is how I do my JOB! "

I just hung up the phone...

I just started my semester and I had to buy all new clothes again just for

2weeks. My under wears,skincare and winter jacket were all in there.

When I tried to call the customer service numbers, not only did I had to wait for long time,

I also got treated as if it was my fault that baggage got delayed.

I am sick of calling and now I used up all of my minutes for my phone..

I know my rights. My time, effort, everything is just a waste.

Time is money and I know is cost more than what I lost.

All I want was my bag to be arrived but now I am angry.

This report might sound crazy but suppose that you are in my shoes..

you wouldn't just sit in your chair and wait for a bag forever.

I want to know.. what is my Rights? What should I do?



I am helpless..Please



I did some research and



"According to paragraph 3 of section II of Title IV of FAA code,

if your luggage is delayed for four days, you have the right to

a full refund of the fare you paid for your flight as well as

vouchers for 4 additional filghts, plus full compensation for the lost luggage."

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PAY HER BACK?
     
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User Replies:
GothicSmurf on 01/17/2008:
She lost her bag and her patients? I think the patients are going to be very upset when found.

She knows her rights then wants to know what they are. Very interesting. Good luck.
Anonymous on 01/17/2008:
Airline Customer Service SUCKS! Wow, you just found that out? Welcome to the new friendly skies. The last decent airline I flew on was Singapore Air. Problem is they only fly to Singapore.
jktshff1 on 01/17/2008:
Not to make fun but, how many patients would fit in a bag?
Anonymous on 01/17/2008:
When they told you that they received the questionnaire, and that it was in process, what else did you think a supervisor was going to tell you?
lay37 on 01/17/2008:
I guess that shows how my sister was impatient to even check her spelling. :) thanks though
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Refunds And Customer Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
ONLINE, COLORADO -- The customer service of American Airlines is terrible, but the service in Spanish is a nightmare for the Hispanic customers who needs or wants to communicate in their language.

Usually the agents are rude, rude and give false or distorted information, believing that the customer is not able to speak English.

Two years ago we paid a companion for my son who speaks very little Spanish on a vacation trip to Spain, in the Barajas airport, Madrid they left him alone and the boy was lost, but we finally found him after be scared to death.

We reported this incident and they sent us a letter of apology and a voucher for $ 400 dollars for be use in the purchase of another ticket.

When I went to use it, the agent in Spanish refused to give me his name, refused to give me information of which was the nearest office to use the voucher and we asked to speak with a supervisor and he told me that there were none and left me waiting in line . We decided to use another company to buy the tickets for our vacation.

This year, we made the mistake of buying 4 tickets to the destination to which we would go on vacation, unfortunately one of the group members (a minor) get sick; we send all the medical documentation to the company ; this ticket was not refundable..

To my surprise the Spanish agent who served me (Mary [snip]) with a very aggressive attitude informed me that they returned the ticket money only if the passenger died, something that is incredible IN ALL OTHERS AIRLINES, illness, hospitalization, etc. are considered when medical documentation is submitted. By insisting she change the version and said that may be we were given a voucher valid for one year, I asked for a supervisor and she left me waiting for over 20 minutes, of course I could not talk to the supervisor.

The Department of "refund" does not have a phone that the client can communicate, by email you get no answer, either by letter, customer service does not give information in Spanish or in English and the fax number in the Website not work.

Conclusion if you can travel by another airline DO IT, American Airlines is NOT a professional company, is a disaster.
     
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yuvi on 08/05/2013:
American airlines is so terrible, I reached the airport 45 min to flight departure, and the agent at the counter did not allow me to check in because was late for 5 min, and they cancelled my flight and they are not refunding money..
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Avoid American Airlines (AAA)
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NORMAN, OKLAHOMA -- To be honest, I didn't use AA a lot for traveling in the last several years -- only 5 or 6 times as I can remember. However, for each traveling with AA, the company makes me down every time!!! The plane was either delayed, or cancelled, or no captain was assigned!!! On June 31, 2011, My flight from LBB to DFW to Chicago to Alaska was initially delayed at LBB. Actually, they have flights directly from DFW to Alaska, but I need to travel with my friend from Chicago.

Anyway I couldn't be on the plane to Chicago due to the delay, and took the one directly from DFW to Alaska. Bad thing was my packages were all delayed for two days, as was my other schedules in Alaska because I need the packages. I have no idea how did they do that?

On May 8, 2013, I had an interview in Philadelphia, and my flight was from OKC to Chicago to Phi. Again, the flight was delayed at OKC, and I was not able to get onto the one to Phi. I waited until 10:30 pm that day to get my ticket to get on board. Then, after 1h30mins, I was informed that they didn't have a captain for that plane and they were trying to get another one who was on the way home. After another 30 minutes, we were informed to leave the plane!!! I didn't get to the company in time and it was Friday on the next day... anyway, I didn't get the job.

On July 2, 2013, I was traveling to Boston from OKC to visit my girlfriend. Again, it was from OKC to Chicago, to Boston. The flight was delayed at OCK, then I was assigned to the flight on the next day!!! On July 9, 2013, I was back from Boston to Chicago to OKC. The flight got to Chicago in time; however, from Chicago to OKC, I was informed that again they didn't have a captain for the plane and the flight delayed for more than 2 hours!!!

American Airlines, what's the matter with you? I will never use AA again for traveling as long as the price of other airline companies is not too much higher than that from AA (~$100 for domestic; $200 for international). Please avoid AA if you have another choice for saving time and maybe for not losing some important opportunities in your life.
     
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