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Switched Seat Location
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- In January of 13' I purchased two tickets (preferred status extra charge) for a flight and selected the seats which was confirmed by the airline. I go to print out the boarding pass the day prior (April - 3 months later) only to discover that the seats are no longer available. WHAT? Of course I'm confused by all of this so I contact the reservation section and I am told that those seats are not available due to equipment change. What? Did AA remove the seats? Changed aircraft that doesn't have row 11 any longer?

My question to them was simple to me - Why did you change them w/out notification and why would you not give me what I prepaid for? I wasn't asking for a refund or inquiring about not having a ticket at all, of which I have heard AA is famous for, but no row 11? The agent was kind and offered different seats which was unacceptable and as most people do I requested to speak w/the supervisor.

Well now, talk about another level of confusion. The supervisor indicated much the same, stating equipment change(? really) and I posed the same questions w/no result. I was told that I could go to the web site and change seat locations. I indicated to the supervisor that the agent prior to her had offered to change the seats for me and was told that that was incorrect. What? This could not have been more than five minutes ago. The supervisor indicated that she could put me through to someone to help and after falling asleep from waiting so long I decided I may as well move on.

I went to the web site and changed seats or should I say settled for other seats. So much for customer service I thought. Well the next thing you know I get a phone call from, yes you guessed it, another supervisor from AA! Alright now we are getting somewhere. Right. Of course I ask the same questions and I get the same answers. All I wanted to know is why they gave my prepaid seats away and no one had the answer.

Next time I will skip the hassles and go to another airline.

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onlooker on 04/03/2013:
Tickets purchased weeks and months in advance - run into the risk of schedule and equipment changes. Maybe: business class rows changed, maybe row 11 was now an emergency exit. Maybe maybe maybe.
Now you know: stay on top of your reservations, join the programs that notify you of changes etc.
I've had this problem happen to me, and it makes me go ballistic but, now I keep a check on reservations. Better luck with your next tickets.
chigrl on 04/03/2013:
I am still waiting a response concerning a similar problem. In February I had assigned seats from the disability department. I had these seats up to the date we were supposed to fly. Even had them when we checked in. Upon reaching the gate we too had a "change of equipment". I question that because we still had the same MD-80. The layout of the plane did not change at all.

We are now in middle seats and separated in the rear of the plane. Because of my disability I requested an aisle seat on the left near the front or middle. I also requested my spouse be seated near me to aid me during the flight. We were assigned seats 7A and 7B.
The gate attendant said she was unable to help us.
She was rude and condescending. We requested a supervisor or disability agent to help us and they said no one was available.
The straw that broke the camels back was that they were flying a dozen Flight Attendants to Flight School University. .

Guess who got all the premium seats? They had my 7 A and B. They had the window seat and aisle seats. They flew for FREE and inconvenienced their paying customers. Change of equipment my eye
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I Sent My Check by Mistake and They Won't It Back
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE -- February 26, 2013
Membership Administration
1 River Place
Wilmington, DE 19808


I have been a long term member of the American Automobile Association. This year, I intended to let my membership lapse, and did not pay my membership dues by check as I have done routinely over the years. My membership was to expire on February 1, 2013.
I mistakenly, some time ago, had set a payment order in my automatic payment system at the Navy Federal Credit Union, which unbeknownst to me at the time it happened, sent a check for $110.50 for my membership dues to American Automobile Association, which was received by the American Automobile Association on January 13, 2013, according to "Ashley" (I have her email address).
On January 29, 2013, I called the American Automobile Association, spoke to "Bernie" (I have his email address), explained what had happened, and requested a refund. He and I both noted my membership for the current year had not yet expired, and my membership for the next year had not yet started. He said no problem, the American Automobile Association would return my money by check in 14 business days.
When the check didn't arrive, I called the American Automobile Association on February 25, 2013, and spoke to Ashley, who checked my record. Ashley told me that: (1) the American Automobile Association had received my $110.50 check on January 23, 2013; (2) Bernie had logged my call of January 29, 2013, and as I had requested started the refund process; (3) someone else in the American Automobile Association had cancelled the refund; and (4) the American Automobile Association's policy is not to refund anything in a situation such as mine.
I told Ashley I rejected the American Automobile Association's policy and requested a refund. I also asked why no one contacted me to tell me that, contrary to Bernie's promise, the American Automobile Association was not going to issue me a refund. Ashley had no answer to my question. I asked to speak to someone higher in the organization. Ashley spoke to "membership" who told her to tell me I could send a letter. Ashley gave me membership's address.
Please reconsider, and send me my refund.
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trmn8r on 03/05/2013:
The company's ultimate reply does not surprise me - you authorized this payment, whether you remembered it or not. Seems like under the circumstances you are at the mercy of whatever refund policy they may have.

You may want to try the BBB in the event they continue to refuse to give you the refund.

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Portable Hard drive Stolen from Luggage
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- My wife and I were travelling to Brisbane Australia and started our journey in Detroit. I had Packed my portable hard drive in one of our bags.
I realize now that it was a foolish thing to do but live and learn. It appears to me that the hard drive was removed in Detroit where we checked our bags and it had to be by someone who had access to x-ray visions of our luggage. After reading other similar reviews I am amazed that this type of theft cannot be stopped by using video, searching employees on exit etc. Also, I feel the airlines should emphasize the fact that it is really stuped to pack valuables in your luggagre. I also feel that the airlines should accept some of the responsibility for allowing dishonest employees to check our bags.
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Ben There on 11/01/2012:
Airlines don't have x-ray machines... All security is done by the TSA.
Cookies or Cake? on 11/01/2012:
American Airlines has x-ray for cargo going into its holds. They spent ten million dollars on the machines.

Think of it this way, anyone using the x-ray improperly will probably be getting reallly bad heath problems.
trmn8r on 11/02/2012:
My thought was the same as Ben_There's. The TSA has a problem with employees stealing from luggage. I agree that video cameras may be in order to police themselves.

I don't agree the airlines should bear responsibility. Advertising that security may steal valuables could be problematic. I always hand carry electronics and gold jewelry.
copper_works_ on 11/02/2012:
TSA doesn't do all the screening.
CUontheFlipSide on 11/02/2012:
I think that the airlines do make it pretty clear that jewelry, electronics and prescriptions should be in your carry-on, not in checked luggage.
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Posted by on
Both American Airlines and Iberia advertise that they allow small dogs to travel in-cabin. I booked a trip to Paris from JFK through

I was told by OneTravel to call Iberia and to let them know I would have a small dog with me. I called Iberia and was told that the request had to be put through I calle OneTravel back and while I was holding on, they contacted Iberia. Iberia told OneTravel that the request had to be made with American since they managed the flight. OneTravel called American and told me to expect a follow-up call from American Airlines. OneTravel also switched my initial booking from Iberia to A. A. I received a call from American Airlines and was told to fax them my doctor's letter showing that my dog is a certified emotional service animal. After doing so, I had a call from A. A. The A. A. representative told me they would not accept this particular doctor's letter and refused to allow me to pay for the dog to fly in the cabin, he flatly told me that I could not book the flight for the dog in-cabin. I called back and asked them to find out what was the reason for American Airlines and Iberia's disgusting way to handle a customer and after being once again put on hold, I was told by OneTravel that it would be best for me to cancel my reservation. After 4 hours of being on the phone with TravelOne, A. A. and Iberia I was forced to cancel, since both Iberia and American Airlines refused to comply with what they advertise as their "pet in cabin policy". I was also told by OneTravel that although I would get a full refund, that refund could take a couple of months to show-up on my credit card. I re-booked on Air France and got my dog to be in-cabin without any problem. Beware of these incredibly poor customer service issues with American Airlines and Iberia.
I would like to know what gives these two airlines the right to change their posted regulations and why they think people would want to travel on their airlines in view of such disgusting customer service.
Albert Pensis
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Anonymous on 11/24/2011:
Not sure how IB got dragged into this unless you were going JFK-MAD-CDG/ORY. AA does not allow dogs on Transatlantic flights except service dogs with notes from medical Dr's - no quack Naturopath "Dr." AA like many airlines does publish no non service animals on these TATL flights as the stage length is long and there is often quarantine issues.
Ben There on 11/25/2011:
BN - I was thinking the same thing, but it could also be an Iberia codeshare on the JFK-CDG flight. If that is the case, then the OP will probably never even step on an Iberia aircraft.
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We arrived to check in 45 mins. before departure; they said we missed our flight
Posted by on
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- My child had an unaccompanied minor flight scheduled for Saturday, December 15, 2007, flight 258 to JFK Airport in New York, leaving from home, Las Vegas, Nevada. This was to be the second year she was flying unaccompanied to visit her elderly grandmother, aunt and cousins. A special trip to New York City’s Radio City show had been planned for Sunday, the 16th, with tickets that had already been purchased.

What happened at the airport by insensitive and uncaring employees of American Airlines was inexcusable. We live in Las Vegas and have been there many times since our family lives on the east coast and travel often, although this was the first time we have ever had anything like this happen to us.

We arrived at the airport at approximately 6:30 a.m., but there was quite a wait in line at the check-in counter, with only two employees handling the line. By the time we got up to the desk it was 6:50 a.m. Her flight was scheduled for 7:35 a.m. As we approached the desk the woman just asked, “What time does your flight depart?” We replied 7:35. She said, “You missed your flight. You need to check in two hours prior.” My daughter had NO BAGGAGE to check, nor was she flying international. It was just a flight to New York, and your website “recommends” arrival at the airport “60 minutes prior if baggage is going to be checked.” It does not state that you “must arrive 60 minutes prior,” and we know there was plenty of time to get to her gate and on board that plane prior to takeoff as we have traveled often from McCarran.

A conversation then took place about putting my daughter on the next flight for the day, but she replied there were no other seats for Saturday. She then suggested Sunday, but there would be a stop over in Chicago, then another suggestion for Dallas. At that point she left us (she did not even ask us yet for Sarah’s last name, or ticket reservation number, or flight itinerary). She said she was going to speak to her supervisor. When she came back to the counter she then spoke to us some more telling us her supervisor did not recommend the Dallas stop-over flight on Sunday because bad weather was expected. She then suggested flight 258 for Monday morning – the same flight as Saturday, same time. At that point she got on her computer terminal and started to ask for our information, which was approximately 15 minutes after we had stepped up to the check-in counter.

I have explained the course of time to you because when I arrived home, I immediately called American Airlines and asked for a supervisor. I told him what had happened and he too was so indifferent that all he could keep repeating was that it indicated on the computer that we “checked in at 7:04 a.m." I tried to explain that that time was incorrect because we had been there about 15 or 20 minutes prior to that time having conversation with the employee at the desk and she with her supervisor before she actually went on the computer to reschedule my daughter’s flight.

I find your employees’ manner of dealing with the public offensive and unprofessional. My husband and I both feel my daughter was bumped off that flight because AA probably overbooked it originally and gave my daughter’s seat away even though we were there well within the time constraints of getting on that plane on time. If your phone conversations are recorded, as it advises when someone calls AA, you can listen to my conversation with your employee who I was told was a “supervisor.” It should be embarrassing to a company to have employees who practice this kind of deceit upon its customers. I purchased this ticket months ago, and my 10-year-old daughter was crying she was so upset that she could not get to New York to visit with her grandmother and missed the show with her cousins, and she lost two days of her vacation time. I feel this should not happen to paying customers. You should also change your website to be more user friendly. The verbiage it currently indicates is not accurate because it uses terms such as “recommend” instead of notifying customers they need to arrive before a certain time or they will not be allowed to go to the departure gate before their flight departs because employees make up new rules when customers arrive to check in without taking into consideration the time someone has spent in a line because of lack of employees handling customers at the check-in desk. The practice of overbooking, which is what I believe happened to my daughter’s seat, is bad practice and gives an airline a bad reputation.

Also, the Monday that my daughter finally departed, she was given two boarding passes, one from Saturday’s employee and one from Monday’s employee, both bearing different seat assignment numbers, and when we went through security, the security agent was all confused and questioned me why there were two boarding passes for my child. I told him that’s what I was given, and he said he had never come across that before – which indicates more evidence of disorganized/unprofessional employees on your staff.

I would also like to advise you of the problems encountered in New York’s Kennedy Airport when my daughter finally arrived there. The person picking her up was at the airport over one hour before her plane was due to arrive. The ticket agent would not issue him an escort pass to get through security to be able to pick up my daughter at the arrival gate (as was done last year when she flew by herself). The agent told him to go to security and they would page him. On the other end, my daughter was being held after the plane had disembarked and the stewardess told my daughter that her “uncle was late.” In fact, her uncle was not late, but was being told to wait in a place that obviously the stewardess had not been informed of.

When they finally paged him, they told him that he was waiting in the wrong place (which was where the ticket agent told him to go), and the stewardess told him to go to another area, where he waited another 20 minutes in front of one of the shops in the concourse. My daughter’s plane arrived at the gate at approximately 3:10 p.m., but he did not retrieve her until 4:00 p.m. Obviously, your employees are not organized and should be retrained so as not to cause such chaos, such as designating ONE AREA as the pick up for minor children flying alone. I was very worried that something was wrong when I was told Sarah’s uncle did not have Sarah yet by 3:45. I have also been told by other friends and family that have traveled AA in the past that your company is very disorganized and caused problems.

If you want to please your customers, which should be a primary goal, you have to earn it, and certainly not by these practices.
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Principissa on 12/20/2007:
That is the standard check-in time for most flights. It says when you book your tickets to arrive at least 1-2 hours early for check-in and security. You should have arrived earlier.
Anonymous on 12/20/2007:
Prin is right. This isn't anything new, nor should it be difficult to grasp. You *have* to be there two hours early. Regardless of luggage or not, there are still the TSA lines to negotiate. 45 minutes is just not, unfortunately, enough time. It's a shame she missed Radio City Music Hall, all children should get a chance to experience that at Christmas.
killerklown on 12/20/2007:
Everyone knows you need more time to check in for a flight than 45 minutes. Your fault.
GothicSmurf on 12/20/2007:
For unaccompanied minors, because they need special assistance and the parent/ guardian needs to walk them to the gate, there needs to be additional time to make sure all the paperwork is done. I agree that you should have gotten there earlier and that you cut it too close. The flight may leave at 7:40, but the gate closes 20 minutes prior so the flight can taxi out and you should be at the gate before that. Most people don't get the concept that the gates don't close at departure time, but they close prior to that so the plane can taxi out to the tarmac and leave at the scheduled departure time. So in essence, from the time you left the ticket counter, you only had a few minutes to get to the gate. And standing in line doesn't count as being "there".
Principissa on 12/20/2007:
Gothic, when our son flew home to visit my sister for a week we were there three hours early. They agent on the phone reminded us twice to be there three hours early because they needed to fill out paperwork for him. His flight left at 11 and we were there at 730.
GothicSmurf on 12/20/2007:
My son flew to MN to visit my parents in October. I didn't have a car at the time, and the taxi canceled twice so we had to take the bus which took us 2.5 hours (to go 20 miles). We made it to the airport at 7:00, his flight was at 7:40. I fully expected to have to change his flight, but because I remained calm and the airport wasn't busy, they called to the gate and said we were on our way. We got there in enough time for my son to get on the plane before they closed the doors. When I got home, I wrote a letter to the airlines and thanked them for their understanding. But because I remained calm and took accountability for what happened (even though it wasn't my fault, it certainly wasn't the airlines either) the airline was willing and able to help me out.
Principissa on 12/20/2007:
You are so lucky! I would have expected them to tell me too bad! I'm glad they worked with you.
Suusan B. on 12/20/2007: - - ". . recommended CHECK-IN time is at least 90 minutes prior to departure when checking baggage, and at least 60 minutes prior to departure if not checking baggage." Notice it says "check-in" not "arrival". You cut it too close and are blaming AA for your own error in judgment. If you "travel often" as you claim, then you should know that checking-in 45 minutes before departure is not allowed.
Anonymous on 12/20/2007:
All good points. Thanks to 9/11, two hours domestic, three hours international. Been that way since 2001 now.
jktshff1 on 12/20/2007:
Sorry, but if the poster lives in Vegas and flies that often they should know Vegas is a 2-3hr lead time no matter where you are flying.
Usually when I fly out of Vegas, I try to get there @4hrs ahead, overly cautious, may be, but never had problems with a flight.
It's an airport by airport thing.
Little Rock....45min
St Louis 2hr
you get the picture.
Principissa on 12/20/2007:
jk, we fly out of Nashville, and they want us there 2.5 hours early for domestic and almost 4 hours for international. The lines for security alone are almost a half an hour depending on what time your flight leaves.
jktshff1 on 12/20/2007:
yea, left them out on purpose, Hate flying from there
Anonymous on 12/20/2007:
The security check-in at Sacramento is a thing to see. They send you into the covered bridge that connects the terminal to parking. You go almost all the way into the parking area to get at the end of the line. They move it along pretty good but you dang near go back to your car to get in the security line.
Principissa on 12/20/2007:
jk it is a nightmare! Security is horrible and they are all rude. If Louisville were closer we would fly out of there. Nashville is a mess. Nashville is nowhere near that organized super. You go up to the security check-in, you stand in a huge line. The line is not divided so you have people cutting in front of you left and right. They only have one person for each line marking tickets and checking ID's. Then you finally get up to the metal detector and are hoarded like cattle minus the prongs.
Anonymous on 12/20/2007:
Princi, the Cincinnati airport is a breeze to get in and out of - give that a try
jenjenn on 12/20/2007:
It appears you didn't arrive earlier enough.
Slimjim on 12/20/2007:
This is why I never fly to anywhere I can drive to in 12 hours or less. By the time you get to the airport, park, wait forever to board, fly the 1-2 hours, land, get your luggage, and get to where you were going, you've burned at least 7 hours. I'd rather be on my schedule for all that hassle. Of course in this particular case, Vegas to NY drive isn't realistic.
jktshff1 on 12/20/2007:
slim, my limits 8hr or less.
runaway on 12/20/2007:
I just flew out of Vegas a month ago on an early morning in the heck did you expect to make it through security in the time you had? It took about an hour just for that! Sounds to me like someone was late and wants to pin the blame elsewhere...lack of personal responsibility strikes again.
Ben There on 12/21/2007:
You arrived too late. End of story.
Anonymous on 12/29/2007:
...enough people have stated the obvious. Two other airlines primary goal isn't pleasing customers as you had stated - they are public companies they are to earn profits. If you fly often as you stated you'd know the word stewardess hasn't been used in <20 years. BTW as an AMR 757 pilot I can tell you American is the world's largest airline so they must be doing something right.
goldenlab on 02/11/2008:
Sorry! you arrived too late. It is far better to be early than late!
facts on 03/13/2012:
If the flight says it will leave at a certain time, than it needs to take accountablility for there actions. If they leave 45min that is not fair for people who really have an emergency going on and make it there just in enough time to make there flight. Wether your there 3hrs early or 45min early as long as you are at the gate within ur time frame, than it should not be a problem. But for a flight to leave 45min earlier than scheduled. IT IS NOT FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so havge some damn sympathy for people who sincerely make there just on time.
JB on 12/21/2012:
No, I disagree with these others! When they "recommend" a time, you are NOT LATE>
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Recent Flight
Posted by on
ALABAMA -- To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to let you know how deeply disappointed I am in American Airlines. I plan to never again fly on American Airlines. I am also planning on letting every person I know hear my story and telling him or her not to fly American. I work for a company that flies weekly on American and I will let them know what I think. It is a shame because I am a young person who loves to travel. I have flown with American before numerous times, never having a problem until now. One flight changed my whole opinion forever. I will give you examples of what happened.

When we got on return flight from Salt Lake City to Dallas, we were in the emergency exit aisle. We had stuffed each of our backpacks under the seat in front of us as far as they could go. The attendant kept on coming by to tell us to put our bags under the seat. They were totally under the seat except for the back strap that was laying flat against the seat in front of us. It was not sticking out or in the way of anything. Across the aisle sat a man with a briefcase leaning against the emergency exit door that no one even said a word to him about.

A group of attendants not working sat in front of us on the same flight. They kept on talking loudly about going to get drunk. I thought it was highly inappropriate especially while they were in their uniforms. Not to mention, when we were finally off the six-hour flight (it was supposed to be three hours but was delayed due to the weather) one of the attendants was sassy with a passenger. She was getting her carry-on from the overhead compartment when he stepped in the aisle. She said “Excuse me, but I am not finished. Don’t even mess with me”. The man had done nothing and said nothing but just stepped in the aisle to wait to go next.

We went straight from the plane in Dallas to talk to the first American Airlines person we saw to ask about a flight since our original flight, from Dallas to Birmingham AL, had been canceled. The lady we talked to did not mention that there were three other flights scheduled to leave that night. She failed to mention that we could only get on standby for one flight at a time (causing someone to act like we were stupid later in the night). She put us on standby for a flight leaving the next morning to Birmingham. She did not let us know that there was an earlier flight to Nashville after we had told her that we could fly into Birmingham, Nashville, Huntsville, or Atlanta. We asked her about our luggage and she said it would go to Birmingham (where our original flight was going). She never said anything about filing a claim if we arrived in any other airport other than Birmingham. She knew there was a possibility that we would go to Atlanta since she had booked us on a for-sure flight to Atlanta the following night. I had never had this experience before of missing a flight, so I had no idea what to do or what the process was. She gave me no direction.

After we left her, I saw there were three more flights we could try to get on leaving that night. We tried two of them, but they were cancelled. The third one, going to Huntsville AL, we were able to wait in line for standby. The computer froze, so a lady put all of us waiting to get on standby in a separate line so she could help other people. Her manager came over to help unfreeze the computer. She started yelling at all of us because we were standing in a separate line. She was not being nice about it at all. We happened to be the first people in line, so she told us to get back in the line that we were originally in before the computer froze. We walked up to the counter because we were the first people in line before the computer froze. She told us we had to go to the back of the line. A guy explained that we were the first in line originally. Then she looked at us and said in a not so friendly voice, “What do you want?” As nice as I could be, I asked her if we could get on standby. Of course the flight was cancelled. We stayed overnight in the airport since no hotel rooms or rental cars were available.

The next morning we went to the gate for the Nashville flight, got on standby, and actually got on the flight (no help to the first lady). I thought it was all over. I was wrong. When I got home all I wanted to do is sleep since I only had one hour of sleep in the airport. We had to find our luggage though. I called the American Airlines baggage number I found online. The first person I talked to told me that no flights had come into Birmingham yet and to call back in an hour. I called back, and another person said it had come in but the baggage had not been unloaded. Each time I called, they had asked me for a delayed baggage claim file locator number that I did not have (no one told me I was supposed to have it). When I told them I did not have it, they would tell me to call back. The third time I called they said they did not see my luggage by looking up my bag number, so I would have to wait until the next flight. I waited and called back, only to be on hold forty-five minutes, and then I was hung up on. At this point we decided to drive over an hour to Birmingham to look for the bags ourselves. We found all but one bag. The lady at the baggage department in Birmingham said that it was illegal for American Airlines not to give me a delayed baggage claim number. I called the baggage people back. I waited for thirty minutes when this lady answered. She asked for my file locator number, and I told her I needed one. She asked me what my flight number was. I tried to explain to her that my flight number via which I flew to Nashville that morning and the flight that my bags were on to Birmingham were two separate flights, but she would not let me finish. I tried literally three times; each time she would cut me off. Then I finally had enough. Almost in tears I asked, “Why do you have to be so mean?” She just laughed a fake laugh and said “Ma’am, I am just trying to ask you a simple question.” I told her I flew into Nashville and gave her my flight number. I had gone through this process with the other people earlier in the day each time I had called, and I knew that was not the information she needed. She would not listen. Then she put me on hold and then actually hung up on me. I had to get my boyfriend to call. Of course when he called, he talked to someone extremely helpful and nice that gave him a file locator number.

It took a week to get my luggage. My dad finally had to call Birmingham because when I would call the American Airlines number to receive an update, I would talk to another rude, snappy person. When he called, they found my luggage an hour later, and it was at my house by that night.

I am glad this is over. An almost perfect vacation was ruined. I was ashamed and unimpressed with American Airlines. I have worked with the public before, and I know there were mad people there that night. I know customers were yelling at your employees, but your employees had no reason to disrespect me. I was not disrespectful to them, just confused and not sure what to do. I only needed help. What happened to pleasing the customer? What happened to customer satisfaction? What happened to the “friendly and convenient air transportation” you promise on your website? I was not satisfied at all with American Airlines. I was not one bit mean to a single person. I did not raise my voice. I did not get an attitude. I expected the same in return. A majority of the people I talked to working for American Airlines from the moment I stepped on the plane to come home were rude, impatient people. I am not upset about the weather delay. I understand that. I am sorry many people were stranded. Our flight out of Dallas on the way to Salt Lake was even two hours delayed, but I did not mind. I am astonished with the way I was treated. At least I learned two lessons. Try to avoid flying through Dallas, and avoid flying American.

Thanks for listening.

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Noneill on 07/23/2007:
I have a hard time believing some of your statements. You say a 3 hour flight turned into a 6 hour flight because of weather delays? Are we supposed to believe the plane flew an extra 3 hours? And a gate attendant "started yelling at us because we were in a separate line" ???? Now I can understand and sympathize with you on the delayed and canceled flights as well as lost luggage, but this seems to be a problem with all airlines. If you want people to understand your complaint, don't post statements that sound like you are leaving out a big chunk of relevant detail.
familytravel on 07/25/2007:
Sounds very frustrating, but I too have a hard time believing that the gate agent yelled at you for standing in a separate line. I do believe that the people on the phone were rude, as they usually are. American is famous for bad service nowadays, so you are better off flying somewhere else. The unfortunate thing is that no matter what airline you choose to fly on, something can always go wrong.
marge0429 on 07/26/2007:
I wish that I could say that I lied about someone yelling at me for standing in a separate line but it really did happen. I am a good Christian girl and I do not lie especially to hurt others. I am trying to get my point across on how mean the airlines were being to us. I know that things can go wrong. I don't mind that. I have been on plenty of flights that have been delayed hours. I had a flight cancelled once with Southwest and they even put me up in a hotel for the night. I just want them to respect me and not yell at me when something goes wrong. The lady from AA that yelled at us had just lost it. She just went insane for a second and took her anger out on us. It is understandable, it happens. I do not believe she should take it out on customers. She should complain to her friends or take a break, go somewhere, and take her anger out in a quiet place. I do believe I am better off flying another airline or like I told others..I will just drive from now on
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Its not the AA employee in the uniform you should be angry with
Posted by on
As a former Agent for AA, I have heard it all from the flying public and I have to say, most of it is justified. However, the person you are screaming at is by design meant to act as a firewall for the people you really should blame. MANAGEMENT. The flying public needs to concentrate their anger for whatever happened to them where it belongs. Management. The rank and file agent, counter or reservation, In Flight personnel, Bag room person etc is a sitting duck by design. They are given training on situations that are made to save the company money and dump the wrath of the public on the employee all the while the Management Personnel just makes judgments on the employee while sitting at a safe distance away from and by design not contacting the customer. This is all written in a soon to be published book about AA from a rank and file, insider perspective. Things the public should know and that the Company doesn't want you to know. Those beautifully done commercials of a Dad holding his daughters hand as they board a gleaming Aircraft with Red White and Blue stripes is one giant manipulative gag reflex. The real problems are manufactured and governed by all levels of Management. Sadly, level 3 Managers, lowest of low. Make most of the decisions that make the public furious. Most of these "Managers" were promoted not for their intelligence nor for their skills. They have towed the line despite things which average people would either call down right stupid or even laughable. Everything is geared for goals by Management so they get their bonuses. The book has stories from many front line employees. Here is but one example...One agent who got no support from her supervisor for a bad call she was on, so, she took her break, called the 1-800 Res No. from the lunch room. Gave the agent the Record locator, Identified herself as the customer, and CANCELLED some very hard to get tickets to ASPEN during Spring break ! There was no way the agent could be traced to the cancellation. She had the Locator. The agent taking the call was just following the customers direction. Wow !..can you imagine that family when they get a confirmation of cancellation AND the re-banking of the miles to their account AND the fee for re-banking them !. Omigawd !...This was not an acceptable thing to do. It does show, however, the result of employees not being supported by the Supervisors or the Company. Being hung out to take the beating from the customers. Its all about being in Management. Even the lowest form of Management. Look for the inside info AA does not want you to know. The book is called "Somethings in the Air" ....until then. Keep them honest and keep complaining but go to the Management not the front line agents or in-flight crews. They are just the bait for you to feed on. Oh, and by the way. Managers sit around and laugh at some of the scenes that take place with the rank and file employee if not in tears then boiling mad. Is is any wonder that you get people at the counter or gate or on the phone that you find difficult to deal with ? ...God Bless them all.
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James_236 on 11/13/2010:
The customers interface with you the agent not the management. Therefore you can't expect them to vent their wrath on the management. If you are the agent and you know you are the front line representative for the company, and you know they are doing something wrong, the onus is on you to put the concerns of the passengers to the management, and not just say to the customer as many agents do, "This is the company policy". If you are taking a beating from the customer, you deserve it.
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Poor Customer Service from American Airlines flight attendants
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TAMPA, FLORIDA -- On July 18,2010, flight #1786,I was travelling to out of country with my wife and 2 kids (2 years and 4 years) and I was checking in from Tampa going to New York JFK to tranfer my international flight. At checking desk, they couldn't find seat for my daughter's reservation therefore they checked us till JFK instead of international destination which were about to miss the flight. We were the last ones got into plane before the doors closed and we noticed they gave us 2 seat at front and 2 seats in the back of the plane since they couldn't get us seat together due to waiting almost 45 minutes at check in counter. We had 4 carry on luggages since we were travelling with 2 kids international and once we got in the plane there were no space to put those luggages. my wife and my 2 year old son sat at front seats and place the luggages under the seat in front of them and I moved back and placed 2 luggages under the seats as well. after we all sat our seats (which I was sitting by window with my 4 years old daugter) one of the male flight attentant asked my wife to move her 2 luggages to front of the plane. She was also sitting by window and was trying to drag those 2 carry on luggages underneat her seat and leaving 2 years old kid on a seat by herself. I called the flight attentant and ask if he can help her since I had my seat belt on and holding my daughter, I asked them if they can move those luggages to front for her. He responded back to me "no sir, she will her own luggages" I told him if airline will be responsible for if something happens to my daugther if she falls down and is it not flight assistants job to help passenger especially if they are a woman with an infant." he repeated the same thing back to wife continue to drag those 2 luggages which we were going to need during our trip anyway due to diapers, milks, etc. Then, he told me if I continue to talk, he will get me off the plane. I said, all we want is a service from you to help a woman and you cannot ask me to be quiet. I told him this is not acceptable for a airline crew to threat a customer like that and I asked to talk to captain since he start yelling at me in front of my 4 years old kid. My 2 year old was also crying at the front since his mother was stacked at from trying to find a space for her luggages. When captain came back, of course flight attentant was making up a totally different story and he was telling captain that I was rude to him and he wasn't feeling safe to be in the same flight with me. I couldn't believe that he was using "flight safety regulations" as a tool against to a simple help request from a customer. nothing else. Then they called the airport security to ask me to get off the plane..I was shocked but no one in the plane act like they care either, everyone was too quiet and was watching the show placed by flight attendant. he exactly knew how to get around his wrong attitude and make it seem like I was a problem passenger creating problems. Then captain asked me to apologize from him otherwise they were going to take me off the plane. I kept quiet and apologized from this person who did everything but providing service to a female customer. And I was wrong because I said that it is not right and I got penalized by American airlines which I have paid $7,000 to buy 4 tickets to overseas.
I will never use this airlines again. Poor service, poor management..And flight staff does know how to use those new security laws against customers when they needed. Watch out, you may get kicked off the plane, if you ask for customer is unacceptable..
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Anonymous on 09/13/2010:
Very bad form to ask your wife to leave the child alone to haul 2 bags up front. I know we can all look back and do it differently but if I were you, I would have brought the second child back to your wife and hauled the 2 bags myself. Then went back and got the other child and go back to my seat. Easy as pie. Arguing with a flight attendant will not go in your favor, ever. Best to just button up and write a letter later.
Anonymous on 09/13/2010:
I'm not sure I understand this. "my wife and my 2 year old son sat at front seats" Doesn't that make them already up front?
Ben There on 09/13/2010:
Several airlines have rules against flight attendants lifting and moving carry on bags.
Anonymous on 09/13/2010:
Flight attendants don't assist with bags. I agree with the judge that you should have moved the bags and left your wife with the kids. However, I am surprised that nobody on the plane offered to help your wife.
LenaSunShine on 09/14/2010:
Practices have changed. Flight attendants used to help people with their carry-on luggage and not all passengers are aware that things have changed when it comes to service. There are also cultural differences in expectations. Any flight attendant, especially one on an overseas route, should be trained to understand and respect the diversity of expectations and how to work with customer differences.

Younger employees in all industries, in general have less customer service skills, less ability to problem solve, and overreact instead of remembering to check their own attitudes and listen. It is a problem in the workforce HR offices are all too well aware of since the younger employees are in their offices constantly filing complaints over things they should be able to handle on their own.

Customer service reps often are defensive, and even hang up on customers now. Cops are sometimes bullies. Flight attendants are sometimes bullies. Municipal employees are sometimes bullies. Even school teachers sometimes behave like that now. Far too many either forgot or never learned their job is to help the customer, and if they can't do it directly, then to help the customer figure out how or where else they can receive help.

In this case, it comes across as though this family was facing an attendant with an attitude, a bigoted one of some kind, that also knew how to use the currently popular catch phrases to get the scene he wanted.
Anonymous on 09/14/2010:
Since we weren't on the plane, I don't think it's fair to guess what happened. But, I can imagine. Sometimes when people approach the flight attendants, they do it in a very demanding way. That sort of sets the tone for the rest of the interactions that come after. It was probably a little of both on each of their sides. But, again, that's just a guess from someone who travels a lot and has pretty much seen it all. The flight attendants I have come across have not been bigoted, nor have they been young, especially on international flights.
LenaSunShine on 09/14/2010:
Good customer service requires not personalizing customer's comments, complaints, and requests. It is not an equal relationship. The employee works for the customer and it is the employees job to try to make the customer happy. It is not the customers job to appease the employee. It is not the customers job to stroke or sooth an the employee. Of course, good manners are desirable, but regardless, part of customer service requires overlooking and ignoring impoliteness.

Plenty of people know how to use language like "feeling unsafe' to elicit support. Psychologists and HR people see it all the time.
Anonymous on 09/14/2010:
True, Lena, but I travel all the time and some people do come across as rude--I've seen it many times--and it's only just a handful. No employee should be treated as someone's personal slave. I truly believe that to get respect, you have to give respect. That's how every interaction should begin. It has nothing whatsoever to do with stroking anyone's ego.

When people travel, they better believe that they can and will be thrown off a plane. The flight attendant's have the authority to make that call when someone starts acting unreasonable and is causing a disruption. Right or wrong, that's the way it is.
LenaSunShine on 09/14/2010:
I agree singsing. No one should be treated rudely or as someone's slave.

I've traveled a lot too, and I've worked in customer service in all sorts of capacities. Like you said, most people are not rude, but when they are, it is my job to remain calm, to not personalize, and to see how I can de-escalate the problem rather than escalate it. Also, if an employee is immature or sensitive, they can interpret behavior as rude that might just be tiredness, pain, personal problems, and it isn't the customers responsibility to walk on eggshells with people they are paying to provide a service.

On the customer side, in the last 10 years or so, we've all seen an explosion of poorly trained, insensitive, impatient, surly, ill-mannered people working in customer service jobs, and generally, they create most of their problems with customers. They are not proactively helpful, they interrupt customers instead of listening, talk over customers, lecture customers, threaten customers, editorialize about whether customers have a right to their feelings, address customers inappropriately, and so on. Even a surly expression and dismissive attitude will set customers off, and for good reason, yet so many people, especially younger ones, do not understand that. They've received poor training because companies do not want to invest in it, which isn't fair to customers or the employees.
LenaSunShine on 09/14/2010:
We actually live in a society now where police pepper spray people and arrest people for talking back, even asking questions. It isn't against the law to be angry with police. It isn't even against the law to argue with or raise your voice to police, but they get away with pepper spraying even vulnerable people and arresting people for nothing more than questioning or being upset. So why be surprised when other segments of our society dealing with the public don't know how to do it anymore either?
Anonymous on 09/14/2010:
Lena, I agree that csa's should be able to diffuse situations, but I have never been a flight attendant. They put up with a lot more variety of difficult situations on a day-to-day basis than your average csa and they don't have the luxury of time to placate people that are unwilling to cooperate. I agree that the flight attendant should have helped this woman with the bags, but I have a feeling this guy was causing quite a scene. They just don't allow that behavior on planes anymore. When someone gets that upset (as he sounded), they have to make a decision and take control of the situation.

I also don't take the dim view of the world as you see it. I rarely have problems with csa's anywhere, if ever. I have also not been pepper sprayed. I live in a foreign country right now and I have to say, people in the US really don't know how good we have it sometimes. I still say that in order to get respect you have to give it--and I will continue to live by that.
Ben There on 09/14/2010:
Since this was American Airlines, we know the flight attendant has at least 10 years of experience, probably a lot more. The OP asked the crew member to do something that he is not allowed to do - carry a passenger's bags. American Airlines has a firm "you bring it, you sling it" policy. Not only do they not want flights delayed because FAs are moving bags instead of getting the plane ready for departure, but their insurance does not cover injuries in the event the bag is really heavy.
FlShopper on 09/14/2010:
I don't think this is a case of poor customer service on AA's part; the flight attendants were not allowed to move the bags, and all the talk and pleading from the OP wasn't going to change that fact. I can't believe that there weren't any other passengers willing to help the woman move the bags (I've been in plenty of situations where other passengers have offered me help when I'm trying to lift a bag into the overhead compartment)and I'm wondering what would've happened if at the beginning of this situation the OP had simply asked politely if he could go assist his wife.
Anonymous on 09/14/2010:
FI, I agree. There are usually plenty of passengers willing to help when I fly. I even help people, especially people that are elderly or with kids. I think the husband could have stowed the bags before he went to the back. Sounds sort of like he abandoned his wife with the baby and the two bags or he thought that once he sat down he could go back and help her? We will never know.
Ytropious on 09/14/2010:
They can't help with bags OP. He told you this and you wanted to make him feel bad by constantly yelling at him about not helping a woman and child. I'm sure he wishes he could but he is NOT allowed to. Bags are customer responsibility. As Ben said, you bring it, you sling it. In the time it took to argue with him, you could have swapped kids with your wife, let her have both, and take the bags FOR her. Being buckled up with one kid can be reversed. You act like being buckled in means you can't unbuckle yourself. I would have helped my wife instead of argue with the FA but that's just me.
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Terrible customer service when dealing with a death in the family
Posted by on
I booked a last minute package with Travelocity for me and my wife to see my sick grandmother (lax->bos). a few days after I received a call from my mother, who told me my grandmother would not still be alive on the weekend. I attempted to change my outgoing flight. Travelocity told me only American Airlines could do it, and American told me only Travelocity could. Travelocity promised to try to change it and to call me back, and failed to do so.

I booked an additional one-way flight so that I could see my grandmother, but, alas, I was too late. The funeral was several days later, and I planned to take my original return flight. However, when my wife flew in several days later for the funeral, she found out that I would be unable to use my return ticket (bos->lax) because I did not use the lax->bos flight. despite the fact that the airline essentially pocketed the money for the seat, and undoubtedly sold it to someone else.

I spent 2 hours on the phone with Travelocity and American airlines. Travelocity customer service was nice but uninformative. I can not say the same thing for American airlines. each claimed only the other had the power to allow me to keep my original flight. the last manager I spoke to at American was rude and condescending. he simply said it was my fault for "deciding to be my own travel agent", and when I begged him to just get on the phone with me and Travelocity together to hash out just who has the ability to change my ticket, he said it was not his job. he said no one at American airlines had the ability to let me keep my original flight.

the next day I went to the American airlines ticket counter. I explained the situation to them, and they let me keep my original itinerary by paying a $150 change fee (contradicting the rude manager). so, in the end I paid for a roundtrip ticket and a $150 change fee to fly a single one-way flight from Boston to LA. oh and hours of my time, and the stress of having to deal with terrible people while grieving for my grandmother.

American airlines should be ashamed as a company to employ people of the sort I had to deal with. they should be ashamed of their byzantine computer systems that allow all their employees to pass the buck and to lie to the customer. they should be ashamed that of their less than fair fare rules that do not allow you to take one leg of a roundtrip flight even when there is a death in your family. and the biggest shame of all is that our taxes have repeatedly bailed out this and other airlines - failures as standalone businesses, instead of letting these failed businesses fail, and paving the way for better-managed companies like southwest.

all I can do is stop flying American. I hope others follow suit.
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jktshff1 on 07/12/2010:
While I sympathize with your difficulties and can truly relate to them, these companies are in it for the $$$$$. The terms and conditions are clearly stated on their sites. The death in your family has nothing to do with them and they should not be penalized, nor blamed for situations beyond their control and that they have nothing to do with.
NO....I have not now nor never have a connection with any airlines at all.
It's just not their problem.
Ben There on 07/12/2010:
All airlines will cancel your return flight if you don't take your outbound flight.

As for the government bailing out the airlines, that simply is not true. A few of them got loans right after 9/11, but they were quickly paid back.
BEJ on 07/12/2010:
Any airline you travel on will cancel your return flight if you do not take the outgoing flight. I am sorry for your circumstances. Perhaps if you had booked directly and not used a 3rd party site you might have not had the difficulties.
Nohandle on 07/12/2010:
My sympathy on the passing of your grandmother. If I understand this correctly you booked through Travelocity two round trip tickets. You then attempted to change your departure date and Travelocity never called you back so you purchased an additional one way ticket for yourself.

I gratefully have not been in this same situation but am glad to learn if a round trip ticket is not used on the original outgoing flight (other flights or transportation used) it is not a given for the return flight. I've never personally booked with a travel agency in many years. At one time one would seldom attempt to contact an airline directly. I can understand some individuals, in times like these, want someone else to handle the details for them.

One more thing, and please forgive me. Being present at the time of death is not what it's purported to be by some. It will be your last memory of that loved one. I've been there and hope I never am again. I'm sorry for your loss.
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Bike Box Destroyed, Delivered Four Days Late After Denial of Possession
Posted by on
DFW, TEXAS -- I flew CX BKK-HKG-SFO, then transferred to AA SFO-LAX-IAD (AA1923/144) on 11/04/2009. I received my bags at SFO for customs examinations before re-checking to the AA segments.

My SFO-LAX flight was late, making me miss my LAX-IAD segment. I was not rebooked on the next flight, but rather on a flight more than 24 hours later. I opted to stay in LA as I would be missing my event in Washington, and I have family in LA who I could visit in the meantime.

AA sent my bags on to IAD, however, and closed my reservation. One bag with personal effects was returned 48 hours later, but AA denied that it possessed the second bag - a bike box - until that time. I had to physically show them the baggage check ticket for them to awknowledge their possession of the box. In the meantime, I was offered no compensation for the suitcase that was delayed, even though it had all of my personal effects, because I live abroad, and my address with AA was registered as being in LA where I had scheduled to have my bags delivered.

When the bike box did arrive, it arrived in shambles. I am not understating this. I took pictures because it was so shocking. The box had been ripped apart, and items inside had been taped to the remainder of the box to keep them from spilling out. There was so little of the box left that it was amazing the baggage clerks could offer me the box with a straight face. It goes without saying that my $3500 bike was damaged - about $150. As a side note, I've travelled many times both trans-oceanic and trans-continental with my bike, and never had so much as a scratch on my bike as a result of baggage handling.

Keep in mind that I was the customer who was not yelling at the baggage claim people throughout the four days my box was lost. I was cooperative and respectful, and I spent hours both on the phone and at the baggage claim office at LAX resolving the issue. Even with this, I was never even offered an apology.

The baggage office suggested I contact Customer Service, which I did, and the agent offered as compensation 2,500 A'Advantage Miles, but denied responsibility per the contract of carriage, which states the AA does not assume responsibility for sporting goods unless packed in a hard case shell. Bikes are sent in bike boxes, hence relieving AA of any responsibility.

Even with this, I was told by the central baggage office when I was still waiting for the box's delivery that AA would absorb the cost of damages. Naturally the agent did not document such a promise in the baggage claim file.

After getting nowhere with AA Customer Service, I filed a Better Business Bureau report, which also got me nowhere. The same people at Customer Service reiterated their lack of interest in resolving the issue.

So be it. If this how AA handles it customers - albeit in a spectacular situation - others have a right to know about it. I used to fly AA all the time years ago, but one bad experience after another led me to slowly cash in my miles and call it quits with them. This last experience underlines my decision to never pay for an AA ticket again, and the sad thing is they could have redeemed themselves if they had just shown a bit of remorse for royally messing up.

A bit of fun regarding AA's response. Per AA's Barbara Russell, "Although we let you down, we are glad you took the time to let us know." Oh, thank you. I took the time to let you know so that you could be 'glad'.

Read on, "Mr. Roberts, I hope that your disappointment over that experience won't keep you from giving us another chance. I assure you that we intend to make a better impression the next time you fly with us." Oh, OK. I'm sure I intend to book another ticket on AA just to see if they can provide good service. After hundreds of thousands of miles of experience with them, I know the answer all to well.
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Anonymous on 12/08/2009:
CX is a nice ride but was this a MR for Oneworld EQM? StarA, TG/UA would have been easier. "After hundreds of thousands of miles...." Presuming EXP who have a dedicated service desk, did you call them?
Not to diminish your plight...
Your box was considered oversized and didn't get onto the conventional conveyor for scanning/sorting. Tight connection due to late inbound, someone missed the hand scan therefore they didn't know it was in the system immediately - thus they asked for your checked bag tix.
Unclear as to your status but I would suggest going back and using it to get a bit better resolution.

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