MANHATTAN, KANSAS -- Today is a big day for me; it is my best friends wedding. Not just any ordinary friend, she has been my best friend since kindergarten. I am a senior in college at Kansas State University and have been in DC for the past two weeks visiting my boyfriend. We fly once a month to see each other through American Airlines.
Today I was supposed to be on an American Airlines flight at 12:30 pm leaving from BWI. I was supposed to be landing around 5:15 and getting in the car with one of my friends to the hotel to put on the beautiful satin, honey colored dress that the bride chose for me to wear today while standing next to her.
This is how my day actually went… I woke up in Germantown, Maryland around 9:00 am and called my best friend to tell her how excited I was for her wedding tonight. The Montgomery County Taxicab driver picked me up at approximately 10:02 am to take me to BWI airport. His name was **, he was a very educated man and talked wonderfully about the new ICC highway we drove on a majority of the time to BWI. He said how impressed he was with the building of this highway; delays were a minimal during the construction. Great guy and outstanding service.
We pulled up in front of the American Airline entrance and I paid him $112. I went up to the self-service counter to check in and to check my bag, only to find out that my flight was delayed until after 1:00 pm. This meant that my connecting flight in Dallas wouldn't be an option because I would have only had five minutes to get to the next gate.
If you are familiar with the Dallas airport then you would know that getting off of the plane and making it to the next gate would have been merely impossible (but I'm sure you already know that). So I went to the service counter and was greeted by an agent, **. I explained my situation and how I was in dire need to get back to Manhattan, KS before 7:00 pm. He tried his very hardest to dig deep into the system to find any possible solution for me to make it to my best friend's wedding. I understand that there was nothing he could do, but I am grateful for his effort and kindness. He contacted his supervisor, ** (CSM).
Over the phone, his supervisor offered the possibility of me catching the next flight with United Airlines that leaves at 4:47 pm to Chicago, and then leaving there at 7:30 pm to arrive in Manhattan, KS at 9:15 pm. So I took that flight because I have no other option than to accept the fact that American Airlines has delayed my flight. They told me that I could not get a refund for my ticket, but they gladly offered me a $12 meal voucher. A $12 meal voucher doesn't do me any good when I have been fasting for the past two days to fit into my bridesmaid dress.
So I decided I would go get a drink to relieve stress and call my best friend to break the news that I would not be standing next to her on her big day. Until I looked down at my voucher and read, “NOT VALID FOR ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES”. As I sit in the lobby area in front of United Airlines, patiently waiting for 4:00 to roll around to check my bags, I decide to give my meal voucher to a younger lady that could probably find some use for it. Hopefully she's not a drinker. So here I am, still waiting in the lobby. Words can't explain how extremely disappointed and sad I am, and all American Airlines can offer me is free, cheap airport food.
My mother swears upon Southwest Airlines, refuses to fly with any other airline. Her flight was once delayed and she missed a meeting for work, so they immediately offered her a free flight. Now I understand her commitment to them. In six hours my best friend will be getting married to the man of her dreams and I should be standing next to her. Because of American Airlines I won't make it. Now I'm short a $12 meal voucher and possibly my best friend.
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- On September the 25th I flew American Airlines from Seattle to Dallas Fort Worth, and arrived in my home city of Columbus, Ohio at 12:30am. We were supposed to get in around 9pm, but the flight had been delayed. When my head hit my pillow at 2am that morning, I was totally exhausted.
Waking up on the morning of the 26th I started to unpack my bags to hand out souvenirs, and start my laundry. Much to my surprise, my laundry bag was missing. It contained a week's worth of my favorite outfits, some brand new that I had purchased for my trip. I hopped online and got the number for the Seattle Branch Airport right away, letting them know about my missing items. I explained that I found a TSA notification that my bag had been searched, that I thought that they pulled out my laundry hefty bag and just dismissed it as trash and did not return it to my bag. They told me that while the items may very well be at their airport, the policy was for me to report it in my destination city.
I called port Columbus and let them know exactly what happened. The man on the phone said since it was Sunday there was not a lot they could do, but he took an initial inventory and promised that the staff that handles these issues would call me the next day to get the rest of the information. They didn't call. I started to call regularly on the 28th, but received an answering machine message about delayed bags and the number to call to check on my claim. I didn't have a delayed bag, and I had yet to get a hold of someone who would give me a claim form, so after leaving messages to call me back and receiving no answer this seemed a dead end.
I went online to look for a place to claim missing items, but there was no link to be found for this information. Customer reviews repeatedly mentioned that there was nothing to do for missing items via the web, and that they were given the run around when they called to inquire. Calling more baggage numbers online, I continued to run into the wall of a pre-recorded message for delayed baggage expectancies, or was asked to enter a claim number to check the status. Getting a hold of a human being was next to impossible, and when I did they told me there was nothing they could do and that I had to call my home city.
On the 10th of October a woman finally called me back from Port Columbus and left a voice mail. It explained that the search would be a ten week process, and that she hoped I had reported the missing items within 24hrs of my arrival or they would not be covered if they weren't found.
I called back several more times and finally got a hold of a man that took down my information and sent out a claim form to my address. After spelling my name a letter at a time **, the letter that took two weeks to arrive was addressed to **. The mail man almost did not deliver it, but my roommate was there to tell him that we were expecting a letter from American Airlines, and they must have mis-addressed.
I sent the letter back priority mail, having just a week before the cut off day for them to search. Around the ten week time I called to find out the status of my claim. They told me it would be a little more time. Three weeks after that I received a letter explaining that I could not be reimbursed because of my unusual delay in reporting the missing items.
I honestly feel that every step along the way - from having to report the lost items in my home city, not being called back in a timely fashion, having no way to report the items online, being left a voice mail with no further solution, to having the claim sent to the wrong name, were road blocks set up to make it impossible for me to follow the procedure that would allow me to make a claim in which I could receive reimbursement. I am going to write a letter to this effect and send it to baggage and customer service. Based upon other reviews I don't expect much. In the future I will do everything I can to avoid travel with American Airlines, and suggest you do the same.
I put my 75 year-old mom on a first class flight with American Airlines from DFW to LAX on Jan 5, 2011, then connecting with Cathay Pacific from LAX-HKG-KUL. AA DFW-LAX flight was delayed by more than 2 hours due to mechanical problem at DFW airport, resulting in my mom missing her Cathay flight at LAX.
We were told by AA agent at LAX that the baggage were tagged to transfer to Cathay Pacific, so she couldn't retrieve her bags at baggage claim at LAX. The next day, my mom checked into her Cathay flight at LAX and was told her 2 bags couldn't be found because AA never transferred them over. She was told to check with Cathay Pacific at final destination in KUL Malaysia if the bags were there.
Obviously she arrived and the bags were not at KUL. We filed a lost baggage claim with Cathay Pacific in KUL. I called the Cathay Pacific baggage services at LAX to follow up and was told based on their log, AA never transferred the bags over to Cathay at LAX on Jan 5 and they had telexed the message over to AA and had not go any response. We contacted AA directly and were told the 2 baggage tags were closed out from AA system since the flight had arrived in LAX.
They do not have baggage tracking system, so they can't tell me where the bags are or whether they were even on the flight from DFW to LAX. I called AA Baggage Services at 1800-535-5225 and AA Central Baggage Service at 1800-866-4010 (after the baggages have been missing for 5 days). I got the same response - the 2 baggage tags were not in AA system at all and they were not responsible to trace them because Cathay Pacific was the carrier to the final destination, so Cathay was responsible.
I told them the bags were lost under AA control and were AA even bother trying to trace the baggage? No, not their jobs. They only deal with claims filed with AA. So basically NO ONE is looking for the lost baggage for my 75 year old mom.
I have called and tried to get information for 6 days now and is getting increasing frustrated and helpless. I know AA's customer service sucks but I didn't know they just don't take responsibility at all for lost baggage. If they don't show up, too bad for you. No one cares to look for them.
We paid a lot of money for my elderly mom to feel comfortable about the long haul international flight but it ended up being the most stressful flight in her life. She has had sleepless nights for a few days now worrying about the baggage. She is a 75 year old lady and has lost everything she has got in those bags. I am extremely disheartened with what is going on. My suspicion is the bags have been stolen but AA is taking no action to investigate on how 2 bags can disappear into thin air.
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 transfer 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 we're 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 daughter) one of the male flight attendant 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 underneath her seat and leaving 2 years old kid on a seat by herself.
I called the flight attendant and ask if he can help her since I had my seatbelt 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 daughter if she falls down and is it not flight assistant's job to help passenger especially if they are a woman with an infant. He repeated the same thing back to me. My 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 treat 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 attendant 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 service. It is unacceptable.
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.
I've flown countless time with American in many parts of the world, having been an American Advantage Platinum member in the past, and cannot recall an instance of such poor service, and certainly nothing remotely approaching the exceptionally poor service which I received in Rome with two of AA's personnel, one of which was the AA supervisor there. This Rome AA supervisor was arrogant, indifferent, and condescending. Below is my experience:
On Tuesday May 11, 2010 I flew on American Airlines from Chicago to Istanbul with a connection in Rome (AA 110 Chicago-Rome and scheduled TK 1862 Rome-Istanbul). The flight from Chicago was scheduled to depart at 4:55pm but was delayed due to mechanical difficulties. Hence, instead of arriving in Rome on Tuesday at the scheduled 9:15am, it arrived the same day at 11:30am.
As I was disembarking from the plane in Rome, I was intercepted by a local representative of AA who informed me that I had missed my connection but that I was “protected” on a later flight - seven hours later to be exact! When I explained that that was an unreasonable amount of time to wait for a connection and that there must be other routes which could get me to Istanbul in far shorter times than nine hours (seven hours waiting plus two hours flight time).
The AA representative showed me on a nearby screen about four flights. The first of these flights on the screen was my original connection originally scheduled for 11:40am but now set to depart at 11:50am, so I asked if I could not board that one. I was told that there was not enough time. With twenty minutes to spare, I took it that, based on the AA representative's rejection that the 11:50 flight must be in a far-off terminal and gate. The remaining handful of flights presented to me did not appear to arrive in an earlier time in Istanbul.
Having just flown for some nine hours plus delay, I then reluctantly went to the main terminal as directed by the AA. For this I went into the satellite terminal where I had landed, down the stairs to the tram boarding area, waiting for and rode on the tram to the main terminal, waited in line at and went through the security screening checkpoint.
There on the screen adjacent to the main terminal security point, I was to discover that the 11:50am departing flight, i.e. my original connection and the one which I had been told I did not have enough time to board, was not only still boarding but that it had been back at the tiny satellite terminal (circular and only 14 gates, grouped in pairs of two) and just by the gate where I had landed!
Disturbed by having been directed physically away from a connection which I could have easily made, I went back to the satellite terminal to speak with a supervisor. [Side Note: There was not any valid reason for my being directed to the main terminal, because even my seven hour later connection was in the very same satellite terminal].
When I first explained the situation to the supervisor and asked for an explanation, he said that he had to get a flight boarded. So I waited, waited while the supervisor chatted leisurely and jokingly with others. The flight fully boarded and then I saw the supervisor move over to another flight, with not a word nor gesture to me who was by the now empty boarding area waiting for him.
So I patiently moved over to this new gate and attempted a couple of times to discreetly get his attention, wherein he avoided even eye contact with me, let alone giving some indication that he understood that I was still waiting for him. Finally, as this second flight was nearly fully boarded, and the AA supervisor was again holding non-business conversation with others and still completely ignoring my presence, I spoke up and explained that I was still waiting for him. The supervisor then said that he would be with me in a few minutes and I continued to wait.
When the AA supervisor finally came over to me, all he attempted to do from beginning to end is to attempt to justify that the original AA representative's actions. The lies and misrepresentations which came from the AA supervisor are summarized as follows: Falsehood #1, that the AA representative had not known that the flight which departed to Istanbul had been delayed to 11:50am. While he may have not know at the time he rebooked me to the seven hour later flight, he certainly knew when the two of us were looking at the same screen at 11:30am.
Falsehood #2, that there were only the handfuls of trip routing from Rome to Istanbul. Rome and Istanbul are major international airports, only two hours flight apart, and each with flights departing and arriving every few minutes. There were far more options to be routed to Istanbul (or Ankara which I had given as a possible option) than the handful which I was shown.
Falsehood #3, that the original flight AA110 delay was due to weather conditions beyond the airline's control. The final words of the Rome supervisor as he haughtily and indignantly pushed my documentation across the counter back to me were, and I paraphrase: “I cannot help someone who is not able to understand that we are dealing with weather forces out of our control.”
The fact is that I was on the plane naturally when the pilot, before take-off, informed the passengers that there was a delay due to two mechanical difficulties - one that his windshield wiper had to be repaired. Further, the pilot had informed us that at least an equal amount of time, if not more, would be due to the paperwork. Thus the original flight delay which was the first factor in my missing the connection in Rome was due, not to some unavoidable act of God, but rather due to American Airlines.
Thus, naturally, there is no justification for my not having been directed to board the 11:50am flight, nor to being sent to the wrong terminal, nor for AA claiming that they were not responsible for my missed Rome connection, nor for not rerouting me to arrive in Istanbul in less than nine hours.
Further, neither the original AA representative nor the supervisor even gave my any assistance or guidance relative to the apparently re-booked seven-hour later flight. During my time in Rome, I noticed that I was not given a boarding pass for the flight, or directions to obtain one nor told where / in which direction even to go.
The reality is that without Rome AA's misinformation and misdirection, I would on my own have easily located and boarded my original connection, the nearby 11:50am departing flight. Rome AA violated a primary rule which can be applied to customer service: “Do no harm”.
After my seven hour Rome ordeal, I arrived in Istanbul. Rebooked, paid a change fee for, and boarded the last, 11:55pm, flight from Istanbul to Ankara. In sum, I spent over 24 hours en route, due to the incompetence and intransigence of two, ill-mannered and ill-trained American Airlines personnel in Rome.
On Monday December 14th, my fiance, two daughters, and I had a scheduled flight leaving Montreal at 7:45am with one stop in Dallas, Texas. Our final destination was Leon, Mexico at 2:45pm, had everything gone as planned. However it did not, which is why I am now taking time from my holiday to tell you what happened.
We arrived at the American Airlines counter at 6:15am to check in. The line-up was moderate, but we noticed that it was not moving very fast. We did not arrive at the counter until 6:40am. While we were waiting I noticed two things. Firstly, an attendant kept leaving her station to aid those at the E-ticket Kiosk and secondly, there was a couple in front of us who got to jump the line because their flight was being called.
At the counter I was informed that one of my suite-cases was over by 18 pounds and was given the option to remove some items and place them in our other suite-cases to try to lighten the weight. It took me less than two minutes to decide that we were not able to place items in the other suite-cases.
As I turned around to inform the attendant of my decision, I saw that she (**) was preparing to wheel some elderly people to their gate. I approached her and she said she would send someone to help us. My family and I were still standing at the American Airlines check-in counter with no assistance, 15 minutes later. After searching for another attendant, her first reaction was to call people on the radio to figure out what was going on.
Now, at 7:00 am, it was boarding time. After we checked our luggage, she did not offer to try to rush us to the gate. By the time we passed through immigration (and we were given preference as we were traveling with a 7 month old baby) we arrived at the gate, saw the plane and were informed that we had missed our flight by **.
** reaction to when she saw us? "What happened to you guys?" At this point my fiance answered "You left us there." ** immediately was defensive and took no responsibility for what had just occurred. She told us she had sent a gentlemen named ** to help us and called him on the radio. It turned out that ** had gone on break, and very conveniently forgot about the family ** had told him to help with.
After they had contacted the supervisor, the supervisor placed the blame on us, saying that we only arrived at the check-in point at 6:40 and that was not enough time to make our flight. I told them that we arrived there at 6:15, and had waited that long. They then okay'd the crew (**) to find us a flight even if it was with a different airline. They gave us two options, one was Miami ending in Mexico City and then we would have to get to Leon on our own or fly to Chicago, then to Mexico City and finishing in Leon at 11pm.
I feel at this point it is important to note that we booked with American Airlines to avoid travel to Mexico City and to also avoid more than one stop, as I previously mentioned we were traveling with our children. We decided on traveling to Chicago, via Mexico City ending Leon. While waiting for our plane to Chicago, they made an announcement that there was a problem with the plane and that there would be a delay, they did this three times.
After I approached the attendant at the counter and explained that we had a tight connection because of the delay, I asked if they wanted to send us on a different flight. The attendant guaranteed that we would make our connection. So we boarded for Chicago. I think it is extremely important to note at this point that not one of American Airlines employees took the time to apologize to us. On top of that, the supervisor refused to take 10 minutes of his time to speak to us. Working for one of the world's largest hotel chains, I know first hand that this is beyond unacceptable.
We arrived at Chicago at approximately 2:40pm and had to make our connection with AeroMexico at 3:05pm in a different terminal. When I asked for help at the gate they refused to call the other airline or get me any assistant (such as an electric cart to get us there in time). By the time we made it to the terminal at 3:00pm we had missed our flight once again.
So we went back to the American Airlines counter and spoke to a gentlemen named **. After we explained everything that had just occurred, he first asked us to repeat everything because he didn't even believe us. When I went through the story a second time he was beyond embarrassed for what employees of American Airlines had done or in better words, not done.
He began looking for flights for us and informed us there was no flights that night and that we would have to take a plane the following day. At that moment, I refused and told him to look for a different alternative. He said that all the flights were booked and there was nothing until the next day. Then, he found one other option. We would have to fly four and a half hours to LA that night and then take 1:30am flight from LA to Leon arriving in Leon at 6:30am. My fiance burst into tears at this point as our 7 month old was crying and our other daughter was feeling sick already from all the traveling.
I told him it was unreasonable to fly all night with a baby and wanted to speak to his supervisor. The supervisors name was ** and very unfriendly. After he checked on the computer his answer was "You either stay here for three days or you take that flight." At this point, we took the flight. I do want to make a note that one attendant, named **, made an attempt to at least give us one extra seat and she succeeded in doing so. This we were very grateful for and thanked her. However, when we boarded the plane, they had given the seat away.
A couple of things that I would like to mention at this point. I asked ** to look at sending me at a couple of different cities inside Mexico close to our final destination he said "I'm not going to send you to another city just because it is convenient for you." At this point I replied "I don't think you understand, your company had a contract with me to be at 2:45pm in Leon. That was not fulfilled and the least thing you can do right now is try and accommodate us."
** did not seem to understand this. He also did not want to use a different airline. When I requested to try to bump someone on an earlier flight the following morning he simply said "no." I feel it is important to mention I witnessed other companies in the past that when they are in a situation like this they offer a compensation flight for anyone who would give up their seats. They didn't even offer to do that for us. I don't think I need to explain how an overnight flight with a 7 month old baby went. She was crying and grabbing her ears in pain all night.
As a result of all this we lost two days of our vacation. When we got back home we continuously tried to contact American Airlines, we finally receive a response from a ** with Customer Relations. We received a generic apology email and were told we would receive "vouchers" from AA as soon as we provided our mailing address. I emailed back the same day sending our mailing address and asking what the vouchers included.
Over a week had passed and until today I still had heard nothing. I sent another email and included my phone number. I received a call this evening in regards to my follow-up complaint the lady said she was from corporate office and she mentioned that she did not answer my email in regards to my question about what the vouchers included because she was waiting for my address. I told her I had replied with the address and questioned what type of vouchers they were going to send me. She said that she was going to send 3 $150.00 vouchers.
This was not acceptable and when I pointed that out to her she said that she was not calling to negotiate and that my family and I did not give ourselves enough time to catch the plane and she was just sending that as a follow-up. Clearly, I ended the conversation and hung-up. It is clear that customer service is the last worry for American Airlines, and that I can't change that. What I will do though is tell this story to anyone who will listen in hopes that it will at least change a few peoples minds when they are picking an airline to fly with.
I have left many "details" out of my post only to keep this post short. What happened to me on my recent flights on American Airlines should never happen in today's world!!! Certainly NOT after the Delta Holiday bombing attempt on Christmas day!
On December 18th, 2009, my partner and I used American Airlines (AA) to fly from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Guadalajara (GDL), Mexico (#1401). We checked in, and all was going well. We boarded the plane and moved into "take off position." Then we began to sit on the run way.
The "pilot" used the planes PA to state, "we have a bit of a problem because we are loaded with bags from other flights so we have a 'balance problem' with the plane - we have asked a passenger to move from the front of the plane to the back to balance the plane out. Also, some of you will not have luggage when you get to Guadalajara (GDL) because we had to leave it behind to make room for the bags from other flights. Your bags will follow you as soon as possible - we need to make room for the bags from other flights and their passengers. An American Airlines "rep" will be waiting for you to assist you once we land if your bags were left behind."
Once we arrived in Mexico 2 hours later, nearly 1/2 our plane was without bags! One poor lady was having a wedding and her dress was in her checked bag left back at DFW! I had all my medication in my bags-it is real expensive and needs to be kept cold! We began to look for the AA representative to help us with this problem and answer questions and the only person was some 20 year old guy who spoke no ENGLISH! As he filled out the forms he filled it out wrong and NOBODY could offer us any idea when our bags would arrive-all we had were the cloths on our backs!!
We took the paper he gave us and left the air port at 10PM. The next day we began to try to call the "800" numbers to get answers NONE OF THE NUMBERS WORKED! We had to use toll numbers! I FINALLY GOT THIS RUDE WOMAN NAMED **. She kept insisting that I give her a group of "letters" off my form - I told her I did not have them (the idiot never gave them to me). After nearly 20 minutes on the phone with ** the only thing I solved was our bags and my medication "might" arrive in Mexico later that night. Using their website is impossible. We went 4 days without cloths and my medication (about 4,000.00 worth of med's). NOBODY CARED AT ALL!
When our bags did arrive, we were told we could get them "anytime" - that was a lie! We showed up at GDL to get our bags on Wed, December 23rd (we were in a remote part of Mexico and not able to get to the airport). When we arrived we found that AA in GDL has NO "real office" it is a "room" the size of a "closet." The sign reads "open M-F 0800 to 1600." We were there with 20 other people trying to get their bags (even the lady with the wedding dress)! The door was locked.
Again, I called the "toll numbers" and spoke to a REAL PERSON who was not only unhelpful, but insulting and rude. When I asked for a supervisor-I was told "I don't have one." I was able to speak to another person and to make a long story short - I was told to come back the next day! The next day I arrived at 8 AM and got our bags. We were pissed!
During our return flight on 12/30/2009, we were ready for EXTRA security checks due to the Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Delta Plane flying into Detroit. Like many we arrived at 4 AM for our flight which left at 7:50AM. We were not first - 30 or so others we ahead of us. Mexican Security arrived and set up tables and lanes for us to file into - then we waited! NO AA PEOPLE WERE READY TO HANDLE THE CRUSH OF PEOPLE trying to fly home to the USA from Mexico!
Once the AA staff did arrive, we went through the security checks. No keep in mind I am a retired Los Angeles Police officer - I know something about searching people and containers. The searches done of our bags and bodies were worthless! I could have had a "land mine" in my bag and the Mexican TSA would have totally missed it!
Now came the metal detectors - I walked through and set the thing off like I always to. I stopped and waited for what was to come next - NOTHING! THE LADY WAIVED ME RIGHT ON THROUGH WITH A SMILE! SHE NEVER CHECKED ME AT ALL! I HAD BOOTS, A BELT, AND ALL SORTS OF STUFF ON AND SHE DID NOTHING!
We just shook our heads and said, "What the hell! This is NOT security!" As we got ready to board the jet we moved towards the door. Now came the "pat down." FOLKS THIS WAS A JOKE! IT IS CLEAR "THEY ARE JUST GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS" and at the best is it "sloppy" and at the worst, it is going to get someone killed! As far as security is concerned at this Airport, 5 days after a major "terror event" on a flight into the USA - this is unforgivable!
They had some little old lady in a chair taking off her shoes, but the rest of us never took off ours and had them checked. When they did the pat down I was watching the Mexican Security - they only checked the arms and legs-and it was FAST! I remind you that the "shoe bomber" and "Christmas Day bomber" carried their IED's onto the planes! THESE MEXICAN OFFICIALS WERE HORRIBLE IN THEIR SECURITY. The Mexican Army was seen around some of the check points - they were "unarmed!" In 1997, I flew to Mexico and saw men with M16's right in the airport - NOT THIS TIME!
There was no reason for American Airlines and Mexican TSA to be so sloppy-they had lots of time and people were waiting and understanding! "safety first" is what CNN is putting out now - I saw that's a joke! The horrible security and searches we went through the airport is down right UNSAFE! It was very clear we were being "rushed through" all of the security check points. We even arrived "early" at DFW and had to wait for our gait to open up so, we had lots of time!!!
I will never fly American Airlines ever again. This was insane. I will probably never fly back to Mexico because of the lack of security faith in their protection of people flying on planes out of Mexico. Terrorist are everywhere - what will stop them from flying into Mexico, only to rushed through a security check, to board a plane for the USA which is only 2 hours away-all the time in PERSONAL possession of a BOMBS! Nope, never again! Security at GDL is a joke! American Airlines - a company based in Texas and that is shocking and sad! I am a Texan, and now won't support this local business!
I have sent my "observations" of this LACK OF SECURITY to my local Texas elected officials and asked them to look into why the flights from Mexico have such sloppy security on flights into our nation - American Airlines should be on top of this also but clearly they are not!
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 acknowledge 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 traveled 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 **, "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. **, 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.
4255 AMON CARTER BLVD MD 2400, TEXAS -- I purchased tickets to fly from Wisconsin to Texas (Nov.2 - Nov.9) back in July of this year. Three days before my flight a family member offered to pick me up in Dallas (my layover destination) instead of in Austin so that we could have time to drive north to Oklahoma City and spend 2 days visiting with my 86 year old grandmother. This was especially exciting since I was traveling (alone) with my 4 year old son. I knew she would be excited about getting to see one of her great-grandchildren.
When I arrived at the airport I politely let the ticket clerk know that we were not continuing all the way to our original destination, but that there was no change to the return flights. She stated that I would have to pay a change fee of $100 to $150 per ticket since we were not continuing on to our original destination and although I was shocked and argued that I did not understand why this was an issue for them I conceded so that we could still get on our original flight.
Then, when the check-in clerk was entering the information into her computer she then told me that, actually, it was going to $576 per ticket instead of the originally quoted $100-150 per ticket. When I asked her to explain why the increase in price she said that I was now having to purchase a completely new itinerary showing that we were getting off in Dallas and that tickets purchased 'same-day' as travel are a lot more expensive. I was furious, but still acted in a polite manner hoping to find some sort of compromise in this matter.
After 10 minutes of polite arguing my young son and I had less than 30 minutes to get on our flight and when I asked to speak to someone else in customer service I was told that no one was currently available and that I had no choice, but to pay the additional $1152.80 in order to board our flight that day.
I agreed and said that I would be dealing with the airline's customer service as soon as we landed to clear up this issue. I truly belied that I would be able to discuss this with someone. However, it seems as though I should have stayed, missed my flight and missed the chance to see my grandmother so that I could stand in person and somehow throw a fit in person. I do not do things like that very well, as I feel like it's important to try the rational way first.
After multiple phone calls to a variety of customer service reps and their supervisor the only explanation I have received is that I changed the itinerary so I had to purchase new tickets. My problem is that I know of other examples in which people have done the same thing and have only been charged the $150 per ticket. I feel like I was taken advantage of and asked to pay an obscene amount of money (including the original $600 I paid for the tickets in July).
I have been very polite and courteous and have tried everything within my means to explain that this is terrible customer service on their part. I have also written letters to Gerard Arpey and the customer service department showing copies of all of my information.
In addition to all of this on our 2 hour flight from WI to TX we were originally signed seats 14B and 14C. They were even printed on our new itinerary, however, on our paper boarding passes it said seats 18B and 18C, which ended up being the last row of seats right next to the on board bathroom. I do believe there is a possibility that for some reason they shuffled the seats around, but part of me feels like this was an intentional move done by the check-in ticket clerk. It does not make sense that the seats printed on the new itinerary would be different from the boarding passes - printed at the same time.
I am still looking for a resolution to this problem and am looking for help in my effort to move to plan B. I now regret not staying at the check-in counter and working this out before we flew. It is just so difficult to travel alone with children that I didn't think it would work to stay and miss our flight. If you or anyone has any additional suggestions I would be grateful to hear them. Thank you for your time!