American Airlines Informative - American Airlines is an Abomination to consumers
CALIFORNIA -- On April 9th, 2008 my son David was due to board American Airlines flights 1332 and 674 which would take him from San Diego (where he attends law school) to Tampa, Florida, to attend his brother’s wedding. After hearing on the news that morning that AA was grounding flights for safety violations he arrived at the airport 6 hours before his scheduled departure to inquire about his flight. He found absolute chaos at the AA terminal. There were at least 400 people in line waiting to talk to a representative, and some reported to him that they’d been there since the day before, and the line was neither moving, nor were AA representatives being particularly helpful. My son then called me and told me in a very sad voice that he sincerely doubted that he’d be able to attend his brother’s wedding which was scheduled on April 11th.. David was not only in the wedding party, he was also a very intrinsic part of it, having agreed to play and sing the couple’s favorite song on his guitar as the bride came down the aisle. Upon hearing this news, I told David that we couldn’t give up on having him attend the ceremony and that we had to try to find him another flight. For the next 4 hours, David, myself and David’s father frantically tried our best to find him another flight to Tampa that would get him to Florida in time for the wedding. Being a thrifty law student that is unable to work the first year of study, David had purchased his AA ticket months before, at just under $300 for a round trip ticket. Now, as the clock ticked away and we were informed over and over that all flights of other airlines to Tampa were booked solid, we realized that price was not even part of the equation as we desperately tried to get him any ticket on any airline that could get him to Florida on time. Three long and stress-filled hours later, I was finally able to secure the very last ticket of a United flight out of San Diego later that day. The cost of that one-way ticket which I purchased was $1,088.00. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but infinitely less bitter than informing my other son and his bride that David would not be attending their wedding. Upon his return to San Diego this week, David immediately wrote AA and inquired how to receive compensation for the very expensive ticket that his mother had been obligated to purchase, due to the absolute negligence of AA’s responsibility in alerting passengers in a timely fashion of their decision to cancel flights on April 9th. They responded that they would re-imburse him $145 for the cost of the flight that had been cancelled, and that was all. I feel totally violated as an American citizen. There are no controls on these airlines that are repeatedly subjecting citizens of this country to new and greater insults and atrocities, as a result of lack of regulation. We definitely need a passenger’s Bill of Rights, and these airlines need to be held accountable in compensating people for their breeches in responsibility. It is absolutely reprehensible that there is such neglect on the airline’s part in keeping passengers informed of safety violations that could lead to possible cancellations, (in this case AA knew about the violations weeks in advance), and have adequate resources in place to ensure that passengers have another way to get to their destination in a timely manner. In addition to the horrendous mental stress that this incident caused our family, it is adding insult to injury that they are we are not being compensated for the money lost as a result of AMERICAN AIRLINE’s dereliction of duty. In the case of my son, he did not have the luxury of waiting hours and possibly days in line to speak with a customer representative. He was given no option other than to seek another airline and pay a high premium for a ticket that he’d thoughtfully purchased months in advance of the special event. Something needs to be done!