American Airlines Complaint - Lost Bags-Lies, And Poor Security At Mexico Airport
I have left many "details" out of my post only to keep this post short. What happened to me on my recent flights on American Airlines should never happen in today's world!!! Certainly NOT after the Delta Holidy bombing attempt on Christmas day!
On December 18th, 2009, my partner and I, used American Airlines (AA) to fly from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Guadalajara (GDL), Mexico (#1401). We checked in, and all was going well. We boarded the plane and moved into "take off position." Then we began to sit on the run way. The "pilot" used the planes PA to state, "we have a bit of a problem due to the fact we are loaded with bags from other flights so we have a 'balance problem' with the plane-we have asked a passenger to move from the front of the plane to the back to balance the plane out. Also, some of you will not have luggage when you get to Guadalajara (GDL) because we had to leave it behind to make room for the bags from other flights. You bags will follow you as soon as possible-we need to make room for the bags from other flights and their passengers. An American Airlines "rep" will be waiting for you to assist you once we land if your bags were left behind."
Once we arrived in Mexico 2 hours later, nearly 1/2 our plane was without bags! One poor lady was having a wedding and her dress was in her checked bag left back at DFW! I had all my medication in my bags-it is real expensive and needs to be kept cold! We began to look for the AA representative to help us with this problem and answer questions and the only person was some 20 year old guy who spoke no ENGLISH! As he filled out the forms he filled it out wrong and NOBODY could offer us any idea when our bags would arrive-all we had were the cloths on our backs!!
We took the paper he gave us and left the air port at 10PM. The next day we began to try and call the "800" numbers to get answers NONE OF THE NUMBERS WORKED! We had to use toll numbers! I FINALLY GOT THIS RUDE WOMEN NAMED "MARY." She kept insisting that I give her a group of "letters" off my form-I told her I did not have them (the idiot never gave them to me). After nearly 20 minutes on the phone with "Mary" the only thing I solved was our bags and my medication "might" arrive in Mexico later that night. Using their website is impossible. We went 4 days without cloths and my medication (about 4,000.00 worth of med's!). NOBODY CARED AT ALL!
When our bags did arrive, we were told we could get them "anytime"-that was a lie! We showed up at GDL to get our bags on Wens, December 23rd (we were in a remote part of Mexico and not able to get to the airport). When we arrived we found that AA in GDL has NO "real office" it is a "room" the size of a "closet." The sign reads "open M-F 0800 to 1600." We were there with 20 other people trying to get their bags (even the lady with the wedding dress)!. The door was locked.
Again, I called the "toll numbers" and spoke to a REAL PERSON who was not only unhelpful, but insulting and rude. When I asked for a supervisor-I was told "I don't have one." I was able to speak to another person and to make a long story short-I was told to come back the next day! The next day I arrived at 8 AM and got our bags-I we were pissed!
During our return flight on 12/30/2009, we were ready for EXTRA security checks due to the Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Delta Plane flying into Detroit. Like many we arrived at 4 AM for our flight which left at 7:50AM. We were not first-30 or so others we ahead of us. Mexican Security arrived and set up tables and lanes for us to file into-then we waited! NO AA PEOPLE WERE READY TO HANDLE THE CRUSH OF PEOPLE trying to fly home to the USA from Mexico!
Once the AA staff did arrive, we went through the security checks. No keep in mind I am a retired Los Angeles Police officer-I know something about searching people and containers. The searches done of our bags, and bodies was worthless! I could have had a "land mine" in my bags and the Mexican TSA would have totally missed it!
Now came the metal detectors-I walked through and set the thing off like I always to. I stopped and waited for what was to come next-NOTHING! THE LADY WAIVED ME RIGHT ON THROUGH WITH A SMILE! SHE NEVER CHECKED ME AT ALL! I HAD BOOTS, A BELT, AND ALL SORTS OF STUFF ON AND SHE DID NOTHING!
We just shook our heads and said, "What the hell! This is NOT security!". As we got ready to board the jet we moved towards the door. Now came the "pat down." FOLKS THIS WAS A JOKE! IT IS CLEAR "THEY ARE JUST GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS" and at the best is it "sloppy" and at the worst, it is gonna get someone killed! As far as security is concerned at this Airport, 5 days after a major "terror event" on a flight into the USA-this is unforgivable!
They had some little ol lady in a chair taking off her shoes, but the rest of us never took off ours and had them checked. When they did the pat down I was watching the Mexican Security-they only checked the arms and legs-and it was FAST! I remind you that the "shoe bomber" and "Christmas Day bomber" carried their IED's onto the planes! THESE MEXICAN OFFICIALS WERE HORRIBLE IN THEIR SECURITY. The Mexican Army was seen around some of the check points-they were "unarmed!" In 1997, I flew to Mexico and saw men with M16's right in the airport-NOT THIS TIME!
There was no reason for American Airlines and Mexican TSA to be so sloppy-they had lots of time and people were waiting and understanding! "saftey 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!