American Airlines Complaint - Terrible customer service when dealing with a death in the family
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.