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  #1  
Old 11-15-2010, 02:36 PM
Stevebyer Stevebyer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Default American Airlines - canceled flight

My 15 year old daughter Nikki's flight from Boston to LA for a connection to Australia (summer camp) was canceled after a number of problems on Wednesday evening July 21st (after sitting on the plane for three hours and maybe longer).
The first was bad weather, then came some equipment failures, and finally, according to Nikki, she was told that American Airlines discovered that they had an illegal alien as a crew member. After I tried for a number of hours to get Nikki rescheduled, we were told that the best American could do was to get her out on Saturday, three days later. This was not acceptable or practical given the circumstances - Nikki, at15 years old and traveling alone, was in a city 2 hours away from home, with her parents already home, and camp due to start as soon as she arrived in Australia. She was set to rendezvous with a bunch of fellow campers in LA, and travel internationally with them. After trying to re-schedule with American for nearly two hours, I contacted American Express and they were able to promptly book another flight to LA the next day on another airline. I will continue to pursue this until I get a full refund, even if it means going to the press and filing suit in small claims court. I have been very cordial and patient about this, but no longer.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2010, 09:16 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,195
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Steve,
You may not be aware but you breached the rules of the "unaccompanied minor" programme if you left the airport before "wheels up". My daughter regularly travelled from Logan to London Heathrow on the unaccompanied minors service, but we were always advised never to leave the airport until the aircraft was confirmed as being in the air. It is a good rule and you may find that the airline is not sympathetic to you because you breached this fundamental safety agreement.

That doesn't negate the terrible service you received from AA. Really appalling... good luck.
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2010, 09:23 PM
Stevebyer Stevebyer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Default American Airlines

Hi jim, Thanks for the comment. Even though Nikki was 15, we did not have her flying as an unaccompanied minor. Any suggestions how to try to get American Airlines' attention, other than file a claim in small claims court?
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  #4  
Old 11-16-2010, 10:12 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Location: Shropshire, England
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The big problem you have is that there was an element of weather in the reasons given for the delay. I suspect this was bogus and the real reasons were equipment and the illegal alien story, which is so unusual as to be a notable reason. Makes a mockery of the enhanced security clearance if true though.
I would file a complaint with the DOT.. if the reason were equipment failure and employee problems, these are entirely within their control and they ought to have provided alternatives including flying on another carrier or re-routing to get her there. Incidently, was the AA leg booked separately from the international portion of the trip? I think their conduct is even worse if it was connected.
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2010, 11:47 AM
Stevebyer Stevebyer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Default American Airlines

Jim, All flights were booked together thru a travel agent (who is providing no help). The flight from Boston to LA was a Qantas run by American. The two remaining connections (one to Sidney, and then on to Brisbane) were Qantas.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2010, 10:30 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Location: Shropshire, England
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I think you should definitely complain through the DOT. Qantas and AA are both OneWorld and may have been trying to keep you in their network, but this is simply not good enough. They ought to have routed her via other carriers if they could not find a reasonable alternative. She has been treated very badly and I think the DOT is the way to go.
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2010, 11:41 AM
Stevebyer Stevebyer is offline
 
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Default American

Jim, Thanks for the suggestion - I will contact the DOT.
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