View Full Version : Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked There has to be a better airline...

Dec 24, 2006, 11:45 PM
The first leg of our trip was from Jacksonville, FL to Las Vegas, NV. When we arrived at the airport in Jacksonville, there was a very long line because the computers were down and ticket processing had to be done manually.

This was a dark omen of things to come. When we finally made our connection, we were required to obtain boarding passes in Dallas/Ft. Worth. We received boarding passes, but the seats were several rows apart. When we requested to be seated together the agent at the gate rudely stated "you have your tickets - those are your seats"! Stunned, I returned to my wife with the bad news. On boarding, we swapped seats with another passenger and were able to sit together after all.

On our return trip things got worse. Our flight from Las Vegas to our connection in DFW had a new departure time. It was leaving about 30 minutes earlier. We had received an updated itinerary from our travel agency, but we had misplaced it and were using an older itinerary. Most airports require you to check in 30 minutes prior to flight time. In Las Vegas it is 45 minutes prior to flight time. Double whammy! We attempted to check in about 7 minutes late of the 45 minute window (after waiting in line). The agent put us on standby and we proceded through security. When we arrived at our original gate, the flight was still boarding. When we asked if we could board anyway - the matronly flight attendant/agent replied loudly and sternly "NO", turned and walked away. We then waited at the gate of the next flight that we were on standby with, and watched our original flight leave the airport. When I spoke with the gate agent, I was informed that we had a very good chance of getting on the next flight. We waited for another 2 hours until this flight started boarding.

Five minutes before the flight left the gate, we were informed that we would not be boarding. There was only one seat available and we were about 10 to 12 down the standby list. According to the gate agents all the remaining flights were booked and the next flight probably had little chance of extra standby seats. It was getting late in the morning and we wanted to be home the same day. We walked over to the Continental Airlines gate and purchased tickets to return home. We returned to our home airport in Jacksonville late and found that our luggage was still in the custody of American Airlines in Raleigh/Durham. We filed a report at the JAX airport and our luggage was returned the next day.

AA could have helped us out by offering a discounted flight on another airline. We ended up paying full fare ($1,000) for a return flight. A few employees of AA were curt, rude, and didn't seem to offer any assistance or guidance to us. How long were we expected to wait - several days on standby at the Las Vegas airport?

According to American Airlines Customer Service, AA will not issue a refund, credit, travel voucher, or other tickets to replace our fare. The only thing that our existing tickets are good for is airfare from Las Vegas to Jacksonville, FL during the next 12 months. This is unacceptable.

Apr 2, 2009, 9:24 PM
......that's what happens when you don't allow yourself ample time and arrive late at any airport. If you had been allowed to board the original flight your bags would not have been on it. You would then want them to deliver them to you even though you arrived late.

Apr 2, 2009, 10:00 PM
Hang on, where does the poster say that he didn't allow sufficient time. It sounds more like the airline sent him an "updated itinerary" which didn't allow sufficient time. Surely you could argue the airline initiated this tale of woe. Whilst the OP acknowledges misplacing the updated itinerary how does this actually impact what happened? AA treated their customer with contempt and failed to help them. It is very common for gate agents to refuse people onto a flight because they can and because they can't be bothered to do the paperwork. However, this can have serious knock on effects, whereby in this case they were facing many hours and potentially days trying to get home. The culture of hostility to customers, combined with increased perceived power since 9/11 has created a nightmare of downward spiralling standards. They are a disgrace.