View Full Version : Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked Rerouted Flight AA 2008

Oct 21, 2008, 7:06 PM
I was on flight 2008 from SKB to JFK. Just before departure, another flight 2288 from SKB to MIA was cancelled due to mechanical issues. Then AA decided that most of those passengers bound for Miami would be put on our flight to JFK, and it would be diverted to Miami enroute to JFK. This meant that I arrived at JFK at 1:30 am, 4 1/2 hours late. This flight was late due to management decision, not due to weather or mechanical failure. As a result, I missed my connection with another airline and had to rebook that flight for Oct 20 and had to spend the night in a hotel in New York. In all his cost me about $550.00 in additional costs.
American Airlines response was to bad. You booked with another airline so we are not responsible. This is unbelievable. They diverted this flight for financial reasons, not saftey or weather, and which meant their savings were my loss.
I thought that when you book a flight with an Airline that they have some contractual committment. AA said their only committement was to get me from point A to Point B, no matter how long it takes. Is this true? Due I have any recourse?

Oct 21, 2008, 7:55 PM
Did you purchase 2 different tickets or was it all part of the same itinerary? This has some bearing on American's responsibilities.

Based solely on what you you posted above, you had two seperate tickets. If that is the case, American is only required to get you to JFK. Carriers do state, when you purchase their tickets, that their schdules are not guaranteed. However, you always have the right to pursue a private breech of contract claim against American in Small Claims court and attempt to recoup your out of pocket expenses incurred because of American's business decision.

Oct 22, 2008, 4:27 AM
You have no recourse on this. As abutterfinger25 pointed out, they are only responsible for getting you to the cities you booked with them. The reason you have no recourse is because their contract of carriage will have a clause stating that they can reroute the aircraft.

While it is true that they will end up saving some money doing this, that is not the only motivation. You have to remember that while you are only concerned with your own flights, the airline has to be concerned with the big picture. those other passengers would have been quite well delayed had they not be moved to your flight. The probably would have had to stay the night. What kind of inconvenience is that to them? Were there any hotel rooms available? Yes, it's true that you got the short end of the stick, but had they not, some other passenger would have had similar or the same. It's not unusual for people to fly to Miami, and connect to other airlines, they they purchased a separate ticket on, just like you did, only they are normally going international.

Here's the other things to consider. If they had to divert the aircraft from JFK to say Newark, or La Guardia, then all they have to do then is provide bus transportation. What if that would have happened? The other thing that stands out to me is that given the times you listed, this means you would have arrived in JFK at 9pm. Unless you are traveling to Europe, there aren't too many flights much later than that. How much time did you allow between flights?

Oct 22, 2008, 1:05 PM
I am aware of all that you have stated. Technically they are allowed to reroute flights, but normally this is assumed for reasons of safety or weather. When they accept my payment, they entered into a contract to provide a service as specified and it could easily be argued in a court of law that they failed to provide that service in a timely manner. Ironically most of the passengers that were on the cancelled flight to Miami, and were put on our flight, did not make their connections in Miami, so the airline still had to put them up in a hotel. Obviously someone made a bad decision inconveniencing many more passengers in the process. This continuous total disregard for the flying public is frustrating. An airline that is more committed to the public and provides exceptional service could flourish even in this economy.

Oct 30, 2008, 5:09 AM
Again, the airline can reroute the aircraft as needed for any reason. Also, how do you know that any of the other passengers missed their connections and had to be put in hotels? Assuming that is in fact the case, it still goes back to the fact that there may have been NO hotels available in the city you started in. So it would boil down to leave those people stuck to stay the night in the airport terminal there, or get them as far as Miami, where they would at least have a hotel.

Oct 30, 2008, 12:57 PM
Again! As I mentioned AA actions showed a complete disregard for the passengers on the flight to JFK. In addition it was obvious they made an irrational decision, because rerouting this flight actually ended up inconviencing even more people. There were plenty of Hotel rooms, as one of the major hotels had 300 rooms available that night. (I am in the hospitality industry, I know that for sure.) As for the passengers who were dropped off in Miami, most complained to the attendants while boarding and during the flight, about how ridciulous it was to have put them on this flight, since they were going to miss their connections, they were very vocal. As a result, all of the flight attendants apologized REPEATELY to the passengers, and said they had no choice but to comply with the companies direction. We arrived in Miami around 9:30pm, and then those who had connecting flights,or those who were continuing to JFK, had to clear customs. This was a joke, becuase once we cleared customs, we were not given new boarding passes, but were told to try and go through Security with our ticket stub, but Security would not let us through, so most had to line up again at an American Airlines counter and get a new valid boarding pass. Again, this whole process shows their total disregard for the customer and then their inability to even provide proper support and direction throughout the process. Very Sad!
Regarding their decision to reroute our flight to Miami, it could be that they had a much cheaper negotiated hotel rate in Miami, compared to much higher rates in St Kitts.

I have flown for many, many years, over 1 million miles with this airline alone, and this is the first time I have seen a situation like this. I apprecitate your input, but in this case, there is no question, the Airline was at fault and there is no excuse for their actions.

In addition, they have aplogized, and provided some compensation. But this still does not excuse the manner in which they handled this situation. If American Airlines does not change their ways, they will eventually end up bankrupt or bought out, like so many other airlines in the past; due to mismanagment, arrogance and lack of customer service. In addition they have a very old fleet of planes, and will be renegotiating with the unions for a new contract in the coming year. They cannot afford to lose anymore passengers.

Oct 30, 2008, 3:20 PM
this is a little off topic but...i love it when people say "They cannot afford to lose anymore passengers" or "i will never fly this airline again", everytime someone says that about for example AA, the other person says that about united, so the guy who wont fly united anymore ends up at AA and the guy from AA to united...i'll admit i have had my share of crappy flights and i have thought and said to myself..."never again with them" but guess what...when im saving money i dont care, just get me from point A to point B safely, thats all i care about

Oct 31, 2008, 2:49 AM
Neal nailed it. Somene said something like this before and it is so very true. I wish something like this could be stickied so all could see. The saying, "I'll never fly this airline again!", is said to all airlines. It really means a whole lot of nothing cuz first of all, it's not true. The second they need to fly again and that particular airline has the lowest fare, they'll show right back up again. And secondly if they did mean it, so did someone else at another airline who said the same thing and they switched too. No airline is probably losing customers, they're just transferring back and forth and the airlines know this and laughing as they collect your money.

Nov 24, 2008, 12:37 AM
The main reason for this is that there is a market failure.. airlines were deregulated, operate mini monopolies and abuse their power. To compound the problem, US airlines have two major protections unavailabe to other airlines

1. The management of an airline is protected from their actions. If they run their business poorly and eventually hit bankruptcy, they are permitted to file Chapter 11, sometimes repeatedly, which is used to run away from their obligations, abrogate employee contracts and responsibilities and rip off customers. They then "emerge" to continue their wholesale rip off of the flying public.

2. They are protected from being taken over by non-US based airlines, or even having to compete with start ups in the US where the majority share holder in foreign. This is despite the fact that US airlines frequently have the right to operate in non-US markets and even cabotage rights. This unwarrented protectionism further protects airline management from the consequences of their actions and inhibits competition.

So, in future you should take the following actions:

1. Resolve not to fly with the airline again and mean it.
2. Write to your congressman evey time you have a bad experience.

Ask him or her to lobby for airlines to be allowed to file Chapter 11 no more than once every 25 years. Otherwise they should be forced to file Chapter 7 and be wound up. This would concentrate the minds of corrupt management who have no concern for their employees and customers.

Also, demand that they be re-regulated. This should include setting minimum standards of service, specific rights and punitive damages and compensation for failure to meet these standards. This should include the allocation of landing and take off slots at peak times to the airlines with the lowest complaints.