View Full Version : Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked False delay notification - bizarre!

Feb 16, 2009, 2:55 PM
My family and I were scheduled to fly out of Boston this morning on a 9:15 departure to Miami. At 4:30 in the morning, our home phone rang. It was an American Airlines agent telling me the plane was delayed and the new departure time would be 10:35. So we shifted our taxicab, no big deal. But before leaving the house, I logged onto the AA website to see if there would be any further delay. Instead, I saw the original time of 9:15 still posted. I phoned Reservations and the agent confirmed 9:15. But at that point, we did not have time to make it to the airport for that flight. Her records showed that I did indeed receive a "delay alert" phonecall at 4:30 in the morning, but neither she nor her supervisor could figure out why. They instead put us onto a later, indirect flight, causing us to lose our first day of a short vacation. Is this crack-of-dawn misinformation call a scam to deal with overbooking???

I intend to ask for a refund, but meanwhile, wanted to know if other people have had this experience. If so, did the airline refund your money?

Silent Bob
Feb 16, 2009, 4:07 PM
I have had the experience of receiving the trip alerts, they're great because if there is a delay you're not surprised by it. However even if there is a delay you would still have to be at your gate at the time posted for just such reasons; you simply don't know what changes from the time of the call up until you arrive, can occur. It could be delayed one minute and then next on time.

Feb 16, 2009, 5:23 PM
For a 9:15 AM departure your aircraft probably started out somewhere else first. It's possible that initially there was a delay on that aircraft's first leg so they predicted your flight would be delayed as well. For whatever reason (fog lifted, warning lamp was replaced early) the aircraft was able to leave on or close to schedule and your flight, in turn, was on time.

As Mr. Bob said, the posted delay was only 1 hr. and 20 min. With such a relatively short delay you should still plan to be at the airport at the regular time in case things change. I don't think their was any intentional deception here and I wouldn't expect a refund either. You may get something for your inconvenience however if the initial delay was due to weather I highly doubt that as well. Go ahead and write a letter or send an e-mail to AA but just include the facts and leave out anything that is accusatory or conjecture on your part.

Feb 16, 2009, 9:50 PM
I did some checking. As I suspected your aircraft did originate in another city. It was AA192 a red-eye from LAX to BOS.

The flight took off from LAX @10:32PM PST (1:32AM EST) approximately 5 minutes late. @1:42 AM EST the FAA changed the estimated arrival time to reflect a late arrival. At that time they were probably expecting en-route or arrival delays into BOS. As the flight progressed the arrival delay was updated several times, however in the end the flight touched down only 28 minutes late and was actually at the gate @6:35AM which was the scheduled arrival time.

Feb 16, 2009, 10:28 PM
If the customer is expected at the airport at the same time as if there was no delay, what is the point of the notification? I can't see any benefit... but it is more likely for less experienced travellers to do precisely what these travellers did.

Silent Bob
Feb 17, 2009, 12:01 AM
Jim - the trip alerts are there so you're not caught off guard when you do arrive at the airport and you're plane is delayed upteen hours. Plus, just like the EZG, you never know if your plane will leave on schedule. Again I love the alerts, it saves you the trouble of asking the agents what's goin on.

Feb 17, 2009, 1:03 AM
Well, if they are popular, perhaps the alert should also advise the customer that this can change and they should check in as normal. At least this way, the traveller is forewarned. Forewarned is forearmed.

Feb 17, 2009, 4:11 AM
Well, if they are popular, perhaps the alert should also advise the customer that this can change and they should check in as normal. At least this way, the traveller is forewarned. Forewarned is forearmed.

I'm not sure about AA - don't fly them often and last few times I have there haven't been delays. Continental, United, and Delta all say that the departure time is estimated, can change, and that they recommend you be at the airport for the original departure time. I can't imagine AA's would be any different.

I'll sign up for a few trip alerts tomorrow and see if I get any delay notices and what the verbiage is.