View Full Version : Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked AA trying to play dirty games with overbooking

Dec 1, 2010, 2:58 AM
My husband and I had a booked flight SFO-LAX at 9:45AM on Nov 19, 2010. We arrived at the AA counter at 9:10AM and we were denied boarding. At that time we're told that we should have arrived an hour before flight as required ( there is no such requirement)We're told to try standby and, if we wanted, we could pay $50 each and get another flight out for sure. The first flight after that one was late one hour and we didn't make it. We purchased tickets to the following flight that was supposed to depart around 2:30PM and left almost 4PM. We made it to that fight.

This is the game AA is playing: It is overbooking and not letting passengers in their flights. Furthermore they denied that we were bumped and instead, on emails the rep. first repeated the 60 min "rule". Once that didn't work (we took a LAX-SFO flight within 40 min a few days before and AA website recommends, but doesn't require a 60 min arrival time), then the latest email talks about a 30 minute "rule". AA reps are basically spinning around to justify bumping passengers like us without really technically "bumping" and they lie. Their own on-board magazine states clearly about a 15 minute before departure time that passengers are bumped. The latest email ignores AA own written 15 min rule and tries to divert attention stating a 30 minute that basically doesn't exist. It's all a dirty game to justify bumping passengers, not reporting them, not paying them and not complying with the law. Since we arrived within the 30n min rule with no checked in baggage, then the entire thing makes no sense.

Dec 1, 2010, 3:26 AM
dont mean to sound like im sticking up for AA but its all there on the website. when will people start taking responsibility for themselves. and seriously? 35 minutes to check in and get through security...im sorry but its almost like you were asking for it, i would NEVER EVER cut it so close especially this time of year...consider this a lesson learned
Minimum Check-In Times

Customers must comply with minimum check-in requirements to retain their seats on the flight on which they are confirmed.
Pre-reserved seats are subject to cancellation unless you have checked in (obtained a boarding pass) at least 30 minutes before scheduled departure. You must be present at the departure gate and ready to board at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time to retain your reservation and a seat. American does not guarantee to provide any particular seat on the aircraft.

and above that on the website is the requirements..SFO cut off is 40 minutes.

Passengers checking baggage should also refer to Baggage Acceptance Cutoff Times (http://www.aa.com/i18n/customerService/customerCommitment/conditionsOfCarriage.jsp#CheckIn) above.

Dec 1, 2010, 3:35 AM

You should get proper training in your jobs and stop your BS. If the cut off time is indeed 40 minutes in SFO, then why I was told in SF that the cut off time was 60 minutes? That followed by and email from one of your types saying that the 60 minutes is to comply with TSA regs..... They latest email from your own firm says that the cut off time was 30 minutes. Your own on-board magazine says that the cut off time is 15 minutes. I have no idea why you and the other AA reps keep mentioning the baggage deal repeatedly even though I have said that I had no baggage. It must be a canned response approved by AA, your employer.

You could at least keep your your BS consistent. The lesson I learned is that AA does what it can to bump passengers and play games and then spin around trying to justify the overbooking.

Dec 1, 2010, 3:53 AM
AA is known for arrogance and customer service similar to what the employee so eloquently displayed in this thread. It wouldn't have hurt for sshanker to have come in earlier to check in ( not sure about the time he and his wife arrived); however, if the flight was booked at a cheap price or if there were people who were willing to pay to get your seats, AA would have bumped them off with no second thought.

Dec 1, 2010, 4:05 AM
LOL-- Brian, get your own ID -- do not use mine.

Dec 1, 2010, 4:12 AM
sshanker......courtney is actually correct on this matter

its not just AA that has required check in requirements and each airport is different, and once the time limit is exceeded in many cases the computer systems lock it out

you were cutting it short, too short.....to the point that you were late and it seems like you dont want to take that responsibility

are you talking about yourself in 3rd person in your last comment?

60mins is the suggested time, like in most airports for domestic flights, 15 mins is for boarding not checking in

Dec 1, 2010, 4:14 AM
ps how do you know she works for AA? all it says is airline employee, she can work for delta for all we know

Dec 1, 2010, 4:22 AM
Sorry about the confusion. I was showing a friend how this works and he posted using my ID. Thanks for your opinion. I arrived at the same time to take a SW flight going LAX-SFO a few days earlier and there were no problems. I actually have proof of the time I arrived at SFO-- 45 minutes before departure.

Dec 1, 2010, 4:24 AM
Hey mars, why are you so concerned about what airline cortney works for or don't? Her post was very similar to the emails I have been getting from AA. For all I know you and cortney could be the same person posing.

Dec 1, 2010, 4:30 AM
just seemed like you were very fast at jumping to conclusions

different airlines have different requirements

i dont work for any airline, im just a frequent flier....mainly international and try to avoid all us based airlines if possible

and you can only have one ID for this site

Dec 1, 2010, 4:31 AM

Dec 1, 2010, 8:40 AM
The point is simple. If you are going to have rules, then stick to them.

sshanker was cutting it fine to take a flight from SFO, arriving 35 minutes before departure. But, AA's rules allow that. They had no luggage and were within the cut off time, so AA should have provided boarding passes. If they had not been able to go through security in time, it would have been their own fault.

The airlines want it both ways... stick rigidly to the rules when it is to their advantage, but apply them capriciously when they want to stuff the passenger.

The link cortney helpfully provided, proves the opposite of what she was trying to say. Here is the wording

For customers checking baggage, cutoff time for baggage check-in is 30 minutes before departure for all airports in the U.S. with the following exceptions

The time was 40 minutes for SFO. The key phrase is "for customers checking baggage". This customer was not checking baggage.

It is not for the airline to judge the decisions of their passengers. The staff should simply apply to rules that they set out in their terms of carraige. If they do not, they are in breach of contract.

sshanker wanted to cut it fine. The rules allow that. It was at their own risk. AA exploited that to bump them. I think she should complain to the DOT and while she is at it, she should complain about the inconsistent and incorrect information provided when she complained. It appears that AA is reserving the right to make the rules up as they go along.

Dec 1, 2010, 1:31 PM
While I feel for the OP I cannot fathom (extenuating circumstances aside - it does not appear to have been a variable anyway) NOT arriving at the airport at least an hour prior to departure for a domestic flight.

Dec 1, 2010, 2:44 PM
I think it is very foolish to think you are able to catch a domestic plane 35 min hours before departure in such a huge airport. Even when i fly domestic in Denmark, i am always at the airport least 45 min before departure.
But i agree that AA does not state anywhere that their min curfew time is earlier than 15 min, so your complain is legal.

Dec 1, 2010, 3:26 PM
We can all agree that we would not take the chance, but sshanker did, and was allowed to do so under AA's terms and conditions. I think you would win this in small claims court. sshanker met the terms and conditions.. on what basis did AA bump them?

Dec 1, 2010, 6:02 PM
We can all agree that we would not take the chance, but sshanker did, and was allowed to do so under AA's terms and conditions. I think you would win this in small claims court. sshanker met the terms and conditions.. on what basis did AA bump them?

Based on the "regulations/policy" she should have not been bumped - and (as you stated) IAW their policy she (seemingly) has a successful argument.

That being said - I will reiterate that the 5 P's apply here:


Arrive early - I used to tell my Soldiers that if they were 10 minutes early they were 15 minutes late.

Dec 2, 2010, 12:09 AM
Luckily, she was not in the military... did you also tell your soldiers to obey the regulations?

Dec 2, 2010, 2:16 AM
BTW shanker..no i dont work for AA nor do i want to or delta i dont work for a mainline carrier (our passengers dont treat us like crap). i reread what i posted. but i still think (IMO) checking in 40 minutes prior to a departure time is cutting it WAY to close. especially during the holiday season.

Dec 2, 2010, 8:09 AM
when will people start taking responsibility for themselves

I have no problem with your statement that they were taking a chance turning up so late.. but I have a problem with your statement above. The real question is "when will airlines accept responsibility for the actions of their employees?".

Airlines are sticklers for the rules and enforce them rigorously regardless of any extenuating circumstances and often without compassion. Here we have the opposite. AA refused to enforce their own rules at the cost of the passenger. When the passenger complained, instead of apologising and reimbursing the extra $50 the passenger had to pay, AA have sought to bamboozle the passengers with a series of emails which "fog" the issue. The bottom line is this... the passenger met the requirements set by AA and AA refused to meet the terms of their contract. You are wrong to defend the airline in this situation Cortney, no matter how ill-advised you think the passenger was.

Dec 2, 2010, 12:27 PM
Luckily, she was not in the military... did you also tell your soldiers to obey the regulations?

Of course I did - but also trained Soldiers to appropriately act in the absence of orders, to anticipate unknown variables and adjust accordingly, and finally to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.