View Full Version : Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked Dumped and Drenched in Dallas

Aug 16, 2011, 6:22 PM
I recently paid for five airplane flights for myself and four for my husband, and we received a total of three of them.
We purchased the flights Mar 20. On May 19, the day we were to fly from Santa Fe to Tulsa, they canceled our flights in the am, and then after 2 hours on the phone trying to figure out what to do, they canceled our afternoon flight also. We ended up purchasing Southwest Airlines flights from Albuquerque through Phoenix to Tulsa! This involved driving to a different airport in a different city, of course. We were 8 hrs late to Tulsa.
Then we found out that American had not only canceled those flights - they had canceled our entire itinerary, so we had no way to get out of Tulsa.
My husband got Southwest flights back to Albuquerque, since his car was there. No problems.
I spent another hour or two on the phone & got American Eagle to reinstate my original itinerary through Dallas to San Antonio for a conference, then back through Dallas to Santa Fe. However, I only made it as far as Dallas. They canceled my flight (thunderstorms - however other airlines were not canceling but just delaying. American was the only one dumping customers) and put me on stand-by for a later flight. However, I came to realize that they were continuously moving me back in the queue and that I was not going to make it to my conference. American would not assist me in any way to get another flight. So I had to purchase a Southwest Airlines flight at the last minute (this was starting to become a familiar theme), pay for a shuttle to Love field, and run for my Southwest flight.
Then, on my arrival in San Antonio for my conference, I discovered that American Eagle had left my baggage out in the thunderstorm, and every single article of clothing and every piece of music was soaked. I used the hotel hangers and hair drier so that I could at least have something to sleep in. My music is still crispy from drying on the bed.
Then, on the way back to Santa Fe, I again only made it as far as Dallas before I was dumped from my last flight at the last minute, with boarding pass in hand, and forced to wait for a later flight that prevented me from making it to my home that evening.
All in all, I ended up spending close to $2000 on tickets at the last minute, and transportation to various different airports.
This kind of treatment is apparently routine for this airline, because no one working for the airline was even slightly surprised or concerned.
This follows on the heels of another experience in 2007, where American kept my luggage in Dallas when I went to Cincinnati and refused to deliver it before my flight out through NYC to Budapest the following day - we had to stay up, waiting for the delivery that never came, and then had to drive to Kentucky to pick up the luggage, exhausted, so we could repack before our trip out.
Then in 2008, I was on my way to Bolivia for a medical mission trip, when American canceled the flight to Bolivia without ever informing our travel agent, our leader, or any of the people in the group. I was stranded in Tulsa and had to purchase tickets to get home. They refused to cover any of the $600 in costs.
The airlines will continue to be immune to requirements to treat customers fairly until we get Congress to take a stand, but, with members of their boards from organizations like the Carlisle Group, our only hope is just to stay off airlines that mistreat us, which is what I intend to do, in addition to canceling my AAdvantage Citibank card.