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  #1  
Old Sep 8, 2008, 9:03 PM
sandraw sandraw is offline
 
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Angry Mechanical problems on 3 flights, 2 day delay getting to Argentina

American is not doing much of a job maintaining its planes. An MD80 needed a new part prior to leaving for Dallas from Seattle on August 25. Had to borrow the part from Alaska Airlines! Delay meant I missed connecting flight in Dallas. Was rescheduled for the next day. Got to Dallas the next day. The evening flight to Buenos Aires left and after an hour and a half, had to turn around due to failure of a hydraulic system. Rather than looking for another plane (which they said they would do) the flight was cancelled and everyone was given a hotel voucher and had to call in to get re-booked. I was rebooked on a flight to Miami the next afternoon. When I called the airline to confirm the flight I was told the flight had been cancelled due to mechanical problems. I was finally rebooked on the evening flight to Buenos Aires, which luckily arrived with no problems. American's only compensation was some miles in my bank. When I said it wasn't enough they basically told me to take it or leave it, even though I have been a loyal American customer for over 20 years.

I had similar problems with American last year on two flights to the same location.
  #2  
Old Jan 16, 2009, 6:38 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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My July flight to Buenos Aires from JFK in July was delayed 12 hours. The reason they gave was mechanical problems with our plane. In truth they gave our plane to another flight that actually was experiencing mechanical problems. That flight to Zurich took off in our plane leaving everyone on our flight to spend the night in a roach motel near the airport. Instead of arriving at Buenos Aires at 10 in the morning we arrived at 10 at night. Our connection to Mar del Plata was missed and we wound up taking a Manuel Tienda Leon shuttle at 2:30 in the morning. I received some frequent flier miles as compensation but not enough for a NY-BA ticket. My main problem was the lies that were consistently told by the American Airline staff. They tried to scare people into accepting the delay because they said it was a mechanical problem. American should be ashamed of itself.
  #3  
Old Jan 17, 2009, 3:20 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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A quick point on the first post, it's not unusual to borrow a part from another airline. The airline's don't ALL the parts for the entire aircraft at each city.

As for the second post, this can happen. The airline has to look at both flights as a whole picture. They may only have one flight per day to Zurich, and it probably was full, vs your flight to Buenos Aires, which they may more than one, and not all full. It comes down to which way is going to have the least impact on everyone.
  #4  
Old Jan 17, 2009, 4:08 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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The Zurich flight had been sitting at the gate for a few hours, loaded full of ****** off passengers. They happened to be in the gate that was assigned for our flight to Buenos Aires. When we got to the gate area I told my wife...look our plane is already here. There was nobody at the gate 35 desk. Then a couple of AA personnel showed up at the Gate 35 gate and announced our flight would be leaving from Gate 37. Sure enough a little while later a plane pulls into Gate 37. There were no AA personnel at the Gate 37 desk. More time goes by and all of a sudden the passengers from the Zurich flight come pouring out shouting in German and surround the desk at Gate 35. I was shocked. I told my wife...holy crap there were people on that plane. I asked one of the guys coming out what happened and he told me the plane was having mechanical problems and they had been sitting in the plane for hours. Bummer I thought. I went back to my side near Gate 37. 30 minutes go by and all of a sudden the AA staffers from Gate 35 walk over to our new gate 37 and announce...passemgers on flight 64 to Zurich will not be departing from Gate 37 and boarding will now begin. Wait a minute I think. That's our plane. In terms of number of people the Zurich flight had at least the same if not fewer passengers than the Buenos Aires flight. So I get to the gate 37 desk and ask....isn't that our plane...will there be a problem with our flight? No problem said the attendant. We need to get these people going and then someone will announce where and when your flight will depart. Ok ....good. I go sit like a good little boy. After the Zurich flight is fully boarded and the door is shut the AA personnel at Gate 37 take a powder...poof gone. Ok I think. A few minutes later my wife who is looking at the departure boards while holding our sleeping 1 year old bekons me over and says...look our 10:30 pm flight now says 10:30 am. I look...sure enough. Must be a mistake. Deep down I figure I am in for a screwing. Everyone gets agitated but nobody is at the gate to explain. I go over to the other side of the gate area and find a gate that has AA people who are not busy boarding. The woman checks on her computer, turns red, is clearly embarssed, shakes her head in disgust and says...they are delaying your flight ...I will call and make sure someome comes to the gate and explains. Nice lady. Classy. I say they gave the other flight our plane didnt they. The woman's expression said it all but she said...I wouldnt know about that. Anyway....we go back to the gate 37 area. I see the AA people coming and I have my son in my arms at this time and I say...what's going on? This lady had the courtesy to tell me...your plane is having mechanical problems...you should leave right now...go out to ticketing in the main terminal and get vouchers for the hotel and meals. I say...they gave our plane to another flight...she looks me in the eye and says no they didnt...your plane has mechanical problems. So we are one of the first to get our vouchers and we take the bus to the hotel which is a total zoo. Dumpy place. Awful. Next morning the shuttle is overwhelmed by the number of people trying to get to the airport. So I pay for a cab. I am pretty ******. I go to the desk...confirm my seats....we had three in the miiddle behind 1st class and a car seat. No problem. So I say...are you going to continue the lie and tell me our plane had mechanical problems or are you going to tell me the truth that our plane went to Zurich. Again embarassment. No sir your plane had mechanical problems. So it went. Everyone I asked told the same lie.

That is what sucked. Tell me the truth. Sure the people will be angry but if you cant tell me the truth about this how can i trust the airline to tell me the truth about anything.

A letter to customer service confirmed they gave our plane to the flight from Zurich but they had the balls to say it was our safety? How did our plane carrying a bunch of Germans to Europe safeguard a bunch of Argentines who were delayed 12 hours? They basically told me to go to hell. I wanted a free ticket.

Awful airline. Awful decision. Smells of prejudice and American clearly cant be trusted to tell the truth.
  #5  
Old Jan 17, 2009, 4:10 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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Default Yeah but...

The Zurich flight had been sitting at the gate for a few hours, loaded full of ****** off passengers. They happened to be in the gate that was assigned for our flight to Buenos Aires. When we got to the gate area I told my wife...look our plane is already here. There was nobody at the gate 35 desk. Then a couple of AA personnel showed up at the Gate 35 gate and announced our flight would be leaving from Gate 37. Sure enough a little while later a plane pulls into Gate 37. There were no AA personnel at the Gate 37 desk. More time goes by and all of a sudden the passengers from the Zurich flight come pouring out shouting in German and surround the desk at Gate 35. I was shocked. I told my wife...holy crap there were people on that plane. I asked one of the guys coming out what happened and he told me the plane was having mechanical problems and they had been sitting in the plane for hours. Bummer I thought. I went back to my side near Gate 37. 30 minutes go by and all of a sudden the AA staffers from Gate 35 walk over to our new gate 37 and announce...passemgers on flight 64 to Zurich will not be departing from Gate 37 and boarding will now begin. Wait a minute I think. That's our plane. In terms of number of people the Zurich flight had at least the same if not fewer passengers than the Buenos Aires flight. So I get to the gate 37 desk and ask....isn't that our plane...will there be a problem with our flight? No problem said the attendant. We need to get these people going and then someone will announce where and when your flight will depart. Ok ....good. I go sit like a good little boy. After the Zurich flight is fully boarded and the door is shut the AA personnel at Gate 37 take a powder...poof gone. Ok I think. A few minutes later my wife who is looking at the departure boards while holding our sleeping 1 year old bekons me over and says...look our 10:30 pm flight now says 10:30 am. I look...sure enough. Must be a mistake. Deep down I figure I am in for a screwing. Everyone gets agitated but nobody is at the gate to explain. I go over to the other side of the gate area and find a gate that has AA people who are not busy boarding. The woman checks on her computer, turns red, is clearly embarssed, shakes her head in disgust and says...they are delaying your flight ...I will call and make sure someome comes to the gate and explains. Nice lady. Classy. I say they gave the other flight our plane didnt they. The woman's expression said it all but she said...I wouldnt know about that. Anyway....we go back to the gate 37 area. I see the AA people coming and I have my son in my arms at this time and I say...what's going on? This lady had the courtesy to tell me...your plane is having mechanical problems...you should leave right now...go out to ticketing in the main terminal and get vouchers for the hotel and meals. I say...they gave our plane to another flight...she looks me in the eye and says no they didnt...your plane has mechanical problems. So we are one of the first to get our vouchers and we take the bus to the hotel which is a total zoo. Dumpy place. Awful. Next morning the shuttle is overwhelmed by the number of people trying to get to the airport. So I pay for a cab. I am pretty ******. I go to the desk...confirm my seats....we had three in the miiddle behind 1st class and a car seat. No problem. So I say...are you going to continue the lie and tell me our plane had mechanical problems or are you going to tell me the truth that our plane went to Zurich. Again embarassment. No sir your plane had mechanical problems. So it went. Everyone I asked told the same lie.

That is what sucked. Tell me the truth. Sure the people will be angry but if you cant tell me the truth about this how can i trust the airline to tell me the truth about anything.

A letter to customer service confirmed they gave our plane to the flight from Zurich but they had the balls to say it was our safety? How did our plane carrying a bunch of Germans to Europe safeguard a bunch of Argentines who were delayed 12 hours? They basically told me to go to hell. I wanted a free ticket.

Awful airline. Awful decision. Smells of prejudice and American clearly cant be trusted to tell the truth.
  #6  
Old Jan 17, 2009, 6:52 PM
countrynewsman countrynewsman is offline
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Prejudice against whom? The Argentines or Germans?
  #7  
Old Jan 17, 2009, 8:37 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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Default Guess...

Who got the plane? Who got to their destination, granted a few hours late, but they got there is reasonable time. Who didn't get the plane? Who was delayed for 12 hours? Who arrived in their destination city at 11:00 o'clock at night rather than 11:00 o'clock in the morning?

Let me see a planeload of German business passengers or a planeload of mostly latino family travelers from the looks of the crowd. Hey those hispanics have no problem with manana....let them wait a half a day.
  #8  
Old Jan 21, 2009, 12:58 AM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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Firstly Zurich is not a German city, but is a Swiss city, were they speak both German and French. Sounds like the better and smarter of the groups got the plane.
  #9  
Old Jan 21, 2009, 1:14 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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Default Typical...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leatherboy2006 View Post
Firstly Zurich is not a German city, but is a Swiss city, were they speak both German and French. Sounds like the better and smarter of the groups got the plane.
I have been to Zurich and I am well aware of the languages spoken. The passengers on fight 64 were mainly speaking German. My issue was they were already late, were already ****** off, had already missed their connections, their schedules were disrupted and it was their plane that truly had the mechanical problems. Delay them. No. Pick a full flight of people who had a perfectly good plane and throw their world into chaos so the passengers from flight 64 would stop yelling. Nice. American has a lot more flights to Europe than to South America. From all appearances the passengers on flight 64 to Zurich were business passengers. It was clear to me anyway the choice was not made simply by calculating number of passengers, fuel, crew and plane positioning, etc. Bottomline it was the bottomline that drove the decision and a little pinch of prejudice. If you ever get around to visiting Argentina I can show you around the city and meet some people...then you tell me who is the better group.
  #10  
Old Jan 21, 2009, 4:36 PM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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Been to B.A would never go again, the people were nasty, gangs of thieves all round, followed around by several people trying to pick pocket me(or worse) while sight seeing at the Pink Palace and the cemetery were Evita is buried.
Give me Europe any day.
  #11  
Old Jan 21, 2009, 5:28 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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See your problem was you spent your time seeing the sites....when I went there I was busy socializing. I met my wife on my first trip and we were married a couple of years later. Most cities in the world have a rough side to them and obvious tourists are always a target. You surely have to be careful in Buenos Aires but the people I met are warm, friendly and very hospitable. Wonderful food and wine, beautiful women, exciting soccer, good shopping, overal still relatively inexpensive. I will take my chances and keep going back to Argentina. At least they try to rob me in person there...in Europe I don't realize I was robbed until I get my credit card statement.
  #12  
Old Jan 22, 2009, 1:05 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leatherboy2006 View Post
Firstly Zurich is not a German city, but is a Swiss city, were they speak both German and French. Sounds like the better and smarter of the groups got the plane.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leatherboy2006 View Post
Been to B.A would never go again, the people were nasty, gangs of thieves all round, followed around by several people trying to pick pocket me(or worse) while sight seeing at the Pink Palace and the cemetery were Evita is buried.
Give me Europe any day.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by veritas01 View Post
I have been to Zurich and I am well aware of the languages spoken. The passengers on fight 64 were mainly speaking German. My issue was they were already late, were already ****** off, had already missed their connections, their schedules were disrupted and it was their plane that truly had the mechanical problems. Delay them. No. Pick a full flight of people who had a perfectly good plane and throw their world into chaos so the passengers from flight 64 would stop yelling. Nice. American has a lot more flights to Europe than to South America. From all appearances the passengers on flight 64 to Zurich were business passengers. It was clear to me anyway the choice was not made simply by calculating number of passengers, fuel, crew and plane positioning, etc. Bottomline it was the bottomline that drove the decision and a little pinch of prejudice. If you ever get around to visiting Argentina I can show you around the city and meet some people...then you tell me who is the better group.
Hmmm so you're saying that an airline which is a business and in the case of AA a publicly held one shouldn't take the "bottom line" into consideration when making decisions? Do you own or run a business? Please tell me which so in case I hold any stock in the company I can unload it immediately!

Proving any prejudice based on the destination of the plane or the nationality of it's passengers would be next to impossible. More likely it sounds like you harbor a bit of prejudice against Germans...oops I meant the Swiss!

Perhaps it was payback for Argentina harboring so many Nazi war criminals after WWII? Ok...that's a stretch I admit, but karma is karma.
  #13  
Old Jan 22, 2009, 2:20 AM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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I have run many businesses...some very sucessful...some not so. All in all I have been blessed to have more that ere succesful than not. How did I do that? Primarily because I knew what would make the customer the happiest and I did it. Now in the case of American..they were faced with a truly Solomon like deciison. Whose trip do I ruin? Again I say the flight 64 people were already over the shock of a plane that was not flight worrhy. In my opinion they should have been the ones that were delayed. Our flight was ready to go without any issues. Yet American decided to screw us. What was most compelling was the embarassment and shame of the AA personnel who lied to us about the reason for the delay. They told us our plane had a mechanical problem. Shame on them. To their credit they were very embarassed by their lies. For Christ's sake tell me the truth. Tell me we cruched the numbers and it makes better economic sense to use your plane for the Zurich flight than to send you happily to Buenos Aires. But no. They all lied. For 2 days. That evening and the next morning. Come on. Most of us knew the truth. But no. We did this for your safety.

I am 100% Irish. White as snow. My wife is Argentine. A nice coffe color. Most of the passengers on flight 64 were perfect Aryans. They got the plane. Yes the Argentine military including Juan Peron worked actively to accept Nazi war criminals. That is fact. Does that have any bearing on American's actions. If you dont think the decison was based on numbers and prejudice then my son...you have not traveled enough. I have written an article about this whole even. I am a published author. Be prepared to read it. I will post here when it is picked up. Most people are not aware of "equipment move up" or the anti-hispanic predudice of American Airlines. But they soon will.
  #14  
Old Jan 22, 2009, 2:38 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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What if you were in Zurich awaiting the inbound AA flight so that you could go back to the US? Perhaps AA was trying to minimize the delay for them? If they thought they could send the aircraft that was supposed to be used for Buenos Aires on to Zurich and then use the Zurich aircraft which would be repaired soon for Buenos Aires it would have less of a lingering impact overall on their operations.

It's AA's aircraft so they get to make the decisions of which aircraft go where. Once an aircraft is scheduled for a particular flight it is never written in stone. Aircraft swaps happen all the time. If they didn't the whole system would continually add delays.

But I guess you would have AA utilize it's aircraft based on customer input when, like you, the average customer knows nothing about what goes on "behind the scenes" in running an airline.

As for your continued accusations of prejudice, it is unfounded. AA has been serving Latin America for decades. I hope no respectable publication "picks up" your article because, as is the opposite of your userid "veritas" none of it is based in truth.
  #15  
Old Jan 22, 2009, 5:23 AM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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And people wonder why I refuse to use or acknowledge spanish, if your here in the states learn English
  #16  
Old Jan 22, 2009, 2:19 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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If you are talking about my English I will apologize. My typing is not the best nor is my eyesight. Add in a couple of glasses of wine and my rush to post without proof reading and you can get a hodge podge. Ironically I was an English major in undergrad and I hold an MBA degree. Neither is a guarantee of anything.
No I don’t know anything about airline administration. I am not a pilot, or a flight attendant or an aircraft mechanic. I am a passenger. I shouldn’t have to know about the intricacies of running a major airline. I also want to state again I am a big fan of American Airlines. I try and fly them exclusively domestically and I have found their flight to Argentina to be the cheapest, most direct and most comfortable of all the airlines I have used previously. They almost always do a good job. This time they didn’t.
If the flight had been delayed for weather, or a real mechanical problem with our plane, or any reason outside of the control of American we would not be having this discussion. When you buy a ticket you take a chance that everything will go perfectly and amazingly it usually does. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to manage a business that is based on machines, people and weather…all widely unpredictable. Throw in the general public who thinks they have paid for the right to be idiots and you have a nightmare. I enjoyed the show Airline. Amazing what people will do or say. But I digress.
As I said I could have understood a delay outside of the control of American. This was a decision made by a person for reasons American is unwilling to divulge. Just tell me how you made the decision and please stop lying to me.
Prejudice is often subjective. What is offensive to one person can very well be trivial to another. The key to unmasking even the slightest suggestion of prejudice in this case is transparency. American should be willing to explain the process by which our flight was chosen to be delayed in deference to the already delayed flight to Zurich. I know there is computer software that helps airline administrators make informed decisions. These decisions are certainly geared towards finding a solution that disrupts the fewest number of passengers without seriously effecting American’s bottom line. I realize that no single flight exists in a vacuum. Planes and flight crews are scheduled out in a never ending matrix that is like a house of cards. Pull the wrong card and you have problems throughout the system. Customer Service would not divulge the process by which the decision to delay my flight for 12 hours was made. So…in creeps supposition. I say could prejudice be involved? I have no proof. You say prejudice was not involved….but you have no proof. In the absence of proof the truth becomes elusive.
I have flown for business and pleasure for over 30 years. I have never heard of “equipment move up”. I think the public should know this is something that might happen to them. Publications are interested in the story because they think the public wants to know too, they are curious why American couldn’t tell the truth about the cause of the delay, and the hint of prejudice adds enough spice to draw some readers.
Speaking of truth I notice nobody commenting on my major gripe. The fact that American staffers consistently lied about the cause of the delay. I think it was cowardly for them to say the delay was for our safety and the result of a mechanical problem on our plane. It was simply not true. In reality it was not a well thought out decision to board the passengers from the Zurich flight in full view of the passengers for the Buenos Aires flight. Hey that’s our plane. No its not. Well the American staff that was here an hour ago said that was our plane. These people should never play 3 card Monty.
  #17  
Old Jan 22, 2009, 6:11 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veritas01 View Post
Speaking of truth I notice nobody commenting on my major gripe. The fact that American staffers consistently lied about the cause of the delay. I think it was cowardly for them to say the delay was for our safety and the result of a mechanical problem on our plane. It was simply not true. In reality it was not a well thought out decision to board the passengers from the Zurich flight in full view of the passengers for the Buenos Aires flight. Hey that’s our plane. No its not. Well the American staff that was here an hour ago said that was our plane. These people should never play 3 card Monty.
Right...NO IT'S NOT! First of all it's AA's plane to do with as they see fit. Secondly, as soon as AA OPS made the decision to swap the Zurich flight with yours it was no longer the Buenos Aires flight. The airport personnel were never part of the decision making process nor are they obligated to tell you the reason behind their OPS decisions as they are "out of the loop."
  #18  
Old Jan 22, 2009, 6:19 PM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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was not your typing or font, cause I am not the best speller. More that the minute something happens to blacks or hispanics right away its racial. So now that we have a black president, I guess us whites can start yelling it and saying the man is holding us down.
My main problem with you is your attack on the German speaking people and your appearing racist toward them.
  #19  
Old Jan 22, 2009, 6:58 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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The "loop" in any business does not just mean operational personnel behind the scenes. It is the public face of a business that interacts with customers that are the most critical piece to be in the "loop". The staff at JFK were indeed in the loop and they were accutely aware that our plane had been given away and as I have mentioned previously they were not happy about it. They seemed genuinely upset. Despite that they continued to lie that our plane had mechanical problems. It did not. Our plane was loaded up with the flight 64 people and went on its merry way to Zurich. No matter how you try and excuse their actions the bottomline remains the same. If the plane for flight 64 had not experienced mechanical problems they would have taken off on time. Gate 35 would have been open and our plane would have pulled into that gate. But flight 64's plane did have problems and was stuck at Gate 35. AA staffers announce that the flight for Buenos Aires will now be leaving from gate 37 and our plane would be arriving in a few moments. Shortly thereafter our plane pulls in. American personnel confirm it is the plane for the flight to Buenos Aires. Then it hit the fan as the passengers got off of flight 64. Hey here's an idea. Let's now announce that the passengers from flight 64 will now be boarding the plane at gate 37. What? The absurdity was the storyline American was trying to sell us. Yeah..sorry..12 hour delay...your plane had mechanical problems. You mean the plane that just left for Zurich. What plane? Are you kidding me? Trust me they were in the loop and did a very sloppy, unprofessional and deceitful job of lying about it. No matter how you slice it American did a miserable job on this one.

Leatherlad:

I am glad my typing or wine consumption was not at fault. As I mentioned I am a big white pasty Irishman married to a beautiful Argentine woman. I abhor prejudice in any form or for any reason. I have no bad feelings for anyone. But when American refuses to disclose how the decision to give flight 64 our plane was made... you have to think... what possible factors were considered? If you live in a world where prejudice doesn't exist I want to move next door to you. The truth is it does exist and it rears its ugly head everyday in so many ways. I simply raised a question....was the decision to delay the flight to Buenos Aires an example? American prove me wrong.
  #20  
Old Jan 22, 2009, 7:23 PM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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I actually live in Dallas and I am of Hungarian/Austrian background (my grandfather fled Vienna before WW1). Texas is not prejudice free and was proudly part of the captured Confederate States of America
  #21  
Old Jan 23, 2009, 6:28 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Leatherboy, this guy obviously doesn't get it. He keeps insisting that the Buenos Aires flight did not have a mechanical issue when in reality once the equipment swap was done the flight number for the Zurich flight was assigned to the aircraft originally destined for Buenos Aires and vice-versa so after that point an airport agent looking up the Buenos Aires flight umber in the computer would have seen "DELAYED - MECHANICAL." veritas is just one of those "armchair quarterbacks" who thinks HE could run things better...but only to his own benefit and convenience.
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