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COMPLAINT: The Horror of American Airlines AA Flight 407 –Boston to Phoenix - 7/20/16

 
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Old Jul 30, 2016, 10:33 PM
Aspasias_Attic Aspasias_Attic is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 2

I realize that my statement is longer than the average user but I don't believe I could make it any shorter after shrinking it down from its original size with several redo's. I'm still unable to believe that what happened to me actually took place but aside from a complete violation of my civil rights, I was also victimized and abused by several AA employees for the apparent crime of being a woman with disabilities and traveling alone with her 15 1/2 months old baby and making the continual mistake of requesting and expecting assistance, that nearly never came. It was absolutely insane.

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As my entire Story is too long to post, I’m only giving the highlights and I can send the complete horrific experience for those who are truly interested.
The Horror of American Airlines AA Flight 407 –Boston to Phoenix - 7/20/16
I’d describe myself as a seasoned traveler…so I’ve pretty much experienced or seen just about everything that can happen in an airport/airplane… I remember the top-notch customer service you received when “flying the friendly skies” because they were so thankful and appreciative that with all of the choices out there, we had chosen to fly with them…The conditions that we’re forced to endure nowadays in order to fly are simply de-humanizing and absurd…
Ivan and I were flying out of AZ to NH in order to introduce our 15 ½ months old daughter her to her grandparents (my parents) for the first time…I’d last flown to NH with AA in 2010 and it was one of my best airlines experience from start to finish, everyone was so wonder and helpful to me as I’ve suffered from chronic pain for many years, due to several degenerative conditions, as well as Anxiety and ADHD, and I was fully assisted whenever I requested it… with respect and kindness and..never humiliated, badgered or victimized, by anyone before this...
I’ve also suffered from a touch of postpartum and was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure and thyroid disease… and I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t a struggle every single day, to not only care for myself, but to also be the primary caretaker for Cassandra….
Despite everything, I’ve always managed to keep a smile on my face and not let the agony of everyday tasks bring me down and Cassandra is always happy and laughing because her mother always makes a point to laugh and she is an astute student. I’ve always turned to humor rather than depression and sadness and I’m very proud of that…
I’d never had a problem checking a slightly overweight bag before and was confident that after one look at our baby, a few extra pounds would be overlooked. It was difficult enough traveling with a child, who would want to hassle us over something so trivial? Although we were fully prepared to redistribute weight as necessary from our checked bag into our carry-ons, just in case. The lovely woman checked our slightly overweight bag (a mere fifty-eight pounds) without even a comment made. In the same polite and respectful manner, she also checked our stroller and its detachable car seat/base without us having to tell her to, it was obvious that they also needed to be checked as the AA website states to check stroller/car seats weighing over twenty pounds at the desk rather than at the gate….
Ivan was still surprised and asked about the extra weight to which the charming woman smiled again and explained that she was allowed some leeway when checking bags and that she gave those traveling with babies as much leeway as possible. Ivan said that we were lucky to have gotten her to which she responded that as far as she knew, all AA associates would have seen our situation and did exactly what she had and that had always been my experience. She added that it wasn’t right to force customers to pay more money for a few extra pounds and that had always been my experience when flying. Still worried, Ivan shared that he was flying home on July 4th….and that I’d be flying alone with the baby on July 20th , and with my limitations due to my physical and emotional ailments, he didn’t think I would have the strength to make it through the entire process alone. She smiled again and told him not to worry, if a single woman flying alone with her baby needed assistance, all I had to do was ask for it and help would quickly arrive…
On July 20th, I was dropped at the airport some distance from its entrance and before I had completely exited with my baby, an AA employee came out of nowhere and began to run away with my bags. I’d much rather he hadn’t forced himself upon me as I’d prefer to get settled, put Cassandra into her carrier sack and then go at my own pace with the inside check-in desks. Apparently, it wasn’t a choice as he began to check in the stroller portion of my transportation system while assuring me that he would be far faster than anyone inside. Leaving me no choice…
Now, if this employee had simply treated me in a professional manner and completed the process of checking in my bag, car seat/base and stroller to completion, just as his counterpart had managed to do when we flew out of AZ, rather than taunting me and turning…extremely frustrating and difficult situation into some type of twisted game…then I imagine that I would have never endured the additional physical, emotional, verbal and psychological abuses that I had, along with the violations of my civil rights (as it became evident that I was being victimized for being a woman with a baby and no man in sight, with disabilities to boot)...
The same bag that had weighed fifty-eight pounds when we flew out of AZ, incident free, now weighed only fifty-five pounds so I was certainly not worried about it being accepted in Boston. The man who had grabbed my bags without any consent or permission informed me that my bag was five pounds’ overweight (three pound lighter than it had been going out on the same airline from AZ) and that I had to remove the weight or pay an additional $150.00 on top of the $25.00 I’d already paid him to check it…I was forced to frantically redistribute a whopping five pounds of forbidden weight from my checked bag, which resulted in a horribly embarrassing, emotionally wrought and physically painful exercise that I was forced to repeat. Even after being reduced to sweat, tears, and reiterating that I was a chronic pain patient with degenerative conditions and it was very difficult for me to keep lugging this heavy bag off and back onto his scale over and over …
He refused to call for assistance, he refused to call for a supervisor, and he refused to treat me like a human being despite my obvious condition…Regardless, I understood that rules were rules and although and I had no choice but to comply. He had all the power, not me…
I’d arrived with plenty of time to make my flight. I took my baby out of her car seat still attached to its base and handed it to the same man who had just checked the stroller, half of this transportation combo a moment beforehand. To my horror, he said that he wouldn’t check the heavy and cumbersome car seat along with its attached base because the airplane was no longer accepting any more checked items. This was the most absurd statement he’d made to me yet and it was completely unreasonable for him to force me to add that to my already overwhelming load…
I couldn't believe that he was being so unreasonable and unhelpful. If he had simply left me the stroller portion, rather than being in such a hurry to check it, it would have been the only assistance I needed…
Craziness. How was I to interpret his actions as anything else but malicious and possibly criminal?
He instructed me to go into the check-in desks within and they would check my car seat/base…and just as I’d predicted moments ago, after dragging my overwhelming load to the first desk inside, I came to the same dead-end that I knew I would when the counter person announced that the plane was no longer accepting checked items. In addition to being both unhelpful and only a further waste of time, albeit slightly politer, she also refused to call for a supervisor, or for a wheelchair, or for any other means of assistance, in order for me to continue through without needlessly enduring additional pain, anxiety, elevated blood pressure and a consuming depression, at least more than I already had. At this point, all I wanted was something with wheels as I was now more than willing to forget all about a supervisor and the pointless requests for physical assistance…I was certain that they’d check my car seat/base at the gate…
I was then informed that I could not leave the check-in area until I spoke to the men at a podium…
The two men that I was sent to work with, by the counter people, tried to make me drag everything back to the same counter people…again. What was absolutely amazing to me at this point was how I did everything that I was told to and not once did anyone I encountered up to that point feel the urge to do even one thing I asked for, such as call for assistance or a supervisor. It was truly unbelievable to me. I politely refused to do so as the counter people had sent me to them and it was pointless to go backwards…
Even at this point, I still hadn’t see myself as a problem customer…
No one was willing to call the gate or a supervisor in order to find out if the car seat/base was the tremendous problem that they had made it into and as an extra bonus, although I arrived with plenty of time (most of it wasted by these people) and complied with every instruction up to that point, I was told that any suffering..I was experiencing was all my fault…When really, all of these people had to do, was assist me…so that I could move through the airport safely without causing further harm to myself or harming my baby while also juggling everything else...
After failing to send me back to the counter…I decided to try and pull myself together while the younger, Hispanic employee chastised me…but I kept my mouth shut. While I was pulling everything together while they were scratching their heads wondering what to do with me, Cassandra, who’d been an absolute champ up to this point (honestly, I cried far more than she did throughout this whole experience) became restless…
She appeared safe and content for the time being and with the older man assuring me that I could take my eyes off of her while pulling everything together as his younger co-worker was a father and was familiar with watching over babies…not even a full minute passed before the so-called parent, was angrily handing me my baby, and…yelled at a complete stranger and a paying customer in need of assistance, that he was a better father than I was a mother. Not even a full minute had passed since I’d been told not to worry about her…
I tried to deal with my baby while he continued to badger me with horrible insults, while the older man just stood there grinning like an idiot. That was simply all of the abuse that I could handle in one hour or so and I again burst into tears, again, and demanded that a supervisor be called for at once, with, what I admit, was with a raised voice…
After all of the abuse I’d already endured…I was not going to let someone half my age, call me an unfit mother and continue to insult my parenting skills without any ramifications, although, that’s exactly what happened, as I’ve yet to receive any type of apology, despite the promise of the supervisor who finally came and assured me that he’s “handle it..”
As no one was stopping his tirade or telling him to back away from me as he came into uncomfortable proximity to my baby and myself and I was truly scared to find out what he might do next, I felt the necessity to raise my voice and to defend myself and Cassandra while continuing to demand that a supervisor be called. The older man… decided that the next best thing to do in this situation was to point at a police officer, who had apparently noticed the escalating situation, and threatened me with arrest…
Refusing to back down and the state trooper refusing to arrest me and send my baby to wherever, as I wouldn’t be able to take her into my jail cell with me, the older man first sent the younger one away (certainly not for my benefit as I’m rather certain it was to protect his identity and job) and finally called for a supervisor…
Finally, a supervisor appeared… I had to chase after him while holding the burdensome car seat/base and baby…and he’d grabbed all of my light items…
I tried to recline my seat, as it made traveling with an infant on your lap far more comfortable, but to my continued frustration, it wouldn’t recline…I paged for an attendant. Fifteen minutes passed before anyone stopped to assist me, they passed by me a few times but they were determined to ignore me and wouldn’t even make eye contact with me….
When I ordered a second wine…the other loudly informed me that I would not be receiving anymore alcohol on this flight. Completely humiliated, not to mention confused as it sounded like she was shutting me off after only having one other wine an hour or two ago. I asked why that was so, as I’d never been given a drinks limit on any other flight (and I really didn’t need one on this most horrid of days) and was told that there is a limit of two alcoholic drinks per a flight and I was at my limit. When I said that was not true, she tried to strengthen her argument by adding that it was just like at any bar today. Being forty-one years old, and knowing that was complete rubbish. Being publically humiliated, again, as everyone turned to look at the supposed sloppy drunk woman and her baby being cut off, I was extremely hurt and emotional again, it was never ending…
Clearly, I didn’t matter one bit to these people and they could just make up rules and enforce them regardless of their validity? I decided not to even bother complaining about my seat, what was the point?
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american airlines, civil rights violation, victimization, woman traveling with baby


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