Flight - AA734
DOF - Sept 1st 21:00 Hr
Despite ANGELO at AA saying he would call to discuss this he never has!
At around 20:00 there was a tannoy announcement requesting that anyone who had flexible travel arrangements to contact the desk. We understood this request and immediately went to the desk to confirm that our party of 4 would accept the deal offered (next day flights to Manchester, hotel for the night and $1000 each totalling $4000 of flight vouchers.) The gate staff that offered the deal was extremely appreciative (when we said thank you, he said 'no, thank you, you are helping us out') and confirmed that after everyone was boarded he would arrange everything.
The flight had been overbooked by 8, therefore as we were first on the list, we understood there was a good chance it would go through and we prepared our children for an overnight stay. Once all had been boarded, we approached the desk to organise details. There were 7 members of staff present and we started to organise the flights, vouchers etc. Into this process it transpired that there were 8 volunteers (we were first on the list) but only 4 (maybe 3) standbys were used and that a lady from another terminal had started to 'unseat' the 2nd team of 4 volunteers. An internal discussion started about what should happen next, and we voiced our belief that as were first on the list, it should be us. There were two senior people there that were part of the 7 AA staff. They both clearly stated that as we were first on the list the offer should be given to us (senior people: a lady with shoulder length tinted blonde hair and medium sized bald man in a brown suit.) However, a staff member who I can only identify as Jeff Y started to interject and indicated that it didn't matter now.
What followed can in no way meet any standard of customer service measure and completely fails any treating people with respect criteria.
Jeff Y in a dismissive, arrogant way, in front of my family and belittling the other 6 members of staff, informed the other staff that his course of action was the correct one (which was to disregard the priority list) that (I quote) "these volunteers don't matter" and that he wasn't prepared to reseat the 2nd family. We then stated that the list should be honoured and the other staff agreed with nodding heads, and indeed the original staff member that asked for volunteers took our luggage identifiers to go and get our luggage of the plane. At this point there was an impasse within the AA staff about what to do next as Jeff Y was being inflexible.
At this point Jeff Y then ushered us onto the gangway and said this could be resolved on route. When we reached the plane entrance he was talking to Cabin crew and we were informed by one of the supportive gate staff that "he's not sorting this for you, he's boarding you." The next thing was Jeff Y telling us to get into our seats at the back of the plane. We said 'where is our luggage identifiers' and he told us, that it did not matter and he wasn't going to give us them. To add a further insult, in front of us at the plane entrance he offered the standby's business class seats. And as a further note, in his effort to rush us on the plane, passport checks were not carried out at the gate.
There are a range of negative emotions that are still being felt 48hours later.
As part of this complaint I am requesting the following be carried out in light of restoring what should have been a hassle free flight.
1) There were 2 senior managers that witnessed Jeff Y's behaviour that night, I would like his line manager to lead an investigation on why the process of 'first on the list' was broken by Jeff Y, and why he was allowed persistently to treat us without the respect that we showed at all times to AA staff.
2) We made a verbal deal with AA that night at AA's request. AA were looking for volunteers, we accepted the terms and the process should have allowed us to carry out that deal. I believe the terms of this should be honored. We are not looking for the overnight stays in the hotels or meal vouchers, but we feel that the main offer of $1000 each for the 4 of us should be honored and ask you strongly to consider this.
I would like to finish by saying that from the start to the finish of our recent journey with AA all staff have been extremely professional and courteous, a real credit to your organisation. However, this individual Jeff Y, almost single handedly ruined the flying with AA experience.