Old Apr 3, 2007, 6:18 PM
hpbjlilly hpbjlilly is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1
Default Ruined vacation to Costa Rica

Message sent to a number of employees and to customer service employees of AA:

C.R. Smith
President of American Airlines

Dear Sir,

My family and I were set to travel on February 24th from Boston to Costa Rica via Dallas. After an hour delay in Boston, we got into the air and were told that there might be a redirection to New Orleans. After another hour of travel, we were told that we were, in fact, being redirected to New Orleans. I thought that that was fine since I had never been there before. We touched down and were let off the plane to eat and stretch.

As we were waiting in the terminal in New Orleans, I ventured over to a ticket agent and asked about availability on a flight to Miami and then to Costa Rica since I knew that there several flights daily from there. I was told that both flights were only half full and that they were very large planes. Since our flight to Costa Rica from Dallas was cancelled, I asked to be put on the flight to Miami and then to Costa Rica. I was refused several times.

We finally got onto the plane and got into Dallas only to be told that we were scheduled to be on a flight to Costa Rica 48 hours from that point in time. That was unacceptable. I asked to be redirected onto another flight that could connect with Costa Rica and was refused. I found another ticket agent willing to help us out. He put us on a flight to Miami via Nashville that would put us into Miami for a flight at 11:30 Sunday morning. We took the red eye to Nashville, slept in booths at an airport restaurant and got to Miami to make our flight in the morning. The gate for our flight was changed twice before we were told that the flight was delayed an hour because the plane was still in Costa Rica. The plane was further delayed because of engine difficulties and we waited. Two hours after we were supposed to leave, we were finally allowed onto the aircraft. As we were just sitting down, we were told that everyone had to get off because the engines of the plane needed to be checked. Why would they allow onto the plane if there were concerns about the engine?

The flight was cancelled after another hour and a half of delays and we were told that we could get onto the flight that was scheduled to leave at 9:45 the next morning. At this point we had been in five different airports in 31 hours. I was traveling with my wife, my mother-in-law and my parents. We needed to decide if we were going to allow being kicked around for another day or if we were going to start having our vacation. We decided to cancel the flight to Costa Rica, but make sure we still had the leg back to Boston that we were already scheduled for the following Saturday.

Our next task was to order our bags to Miami airport since they did not follow us from Dallas. In fact, our bags went to Costa Rica without us and remained there for six days. We were told that bags should never be sent to a place that the owners did not go to for security reasons, but apparently this policy was overlooked. My wife and I called 2-3 times a day during the week and were told that they were scheduled to return to Miami A.S.A.P. and that there were weight and distribution problems on the three flights daily from Costa Rica to Miami everyday; it was a pretty far-fetched excuse considering it went on for almost a week. The day before we left Miami for Boston, we were told in one of three calls that day to baggage claim that we would be authorized a sum of $125 per person because we did not have our bags for five or more days and had to buy clothes for the week to temporarily replace our clothes vacationing in Costa Rica. When we went to Miami to pick up our bags, we were told that no such authorization was put into place and that now that we had picked up our bags, it was a customer service issue and not baggage claim. Once again, we were rebuffed and told another line.

Throughout the week and especially the first weekend, we had some serious confidence problems with American Airlines. When we needed help and it could be given, it was refused. When flights were cancelled because of human error, we were never offered any compensation (ex. Meals, hotel, etc.). When we were offered compensation one day, the next day it was taken away from us. We never knew whom to believe because we were fed so many lines that contradicted each other from American Airline employees.

Since our trip, I have emailed several times my concerns to customer relations. After a couple of times with baggage service, I received a voucher for $250 for the whole party. A voucher not even valued at half the dollar amount we were originally promised and it was in the form of a voucher. How can we honestly be expected to trust and rely on American Airlines in the future when we have not seen the company follow through with any of the promises we were told on our trip? And to put a fraction of our compensation in the form of a voucher does not give me much confidence.

We did not use the Miami to/from Costa Rica part of our trip. We would like a voucher or a ticket issued to all of us so that we may use it at a later date. We still do want to travel to Costa Rica sometime. I would also like the compensation that was promised to us from our baggage misplacement in the form of cash, again like we were promised.

I can understand the directives governed by the company when it comes to customer relations, but actions speak louder than words. In my emails, I have been denied several times to be compensated, but then have been told that American Airlines hopes that I trust them in the future when flying. How can I trust a company that has treated my family and I in such a way? My family and I travel a great deal and I arrange trips for senior groups as well as for student groups. I would like to be given some assurance that I can trust American Airlines for both business and pleasure purposes in the future.

We trusted American Airlines to bring us to a new and exciting destination and American Airlines were never forthright about our difficulties. We were never given options when obstacles were put in our way; we had to figure other options. AA is a service industry and whether this is an isolated incident or common practice is unknown to me. I know that what my family and I experienced the week of February 24th was not the type of behavior I have come to expect from American Airlines.
Old Apr 27, 2007, 1:48 AM
OPNLguy OPNLguy is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2

Message sent to a number of employees and to customer service employees of AA:

C.R. Smith
President of American Airlines

Dear Sir,
Don't be alarmed if it takes C.R. awhile to respond--he retired from AA in 1974 and died in 1990.

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