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Old Feb 23, 2016, 4:55 PM
Cbean Cbean is offline
 
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Default Worst Travel Day I have ever experienced

February 23, 2016

American Airlines
To Whom it may concern:
On Sunday, February 14, 2016, my friend, Lourdes Esparza and I, had the worst travel day possible.
We had been looking for houses in Gulfport, MS. We had chosen to fly into and out of Memphis because we had been looking at properties throughout the state.
Gulfport is a 5 ˝ hour drive to Memphis.
That morning, we left at 7:00 am ~ giving us plenty of time to catch our 3:40 pm flight (flight #4317) to Chicago, O’Hare. Record indicator #1HMJKF.
On the way to Memphis, we stopped at University of Mississippi (approximately an hour ˝ to Memphis) so that I could show my friend the school my daughter will be attending in the fall.
Once we arrived, I checked my phone for messages/emails. On it, I found a text from American advising that our flight had been cancelled, and that we had been redirected to a flights going first to Charlotte, NC ~ flight 5265 ~ leaving Memphis at 5:25 pm, arriving at 8:04 pm. Then flight #1788, leaving Charlotte at 10:30 pm, arriving in Chicago at 11:43 pm.
As we were on our way to the airport, and I was driving and couldn’t use my phone, I decided that I would deal with the situation at the Memphis airport.
Once we arrived, we went straight to the American ticket counter, where I met with an American employee ~ Alphonso. I advised him that I wanted him to check to verify if we could get onto another airlines flight to Chicago. He advised that we should again, go to the United ticket counter. I asked why the flight had been cancelled. Was told it was due to an air traffic issue.
So, we schlepped our bags over to United. When we got there, we were told that they couldn’t change American ticketing, and that it would need to be handled by American.
United had a flight that we leaving at a similar time to when the American flight had been scheduled.
So, we went back to American ~ and spoke again with Alphonso. He told us our best bet was to call the American customer service line ~ and handed me a card with their phone number.
I called the number and told them CSR of our desire to change to the United flight. The worker advised that the flight was full, and she couldn’t guarantee passage. She told me the best bet was to go to the United counter and verify the full flight.
Back to the United counter we went.
They verified the flight was full and actually acted very sympathetic to our plight.
Back to the American counter. I thought it would help to speak to another representative. This time, I dealt with Stacie and Andrew. I asked again, why the flight had been cancelled. This time I was advised that it had been cancelled due to the weather in Chicago. I asked why United didn’t seem to have any air traffic, nor weather issues.
Was not given a response.
I told them that arriving in Chicago at midnight was unacceptable. My sister was going to pick us up at O’Hare and bring us to her house to pick up my car. There was no way I would ask her to come to the airport at midnight.
I asked if there was a flight leaving the next morning. They advised that there was. I asked if it would be possible to put us on that flight, and pay for a hotel stay that evening. They advised that that was not up to them to decide and again, suggested I call the American customer service phone.
I called the CSR line and again advised the situation and again was told, they were not in the position to put my friend and I up in a hotel that evening. That if we wanted to stay in a hotel, we would at our expense and I could try to recoup the funds, after the fact. Swell.
As we walked back to the American counter, my friend and I looked at the American departure board ~ please see that attached photo ~ which indicated that there was a flight ~ #9862 leaving gate C2 at 4:15, going to Chicago.
I asked to speak to a Supervisor. Marcie was now at the ticketing counter.
We inquired about the flight on the board. Marcie advised that that flight, didn’t really exist. It was simply for freight ~ what??
I expressed my total dissatisfaction with not only the way we had been treated and the lack of empathy shown, but also that fact that we had NO options. I asked for all the people’s names at the counter. Stacie made a snide remark about “oh, now we’re in trouble ~ really.”
Marcie was the first person at American to show and remorse, or concern. She advised that we would be bumped to first class and that an envoy ~ Kelsey would meet us at the gate in Charlotte.
Of course, that never happened.
We arrived in Charlotte, had a bite to eat and awaited our departure to Chicago.
We arrived in Chicago, at midnight. As advised, I could not call my sister to pick us up. We gathered our bags, then stood for 20 minutes in a line, waiting for a taxi, in the cold.
My friend paid the $30.00 cab fare to my sisters.
We picked up my car, drove home and finally got to bed at 2:00 am on the 15th.
As the original flight was supposed to land at 5:40 pm, I would have had plenty of time to unpack and go to bed. As it was, and not arriving home until 2:00 am, I was in no position to go to work the next day. Was forced to take an unplanned vacation day.
What originally had been a 2 hour scheduled flight, become a 12+ hour ordeal.
I generally am not one to complain. Usually go with the flow, however, this is completely unacceptable!
I am unsure whether I am more livid over the added time and expense (not to mention unplanned vacation day!) or the fact that we were treated with total disregard, lack of empathy, unprofessionalism, and just plain rudeness.
It is bad enough that we were treated this way, but in the future, and when my daughter will be traveling from Ole Miss back home, there is no way that this treatment will be acceptable!
I have flown American many times in the past, an am now extremely hesitant to ever use your airline again.
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