#1  
Old Apr 24, 2011, 12:19 AM
DontflyAA DontflyAA is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2
Angry Flight 29 to Honolulu Cancelled

Evidently AA has been having trouble getting flights off the ground from San Francisco to Honolulu. We were victims of the 4/15/11 cancellation, which has an odd story behind it. We boarded the plane on time but the pilot gave us a quick annoucment about a small delay due to engineering needing to sign off on a maintenance issue related to the engine. He assured us that this wouldn't take too long and that we wouldn't fly without the plane being 'perfect'. Two hours later we got off the plane because engineering was still deciding what to do. Another hour in the terminal we get the message that engineering has signed off (hooray), but that message was followed about 45 minutes later that the pilot wasn't satisfied (he was even taking his own pictures of the engine).

At this point, we're all hoping they will just get us a new plane. San Francisco is a big airport and AA is a big airline, they must have an extra plan available. That line of thinking was way off base. Since engineering and the pilot took so long (almost four hours) to decide not to fly the plane, we no longer had the option of using another plane. This seemed like an odd response since a flight to LA at the next gate just got word they were getting a new (larger) plane. Evidently, disrupting a short LA flight was more troublesome than disappointing the 100+ passengers destined for Honolulu.

Now this is where the story gets worse. Most of us had been at the airport since about 6 AM. It is now about 1 PM and everyone is scrambling to re-book. The gate attendents recommended we all go back to the main counter to re-book. Frequent fliers knew better and recommended calling AA. This was the best advice although you also needed to know that AA was required to re-book you on another airline if that was possible. Many passengers didn't get this information and ended up being re-booked for much later AA flights the next day. If you were stuck in SF like we were, you had to go to the main counter to get hotel and food vouchers. We got into this line a little after 1:30 PM. We got to the counter close to 5 PM! During this time, only one attendent was assigned to 'main cabin' line until we all complained. This resulted in a second attendent. Ironically, the first class and premimum line maintained 3-4 attendants during the entire time to avoid any delays to those flyers. We watched as these attendants had nothing to do just waiting for a first class passenger to arrive. They never once came over to the main cabin line to help out. Further, no one was helping passengers that mistakenly got in our line just to check a bag. That job was filled by us delayed passengers since AA couldn't spare one of the first class attendants.

We eventually did receive our vouchers but no help in getting reimbursed for lost hotel rooms, etc. For that, the attendants just directed us to thew website. If anyone has other suggestions, please let me know.

We would like to recognize Monica Arguelles (our main cabin gate attendant) that did eventually help us. She took care of all of our needs in less than 15 minutes.
  #2  
Old Apr 27, 2011, 6:51 AM
A320FAN A320FAN is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DontflyAA View Post
Evidently AA has been having trouble getting flights off the ground from San Francisco to Honolulu. We were victims of the 4/15/11 cancellation, which has an odd story behind it. We boarded the plane on time but the pilot gave us a quick annoucment about a small delay due to engineering needing to sign off on a maintenance issue related to the engine. He assured us that this wouldn't take too long and that we wouldn't fly without the plane being 'perfect'. Two hours later we got off the plane because engineering was still deciding what to do. Another hour in the terminal we get the message that engineering has signed off (hooray), but that message was followed about 45 minutes later that the pilot wasn't satisfied (he was even taking his own pictures of the engine).

At this point, we're all hoping they will just get us a new plane. San Francisco is a big airport and AA is a big airline, they must have an extra plan available. That line of thinking was way off base. Since engineering and the pilot took so long (almost four hours) to decide not to fly the plane, we no longer had the option of using another plane. This seemed like an odd response since a flight to LA at the next gate just got word they were getting a new (larger) plane. Evidently, disrupting a short LA flight was more troublesome than disappointing the 100+ passengers destined for Honolulu.

Now this is where the story gets worse. Most of us had been at the airport since about 6 AM. It is now about 1 PM and everyone is scrambling to re-book. The gate attendents recommended we all go back to the main counter to re-book. Frequent fliers knew better and recommended calling AA. This was the best advice although you also needed to know that AA was required to re-book you on another airline if that was possible. Many passengers didn't get this information and ended up being re-booked for much later AA flights the next day. If you were stuck in SF like we were, you had to go to the main counter to get hotel and food vouchers. We got into this line a little after 1:30 PM. We got to the counter close to 5 PM! During this time, only one attendent was assigned to 'main cabin' line until we all complained. This resulted in a second attendent. Ironically, the first class and premimum line maintained 3-4 attendants during the entire time to avoid any delays to those flyers. We watched as these attendants had nothing to do just waiting for a first class passenger to arrive. They never once came over to the main cabin line to help out. Further, no one was helping passengers that mistakenly got in our line just to check a bag. That job was filled by us delayed passengers since AA couldn't spare one of the first class attendants.

We eventually did receive our vouchers but no help in getting reimbursed for lost hotel rooms, etc. For that, the attendants just directed us to thew website. If anyone has other suggestions, please let me know.

We would like to recognize Monica Arguelles (our main cabin gate attendant) that did eventually help us. She took care of all of our needs in less than 15 minutes.
1. If there is an issue with something in the engine, keep in mind the maintaince staff may be on the phone back and with Maintaince control which for American is most probably in Dallas.

2. Flying 5 1/2 hours across the Pacific requires the aircraft to be ETOPS certified which means that if a diversion is needed the aircraft needs to be able to land on 1 engine in 120 minutes. For obvious reasons there may have been more then a small issue wit the engine that prevented the aircraft from operating the flight to HNL. If the captain did not feel safe taking the aircraft across the Pacific ocean with the issues that he/she may have seen, then you should be thankful that you are alive otherwise we would be seeing the headlines of Jetliner crashes into the Pacific. Witht he final cause being a maintaince issue (one only needs to remember the Shuttle Challenger when the simple $2.00 O ring failed and the shuttle blewup).

3. Just because SFO is a big airport does not mean that American keeps a spare aircraft parked there. As far as the LAX flight receiving an aircraft upgrade that is possible because the downline city may have another flight that needs another aircraft for what ever reasons neccessary, and the former aircraft that was going to go to LAX may not have been ETOPS certified.

4. Welcome to the world of people who pay for and sit in 1st and business class. AA treats them better because they pay more for their tickets and all the extra perks that are expected to come with them. They also get other perks that you do not know about.

I am going to guess that you were either flying on a Boeing 757 or a widebodied Boeing 767. Regarding ETOPS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETOPS
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