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Old Jun 24, 2011, 2:20 PM
Infrequent Traveller Infrequent Traveller is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Question Connection missed, AA wants to charge a fee for flight change

I had 2-leg flight Newark-Chicago-Beijing scheduled for 06/22. The Newark-Chicago flight was postponed (due to a storm in Chicago) by so long that it missed the connecting flight. I was re-scheduled for two days later (they said the next day 06/23 was full) without seats. I called AA to get seat assignment. Since my scheduled flight only has a buffer of 45 minutes, I asked them if they can move me up to an earlier flight (with posted available seats). The rep told me they have to charge a fee for it because I already agreed at the airport to take the scheduled one (at that time, I did not know I had other options). My loss includes 2 days vacation time, 1 extra vacation day of my friend (she has to make 2 extra trips to the airport on two different dates), 2 extra trips (130 miles each), among other re-scheduling headache. In this situation, I wonder what kind of recourse I have? What can/should I do?
In my opinion, nobody should take AA going forward.
1. They don't tell you until the very last moment. The storm happened more than 10 hours before my flight time. They know the aiport was a mess. Yet their website kept saying "ON TIME" until my boarding time so that we cannot make contigency arrangement before leaving for airport.
2. We arrived at the airport 3 hours ahead of time. No more than 15 families were in the line for check-in. It took us a solid hour to get to the counter.
3. AA people are not interested in talking to you. When I learnt of the delay, I went to ask. A lady behind the counter gave a gesture like "one monent". She did her stuff, turned around and left with returning. Another gentleman did basically the same thing. I was the only one at the counter and he pretended I was not there.
4. AA people don't care what happened to you. Whoever I talked to, told me the trouble is weather related and AA is not liable for it.
Old Jun 25, 2011, 12:14 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

AAs minimum transfer time at Chicago is 35 minutes..I would call again and see if you can find a more responsive agent. 45 minutes is cutting it fine. You can maybe also tell them you are a slow walker and need longer to transfer!
Old Jun 25, 2011, 2:49 PM
Infrequent Traveller Infrequent Traveller is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Default Connection missed again, AA charge hotel fee

Thanks to jimworc. Good to know that info.

Our original flight was Wed 06/22 Newark - Chicago - Beijing. AA could not make it. Took the makeup flight on Friday from Newark and missed connection in Chicago and we have to pay for hotel because AA said this is weather related delay.

I had a big fight with AA reservation lady Fri morning when I asked to be moved to an earlier flight so that we won't miss again. She rejected by saying "according to schedule, you will make it". I told her "according to schedule, I should have made it on Wednesday".

It's mind boggling to see AA is still in business. We arrived at Newark airport 5 hours before take off (hoping to get on an earlier flight). But spent 3 hours in line before being checked in. There were only 7 families ahead of us. The problem is that there was only one lady behind the counter and they serve fist class first. In essence, there was no one there to process the standard "coach" class. At one time, the line did not move for one full hour. A lot of people arrived early, only to find out they are going to miss their connection after a long waiting.

We lost 3 vacation days, 2 extra trips to the airport, a lot of friends' time, among other stress. Not sure if we can get compensated. We will never ever take AA again, that's for sure.

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