Old Oct 13, 2007, 10:12 PM
JRL JRL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
Default Family Stuck On Plane For 8+ Hours For 30 Minute Flight

My family and I live in Cuba. Yes, it's legit. She was trying to fly back to Miami on flight 9471 that was to arrive here at MIA at 11:25 AM. The flight is American Eagle, but is apparently run by a company called ABC Charters. It is now 6 PM and she and my daughter have been on the airplane or in the terminal going on 10+ hours. The flight is 45 minutes long.

I just spent the last 5 hours at MIA waiting because the arrival board said originally it was going to arrive at 2PM. Then 2:30. Then 3. Then 4. Finally, they say they don't know when it will come in. They might send another plane to get the passengers. They might send a part down to try to fix it.

I have had no communication with my wife since 1 PM in which she told me that she was down to the last diaper and that our daughter was about to start pitching a fit.

The reason no one knows anything is ABC does not have a representative down at MIA. There is no accountability. No supervisor. I had to beg and plead for information from MIA officials. American Airline didn't know jack. Their excuse is, "It's not our airplane."

Ah, but they put your name on their plane. That makes you responsible, right?

(Actual words from an AA rep over the phone) "Mmmm, not really. If you book an airline ticket through Expedia and the flight is late, do you get mad at Expedia?"

This is not the thing to tell to a person whose daughter is probably going catatonic right now.

Here's some ideas on how to improve your crappy airline:

1. Don't lend your name to fly by night charter services whose planes are falling apart.

2. Don't wait 6 hours to make a decision to fly a plane 90 miles.

3. Have some accountability. Have a contact number for the representative for ABC Charters and have someone on call to answer questions of consumers.

4. Have a dedicated complaint line. Don't force people to e-mail their complaints or fax them as AA does.

5. Teach your customer service reps to apologize when you screw up. Don't try to justify your crappy performance. Verbal apologies and a little sympathy cost you NOTHING. They show that you are human and that you care about your customers. Which AA apparently does not.

AA is horrible in EVERY respect.

Old Oct 15, 2007, 8:55 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NY NY
Posts: 510
Default RE: Family Stuck On Plane For 8+ Hours For 30 Minute Flight

Sorry to hear about what happened to your wife and daughter. Its never good when you're stuck on a runway for so long, because at some point you have to say ok I wanna get off. But here's the kicker and you will not like this but AA is not at fault for that flight. "Codesharing" planes is what's done across the airline industry. Yes the plane says AA flight number whatever but the flight was ACTUALLY operated by ABC Charters, so that does not make AA responsible for the delay or anything else that might have gone wrong with that flight. Should AA have ABC's number available? Not really especially if the number isn't available to them. Maybe they chose not to investigate the flight because you were upset with them for a flight they have no control of? I don't know. However it took me all of two seconds to find the number for ABC charter which is readily available if you dial information or if you have internet access you could have found it that way. Also you could have called Expedia and maybe they could get it for you too. Now as for your "ideas" 1 - all airlines codeshare their flights. Next flight you take, on any airline, listen for the gate announcement and you'll hear it. 2) AA didn't wait 6 hours, ABC did 3) They (AA) don't need to take accountability for a flight that is not there own, again ABC is the airline you wanna speak to. 4) Dedicated Complaint line? If you find an airline that has a dedicated complaint line where you actually get to "complain" to a person and not a machine, you let everyone on the board know ok? Why do you think THIS board exist? 5)Again its not AA's flight, they don't have to apologize or sympathize with you. Sorry that had to happen to you, but you need to redirect your anger to the proper airline.
Old Oct 16, 2007, 1:27 AM
JRL JRL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2

I disagree. If you fly under "American Eagle" and you check people in and out under the "American Airlines" check in counter, you are associating yourself with that airline - for good or bad.

If you want to be ABC Charters and fly under that banner, you go ahead. But AA sees it to its advantage to offer this flight and ABC sees it to its advantage to associate themselves with AA.

You can't have it both way.

I was at the airport for close to 10 hours before my wife arrived at 8:45 PM when she was supposed to arrive at 11:25.

The majority of the time she spent it in the airport in Havana. Trust me when I say that this is not like a U.S. airport. It is hot, smokey, filthy, and crowded. You can't just don't walk over to the nearby Chilis or Burger King and grab a bite. They don't even know what those places are.

I didn't have access to the Internet to find their number as you were able to. Neither did anyone at AA have the number. When I finally got on the pay phone and called ABC, they had a voice mail answering machine that they didn't work on weekends.

Sorry, I don't think I have unrealistic expectations when I say that somebody from some airline should have been there to provide the families with info about what was going on. My standards for customer service apparently quite as low as some peoples, and certainly not what AA or ABC thinks is acceptable.
Old Oct 16, 2007, 6:24 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NY NY
Posts: 510

You see you can have it both ways because that's how codesharing works. AA is allowed to sell seats on ABC's flight, but AA will not accept responsibility if the flight goes bad it's not their plane. Your gripe is with ABC not AA no matter how you look at it.
Old Nov 14, 2007, 5:34 AM
rcrdoeva rcrdoeva is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 12

I have to agree with silent bob. I'm sorry but that's the reality to this business. American Eagle Flight 9471 is a charter flight. It's unfortunate that you were not able to get better communication through the airline. You also have to understand that the agents in cuba are all contracted and they just don't care most likely.

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