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COMPLAINT: Pregnant Wife refused pre-boarding

 
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  #1  
Old Jun 29, 2008, 4:22 PM
wisestone wisestone is offline
 
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American Airlines has reached a new low ebb in its cutomer service. My wife who is pregnant was traveling from Chicago to Washington DC. After a long day of business meetings, she requested that she be allowed to pre-board. The agent at the airport rudely brushed her aside and told her to get back to her group. She requested and politeley asked if she could make an exception, the agent brished her aside and asked her again to wait for her group to be called. When my wife suggested that she plans to complain to the customer relations, the agent arrogantly told her to to use the web to go ahead and complain. Shame om American Airlines for treating its cutsomers in this manner. As a matter of fact I challenge the American management to aplogize in public if they have any guts and self respect and take stringent action against the employee. They know whe the emplyoyee at Chicago is. Shame on American Airlines. This is absolutely pathetic.
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  #2  
Old Jun 30, 2008, 7:14 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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I'm sure a lot of people are thinkin it, but i won't speak for the masses just myself, but is your wife "noticeably" pregnant? Because a lot of women do try to preboard using the "I'm pregnant" line or even to upgrade, I've seen it countless times. Again I'm not stating that your wife isn't pregnant, but if she isn't noticeably pregnant, then that may be the reason she was turned away. again not making any accusations.
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  #3  
Old Jun 30, 2008, 3:56 PM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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Running with what Silent Bob said, also sadly in America due to increasing waist line a lot a body look pregnant and are not. I have embarrassed myself by saying "congradulations" to a woman who looked pregnant only to be rebuke by hearing them say "I am not pregnant". though this has made me want to say this to some guys also
Makes me glad for doing an hour a cardio every other day.
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  #4  
Old Jul 22, 2008, 1:19 PM
abutterfinger25 abutterfinger25 is offline
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Please note that the carrier is under no obligation to allow pregnant women the chance to pre-board.

However, that does not excuse the gate agent from rudely treating your wife.
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  #5  
Old Jul 22, 2008, 5:22 PM
mlb mlb is offline
 
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Doesn't surprise me that she was treated this way. Typical of AA. Joy0309- anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that yes you can go through a day of meetings, but sometimes you just really don't feel well. Plus, a lot of people push, shove and bump with luggage when they are boarding. Nobody wants to be subjected to that when pregnant. What harm would it have done to let her pre-board. Email them a complaint.
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  #6  
Old Sep 15, 2008, 2:34 AM
airhead airhead is offline
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I agree, their is absolutely no reason to be rude to passengers. One of the challenges of boarding passengers is when the announcement is made, many passengers only hear part of it. It never fails, when "group 1" is called, a handful of other passengers will try to get through. Most are embarrassed while others get smart and argue that it is no big deal. I am not sure why the agent did not allow your wife to get aboard early but being rude was not called for. But you also have to understand that she is not the only one who asks.
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  #7  
Old Jan 16, 2009, 6:51 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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My wife and I were traveling with our 1 year old on a flight from New York to Buenos Aires. We brought our Britax car seat which is FAA approved. We were flying in coach in the first row directly behind 1st Class. Weeks before the flight I both emailed and called American to confirm that my wife and I would be able to pre-board to install the car seat in the center seat so we would not be rushed or wind up holding up passengers. I was assured we would be allowed. One person I spoke to even sounded incredulous that I would even ask the question. So it is getting ready to board and I approach the check in area and tell them I have a car seat and I just needed a minute or two before the rush to get it in place. I also mentioned I confirmed it was ok with American reservations. Well...the woman at the gate...literally sneered at me and said...There is no pre-boarding on this flight. I said I was with a small child but he and my wife could wait to actually board but I just need a second to get the seat into place. No way... I was shocked at how snotty and arrogant the woman was. American should be ashamed to have such nasty unfriendly and outright rude employees working with the public at their gates. I know it is a thankless job and working with the public is awful...but hey lady...get another job if you cant behave like a human being. Needless to say when I boarded it took me a good 2-3 minutes to get the seat in and I did indeed hold up the passengers from boarding...not intentionally but that is how it worked out. What a disgrace American is...really...no consideration for the customer at all.
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  #8  
Old Jan 16, 2009, 10:17 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Sorry to say this but, nowdays, you need to be thankful that an AA staff, or crew, member didn't threaten you with arrest, or being kicked-off the plane. In addition, there have been reports of people who have FAA-approved baby seats being told, by arrogant crew or gate staff, that they can't take them on the aircraft; that the baby seat must be checked into the cargo hold--or else!!
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  #9  
Old Jan 17, 2009, 3:15 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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It couldn't have hurt for them to let her on, if as stated before she did appear pregnant.

Um, ButchCassidy, what does half, if not all of your post have anything to do with this? The first part was kind of over the top, don't you think? And as for the rest, there have been "reports" of pretty much everything on the airlines. Just because some a-hole somewhere may have told someone that their car seat could not go on, really has nothing to do with someone wanting to preboard.
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  #10  
Old Jan 17, 2009, 6:41 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Jetliner View Post
It couldn't have hurt for them to let her on, if as stated before she did appear pregnant.

Um, ButchCassidy, what does half, if not all of your post have anything to do with this? The first part was kind of over the top, don't you think? And as for the rest, there have been "reports" of pretty much everything on the airlines. Just because some a-hole somewhere may have told someone that their car seat could not go on, really has nothing to do with someone wanting to preboard.
If I can prevail upon your limitless wisdom, Jetliner: Can you explain, in specific, how the "a-hole" gate agent, who refused to allow preboarding, is worlds apart from the "a-hole" who makes a family check a "legal" baby seat in the cargo hold? Sorry, you can't use crayon when answering! Further, it's interesting to see how YOUR "a-hole" (to use your word!) attitude is SO similiar to the airline employee mentioned in the original post. Doesn't it aggravate the HELL out of you now that you can, no longer, call the cops on people that you disagree with? Like you, most likely, did WITH GLEE when you were working. The airport police--on speed dial? Of course! That is how I get pleasure from my miserable job! As to the content of this post: If you get your kicks, from waiving red flags in front of people, don't start running to mama when things don't go your way!
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  #11  
Old Jan 17, 2009, 7:02 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Just because some a-hole somewhere may have told someone that their car seat could not go on, really has nothing to do with someone wanting to preboard.

Really? So, they wanted to pre-board because they wanted to admire the paint job on the jetway walls?? Or, they had a direct connection to "Scotty," in the engine room, and their car seat was going to be "beamed" onboard the plane??
Earth to Jetliner: Are you there??
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  #12  
Old Feb 11, 2009, 3:12 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
In addition, there have been reports of people who have FAA-approved baby seats being told, by arrogant crew or gate staff, that they can't take them on the aircraft; that the baby seat must be checked into the cargo hold--or else!!
And this person did not have a carseat. Having to check a car seat and not being able to preboard have nothing to do with each other. They are just as much related as someone in a wheelchair who might not be allowed to preboard for some reason. The only reason you throw something like that in is to try to stir people up to get on board with that passenger bill of rights deal.
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  #13  
Old Feb 11, 2009, 3:35 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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I don't know when you last put a car seat in your car but it takes a little bit of effort to get it in place, leveled properly, get the seatbelt threaded properly, hold it in placeand then tug on the straps while pushing down on the seat so it is rigid and totally secure. Not an iordinate amont of time...say 5 minutes. You have to get it right both for safety reasons and for the comfort of the child. We were going on an 11+ hour flight... not a 5 minute trip to the playground.

Again I contacted American on two occasions and specifically asked if I would be allowed to preboard. No problem they told me. At the gate a different story. Would it really be a hardship for the American flight crew to allow me a few minutes to secure the seat? Come on...American has become the most adversarial and user unfriendly airline in the skys. Yeah I know the industry has changed, passengers are idiots and take it or leave it but a little common sense and some human decency would go a long way to making flying a better experience for everyone.
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  #14  
Old Feb 12, 2009, 12:36 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Spot on veritas... forget the rules, how about a little bit of common human decency.. have we regulated it away?
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  #15  
Old Feb 12, 2009, 4:40 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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veritas - I'm not arguing pre-boarding at all. I have 2 kids. I know quite well what it's like to put a car seat in the car. And I also agree that parents should preboard because, if nothing else, it ensures that there are no passengers in the aisle seats to potentially get whacked in the head.

The point I'm making is that Butch said that it has been reported that some agents were making passengers check their car seats. That may be true, but my point is that has nothing to do with this thread. This thread is all about being able to pre board the aircraft. Butch is big on the whole passenger bill of rights thing, and is just trying to have as many problems brought up as he can, and in the process is taking the thread wayyyy off track.
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  #16  
Old Feb 12, 2009, 2:22 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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I understand what you are saying. I participate in a number of travel forums and there are always people with a single sided point of view.
However, I think airline customer service has disappeared since 9/11. Now I understand with the threats of terrorsim, passenger rage, worries about job security, the "you owe me" mentality of people who think buying a ticket entitles them to abuse the help, and the current economic situation make working for an airline a scary proposition. I would be in a bad mood all the time. But that is why I don't work for the airlines.

I also feel that what Reservations/Customer Service tells you as a company policy should be observed at the gate. I don't think there were others asking to pre-board so it was not a matter of too many passengers making the request and I was clearly not trying to jump the line to get into the plane earlier for my own comfort as I stood there with the carseat in one hand and a baby in the other. Pre-boarding me was the most sensible and accomodating thing to do. As I said...I worked as fast as I could to get the seat properly in place and as a result I tied up the aisle for a couple of minutes. Totally unnecessary.

I only travel a few times a year and almost always on American. I have noticed that their gate staff and flight attendants have become less friendly and far more prone to acting annoyed and angry. It is like the power has shifted from the passenger to the flight staff. They act like you should be lucky you are on the plane so stop whining and shut up. Good advice in a lot of cases but at least treat me with some respect.
I have to partially agree that passengers have become commodities treated more like freight than people.

American delayed my flight 12 hours in July to Buenos Aires. They lied to the passengers by telling them our plane had mechanical problems. In actuality they gave our plane to another international flight that was indeed having mechanical problems. That blantant dishonesty and the treatment of passengers really has me turned off on American. But....and 11 hour flight is a lot better than the alternatives....you can't drive, you can't walk and while you could take a boat you need a couple of months to get there...so flying it is.

Last edited by veritas01; Feb 12, 2009 at 2:25 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 11:12 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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You nailed it in alot of areas. I plan on getting banned (but not for a long time cuz this board's moderation sucks) so I am gonna speak my mind.

You mention threats of terrorism, passenger rage, worries about job security, the "you owe me" mentality of people who think buying a ticket entitles them to abuse the help, and the current economic situation make working for an airline a scary proposition.

Not many people's jobs entail this. People think we're power hungry but it is just the opposite. If we don't follow the rules set by the almight company, we risk being fired. So some ******* showing up 25 minutes before an international departure who doesn't get on or some whiner who can't preboard ranks pretty damn low in the scheme of things. I've got 3 kids and a wife to feed. I've got a mortgage and car payment. I have a real life just like the rest of you jerks. Follow the rules, or don't. And when you don't, quit crying about how you were jerked with.

Enough is enough. I'm done with this board just like I quit working for the piece of crap airline I worked for.
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  #18  
Old Feb 13, 2009, 2:29 PM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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As you might be able to tell I try and see both sides of any complaint. However I do have two comments...

* I agree everyone should follow the rules...including the airlines. If the official position of the airline is pre-boarding is allowed then it should be allowed unless there are extraordinary circumstances. If whining is making an appeal to common sense then get some cheese and crackers to go with my whine.

* In a open society we are free to choose our jobs. There are thousands of jobs I would not consider primarily because I would have to deal with the public in situations that can often go bad very quickly. Just not something I would like to do every day for 45 years. However, if you choose to work for an airline...do your job...and that means dealing with the piles of crap that passengers are going to give you. Flying is an unatural act and everyone gets a little anxious and excited and worried and scared and ******....human nature. To relieve those feeling airlines should be sensitive and considerate and accomodating so people can relax and enjoy their flights as much as humanly possible. It is not just transportation from point a to point b.
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 4:00 PM
pattis pattis is offline
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note to Veritas...I think you are very open minded and as an airline employee really appreciate that. I think it is just plain wrong that you were not allowed to preboard. Just as passengers should use some common sense, airline employees need to use common decency. I read so much here on these boards about horrible service. I have no doubt that it happens. I am sure that there are quite a few complaints that are quite embelished and one sided, however customer service sucks everywhere (for the most part). Society in general has made people b*tchy, impatient, and just intolerant of everyone and everything.
The thing that I wonder though, is that at the airport that I work, so many people (repeat fliers) often say it is so refreshing to fly out of here and talk about great service. I think it may be because it is a small regional airport. I have flown thru some large cities and all the agents are like a bunch of vultures. I was in MSP recently and was talking to the gate agent about seat assignments. I mentioned that I worked for XXX in XXX and she gave me this blank stare, and said "SO WHAT...you think thats gonna get you in first class?" I said no that I would like to sit with my husband if at all possible, please. She did change our seats. But was all huffy about it. Whatever...sure it pised me off. However, I makes me feel good to know that I don't talk to people like that .

Hopefully Veritas thae next time you fly you will get better service. There are alot of good agents out there as well as bad.
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 4:06 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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............
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  #21  
Old May 7, 2009, 8:52 PM
adp adp is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Spot on veritas... forget the rules, how about a little bit of common human decency.. have we regulated it away?
YEP. See my first post. AA is backwards when it comes to the value of pre-boarding. I was told pre-boarding blocks the aisles. So what do you think I am going to do if I board with the rest of the cattle if I am traveling alone, have a 2 year old, carryon and a car seat and the airline help are not supossed to help you with your luggage?

RIDICULOUS.
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  #22  
Old May 7, 2009, 11:29 PM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
 
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i have never flown americam airlines, but dont they make announcements that say passengers with small kids, people who need help boarding, and elderly please...etc come up and board?

i know that in Europe (at least england-and yes heathrow which is xtremely busy) and Singapore always say this announcement and i know that the airlines i fly on always have some sort of announcement

i know this because i used to live in england and singapore and traveled alot

so i believe that tjat this system should be used, it is less hastle, and would solve the problem

it provides both adaquet time for you to get seated and other passengers to board

but you should have evidence that you need help....such as a baby with you, a walking stick, noticably pregnant, so that people dont take advantage of the earlier boarding
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  #23  
Old May 8, 2009, 12:48 AM
veritas01 veritas01 is offline
 
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They did make those announcements routinely in the past. It was another thing that disappeared post 9/11. I also agree that many people abused the policy. I saw many very physically capable people announce that they had a physical problem in order to get onboard before anyone else. Once at their destination they literally sprinted off the plane and didn't seem one bit impaired. I think people with small children can obviously prove the need to pre-board as can pregnant women and people with canes/crutches and other obvious outward signs or symbols of disability.
But since it creates a bit of a problem for the gate crew and requires a little extra attention on the part of the flight crew the newly empowered staffers now say..no preboarding..mainly because they can. Bullies.

American seems to be operating on a take it or leave customer service. If you don't like what they are doing tough luck. Shut up and get on the plane. American has gone from one of the most customer centric airlines to one of the worst. Zero customer service. Profits before people. I know it is a tough time for airlines but come on. You treat people like cattle long enough and it will come back to haunt you. When the economy improves people will remember and choose other airlines.
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Old May 8, 2009, 1:04 AM
AADFW AADFW is offline
 
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Originally Posted by veritas01 View Post
When the economy improves people will remember and choose other airlines.
Veritas, sadly history has demonstrated this simply isn't true. American and European consumers have repeatedly demonstrated that when it comes to flying, the base airfare is by far the single most important factor as to which carrier gets the consumer's money. That's why Airlines like Ryanair can literally scream back and curse at passengers in the face when they complain and they still enjoy record profits. It's amazing what people will tolerate to save $50 or $100. American Airline's deteriorating service is simply a response to the realities of the marketplace. As I've said before many times in this forum, some degree of common-sense re-regulation in the U.S. would greatly help to bring things back to earth.

However, I must admit, there sure were alot of folks who abused the preboarding when it was offered. On this particular issue (for once) AA is actually in a tough spot when it comes to balancing the needs of passengers like this one versus the needs of passengers who lose value from the dishonesty of other customers.
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Old May 8, 2009, 5:24 PM
Corbel Corbel is offline
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i dont want to sound like im sticking up for AA, but i flew them to mia the other day and they preboarded with families traveling with small children under the age of 5, but i also saw people take advantage of preboarding. since when does a 15 year old traveling with parents qualify for preboarding. maybe it was the agent that didn't make the announcement in your case.
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