Old Jan 3, 2009, 4:51 AM
Massimo Massimo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3
Default Cancellation Frustration

I flew American Airlines from Albuquerque NM to Little Rock AR, connecting in Dallas/Ft. Worth, and back. The flight out had no issues. My return flight was on AA3398 on 27 DEC departing Little Rock at 115pm. The day I was to leave Little Rock there was a fast moving cold front coming through and I was sure my flight would be delayed. Since I had to drive an hour from my destination to Little Rock I didn't get a cell phone notification until I was already in Little Rock.

My flight was not delayed, it was cancelled. Oddly, it appears it may have been the only flight cancelled that day. Immediately I got on the phone with an AA representative. Actually, the leg from Little Rock to Dallas/Ft. Worth was operated by American Eagle on behalf of AA. This was after Christmas and at first the representative told me there were no other flights available and all were booked.

I was on the line for 45 minutes getting rebooked. I actually arrived at the airport and got in line while talking to the representative. I asked if AA planned on rescheduling the flight but she told me there was no way to know. Finally the representative found a flight on Delta for the next day but I had to go from Little Rock to Atlanta and then on to Albuquerque.

I realize all the later AA/American Eagle flights leaving Little Rock later in the day were probably booked, but I am surprised that they did not attempt to reschedule another flight for later that evening to accomodate all their passengers. Since the weather front moved from west to east, Dallas/Ft. Worth was clear by time the front moved into Little Rock.

That night I checked my reservations on Delta's website and they showed me confirmed however when I arrived at the Delta counter the next day they told me AA had not sent them the ticket number so I wasn't booked on the flight. I had to stand in the AA line for 20 minutes to get the ticket number. Unbelievable that Delta couldn't contact AA and get the number and unbelievable that AA didn't complete the confirmation although the representative told me she had.

After I got the ticket number Delta told me that while I was booked, I was only standby becuase their flights were overbooked.

I did get on the flight and after a long day, made it home.

Is it unreasonable to expect AA to try and reaccomodate their passengers? Is it unreasonable to expect AA to properly rebook my flight or at least tell me what I needed to do to get properly booked? Is it really necessary to take a half hour to rebook a flight? I'm disappointed with AAs customer service.
Old Jan 3, 2009, 5:00 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,366

The AA agent you spoke to on the phone should have called DL to ensure the space on DL was confirmable and not just oversale. I have seen this happen many times and it happened to me once but since then I insist that the agent call the other airline and ensure that the space is actually confirmed.

When an AA agent looks in their system for availability on another airline's flights they are shown what is available to sell. This may not reflect what is actually available since most airlines make more seats available to sell than there are actual seats on the aircraft. Had the agent called DL he or she would have been made aware of this.

If I am re-booked to another airline because of a cancellation I insist that not only the agent call the other airline to confirm the space but insist on a seat assignment. With that information in hand I can go to the other airline with confirmation in hand and having a seat assignment usually trumps any oversale situation.

Sorry you had a bad experience but glad you arrived at your destination.
Old Jan 3, 2009, 5:16 AM
Massimo Massimo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3

PHXFlyer, thanks for the info. The agent on the phone told me she had Delta on the phone and that the flight was confirmed. I will insist on a seat assignment in the future. I probably should have verified with Delta before leaving the airport that afternoon also. Lesson learned.

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