Customer Service
COMPLAINT: cancelled flight, AA 181, 7/23/08. JFK to LAX

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Old Jul 25, 2008, 12:20 AM
willy9394 willy9394 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2

I am writing to complain my 07/23/08 5:00 p.m. American Airlines Flight 181 from JFK to LAX.

I boarded the flight at 6 p.m. and sit inside the plane for 5 hrs until the captain decided to cancel the flight due to thunderstorm issues around the area.

I am going to focus on what I experienced during that 5 hr time span and the baggage claiming experience.

After the first 2 hrs on the flight, there are some passengers sitting at the back rows trying to ask for a few things including current flight status, food and beverage servicing so on so forth. After a few questions asked, it appeared that no one is being helped on simple things like trying to get a blanket, trying to get water, trying to get some snacks/sanwiches. Then those who's not helped started to be furious and kept asking the crew why they cannot get this and that helped. The crew felt very annoyed and yelled back at those passengers "We are not going to debate with you anymore about what you've asked, we got a lot of things to do in order to try to get this flight out of here"

Finally after 2.5 hrs they started to serve water and orange juice only and nothing else.

Passengers became more furious after that and kept asking the crew about this poor servicing. Then the crew asked the chief flight attendant and the captain to come to the back rows. They said "We have no control at all about what's going on with the flight status, and we are working extremely hard to get this flight out of here. Therefore from now on we don't want any disruptions and questions and all these non-sense anymore from you guys or you will be THROWN OUT OF THE FLIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Yes, this threatening was coming from the mouth of the captain and the chief flight attendant. I cannot relate what they said to politeness, respect and professionalism. No one was committing any crime here!!! Do they know who's contributing to their paychecks????

OK, after 3.5 hrs on the flight, they finally offered selling sandwiches and snacks. When the food tray arrived the back rows, pretty much only a few packs of peanuts left to choose from as they simply don't have enough food to feed everyone. Some passengers then started to scream because they cannot get a sandwich for their starving son. The flight attendant said in a rude tone "We only have 22 sandwiches and there are 120 people on this flight. Nothing I can do". And then he just gave a bag of peanuts to the parent and walked away. I mean, give me a break here. We are not looking for deep love from who we pay for here, at least they can treat kids a little bit like humans. THEY NEED TO EAT!!!! As a result, a lot of kids had nothing to eat at all until they got off the plane.

I did not believe it would take the captain 5 whole hours to decide whether the flight should be canceled or not if the weather condition was so severe around. It's just AA who didn't want to pay for stay-over hotels and meal vouchers and all other things that came with flight cancellations. As long as they are not violating the flight cancellation time limit law, no one is getting back to the gate at all. And how come they couldn't ask the ground crew to bring in more food for everybody if they didn't want us to go back inside the terminal building??? Answer should be obvious... $$$

Well, at 11 p.m. the captain finally said the flight was canceled. The captain and all the crew did not offer apology at all after the cancellation announcement. I was pretty sure that they thought they were doing a fantastic job here, weren't they?

Another fun part, baggage claim. My luggage came out of the belt successfully. Unfortunately my coworker's luggage didn't come out of the belt at all after 1.5 hrs of wait. Then a passenger told my coworker that she checked with the baggage service and they told her those missing bags MIGHT already be sent out to LAX on an earlier flight but at that moment they couldn't trace those bags at all. OK, after 1.5 hrs, my coworker couldn't get luggage, almost 1 a.m. We were driving 1.5 hrs back to Connecticut under rain........

To summarize, in this experience, I understand sometimes bad weather might unavoidably canceling flights. But I couldn't feel any professional customer service from AA. I couldn't feel politeness and respect from who we are paying for. I will do everything I can to persuade the traveling representative in my company not to pick AA at all on all future business travels
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Old Jul 25, 2008, 1:45 AM
stephen stephen is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 9

Yes this is the airlines' and their employees' strategy for coping with this age of cancellations, delays, terrible customer service and involuntary bumpings. They can do whatever they want and if you the paying customer gets angry about it, they will refuse to allow you onto the plane, if you are on it already but it hasn't taken off they will throw you out, if the plane is in air they will have the police waiting for you on arrival.
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Old Jul 25, 2008, 6:24 PM
neal neal is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 14

they dont put 122 sandwiches on board because not all 122 people are going to buy sandwiches, so why waste the money? also alot of times the catering isnt around 24/7. and when people begin to become irate, that escalades things more. i know if i was on that crew, and i already had ****** off people, getting them 35,000 ft higher might make things worse. the captain doesn't decide whether to cancel the flight, its the dispatchers job. i always bring my own food when i fly in case something like this happens, why pay huge prices in the airport? the crew can only get the information that they get from their captain or agent, so it doesn't help yelling and screaming at the flight attendants, they dont want to be stuck on that plane (not getting paid) anymore than you do. they may not have wanted to do a full beverage service on the ground for a few reasons, #1, you cant have a cart in the aisle while the aircraft is on the ground, (FAR), #2 IF they couldn't get more food or drinks and IF they could leave, what happens when your in the air and because everyone was thirsty or hungry on the ground ran out of beverages and food at that time? Im not siding with AA, its just that their are reasons and 2 sides to every story
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