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COMPLAINT: My formal complaint to AA

 
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Old Dec 26, 2006, 5:48 PM
PC PC is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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This is the text of a formal complaint I filed against American Airlines:

This report serves as a formal complaint against American Airlines employees for harassment and retaliation against myself.

Said AA employees denied traveler flight midway through passenger’s Official Government travel, after traveler advised employees of his intentions to file formal complaints. Said AA employees then conjured up false allegations in an effort to intimidate passenger from filing complaint, compounded by
numerous incidents of harassment and discrimination. Employees violated American Airlines Conditions of Carriage.

American Airline Employees:
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Customer Service Manager
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX – Gate Agent
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX– refused to provide her last name

On November 1st, 2004, I was booked on travel from Washington National (DCA) to Ontario Airport (ONT) on Northwest Airlines traveling on Official U.S Government Business. The plane had mechanical problems and I was placed on American Airlines flight 581, connecting in DFW.

Upon landing in DFW, I approached the American Airlines gate attendants (XXXXXX and another employee who would not give her full name but was later identified by XXXXX – middle aged female, dark hair, Asian) for my connection flight (1989 to Ontario) and requested aisle seating if first
class was not available (I had shown XXX my first class seating ticket on Northwest Airlines for that same evening had the flight not been cancelled due to mechanical problems).

XXXXXX was rude and ignored me until I asked for her supervisor. A passenger in line with me was equally disturbed at XXXXXX rudeness.

Without further assistance I stood in line ready to enter the jetway as the plane was boarding. I noticed a handicap women by the gate awaiting assistance and I asked if she needed help. Apparently, she has been waiting for some time for one of the two American Airline gate reps (XXXXXXXXXXXXX)
to assist her on the plane.

I was the next to last person to board the flight and the handicap lady still had not been helped. I approached XXXXXX and handed her my ticket to board, she tore my boarding pass and handed back my half (which is now in my possession). I then calmly stated to her that she neglects passengers and
those with disabilities and that her customer service skills were deplorable. At that moment, XXXXXX became verbally abusive and threatening and said she had the power not to let me board the flight. I asked for her reasoning. She provided none. I asked her to stop threatening me with non boarding and I would report the harassment.

After realizing that Loraine’s irrational behavior was escalating, I stated “Forget everything I said, I’m not going to report this incident, I just need to board the plane.”

Please pay particular attention to this area of the confrontation. It is from there that American Airline employees did a “flip flop” and after I accused them of being verbally abusive, they then turned my argument and facts around to make me look like the “bad guy” by saying I was being verbally abusive.

I asked for a supervisor and with XXXXXXX observing, XXXXXXX (supervisor) approached XXXXX and I and without attempting to hear both sides. She immediately took favor with her employee XXXXXX and treated me like a child (she continuously interrupted me – never able to be impartial, listen, and
get to the bottom of the issue.

I advised them that never in my life had I either witnessed, or been victim to such treatment. Both XXXXXX and XXXXXXX made a scene in front of other customers in the area and “ganged up” on me after I told them that I would report their behavior to the Airport Authority.

They were unprofessional, loud and embarrassing.

When XXXXX learned that I would report my complaint she told XXXXXX that she would not let me board and she would advise the pilot (an example of her retaliation).

By stating I was verbally abusive immediately placed me in bad light and gave these American Airline employees all the power in the world to act as horribly and viciously as they did that evening to conjure up every inconvenience they could place upon me at will – and they did. In short, they used the ultimate retaliatory action of “non boarding” in an attempt to not only censor my complaint, but also to intimidate me from pursuing a formal complaint.

See American Airlines Condition of Carriage, Customer With Disabilities Policy, Section F, regarding complaint resolution officials for customers with special needs. Section D states “…pre-boarding assistance will be provided to you, allowing you the opportunity to be seated prior to general
boarding.”

I again requested for another supervisor to respond because of XXXXXX clear hostility and retaliatory remarks. I explained to her that every customer has a right to file a complaint and voice their concerns, especially when employees are harassing and violating a passengers civil rights and liberties (I was being unlawfully detained as they were impeding my travel without proper reason, and forcefully having me stay overnight in an airport. Further, when I freely voiced my concerns, they censured and then
punished me for doing so – a violation of my right to free speech). These American Airline employees acted as if they worked for an airline in a country that didn’t care for people’s rights.

At this point, it was clear that XXXXX was on a war path and would do everything within her power to be vengeful. She had me wait and stated that she advised the pilot that I would not be traveling on this flight.

I asked for justification and probable cause. She provided none.

American Airlines Conditions of Carriage, Acceptance of Passengers, provides 7 categories in which “American may refuse to transport you.” Again, none of these were applicable to me, clearly violating the existing contract for carriage.

At no time did I see the pilot, nor speak with him. I never boarded the plane and I’m highly skeptical that XXXXX actually spoke with a pilot or provided pilots with an unbiased view of my concerns with gate agents. This should provide American Airline investigators with further proof of XXXXXX
harassment.

XXXXXX provided no further information. I asked for the police to respond to keep the peace and conduct an immediate investigation. If I truly was a threat, then I wanted it to be reported fully in an effort to uncover the corruptive nature and sadistic behavior of these American Airline employees.

Further evidence of XXXXXX harassment occurred when I told her I was notifying the police, she summoned her other two counterparts and stated sarcastically, “Yes, that’s a good idea” and told them to call the police in an effort to give the impression that it was they, and not I who was going
to call for police assistance (another example, again, of how they tried to turn the tables on me and make me appear to be the person in the wrong.

As a former police officer (with over 14 years of law enforcement experience), I was also aware that if the employees provided false information in an official police report, they would be held criminally
liable. In short, they would have to tell the truth now, and on a formal record of events.

If I was some kind of threat, as XXXXX stated she led the pilots to believe, then a report should have been filed and any information provided in that report to be false would be grounds for criminal action for providing false information to a police officer (and more so, grounds for immediate dismissal). Providing false information in a police report and providing false statements in an investigation are both crimes.

Additionally, the agents activity is also a form of unlawful detainment because they unlawfully blocked my free travel, thereby forcefully detaining me inside the airport terminal without just legal or rational probable cause. In short, I was imprisoned from my route of travel, which was only agitated further when these employees told police they did not want me in “their” terminal. Again, if I was a treat to them, then a report of either disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace would have been filed. Rather,
they used this as one additional form of harassment.

(Note: the time of this incident was nearly 10PM and by the time the police departed, it was approximately 11PM. The airport was shutting down, my clothes and incidentals were in checked bags on the plane which has now departed; I had nowhere to go, no AA traveler assistance, nothing but a
complete feeling of horror, shock and disbelief).

Police responded and took statements. They said that the employees provided no statements showing that I was disorderly, disturbing the peace or a threat – further providing proof that that the employees had colluded together, lied, and took revenge against me for indicating my intentions to report them to the highest authority at American Airlines.

I asked the police if they had enough information to file an incident report (the lowest possible type of report). Again, their response was “no” and refused to take any type of report. I asked the officer to contact her supervisor to make sure. Her supervisor agreed and no report was taken. Further indicating that not only did I not violate a law, but my comments were nothing out of the ordinary for a customer voicing his customer service complaints against three rough employees. Further evidence that none of my comments were threatening or abusive – but rather civil and just.

I further witnessed employees collude in their remarks to enter false information into my travel record. Please read and be familiar with their statements written into my travel record. It will show that their sole argument is based on my arguments to be placed in first class – which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Further acts of retaliation by American employees that evening:

1) The employees advised the police and myself that they rebooked me on the very next flight out (Continental flight), but it wouldn’t be until the morning. No such booking was ever made. I had to go through Northwest the next morning to generate travel. Had I not been on official travel, or an
individual with credit cards and money, I would have been stranded in the DFW Airport.

2) XXXXXX told police that they did not want me in the American Airlines terminal. Another form of harassment. These American Airlines employees realizing that they had no legal reason now to deny me boarding used the last trick up there sleeve; to further inconvenience me by putting me out in
the cold.

3) The American Airline employees provided no lodging assistance, no further explanation, and no apologies. Again, according to American Airlines Contract of Carriage, in the section of Delays, Cancellations and Diversions, these employees failed to comply with company policy of “providing reasonable overnight accommodations.”

Action requested:
1) Full disciplinary action against all three employees and a detailed investigation.
2) American Airlines to provide increased training on customer service and complaint resolution.
3) American Airlines to provide employee training on inappropriate measures for denying boarding.
4) American with Disability Act training for employees.

Concluding comments:

According to American Airlines Contract of Carriage, under the Authority to Change Contract, “ No agent, employee or representative of American has the authority to alter, modify, or waive any provision of the Conditions of Carriage unless authorized in writing by a corporate officer of American. These employees acted without due regard for your very own written policies and violated the existing contract I had with your airline.

I fly over 100,000 miles a year and never have I been treated like this. I hold high level travel status with nearly every airline (Premier Executive with United Airlines, Silver Elite with Northwest Airlines and Platinum with America West), and just 2K miles away from American Airline’s frequent flyer status (with over 60K in miles in my current American Airlines account).

I was on official Government travel. My official travel was unlawfully impeded by these three AA employees.

In my years of travel, never have I been subjected to, nor witnessed such horrendous and despicable treatment by airline staff. The behavior is clearly unacceptable and in need of immediate attention. Had any of your Executives witnessed this incident that evening, I’m sure that these employees would no longer be employed by American Airlines and immediate actions would have been taken to remedy every inconvenience these employees placed upon me.

XXXXX has no right to be a supervisor in customer service. XXXXX is deceitful, vengeful and dishonest. She could not keep her mouth closed long enough to listen to the situation and her actions are inexcusable. She failed at understanding a simple leadership principle of paradigm; what was
the other side (my situation) attempting to explain. To this day, she probably has no idea that the incident began when I witnessed her airline ignoring a handicapped passenger, which your video camera at the gate entrance will clearly pick up.

They are a liability and embarrassment to your organization.

Rather than attempt to have true customer service values, they used a deceitful, vengeful and dishonest practice of lying to makeup a belief that I was some kind of threat simply because they didn’t like what I was going to report about them. In their minds, they wanted to head off my reporting
by creating this incident to draw attention from their own behavior and in doing so, they colluded to remove me from this flight for no other reason than for retaliation.

I stand behind my principals, values and statements. This incident is above a simple misunderstanding and needs a full internal investigation with action from the highest levels of the Executive Offices of American Airlines.

Denying boarding to a customer in this manner is clearly unacceptable.

Imagine what type of world this would be if every airline which had a customer post a complaint was retaliated against like this? Denying travel was never meant to be used as a retaliatory measure and American travelers will be outraged at your current practices if dishonest employees can use this tactic at free will to strike out against the American public.

These AA employees severely attempted to censor my ability to bring their actions to the highest levels of AA and, I’m sure violated the very code of ethics your Airline stands behind.

Additionally, I am forwarding my complaint for investigation to outside agencies and organizations for further investigation but will await American Airlines formal response to this formal complaint filing.

--------------------------

In a response from American Airlines Executive Offices, they swept the complaint under the rug.

P C
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  #2  
Old Dec 28, 2006, 3:43 AM
wwwflyer wwwflyer is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2

Sorry to hear you had such a bad day. We've all had those days.

Airlines.....ALL Airlines may deny boarding to anyone for any reason. I would think that if a passenger is being disruptive on the ground the agent would be less likely to board that aggressive behavior. It can be pretty scary to have a disruptive and aggressive passenger at 35,000 feet in a pressurized tin can zipping through the skies at 500 miles an hour. I know personally I would rather see that person kept on the ground and cool off before getting on an airplane. Why would AA pay for your room and board? It was your own mouth that got you into the mess you were in.
Good Luck in the future.
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Old Jan 5, 2007, 8:10 AM
WeTravel WeTravel is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: LODI, CA
Posts: 1

I just had an incredible bad experience with a phone "non helper".
My daughter was flying back from Spain on ticket written by American Airlines last August. Sometimes during the fall the original flight number was apparently changed by american airlines but without notifying any
passenger (They do have my email address but only to attempt to sell
me overpriced services). The agent kept implying that I was an idiot and the flight number in front of me never existed. When it became evident that the concept of customer servive was non existent I thought that maybe a supervisor would be more likely to listen but the lady hung up the phone as a punishment.
Despite the fact that it is a domestic flight and the question had nothing
to do with a previous leg from overseas Iwas twice transferred to an
"overseas agent" who of course had no idea why he was contacted.
This lack of support would deter any sane person and it is symptomatic
of a lack of interest at the highest level.
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