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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
COMPLAINT: Passed over for standbys at PHL

 
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Old Jan 30, 2018, 8:19 PM
mrsaxde mrsaxde is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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On January 29 I was returning from a trip to Florida. My flight was scheduled to leave MCO at 12:15 pm, with a connection in PHL for SBY at 3:20. The plane was delayed in Orlando due to a fan blade issue that needed to be inspected. When we finally got into the air it was just after 2:00, with a scheduled arrival at PHL right around 4:00. I figured I would miss my connection but I had a friend who was also coming in on another flight and who had driven to PHL so I knew I could get a ride home with him. (We both live about 100 miles from PHL but only 35 from SBY)

While in the air I found out that my connecting flight had also been delayed, with a new departure time for SBY of 4:21. It would be tight, but there was a possibility I could make it. When we landed the flight attendant asked those who were staying in Philadelphia to let people with tight connections to get off first. We were then told to see the agent at the end of the jetway. That agent handed me a standby boarding pass for the last flight to SBY and a guaranteed seat for the first flight out on Tuesday. There was a sticky note attached saying I was entitled to a hotel if they couldn't get me on the standby flight.

There was also a family of 4 who were trying to make the same flight to SBY. We all got on the shuttle to Terminal F. When we got off there there was a guy waiting with a courtesy cart. He hustled us to the gate and called to tell them we were coming.

When we arrived the plane was at the gate, the ramp was still at the door and the door was open. This was at about 4:19. The gate agent went out, went into the plane, then came back. "They're not accepting any more passengers on this plane," she said. I looked at the display above the gate and I could see what had happened. Despite the fact that they had to have known that 5 passengers were coming from a delayed flight, they had boarded the standby passengers and there were no seats left for us. I rode home with my friend and then my wife drove me to SBY to get my car. When I returned home for the final time I sent an email to AA customer service with the same details I related above.

This afternoon I got a response, which was basically "We're sorry, but tough. We'll give you back your money for the flight we wouldn't let you get on, and we'll say 'sorry' but don't ask for anything else."

It looks pretty obvious to me that the person who responded didn't carefully read my email. She went through a long explanation about on time performance blah blah blah. How important it was to push back from the gate at the scheduled departure time blah blah blah. She ignored the fact that I had told her the plane did NOT push back at 4:21, but was still sitting with the ramp up and door open at that time. Pushback didn't happen for another 3-5 minutes. IF communication had been handled properly they could have given us a chance to get to the gate and only boarded the standbys at the last minute if we didn't arrive. As I said, at 4:19 there was still time for us (or the standbys) to get aboard. We're not talking about a wide body here. We're talking an ERJ, with something like 50 seats.

A small gesture would be nice. Access to the frequent flier lounge on my next trip. A voucher for a free flight from SBY, which wouldn't cost them much at all. That airport flies to exactly 2 places: CLT & PHL. I'm sorry but I don't consider reimbursement for a flight I didn't make because of their problem to be any compensation at all.
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