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COMPLAINT: I hope none of your mothers travel on American Airlines!

 
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Old Jun 22, 2017, 10:26 PM
oakparkguy oakparkguy is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
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6/22/2017
I hope none of your mothers travel on American Airlines; I know I will not let her again!
My mother is approaching 93, she was born in 1924, married for 67 years and raised four (4) children. She been living by herself for several years, taking care of herself but needing help to and from the airport and similar such situations. She can walk but not great distances from the curb to the gate inside the terminal.
She is a regular airline traveler on Southwest Airlines but on two occasions has used American Airlines and both have been wretched!
On both occasions, getting a wheelchair at curbside has been a major event at LAX. On her first trip, the plane was departing from the Tom Bradley terminal. American Airlines and/or your contractor did not have anyone to take a disabled person to the gate even though bag check is at Terminal 4. I thought it was a freak situation as I waited and waited until at last a wheelchair arrived, but no it appears to be the norm for American Airlines at LAX.
Today, Thursday, June 22, 2017 we arrived at the terminal about 6:07 am for a flight that was boarding at 7:30 am. Stopped at a skycap and was told we needed to stop at the handicapped sign outside of terminal 4. We proceeded to get there but had to wait because a non-handicapped traveler was using the space. When I was finally able to move my car into the area, I got out getting my mother’s luggage. Your skycap staffing at that station told me to bring the bags over to him, he asked if we needed a wheelchair and I told him yes. He proceeded to collect the baggage fee and produce all the documents for her checked luggage and then ordered a wheelchair. The wheelchair took over 10 minutes to arrive today. Skycap said it was coming but could give us an ETA. Went inside to talk to one of your lobby agents and they told me to look for the person wearing the yellow vest. Really easy to spot a person wearing a yellow vest in terminal 4 at 6:25 in the morning.
My mother’s flight from LAX took off on time and did arrive early in Chicago but during her transit to Chicago the person, my sister, who she was intending to meet up with in Chicago found out that her flight was delayed and she would be not be making her connection and unable to meet my mother’s flight. Remember my mother is almost 93, and while she is good at getting around, she does need some help when special situations come up. As soon as I knew about this problem, I reached out to the American Airlines 800 number and attempted to speak with someone who might be able to have the Chicago gate agent meeting the plane pass on a simple message. Your team was useless. Reggie, who answered the call, told me there was nothing that could be done. They have no way to communication with fellow team members in Chicago. They could put a note in the record but the gate agent will not see it. Nothing, No way to get ahold of an American Airlines person in Chicago. I asked to speak with a supervisor to which he put me on hold, came back a few minutes later, and said the supervisor said nothing could be done. I demanded to speak with the supervisor and waited over 15 minutes, the call has now taken almost 22 minutes. Finally, Ms. Morgan comes on and lays the same line that “nothing can be done”. “Have her paged at the airport after her flight arrives”. Remember my mother is 93 years old, how well do you think she will hear in a busy noisy airport like O’Hare International. I further asked to talk with someone who might be able to comprehend the situation to which your Ms. Morgan transferred me to a number that rang and rang for almost 5 minutes before it automatically hung up on my.
After doing research to find out who handled wheelchair service at O’Hare, the manager on duty at Prospect Airport Services for O’Hare was able to take care of the situation. The manager, Kamil personally met my mother and got her the message to call me and delivered her to the car service I ordered for her since she was not going to meet up with my sister/her daughter since her flight was delayed. Amazing how a single person can help divert a possible disaster and yet an entire airline cannot be bothered to have mechanisms in place for your special needs clients. I’m not sure when or if you will wake up about your lack of service. I find it interesting that you will not publish a phone number that might be of assistance to your customers other than your normal reservation lines.
This is my perspective, a son delivering his mother to the airport and only expecting good things to happen. I have spent the last 30 years of my life traveling on a bi-weekly basis and I understand how things work. I feel for those people who have no idea how much of a nightmare air travel can be.
There is one ray of hope for elderly travelers, Southwest Airlines. They have a dedicated handicap check-in at LAX Terminal 1, amazing they have people with wheelchairs waiting and take the passengers off to the gate within a few minutes. Maybe American Airlines should send employees down to see how it works!
Sincerely
Brian
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