Old Jun 4, 2010, 7:38 AM
See Family See Family is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
Default AA mishandling leads to vacation mishap

This is a formal complaint we intend to send to AA.

Our family, a group of 16 family members, was flying from the Philippines to Florida, U.S.A. to take a Caribbean cruise on the Oasis of the Seas set to depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 5:00 p.m. on 24 April 2010. Nine out of the 16 family members were taking American Airlines Flight No. AA272 on 24 April 2010 from San Francisco to Miami.

We are a traveling group of 16 family members flying in from the Philippines for Miami, to take the cruise: Oasis of the Seas was to be leaving from Fort Lauderdale on April 24.

April 23, 2010 – The 3 parties were to take the AA272 flight to Miami to catch the Royal Caribbean Cruise

As my family arrived at the airport, we were given a slip that said that our flight was cancelled and can call an 1800 number to hopefully get us rebooked.

We tried to get another flight on AA, but no luck came for the latest flight to Miami will land at 6:00 p.m., which is 1 hour after the departure of the ship.

The AA counter tried to help us find an alternative flight to take, instead using Delta.

Calls to each other were made for some were stationed at the AA and Delta counter.

We also placed several calls to our travel agent in the Philippines to help us figure out other flight alternatives as AA was only focused on getting us on those delta flights but were slow in producing the actual tickets for all of us.

After a period of time, the Suarez family was rebooked to a DL2364 flight leaving 1:40 a.m. to Miami via Memphis and the Seetekbeng and See family were to be rebooked to DL2362 flight leaving 12:40 a.m.; although there was a slight problem.

Fanny of the AA counter kept claiming that not all of our names were reflected in their computer, thus she was unable to issue the tickets.

At the same time, we kept calling the 1800 number to ask how come that was so, yet at one point, they also could not figure out any further why XXXX was not able to issue the said tickets.

For 2.5 hours, little by little the names started appearing and were getting booked on the flight.

However, XXXX said that the ticket for Ms. Leah See couldn’t be printed although her name was on the computer.

We then went to Delta to explain the situation and they decided to give her a seat request, despite the fact that she doesn’t have a flight coupon.

It was 12:00 am and we (Seetekbeng party of 6 and See party of 3) were ready with our tickets and boarding passes to show the attendant so we may take the flight to Miami.

As we handed over the tickets to the man in charge, he said, “You can’t bring these baggage with you, the airplane is closed.” Obviously, the 9 of us weren’t able to board on that flight because the entire luggage couldn’t go with us (US Law states that all passengers must travel with their luggage).

AA took too long to fix our tickets to allow us to board the Delta flight. Not to mention that AA couldn’t print Leah See’s coupon.

We went to AA again to tell them about the news so that they may also help us to find another flight.

The lady behind the counter, XXXX, wasn’t helpful in the matter and didn’t care less about our predicament on missing the cruise ship.

Despite our request to speak to the AA supervisor on duty, they haltingly replied that they doubt she will come out and face us.

Fanny even denied the fact that there was a 1:40 am flight at Delta which she had earlier issued tickets for the Suarez party of 4.

Looking so hopeless at the AA counter, we decided to consult the Delta terminal instead to help us.

Luckily, a AAAA and her associate pitied us and took it upon themselves to help us find alternative routes available.

After 1 or 2 hours more, our Philippine travel, AAAA and herassociate, were able to find another way to get us on a US Airways flight to Fort Lauderdale via Phoenix leaving the San Jose Airport at 6:10 a.m.

Take note that this flight will arrive at Fort Lauderdale at 4:16 p.m. (Check-in will already be closed by 4:00 p.m.)

This was helpfully booked by BBBB on a 1800 number and were able to book each one of us (Party of 6 and 3) on the said flight.

We were then required to take 2 taxis costing $130 each due to the boundary policy.

Once we reached the San Jose Airport, Ms. Leah See wasn’t able to check-in because she only had a seat request from AA andnot a flight coupon.

The US Airways counter said it was all up to AA to fix that problem by “releasing” her ticket. Despite conversations between the AA call agent on the phone and the supervisor of Delta at the San Jose Airport, the ticket of Leah See still couldn’t be released to US Airways and so it was decided that she will just have to buy another ticket that cost $335 (This took more than an hour).

2 of our passengers were required to stay in economy class rather than a pre-booked first class ticket for the plane was already full.

We were also required to pay $25 for every baggage (9 bags) we had because we were taking a (separate) domestic flight rather than a (connecting) international flight.

This was so hectic for us; we could eventually faint anytime. We had a sleepless night just waiting for the next flight and going to the new airport. One passenger from the family was diabetic and to think she is a senior citizen. We were starving, out of energy, and needed help real bad.

In our opinions, AA should’ve provided better services and efficiency. Fanny in the AA counter refused to speak to the supervisor, had no regard that we had to catch a cruise on the next day, and not to mention slow in processing the tickets. If not for Delta helping us, we would’ve never made that cruise and lost so much money. We hope you improve your service to your customers.

Therefore, we are demanding the reimbursement from AA for the following expenses:
  • Downgrade of 2 pax 1st class ticket to economy.
  • Taxi Ride from SF to San Jose airport costing $260. (No receipt was issued)
  • Luggage charges amounting to $225. (The luggage tags reflecting the charges made were all taken by Royal Caribbean as they took care in picking up the bags from the airport)
  • Ticket of Leah See at $335. (We have the tickets)
  • All phone calls made to connect to AA, to each other, to travel agent in the Philippines. We await our phone bills but at present so we can present to you but just to give you an idea, 2 of our parties already have incurred a total of $400 worth of bills for such. Luckily, we had local phones that day that allowed the free call to 1800. If not, you can just imagine how much that would have come out for our international phones to call a local 1800 number.
*XXXX, AAAA, and BBBB are crossed out names.

Is there enough ground to sue or demand compensation? We are generally inexperienced with these kinds of situations given that we usually take Asian Airlines, who generally have much better service.

Any comment is greatly appreciated.
Old Jun 4, 2010, 9:11 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Absolutely appalling and you should continue with your policy of taking Asian airlines. You would never have been treated this way by Singapore, Asiana, etc. You can file in smalls claims court, but that is difficult if you are so far away. I think you should complain to the DOT. There is a quick link to this at the top of the page. AA's treatment is outrageous.

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