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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
COMPLAINT: Bumped from plane after boarding, horrible customer service, no reimbursement

 
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  #1  
Old Jul 3, 2011, 12:07 AM
jdresow jdresow is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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AA is the worst experience ever! In April, my boyfriend and I flew American from LAX through Texas to Cancun. We had stopovers on each leg so we experienced American Airlines service at 4 different airports.
At each airport the line for bag drops was ridiculously long - just to drop bags! They only had one person working their entire bag drop section. It was ridiculous! In Cancun we got to the airport more than 2 hours early to find the line wrapped around the terminal. The line went so slowly that they eventually pulled people in my flight out of the line - otherwise we would have missed it. Just for bag drop! At LAX and San Antonio we experienced similar long and slow lines.
But we had already booked flights to Reno before this experience, so were stuck. My boyfriend got to LAX well in advance of his flight due to the experiences we already had. He was checked in and boarded the plane, sitting in his seat, when he was bounced. We had booked his flight over 6 months in advance, and he was the one picked to be bounced. AA gave him their list of policies, and it said they must pay double if you have to wait more than two hours - but they refused to give him more than a voucher for the cost of the flight. Horrible service, rude, unsympathetic employees, and an 8+ hour wait at LAX, which may be the least nice airport in the US. DON"T FLY AMERICAN!
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  #2  
Old Jul 3, 2011, 12:12 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
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If he was bumped involuntarily, AA have broken the law. You should write to the DOT and complain. You were entitled to cash compensation.
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  #3  
Old Jul 3, 2011, 5:17 PM
Ombudsman Ombudsman is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
If he was bumped involuntarily, AA have broken the law. You should write to the DOT and complain. You were entitled to cash compensation.
I checked on this as I initially thought the same thing. American Airline's commuter subsidiary, American Eagle, operates all flights between LAX and Reno on 44 seat Embrear regional jets. The rules for denied boarding compensation are different for smaller aircraft. If he was bumped because the plane was overweight he was, according to DOT rules, not entitled to any compensation.

"*If the airline must substitute a smaller plane for the one it originally planned to use, the carrier isn't required to pay people who are bumped as a result. In addition, on flights using aircraft with 30 through 60 passenger seats, compensation is not required if you were bumped due to safety-related aircraft weight or balance constraints."

I think it was good that AA gave him a voucher for the inconvenience.

As for the prior experience during the trip to Cancun, it sounds like the trip was during a spring break (April) where long lines at airports are pretty much par for the course these days no matter which airline you choose. I've been to Cancun twice and even in the "off season" the lines to check in can be horrendous as most of the flights depart at around the same time.
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