AA pilot to pax: "You can't see the stripes"?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by EGPWS, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. EGPWS

    EGPWS Filing Flight Plan

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    AA canceled my flight at the very last moment, ruined a one-day trip that I had meticulously planned months ahead of time, AA refused to rebook me even on sister carriers or non-direct routes, and then AA refused to offer any refund or credit back and then had the audacity to proceed to continue to charge me extra money for the nonexistent premium aisles seats that never materialized on the plane that was never sent and never showed up, for a flight that was canceled but not rescheduled.

    No one from AA called me to rebook flights. I received a terse last minute email stating that the flight AA2449 was canceled, and that if I had questions to call their 800 number. The number ended up being an automated answering machine that said agents were too busy, and instead of putting in on hold or in a queue it would force-ably hang up and disconnect on me each time I called. So I had no choice but to wait in line at their customer service in hopes of speaking with someone in person.

    The funny thing is later we found out that they actually never even sent the plane. Since the flight from DFW to SEA is about four or five hours, AA must have known way ahead of time that there was no way AA2449 from DFW to SEA would be able to make it. Since it was AA who never even dispatched the plane in the first place, yet they still sent me fraudulent "on time" notices all the way up to almost the last minute prior to boarding, directly depriving me of the reasonable opportunity to seek other travel options and arrangements, perhaps even last minute books with other airlines.

    Dallas being one of AA's major hubs, I was surprised to find out that they only had one customer service center at Terminal D and it was only at Gate 24. At the time it was manned by one only AA rep and then later on increased to a measly grand total of two AA customer service agents. The line was literally hundreds of people long and I stood for two hours before speaking with anyone from AA.

    Finally when it was my turn, I encountered a rude customer service agent (Connie) who stated that she didn't want to deal with me and called for a manager. When the "manager" finally arrived he wouldn't tell me his first name (badge only said Mr. MUNN) and stated that I had purchased a standard fare which was a non-refundable ticket. He admitted that there was no flights they could put me on that night. I told him if they couldn't get me out there would be no point in my still going and that I wanted a refund. He then proceeded to shove me a piece of paper with another 800 number for me to call once I got home.

    I was effectively turned away without being helped, without being rebooked, and without given any credit or refund. As irony would have it, on my way out of the airport, at around Gate D18, I saw what appeared to be an AA representative at one of the gates /counters that didn't have a long line. Having been tired and exhausted, I still wanted to ask one last time and perhaps give it one more attempt. When approaching the counter, I realized the AA personnel was repeatedly pointing to what appears to be his watch, but he was wearing one of those over-sized jackets and it would have covered any watch that he would have worn. It seemed like he was pointing to the time, but I was tired and confused and so approached closer to ask him if he could help me out. It was then that he remarked that he was a pilot, and before I could even apologize for misidentification he retorted: "you don't see the stripes?" while angrily pointing at his long sleeve.

    When I finally got home and called the 800 number that the AA "manager" Munn had given to me on a piece of paper, I found that it was an invalid number! Go figure. I then called Orbitz (I originally booked the AA flight on Orbitz online) and spoke with an Orbitz rep who tried to contact AA on my behalf to give me a refund, only to find out from the Orbitz rep. that AA was going to put Orbitz on an hour hold so he told me sorry but he wasn't able to be on hold for AA for one hour. I also went online to AA website to file a complaint and to request customer service via an online form but never heard back.

    To add insult to injury, I woke up the next morning to find out that not only did not give me any credit or refund, they proceeded to charge my bank card for an additional extra charge of $50 (beyond the base ticket fare that I already paid for) for nonexistent "premium" aisles seats that never materialized on the plane that was never sent and never showed up, for a flight that was canceled but not rescheduled.

    AA is nothing more but an evil monopolistic airline that has long since lost its way. The customer is nothing but a number to them, you are only of value to them if they can exploit you at your own expense. Definitely "too big to care". My advice, never fly AA. I learned my lesson the hard way, for anything important if I ever book on AA again it would be my own fault. Learn from my lesson.
     
  2. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    First post.....

    Welcome to POA.......

    :cheers:

    There is a reason most of us here fly our own planes for the exact reason you are bitching....:rolleyes:.......:yes:
     
  3. EGPWS

    EGPWS Filing Flight Plan

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    What happened to the golden age of air travel? I remember reading about hypersonic passenger planes on Popular Science back in the day. What happened? Planes aren't getting any faster, aren't getting any bigger, and Airlines aren't getting any friendlier.

    Why does AA have to pack every single flight 100% with no empty seats? Why such ruthless and cruel and inhumane chasing of profit margins? If they had a few spare planes around this flight cancellation thing could have been easily resolved. If they hired more customer service agents there wouldn't be a line wrapped around half the terminal. What happened to basic humanity and any reasonable semblance of customer service?

    Crude oil is half of what it used to be back in 2008. Peak Oil has been postponed another 20 years. There is no excuse. They should be offering free meals now.

    Personally I feel it is a global overpopulation problem. I can't even reserve any respectable restaurant in Seattle without having to book months in advance. Problem with that is, you got companies like AA that will cancel your flight at the very last possible second and then leave you out to dry all the while milking and fleecing you for all you are worth. When everyone is reduced to just a number, gone is individualism and human dignity. Alas social structure is not scale invariant, hence global population is the real issue. Still, AA is the worst of the worst, I'll never fly them again. It is a pity that the masses will put up with AA just for the sake of convenience and have no principle or honor. AA's bean counters are counting on that. How typical.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  4. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    1. Take everything you have and make copies - tickets, receipts, etc. Scan if possible because you're going to fax the entire package. Create a more polite but insistent letter version of what you wrote here and add - What do you want?

    A. Complete & prompt refund of all charges. Not a credit, a complete refund
    B. A letter of apology from Robert D. Isom, Jr.. Not generic customer service, not a fake name.

    2. From here on out, take names, date & times of all phone calls, emails, etc.

    3. Go to this website
    https://www.aa.com/i18n/reservations/refunds.jsp?anchorLocation=DirectURL&title=refunds

    4. If you don't get happiness within 2 phone calls, take your package and call this number and ask for the fax number. 817-963-1234

    5. Now take everything you've assembled and fax to the number you got, attention to the following:

    Robert D. Isom, Jr.
    Executive Vice President and
    Chief Operating Officer

    Bob Reding
    Executive Vice President - Operations

    Tom Del Valle
    Senior Vice President - Airport Services

    Jonathan D. Snook
    Senior Vice President Customer Service



    Have fun!
     
  5. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    The paying passenger public wants to pay 10 cents to fly from NYC to LA. That's why they run things the way they do.
     
  6. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  7. EGPWS

    EGPWS Filing Flight Plan

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    But when newbie airlines like Harmony airlines came around and tried to cater to a segment of the flying public that cared about these things and were willing to pay a premium for it, companies like AA ran them to the ground by intentionally underpricing/undercutting their routes. AA has an effective monopoly on a lot of routes, and essentially the flying public is locked in with little to no other true alternatives. Hence it isn't entirely the public's fault when the market isn't actually free.

    I get it that flying is now a commodity and no longer the novel luxury that it used to be back in the day. But if AA has a computer system smart enough to fleece passengers for every last dime that they are worth, I expect them to be smart enough to put the people who had "one day" or same day return flights on the next flights and give them priority first whenever a cancellation occurs, and not doing it like first come first serve basis at the swamped customer service counter that has a line of 100+ passengers. AA just doesn't care to do the right thing even when it doesn't cost them anything.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  8. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    Why would someone come here and their first post is this? One helluva rant immediately after posting. I'm not saying it's BS, but something stinks to me.
     
  9. EGPWS

    EGPWS Filing Flight Plan

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    What do you mean by "BS"? This happened last Friday. Are you insinuating that I made this up?

    https://soundcloud.com/user832863127
     
  10. JHW

    JHW En-Route

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    who the heck locks themselves into a 1-day schedule using an airline? especially a US domestic airline? If I have to get there on time, I drive or fly beechcraft. Airlines are for trips that are so long they are worth hedging an extra day or 2 into the schedule.
     
  11. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Doubt that he is - just unusual for initial postings on a pilots' board to be an airline complaint.

    Now, let me emphasize: I have lived exactly that dream with AA myself - three times. The best was the time I got to drive home from Baton Rouge in a Hyundai, because AA cancelled our flight, and said they could get us (I was with three clients) home by Tuesday (it was Friday).
     
  12. EGPWS

    EGPWS Filing Flight Plan

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    Is it really the customers fault that the airline gladly offers one day schedules? Take the money up front, even charging for premium seats, and then when they can't deliver, tell the customer too bad you are screwed?
     
  13. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    An assumption that Pilots of America has something to do with AmericaN Airlines?

    Most of us are private pilots and have as much to do with running an airline as the OP.

    I don't think there is anything amiss, but the OP obviously hasn't flown in a very long time, and doesn't know to avoid DFW at all costs.
     
  14. MarkZ

    MarkZ En-Route

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  15. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser!

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  16. EGPWS

    EGPWS Filing Flight Plan

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    I live in Dallas, going to Seattle to visit a friend on the weekend. Driving is out of the option. It was either that or Love Field.

    I had set up alerts, AA emailed me all the way up to one hour prior to boarding that everything was "on time" then suddenly emailed me stating that flight was canceled.

    Based on months of flight records, there was a reasonable expectation of the flight being on time and no indication and no statistically reasonable basis to believe that my flight would be the one ending up getting canceled.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  17. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You might want to read the contract you agreed to. And don't buy a non refundable ticket if you want it refunded.
     
  18. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Call your credit card company, tell them you purchased a flight from AA or orbitz and they did not deliver. Don't add anything else to the story other than the flight was cancelled, it wasn't due to weather and you want to do a charge back. The credit card company will probably tell you to fill out a form and mail it in, be sure to do this. Again, don't get into details about conversations or anything else, just tell them you purchased a service and it wasn't delivered, the airline won't return your money and you want the credit card company to do a charge back. You should have no problem getting your money back.
     
  19. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Or drive the three hours to Austin. Yes, I've done that.

    Love is not a bad option as long as you like purple.

    Give yourself more time. If only because it's getting to be thunderstorm season. Weekend trips are not generally feasible in cattle class.
     
  20. EGPWS

    EGPWS Filing Flight Plan

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    It wouldn't have made a difference if I booked a first class ticket. The was only one other flight from DFW to SEA that night and it was all full, even the first class on that flight.
     
  21. Florida Cracker

    Florida Cracker Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That is absolutely the best advice.
     
  22. JHW

    JHW En-Route

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    Airlines suck. Legacy USA airlines suck worst of all. Everyone knows this. They make a sport out of providing the worst service. it's been this way for decades. If the customer makes personal plans and committments that hinge on an unreliable vendor deviating from their known ways, then yes the customer shares some blame. It's a bit like forgoing a dentist with a clean office and instead going to someone working out of the back of a van.

    Unless you have a turbocharged, deiced, personal chariot, you can't reliably make a 1-day trip from TX to WA. That's the reason we're all here on this board.
     
  23. ahkahn

    ahkahn Line Up and Wait

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    First of all, if you've been living under a rock for this long, let me let the cat out of the bag for you... Depending on the day, each domestic airline strives to suck the least.

    Their front-line staff is intentionally deprived of any authority or power, so demanding a supervisor or anyone to be able to do something about your problem is like asking them to make a unicorn appear. It is impossible. They're whole roll in the scheme of things is to herd the cattle. Now, some cattle is more important than other cattle, and they have the authority (granted by the computer system only) to make special things happen for them, but otherwise their hands are as tied as yours. The 800# (assuming it works that day) is your only lifeline to anyone who has any power to do very minimal things, and even at that, you're asking for mountains to be moved.

    Creating a scene by making demands at the airport does only one thing: It gets you closer and closer to having a stroke.

    Situations like this have done some very positive things for me though... it motivated me to finish my private pilot license. Another one motivated me to get back into flying and earn my instrument rating. The last blow motivated me to buy a plane.

    I was platinum with AA at one point and A-list preferred with Southwest. That helped immensely, by making crappy situations bearable... because they'll dish out 150 "screw you's" and then a handful of "screw you not as much because you're better than the others". Everyone likes special treatment... right?

    Anyway, take this anger and frustration and go take an introductory flight. Earn that ticket to bypass TSA, make your own schedule, and exercise that freedom... and then tell the airlines - "Buh-bye!"
     
  24. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well, I listened to some of your recordings, and it seems that Discover and BOA have issued temporary credits. At this point maybe you want to let them duke it out with AA for the sake of your sanity. Card issuers rule in favor of customers more often than not.

    Rich
     
  25. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    No, but your a classic forum troll. Sign up, start a mess, stand on a soap box and profess.......then get banned at some point.:yes:

    Seriously, you came to a GA forum to whine about the airlines. That's about on par with showing up at the Toyota dealer to whine about your Ford. :rolleyes2:

    I'm not surprised with your story, but I'm also convinced you are omitting key details damaging to your claim. Ill bet your angst should be with yourself. Did you actually read the terms of service you clicked yes to on Orbitz? I believe your lack of reading and failure to buy the trip insurance is a great lesson in life, and the tuition for said lesson was equal to an AA ticket from DFW to SEA.:mad2:
     
  26. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Go fly on Southwest Airlines. They treat cattle like people and people like cattle. But they smile and do cutsie versions of the safety announcements so everyone enjoys getting lousy service.

    Now, then... you're posting on PilotsOfAmerica.... where contributors are pilots, training to be pilots, or have interest in aviation and how it all works.

    Go flame airlines some where else
     
  27. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Maybe the OP misread the name of this board as "Pilots of American". :D
     
  28. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    I don't believe this one bit.
     
  29. EGPWS

    EGPWS Filing Flight Plan

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  30. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Some advice should you choose to take it.

    1) AA has terminated the ability to call their customer service department. All correspondance is done online. That's new.
    2) unless you're executive platinum in the FF program, they're unlikely to help you. Having status only gives you the chance to get the treatment everyone deserves.
    3) that means you'll have better luck with a complaint to DOT or a consumer affairs reporter. Or you'll need to send a written letter to the CEO. Be concise, don't point fingers, and make a nice request. Otherwise you'll get a cockroach letter.
    4) remember the term "trip in vain".
    5) the airline has a Twitter feed. Yo may get attention there.
    6) next time, allow for contingencies, especially with springtime weather that can lead to flight delays.
     
  31. Old Geek

    Old Geek Pattern Altitude

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    DFW to SEA, fly Alaska or Southwest. AA has sucked for the last 30 years.
     
  32. Old Geek

    Old Geek Pattern Altitude

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    Then you're right but you're in the wrong place. We're pilots, we already know that AA sucks and we can't fix your problem.
     
  33. EGPWS

    EGPWS Filing Flight Plan

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    1) Well they haven't responded to my online request for customer service either. I got an automated canned message from a "Sean Bentel", and no way to reply back.
    2) I'm not asking them to perform miracles. Understood that they don' t have spare planes sitting around in case of cancellations, also can understand that since they pack every flight full there is no way they could have put me on the last flight out that evening. What is not acceptable is them not giving me a full refund.
    3) I submitted a DOT complaint just now. Thanks for advice. But letter to CEO would truly be a 'write in vain'.
    4) I'm still going to do everything in my power, exercise all my rights, in order to get every penny back. It is not just about the money, more about the principle.
    5) Don't know how to use Twitter.
    6) I already did allow for a contingency. That is why I planned to fly in that night, then sleep at hotel, to meet friend the very next morning. There was also an evening /later flight, had AA not jammed it full with zero empty seats I could have made that one even considering the 6PM flight they canceled at the very last moment. How much more of a contingency should I allow? A whole extra two days for a one day trip? Had AA allowed for the similar or commensurate level of "contingency" that I already did, then I would have made it that night and there wouldn't even be an issue.
     
  34. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    I'm normally very nice to them even if it was their fault. I've actually been upgraded and still given a voucher because I was nice and polite. Sometimes they literally can't do anything for you. Like others have said plan for the worse.

    I normally like 3-4 hour layovers to add in some buffer. I'm doing a 1 hour layover in LGA with an airline change in two weeks. That will be the closest I've ever cut it. I've done a few 8-10 hour layovers if I'm not in a hurry. But I'm odd and enjoy airports.
     
  35. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So, now you are complaining that the airline should not fill all of their seats..:dunno:.....:mad2::mad:
     
  36. EGPWS

    EGPWS Filing Flight Plan

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    They should have some buffer space, to "allow for contingency"... You know, in case all of a sudden they decide to cancel a flight out of the blue.
     
  37. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:
     
  38. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    3 and 4 are inconsistent. Doing (4) REQUIRES doing (3).
     
  39. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    I has always assumed non-refundable tickets meant there was no refund if YOU canceled your trip. If it was their fault anything short of a full refund is completely unacceptable.

    IMHO it's basically fraud if they don't deliver and the airline should face legal consequences if they fail to refund the money in a timely manner.

    Good luck actually dealing with them though. They don't care. Some great info on becoming a pilot and flying yourself around is available on this site. We can't do squat about the crappy airlines but we can tell you all about how to fly.
     
  40. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You don't really think they cancel flights for the heck of it, do you?

    Every one of us pilots has canceled flights in the face of passenger disappointment, and we all know just how dangerous it can be for a passenger to try to override a decision.

    Just because you don't know or don't understand the reason doesn't mean there isn't one.