Major Travel Issues

Discussion in 'American Airlines' started by KLC1017, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. KLC1017

    KLC1017 Newbie

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    Hi! I wanted to get some expertise and insight on a situation we encountered last week while traveling with my husband and 2 small children. We booked flights through a travel agent, which I never do but she was a friend of friends we were traveling with and I didn't think it was a big deal to give her the business. Apparently she booked our reservations with FunJet, a third party travel company. We booked a package in July with direct airfare with American Airlines and an all inclusive hotel in Punta Cana for April 13-20. In December, we get notification that our direct flights have been changed to connecting in Charlotte. I would have NEVER booked a connecting flight, as my daughter gets extremely motion sick. When we got the notice, all other airlines were triple the price of what we paid ($780 a ticket). We were offered no type of compensation and I called American directly who told me these types of things happen all the time. We decided to go with the flow and keep the flights, since we were traveling with 19 other friends.

    Fast forward to the night before our flight from Newark to Charlotte, then Charlotte to Punta Cana. I get an email I can check in and I had seats for the flights, I enter our passport information 3 times and all 3 times I get an error message to check in at the gate. I then got an email offering me compensation to change my flight, but none of the flight times worked for us since they were the following day and we were paying for an all inclusive resort.Then I noticed the seats I originally selected were gone. I called American to try to check in and get seat assignments, they said they can't help me but when I get to Newark the next day they would be able to. Get to Newark, they can't help and tell me I have to get the seats in Charlotte. I didn't think anything of it. We were a little delayed so ran through Charlotte airport, only to get to a big line at the desk. I see people in front of me FREAKING out on the gate agent, again didn't think anything of it until it's my turn and I am told by the agent I have no seats and would not be getting seats. The plane was downsized and we no longer were getting on the plane. As my friends boarded, since we were getting close to departure, my kids were hysterical at their friends getting on a plane without them while we were helpless at the gate. 3 friends on the plane even offered to get off and let me and the kids fly, while they figured out how to get on another flight with my husband. They were told no. We finally got a manager to help us get flights from Charlotte, to Jacksonville, to Miami to Punta Cana. Every single flight my daughter got sick on. My 7 year old hyperventilated on flight #4, which was 17 hours after leaving our house that morning for our original flight. We had zero sympathy or help from any attendants on the flight, even when I explained what was going on. We were even charged for food and drinks on that flight that my son hyperventilated. It was scary and nerve wrecking to say the least. But, we made it to our destination after 18 hours of traveling and I was praying the nightmare was over.

    After an amazing vacation, we had a 3 pm flight to Charlotte and then a connecting to Newark. We realize at 10 am our seats were gone from my app AGAIN, even after being able to check in this time. We decided to pack our stuff and rush to the airport to avoid another bump off the flight. We waited in line for well over an hour, only to be told the flight was now 21 hours delayed and we would be bused to Dreams Punta Cana hotel. Apparently a mechanical issue with the plane. We were grateful to not sit in the airport for hours before finding this out, but the hotel was absolutely DISGUSTING. We made the best of it, there was nothing we could do. Our next flight was supposed to leave at 11am Easter Sunday now, we leave the hotel at 7 am and still didn't board at 11:!5, even though the plane was there when we arrived. Apparently the crew was late and once we boarded we waited for an hour for cargo to be loaded, then the cargo door wouldn't shut. Our connecting flight was at 430 in Charlotte. We didn't take off until 12:15, and landed at 4. Guess what, we missed the connecting flight! Another night away from home, in another hotel. My kids wondered why the Easter Bunny didn't come...that was fun! Finally made it home Monday morning.

    We spent a ton of money in tips, uber rides and meals in the time we were stranded. The mental anguish we all endured was beyond. What should have been an amazing family trip turned into a nightmare due to Americans overbooking and mechanical problems. What should I do and what can I expect as far as compensation? The fact that we paid for a direct flight and ended up stranded is the worst part. We were given travel vouchers after being bumped off the first flight, but I have no desire to ever get on an American flight again. We have a call into American but have not heard back yet. Thank you!
     
  2. dfw gen

    dfw gen Veteran

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    Welcome to the new America west, where the only thing they dislike more then passengers are its employees.
    I personally am sorry for your experience, but i doubt american will offer any additional compensation. Feel free to try though. The best advice i can give is fly delta their people have more of an incentive to try and management has a better insight on how to treat passengees.
     
    • Agree Agree x 7
  3. jimntx

    jimntx Veteran

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    #3 jimntx, Apr 24, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
    dfw gen has it just about perfect. AA's attitude (should they actually call you back which I doubt) will be that they got you to Punta Cana and back. The fact that it was not on the scheduled dates and times which you paid for is immaterial to them, because they did, in fact, get you there and back.

    If AA does call you back and offers no compensation, tell them you want the name and address of the U.S. government agency which handles complaints when an airline does not deliver on the goods they sold you. Post your horror story on any and all websites that you can find handling airline complaints--FB, Twitter, Instagram. And, for your own peace of mind, consider it lesson learned--fly Delta next time.

    As a retired AA flight attendant, I was embarrassed as I read your story. Some of this is not AA's fault. They had to ground all the 737MAX 8's that they had taken delivery on and were using. That's a lot of seats taken out of inventory. Click on this link (a post I made here about the airline's attempt to minimize the effects of the grounding-- http://www.airlineforums.com/threads/aa-scheduling-to-minimize-impact-of-max-8-groundings.62143/. That being said, their '"don't care" attitude was inexcusable.
     
  4. KLC1017

    KLC1017 Newbie

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    Thank you both for your reply. Do you know the process of how customers are chosen to be bumped from flights? Was it because we booked through a third party? Was it because we booked so early, when the schedule was released? I would never fly American again after this, but want to understand the process and why I wasn't notified before leaving Newark? It would have been much easier to get a flight to Punta Cana from the NY area that day. Thank you again!
     
  5. jimntx

    jimntx Veteran

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    Notifying you that your seats were no longer available would probably require that AA refund your money in full. Giving back money is not a favorite company activity. As to the process of who gets bumped and who gets upgraded is a mystery to me and most airline employees. If you are AAdvantage Executive Platinum (fly over 100,000 miles per year on AA), I could bet cash money that you would NOT get bumped, no matter what the circumstances. But, recognizing unbumpable customers is a lot easier than identifying those who will get bumped. Again at the time of your booking AA was not being ordered to ground 34 brand-new airplanes with lots of seats on them that had been sold. As to why you were not notified before you started the trip...your guess is as good as mine.
     
  6. Stevewrites

    Stevewrites Newbie

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    Sorry about the rough experience you went through.
     

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