My main complaint about this trip is how many problems I had during the whole trip (including 1 cancellation, separate seating for a whole family, a 10 hour delay and losing my bags in my case plus the cancellation and losing our baby’s car seat for my wife and kids). I haven’t received any formal apologies from American Airlines and no contact of any type regarding the concentration of disruptions on this trip, including any type of compensation besides the formal process for lost baggage, which clearly had a negative impact for me because of not having receipts for some of my high value items (suit and other clothes brought on this trip because of the main reason to go to Chile: my sister’s wedding).
What I’m requesting at a minimum is a formal apology explaining what happened here and why American is not following up on cases like so severe where the passenger schedule is affected in this way and the cause of the issue is not something unavoidable such as weather. I’m also looking for some sort of compensation since this is by any standard too much to go unpunished.
Since so much happened in this trip that I want to highlight and complain about, I thought I would start with a summary of the flight information and what actually happened on each stage:
3 reservations: Myself, My wife and son, and my brother (the reason was that we all had one flight together and the rest was on different dates).
Passenger / Route
• Miguel Martinez (SEA-SCL-SEA) Cancelled flight, 10 hour delay and lost baggage
• My wife and kid (SEA-SCL-SEA) Cancelled flight and lost baggage
• My brother (SCL-SEA-SCL) Cancelled flight
The problems started for the flight SCL-DFW-SCL on March 22nd. We were all travelling together (3 adults and 2 kids with 7 bags). I got a call that morning saying my flight was delayed but that I should go to the airport (I live in SEA).
When I got the airport and the counter, an agent tells me that my flight is so delayed that we are missing our connection in Dallas and there’s no solution (just like that, not even a simple we are sorry). He was clearly an agent in training and the other agent didn’t provide any help up until an hour into the conversation. Again, no apologies whatsoever. I explained the phone call, the different reservations (where I took seats for all of us together) and he explains there’s no solution, just like that. After a 30 min explanation, I finally make him understand that all 3 reservations need to be moved together. I asked for them to cover the trip back home, they refuse and offer a hotel (what?). After another 45 min, I actually get a couple of vouchers for separate taxis to get back home (remember 2 kids, seven bags)
Next day, March 23rd I had to pay for transportation again and we were actually able to get on the plane. No problem. In Dallas I realized that all of seats for the DFW-SCL flight are separate, even though in my original reservations I had them all together. After getting a very rude response from the representative saying that it’s “not my problem” I explained what happened the day before a miraculously he was able to fix the issue. We get on the plane and we get to Chile. Awesome!
On my flight back I got confused. I actually admit this was my complete fault. My flight was booked for April 12th but I got confused thinking it was the 13th. I call the call center saying that I missed my flight (thinking it was Sunday instead of Saturday) and surprise. I get a response that nothing can be done and there’s no space on the following flights (April 13 and 14), even though I have in front of the screen of aa.com showing space on the flights that night and the day after (after getting on the flight the was a LOT of space). I was told that I had to pay $400 for the change, for which I agree since it’s my fault (see the funny thing/pattern here? I acknowledge is my fault while AA didn’t do anything on my original flight, but you know what, I want to go home). I show up on Monday April 14th and guess what. An original 6 hour delay becomes a 10 hour delay (no heads up or call this time) so I have to wait at the airport until 7AM.
Of course I lost my connection at DFW, so I have to wait for another flight and I get to SEA past 8PM. One more detail, even though my bags were at DFW (you have to go through customs), no sign of them in SEA. I go to the office, they tell me they’ll look for them and send them home later. Tired and mad, I said fine. Over the next 4 weeks I get 2 weekly automated calls telling me that my bags have not been found (3 weeks’ worth of clothes plus suits for sister’s wedding) to find out at the end that they lost them. Then on top of that I have to fill an endless form, with information that American already has (reservation codes, flights, times, airports) and a table with everything on the bags. First of all, who remembers everything on the bag, second no refunds for items over $150 including my $1, 500 suit. Outcome? I get a refund that is $1, 500 short, no accountability for AA.
Fast forward to April 29th. Now my wife and 2 kids (3 year old and 7 month old) are flying back from SCL-GRU-LAX. Everything great until guess what. American lost our baby carrier which is also our car seat. Same drill, we’ll look for it but they gave us a replacement. Of course, not even close to what we had before. The worst was that it didn’t match the base that we had, so basically during all of our LA trip and back in Seattle for 3 weeks, we couldn’t use the base which provides much more stability and safety to the car seat. Same timeline as before, they couldn’t find it, fill out the endless form with information American already has an we got a check for $150 that we used for another car seta an base bundle.
Add to all of this that American has not been able to provide the information of these flights to LAN so we can get our miles credit on our LAN frequent flyer accounts. What a Nice ending to the worst airline experience of our lives.
Not only was our experience as a family awful. I’m so surprised that American doesn’t have a system to deal with cases like these. A passenger should never go through this with a minimum of assistance and courtesy. I know that for a fact. LAN, airline part of One World will take care of you in such a different way. Same problems arise but respect and caring for the passenger is so much different. I can’t believe that LAN and other airlines members of One World allow American to do this and miss the minimum bar of service for so long.
I was surprised to find online that I’m not alone on this. I was overwhelmed by how many posts, videos and websites talk about bad experiences with American Airlines so I decided to start one of my own www.aafail.com I hope this shows how disappointed I am and how much I’m willing to invest to either drive American to be a little bit more courteous and caring or to keep as many flyers away from American as possible. A little bit of research would show that even though I don’t flight a lot myself, at least 10 yearly roundtrip flights come from my pocket for my family to visit us from Chile, with American being the most “convenient” connection. I’m aware I always try to book the cheapest rates and I’m not more than a scratch on the whole scheme of things but I’m making sure that on my radius of influence (I work for Microsoft and our team of 40 people flights more than often) will never fly American again until I get a satisfactory apology and answer from Customer Service. I started myself booking my next flights (to NY in October and to Chile in December) with a competitor (even outside the One World alliance) and I’ll do my best to keep doing that until I’m satisfied.