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American Airlines / worst service ever

1 P.O. Box 619612 MD 2400Dallas, TX, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

This is my letter to Gerald Arpey, Pres. & CEO of AA. to which I received an e-mail from their customer service dept. saying so what, who cares - basically.

My family and I: Susan R. Reid (me); Brian K. Reid (my spouse); Courtney Rogers (our daughter); Amanda Reid (our daughter); Jessica Reid (our daughter); Jesse Reid (my brother-in-law); Barbara Reid (my mother-in-law); were supposed to fly out of OHare Sunday 05/11/08 at 3:40 p.m. When we arrived at the airport at 2:00 p.m. and up until 3:30 p.m. the flight was �on time according to American Airlines flight board. At 3:30 p.m. the board changed to cancelled. After a long week of an exhausting family visit for a huge family wedding, and because this was Mothers Day, we were all looking forward to being home that night.

But no, the flight was cancelled. After waiting in line for 20 minutes at G-3 we were finally told via intercom that the flight was cancelled and we were to move to another desk, I think it was G-4 to have our flight re-booked. I instructed my daughters to take my elderly mother-in-law to sit while my husband and I tried to find out what we needed to do. I merely asked the lady at the counter why I was holding guaranteed tickets in my hand and we were not allowed to use them. She said in a very snotty return that she �was not in charge of the weather. This totally shocked me because I used to teach customer service classes for a bank and that type of response was not in my lesson plan. In fact, I would fire anyone using that type of response. I wish I had her name but to go further, she told my husband, a pastor, that he was being too loud and argumentative. First of all, Rev. Reid has a louder voice than most people because he speaks in church all the time and second of all, he is never rude to anyone. He has nothing but love for people. So, we were taken aback by the American Airlines woman you hired to represent your company. She offered us a flight out on American at 3:40 the next day. Then she offered us a discounted hotel rate of $89.95. We were very low on funds and that was not an option for the 7 of us. She was able to get us on a Delta flight at 7:10 the next morning. She never offered us any information on our luggage or where we could stay in the terminal, etc. I was furious at this point and did not say another word to her.

My husband and brother-in-law went down to the American Airlines desk downstairs and asked if we could get our luggage back to get my blood pressure meds and my mother-in-laws medications out of our checked luggage. The young man he spoke with said he did not think that was possible and the luggage was on its was to Birmingham. If the luggage was on its way, why could we not have been with it? He also said we should check back in 3 hours to see if he was correct; another wrong answer in my book.

Then we all seven proceeded down to the Delta desk and were able to confirm our flight the next morning and the young man gave us security passes to get us to the Delta terminal to sit all night long. We all 7 went through security again and TSA was nice to four of us and harassed me, my husband and our two minor daughters about the security pass they gave us. I started to cry at this point which made everything worse because apparently a woman who quietly cries because she has been treated wrongly on mothers day knowing that she will spend the night at the airport, having to go through security twice, being yelled at by mean people at American Airlines and having to spend her last $25.00 on hot chocolate, coffee and cokes for her family, and now being harassed by TSA, is no doubt in TSAs mind that she is a security threat.

Anyway we got to the Delta terminal and sat for hours. My husband then went back to the American Airlines baggage desk and was told that they could not find all of our luggage. Hours later, he finally was able to get all the luggage and take out our meds. He gave the bags to Delta who stored them for us with no problem.

Questions for you as President of American Airlines:

1. Later, we learned through American that we could have been shuttled to Midway for take off that night to Birmingham. Why were we not told that before? Why was Midway able to fly to Birmingham?

2. I want a print-out from your office showing me the immediate danger of taking off at 3:40 on the 11th at OHare for a non-stop flight to BHM. Other flights were leaving for the south especially ATL. Prove to me that there was a weather problem and not the fact that only 15-20 people showed up for the flight and you did not want to fly the plan because there were so few passengers and/or you did not have a flight staff available.

3. Tell me why you could not have delayed the flight like you did on the way up there Wednesday, May 7th (my birthday) I spent a total of 6 hours at the BHM airport waiting on weather and paper-work.

4. Will you tell me why no one from American could explain that there were cots available to stay in a warm area with blankets and pillows? No one at American offered any helpful information.

5. Will you tell me why I cant get a refund of all of our tickets, plus reimbursement for $10.00 parking fee at BHM for the extra day, the additional charges of my dogs at the kennel $60.00, and the reimbursement of all the expensive drinks and food at the airport a total of $175.00 ? This is what I demand.

.I NEVER want to fly American again unless you prove to me why I should. I will go to my grave telling people that they should NEVER fly American Airlines, ever.

I will never forget the way we were treated. I will never forget the sight of my kids and my mother-in-law freezing in a terminal for a whole night.

I look forward to you answers, proof and refund within two weeks of the date on this letter or this matter will be handed over to my attorney. I refuse to be treated this way in the United States of America.

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  • Ed
      31st of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Don't expect too much from American. I had reason to complain to them following a disastrous trip my wife and I made with them last year but their customer complaints department refused to examine the (what I thought were) genuine grievances we had with the service provided. Over a period of 6 months, and after much delay in their responses, I had three e-mails all saying the same thing, which would have insulted the intelligence of a ten year old! The essence of their response was that they had thought about it and I could go whistle, never did they show that they had considered any of the points raised in my complaint to them. I guess their only aim was to test my endurance and they did succeed, since I decided that I had better things to do than waste time, it was all going nowhere and my only proper recourse was to decide to never fly with them again. Good luck with your complaint, I only hope you do better than I did.

  • Li
      24th of Sep, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I am sorry but if I was that woman behind the counter, I would have slapped you silly. I don't know where you teach customer service classes but I feel sorry for your students because they are learning from a ###. Walking up to a desk and demanding why you can't use the "guaranteed tickets" in your hands is just asking for trouble. You get what you give: you act like a ###, you'll get treated like one.

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