American Arlines — poor management
I WILL NEVER FLY AMERICAN AIRLINES AGAIN
On 12/28/14 I went to the airport for my return trip home from the holidays on flight 3198 from Alexandria, La. to DFW. I checked online and supposedly it was on time. Later at the airport I see the flight monitor map showing the plane from DFW to Alex. just left the airport (at the time we were supposed to be boarding.) Yet, the flight board shows my flight leaving on time. (Go figure.) Also note, there were no weather problems and I received an email memo for the delay AFTER my flight was airborn.
My flight takes off 40 minutes late. I asked the ticket agent if this was going to be a problem with my connecting flight. Of course not. (Also, my flight 1 week prior to Alex was 30 minutes late. (Can we say – poor time management?) While at DFW it was like musical chairs when every few minutes they were calling for gate changes.
My flight from DFW to Orlando (#3590) was supposed to leave at 8:15 pm on the same day. We landed at 8 pm then a 20 minutes taxi to the gate. Then another 10 minutes waiting for the gate to open until they sent us to another. Time at deplaning – after 8:30 pm. While on the plane, the flight attendant said to call the companies 800 number. I called and was told there would be a 15-25 minute wait. I could hold (on a mobile phone) or get a call back. I held for 10 minutes until we had to deplane because I needed my hands for my carry ons.
I went to the gate agent where I deplaned and told her I missed my flight because this flight was late. She told me I could go to any gate counter to make arrangements. I said I am at your counter, what should I do? She said I’m new and can’t do it. Go somewhere else. I then heard that Gate 30 was handling re-ticketing so I went there. Here I find more than 65 people (I counted) in line with only ONE agent handling re-ticketing. I waited 45 minutes in line and only 2 people were helped during that period. I actually went to the head of the line and yelled at the agent to pick up the damn phone and get some more help. (I thank the people waiting for their applause.) While in line I called the 800 number with another message stating the wait will be 17-27 minutes. I got a call back 35 minutes later. (The line hadn’t moved.) After 10 minutes with that agent I finally got a ticket out for the next day. So much time was wasted that I could not get a flight out that day on later flights.
After confirming I have a ticket, the phone agent said to go to any counter to get vouchers for food & hotel.
The first counter I went to said he was busy and to wait until his plane boarded which was also late. I went to another counter across from him and that agent (Loren Meyers) helped me (since her plane was now 2 hours late.) She gave me my new ticket and tried to get vouchers. Unfortunately she had to call for approval from a supervisor. She called THREE times and he (I believe the name was Shawn) finally called back 25 minutes later. She printed my vouchers. I walked back past the line I was in and there were now 150 people waiting and now they had 3 agents working it. At 1 person per 20 minutes, you do the math.
I then call the hotel (Super 8 – not one of the more classy hotels) and no one ever picked up after letting it ring for 10 minutes straight. Now I had to go to a gate again and ask for another hotel. Fortunately, I bumped into Loren at another gate because the flight she was handling was changed. (What were the chances of that?) After she took care of a few customers, I got another voucher to a different hotel (Hawthorne Suites – nice hotel.) I called them and hung up after 20 rings. I called again and was getting ready to find another hotel when they finally picked up. They said they would be there in an HOUR. (The hotel was 10 minutes away.)
It was cold out that night and I said I would wait inside and they can call when they expected to be there. They called, I went down and their van was full and it was another 30 minutes before they came back. I deplaned around 8:30 pm and got to my hotel at 1 am. Then had to get up at 5 am to go back and do it again. This flight was 10 minutes late boarding because the plane with the flight attendants just landed at another gate.
I received $10 food vouchers. Remember this is airport food. A hamburger meal at McDonalds was $8.50. A 3 oz. orange juice at Chile’s was $2.50 and their cheapest breakfast was $9.50 (no drink.)
I noticed while at baggage claim waiting for my hotel ride, an unusually long line at the lost luggage. I guess the excuse was the scanner wasn’t working properly. I talked with 2 couples. The flight from Aspen to DFW was 4 hours late (not weather related.) The flight took 90 minutes and they waited for their luggage for 2 hours. One couple actually paid $170 for the luggage check in.
Another couple had 7 gate changes until they finally canceled the flight.
Several people said they were told that the problem was American didn’t have enough employees working. Soon they won’t have to worry about it if they keep treating their customers they way we were all treated.
I heard too many people at the baggage carousel saying that they will never fly American again. I have to agree.