And now for the official word from American Airlines


American Airlines responded to my complaints, sort of. Actually, they evaded and lied, which is exactly what I expected.

We’ve taken a closer look and again we are sorry for the frustration. We never want to cancel our flights, however, due to the safety of our passengers and crew sometimes it is unavoidable. After further research we found your flight was delayed due to the weather. This situation was largely out of our control and we do not issue compensation or reimbursement of additional expenses.

No. My first flight was cancelled due to weather (I didn’t see any sign of storms on the ground, but I’ll trust that the atmosphere might well have been more complex, especially at altitude above mountains). The flight from Charlotte to Minneapolis was delayed for a day and dragged out over a long night of abandonment because of a maintenance problem — they told us quite clearly that there was a broken part in the cockpit air conditioning.

Maintenance is something that is in AA’s control, I assume.

Anyway, I don’t care. I expected nothing from them. If they want to run their business into the ground with terrible customer service, they are free to do so. I won’t be flying with them in the future.

Comments

  1. says

    For what it’s worth, it seems that AA has a dispute with their Mechanics Union and they are slowing down repairs or taking planes out of service last minute. I haven’t researched more but it’s easy to estimate bthry are not allowed to strike or something like that.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I can see how they MIGHT claim the maintenance issue only interfered because of the weather, so we’ll simply blame the weather, beyond our control, and we cannot be held responsible for something beyond our control. bye bye.

  3. Derek Vandivere says

    Is there a US passenger’s bill of rights like there is in the EU? That gives you the right to compensation.

    And stories like this are why I have travel insurance – not too terribly expensive but covers SNAFUs like this one.

  4. dianne says

    Is AA being bought by someone or about to “downsize”? The last time I got blown off by an airline that badly it was United when they were being bought by Continental, the employees knew they were already gone, and no one much cared anymore.

  5. says

    …and this is why I will not step on an airplane unless there is absolutely no other choice, including just not going anywhere. That and things like the 737 MAX debacle. I simply don’t trust these fuckers with my life.

  6. jrkrideau says

    @ 3 Derek Vandivere

    Is there a US passenger’s bill of rights like there is in the EU?

    Yes

  7. dianne says

    @5: In case you need something to stiffen your resolve to avoid airplanes:

    Self-certification

    Also see the USDA re pork farmers and if you want to dive further down the rabbit hole, check out “RTOR, FDA”.

  8. says

    AA has been my bottom tier choice since 2001/2002. I had booked a flight with them for the 2nd week of October 2001 from San Jose to Chicago to attend a long time friend’s wedding. 9/11 happened. I worked in a machine shop that fabricated the “skeleton” for a luggage x-ray machine. Complicated and tricky with some very close tolerances, we made 12-18 of these a year. The government came in and wanted 500 ASAP. I was 2nd shift, one of two guys, other fella was day shift, we worked on a very large NC mill that we used to finish the two largest components. My boss came to me with “We really can’t afford for you to go on vacation now, yada, yada, national security, yada yada, huge contract, yada yada. The company owner followed up the next day with the same pitch.
    I reluctantly call AA at the end of September to cancel my ticket, they want a huge penalty to cancel, I plead my circumstances up two levels of supervision, but nope. Well you do have $250 credit you can apply to a future ticket….
    Fast forward a year and a half, going to make a trip to Chicago to visit friends and family. Call them, I want to book and I want to apply my $250 credit. “What’s your flight credit number?”
    “Huh? I never got any number like that, here’s my original booking number and ticket info, here’s when I canceled, etc Look it up”
    ” I am sorry sir, there is no way to look it up without the flight credit number you were given at the time.”
    F.U. AA
    Fly United

  9. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Fascinating.
    When the delay of my connection flight in Frankfurt caused me to miss the flight home, Lufthansa gave us vouchers for dinner (we were annoyed because it was past 10pm, so we had a hard time finding a place to buy dinner at the airport), a voucher for the ride to the hotel and for the hotel.
    There were some problems with breakfast the next day, causing some more annoyance, but at least we got another set of vouchers for that too. And a booking on the earliest flight.
    With all the issues we had, it’s still miles from what you went through. The greatest problem we had was that we didn’t get additional compensation, that I am still sure we were entitled to.
    Vive la EU!

  10. numerobis says

    FU AA sure.

    Fly United? Are you kidding? Between major public incidents and what various friends have been through (including losing a wheelchair and refusing to call one, for an amputee!) I don’t see how to suggest they’re any better. Historically they were usually dead last, below even AA, in customer satisfaction or on-time ratings.

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