Sisyphus Knits

Saturday, April 14, 2007

American Airlines Sucks Beans!

This is not going to be about knitting, as you can probably glean from the title gentle readers, so if you do not want to read a diatribe about American Airlines and the many ways in which they suck, stop here & wait for me to post about my finished Green Gable (it's blocking now). If you do want to read my opinion of American Airlines sadly misguided policies and lack of planning, keep reading. I had to fly to New York for the day on Thursday, leaving O'Hare at 6:55 am and returning at 8:45 pm. Now I understand that American cannot control the weather and flight related delays, so that is not what I am complaining about. I was delayed 2 hours getting into NY and missed my first meeting, but that was weather related. I figured I would be delayed on the way back, but I never thought I would be delayed for 15 hours, literally spending the night at LaGuardia. I arrived at the airport at 7:15 pm for my 8:45 flight, which was now due to depart at 10:45. I got on the standby waitlist for the 3 Chicago bound flights that were due to depart prior to my flight, but didn't get on any of them (there were 70 people on the standby list). When the 7:40 pm flight finally arrived at the airport at 9:40 pm, the ticket agents yelled at everyone to get on the plane asap since the crew was due to go "illegal" any second. So everyone rushed onto the plane (old people, babies, etc.) only to get kicked off 10 minutes later since the crew went illegal (which means they were on duty more than 15 hours, and according to FAA rules couldn't fly). When my flight arrived at 11:00, the same thing happened. We got on board as quickly as possible, but the flight attendant said "I don't know why they're boarding you, we go illegal in 5 minutes" and everyone knows you can't board a huge jet in 5 minutes. They cancelled my flight, but the 7:40 got rescheduled to depart at 1:00 am, I was now 9th on the standby list. They boarded the flight, then started going through the standby list, my name was the last one called, they handed me a boarding pass, walked me down the ramp, then sadly, no seat, they had miscounted. I must admit a tear ran down my cheek at that point. The ticket agents at the gate told us to go back to the check-in counter to find out about hotels, but the check-in counter was closed until 3:30 am. The only American employees we could find were in the Baggage Claim area and they said "there are no hotels, go sleep in the terminal". The terminal was closed, and it was now 2:00 am, so I found a chair and sat down until the check-in counter opened. Okay, this story is getting super boring, so I'm just going to skip directly to the parts that were American's fault.

1) Where are the engineers and logistics people? As the flight attendant pointed out, American knew approximately 6 hours earlier in the day that the crew would go illegal at LaGuardia and people would be stuck there overnight, why didn't they arrange to get an alternative crew there to get us out?

2) I understand that American wants to treat it's best clients well, but they should not allow Platinum members who want to catch an earlier flight to jump ahead of regular clients who have been stuck at the airport all night on the standby list.

3) If American cancels my flight, thus leaving me at the airport all night, shouldn't they help me find accomodations? As a woman who travels alone most of the time, I do not appreciate their lack of concern for my safety.

4) The second flight out the next morning (7:15 am or something) was overbooked & they offered ticket holders a $300 voucher and to put them on the 10:10 am flight if they gave up their seats. My heart lept in my chest as 2 people offered to take the deal. My heart sank when the gate agent told those people they "didn't need their seats after all." They didn't need the seats because none of the people booked on that flight got bumped, yet they gave no consideration to the handful of us who had been at the airport all night.


Blogger Chicago Jen said...

Oh sweetie! I'm so sorry! What a horrible experience! We missed you today.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

That is awful! I'm glad you are home safe and sound. You were missed today. We'll give you all the details Wednesday. :)

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Lynae said...

Yeah, after our Christmas flight debacle - we will never fly American again.

We DID miss you today!

3:11 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Poor you! What a terrible situation. There is no excuse for poor logistics. Such disregard and lack of concern for people is unacceptable. And LaGuardia aka La Garbage is a gross airport. Dirty, old and crummy. I'm so glad you are home safe and sound. We missed you Saturday but will see you on Wednesday.

1:44 AM  
Blogger Mindy said...

Horrible! Why is it airlines always seem surprised by bad weather?

9:32 AM  
Anonymous middle child said...

bitch, bitch, bitch...moan, moan, moan! Only kidding, that sucks royally! I am flying American on Wed...I will curse them out under my breath for you!

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AA stinks and will never change. I really think that there is more to 9/11 than we were told. I have dealt with some of their pilots and stew crew and they were really pro Osama and Camp Davidian. I don't want pilots flying 37,000 feet in the air who back the terrorists. AA needs to clean up its act fast.

2:38 PM  

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