My daughter was scheduled on AA68 SFO-MIA and then AA917 MIA-LIM for today. Scheduled departure time for AA68 is 7:00. She checked in at the kiosk at 6AM and got into the bag drop line. That line was moving fine but fairly long. A roving gate agent saw that she is priority and pulled her over to the priority line which had about 10 people but 5 agents. Then, 4 of them went on break so the only people being serviced were first class. She waited at the front of that line for 10 minutes. Had she stayed in the original line she would have already been through security. Instead, she finally got an agent who informed her that she was 3 minutes late to check the bag and that she would have to be rerouted.
The end result is she arrives in Lima about 12:30 tomorrow morning rather than 9:30 this evening and she was charged $540 in fare and change fees. Ok, she probably should have been more assertive with the line situation but, she hates to be a DYKWIA. Is there any avenue that she can explore to get the change fees and perhaps the fare refunded? With this trip she crosses over to platinum, if that makes a difference.
Within the U.S. as well as flights to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands check in:
- At least 60 minutes prior to departure if not checking bags
- At least 90 minutes prior to departure when checking bags
For flights to international destinations check in:
- At least two hours prior to departure to complete all necessary international requirements
I do not regard this as poor service. Showing up for a connecting international itinerary with checked luggage at a major station, 60 minutes before flight time is a prescription for exactly what happened.
The cut off for international bag check is 60 minutes. OP's daughter was late on arrival.
Agree with the above posters that she was playing with fire arriving that late, but there is absolutely no reason for the change fees. Should have just been rerouted through DFW (which it sounds like she was) for free; both SFO-DFW and DFW-LIM are wide open today in all fare classes.
Since she is still at the airport, I would return to the counter and/or AAdmirals Club desk and ask to speak to a supervisor to get those fees refunded.
Even if there were a flat tire "rule" as opposed to a customer service gesture, this is not about someone who got stuck in a traffic jam or literally had a flat tire.
While AA was strict here, the fact is that the daughter voluntarily rerouted and changed her flights because she did not board her scheduled flight. Not sure that AA should bear the financial burden of the inventory spoilage.
I suspect that the $540 consists of a $300 change fee plus a $240 fare difference.
Since none of us were there, including OP, this is a third-hand report and we don't know who said what between the daughter and the agent.
A more accurate thread title would have been "Daughter screwed up this morning, showed up late at SFO for her trip to Lima, and it cost her $540."
I get it - I tend not to beat up on my own kids, either. Showing up and checking in just 60 minutes prior to departure (when the minimum check in time is 60 minutes before departure) was quite lackadaisical.
A much better plan would have been to show up at SFO and check in at 5:00 am. That way, she could have afforded to sit in a long checked baggage line and still would have had sufficient time to navigate the security checkpoint, find her gate, and been ready to board at 6:30 am.
AA recommends arriving at the airport and checking in two hours before departure on international itineraries. There's a good reason for that - airports all around the world tend to feature lines. Lines to check in. Lines to clear security.
I simply don't see any evidence of "poor service." "Poor planning" by the passenger? Certainly. Poor decisions often provide a valuable learning opportunity, including this one.
If she flies home from Lima - AA recommends checking in THREE hours in advance in Lima.
Naturally, your daughter should have anticipated that 4 of 5 ticket agents would take their break at the same time. I mean why shouldn't they be allowed to do that. It's not like the AA customers are important or anything. You should just thank goodness AA is willing to take your money!