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Passenger Who Complained About Customer Service Denied Boarding on AA Flight

Traveler Mike Thompson was charged a fee for his carry-on, which was then paid. Taking issue with the gate agent’s tone, Thompson pursued the matter and was denied boarding.

A would-be American Airlines passenger who chose to carry on about his carry-on was denied the right to board a recent flight from Dallas to Nashville after he queried the airline’s customer service ethos, advocacy site Elliot.orgreports.

Mike Thompson, who was traveling with his business partner, had booked a Basic Economy ticket but had arrived at the gate with carry-on luggage. Thompson was told by the agent that, due to the type of ticket type he had purchased, he would be unable to take his luggage on the plane and would need to pay a $50 fee to check the bag. At this point, Thompson’s partner then interceded to pay the fee on his behalf.

Despite this apparent resolution, the outlet reports that Thompson then continued to pursue the matter. Explaining the situation to the site, Thompson said that the agent had, at this point, “elevated his aggressive tone and had no patience or empathy for me, the situation, or my understanding of it.” In a final parting shot, the outlet reports that Thompson told the member of staff that, “You need to work on your customer service, tone, and tact.”

He also then sarcastically praised two additional members of staff on the “great job” they had done.

As he headed toward the ramp to board the flight, he was then abruptly denied boarding by the original gate agent. Thompson said that he was left speechless in what he termed a “verbally abusive situation”.

Thompson was indeed denied boarding, but in contacting the advocacy site, queried, “Was such escalation necessary?”

However, a member of the carrier’s staff responded directly to the outlet, saying, “As you may know, according to the Federal Aviation Regulations under our Contract of Carriage, we will deny boarding to any passenger who may pose a threat to the comfort and/or safety of other passengers or employees. I have reviewed our records and they show that our station manager supported the recommendation to deny your travel on this flight. These decisions are made for the safety of all passengers. For that reason we uphold the decision.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
OMSHH October 21, 2017

"Dangerous" isn't then only criteria that can get a passenger booted off. Anyone who might interfere with the safety and "COMFORT" of other passengers, is risking getting the boot. And judging by the number of comments that came from those who would not want to be seated next to this freeloading a-hole, I would say he was a threat to the comfort of others! The "agents" who assaulted Dr. Dao were not employees of the airline. They were law enforcement officers . So the policy of escalating the matter to where it became violent is not something you can blame on the airline. In fact, you cannot even blame it on the law enforcement agency simply because the officers were obviously fired for violating their employers policy. All that said, there's very little in common between this incidennt and Dr Dao's. And just because the airline screwed up then, doesn't mean you can cite that incident to try and impress that it is always the airline's fault!

amanx October 19, 2017

Yes really. Airline employees and GAs are now on a total power trip, with no chance for any paying passenger to disagree with anything they say- and they can lie with impunity. if Doctor Dao's removal wasnt filmed by fellow paseengers, he would be labled as a dangerous passenger as the CEO of United initially statd as fact. And the 3 agnts who assaulted him would still be at work today. Because the police and the press would have taken the airline's word for it. Making a sarcastic comment is not dangerous. It may be rude, or justified. But isnt something you should be able to be restricted from using the ticket you paid for.

AB Flyer October 18, 2017

Really? Ditto what DutchessPDX and lisah101 said. Passenger argues with gate agent (not in the story but how else do we get to the point where biz partner INTERVENES) when he's clearly wrong, then makes snide remarks, then says something to GA's co-workers who weren't even involved. GA decides passenger isn't fit to fly. Good for AA. I wouldn't want to sit next to this jerk for two hours.

lisah101 October 18, 2017

The headline of this article is very biased - the guy tried to get something for free... caused a scene when he had to pay, then got belligerent and was denied boarding. The gate agent might not have handled it in the best manner but I wouldn't want to have to sit next to a passenger who was angry and belligerent. Once in the air, it's harder to deal with any further escalations so I can see why they deny boarding to anyone who is in a heated state of mind.

amanx October 18, 2017

The GA was the tool. On a power trip. Making a snide comment isnt against the law, and now customers have to take whatever the GA dumps on you, as they can just get you llicked off a flight. If not about bombs or terrorism, being sarcastic is not a danger to fellow passengers and crew. Scandalous.