AA Oversells AA76, Strands 27 8th Graders at LAX

 
Old Apr 2, 13, 6:49 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by sts603 View Post
Here's what I'm guessing happened:

I can't imagine that there wasn't a second adult who could have accompanied the second group of students.
I am sure there were several adults. But as a teacher, I've taken a group of this size to robotics competitions before. I had several adults, but I was the only staff member. If I left a group of kids with a parent volunteer on a flight across the country, I would not have a job when I returned. Just one possibility for the behavior of the principal.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 7:08 am
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I can certainly understand why the chaparones refused to split up the group.

Someone from AA really dropped the ball. I agree with the another poster that 6 other passengers should have been IDB, regardless of protocol to avoid this PR mess.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by harrison1186 View Post
I can certainly understand why the chaparones refused to split up the group.

Someone from AA really dropped the ball. I agree with the another poster that 6 other passengers should have been IDB, regardless of protocol to avoid this PR mess.
How do you think those other passengers would have felt? Maybe they know IDB policy. Maybe they don't. But skipping over the last to check in passengers without seat assignments to IDB someone else goes against AA's protocol. If those passengers had seat assignments or had checked in at T-24 knowing that they didn't have seat assignments and were at risk for IDB - and still get IDBed anyways, I'd certainly be POed. These policies are in place for a reason. Anyone who wants to can learn how to best avoid an IDB.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by harrison1186 View Post
I can certainly understand why the chaparones refused to split up the group.

Someone from AA really dropped the ball. I agree with the another poster that 6 other passengers should have been IDB, regardless of protocol to avoid this PR mess.
I would say that the principal really dropped the ball by flying without seat assignments and not having a contingency plan if the flight was cancelled or they got bumped. Why should those 6 other pax have to pay for his irresponsibility?
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Old Apr 2, 13, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by norf9 View Post
I would say that the principal really dropped the ball by flying without seat assignments and not having a contingency plan if the flight was cancelled or they got bumped. Why should those 6 other pax have to pay for his irresponsibility?
Exactly, but that doesnt make for as sensationalist of a story as "OMG!!! 8TH GRADERS STRANDED!!!!"
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Old Apr 2, 13, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by norf9 View Post
I would say that the principal really dropped the ball by flying without seat assignments and not having a contingency plan if the flight was cancelled or they got bumped. Why should those 6 other pax have to pay for his irresponsibility?
Schools have tight budgets. When they purchased tickets, maybe there weren't enough free seats available to meet their demand? I doubt the school wanted to spend for preferred seating. The principal or school employee who handled the bookings probably felt purchasing a ticket was enough to get them a seat on the plane. Who can blame them?
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by dmbtr3 View Post
Schools have tight budgets. When they purchased tickets, maybe there weren't enough free seats available to meet their demand? I doubt the school wanted to spend for preferred seating. The principal or school employee who handled the bookings probably felt purchasing a ticket was enough to get them a seat on the plane. Who can blame them?
I can, and I imagine the parents can as well. Yes, the premium seats are an extra fee, but that's not an excuse for not paying. They decided to cheap out on the tickets, and this is the end result. It's not fair to bump the responsible passengers who paid for their seats and checked in early to make room for this guy's group. Think of it this way how often do flights get cancelled, and how likely do you think it would be to find 27 seats free on an alternate flight? It was the principal's responsibility to think of this and plan appropriately. He failed to do so, and now wants the airline to pay for his mistake.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:06 am
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My opinion (and my opinion only) is that the gate agent is the one at fault here. I doesn't sound like they tried very hard to find VDB's. How much did they offer? Did they look at alternative flights on other airlines (UA has a hub at both the origin and destination!)? Did they even escalate this to a supervisor?

Granted, this is all based on the very brief news article, so who knows what really went down.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by coolbeans202 View Post
My opinion (and my opinion only) is that the gate agent is the one at fault here. I doesn't sound like they tried very hard to find VDB's. How much did they offer? Did they look at alternative flights on other airlines (UA has a hub at both the origin and destination!)? Did they even escalate this to a supervisor?

Granted, this is all based on the very brief news article, so who knows what really went down.
Sometimes, its just impossible to find VDBs. Monday's are often tough as people are heading out to work.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by coolbeans202 View Post
My opinion (and my opinion only) is that the gate agent is the one at fault here. I doesn't sound like they tried very hard to find VDB's. How much did they offer? Did they look at alternative flights on other airlines (UA has a hub at both the origin and destination!)? Did they even escalate this to a supervisor?

Granted, this is all based on the very brief news article, so who knows what really went down.
I think the issue was that the principle wanted to have all 27 on the same flight (which is pretty much impossible). But yeah, I'm very surprised they couldn't get 7 people to do a VDB. Especially so, as if the GA explained what was going on some people might offer to take another flight for the sake of the kids. Perhaps the principle was being a jerk?
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by norf9 View Post
I can, and I imagine the parents can as well. Yes, the premium seats are an extra fee, but that's not an excuse for not paying. They decided to cheap out on the tickets, and this is the end result. It's not fair to bump the responsible passengers who paid for their seats and checked in early to make room for this guy's group. Think of it this way how often do flights get cancelled, and how likely do you think it would be to find 27 seats free on an alternate flight? It was the principal's responsibility to think of this and plan appropriately. He failed to do so, and now wants the airline to pay for his mistake.
I think this is incredibly unfair. Why did they "cheap out" on the tickets because they didn't purchase premium seating for these students? You have to remember that not everyone travels so frequently, and purchasing a ticket should be sufficient to secure a seat on the flight.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:16 am
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UPDATE: The students landed in Dallas on Monday night. American is putting them up at the Marriott, and they will take an 11 a.m. flight to D.C. on Tuesday.
http://ktla.com/2013/04/01/airline-m...#axzz2PHO4hmqI
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:18 am
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I think everyone needs to remember something important here - these are not 27 frequent flyers going to a business meeting. These are CHILDREN who are so excited to be traveling to Washington for a trip. You can say all you want about what the adults "should" have done, but in the end AA (thru whatever decision maker) disappointed kids and made the airline look foolish.

Stop for a moment before you post and think about how you would feel if you son or daughter was in this situation. For days, they have been talking non-stop about the big adventure and counting down the minutes until the trip. Just to be told that they are not going any longer and have to go home.

Have we become so cold-hearted here on FT that disappointed children become acceptable because AA followed "procedure"? If so, then how sad.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by jeremysmith View Post
I think this is incredibly unfair. Why did they "cheap out" on the tickets because they didn't purchase premium seating for these students? You have to remember that not everyone travels so frequently, and purchasing a ticket should be sufficient to secure a seat on the flight.
It's cheaping out because anyone who has flown before knows that if you don't have a seat, you are the first one to be booted if there's an issue. This is compounded by the fact that he had no contingency plan if the flight was cancelled. There is no chance what so ever that you will be able to get 27 standby passengers on the same flight. When traveling with 27 underage students it is the height of irresponsibility to not have a backup plan if the flight was cancelled, or something else went wrong.

What is unfair is booting other people off the flight because the principle was irresponsible.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by norf9 View Post
I think the issue was that the principle wanted to have all 27 on the same flight (which is pretty much impossible).
I don't think that's an unreasonable request. Can you imagine the uproar if something were to happen to one of those 6 kids that he sent on another flight? If you have final responsibility for the safety of those kids, you can't exactly ensure that if they are 1500 miles away from you on a connecting flight in Dallas.
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