AA Oversells AA76, Strands 27 8th Graders at LAX

 
Old Apr 2, 13, 7:19 pm
  #91  
 
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Originally Posted by Pucnit View Post
The GA should have had the testicular fortitude to do what's right, walk on the plane and pull 6 people off. Policies are made for 99% of the situations not the <1% when you have 30 people on one reservation.

If I was this GA's boss they would be suspended or fired for putting the company at risk. Quite frankly they probably called me down to help and if this still happened AA should fire me too.

Just because your a GA or work as a sales associate at a retail store doesn't mean you are not accountable for making good business decisions.
I assumed this was an April Fools joke. If it was not, I'd be shocked if the flight went out with 20+ empty seats since this flight regularly has a long standby list. I also think that on the monday (i.e. people going to work on a 9am flight) after Easter (i.e. some people returning from vacation) it would be hard to get 6 volunteers to volunteer without selling the farm and/or going on the plane's loudspeaker to explain the situation (and even then I'm not sure you would get 6).

Yes the GA should have called her/his supervisor (under the circumstances they should have but shouldn't get fired if they didn't - that's a bit extreme especially if they were following protocal), but I'm not sure that would have changed the result.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 7:28 pm
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Pucnit View Post
The GA should have had the testicular fortitude to do what's right, walk on the plane and pull 6 people off. Policies are made for 99% of the situations not the <1% when you have 30 people on one reservation.

If I was this GA's boss they would be suspended or fired for putting the company at risk. Quite frankly they probably called me down to help and if this still happened AA should fire me too.

Just because your a GA or work as a sales associate at a retail store doesn't mean you are not accountable for making good business decisions.


There had to have been creative solutions that are cost marginal in this situation it's an employee's job to find them. Then the headline could read: Passengers Get Free First Class Flight For Helping Local Students
Three problems here:

1. The poor state of the the U.S. domestic industry and its continued deterioration
2. The dysfunctional management - employee relationship at the legacy airlines in the US that fosters a 'screw you' dynamic from front line employee to hapless customer
3. <redacted>

<further redacted> In terms of the airline and the industry the best days of flying are behind us.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 3, 13 at 11:58 am Reason: metadiscussion and discussion of moderation edited
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Old Apr 2, 13, 7:33 pm
  #93  
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Originally Posted by elitetraveler View Post
<deleted post content>
I fail to see this here. How is standing up for people who have earned the right to not be IDBed as was implemented by the GA, according to policies, reflective of a "dump on the consumer" attitude? Had they bumped other people, one of them had come here to complain and the folks who think that that was OK said so...would that also be "dump on the consumer?"

When it's "consumer" against "consumer", this particular tired diatribe doesn't work

Cheers.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 3, 13 at 11:58 am Reason: redacted previously deleted post content
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Old Apr 2, 13, 7:57 pm
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It is comfortable, predictable, and "correct" to follow policies & procedures, and it can also lead to a worse solution. At present, AA got a load of bad PR for a situation not entirely of their own making, but resolved per their policies. Too bad someone wasn't empowered to make a better decision at the gate as to what was the best of bad alternatives.

My gut tells me WN would have found a more pleasant solution because their GAs have greater flexibility. Paying double (if necessary) for 6 VDBs would have been better than the press of "stranding 27 kids."

AA can't win in this situation, but it could have lost less....
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Old Apr 2, 13, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
I fail to see this here. How is standing up for people who have earned the right to not be IDBed as was implemented by the GA, according to policies
Huh? How do you earn the right not to be IDBed? There's no such right. There's just a general procedure that AA usually follows, not some hard-earned right by anyone other than (arguably) passengers with status.

As people here are so fond of pointing out, to get the plane out and on time, GA's have almost unlimited discretion, and that discretion is used to justify all sorts of violations of procedure. Here we have a GA that failed to use that discretion and the result was incredibly costly for AA and, on balance, its passengers. To the extent AA is going to give the GAs this wide latitude to get the plane out, this was a pretty big failure to apply it.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:20 pm
  #96  
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
I fail to see this here. How is standing up for people who have earned the right to not be IDBed as was implemented by the GA, according to policies, reflective of a "dump on the consumer" attitude? Had they bumped other people, one of them had come here to complain and the folks who think that that was OK said so...would that also be "dump on the consumer?"

When it's "consumer" against "consumer", this particular tired diatribe doesn't work

Cheers.
The incident is pure airline stupidity -- a group of 26 is denied passage and 21 seats go out unoccupied.

About 15 years ago i was on a LAX-JFK + 4 family way overbooked with no intention to split up (all booked in J) - these were the days of D10s with 22 F seats.

They wanted to bump 2 of us - i told them get us all in F at some point that day back to JFK and a better voucher offer - we ended at $400 each I think - and we were happy and on our way.

Why the GA couldn't get 5 more pax off that flight? Maybe they were at the max they could offer without having to fill in more paperwork? Maybe they just felt the pressure to get the flight out? Maybe they felt they had been stomped on by management too many times so they couldnt see the forest through the trees?

I remember one DL agent telling me he couldn't switch my restricted F ticket at the counter or he would get "another unpaid Delta Dream Vacation."

Letting a plane going out w 21 open seats and a group of 26 sitting airside is F in any airline Ops 101.

I'll stand by my point that we are all commenting about a broken industry.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:51 pm
  #97  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
That's way out of line. If they had reservations and checked in before the deadline, they're just as entitled to fly as other so-called "responsible" passengers. I don't know where you get off thinking that those with seat assignments can't (or shouldn't) be IDBd, especially since they make it very clear that seat assignments are not guaranteed.

Obviously the best economic decision for AA would have been to IDB 6 other passengers, in terms of the re-accommodation costs they're now incurring and the bad PR. But I guess this GA couldn't see the forest through the trees.
It is not unusual for travel events to cause inconveniences.
The best time to decide what to do is advance planning, such as what happens if the plane is oversold and not everyone can get on board. What would happen if a kid was sick right before flight time, which would hold back that kid and possibly an adult from that flight.... or would that mean all 27 people would have to cancel? Maybe we need educators that adhere to the Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared". I do not believe another 6 people should be denied boarding who would not have otherwise been denied boarding.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by bbkenney View Post
Yeah, we all know that EVERYbody has a bp when they get to the airport. HA! Of course the group should have been checked in and issued bp from home the day before but the fact is, many don't and I wouldn't call them them irresponsible.
Right, if I don't do this in advance, my travel is at a small risk, and most often, only I would be affected..
Not ensuring seating, in advance, for a group of 27 is irresponsible.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 9:36 pm
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Right, if I don't do this in advance, my travel is at a small risk, and most often, only I would be affected..
Not ensuring seating, in advance, for a group of 27 is irresponsible.
So, look. Let's face mathematical reality here. The flight was overbooked by six people. Regardless of what steps anyone might have taken to avoid getting bumped, six people with tickets for the flight were not going to make it on. There's a really strong tendency on this board to use hindsight to assign blame to whoever ends up inconvenienced by a bad situation, but for six people on this flight it was impossible to be "responsible" enough to make the flight.

Who knows what the circumstances were that led up to the kids being the six that were bumped from the flight, but this was clearly not a well-travelled bunch. They were trying to get to Washington, they paid their money for their tickets and the airline didn't live up to its end of the bargain. That's a possibility contemplated by the conditions of carriage, but it doesn't somehow make the passenger at fault for the airline doing a crappy job of yield management. More importantly, when an overbooked flight goes out with 20 empty seats, it's hard to argue that anyone other than the GA was somehow "irresponsible" in the situation.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 9:39 pm
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You guys are totally cracking me up.

From what I read, the group had paid reservations. From there on, everything, 100% of it is AA's fault. It is not a question of buts or ifs. AA decided to overbook the flight to earn some extra questionable and gambling profits and screwed up big time.

Now, you are siding with AA because you are airlines nuts/lovers/whores. If AA had screwed up with your own upgrade, you would not take it like that I suppose. Just look at all the whining post on FT starting "got denied upgrade and suspect GA inappropriately gave it to someone not worth my salt"

As a principal, these people are not supposed to know the ins and out of airlines operations. Several years ago, you could not check-in at T-24 because there was no online check-ins. Some airlines do not let you reserve seats in advance (is it Korean Air that limits this at 30 days prior?). And blah blah bah. This is not Ryanair we are speaking about. AA still lets you check-in at the airport at a kiosk and you are supposed to be able to do it. Plus it may very well be that there were not 26 seats available in the free seat-assignment zone to do it online.

End result is, I am siding with the principal. I do not think other must be asked to IDB but special circumstances require special means. A sweet enough offer would have found some VDB. They just did not sweeten the deal enough. Again, they were cheap.

Besides all the logistics mentioned earlier, how would you choose which kids would stay and which ones would not. How to deal with parents questioning why his child was sent home for a day when his neighbor was not and was enjoying the previously paid visits to DC? How to compensate kids that got a shorter stay in DC although they paid? After all many of you must be asking for some compensations whenever AA is late so why would the parents not do the same?

Finally, many speak about the protocol at AA and other passengers doing their due diligence. This is BS. First, it would have to be in the CoC. Plus I have seen people being offloaded despite having a seat assignment and a boarding pass because of weight issues at short and/or hot-high runways. (pax/bags that were individually weighted were heavier than usual I guess) .

AA is wrong.



Anyone putting the blame on the Principal needs a reality check. As someone said earlier, 6 people would have been offloaded regardless. Even if you check-in at T-23.59.59, there is a remote possibility that the 120 or so other passengers might have checked themselves at T-23.59.599 anyway. With guys like some of you, you would still claim the group was irresponsible because they did not use a code/software to automatically checked themselves in at T-23.59.5999999999. As if chaperons had no other things to do at T-24...

Last edited by Minos; Apr 2, 13 at 9:56 pm
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Old Apr 2, 13, 9:40 pm
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Granted it was handled badly but...

a question for those who would be anxious and quick to IDB 6 passengers: How would YOU select those 6 random people, who have done nothing wrong, but still get to have their plans upset through no fault of thier own? Draw lots? Do it by age? <redacted> AAdvantage status? Physical appearance? einey, meany, miney, moe....?

(Now donning flame retardant nightwear-Good night all )

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 3, 13 at 8:35 pm Reason: redacted unnecessary ethnoreligious reference
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Old Apr 2, 13, 9:41 pm
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I hear a lot of DYKWIA going on here. Why should I be inconvenienced, I the great and travel-savvy, the million-miler, I am beyond other mere human beings in my lordly realm of travel... get over yourselves. IDB is involuntary by definition, and in the most exceptional of circumstances, it can happen to anybody.

Speaking purely in terms of logistics, it's easier to rearrange 6 people than to rearrange 27 who must stay together. If you want to blame somebody, blame group sales; they should have blocked the seats when they made the sale. If they didn't have 27 seats on the flight at booking, then they should have found another flight for the group.

Personally, as long as I got to where I was going (with an op-up, free meal, and voucher for the trouble) with a reasonable delay, I just would have rolled with the punch. Kind of like a weather delay, circumstances out of my control.

If you're going to dump on the kids for not being experienced and savvy about traveling, you're clearly too far removed from your own childhood to remember that you were once a mere human without status or travel smarts as well.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 9:50 pm
  #103  
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An eighth-grade trip and IDB equals 100+ posts. OK.

My guess is that the kids still had a great trip and they now have an exciting story to tell their friends.
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Old Apr 2, 13, 9:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Dallas49er View Post
How would YOU select those 6 random people, who have done nothing wrong, but still get to have their plans upset through no fault of thier own? Draw lots? Do it by age? <redacted> AAdvantage status? Physical appearance? einey, meany, miney, moe....?
Last six non-elites to check in. Next question?

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 3, 13 at 8:36 pm Reason: redacted previously deleted post content
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Old Apr 2, 13, 9:52 pm
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Sure they followed policy, but...

If AA's policies can't prioritize keeping a group of minors together, then it's the policies that are flawed and AA needs to fix them. As I implied in my earlier post, breaking up any group of minors is very similar to breaking up a family with children and there are a lot of other options that should be exhausted before considering such an action.

And group leaders - you should ask the airlines what their group policies are and consider that in your choice of airline.

AA, ball's in your court.
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