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-   -   AA Oversells AA76, Strands 27 8th Graders at LAX (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-airlines-aadvantage-pre-consolidation-usair/1454553-aa-oversells-aa76-strands-27-8th-graders-lax.html)

lobo411 Apr 1, 13 9:07 pm

AA Oversells AA76, Strands 27 8th Graders at LAX
 
This doesn't look like a good PR move! The video explains things a bit differently from the article. From the video, it sounds like AA told the group leader he'd have to split off some of his students. The group leader refused, so AA denied the entire group boarding, told them they'd have to purchase new tickets, and there were no seats available until Wednesday to boot.

Airline Mix-Up Strands Students at LAX
by Anthony Kurzweil

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The principal at a Southern California Catholic school says 27 8th-graders were stranded at LAX after their flight was overbooked.

Frank Loya, principle of St. Benedict’s School in Montebello, said the group of 12-year-olds was supposed to fly to Washington D.C. Monday, but American Airlines overbooked their flight.

“When we got the gate they overbooked the plane and they wanted me to split some of my students,” Loya said.

The group was told by the airline that six students would need to take another flight, and pay full price for six more tickets, according to Loya.

Loya said when they refused to leave some of the kids behind they were told the entire group would have to purchase new tickets on another flight.

American Airlines spokesperson Mary Frances Fagan issued a statement on the ordeal Monday:

“I am aware that we had a situation in Los Angeles this morning where unfortunately we were not able to accommodate all members of the group on our LAX-IAD Flight. We are working with the group leaders to determine how best to transport the group to Northern Virginia.”

ktla.com/2013/04/01/airline-mix-up-strands-students-at-lax-2

travel.flier Apr 1, 13 9:16 pm

smells fishy. something is missing. they wouldn't ask them to purcahse new tickets when a flight is overbooked

AS MHT Apr 1, 13 9:17 pm

I hate it when I'm IDB'd and they make me buy a new ticket...

sts603 Apr 1, 13 9:25 pm

Here's what I'm guessing happened:

(1) Group didn't have seat assignments
(2) Flight was overbooked
(3) No one volunteered to take a VDB
(4) IDB rules hit the non-status passengers with no seat assignments first
(5) The school group refused to split up. I can't imagine that there wasn't a second adult who could have accompanied the second group of students.
(5) AA decided to hold down the letter of the rule and treat the decision not to split as a voluntary no show and canceled the tickets.
(6) The school leader went ape and all attempts at a reasonable solution (e.g., getting to DC before Wednesday which would be super easy - there is definitely space via connecting cities, etc.) thus became unsuccessful.

Honestly, if it went down as above - and assuming there was a second adult - I'll side with AA.

UnitedFlyGuy Apr 1, 13 9:25 pm

We'll have to wait for the whole report. You don't buy a ticket for an IDB. Tough situation, though. Kids list be bummed.

lobo411 Apr 1, 13 9:38 pm


Originally Posted by sts603 (Post 20520430)
Here's what I'm guessing happened:

(3) No one volunteered to take a VDB

Honestly, if it went down as above - and assuming there was a second adult - I'll side with AA.

Sounds like a likely chain of events, and the group leader doesn't sound too experienced WRT this kind of stuff so I'm sure he got things mangled. I wonder how quickly AA gave up on the VDB, though, and how sweet they made the offer. This was the 9:20 AM flight. Plenty of routings, plenty of time to make it to DC with little or no delay. Surely they could find at least a few VDBs if they made the offer rich enough. But who knows. Whatever happened, and regardless of who was right, whoever processed the flight should have known that anything involving the words "stranded" and "8th graders" is not going to play well on the evening news. Penny-wise, pound foolish I think!

MeVoy Apr 1, 13 9:44 pm


Originally Posted by travel.flier (Post 20520391)
smells fishy. something is missing. they wouldn't ask them to purcahse new tickets when a flight is overbooked

It's All Fools Day, my friend. A little too late in the day, though.

Rookie3 Apr 1, 13 9:50 pm


Originally Posted by MeVoy (Post 20520500)
It's All Fools Day, my friend. A little too late in the day, though.

It's still April Fools on the east coast and this is a LAX "story."

Xero Apr 1, 13 11:53 pm

I side with the group on this one. Splitting the group is not exactly easy because it will throw off all plans for the trip. Especially when there are minor children involved away from their parents.

If AA sweetened the pot, I'm sure they would have gotten enough volunteers.

hbtr Apr 2, 13 12:29 am


Originally Posted by sts603 (Post 20520430)
Here's what I'm guessing happened:

(5) The school group refused to split up. I can't imagine that there wasn't a second adult who could have accompanied the second group of students.

It's not that simple. First, this throws off logistics at the destination - for example the group needs to get back together again to travel to their lodging. Second, if something happens on one flight and not the other, the group remains split up. But the biggest issue is that a group may not have enough adults to split up - most groups require more than one adult to travel with a group of students, so now you are talking about two additional adults being available to manage the split. Logistics - and liability - are enough of a a headache as it is for any trip with a group of students. Very few leaders, especially those who have managed a group trip before, would ever accept a group of minors being split up for anything other than a dire emergency - and if it were my kid on that trip I would welcome a leader who "went ape" over a request to do so. Airlines need to recognize that splitting up a group of minors must be avoided if at all possible, not just if convenient.

Would AA split up a family just because there were 2 adults?

tom911 Apr 2, 13 12:47 am


Originally Posted by sts603 (Post 20520430)
Here's what I'm guessing happened:

(2) Flight was overbooked
(3) No one volunteered to take a VDB

AA generally does a good job getting volunteers, but once in a while they're just impossible to find, so you may very well be right here. I had a flight on Labor Day weekend two years ago at SFO where only two of us volunteered and they needed three. No matter how much they begged, AA could not find a third passenger to take a $500 bump. They IDBd the third person and paid him around $600 in check with a reroute in a few hours.

If AA was going to IDB part of a group, there could be some significant cash on the line. From the school's viewpoint, which students should get the money if they went along with this? AA might have been able to work around that if the rerouting had them arrive within a short period (is it within 2 hours or original arrival time to avoid compensation for IDB?).

marbles dad Apr 2, 13 1:48 am


Originally Posted by tom911 (Post 20520999)
AA generally does a good job getting volunteers, but once in a while they're just impossible to find, so you may very well be right here. I had a flight on Labor Day weekend two years ago at SFO where only two of us volunteered and they needed three. No matter how much they begged, AA could not find a third passenger to take a $500 bump. They IDBd the third person and paid him around $600 in check with a reroute in a few hours.

If AA was going to IDB part of a group, there could be some significant cash on the line. From the school's viewpoint, which students should get the money if they went along with this? AA might have been able to work around that if the rerouting had them arrive within a short period (is it within 2 hours or original arrival time to avoid compensation for IDB?).

it certainly did go out with 20 seats empty in coach, so that would leave 6 short. surely, one adult could have gone with 6 kids on an alternate flight or connections or other air line to wind up at DC that day. a large group split up like this esp kids , could have managed with a little give and take from all concerned esp since we are talking about only 6 or 7 that could not be accomodated. the GA's were working against the clock frantically, i imagine, but could not satisfy the adult group leaders and they elected not to board the flight unless the whole group could board. there must be a protocol in place to handle a situation like this . not a good morning at that gate, and not a good morning for the disappointed kids either.

dbuckho Apr 2, 13 2:37 am

Most school field trip policies will state minimum ratios of 1:20 for middle/high school aged kids with a minimum of 2 for reasons such as backup. If boys and girls are together and going overnight you usually need at least 1 male and 1 female. Being a private school it is quite possible they only had 2 adults, and breaking apart to different flights would have violated their procedures (which probably tie to liability insurance).

Also, most of us here on FT may know that Washington Flyer taxis can take a maximum 6 passengers or about other options like SuperShuttle. But in the moment facing the board decision the leader may not have been confident on how the logistics at IAD would work? Would the 6 have to further split to reach DC? I certainly would not want my 12 year old put in a taxi with other kids and no adults. Insurance again could play in as it might cover contracted bus services but not an event that happens in a taxi.

Bottom line you do not split a group of minors and i would have expected an adult I entrusted with my minor to take a similar stand. AA probably sold these tickets as a group booking. It is reasonable to expect to travel as a group.

I understand in that situation that the gate agents needed to get the flight out. Fine, and if they choose not to IDB 6 other people to protect the group of minors, also fine based on their procedures. But they should have also immediately escalated to management to have someone with authority start working on getting the group to DC vs. the way it was seemingly handled.

In an ideal world AA would have some clue about their operations - see the oversell + large group of minors via some advanced/predictive analytics tool - and alert the station head to get their ... down there and help manage it. Maybe someday after the merger!

Phoenixtinct Apr 2, 13 2:53 am

If this is not April Fools joke, I have to say I can't side with the ones saying the group was supposed to find another adult and just split the kids. If anything, it's much easier to IDB people traveling alone or couples. Why didn't AA look for 6 people to boot and accommodate the entire group?

I'm suspecting that all of the group passengers were on 1 PNR, so they needed permission to split them up. I don't consider this VDB and here's why:

1. The group (whatever the total number of passengers) was obviously ticketed for this flight and they received boarding passes at the airport before going through security and arriving at the gate.

2. Based on the article, they were asked at the gate to split the group up. There is no scenario if I am confirmed on a flight and am at the gate on time that would result in being VDB. AA didn't fulfill their duty, which was to honor the tickets sold for that flight. They were the ones that made an offer that the group leader (the school's principal) chose not to entertain. So, how come the group is at fault for not willing to give up their right to 27 seats on that plane but the rest of the passengers that also chose not to IDB, are not being discussed?

If I was working that flight, I would have found 6 people and IDB them and accommodated the group. It's much easier to accommodate 6 people on other flights than it is to do so for 27 that have to travel together - especially, with how full planes are these days. A group of this size should not be split up. Even if it's simply a family of 2,3,4 or more. If they are all on one reservation, you can't just expect them to split up if necessary just because there are 2 adults.

There was a time I watched a lot of court TV shows and this reminds of cases where there is an accident and the defendant brings up the point - well, if they listened to me and had the car fixed at a friend's shop where I won't be charged for labor, just pay for parts, we wouldn't be here. Instead, the plaintiff usually goes to an authorized service place for their make and model that is always way more expensive. So, my point is: AA was in the wrong here - they sold more tickets than they had seats - they can't say afterwards what's acceptable and what's not to remedy the situation.

jordyn Apr 2, 13 6:23 am

It seems like AA could have easily avoided a big mess by IDBing six people not in this group. For the reasons other folks have articulated here (and the high probability that all of this travel was probably booked as a group so it's reasonable to expect to fly as a group), splitting up a big group of kids may not have been feasible. Supposedly the GA is all powerful leading up to the departure of the flight; ideally they'd also be capable enough to recognize that IDBing part of the group effectively IDBs the whole group and make better decisions about who to IDB under the circumstances.

If nothing else, the bad PR here was totally predictable, so even if AA was "right", they were definitely not smart.

igopogo Apr 2, 13 6:49 am


Originally Posted by sts603 (Post 20520430)
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.

dat4life Apr 2, 13 7:08 am

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.

sts603 Apr 2, 13 7:42 am


Originally Posted by harrison1186 (Post 20521937)
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.

norf9 Apr 2, 13 7:42 am


Originally Posted by harrison1186 (Post 20521937)
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?

austin_modern Apr 2, 13 7:44 am


Originally Posted by norf9 (Post 20522115)
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!!!!"

dmbtr3 Apr 2, 13 7:47 am


Originally Posted by norf9 (Post 20522115)
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?

norf9 Apr 2, 13 8:03 am


Originally Posted by dmbtr3 (Post 20522137)
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.

coolbeans202 Apr 2, 13 8:06 am

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.

sts603 Apr 2, 13 8:12 am


Originally Posted by coolbeans202 (Post 20522242)
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.

norf9 Apr 2, 13 8:13 am


Originally Posted by coolbeans202 (Post 20522242)
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?

jeremysmith Apr 2, 13 8:14 am


Originally Posted by norf9 (Post 20522235)
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.

beerup Apr 2, 13 8:16 am


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

rxziebel Apr 2, 13 8:18 am

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.

norf9 Apr 2, 13 8:21 am


Originally Posted by jeremysmith (Post 20522284)
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.

coolbeans202 Apr 2, 13 8:25 am


Originally Posted by norf9 (Post 20522276)
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.

jordyn Apr 2, 13 8:27 am


Originally Posted by sts603 (Post 20522113)
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.

They would probably feel really annoyed that they bought a ticket and then American didn't get them to their destination through no fault of their own. But there would be 6 of them and the plane would have left completely full.

As an alternative, 27 people felt really annoyed that they bought tickets and then American didn't get them to their destination through no fault of their own. And the plane flew with 20 empty seats.

The policy is designed to help American who to choose IDB, but the conditions of carriage already acknowledge that time of check-in is not a hard and fast rule:


American will usually deny boarding based upon check-in time, but we may also consider factors such as severe hardships, fare paid, and status within the AAdvantage® program.
The GA really should have used some discretion to try and achieve a better outcome.

norf9 Apr 2, 13 8:29 am


Originally Posted by coolbeans202 (Post 20522329)
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.

It's unreasonable because I seriously doubt you could find a flight with 27 open seats on that route. If there aren't that many seats open you would be back to bumping pax off the flight again. I'm assuming here that there were also chaperones flying with them. If he split off one of the chaperones into the delayed group there would be no issue. The main group could then just wait at the other end for the remaining students and resume the trip.

swajames Apr 2, 13 8:29 am

This happened to my son's 8th grade trip to DC in Feb. They were on US Airways from SFO and US bumped a number of kids from one of the two flights. As as aside, it most probably wasn't the school that made the flight bookings (either in my son's case or the case in point here). These trips to DC tend to get organized by specialist companies who handle all the logistics for the trip including all the flight arrangements. If that's what happened here it's more likely than not that the school isn't directly to blame, it's on both the trip planner and the airline - comments about the irresponsible principals/teachers etc are probably off-base. Anyway, nothing wrong with AA overbooking a flight, but there's everything wrong with AA accepting a group booking involving so many minors and not itself ensuring that things didn't turn out the way they did. One PNR with so many passengers (which may well have been the issue here) ought to have stuck out and raised a few flags pre-departure.

dmbtr3 Apr 2, 13 8:32 am


Originally Posted by rxziebel (Post 20522295)
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.

Exactly. Let's have some perspective here. Even better, let's be rational. Why do we need to blame someone and get super excited? This is an unfortunate sequence of events. Do we need to blame the principal or school? No. I doubt the school felt they were putting the trip or students at risk. Sure, someone could have known better, but they did not. Do we blame AA? Assuming procedure was followed, it is what it is. Are GA's empowered to circumvent policy to do what's right? If I'm the GA and I depend on a small salary to feed my children, I'm not sure I would risk my job - or more likely maybe risk a good performance review? Maybe not. Do you think AA thought about groups of 25+ school children when creating policies? Doubtful.

Our culture today is to outrage over everything and force sides. Everyone should stop overreacting. AA should help the students get to IAD and learn from the event. The school (and all schools) should learn from the event. May we all be a bit wiser next time and may the kids enjoy Washington.

dat4life Apr 2, 13 8:44 am


Originally Posted by sts603 (Post 20522113)
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.

Fair point. I know I would be pretty pissed off too. I may have been a little too harsh in saying "dropping the ball". The agent(s) working the flight were understandably just following the rules (no argument from me). Was it the right decision? Yes, as far as the letter of the rules go. Was it the best decision? Probably not. Not every school will or can send more than one chaparone for a group that size, so I understand why whoeever was in charge of the group did not want to send 6 underaged kids alone. And this leads us to this little PR incident. IDBing 8th graders, shock horror. IDBing a couple of middle age guys, meh.

Now, it's not to say the group is completely blameless. Yes, anyone can learn about how to avoid IDB, but realistically not many people will. They could have avoided this situation by paying for a few premium seats. But again, realistically it's probably not going to happen.

alhcfp Apr 2, 13 9:11 am

Am I correct that the only facts we have is Post #1 which tells us nothing
except everyone has to buy a new ticket? Which cannot be correct?

Are these the only FACTS?

FWAAA Apr 2, 13 9:35 am

Not only do we have very sketchy "facts" (some of which cannot possibly be correct, as pointed out) but we have lots of unsupported assumptions as well.

My children have traveled on similar teacher-sponsored/school approved trips, all of which were arranged by one of the numerous school trip travel agencies. I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that the travel arrangements of this trip were not arranged by the principal but the group used one of the travel agencies that specialize in middle-school trips to DC and New York.

The principal was the only adult? Not a chance. Zero chance of that one being accurate. No school, public or religious, would send 27 kids to DC with just one adult male chaperone.

From my reading of the "facts," it sounds like a lot of people dropped the ball here and let these children down.

As an aside, every one of my kids' school trips to the east coast flew on overnight redeyes so as to not waste an entire day flying. Someone dropped the ball right there.

alhcfp Apr 2, 13 9:51 am


Originally Posted by alhcfp (Post 20522638)
Am I correct that the only facts we have is Post #1 which tells us nothing
except everyone has to buy a new ticket? Which cannot be correct?

Are these the only FACTS?

Actually I can assign fault based on known facts.

The reporter and editors did a horrible job. Anyone with any knowledge of how the airline world works would have asked about IDB comp.

Antarius Apr 2, 13 9:56 am


Originally Posted by swajames (Post 20522357)
This happened to my son's 8th grade trip to DC in Feb. They were on US Airways from SFO and US bumped a number of kids from one of the two flights. As as aside, it most probably wasn't the school that made the flight bookings (either in my son's case or the case in point here). These trips to DC tend to get organized by specialist companies who handle all the logistics for the trip including all the flight arrangements. If that's what happened here it's more likely than not that the school isn't directly to blame, it's on both the trip planner and the airline - comments about the irresponsible principals/teachers etc are probably off-base. Anyway, nothing wrong with AA overbooking a flight, but there's everything wrong with AA accepting a group booking involving so many minors and not itself ensuring that things didn't turn out the way they did. One PNR with so many passengers (which may well have been the issue here) ought to have stuck out and raised a few flags pre-departure.

I still don't understand what you think AA should have done. IDB-ing pax who already had their seat assignments? How would that be fair to passengers who did their due diligence?

It is an unfortunate circumstance, yes. But I don't think it is anyones fault. "Stuff" happens.

beerup Apr 2, 13 10:05 am


Originally Posted by alhcfp (Post 20522638)
Am I correct that the only facts we have is Post #1 which tells us nothing
except everyone has to buy a new ticket? Which cannot be correct?

Are these the only FACTS?

No, there is also the fact (if you accept an update to the original article as fact) that the party was flown to DFW yesterday (original departure date), put up for the night at a Marriott and then are confirmed on the flight from DFW to IAD that leaves in about 5 min and is scheduled to arrive at 3 pm Eastern (22 hours after scheduled arrival on original itinerary). <in post #28>


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