Bump.....ouch!

 
Old May 31, 05, 5:53 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: LHR
Programs: AA L/T Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 388
Bump.....ouch!

Firstly I do not travel domestically with AA very often and so I am not very familiar with their procedures. Therefore the result I received could have been the fault of my own non action at ORD. My normal route is LHR-LAX non stop. However, I was taking a quick trip over to show my mother my new house. I chose to fly LHR-ORD-SNA this time as my mother likes to break the journey and also by taking the first flight out of LHR to ORD means you arrive in SNA around 2.00pm. We had a B class fare that I had upgraded using my miles.

We checked in at LHR and received our boarding passes for both legs. LHR-ORD in J and ORD-SNA in F. Had a pleasant flight to ORD, arrived early. We decided not to visit the AC and proceeded straight to the gate. We were at the gate about and hour before departure. The flight looked really busy and it was not too long before they were asking for volunteers. Boarding was delayed slightly. When F was called to board my mother and I went forward to board, gave our boarding cards and these were rejected in the scanner. The agent said that we needed to go to the desk. When we got there, we were told that we had been taken off of this flight, because we had not arrived at the gate 30 mins before departure. Is this correct? When we checked in at LHR we were not told that we had to present ourselves at the gate. I figured that since I had the boarding pass I did not need to do anything more. Also if people had to be bumped off the flight, surely there were people with a lower class of ticket than us?(Originally we had "B" Fares) Or by upgrading did I make us venerable in times of operational nightmares? Or did everybody else on the flight have "B" class fares and above (Unlikely!!) I am Platinum and my mother has no status with AA if that makes a difference.

To start off with we were not offered any compensation, when I asked the agent she said that we did not qualify as we did not volunteer. After an exchange of a few words, I was not unpleasant and I did not raise my voice, she conceded, wow $300! However, she could only give us standby for the next flight which was at 5.05pm, I said that I did not care about traveling in F, she said that we would be lucky, so I guess we were standby for Y. We did not get on that flight and ended up on the 7.08pm flight.

Do I have a case for complaint?

I am fairly new to this site and often read threads of peoples woes of bad treatment by AA. I did not think I would be one of their casualties.
jimmyw9 is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 7:28 am
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: LHR
Programs: AA L/T Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 388
I read on other threads that EXp don't get bumped unless they ask. Shame that does not apply to Plt's. Was my status affected by having a non status person travelling with me?
jimmyw9 is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 7:33 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: AA GLD (1MM), DL FO, UA Silver, IHG Spire IC, MR Gold, RCL D+, X Elite
Posts: 3,224
Something's not adding up here.... you were at the gate an hour before departure? They never paged you? And they said they bounced you off the trip because you weren't at the gate 30 minutes before departure? AND...you had boarding passes for your connection?

You've definitely got grounds for a letter to AA. Something just doesn't seem quite right about this. While the 30 minutes before departure comment is true... you were there. Even if you weren't, you were checked in. Just to bump you off the flight without even a page in the gate area? Sounds like something went way wrong.
MJonTravel is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 8:14 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: LHR
Programs: AA L/T Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 388
Originally Posted by flyastrojets
Something's not adding up here.... you were at the gate an hour before departure? They never paged you? And they said they bounced you off the trip because you weren't at the gate 30 minutes before departure? AND...you had boarding passes for your connection?

You've definitely got grounds for a letter to AA. Something just doesn't seem quite right about this. While the 30 minutes before departure comment is true... you were there. Even if you weren't, you were checked in. Just to bump you off the flight without even a page in the gate area? Sounds like something went way wrong.
Only annoucments I heard were for volunteers
jimmyw9 is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 8:41 am
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 58,721
The agent was trying to claim that you didn't CHECK-IN at least 30 minutes prior to boarding, since you were obviously at the gate when F boarding was called.

That was a blatant lie, since you were checked through at London for all subsequent flights. If you were bumped, then it was IDB and you should have gotten cash compensation, not voucher.

Write back and point out that the agent "deliberately misled" you, and ask for more compensation.
Plato90s is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 9:04 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: LHR
Programs: AA L/T Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 388
Originally Posted by Plato90s
The agent was trying to claim that you didn't CHECK-IN at least 30 minutes prior to boarding, since you were obviously at the gate when F boarding was called.

That was a blatant lie, since you were checked through at London for all subsequent flights. If you were bumped, then it was IDB and you should have gotten cash compensation, not voucher.

Write back and point out that the agent "deliberately misled" you, and ask for more compensation.
Sorry.....what is "IDB"....I am a rookie here.
I probably checked in at least 10 hours before, surely the agent could see that from my reservation.
I have a theory that since I was travelling from LHR and I am from the UK, the agent took aadvantage of my lack of knowledge with these things. It did seem like a free for all at the gate, when I look back at it. They probably took pity on an American trying to get home for the holiday weekend rather than accomodating a foreigner. Do AAgents ever take bribes?
jimmyw9 is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 9:13 am
  #7  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Siesta Key
Programs: AA EXP-1.6MM, Hilton Diamond, ManU & Chicago Bears #1 Fan
Posts: 9,697
Originally Posted by jimmyw9
Sorry.....what is "IDB"..?
Involuntary Denied Boarding = cash per FAA regulations

Originally Posted by jimmyw9
Do AAgents ever take bribes?
Let's not go that far. I doubt very much this happens, EVER, but you still have a case. I'm not sure what the GA thought or did, but since you were checked in you did not have to be there at 30 minutes before, just 15.
andrzej is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 9:22 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: LHR
Programs: AA L/T Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 388
Originally Posted by andrzej
Involuntary Denied Boarding = cash per FAA regulations



Let's not go that far. I doubt very much this happens, EVER, but you still have a case. I'm not sure what the GA thought or did, but since you were checked in you did not have to be there at 30 minutes before, just 15.
Will they still look at the incident, especially since I have already taken what was offered. I figure that I lost my chance? and they did eventually get me to my destination 8 or 9 hours later.
jimmyw9 is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 10:02 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by jimmyw9
Will they still look at the incident, especially since I have already taken what was offered. I figure that I lost my chance? and they did eventually get me to my destination 8 or 9 hours later.
Hi, jimmyw9. If you do not get satisfaction from the airline, you may wish to file a complaint with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. You can read about the regulations for involuntary "bumping" in Fly-Rights, a DOT publication.

Paul Marcelin-Sampson
Santa Cruz, California, USA
marcelin is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 10:15 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: LHR
Programs: AA L/T Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 388
Originally Posted by marcelin
Hi, jimmyw9. If you do not get satisfaction from the airline, you may wish to file a complaint with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. You can read about the regulations for involuntary "bumping" in Fly-Rights, a DOT publication.

Paul Marcelin-Sampson
Santa Cruz, California, USA
Thanks, interesting, but I read this under the involuntary bumping section, so it looks like my luck is out

"Many airlines require pas- sengers with advance seat assignments to check in 30 minutes before scheduled departure, even if they already have advance boarding passes"

I am just so annoyed as I was literally sat at the gate for about an hour and could have easily gone to the counter. I blame LHR as they should have told me. AA staff in the UK are not as good as in the US and because I just usually travel LHR-LAX I did not realise or thought to ask.
jimmyw9 is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 11:13 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: AA GLD (1MM), DL FO, UA Silver, IHG Spire IC, MR Gold, RCL D+, X Elite
Posts: 3,224
You still need to share this with AA. Something went seriously awry here. The only possible thing that I can think of is somehow or another, your electronic ticket got reset from checked in to not checked in for your connection to SNA while you were traveling to ORD. It sounds like the gate was a zoo, so there could've been some strange stuff going on with the flight.

I'd write AA a letter, tell them that you did accept the vouchers (I'm assuming you got $300 for each of you, so $600 total?), but you are still displeased with the way the entire situation was handled. You should describe the entire process about checking in in LHR and receiving your boarding cards all the way to SNA, and then presenting yourselves for boarding only to be rejected by the gate reader. I've got a sneakin' suspicion that something happened to reset your e tickets to show not checked in, and that is something that Customer Relations can determine by reviewing the history of your PNR.
MJonTravel is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 11:19 am
  #12  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Siesta Key
Programs: AA EXP-1.6MM, Hilton Diamond, ManU & Chicago Bears #1 Fan
Posts: 9,697
Originally Posted by jimmyw9

"Many airlines require pas- sengers with advance seat assignments to check in 30 minutes before scheduled departure, even if they already have advance boarding passes"
What flyastrojets said plus, I don't think AA is one of the above mentioned many airlines. I don't remember ever rechecking at the gate. I never had a problem.
andrzej is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 12:06 pm
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 58,721
Originally Posted by jimmyw9
Thanks, interesting, but I read this under the involuntary bumping section, so it looks like my luck is out

"Many airlines require pas- sengers with advance seat assignments to check in 30 minutes before scheduled departure, even if they already have advance boarding passes"

I am just so annoyed as I was literally sat at the gate for about an hour and could have easily gone to the counter. I blame LHR as they should have told me. AA staff in the UK are not as good as in the US and because I just usually travel LHR-LAX I did not realise or thought to ask.
That doesn't apply to you. Your time of check in, even for the ORD-SNA flight, is the time in London. So you were checked in almost 10 hours before departure. AA does not require that connecting passengers re-check in.

That rule is mainly for alliance airlines who will issue invalid BP's for a connecting flight which then has to be re-issued at the transit airport. For example, whenever I fly UA-SQ, the SQ agent at SFO always takes away the BP issued by UA and reissues a SQ-one.

Since this is AA all the way through, it's a non-issue.

The GA deceived you and delayed you. Take it up with AA. Even if you don't want additional compensation, you should still let AA know that their employees are telling passengers lies.
Plato90s is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 12:44 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: LHR
Programs: AA L/T Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 388
Thanks, I am currently composing my e-mail to AA. But can I trouble you guys for a bit more info, as I do not want to look stupid.


By upgrading my B class fare (using miles) did I make myself venerable to this in times of operational nightmares? Could they have not downgraded us and bumped somebody with a lower fare class. I realise that B fares are not the highest, but there are a few cheaper ones below that. I mean I paid 1300 ($2300) for that trip. Also, because of the flexibility in the ticket could this not have helped with my rescheduling? Should we have been put on the next flight confirmed rather than stand by. This flight we did not get on and had to wait for the next one. Therefore, having to wait at ORD an extra 7 hours. Would I have got more help in the AC with my problem? I am a member there so I would have been able to get into the club. Would having a non status travel companion have affected my status in times like this?

I have more questions but cannot think of them right now, that should keep me going for a while.

Thanks in advance
jimmyw9 is offline  
Old May 31, 05, 1:04 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Programs: AA PLT (Ex-EXP) .7MM, Marriott PLT, Hertz PC
Posts: 248
Originally Posted by jimmyw9
By upgrading my B class fare (using miles) did I make myself venerable to this in times of operational nightmares?
You didn't make yourself vulnerable; AA screwed up and they owe you an apology and probably some additional compensation. I doubt it was because you're not an American though - they treat everyone this way, regardless of nationality. Good luck
AAND is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread