Chaos at DFW, AA 2040 cancelled, reinstated on July 7 2008

 
Old Jul 31, 08, 12:11 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: STL
Programs: AA Gold, DL DM, Hilton Gold
Posts: 39
Chaos at DFW, AA 2040 cancelled, reinstated on July 7 2008

Sorry in advance, this is long... Cliff notes at end.

Flying home to STL from HOU yesterday and was part of quite an ordeal at DFW. Flight 2040 was scheduled for a 6:25p departure and when I arrived at DFW around 4, it was already listed as delayed until 6:40. Waiting around the gate I could see the flight was going to be full, over 10 people had already cleared and there were still 20+ on standby. An announcement was made that the delay was due to the pilots inbound flight being delayed and it should land around 6:50. The plane started boarding around 6:15 or so and they had every one, plane full. At 6:50 they come on and announce that the pilots plane had to be diverted due to weather and they won't be in until closer to 9 now so they are delaying our flight until then, everyone off the plane...

I leave the plane and see that a lot of people got off and went straight to the gate agent and there was a line forming. I went to the bathroom and came back and it was even bigger. I hear an announcement saying that if you are waiting for flight 2040 to STL it was cancelled, but now has been reinstated and delayed until 9pm, you do not need to wait in line. I take this opportunity to go eat dinner at Tigin and snag a seat where I can see the goings on at the gate (D18). There are still a mass of people in line which I write off to novice travelers getting nervous about their flight. I hear a few announcements updating the status of the plane as we go, but just the normal "the flight is delayed.." "your pilots are in the air...", etc. I finish dinner and walk back to the gate as first is boarding. When I go to board with the EXP, and Plats I'm told my boarding pass is no good and to recheck. After waiting in line while the plane is boarding the agent tells me that when the flight was cancelled it dropped all seat assignments so everyone had to rebook when it was reinstated. I ask why this wasn't announced and he had no good answer. I ask why they can't just automatically rebook everyone (it was the same plane!) or at least give some priority to the elite flyers. According to him their computer system can not do that nor can it distinguish an elite from a non elite. He then hands me a standby card and tells me to wait. Judging from the people waiting around the counter this happened to multiple people and they apparently gave the standbys that weren't accommodated initially seats ahead of everyone who was confirmed on the flight. At this point I go stand near the door so I can see who is getting on this plane. I watch them put an EXP on, good. Then a lady with "Group 4" on her BP gets on the plane. Very politely I ask the agent how they are prioritizing the standby list as I am platinum and just got bypassed. This causes a lady at the gate to go ballistic: "This is NOT a standby list and you have priority over no one! I've been here waiting since 4pm so you need to wait like the rest of us!" I just chuckled and said "This was originally a 6:25 flight, I'm sure a lot of us have been here since 4." About this time the agent calls my name and hands me a BP. I smiled at this lady as I got on the plane. One more mixup happened as they gave me a First BP, when I was in coach originally. Then it printed a wrong name and they grabbed me as I was walking down and told me I don't have the stickers for the upgrade. Uh, I didn't request and upgrade, this is what you gave me. Got an aisle coach seat, which I figured at this point was a minor miracle and boarded.

Sit on the plane for about 20 minutes when they tell us that the pilots are still not here, but now our crew has gone illegal and they are trying to find another crew. At this point I resigned to the fact I would probably not get home. Sit on the plane for another 30 minutes or so with little air. It was miserable in the back. Finally we do get a new crew, pilots arrive and around 11:45 we finally take off.

Back in STL I talked to another PLT at baggage who actually sat in the AC during all the mess, checked with them to make sure he was still ok and they didn't even know about the mess at the gate as he barely got on too. It was definitely one of the craziest things I've seen in my relatively short time flying. There definitely were people who got on the flight the first time that did not get on when they reinstated it later including a lady with an older man in a wheelchair. I don't know if this is the norm for AA as I imagine flights getting canceled and reinstated is a rarity, but they definitely could take a look at how they handle these situations. In the end, I did get home about 5.5 hours later than scheduled so I'm happy, but I do feel for some of the folks who ended up stranded at DFW. Things like this make me question why I connect in DFW to HOU when I could fly WN nonstop. What we put up with for a few more miles....

CLIFF NOTES:

Flight delayed, boards, no pilots, deplane. Flight canceled, reinstated, GA tell people don't wait in line. Canceled flight means no seat assignments, everyone rebooks. Some people did not and some barely made it on the plane, others left at DFW. AA dropped ball on this situation.
bluedevil23 is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 12:37 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: PHX
Programs: AA Peon Gold
Posts: 2,914
That's not cool...
WRCSolberg is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 12:40 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: OKC
Programs: HH Gold, Marriott Platinum, AA EXP, National Executive Elite
Posts: 263
Isn't it a bit out of the ordinary to board without a pilot?

In every case where I have been delayed because "we were waiting on a crew", we've waiting in the Terminal...
mdsimants is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 12:45 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Seat 2A
Programs: AA EXP LT GLD 1MM, BA Gold, NH/UA*G, Hyatt Dia, SPG Plat LT, HH Dia, MGM NOIR, Hertz PC
Posts: 9,529
Big for this one !

I actually cant imagine the whole planeload lined up at the counter and got rebooked. There must be another part that is missing or the agent didnt tell.
skywalkerLAX is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 1:01 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: STL
Programs: AA Gold, DL DM, Hilton Gold
Posts: 39
Originally Posted by mdsimants View Post
Isn't it a bit out of the ordinary to board without a pilot?
That was my thought too, but we did it TWICE!
bluedevil23 is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 1:05 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: STL
Programs: AA Gold, DL DM, Hilton Gold
Posts: 39
Originally Posted by skywalkerLAX View Post
I actually cant imagine the whole planeload lined up at the counter and got rebooked. There must be another part that is missing or the agent didnt tell.
You would have had to see it. D18 is right near one of the little two level shop areas and the line stretched out almost to the door of the shops, it was crazy. I never heard them say the flight was canceled, maybe that was when I went to the bathroom. I only heard them say that the flight was not canceled, it had been reinstated and delayed. At any case, making everyone rebook was just stupid. It caused mass confusion when they started boarding the plane and had the pilots and crew been ready to go it would have certainly delayed takeoff. Definitely a messed up situation.
bluedevil23 is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 1:13 pm
  #7  
nrr
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: jfk area
Programs: AA platinum; 2MM AA, Delta Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 8,888
I was on 701 from lga to dfw on 7/25. "Nearly" everyone is on board when the captain made the announcement that due to a "miscommunication", the first officer (copilot) was not on board--but he (or the one they found ) was accross the street [one can walk from there (a motel, hotel) to the gate easily]--he boarded and we actually arrived in dfw early.
nrr is online now  
Old Jul 31, 08, 1:22 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Seat 2A
Programs: AA EXP LT GLD 1MM, BA Gold, NH/UA*G, Hyatt Dia, SPG Plat LT, HH Dia, MGM NOIR, Hertz PC
Posts: 9,529
Originally Posted by bluedevil23 View Post
You would have had to see it. D18 is right near one of the little two level shop areas and the line stretched out almost to the door of the shops, it was crazy. I never heard them say the flight was canceled, maybe that was when I went to the bathroom. I only heard them say that the flight was not canceled, it had been reinstated and delayed. At any case, making everyone rebook was just stupid. It caused mass confusion when they started boarding the plane and had the pilots and crew been ready to go it would have certainly delayed takeoff. Definitely a messed up situation.
Sounds exactly like AA You said the guy from the AC had the same problem ?

I totally agree with your opinion:

Things like this make me question why I connect in DFW to HOU when I could fly WN nonstop. What we put up with for a few more miles....
skywalkerLAX is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 2:26 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: From MCI, now living in DFW
Programs: AA PLT, AC; Avis PP, Hyatt Plat
Posts: 900
Originally Posted by mdsimants View Post
Isn't it a bit out of the ordinary to board without a pilot?

In every case where I have been delayed because "we were waiting on a crew", we've waiting in the Terminal...
I know it's happened on UA. I was returning from ORD last thanksgiving and most of the plane had boarded before the pilots. (I imagine one was doing the preflight check during the boarding process)

And IMO, "chaos" is a lot more than on canceled flight. Try DFW during a thunderstorm...
captaink is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 3:06 pm
  #10  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,307
And the answer is... have your status (Platinum in this case) and other AA numbers on your cell phone to call while everyone's piling on the gate agent.
JDiver is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 3:12 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Kansas City, MO, USA
Programs: DL PM, WN A-List, HH Dia, Hyatt Plat, National ECE, Hertz PC
Posts: 15,381
Originally Posted by bluedevil23 View Post
Things like this make me question why I connect in DFW to HOU when I could fly WN nonstop. What we put up with for a few more miles....
I was going to ask you how much cheaper the connecting flight was than the non-stop on WN, since surely there's no way you'd subject yourself to a connection just for the miles ...
Beckles is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 4:16 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,439
Originally Posted by mdsimants View Post
Isn't it a bit out of the ordinary to board without a pilot?
You just need the right number of cabin crew for boarding.
alien is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 7:55 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: OKA
Programs: AA Gold, UA 1K, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 466
That really stinks.

Could you have tried stand-by for any of the other DFW-STL flights that evening? Sounds like AA's agents did a pretty poor job on this one, and they are to blame, but in the future if anything like that happens, I'd try heading over to another DFW-STL gate and seeing about getting on a different flight.

-z
zski1 is offline  
Old Jul 31, 08, 8:03 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: DFW
Programs: DL PM, .6MM; AA Plat; Marriott Platinum Premier
Posts: 4,891
Originally Posted by Beckles View Post
I was going to ask you how much cheaper the connecting flight was than the non-stop on WN, since surely there's no way you'd subject yourself to a connection just for the miles ...
There are a lot of things to which we FTers would subject ourselves "just for the miles (and segments and EQMs etc)."
nd_eric_77 is offline  
Old Aug 1, 08, 2:06 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: lax
Posts: 3,680
Pilots are not required for boarding pax. Only FAs.
skylady is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: