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Badly Treated at SFO. Normal? How to Mitigate?

Badly Treated at SFO. Normal? How to Mitigate?

Old Dec 2, 15, 9:09 am
  #1  
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Badly Treated at SFO. Normal? How to Mitigate?

Hi,

So I'm new to AA but had the worst possible experience checking in recently. I don't want to complain and get miles. I want to avoid these situations so wish to know if this is normal and how to mitigate them.

1. Despite being a Ex Plat the check in gate police made me stand in the regular line. No explanation given but very forceful despite me showing them my Ex Plat card.
2. Check in agent wondered why I have been comped an upgraded to Premium Economy on TPAC flight *operated* by QF and consulted her supervisor on how to bump me back to regular Y.
3. Loud discussion how the four of us are taking 7 checked bags between us. Tried to get me to pay for 3 bags. As flying TPAC we are allowed 2 each.
4. Lots of other smaller issues like .....ing I left my old priority tags on etc.

1. and 3. are a flagrant disregard to rules.
2. Is none of their business if another carrier wants to upgrade me.
4. Is just bad customer service. Should of just kept it to themselves.

Any suggestions on how to mitigate this and if its normal.
inpd is offline  
Old Dec 2, 15, 9:16 am
  #2  
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It is not normal, and you should

1) in self defense, know the rules; as EP you alone are allowed four bags up to 70 pounds each; I've no idea about your companion's allowance;

If an operating carrier wishes to op you up, it's not anyone at American's business to change that;

Gate Agents should respect your status and allow you to board in the proper order.

2) you should complain. How is up to you; I would use actual snail mail. There are threads with names, addresses.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 9:18 am
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I know the rules well and iterated them but the agents didn't care to listen.

What can I do proactively on the day? This let it happen to me and then run to corporate to complain is a little silly. Isn't there an onsite AA rep @ SFO who can sort out these issues?

Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
It is not normal, and you should

1) in self defense, know the rules; as EP you alone are allowed four bags up to 70 pounds each;

If an operating carrier wishes to op you up, it's not anyone at American's business to change that.



2) you should complain. How is up to you; I would use actual snail mail. There are threads with names, addresses.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by inpd View Post
I know the rules well and iterated them but the agents didn't care to listen.

What can I do proactively on the day? This let it happen to me and then run to corporate to complain is a little silly. Isn't there an onsite AA rep @ SFO who can sort out these issues?
What else could you do than know the rules and advocate for yourself effectively? Not much unless you can earn Concierge Key.

If you don't care about remedying it, keep on keeping on.

Last edited by JDiver; Dec 3, 15 at 11:47 am Reason: Typoe
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Old Dec 2, 15, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
What else could you do than know the rules and advocate for yourself effectively? Not much unless you can earn Concierge Key.

If you don't care about remedying it, keep on keeping on.
Hmm. Has anyone tried tweeting or calling the Ex Plat desk if the check in agents are being idiots? For example, in this situation the regular line was not too long (15 minute wait) but it could have been a lot worse.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 9:40 am
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SFO just sucks

I too have had horrible experiences at SFO not too different than yours.

Last week, on a SFO-JFK-NRT-CGK ticket, the agent complained about my one checked bag and told me I had to pay $25. Never mind that I was in the elite/priority line and it was an international ticket. She apparently had to get a supervisor to "override" something and the supervisor said something about having to remove and add the FF# in order to get free bags to work. Felt like it was their first day on the job or something....

She then proceeded to complain that I didnt have an Indonesian visa, and that Narita ... was not one of the valid airports for VOA or something. Oh dear....That took over 20 minutes to sort out.

You know, if it werent for my first hand experience, I might not have believed your post that this stuff really happens, but yeah, I can attest that these agents were the most clueless checkin agents I have ever dealt with, supervisor included. I really wish you could somehow checkin at the lounge, as the lounge staff there is top notch...

I guess eventually Ill consolidate all these complaints and send them to AA, but avoid checking in at SFO like the plague!!!

Last edited by no2chem; Dec 2, 15 at 9:48 am
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Old Dec 2, 15, 10:02 am
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These are likely former US agents. I have only ever dealt with reasonably helpful AA agents at SFO prior to the integration date.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by DWFI View Post
These are likely former US agents. I have only ever dealt with reasonably helpful AA agents at SFO prior to the integration date.
Can't say that's always been my experience there in the check in areas, unfortunately, before or after the merger. Glad yours has been better.

Never anything enough to make a big scene, I suppose, but it's not the most efficient station and, as luck would have it, it's my home one. Lounge staff? Off the charts good, light years ahead than anyone I would ever deal with in the United lounges, for example. I work hard at not checking bags there and go straight to the lounge if I need to sort anything out these days.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 10:17 am
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Somewhere in all of this, it seems that your EXP status is not properly reflecting. Yes, the agent at the line ought to have honored your card, but the entire muck up as to luggage and interfering in the OPUP are just weird.

Why not start with a call to AA and simply say, "I had trouble with being recognized as EXP recently, would you please check your records and confirm." If the answer is "yes" then I would send in a note detailing the specific issues.

If the answer is "no" you then have a more significant issue and need to get that fixed.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 10:29 am
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My experience at SFO has been relatively consistent with both AA and legacy US:

- The club agents are excellent.
- Most gate agents are good to excellent.
- I try to avoid the ticket counter as it seems to be amateur hour as much as it's not.

I too have had basic issues with checked bags with both AA and US agents at the counter. In one case with a legacy US agent, I wound up calling the Chairman's line and having them school the agent on the basics of bag fees after the supervisor wasn't helpful either. A legacy AA agent a few weeks ago refused to talk to an EXP agent that a colleague had to call about the same issue last week.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 10:38 am
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I've found that agent helpfulness across the whole system has been pretty poor lately. I suspect it's merger related, but it also could be some permanent Parker culture trickling down. I'm probably headed back to UA and VX for a bit until it appears these little annoyances are finished.

I've also had some issues with the agents at SFO, but the helpfulness of those in the AC almost always makes up for it. I'll certainly miss them if I take a break from AA.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 10:48 am
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SFO they put nets under their bridges to catch the jumpers...

Guess the General Traveling Public is driving them Crazy.

Lot of new guys on the gates...Every body is so special
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Old Dec 2, 15, 11:18 am
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I had a situation in Fll a few weeks ago. Traveling Fll-Dfw-Hkg-Bkk . I had separate Hkg-Bkk ticket with Cathay. Told agent to check luggage thru. Said he couldn't do it, because can only do it with One World carries. Told him Cx is One World. He said no. Agent next to him came over and said she would help. In 30 seconds I had all boarding passes and checked thru. Conversation with them...he was former UsAir. Not familiar with transpacific routings and rules. She usually worked Miami int!l check in and had no problems with my routings.
There are going to be issues with cross training for awhile. But would be nice if they would discuss it, rather than just say no.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 11:23 am
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Before the merger, I had a couple times issues with check-in, where they would ignore the Priority/First line and call over people from other lines to the counter specific marked First. Haven't flown out of SFO since the merger, as OAK is only 10 minutes from my house.

The AC agents at SFO are all angels in my book.
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Old Dec 2, 15, 12:17 pm
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Strange. I'm SFO based, and have never had anything but excellent experiences with counter agents, gate agents, and of course the AC. Never once had to show my EXP card, etc. OP's experience is definitely not normal, and unless there are circumstances not being discussed, a complaint is definitely in order.
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