If AA says it was the weather

Old Jan 16, 17, 2:41 pm
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If AA says it was the weather

Flying from ASE through DFW to MCO. My flight departing from ASE is arriving from ORD - scheduled to arrive at ASE at 1516 and depart for DFW at 1620. The flight actually hits the gate at 1605 and we push back from the gate at 1645 plus/minus.

The pilot apologizes for the late arrival and states he was delayed out of ORD for one hour because of a "mechanical issue with the back of the plane".

We then go to de icing which doesn't take long however after de - icing the pilot comes on and says he is having a problem with the navigational system and needs to reboot the system by powering down the plane. The plane is depowered and re powered but by the time that is all done the plane needs to be de - iced again and this time there is a long delay - I assume because other planes at that point had priority for de icing. We finally depart - at this point way late.

The pilot comes on again and apologizes for the delay and states he will not be able to make up the time because he has to be careful about burning too much fuel.

We arrive at DFW and I miss my MCO connection by about 10 minutes.

I am re ticketed for MCO the next AM but am told I will not receive vouchers for any cost related to the overnight stay in Dallas because the delay was "weather related".

Is there any point to trying or any way to appeal this situation. With all the delay we had the one thing that was never mentioned was a weather issue.

Other flights out of ASE at the same time had no issues with weather delays but lurking on this site for years it seems that carries no weight in these type of cases

Thanks
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Old Jan 16, 17, 3:14 pm
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I recently saw something similar unfold in FNT. I was checking a bag at the ticket counter, knowing my flight was already delayed. I asked the ticket counter worker the reason for the delay, and he said "The flight crew this morning showed up late. We've been behind all day."

I get to the gate, and people are being rebooked left and right. I hear the gate agent tell an elderly couple AA wasn't going to pay for their hotel because this was "A weather delay."

I walked over to the woman after she left the counter and told her "Don't let him do that to you. The real reason this flight is delayed is because the crew showed up late. They have to pay for your hotel."

She walked back up to the counter and got what she wanted, armed with the proper information.

Sometimes people lie about reasons for delays, and calling them out on their lie right there is your best chance to rectify the situation.

Since this is after-the-fact, I would file a DOT complaint against AA for lying about the reason for the delay, citing the pilot said it was mechanical. They really shouldn't be able to get away with this. Just because it's winter doesn't mean every little delay is the weather.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 3:49 pm
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Agree with the previous poster. Sometimes you have to be firm about these things.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 4:39 pm
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It can't hurt to say that you were on board the plane and list the mechanical issues that you heard with your own ears.

That said, I typically have better luck in booking my own hotel when I have to stay overnight. Sometimes there are only a few hours available to sleep and the airline will make you wait in line to get a voucher and then shuttle you somewhere far away because it's cheaper. By the time you get there, you might as well stay up. This happened to me with AS at 3 a.m. in SEA and I really regret I didn't just book something near SEA rather than the one they put us up at south of Tacoma.

I figure with all the travel I do I am going to eat some costs now and then.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 4:52 pm
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This unfortunately seems very common with all airlines. If even part of a delay can be blamed on weather, it becomes a weather delay. 3 hour mechanical delay followed by 15 minute weather ATC hold? Weather delay!
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Old Jan 16, 17, 4:59 pm
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Or inbound equipment or inbound crew delayed by weather = weather delay.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 4:59 pm
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The agents just use the coded term in front of them on the monitor. AA, just like other US carriers, will code any flight as delayed for WX if any aspect of the delay can be attributed to WX. This is with DOT's blessing.

That is different than the wording of the COC for purpose of covering hotel + meals. In this case the issue is whether the delay causing the misconnect and hotel/meal expense was within AA's control. That is a case-by-case analysis.

To your point, be firm and use facts. But, the agent is not lying and the place to deal with this is on the spot. DOT won't intervene if you assert that AA lied.

As to whether it's worth waiting in line for a voucher, that depends on your personal circumstances. If you can expense this, submit it to travel interruption insurance or simply chalk it up to the costs of travel, that is great. But, if you are on a tight budget, the alternative to 90 minutes in line, a bus to a dump and back may be a plastic seat at the airport.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 5:01 pm
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well OP , I hope for your troubles you at least got a full day on the slopes before heading to ASE
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Old Jan 16, 17, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
As to whether it's worth waiting in line for a voucher, that depends on your personal circumstances. If you can expense this, submit it to travel interruption insurance or simply chalk it up to the costs of travel, that is great. But, if you are on a tight budget, the alternative to 90 minutes in line, a bus to a dump and back may be a plastic seat at the airport.
True.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The agents just use the coded term in front of them on the monitor. AA, just like other US carriers, will code any flight as delayed for WX if any aspect of the delay can be attributed to WX. This is with DOT's blessing.

That is different than the wording of the COC for purpose of covering hotel + meals. In this case the issue is whether the delay causing the misconnect and hotel/meal expense was within AA's control. That is a case-by-case analysis.

To your point, be firm and use facts. But, the agent is not lying and the place to deal with this is on the spot. DOT won't intervene if you assert that AA lied.

As to whether it's worth waiting in line for a voucher, that depends on your personal circumstances. If you can expense this, submit it to travel interruption insurance or simply chalk it up to the costs of travel, that is great. But, if you are on a tight budget, the alternative to 90 minutes in line, a bus to a dump and back may be a plastic seat at the airport.
^^

Additionally, AA often considers the final delaying event as the ultimate reason for the delay, so it is consistent that if the final delay was caused by deicing, they would consider it to be weather-related.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 6:26 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The agents just use the coded term in front of them on the monitor. AA, just like other US carriers, will code any flight as delayed for WX if any aspect of the delay can be attributed to WX. This is with DOT's blessing.
Is there actually any evidence that they have DOT blessing? Or is it more that DOT has been looking away. Hopefully with sufficient volume of complains they will have to investigate.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 11:05 am
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I remember hearing that the true cause of a delay can be verified by contacting the cargo Dept. Not sure how one does that, however.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by makfan View Post
It can't hurt to say that you were on board the plane and list the mechanical issues that you heard with your own ears.

That said, I typically have better luck in booking my own hotel when I have to stay overnight. Sometimes there are only a few hours available to sleep and the airline will make you wait in line to get a voucher and then shuttle you somewhere far away because it's cheaper. By the time you get there, you might as well stay up. This happened to me with AS at 3 a.m. in SEA and I really regret I didn't just book something near SEA rather than the one they put us up at south of Tacoma.

I figure with all the travel I do I am going to eat some costs now and then.
this is something where Delta far outshines everyone else. In the case of IRROPS, the GA has to just scan the PNR and the machine spits out a hotel voucher and any related food vouchers; the voucher puts elites in hotels based on status (diamonds to the Westin, plats/golds to the Sheraton in ATL). Then you go straight to the hotel bus and check-in with no lines at ticket counters at the airport. Passengers can do this themselves at kiosks in front of the flight services desks in the airport too.

I don't understand why AA can't automate this process and then process exceptions in the lines
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by lds89 View Post
this is something where Delta far outshines everyone else. In the case of IRROPS, the GA has to just scan the PNR and the machine spits out a hotel voucher and any related food vouchers; the voucher puts elites in hotels based on status (diamonds to the Westin, plats/golds to the Sheraton in ATL). Then you go straight to the hotel bus and check-in with no lines at ticket counters at the airport. Passengers can do this themselves at kiosks in front of the flight services desks in the airport too.

I don't understand why AA can't automate this process and then process exceptions in the lines
Interesting. I've only had to hotel myself unexpectedly 3 times. The first one was a miserable experience coming out of JNU on Alaska Airlines after a serious MX issue.

It was during the brief window when no liquids at all were allowed, not even the Kippie bag. JNU is a terrible place for that to happen as there were almost no facilities after security. Biggest issue for me is contact lens solution. I had checked it not knowing I would be overnighting in SEA with no solution.

At any rate, AS told us we would be at a Marriott near SEA and I found a 24-hour Walgreens, but when we arrived we were paged to a gate and given vouches for a van and some noname hotel south of Tacoma. This was about 3 a.m. and my friend was leaving on a 7 a.m. My continuing flight was at noon. He really felt he would have done better staying at the airport. I had to put my contacts in water and disinfect them several times when I finally got home (fortunately I had my glasses). These were not disposable lenses.

The other two times I just got my own hotel. One was AC at YVR and the most recent one was AA at JFK.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by rxgeek View Post
I remember hearing that the true cause of a delay can be verified by contacting the cargo Dept. Not sure how one does that, however.
Used to be possible by simply looking up the flight status on aacargo.com. I don't believe that's still the case.

-FlyerBeek
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