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7/9/17 Flt 280 ICN-DFW - CX'd - Advice and How to Handle in the Future?

7/9/17 Flt 280 ICN-DFW - CX'd - Advice and How to Handle in the Future?

Old Jul 24, 17, 10:58 pm
  #16  
 
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Just to add my 2 cents. I had a situation with a looming missed connection in LAX (SFO-LAX-CUN) while on the BART train to SFO. Inbound flight I was watching was never going to get in and out in time to connect in LAX. First AAgent expended about 1/2 of a calorie of effort to help and said "sorry, I'll rebook you for tomorrow." I said no thanks! This was my vacation!

Called back and got an old school AAgent who expertly and without hesitation rebooked me on UA's nonstop SFO-CUN flight that same evening. My original AA flight was a Milesaver in J and I was rebooked in Y on UA but got all of my AA miles redeposited even though I still traveled SFO-CUN. I thought that worked out pretty well.

Best part is that my travel companion was already booked on the UA flight so we ended up traveling together after all.
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Old Jul 24, 17, 11:21 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by malcolmkettering View Post
Just to add my 2 cents. I had a situation with a looming missed connection in LAX (SFO-LAX-CUN) while on the BART train to SFO. Inbound flight I was watching was never going to get in and out in time to connect in LAX. First AAgent expended about 1/2 of a calorie of effort to help and said "sorry, I'll rebook you for tomorrow." I said no thanks! This was my vacation!

Called back and got an old school AAgent who expertly and without hesitation rebooked me on UA's nonstop SFO-CUN flight that same evening. My original AA flight was a Milesaver in J and I was rebooked in Y on UA but got all of my AA miles redeposited even though I still traveled SFO-CUN. I thought that worked out pretty well.

Best part is that my travel companion was already booked on the UA flight so we ended up traveling together after all.
Any chance you got the shoe size of the first AA agent you spoke to? We could order some stylish cement shoes for him/her.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 1:33 am
  #18  
 
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+1 on the excellent post. I love a good IROP synopsis


Do you know if AA operated an additional flight (extra section) ICN-DFW the following day? This is unclear. Both the OP and Kmersh's significant other flew out on other carriers.

Many times these extra flights are not built in the system immediately.
If AA maintenance needs to send parts from another outstation, and they aren't immediately available, or the repair time is unknown, then SOC might be hesitant to create a new flight in the system that might not actually depart as planned. Otherwise you risk bringing a whole planeload of cancelled pax BACK to the airport the next day for the new flight and then hosing them again.

I wonder if the OP had good luck with his proactiveness because the RES AAgents saw a cancellation of AA280 without any visible extra flight. At that point they are going to book passengers any which way they can to get people out. Is it possible that a second ICN-DFW was created later in the process and the ground agents at ICN were then saying "We cant book you on other carriers" because now AA had a second flight on their own metal built?
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Old Jul 25, 17, 5:09 am
  #19  
 
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I did think of that and even said to my wife, AA might fix the plane and send it as an extra section the following day, but she said that she preferred to have a guaranteed solution if possible rather than hypotheticals, so I did my best as her husband to get her a confirmed reservation for the following day.

Happy Wife, Happy Life and all of that.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 5:22 am
  #20  
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I was also on this flight, and I had a similar experience. I was in business on an SWU while my husband was in economy (had his upgrade taken away at the last minute by a broken seat and AA putting a non-rev in his place, but that's a completely different story). When we finally arrived in DC two days late (after our flight to DC was also cancelled because of smoke at the FAA facility), we both received 20K miles. I reached out on twitter, and we also each received $150 evouchers.

Unlike the OP, I couldn't get reception until after we had deplaned and were in the gate holding area where the airport staff were collecting duty free items. I also was one the EXP line immediately, and probably because I was ticketed in economy, the first options made available for me to get back to DC was to route me onto AA metal through Tokyo. Thus, we were rerouted to ICN-NRT-ORD-BWI, with ICN-NRT on Japan Airlines. The agent I was working with also said that she couldn't ticket anything until the flight was cancelled, and fortunately for us, AA finally cancelled the flight formally just as we were boarding the bus to the hotel.

Had I not been EXP and having an SWU clear, I have a feeling that the entire experience would have been much more awful. It looked like they took all of the business and premium economy passengers to the Oakwood Hotel in Incheon before the rest of the economy, and since my husband was in economy, I had to insist that they let him off the plane to come with me. AA had zero presence on the ground, and the phone number they provided was busy the entire time. We weren't told how to get back to the airport, but fortunately, the hotel gave us bus tickets on the Korean Air bus (didn't want to spend $30 for a taxi). When we returned to the airport to collect our duty free, the AA (i think) staff couldn't find our items. Eventually, they were able to bring our purchases to the gate of our Japan Airlines flight. Overall, two big thumbs down to the AA staff at ICN.

As for being ticketed on other carriers, the people I met received a very mixed bag. The couple behind me also in business on SWUs were rebooked on Korean Air in economy to LAX and then onto AA to DFW. One family was split up with the dad rebooked onto my flight to NRT and then AA to DFW with the mom and kids bused to GMP for a GMP-HND-LAX-DFW routing. For anyone relying on ground staff at ICN and without access to the EXP line, it was a very long night. Even the PLTs were being given the runaround and told that they would have to wait three days to be rebooked onto a flight with availability. So all in all, a complete disaster.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 6:50 am
  #21  
 
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I had a similar situation on LAX-HKG Last December and also think EXP status matters, possibly even your "eagles" if they still exist? My wife and I, both EXPs, were in J on SWUs with our infant child. At 3:30am the flight was cancelled due to APU issues and crew timeout. Similar situation with EXP line not being able to rebook due to flight not showing cancelled, but one agent did hold 2 seats for us on CX. AC AAngels (thankfully it was just opening) finally rebooked us on the 8am CX flight in J. We didn't see very many people from our J cabin on that CX flight although EF was showing it to be pretty open. At least one pax from our J cabin was rebooked on CX in Y and when asking for J at the CX check-in counter was told they couldn't put him in J because he was on upgraded ticket. Not sure of his status or why AA didn't rebook him into J directly. Seems like most pax took a 16 hour delay and went out with our original a/c the following afternoon.

Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
I'd put money on the EXP status. I called when my LAX-HKG was cancelled at the gate in March and got rerouted on Cathay, with my upgrade to business still in place. Flight was around 8 hours after my original AA departure. I only saw two other passengers in the transfer area with me, as we were all dealing with an AA contract worker who was marshaling us around. Seems like everyone else went to the airport hotel and took the delayed AA flight the following day (it was in Macau and did not make it to HKG due to low fuel). I had already been delayed on my incoming LAX-HKG the week before and wasn't ready for another airport hotel. I wanted to get home.



It may be related to what I ran into at Cathay in HKG after I was rerouted over to them. CX would not issue boarding passes until the baggage was transferred from AA. That took about 3 hours to happen. I sat with two other passengers in the transfer area, one who was Concierge Key, waiting for the process to complete. Once they had our bags in their physical possession, they they were able to issue boarding passes.



Probably better than normal. I've had two international delays this year and they gave me 10,000 for one (15 hour overnight delay LAX-HKG) and 15,000 for the other (8 hour delay on a reroute to CX HKG-SFO).
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Old Jul 25, 17, 9:03 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by knit-in View Post
On another note, did you double dip the miles? Get the original AA mileage credit, as well as the KE miles on a Skyteam carrier or (my preference) Alaska?
I did indeed, I didn't know about the Alaska option though. Actually, when I called in a few days later to get ORC, the AAgent was looking for Korean on the OW drop down list. I informed her that her search was in vain and she said oh that's too bad as I was trying to give you credit for both. I immediately regretted not taking that QR flight, would have given a solid pop to the EQMs this year. (I'm at 12k EQD but only 50k EQMs through 7/25)

Originally Posted by PaulInTheSky View Post
1. In IRROPs MX, you should not have to worry about C space. As long as it's 'positive space', you should be good. C space should only be looked into in schedule change, SDC, or weather waivers.

3. Agents made up the rules. You don't need to specify Eastbound or Westbound in IRROPs MX. That's why the agent asked you if you would like
1) Really good to know, I always worry about that when using SWUs

3) I figured as much as the other two agents seemed to be in the get-him-home-any-way-possible mindset.

Originally Posted by discoverCSG View Post
Thanks for this excellent post - hopefully your experiences will be in some way helpful to other travelers who experience AA's legendary overseas IRROPS.

I want to share my own experience w/r/t this point:
...
I kept the CX leg to HKG and then returned home thusly:

HKG-(BA)-LHR-(BA)-PHL-DCA in full J. No resistance was given, as AA had none of its metal that could get me home as quickly.

This proves the general point that routing rules go out the window when a flight is cancelled; how odd that you weren't allowed to use the QR routing.
Great to know regarding protecting the confirmed SWU upgrade. I'll remind the agent that in the future.

Great anecdote that they sent you home on BA, based on the posts in here it's starting to sound like a rogue agent was confusing award rules with irrop rules.

Originally Posted by DoctorORD View Post
Great post. 20K is what I have received under similar circumstances.

I am really stunned that you were able to have long conversations in the 787-9 -- how many bars of reception did you get? One big reason I hate the 787-8 is that it is a giant Faraday cage and I have 0-1 bar of cell phone signal on the ground. I wonder if Boeing was able to improve things for the 789 compared to the 788.
Wow, I had no idea that was the case, this is why I love FT. I assumed I was just in a dead zone, but I was able to squeeze out a bar or two in 1A when I kept the phone by the window.

With that said I flew ICN-DFW last winter when they ran the 772 on it and I was having similar reception issues in seat 1A so I assumed it was a dead zone coupled with the fact that my phone is terrible. Could be a combination of the 3.

Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
I'll echo the thanks for this informative post. Earlier this year I found myself in a somewhat similar pickle on SCL-MIA (eventually connecting to BOS); I was in J on a SWU...

Class of service and status definitely help too, but I still think most important is being able to offer a phone or airport agent specific flights you want, i.e. making their job much easier. Based on mine and other anecdotes on FT, I don't think upgrade status matters--once you're ticketed in C via SWU or miles+copay, you're treated like revenue J pax when it comes to IRROPS protection and can be rebooked into revenue J inventory on other airlines (OW partners, at least). Finally, I'm with OP on the view that in IRROPS situations, routing rules should go out the window, and agents should be empowered to get the flyer home as quickly as possible, even if it means taking the long way around. I believe the second agent offered OP the choice between QR and KE, though, so it seems like a case of a rogue first agent, or could these restrictions (on QR in the OP's case) be a function of the migration from native Sabre to QIK?
Glad to hear it worked out and you kept your headphones. Also great to hear another data point on having the SWU protected. This was definitely not the case in the US days when we used "Chairman Certs." which were the US equivalent to SWUs. It was a hard and fast rule that original class of service controlled rebooking.

Regarding EF, completely agree it's a lifesaver. As you say, EF was showing J space but I wonder if you had gone onto ITA would you have seen seats for sale? My usual routine is to look for seats still for sale then confirm those results with EF and see how many seats are left

Originally Posted by malcolmkettering View Post
Just to add my 2 cents. I had a situation with a looming missed connection in LAX (SFO-LAX-CUN) while on the BART train to SFO...

Called back and got an old school AAgent who expertly and without hesitation rebooked me on UA's nonstop SFO-CUN flight that same evening. My original AA flight was a Milesaver in J and I was rebooked in Y on UA but got all of my AA miles redeposited even though I still traveled SFO-CUN. I thought that worked out pretty well.

Best part is that my travel companion was already booked on the UA flight so we ended up traveling together after all.
Wow great double whammy, got rebooked on *A and while on a saver award. Good to know for the future.

Originally Posted by PurdueFlyer View Post
+1 on the excellent post. I love a good IROP synopsis


Do you know if AA operated an additional flight (extra section) ICN-DFW the following day? This is unclear. Both the OP and Kmersh's significant other flew out on other carriers.

Many times these extra flights are not built in the system immediately.
If AA maintenance needs to send parts from another outstation, and they aren't immediately available, or the repair time is unknown, then SOC might be hesitant to create a new flight in the system that might not actually depart as planned. Otherwise you risk bringing a whole planeload of cancelled pax BACK to the airport the next day for the new flight and then hosing them again.

I wonder if the OP had good luck with his proactiveness because the RES AAgents saw a cancellation of AA280 without any visible extra flight. At that point they are going to book passengers any which way they can to get people out. Is it possible that a second ICN-DFW was created later in the process and the ground agents at ICN were then saying "We cant book you on other carriers" because now AA had a second flight on their own metal built?
Great question, AA only flies to ICN from DFW and that is 1x per day. Regardless, I checked flightaware early the next morning and I saw that Flt 281 (DFW-ICN) was cancelled. I wondered what they were going to do with the spare plane but the DFW outbound cancellation answered that question. I guess they figured it was easier to reroute everyone while still in the States, particularly when giving everyone a roughly T-20 hr heads up. So presumably everything was back to normal the next evening for the 7/10 ICN-DFW.

FWIW, while I was taxiing out on the KE flight the next morning I saw the AA 789 parked out in a satellite area with no stairway or other signs of activity. So they most likely fixed the problem, reported to AA that they don't need new parts and AA cancelled flt 281 (which I presume if they did need new parts they would have loaded onto the next DFW-ICN).

Originally Posted by wco View Post
Unlike the OP, I couldn't get reception until after we had deplaned and were in the gate holding area where the airport staff were collecting duty free items. I also was one the EXP line immediately, and probably because I was ticketed in economy, the first options made available for me to get back to DC was to route me onto AA metal through Tokyo. Thus, we were rerouted to ICN-NRT-ORD-BWI, with ICN-NRT on Japan Airlines. The agent I was working with also said that she couldn't ticket anything until the flight was cancelled, and fortunately for us, AA finally cancelled the flight formally just as we were boarding the bus to the hotel.

Had I not been EXP and having an SWU clear, I have a feeling that the entire experience would have been much more awful. It looked like they took all of the business and premium economy passengers to the Oakwood Hotel in Incheon before the rest of the economy, and since my husband was in economy, I had to insist that they let him off the plane to come with me. AA had zero presence on the ground, and the phone number they provided was busy the entire time. We weren't told how to get back to the airport, but fortunately, the hotel gave us bus tickets on the Korean Air bus (didn't want to spend $30 for a taxi). When we returned to the airport to collect our duty free, the AA (i think) staff couldn't find our items. Eventually, they were able to bring our purchases to the gate of our Japan Airlines flight. Overall, two big thumbs down to the AA staff at ICN.

As for being ticketed on other carriers, the people I met received a very mixed bag. The couple behind me also in business on SWUs were rebooked on Korean Air in economy to LAX and then onto AA to DFW. One family was split up with the dad rebooked onto my flight to NRT and then AA to DFW with the mom and kids bused to GMP for a GMP-HND-LAX-DFW routing. For anyone relying on ground staff at ICN and without access to the EXP line, it was a very long night. Even the PLTs were being given the runaround and told that they would have to wait three days to be rebooked onto a flight with availability. So all in all, a complete disaster.
Damn that faraday cage. Glad to hear you made it back ok with your husband. Great work on the extra $150 vouchers. +1 to everything you said. The thing is, there is no AA staff in ICN, it's all contract staff. Compounding the problem was that the contract KE staff used for irrops were not authorized to provide assistance and instead gave you a number to call who weren't authorized to much either.

I think that is the biggest problem with the whole set up. I don't believe it is entirely reasonable to assume that everyone has the ability to dial the local Korean AA number much less the U.S. number. I wonder had I not called in whether I would have been rebooked onto anything or does AA require some sort of verbal confirmation that rebooked flight is the one you want?

Obviously you hope for the best but plan for the worst, so big takeaway is always have a means to call home. ICN does have airport-wide free wifi so it would be possible to make skype calls both landside and airside.

Originally Posted by iceman06 View Post
I had a similar situation on LAX-HKG Last December and also think EXP status matters, possibly even your "eagles" if they still exist? My wife and I, both EXPs, were in J on SWUs with our infant child. At 3:30am the flight was cancelled due to APU issues and crew timeout. Similar situation with EXP line not being able to rebook due to flight not showing cancelled, but one agent did hold 2 seats for us on CX. AC AAngels (thankfully it was just opening) finally rebooked us on the 8am CX flight in J. We didn't see very many people from our J cabin on that CX flight although EF was showing it to be pretty open. At least one pax from our J cabin was rebooked on CX in Y and when asking for J at the CX check-in counter was told they couldn't put him in J because he was on upgraded ticket. Not sure of his status or why AA didn't rebook him into J directly. Seems like most pax took a 16 hour delay and went out with our original a/c the following afternoon.
hmm mixed bag data point. I'm glad it worked out for you though. So it seems that the phone agents will protect the SWU but the AC agents are not authorized to do the same? Perhaps it's best to always call in?

Go Gators

Last edited by GNVGator; Jul 25, 17 at 9:53 am
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Old Jul 25, 17, 9:26 am
  #23  
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Originally Posted by wco View Post
As for being ticketed on other carriers, the people I met received a very mixed bag. The couple behind me also in business on SWUs were rebooked on Korean Air in economy to LAX and then onto AA to DFW. One family was split up with the dad rebooked onto my flight to NRT and then AA to DFW with the mom and kids bused to GMP for a GMP-HND-LAX-DFW routing. For anyone relying on ground staff at ICN and without access to the EXP line, it was a very long night. Even the PLTs were being given the runaround and told that they would have to wait three days to be rebooked onto a flight with availability. So all in all, a complete disaster.
Makes me wonder - if one just outright purchased a replacement ticket on another carrier, after unsuccessfully getting through to AA or not getting reasonable alternatives, would AA be willing to reimburse the cost of the new ticket?

I think it's easy to say "no way, Jose", but I would point out that this is exactly what Delta did for myself (and lots of others on FT) during their April meltdown. Less the value of the original ticket purchased of course. Obviously different than a one-off mechanical, but it certainly made things easier.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 9:58 am
  #24  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Makes me wonder - if one just outright purchased a replacement ticket on another carrier, after unsuccessfully getting through to AA or not getting reasonable alternatives, would AA be willing to reimburse the cost of the new ticket?

I think it's easy to say "no way, Jose", but I would point out that this is exactly what Delta did for myself (and lots of others on FT) during their April meltdown. Less the value of the original ticket purchased of course. Obviously different than a one-off mechanical, but it certainly made things easier.
I personally think that is a risky proposition because last minute paid J could easily exceed the price of your original ticket. Furthermore, they could just as easily say no we're not refunding it. I'd hate to be the test case for that unless you had a backup of someone refunding it (i.e. an employer) other than AA. I've never used it before but I assume this is where the premium credit card delay/cancellation insurance kicks in. Maybe I should use it for my $30 taxi ride?

I didn't know DL was doing that during the meltdown, though it makes sense for them to do that (i.e. refunding third party tickets) as they were probably unable to rebook pax on their own due to the IT issues. So pax had no other choice but to buy a ticket on another carrier.

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Old Jul 25, 17, 10:40 am
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
I did indeed, I didn't know about the Alaska option though. Actually, when I called in a few days later to get ORC, the AAgent was looking for Korean on the OW drop down list. I informed her that her search was in vain and she said oh that's too bad as I was trying to give you credit for both. I immediately regretted not taking that QR flight, would have given a solid pop to the EQMs this year. (I'm at 12k EQD but only 50k EQMs through 7/25)

That would have been sweet-- double dipping in the same program! I didn't even know that was possible.

Last edited by knit-in; Jul 25, 17 at 3:36 pm
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Old Jul 25, 17, 1:04 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
I personally think that is a risky proposition because last minute paid J could easily exceed the price of your original ticket. Furthermore, they could just as easily say no we're not refunding it. I'd hate to be the test case for that unless you had a backup of someone refunding it (i.e. an employer) other than AA. I've never used it before but I assume this is where the premium credit card delay/cancellation insurance kicks in. Maybe I should use it for my $30 taxi ride?
Agreed it's risky without a specific policy, which I imagine an airline would be loathe to do. As you mention, the last minute walk-up fare is likely quite pricey, especially on one-way international tickets, and importantly probably much more than whatever interline agreements AA has in place. I would think this is the kind of thing that travel insurance would cover (definitely the $30 cab ride!), but you'd have to read the fine print about any $ limits and after how long of a delay it kicks in.

I didn't know DL was doing that during the meltdown,
Well, I don't think anyone knew DL would be doing it during the meltdown, certainly not in those early days.

though it makes sense for them to do that (i.e. refunding third party tickets) as they were probably unable to rebook pax on their own due to the IT issues.
The April meltdown was not really IT-related, at least not reservations IT systems, it was the T-storms in ATL (and then JFK) and not being able to get crew in position for many days. So theoretically they were able to rebook, there just wasn't any availability, and they probably hadn't made the decision to interline initially because it was a "weather" delay.

So pax had no other choice but to buy a ticket on another carrier.
Well, that was what we were faced with. Basically miss 3 days of our 4 day vacation, or pay $$$ to get there on another airline. This was actually our bachelor party and a dozen friends were already in or on their way to Vegas, so it was kind of important to get there. Was fully prepared to eat the cost, but Delta did the right thing in the end (even if they may not have advertised it). Otherwise it would have been our last DL flight for years...
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Old Jul 25, 17, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
I did indeed, I didn't know about the Alaska option though. Actually, when I called in a few days later to get ORC, the AAgent was looking for Korean on the OW drop down list. I informed her that her search was in vain and she said oh that's too bad as I was trying to give you credit for both. I immediately regretted not taking that QR flight, would have given a solid pop to the EQMs this year. (I'm at 12k EQD but only 50k EQMs through 7/25)

Go Gators
You have to take the good with the bad. If you took QR flights you had to leave the laptop at the baggage claim in new IT ban policies by Trump administration, and you don't get to know whether your laptops are physically good until you claim the baggage at first US gateway customs.

Last edited by PaulInTheSky; Jul 25, 17 at 3:05 pm
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Old Jul 25, 17, 1:15 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
I personally think that is a risky proposition because last minute paid J could easily exceed the price of your original ticket. Furthermore, they could just as easily say no we're not refunding it. I'd hate to be the test case for that unless you had a backup of someone refunding it (i.e. an employer) other than AA. I've never used it before but I assume this is where the premium credit card delay/cancellation insurance kicks in. Maybe I should use it for my $30 taxi ride?

I didn't know DL was doing that during the meltdown, though it makes sense for them to do that (i.e. refunding third party tickets) as they were probably unable to rebook pax on their own due to the IT issues. So pax had no other choice but to buy a ticket on another carrier.

Go Gators
I agree, I think it could be a very risky gamble and I am not the gambling type, not especially with my Wife.

On the other hand, I was amazed as a AA nobody though my wife was on a paid Business Class ticket at how willing the AA employee was to help me, especially because I was calling on my wife's behalf.

I remember years ago now, my wife attempted to call the legacy UNITED on my behalf and was told by the UNITED employee that she had no way to know if my wife was truly my wife and furthermore, that I wanted my wife to talk for me.

In the end, I found a sympathetic ANA employee and he worked with UNITED to re-route me, but that was luck, one of list of experiences that left a bad taste in mouth for UNITED.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 3:40 pm
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Originally Posted by PaulInTheSky View Post
You have to take the good with the bad. If you took QR flights you had to leave the laptop at the baggage claim in new IT ban policies by Trump administration, and you don't get to know whether your laptops are physically good until you claim the baggage at first US gateway customs.
The QR laptop ban, or more accurately, the electronics ban on flights from DOH to the US was lifted on July 5.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by knit-in View Post
The QR laptop ban, or more accurately, the electronics ban on flights from DOH to the US was lifted on July 5.
I think that's why he used the past tense.
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