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Thanks AA for Missing My Nephew's College Graduation! (mechanicals, cancellation)

Thanks AA for Missing My Nephew's College Graduation! (mechanicals, cancellation)

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Old May 12, 18, 6:55 pm
  #1  
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Thanks AA for Missing My Nephew's College Graduation! (mechanicals, cancellation)

Dear American Airlines, and Z <redacted> "Customer Relations (?)" representative.

Thanks SO very much for causing me to miss my Nephew's College graduation, from The University of Arizona! DFW-TUS was scheduled to depart at 0935, on May 10th. It didn't actually depart until approximately 3:30 P.M., 6 hours later. At this point I was going to miss graduation, so decided to call it a day. There were 2 separate Mechanicals, one requiring a return to gate, both serious, and I get that. Also, even with all the time correcting the first mechanical, American still managed to neglect to cater the aircraft. What! Really? Provisioning is just basic stuff. I also know that an aircraft swap was reasonable and the Right Thing To Do. I am an aviation professional, with almost 29 years in the industry, with multiple airlines. I can fly on any airline I wish. I KNOW how airline operations work, intimately. I chose to fly American, to my dismay.

To just add to the experience, I do so appreciate the "Tough to Be You" response that Z offered. Hey! He actually offered to Refund My Ticket! Wow, I'm ecstatic with the noble offer! How much did it put AA out to go that far? That was mighty gracious of them! That is only to be expected! But, to think that is a satisfactory resolution to my experience? Laughable!
My husband is traveling once a week, for at least 2 years for business. As his wife, I can certainly influence his airline choice. I included his AA account in my report to Customer Relations, to view his activity, to show his (current) loyalty with AA. College graduates work for 4-5 Years minimum, in order to complete the requirements to graduate. College has been a difficult achievement for my Nephew, and we have waited years, to celebrate this event together! Another Customer, in the rear of the aircraft, stated that a different Customer was going to miss their own graduation! American called airport police, due to Customers' being rightfully upset. I asked the officers to show a little mercy, due to the circumstances. There needs to be Customer compliance and self-restraint, but being upset and angry is a normal human response, too.

Customers had to board 3 times, including an aircraft swap 6 hours later, with all their belongings, due to this fiasco of a flight.In addition, my family has a trip to Europe booked on AA, and we were planning to purchase tickets for this same Nephew's wedding, come July. However, this experience has caused a total rethinking of my patronage of American. They actually really think a "Sorry, here's your money back" is the Right, Apologetic, and Proper response to this Epic Failure?That is Not Acceptable!I sent a 2nd e-mail to AA, to ask if this was really an appropriate measure to show goodwill and demonstrate a Sincere Apology, and true Customer Service. Zed, once again in a true gesture of Goodwill, said "we do our best to be fair and supportive as advocates for our customers. For those exceptions, we evaluate all the circumstances and try to be reasonable and fair in our decisions. In this case we will not be taking any further action."

Hey American! Are you there? Can you hear me? Do you remotely think that this expresses Goodwill, Customer Service, and doing the Right Thing?

I hope someone at American will read this, and actually attempt a gesture of Apology and Goodwill. It woud be appreciated. I'll be sharing my experience with people, and I'd like for their to be a positive outcome.

Forwarned, Fellow Advantange Members!

Last edited by JDiver; May 12, 18 at 7:12 pm Reason: Redacted non-management employee name
txskygal is offline  
Old May 12, 18, 7:11 pm
  #2  
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Why would you think AA would read this here, and act in some way to help?

So, here’s the deal, in my opinion and experience: in over 60:years of air Travel and being involved in parts of the airline industry myself, if I really, really want or need to be there, I go the day (or more, depending on distance, flights availability, etc.) before. I know regardless of airline and the periodic maintenance schedules, checklists, MEL, etc. things occasionally break, crews time out, etc. (I also use tools to look up alternate flights - including seat availability - so I can proactively contact AA abd have them endorse my ticket to another airline, but I don’t know if that could have worked with your timeline.

Unfortunately, AA is one of the Airlines that’s not very good at communicating these things to passengers, and that’s a fail. It also looks like AA did a poor job of getting a replacement aircraft. AA treated your trip properly as a trip in vain and refunded your ticket. That’s a start.

Now it’s up to you to decide what you would reasonably ask from AA to make this right. Read https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...aster-thd.html, and see Contacting American Airlines Customer Relations & Complaint, Issues (master thread) to contact them. Because posting here won’t get more than commentary here. Good luck.
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JDiver is offline  
Old May 12, 18, 7:11 pm
  #3  
 
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A simple test that I apply is - if missing a given event is going to cause me to become so furious that I mash out this sort of tirade, perhaps I consider giving myself a cushion of more than a couple hours when planning my itinerary.
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Old May 12, 18, 7:16 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
if I really, really want or need to be there, I go the day (or more, depending on distance, flights availability, etc.) before. I know regardless of airline and the periodic maintenance schedules, checklists, MEL, etc. things occasionally break, crews time out, etc.
This is the key. If OP's husband flies regularly for business then he would know it too.
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Old May 12, 18, 7:23 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
A simple test that I apply is - if missing a given event is going to cause me to become so furious that I mash out this sort of tirade, perhaps I consider giving myself a cushion of more than a couple hours when planning my itinerary.
Yup. And this (a mechanical delay/cancel) can happen on any airline, any day, anytime. Airplanes are machines; they break down at the worst possible time. Next time, go the day before.
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Old May 12, 18, 7:31 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
A simple test that I apply is - if missing a given event is going to cause me to become so furious that I mash out this sort of tirade, perhaps I consider giving myself a cushion of more than a couple hours when planning my itinerary.
Well said. Who would arrive just a couple of hours before an event that is so important that missing it causes this kind of reaction? Fly in the night before if it is this important. What if you were driving to an event and a car crash shut down your highway for 5 hours? Happens all the time. Or your car breaks down? Who would you rant to in that case? Stuff happens, mechanical things break down. I am glad that there is so much care taken to make sure these mechanical things that fly me 35,000 above the earth are kept as safe as possible. Even if that means a delay that I should have planned better for.
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Old May 12, 18, 7:33 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
A simple test that I apply is - if missing a given event is going to cause me to become so furious that I mash out this sort of tirade, perhaps I consider giving myself a cushion of more than a couple hours when planning my itinerary.
This. There were two earlier nonstop flights that day. For something such as a graduation, either book the earliest flight out or better yet, fly in the night before. Even with no mechanicals, a bit of bad weather and some ATC issues and you would have been delayed too.

You cut this one too close.
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Old May 12, 18, 7:37 pm
  #8  
 
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If I read that whole first post, I’d Be mightily delayed on whatever came next.
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Old May 12, 18, 7:47 pm
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Super curious to know what an aviation professional is?
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Old May 12, 18, 7:51 pm
  #10  
 
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Not gonna repeat what others said above, but one time I had an important event at YVR on a Friday, scheduled the Wednesday CX JFK - YVR which was cancelled due to CX mechanical. The first re-route I got from CX was JFK - LHR - HKG - YVR, which obviously couldn't make it in time though I would love to stay in CX F/J for that long. Ended up taking a risk rescheduled to the Thursday night CX flight, with AC EWR - YVR and AA JFK - SEA as back up plans. All went well and CX reimbursed the transportation (Did not ask for vouchers or miles).
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Old May 12, 18, 7:58 pm
  #11  
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Uh, first of all thanks for the sympathy. Great to see fellow AA members commiserating with an upsetting situation!

Secondly, this is not my first rodeo. In making your ASSUMPTIONS, I WAS booked for the previous day. However, I have extremely severe allergies, giving me a severe cold, which caused me to have to cancel the flight the day before, which I therefore booked for the following day, the day of graduation.

Thirdly, having done this for almost 3 decades, I looked at every airline, alternate routes and city-pairs, to see what remote feasibility there was to reroute myself, to ameliorate this situation, to no avail.

Forthly, I know that although aircrafts swaps are not necessarily the easiest thing, and they affect operations all down the line, this was a reasonable and acheiveable option, at some point.

In addition, I am also aware that American has been known to monitor these forums, and to respond with the Customer.

Finally, I'm not quite as stupid and inept as you all make me out to be. Assuming I did not do everything within my power, to use situational awareness and advanced planning shows the negative self-righteousness of those who think all this was somehow my own fault!

Wow, hope the world is a little more sympathetic to your situation, next time you have a problem with life!
txskygal is offline  
Old May 12, 18, 8:15 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by txskygal View Post
Uh, first of all thanks for the sympathy. Great to see fellow AA members commiserating with an upsetting situation!

Secondly, this is not my first rodeo. In making your ASSUMPTIONS, I WAS booked for the previous day. However, I have extremely severe allergies, giving me a severe cold, which caused me to have to cancel the flight the day before, which I therefore booked for the following day, the day of graduation.

Thirdly, having done this for almost 3 decades, I looked at every airline, alternate routes and city-pairs, to see what remote feasibility there was to reroute myself, to ameliorate this situation, to no avail.

Forthly, I know that although aircrafts swaps are not necessarily the easiest thing, and they affect operations all down the line, this was a reasonable and acheiveable option, at some point.

In addition, I am also aware that American has been known to monitor these forums, and to respond with the Customer.

Finally, I'm not quite as stupid and inept as you all make me out to be. Assuming I did not do everything within my power, to use situational awareness and advanced planning shows the negative self-righteousness of those who think all this was somehow my own fault!

Wow, hope the world is a little more sympathetic to your situation, next time you have a problem with life!
I'm sorry to hear you missed his graduation. We know its very upsetting and sounds like you tried to work around it. Its not, however, my sense that American monitors this board.

Additionally, American doesn't want to cancel flights. It costs them lots of money to cancel and delay flights and they understand it upsets and inconveniences passengers. I've flown a bit over 100,000 miles so far in 2018. For the most part, I've had flights basically on time. There have been, however, some delays -- maintenance in one case, a passenger who demanded to get off right before take off that caused a delay inconveniencing 150 passengers, and some maintenance delays. American flies 6700 flights a day and safety is important ... we expect pilots to preflight aircraft and notice issues which sometimes take longer to fix than we would like. I can tell you its pretty rare. Of course, that doesn't help your inconvenience.
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Old May 12, 18, 8:18 pm
  #13  
 
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You know, it’s just life. Not worth all the hyperbole.
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Old May 12, 18, 8:35 pm
  #14  
 
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With a refund not being satisfactory compensation for you, what would AA have to do to make this right in your mind?
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Old May 12, 18, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by jridge View Post
This is the key. If OP's husband flies regularly for business then he would know it too.
<removed OT overly personalised comment>

Booking yourself on the same day arrival of your event has inherent risks. It's regrettable you didn't see your relation graduate but seriously, if it was THAT important you travel the day before. Delays do happen, they're unpredictable.
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Last edited by Microwave; May 12, 18 at 11:17 pm
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