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Denied Boarding b/c of Computer Problem -- Compensation

Denied Boarding b/c of Computer Problem -- Compensation

Old Apr 30, 22, 5:37 pm
  #1  
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Denied Boarding b/c of Computer Problem -- Compensation

Friends,

I was travelling from PHX to LHR and arrived at the check-in desk 90 minutes before departure. For an inexplicable reason, the agent could not check us in, prompting calls to their support team, back and forth to the gate and even to London. Five agents worked on it diligently, and got it to work and then not work and then work, etc, until they sent the flight without us.

They could not have been nicer, but we were denied boarding involuntarily and were delayed in our arrival by 24 hours.

All of the online sites that I read -- including the USDOT and AA websites -- describe Denied Boarding Compensation in the context of oversold flights. This was not an oversell -- but it was 100% AA's fault, and their faulty system caused our delay and our inconvenience.

What are the rules here? Can I ask for compensation? Will I get it? How much is it for? How do I do it? Anyone have experience with this?

Thank you!
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Old Apr 30, 22, 6:09 pm
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Sorry to hear. Were they able to get you on the BA flight?
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Old Apr 30, 22, 6:19 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Sorry to hear. Were they able to get you on the BA flight?
No. They were not. BA said that b/c it was after 5 PM, they could not take us. (The BA flight was at 7:20 PM!).

We went on the flight 24 hours later.
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Old Apr 30, 22, 6:22 pm
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You can write in a complaint and ask for compensation, but you're not entitled to the IDB compensation established under DOT regulations as that only applies to oversale situations.

Did they ever tell you what the problem was that prevented you from checking in?
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Old Apr 30, 22, 7:10 pm
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We had a similar situation last September on an LAX-LHR flight. When online checkin said we had to check in at the airport, we got to LAX four hours early, Which at first seemed crazy, but then absolutely no one could check us in. At least six different agents (plus the support desk) worked over two hours to no avail, including our getting a “your reservation has been cancelled, but your flight credit is safe” email in the middle of it all. As with the OP, everyone could not have been nicer, but it was super stressful. Finally at about 85 mins prior to departure, a new agent was brought in who fixed things in about 10 minutes and handed us boarding passes (original J seat assignments lost but new J seats were fine). The unsatisfying part is that I asked her what the issue had been and she said it was too complicated to explain. I was so eager to get through security and to the flight that I left it at that, so I still don’t know what went wrong,

Anyway, we did make our flight so I don’t have anything to offer regarding compensation, but wanted to acknowledge that you’re not alone with AA IT.
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Old Apr 30, 22, 7:31 pm
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Unfortunately AA is under no obligation to provide compensation even if it was their fault. Had this been a BA flights you would have been eligible for DBC.

The lass in North America need to change with stiff IDB compensation and stiff fines in some cases.

I don't know the point of having IDB compensation if compensation is limited to oversales only; why the DOT excluded compensation for travellers incovinenced through no fault of their own will always be a mystery to me.
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Old Apr 30, 22, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by stevendorechester View Post
Unfortunately AA is under no obligation to provide compensation even if it was their fault. Had this been a BA flights you would have been eligible for DBC.

The lass in North America need to change with stiff IDB compensation and stiff fines in some cases.

I don't know the point of having IDB compensation if compensation is limited to oversales only; why the DOT excluded compensation for travellers incovinenced through no fault of their own will always be a mystery to me.
We all pay one way or the other. It's not like the much-vaunted European comp comes out of the CEO's salary. European travelers pay in the fares.
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Old Apr 30, 22, 10:06 pm
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Originally Posted by stevendorechester View Post
I don't know the point of having IDB compensation if compensation is limited to oversales only; why the DOT excluded compensation for travellers incovinenced through no fault of their own will always be a mystery to me.
Well I think the point of the law was to discourage airlines from heavily overbooking flights on purpose. That's why it excludes last minute equip changes and W&B. The point wasn't to eliminate computer errors or help the customer. I should think the fact the money goes to the customer is merely incidental. It might as well go to the government as a fine.
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Old Apr 30, 22, 11:09 pm
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Originally Posted by TLVflyer View Post
Friends,

I was travelling from PHX to LHR and arrived at the check-in desk 90 minutes before departure. For an inexplicable reason, the agent could not check us in, prompting calls to their support team, back and forth to the gate and even to London. Five agents worked on it diligently, and got it to work and then not work and then work, etc, until they sent the flight without us.

They could not have been nicer, but we were denied boarding involuntarily and were delayed in our arrival by 24 hours.

All of the online sites that I read -- including the USDOT and AA websites -- describe Denied Boarding Compensation in the context of oversold flights. This was not an oversell -- but it was 100% AA's fault, and their faulty system caused our delay and our inconvenience.

What are the rules here? Can I ask for compensation? Will I get it? How much is it for? How do I do it? Anyone have experience with this?

Thank you!
Just curious, was there anything out of the ordinary about purchasing/ticketing the reservation? For example, did you use trip credits or other instruments during purchase?

The reason I ask is because I had a similar experience trying to check in for a SAV-DFW flight in March. Couldnt check in online, went to airport early and the very nice agent helping me wasnt able to check me in at the counter either (she locked up 3 computers trying to check me in, had to hard reboot them). Only after contacting a support desk via phone she was able to check me in. She said it had something to do with the way the ticket was issued using the trip credit and it was applied wrong (I dont know any more details than that).

Maybe your ticket had a similar snafu?
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Old Apr 30, 22, 11:40 pm
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Originally Posted by stevendorechester View Post

I don't know the point of having IDB compensation if compensation is limited to oversales only; why the DOT excluded compensation for travellers incovinenced through no fault of their own will always be a mystery to me.
It's helpful if you acknowledge the regs as a giveaway to industry to preempt individual passenger causes of action as opposed to some measure intended to benefit the passenger.
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Old Apr 30, 22, 11:54 pm
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Originally Posted by js1993 View Post
We all pay one way or the other. It's not like the much-vaunted European comp comes out of the CEO's salary. European travelers pay in the fares.
That's absolutely not how pricing works in any way, shape or form.
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Old May 1, 22, 3:19 am
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
That's absolutely not how pricing works in any way, shape or form.
It certainly is. The European comp doesn't just show up out of the air.
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Old May 1, 22, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
That's absolutely not how pricing works in any way, shape or form.
So, then the EU/UK 161 expenses don't add to fare costs at all?
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Old May 1, 22, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
So, then the EU/UK 161 expenses don't add to fare costs at all?
They eat into margin. Pricing is largely set by the market. A European airline isn't going to be charging markedly more than what the competitor charges for an equivalent market.
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Old May 1, 22, 7:42 am
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Competitors will also have to factor in EU/UK 161 expenses in setting their market prices.
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