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AA disability customer service

AA disability customer service

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Old Oct 6, 17, 6:46 pm
  #1  
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AA disability customer service

We recently flew round trip from PIT to HNL outgoing through PHX and on the way home through DFW. When the tickets were purchased 9 months before the trip, I flagged my son as needing wheelchair assistance. AA changed our flights and seats several times and I only found out by checking my flights on my own. One week before our flight I finally called and talked to customer service and asked them why my son was not flagged as needing wheelchair assistance. Through the conversation, I was assured that he was indeed now listed as needing wheelchair assistance.

Through Phoenix it was no problem. A wheelchair was waiting for us along with an attendant as it was upon arriving in HNL. However, customer service in HNL on the way home looked at us like they had never heard of somebody needing a wheelchair to get through security and to the gate. It got even worse when we arrived in DFW. Yes, there was a person at the gate with wheelchairs to help off the plane, but when we asked if this was for our son (using his name) the person could not understand or speak English and could not answer what gate we needed to go to. We had to go to the nearest gate and find out that we needed to go from C to A wing, a considerable distance and directed us to one of those electric carts to take us there. That was fine, but when we finally got to the next gate, there were no wheelchairs available to get him down the ramp and onto the plane. We asked at the gate for a wheelchair and 10 minutes later, one finally arrived. The gate agent mentioned that he was not flagged as needing a wheelchair on their manifest.

Now people might be asking why we just didn't take him down ourselves, but without going into too much detail, although my son is 27 years old, he is legally blind, deaf, has low muscle tone and gets frightened in unfamiliar places. He is impossible to pick up and carry. Because of his vision, he has no depth perception and getting onto the airline is a chore.

My question is why should I even bother flagging him as needing a wheelchair when it apparently gets erased somehow in the system? Why bother calling a week in advance when it apparently does no good? It's not like it was a busy time in DFW.

The other thing that bothers me is AA seems to indiscriminately change flights/seats whenever they feel like it. We are a family of 4 and both of my sons are disabled, although my other son is somewhat independent, but could never sit by himself on a plane. He was also labeled on the tickets as being disabled, but they changed flights and seats on us breaking us up. At one point they had us all over the airplane separately, even though we paid extra for preferred seating. Is there any way to fix this problem?

This is the worst experience we have had on any given trip (except for the service on Hawaiian Airlines from OGG to HNL. The flight attendants are very nice, but it is the service on the ground that is poor.
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Old Oct 7, 17, 8:57 am
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Some of us with disabilities have learned the hard way that you can never trust the airline to make sure each stop on the way knows what is needed. We have learned to call in advance, get it noted, ask again at check in, ask again at the gate, ask the flight attendants before landing, etc... It's silly, but that is what I learned to do over the years.
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Old Oct 7, 17, 12:25 pm
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Make certain that the agent at check-in knows exactly what it is that is needed, that you repeat this with the GA and the FA onboard.

Even when things get messed up, the first communication on arrival is about special requirements such as wheelchairs.

There is also a Resolution Officer on duty, whether physically or by phone, at every airport. If there is even a remote concern that you are not being heeded, simply ask for the Resolution Officer. That person has the authority to direct any specific service required or otherwise available and can even message a connection point.
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Old Oct 12, 17, 1:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Make certain that the agent at check-in knows exactly what it is that is needed, that you repeat this with the GA and the FA onboard.

Even when things get messed up, the first communication on arrival is about special requirements such as wheelchairs.

There is also a Resolution Officer on duty, whether physically or by phone, at every airport. If there is even a remote concern that you are not being heeded, simply ask for the Resolution Officer. That person has the authority to direct any specific service required or otherwise available and can even message a connection point.
do german airports, and in particular MUC and fra have resolution officers?

my experiences at MUC AND FRA have been like episodes out of hogan's heroes.
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Old Oct 13, 17, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
do german airports, and in particular MUC and fra have resolution officers?

my experiences at MUC AND FRA have been like episodes out of hogan's heroes.
Maybe. The EU has different accessibility standards than the US. I haven't ever needed one, so I don't know if they have resolution officials, or what the equivalent is called. I will try to find out, but may not be able to post what I find right away.
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Old Oct 13, 17, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
do german airports, and in particular MUC and fra have resolution officers?
.
Pursuant to the US Air Carrier Access Act 14 CFR 382.151(b) at an airport outside the United States a US carrier would be required to have a complaint resolution officer available during hours which they have flights operating whether or not such flights are operating directly to the United State and a foreign carrier is required to have a complaint resolution officer available for any flights operating directly to the United States only.

Obviously this is a US law relating only to US carriers or foreign carriers flying directly to the United States. I know there are UK and EU laws that have attempted to parallel the ACAA, however, I'm not well versed in their specifics.
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Old Oct 17, 17, 8:44 am
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I did review EU law here https://www.aviationreg.ie/_fileuplo..._1107_2006.pdf

It would seem that there are no CROs unless member states require them. I do not know if any member states require them or not.
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