BOYCOTT AMERICAN AIRLINES
As many people are aware, American Airlines canceled hundreds of flights yesterday, and then canceled 1000 today. They just announced another set of hundreds of cancellations for tomorrow . . .
Why does anyone care?
Well, I happen to be one of the 100,000 plus passengers affected by these cancellations, and there is a big difference between what American is saying on the news and what is happening in reality!
American is Ignoring Their Customers and Leaving them Stranded!
Upon hearing about the issues American is having, I started calling the airline early this afternoon, in hopes of figuring out what to do about my flight tomorrow. I was able to get through customer service, but when I got to the digital announcement that tells you how long the wait is, the line went dead.
This happened over and again – 7 TIMES TOTAL!
Annoyed, I thought I’d be clever and call the corporate line for AMR, the parent company of the airline. When I reached someone, they told me I’d have to speak with customer service, and that they’d connect me. I got someone after a 20 minute wait and was told that they could not handle the situation; I would need to talk to some desk that is dealing with the issue. When they transferred me to this desk, the hold music came on, and after 4 minutes, the line went dead! I called back and told everyone I spoke to what happened, and was told that there was NOTHING that they could do, and that they would put me back to that number. Again the line went dead as they tried to connect me.
Note that I’ve done this on multiple phones, and it is not the fault of my cell phone, home phone, or other line . . .
Finally, at around 3:14pm I got an automated phone call from American (I signed up for such messages through the website) letting me know that my flight tomorrow was, in fact, canceled.
I thought I’d give it another shot and called the main reservations line . . . after sitting on hold for 24 minutes I finally got someone on the phone! He asked why I was calling and I explained to him who I was, what flight I was on, and that I wanted to make arrangements to get on another flight.
The agent (never gave me his name, unfortunately) proceeded to explain that they were experiencing cancellations because of the FAA. I responded that the cancellations were happening because American never did their job in the first place with inspecting their fleet properly, and the agent snapped back that it wasn’t American’s fault, but the FAA’s.
I didn’t want to get into an argument, so I asked him if we could figure out how to resolve the issue with my canceled flight.
He told me “you have two options: we can refund your ticket or put you on a flight Friday afternoon” (instead of Thursday that I needed). I began to ask about getting a ticket on another airline when he cut me off and started to re-explain that I had two options. He then kept talking about how the airline was taking care of things, but would not allow me to get a word in. I tried to speak and he kept talking over me. This went on for well over a minute, but the agent NEVER allowed me to get another word in – he just kept talking.
Finally, the line went dead . . . he hung up on me!
As I write this blog article, I’m sitting next to my phone on speakerphone . . . I’ve been waiting for 1:32:15 (almost 1.5 hours) to get someone, and it doesn’t seem like it will be happening ANY TIME SOON!
So . . . when the American Airlines spokesman goes on CNN and other networks to tell everyone that they are taking care of the people that they stranded (screwed over), don’t believe their lies!
I’m not being taken care of! I’m being ignored! I will certainly do my best to avoid American from here on in thanks to this spit in the face!
UPDATE: 5:44pm THEY JUST HUNG UP ON ME AGAIN!!!
Just after publishing this article my wife managed to reach someone at American Airlines on her phone. She had been on the phone waiting for 26 minutes when the agent called . . . meanwhile, the time I’d been holding on the other line had reached 1 hour, 35 minutes.
She handed me the phone and I pointed this out to the agent, who said, “well, I’m on the phone now, so what can I do for you?” I thought I’d hang up the other line as I finally reached someone . . .
I told the agent that I was calling about a canceled flight, but before going forward, I wanted to find out who I was talking with. I asked for her name and she told me it was Margie. She then repeated the question, “what can I do for you?” I explained that I was hung up on by the previous agent and I just wanted to make sure I had a written record of who I was speaking with. I asked for some kind of identifying information like her Agent ID # or call center info, and she responded telling me “all calls are recorded, so we have a record of your conversations.” I told her that I appreciate that, but I wanted to have it for my own information . . . we could then discuss the problem I’m having. Suddenly, the line went dead, AGAIN! I was once again hung up on!
UPDATE 6:12pm – My wife just got someone from American Airlines on the phone again . . . and the didn’t hang up! Miracle of Miracles!
He was VERY NICE and helped my wife get a refund for our flight. They weren’t able to get us on a direct flight to replace the one that was canceled . . . he let us know that there were flights on United, but they couldn’t verify whether or not we’d get on the flight. Without that guarantee, we could arrive at the airport and sit for hours waiting to get some kind of verification. Instead, we decided that the only prudent course was to get a refund (note – we had already purchased 2 tickets on Southwest for $1006 immediately after the last hang-up) for our 2 tickets for $318.00.
After it was all said and taken care of, the agent (Ron Moore – PF), explained that what we had been through was uncalled for and that American did not put up with that kind of behavior. He apologized profusely, and I must say, did a FANTASTIC job. He did tell me that anyone who hangs up on a customer would typically be fired (if they found out about it), and additionally, if someone refuses to release identifying information to a customer (Margie), they are disciplined.
Unfortunately, Mr. Moore’s fantastic customer service does not make up for the horrific experience that we’ve been through in trying to handle this situation with American Airlines.
We’re now out an additional $688, and supposedly must wait at least 60 days to get refunded the $318 we initially paid for our tickets. So . . . until that happens, we’re out a grand total of $1321.00 for a $318.00 airline ticket!
So . . . What are you going to do about it American Airlines?
UPDATE 8:39pm – I JUST GOT A CALL FROM THE AMERICAN AIRLINES AUTOMATED PHONE SYSTEM AND WAS NOTIFIED THAT MY FLIGHT WAS REINSTATED!
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!??!?!?!?
After going through everything I’ve gone through today (hours on hold and hangups), setting up a refund with American Airlines, and spending over $1000 on a replacement flight, I get a call telling me the flight is back on . . . what the hell would you do?