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Two flights in 48 hours didn't have enough gas/Missed both my connections

Discussion in 'American Airlines' started by Erin St George, May 19, 2017 at 3:32 PM.

  1. Erin St George

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    I was on flight 5175 on May 1st from Melbourne, FL to LGA via Charlotte. There ended up being a maintenance problem once we boarded the plane. After about an hour they had that resolved. They a woman decided she wanted off the plane. She said she had an "emergency" and we are already pulled back from the gate. The pilot gave her permission to get off. I asked the stewardess what the emergency was, and she refused to tell me. Given that the woman walked herself off the plane, and then continued to wait 30 minutes for her luggage as they tried to find it, clearly it was not an emergency. Airlines are so afraid of law suits, they are not catering to people. If its an emergency you either leave in an ambulance or you rush off the plane as fast as possible to get to the emergency. You don't wait around for 30 minutes for your luggage. Well because of the maintenance issue and this so called "emergency" they said we wouldn't have enough gas to get to CLT. So then we had to wait 45 minutes to get refueled in which our entire plane missed their connecting flights. I was flying to NYC for business an ended up missing my lunch and the whole day wrecked.

    Then when I was leaving LGA on Wednesday May 3rd I was heading to Las Vegas via CLT. The incoming flight had landed a little late, so we were a little behind schedule. We all boarded and pulled back. Then we continued to sit on the jetway for about 45 mins. I was in first class and I could hear the pilot and stewardess talking. The pilot first didn't want to make an announcement, probably cause he was unsure of what to say, then I heard the stewardess on the phone saying you tell them not me. We never got the real story as to why we sat on the runway...but once again what happens? supposedly we dont have enough gas to get us back to clt so we have to return to the gate to fill up again. Well running out of gas added more to the delay and I ended up missing my connection in CLT. There were no more flights out that evening. I asked for a hotel and they refused me saying it was weather. The sun was shining, no one said it was weather....but running out of gas is what caused me to miss my flight,....not the initial 45 minute delay.

    So I had to pay for a hotel in Vegas that evening and in CLT. All hotels were about 250 bucks close to the airport so I wasted 20,000 marriott points so I would not be out the money. I had paid to upgrade to first class prior to the flight because I had just finished exams for my MBA followed by all my business meetings and wanted a little extra comfort. I called that evening to cancel my first class from CLT to Vegas due to this horrific sitatuion. My husband and client were already out in Vegas, I couldn't get there, even though I flew first class they refused to get my luggage for me, didn't give me an overnight bag with essentials, and I was out a lot of money. They told me they couldn't reverse the first class, I had to e-mail into refunds but they were closed for the evening. I had no choice to keep my ticket even though both flights had been a disaster.

    I am looking for minimum of 100 dollars worth vouchers for both my flights to LGA and my flight to Las Vegas for the inconvenience of missing my flights, paying for an extra hotel, refusal of hotel and to retrieve my luggage and certainly not getting first class service.

    I am also looking for reimbursement of 76.74 and 204.65 for the price of the two tickets I paid to upgrade to first class. If they are unwilling to do that, then I would like to be reimbursed for my hotel for $250 dollars because that evening was a special event in the area and that was the going rate.
     
    #1
  2. VoR61

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    You can appeal your case electronically by using the Company Contacts link at the top of this page. We recommend you start with their Customer Service, Contacts Us, or Contact Form link.

    The information you provide should be concise (summarize) and respectful (non-threatening). Make your requests specific and reasonable, and thank them for their time and consideration. Acknowledge that you are requesting an exception to their policy.

    Wait at least two weeks for a reply before moving on to the executive level contacts.

    And, FYI, your request seems quite reasonable ...
     
    #2
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  3. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    #3
  4. JVillegirl541

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    The emergency had to be serious enough that the pilot allowed the passenger to deplane and the Airline allowed it. They don't pull back to the gate except for exceptional circumstances. But then the airline should be compensating and assisting passengers effected by this delay.
     
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  5. Algebralovr

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    You may wish to write a letter and post it here for feedback before sending it.
     
    #5
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  6. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

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    What an awful experience, Erin ... your first trip as a newly-minted MBA a disaster. Your compensation request is quite reasonable and should not be a problem. You were not flying a discount/no frills airline, right?

    You will have the best luck by paring your story down to the bare bones. The person reading your letter sits in a damp, dingy office with a dead plant all day and reads complaints. You want her to understand exactly what happened on the first read. She does not care 'why' things are, your job is to narrate the sequence of events. Your story can be told in 3 or 4 paragraphs; unfortunately the airline hears it all the time. It's fine to vent to us about such a frustrating experience, but in your letter, leave out all emotion, opinions and overheard conversations. Just the facts, ma'am. If you want to post a draft of your letter, we'll be happy to critique it before you submit it. VoR has laid it all out for you ... start with customer service and work your way up the beanpole, waiting a week between each submission. Good luck, and please let us know the outcome.
     
    #6
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  7. Kahhss

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    So in your opinion the airline should make the determination between accommodating the emergency request or losing money.

    "My father just had a heart attack and I need to get off."
    "Sorry, we can't because then we're going to be forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars to the other passengers."
    *Airline is reamed out on the 5:00 news*

    "My father just had a heart attack and I need to get off."
    "Okay, let's lose money!"
    *Airline goes out of business or prices go up for everyone*

    Talk about no win situations. I guess it's easy to be generous with someone else's money.
     
    #7
  8. JVillegirl541

    Staff Member Advocate

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    Excuse me, Exactly what is your point? In this case the airline DID make the decision!
     
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  9. Kahhss

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    In business, dollars come first. So the way you presented your "solutions" becomes an obvious call for the airline - which is to tell the passenger to go stuff themselves and continue with the flight. But that's not what we want because that's not the right thing to do. The right thing to do would be for them to act with compassion and kindness. Your solution penalizes the airline for doing the right thing. Penalizing a company for doing the humane thing is not in anyone's best interest. We want to ensure that we reward - not penalize - behavior that we would like to encourage. Your solution does not do that.

    Finally, in this case the argument could be made easier that the pax who needed to be let off should compensate everyone on the plane. Is that an acceptable solution? I think not but actually it puts the financial burden on the person who caused the issue.

    Instead, why don't we just understand that things happen and that occasionally we're going to have to be inconvenienced for being kind to another member of our species. People shouldn't have to be paid for every slight inconvenience.
     
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  10. Christina H

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    I have to agree with Kahhss on the issue of not penalizing the airline for doing something right.

    The pilot on the MLB to CLT obviously thought that the passenger had a good enough reason for getting off the plane. And that choice is for the pilot to make and one that ends up costing the airline more, in time and jet fuel. And I think it is unreasonable to expect the airline to compensate the entire plane; this was not the airline's doing. It is also not helpful to pass judgement on the passenger by the behavior or the issue of waiting for the luggage. Again the choice is up to the discretion of the pilot. Perhaps the passenger heard that Grandma passed away and now they need to stay in town to plan a funeral. There are so many plausible reasons for the disembarking passenger to behave the way she did.

    There are enough complaints that corporate employees show no compassion, and now when one does, they are criticized.

    I have been on planes that have been delayed for similar reasons, and even one plane that made an emergency landing because of a health issue mid-flight. Yes these are all inconveniences, but in the big scheme of things these inconveniences are minor. I hope to never be the passenger that causes any such delay but if I were to be I would hope not to criticized by other passengers.

    Connecting flights are certainly a cause of a lot of stress for travelers. Certainly there are times that it is unavoidable, as with smaller airports, like MLB. Other airports such as LGA have a lot of delays. If there is an important meeting in may be better to arrive the night before if possible.

    A nice and polite letter will get one further with the airlines. If the OP actually was seated in First Class then I do not think it is likely that the airline will refund the upgrade so maybe it is better to request the cost of the hotel in Charlotte.

    I do understand the frustrations with delays and meetings, I have had my fair share, especially when flying in and out of LGA. A calm short factual letter will help in getting a resolution.
     
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  11. Patina

    Patina Moderator
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    How do you know the passenger who deplaned was waiting for their luggage? The airline must remove the luggage as a safety procedure. It may have been left in the carrier's baggage office to be retrieved by the passenger at another time or arrangements made to deliver it to their home.
     
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  12. Christina H

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    You are so right, once a person leaves the airline needs to offload the luggage for security. Once the pilot made the decision to allow the passenger to leave, the procedure would be to remove the luggage, whether the passenger waited for it or not.

    This is why I suggested that any letter to AA should not pass any judgment on the exiting passenger, because comments such as "Given that the woman walked herself off the plane, and then continued to wait 30 minutes for her luggage as they tried to find it, clearly it was not an emergency." may not elicit sympathy from AA as it questions the decision of the pilot.

    Any letter to AA should be nice, polite and short -- I am assuming it is AA because of the routing.
     
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  13. jsn55

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    I think that some of us on this forum are more interested in ripping apart others' posts and opinions than solving the problem that the original OP has presented to us. So the point here? There isn't one.
     
    #13
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  14. JVillegirl541

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    @Christina H no one is penalizing the airline for doing the right thing. In fact, Kudos, this must have been an extraordinary circumstance. Airlines just don't do these things often.

    That being said if any passenger is injured financially or travel wise the airline does have a responsibility to do their utmost to fix the travel plans of those at a loss.
     
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  15. Christina H

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    Oh I agree that the people have to be rebooked and helped but I do not think that the airline should be forced to heavily compensate passengers for the delay from a passenger delaying for an pre take off emergency deplaning, and the time to take off luggage. It is really a balance between pure business and the airline trying to be considerate, and it is a tough situation.
     
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  16. VoR61

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    Perhaps compensation would be applicable in cases where the airline allowed booking of a short stopover (e.g., 45 minutes) and this 30 minute delay caused a missed connection.
     
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  17. JVillegirl541

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    I don't believe I ever mentioned extreme compensation or any compensation. The airline just needs to assist other passengers who need appropriate assistance for missed connections etc.
     
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  18. Christina H

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    I think that is the slippery slope -- should the airline pass off the cost to the person that had to get off, or just pay the ones with the short connection times, or the ones in the back of the plane last to exit? If it starts to get to costly for a company to do something nice, they will just not do it, and I think that was the point that Kahhss was trying to make. Mind you I really dislike the unreasonable minimum connection time, I have gotten some wildly optimistic ones with transfers at ORD.

    I do think the judgment of the pilot has to be respected in these sorts of pre departure emergencies and sometimes many are inconvenienced for compassion or the emergency of one person.
     
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  19. VoR61

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    I fully support the pilot's decision, and would only favor compensation when the result is a missed connection. Given the rarity of this scenario (emergency where pilot lets them off), I expect the odds of a missed connection as well would be very low ...
     
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  20. Christina H

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    The OP said that everyone missed their connection, aside from the passenger delay the plane had to refuel of idling -- so there were a lot of people inconvenienced. I was on a 747 that made an emergency landing for a passenger -- had to circle to wait for clearance, and then did have to refuel once on he ground and wait for paperwork to be done. Arrived about 5 hours late.
     
    #20

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