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Jul 24, 2019
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#1
On June 19, 2019 I began a long anticipated trip from MCO to Bozeman, MT to visit Yellowstone National Park. I purchased tickets for my son and daughter-in-law using miles and paid $$ for my own ticket. Our layover airport was DFW. Upon arrival at DFW we received text messages and emails from AA saying that our flight to BZN was cancelled. Airport personnel working for AA could not tell us why. The sky was clear and sunny and all other flights appeared to be functioning. We tried to book a new flight using the links offered in the email we received from AA. When we clicked on every suggested flight within a 2.5 day span, a message popped up saying "unavailable". I asked our travel agent in Florida to try to rebook us on AA. She had the same results. Rather than miss our vacation, we booked on Delta. The replacement flights cost me $499 each. When I returned from the trip I called AA to find out what had caused the extended delay. No one could tell me. I asked AA for some compensation for the additional costs and the overnight hotel stay in DFW. It was only after requesting compensation that American Airlines informed me that the delay was weather related and no compensation would be forthcoming. I'm frustrated. It seems like the weather only became an issue when I requested funds to assist with my $1497 costs. They sent me $141 to cover the leg of the journey that I did not travel and placed some miles back in my account. This is hardly consolation after I was left with no alternative AA travel availability. I don't want miles to be added onto my account because I really don't want to ever travel with American if I can help it.

What's your desired resolution? I would very much like additional compensation from AA for the trip delay and super expensive tickets I had to purchase on Delta. I have receipts for everything.
Hotel $171.35
Tickets $1497
AA reimbursement - $141
Total due to me $1527.35

One thing I have not even begun to describe is the story of the gate agent at MCO who took a small roll aboard from us and insisted on gate checking it. At DFW agents refused to give us the bag when we explained our flight was cancelled. In BZN counter agents refuse to take a missing bag report. Four days later, hours spent on the phone, we finally got the bag back. We were given $138 for supplies we purchased and some AA Advantage miles for our troubles.
 

Neil Maley

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#2
What airport was the incoming plane coming from? That can be where the weather delay comes from. I think Dallas airport is the one we get the most complaints about as far as canceled flights. And AA because its a hub. What was the flight number? We have someone here that has access to a program that can find out why a flight was canceled - if she sees this she may be able to look into it.
 
Jul 24, 2019
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#3
This was June 19, 2019 The fist leg of the journey was traveling MCO to DFW AA2489. The flight that was cancelled was DFW to BZN AA2560.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#4
There has been weather and heat issues all across the East Coast and MidWest causing rolling delays, crew time outs and planes out of place. This has caused many many downstream flights to be cancelled or severely delayed. While you may have good weather in your location and destination your flight can still be affected by weather issues.
Generally the early in the day flights are least affected and the later in the day the worse things get.
 
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johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#5
@Artist I pulled the flight history using Flightera and then the local weather in Dallas on June 19. It appears that severe thunderstorms were predicted for that evening (and ended up hitting north of the city) with large hail. It looks like the tail number for your flight was reassigned to a Jacksonville flight and it also appears that DFW was still recovering from a string of cancellations due to weather earlier in the week.

Taken together, the airline can still use weather as the reason behind their operational difficulties.

In these situations, all AA owes you is transportation on their next flight. They won't pay consequential damages (ie your new flights) or your hotel expenses. You might check if the credit card you used for the paid flights has a travel insurance benefit that you can claim.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#6
All one needs to do is look at DFW FAA twitter account. Afternoon of June 19th:

Due to WEATHER/THUNDERSTORMS traffic mgmt prgrm causing some arriving flight delays averaging 3 hours and 8 minutes. #DFW

0 replies 1 retweet 0 likes

The FAA traffic management restrictions at DFW were lifted at 6:13 pm -- after the scheduled departure of AA 2560

Prior Traffic Management Program delays have been lifted. #DFW

6:13 PM - 19 Jun 2019
 
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weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#7
Several issues to be aware of: 1) AA is month-in and month-out the undisputed leader on Elliott.org for the number of complaints/cases. They generate more complaints than UA, DL and Southwest COMBINED. AA is #1 the old fashioned way: "They earned it". AA customer service is an oxymoron.

2) With that background above, AA has been the US airline most impacted by the 737 MAX groundings, leaving the AA system with less flexibility than usual to respond to any situation, be it weather-related, equipment failure, etc.

AA failed to get you to your destination and is only required to put you on their next available flight or to refund your ticket price and miles used for award tickets. They have no other legal obligation under federal law.

You can appeal to AA but "I really don't want to ever travel with American if I can help it" and "aa never again" will give them no reason to assist you. Most of us would agree that we would not voluntarily fly AA but telling them so is counterproductive.

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/american-airlines/

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#8
I'm not sure of the assertion that AA has no other obligation under "federal law." I think what may govern is the tariff and contract terms, which may contain those limitations. And according to OP, AA was unable to get him to his destination and was not very helpful in that regard. That is, apparently AA did not put him on the "next available flight." OP should work up the ladder at AA, but I suspect that other than the refund of his ticket price and some small amount of miles he is out of luck. But that is because the contract says so.
 
Feb 12, 2019
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#10
OP said there was nothing available in the next 2.5 days not that AA refused to put them on the next available flight. I briefly looked into visiting Yellowstone a year or so ago and noticed there weren't a ton of flights there and during peak times some fill up. OP was not flying into a large city with a steady high demand of flights (and the multitude of flights those cities get). It's a city of only 45k!
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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#11
“Next available” can be days away if flights are full.
We were flying once from Manchester England to LAX, with a change of planes at ORD. While in the air, there was bad weather in Chicago (including a small tornado which touched down at ORD.) When we finally landed, our connecting plane to LAX had left. It was a Sunday afternoon, and the next available flight was Wednesday, on which AA had booked us. Of course, you can't leave the airport, and are required to go standby. We made it onto the last flight out that evening, but even on a route like ORD to LAX, the flights can be fully booked. (Incidentally, we were flying first class. On the flight we caught, my wife got the remaining first class seat. I sat in coach, in the back, next to the bathroom and the galley. When we landed at LAX, I received an e-mail from AA giving me miles for going coach. )
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#12
OP said there was nothing available in the next 2.5 days not that AA refused to put them on the next available flight. I briefly looked into visiting Yellowstone a year or so ago and noticed there weren't a ton of flights there and during peak times some fill up. OP was not flying into a large city with a steady high demand of flights (and the multitude of flights those cities get). It's a city of only 45k!
See, there's the issue, justlisa. Small planes with few pax are pretty much "nothing" to an airline. Travellers haven't figured that out yet. It's worth a couple of hours' drive to avoid flying on a small plane. I've had very few issues flying over the years, but almost all of them have involved a small jet. Those flights are the first to be cancelled, the flight attendants tend to be sullen teenagers, and you gate-check your rollaboard every time, occasionally waiting forever to retreive it. I now avoid them at all costs. I work in Lexington KY a few times a year. I took a connecting flight SFO-ORD-LEX several times with many issues, but (thanks to my friend ADM) I fly on a nice big plane to Cincinnatti and drive an hour or two to the Kentucky Horse Park. A MUCH more pleasant experience. We've been looking at putting together a road trip around Yellowstone and the other parks, and I'm not very enthusiastic because it will take a great deal of research and planning to make a trip work without flying on small jets. They're awful, all the way around.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,799
17,000
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
I'm not sure of the assertion that AA has no other obligation under "federal law." I think what may govern is the tariff and contract terms, which may contain those limitations. And according to OP, AA was unable to get him to his destination and was not very helpful in that regard. That is, apparently AA did not put him on the "next available flight." OP should work up the ladder at AA, but I suspect that other than the refund of his ticket price and some small amount of miles he is out of luck. But that is because the contract says so.
Read the DOT Airline Passenger Act. When there are flight cancellations due to weather, the airline is not required to offer a hotel or food. That where travel insurance would come in to pick up some of the cost of a hotel.

And when a flight is canceled the airline has to do one of two things-put you on the next flight with seats or refund you. And the next available flight could be days away.

Here are the airline passenger rights from the DOT - read them and see how little rights you have.

https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,799
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www.promalvacations.com
#15
Thanks for the reference, but I stand on my answer. As the link you provided states, there are no federal rules for delays and cancellations.
Unless our government starts regulating air travel the airlines can pretty do whatever they want outside the boundaries of the DOT passenger act. The airline lobby in Washington is too big for Congress to do anything - it’s a shame we don’t have anything similar to EU261,
 
Apr 8, 2019
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#16
There are 2 other airports within close driving distance to Yellowstone, Jackson Hole (JAC) 72 miles, and Bozeman (BZN) 137 miles that are both serviced by AA. Jackson Hole direct and through LAX and Bozeman through SEA. Do not know if the OP tried either of these possibilities instead of just jumping over to Delta. I am sure AA would have been able to arrange flights on their own aircraft to these locations.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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#17
See, there's the issue, justlisa. Small planes with few pax are pretty much "nothing" to an airline. Travellers haven't figured that out yet. It's worth a couple of hours' drive to avoid flying on a small plane. I've had very few issues flying over the years, but almost all of them have involved a small jet. Those flights are the first to be cancelled, the flight attendants tend to be sullen teenagers, and you gate-check your rollaboard every time, occasionally waiting forever to retreive it. I now avoid them at all costs. I work in Lexington KY a few times a year. I took a connecting flight SFO-ORD-LEX several times with many issues, but (thanks to my friend ADM) I fly on a nice big plane to Cincinnatti and drive an hour or two to the Kentucky Horse Park. A MUCH more pleasant experience. We've been looking at putting together a road trip around Yellowstone and the other parks, and I'm not very enthusiastic because it will take a great deal of research and planning to make a trip work without flying on small jets. They're awful, all the way around.
FLy to Salt Lake City and drive. Visit the Golden Spike, and the Grand Tetons on the way.
 
May 1, 2018
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#18
There are 2 other airports within close driving distance to Yellowstone, Jackson Hole (JAC) 72 miles, and Bozeman (BZN) 137 miles that are both serviced by AA. Jackson Hole direct and through LAX and Bozeman through SEA. Do not know if the OP tried either of these possibilities instead of just jumping over to Delta. I am sure AA would have been able to arrange flights on their own aircraft to these locations.
Well since the OP's original flight was to Bozeman, I have to imagine they looked at all option to get to that destination.
 
Dec 17, 2018
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#19
But what about the fact that it doesn't appear that AA ever even TRIED to rebook them? If they'd been told by AA "Hey, we will get you there in 5 days and we are booking you, okay?" then that would be different... but it doesn't sound like AA ever even TRIED to rebook. No steps at all were taken except sending an email where EVERY suggested flight, suggested BY AA, was full. I mean... if those were the only options offered (basically "here are your flight options for rebooking... oh wait, they are all full"), I kind of feel like a refund is due.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#20
@shannonduaneesq They got a refund of the segment they didn't fly. Beyond that, the flight was a 737. That's a lot of people trying to get rerouted on a infrequent route. There's no telling how long lapsed between the email and the clicking on the links either.

Short answer... I don't like AA at all but it truly was a weather related cancellation (unlike what the OP's note says). They got the refund for the leg they didn't fly. AA isn't going to pay consequential damages on a weather related cancellation.
 
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