American Airlines denying compensation for malfunctioning tray table that smacks infant

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Sep 28, 2015
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#1
Why to not fly AA:
In short, what happened to me is that I traveled in April with my 3-month old son, on a plane where the tray table was malfunctioning. It opened and smacked my baby repeatedly during the length of the flight, and when I decided to leave it open so that it would stop hurting him, the flight attendant yelled at me. When I explained to her the problem, she just walked away and didn't apologize. I don't think it's fair that because they failed to make sure everything on their plane was working properly, I had to risk my child's safety (because I couldn't get off the plane after already being in the air).
 
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Jan 8, 2015
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#2
Susana, what refund are you looking for? Did you purchase a seperate seat for your child, or was the child in your lap? Do you want a refund for the extra amount you paid for your child to fly as a lap child, or a refund of what you paid for your seat? You may not have been clear with your request, and or you requested far too much. if possible, can you post the original message you sent to the airline asking for compensation?
 
Sep 28, 2015
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#3
Baby was in my lap. Babies do not pay for a separate flight on American Airlines, but I would not have flown with them if I had known that safety was not their concern (which is what their replies seem to say). If they're counting me and my son as one, since he has to sit with me, and my seat was the one with the malfunctioning table, I asked for a refund for my flight.
 
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bodega3

Guest
#4
I have found that writing a letter to let them know about the tray table, not asking for compensation is a better way to go. Let them know your flight number, date of travel, seat number. If they send you a voucher, then that is their way of saying they are sorry for what you experienced. But to ask for a full refund on your ticket comes across as this being only about you and not correcting the faulty tray, which is really what you want, so nobody else has to encounter this.
 
Sep 28, 2015
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#5
I already wrote a formal letter with all the details. And I didn't ask for compensation until they rudely stated that they don't refund unless you didn't get to your destination. And this is a large problem with American Airlines. It's not about me either, it's about my son, whose safety they said was not worth a refund.
 
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bodega3

Guest
#6
Your son didn't pay for flying on the airline. Did your son go to the hospital? You don't mention the need to see a doctor.
 
Likes: flutiefan
Sep 28, 2015
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#7
A voucher or anything other than statements they can't prove such as 'we are sorry about your experience' would settle me, but they don't care. In this year alone, they have let a woman die from taking away her oxygen mask, made another woman crawl to her seat for not having a ramp accessible to her, and denied a refund to a family whose daughter died and could not attend their vacation. I'll wait for Chris's reply, but thanks for your input.
 
Sep 28, 2015
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#8
Does it have to get to the point where my son's head was crushed? Or what about luggage falling on someone if their overhead compartment didn't work? My point is they don't understand that 'providing a service' means 'providing a safe service'. I can find anyone with a plane or mode of getting me from point A to B, but I choose them because I want me and my family to get their safely. That is the point.
 
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bodega3

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#9
Not to be harsh, but this is really just about getting your money back and not really caring about the seat tray being fixed. Did you report it to the flight attendant again as you deplaned? They do have a report they file.
 
Sep 28, 2015
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#11
It's not about the money. If my son not paying for a ticket means I should be open to anything happening to him on a plane, then they should put that in their policy. Not to be harsh, but I think you are missing the point. Either way, I have contacted the Vice President and will move onto the CEO next if necessary.
 
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bodega3

Guest
#12
Yes, I did report! And they didn't file anything. She walked away from me. Did you not read my original post?
If you read my comment, I said as you deplaned? I have done that and they have a form that they fill out. You could have reminded them.
 
Likes: flutiefan
Sep 28, 2015
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#13
Sorry, bodega, confused you for Mike.

I wasn't told it was a policy to file a report so I told the flight attendant about the problem and she said she would tell the Captain. I have never experienced this before and didn't think anything could be done. I even asked at the desks when I deplaned and they told me to call the 1800 number. No one wanted to help, so I was disappointed to find out that it's even harder to contact someone than I thought. My letter to the airline included pictures as well as my engineering opinion (as this is my profession, so money isn't the issue).
 
Sep 28, 2015
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#14
I'm not even expecting planes to be in perfect condition but at least put a sign or something on the table so I have the option to get off the plane before it takes off (if all AA cares about is that I was transported to my destination). Because I certainly care about more than just that.
 
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bodega3

Guest
#15
You did all you could do then on and after deplaning. The problem hopefully got fixed, which is all you wanted anyway...besides an apology. Keep the emotions out of your letters and that will help.
 
Likes: flutiefan
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bodega3

Guest
#16
I'm not even expecting planes to be in perfect condition but at least put a sign or something on the table so I have the option to get off the plane before it takes off (if all AA cares about is that I was transported to my destination). Because I certainly care about more than just that.
Perhaps nobody said anything about the tray table. That tray may not have been used for many flights. Who knows. You have let them know about it, so time to move on since money isn't you goal, as you have stated here.
 
Likes: flutiefan
Sep 28, 2015
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#17
They should know what's working and what's not working on their planes and not solely rely on customers. I will not reduce this issue to snippy remarks on a forum so I will wait for response from others on the customer service management team.
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#18
Susana, first, we are not attacking you. By the wording of your replies here, it is quite obvious that you not only feel like we are attacking you, but that the airline doesn't care if your son gets hurt. if you have sent messages to the airline with emotion as you have stated here, you will get a negative and defensive reply. Also, not only you, but your child flew to your destination and I can't see any reason why you would be entitled to a full refund. If you continue to ask for a refund, you will be severely disappointed, in my opinion. You would be far better served to ask for some sort of voucher for a future flight.

As to your statement about "Does it have to get to the point where my son's head was crushed?", I think is going a bit far. There is a difference between a lightweight plastic part falling on someone and a 20 pound hard luggage item falling on someone. So yes, the seriousness of the injury does in fact play into what compensation is deserved, if any at all.

You mention that the airline personnel should know what is functioning and what isn't. The flight attendants could never sit in each seat and test out every function. Also, some things seem to work ok on the ground but no so good in the air. I've flown on a plane before where the seat would not stay upright. It just wanted to keep reclining, but I didn't realize this until we went to take off and I sat back in my seat. A bit too late at that point, and when I got off, the seat was upright and I never said a word. (I had no idea there were forms to fill out when you were on your way off the plane) Anyway, just because someone works in a specific place, it doesn't mean they know every little thing that is wrong.
 
Sep 28, 2015
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#19
The luggage example is a hyperbole to explain that simply getting a person from one destination to another does not mean that the airline fulfilled their end of the deal. Safety is a concern of theirs, as stated in many documents and advertisements. so they failed there.
I think it is attacking to just say I'm after the money when that was only part of my message.
And the duty does not fall on the flight attendants. Just like any company has a quality team, airlines have departments that check for failures on board. Or do you assume flight attendants are the ones that notice when there is no gas on the plane or when a structure is not functioning properly on the wing?
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#20
I'm not sure what the fuel level comment has to do with the interior of the plane. The fuel level would be checked by the pilots, as it is their responsibility via checklist to be assured they have enough fuel per regulations. Just like it would be the flight staff's job to make sure all complaint forms about seats are forwarded to the maintenance department so that people can fix or replace the malfunctioning part on their next maintenance go through. if the attendants were dismissive of your original complaint, then I do think i would have written the airline to let them know what specific plan and seat was an issue and what flight attendand did not live up to expectations. In fact I probably would have done this via Twitter or some other social media site from the get go.

I originally asked if you would be willing to post your letter here for us to read so that we could inform you if there were things that needed to be removed, added, or reworded. Many of the people here do have experience in writing company execs and know what has worked. We can also provide a third party perspective of things which both you and the airline may not have. After all, you are worried about your child and the seat conditions you had, and the airline is looking to continue to fly and get as many people as they can to their destinations. if you had already sent the letters to the execs and don't wish to post the letter for review, I am wondering what you were looking for from us?
 
Likes: flutiefan
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