American Airlines - Issue While Traveling With an Infant

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JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,389
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#21
The OP is reading the comments in their email and simply not returning.
Bottom line these folks were not at the gate when Boarding Started and did not board with Families or with their group. When called at the gate they did not respond. Sad but unfortunately at that point their seats went to standby passengers.
 
Sep 27, 2018
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#22
The husband arrived at the gate at 12:45. She wasn’t with him at that point either.

“My husband got to the gate at 12:45pm” and also that as her husband was trying to reason with them, she ran over to see what was going on. So she apparently wasn’t even there at 12:45.

The OP never came back to read any of these posts.
Wgat is confusing it looks like they went to the airport gate early, since they gate checked the stroller and car seat. Then walked away. That is a key time that is missing in their narritive.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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#23
Also if one of them was really at the gate at 1245 (and not a minute late) that seat should not have been given away even if the other was, but it seems both were given away.
 
Dec 21, 2018
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#26
Hi everyone - I have been traveling for work and the holidays and am just catching up on all of your responses. I apologize for the delay. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your perspectives and advice. I truly appreciate it.

I can definitely see how my letter drags on and gives way too much emotion. I probably should've rethought all of that. I also understand the 15 minute cut-off rule and acknowledge the fact that I was not at the gate with my husband. I actually had said to the AA Customer Service rep that I didn't understand why they wouldn't just let my husband on with the baby and give my seat away since I wasn't there. I guess my whole issue with everything is that my husband arrived to the gate at 12:45pm and our seats were already given away. I understand he was breaking down the stroller, but what if he didn't have a baby and stroller? He seat still would have been gone. I probably should've given them notice when we initially check-in at the gate that we planned to board at the end, I didn't think of doing that, but I don't believe there's any rule stating I need to be there when they call for boarding with small children. Isn't it more of a courtesy? (side note to this, I flew AA twice this past weekend with my son and both times they never even called for boarding with small children. I was standing right in front of the desk and after the agents called group 1 and 2 I had to ask if I was allowed to board early both times).

I know it sounds like he said/she said and there's no real way to validate any of it, but there were at least 5 different passengers waiting around for standby that said the gate agents never called our names over any loud speaker and when they did say our names by mouth, they gave our seats away quickly after us not responding to that one call. I trusted what they said since they were intently listening for their names to be called. I was also carefully listening to every loud speaker announcement in case they were saying anything about our flight and never heard anything.

It was absolutely a busy travel day as there was weather in Charlotte that delayed and cancelled a lot of the earlier flights. I'm sure they were anxious to give out any extra seats they could.

I really do understand if we broke the rules and nothing will come of this, but I just want to make sure of that before I let it go. Thank you all again for your help and guidance. No matter what, this will never happen to us again.
 
Likes: Mel65
Nov 27, 2017
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#27
I honestly think if you try again, with a shorten letter, take out your emotions, and acknowledge your mistake, AA might be willing to give you a goodwill gesture. However, what you are asking for is too much. Since you were not there on time, it is unreasonable to ask for the same vouchers that a person who voluntarily gives up their seat. I have a 19 month old, so I totally understand how difficult it is to travel with an infant. Start fresh, with a new letter and with the knowledge this forum has provide you. Good luck and I hope you get a better response from AA.
 
Mar 29, 2016
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#29
A similar thing happened to my wife with AA, she was at the gate but was on the phone and missed hearing her name being called-out. They gave away her first class seat to an happy upgrade passenger. When she rushed the gate at the last possible second, they did have an open coach seat which she squeezed into. I'm sure they only did that because of the value of her original ticket. Unfortunately, when you snooze, you lose.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#30
AA has put a major emphasis on having on time or even slightly early departure — why? Because these are tracked statistics unlike the statistics on people missing flights or bad customer service. The plane may be cramped, no leg room, it is a flying cattle car but hey it left on time!

I think this is a lesson to all of to consider that the flight may close a little early.

Why didn’t the airline let one board? I think both seats were gone. I have noticed in the past few years that there are rarely airport wide announcements for boarding or calling passengers unless for an international flight — there is a call at the gate but that can only be heard in the vicinity of the gate. The reason I heard is that there would be too many calls airport wide and it would be overwhelming.

But back to the OP — switch tone and admit to coming last minute and hope for a good will gesture. Ask for too much and the risk is to be ignored. Being a captive hub makes it likely that a voucher would be used. And AA is strange about the family boarding it seems one has to make their interest known so it is announced.

We all have to be adaptive and proactive — it is a shame this is what Air travel has become but we have to be realistic. If time permits, do write a letter and hopefully there will be a good will gesture.

Air Travel — hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,833
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San Francisco
#31
A similar thing happened to my wife with AA, she was at the gate but was on the phone and missed hearing her name being called-out. They gave away her first class seat to an happy upgrade passenger. When she rushed the gate at the last possible second, they did have an open coach seat which she squeezed into. I'm sure they only did that because of the value of her original ticket. Unfortunately, when you snooze, you lose.
I haven't heard this term in years, Cayohueso! SO descriptive. When it comes to airlines, I just assume that everyone I'm in contact with wants to ruin my trip. That makes me super careful about boarding times and all the thousands of other little rules and regs. The boarding gate is no place for distractions of any kind. You never know what's in the minds of these agents, and I don't want to find myself standing at the window watching the plane back off the gate. Or worse, stuffed into a middle seat in coach.
 
Dec 17, 2018
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#33
Here's the thing, though... if the husband was there at 12:45, for a 1pm departure, and did NOT hear his named called, that means that the seats, as OP said, were ALREADY given away - i.e. they were given away MORE than 15 minutes before departure. I would like to know what time the seats were given away. If they gave the seats away at 12:30, then AA is definitely at fault. It's almost sounding like someone at the desk didn't see that OP and husband already had seat assignments and were already at the gate. It almost sounds like someone thought they'd checked in but had NEVER appeared at the gate.

So either one of two things... either something weird is going on and the seats were given away EARLY... OR OP is incorrect about her times and husband was there AFTER 12:45. I think that's what people are missing here. They are blaming her for not being there on time... but she is saying that husband NEVER HEARD HIS NAME CALLED, despite HIM being at the gate 15 minutes before departure. Considering it takes a couple minutes to print a new ticket for a standby person, PLUS they call your name MULTIPLE times, SOMETHING is off here.

Again, the only options are 1) tickets were given away EARLY, or 2) husband was NOT really there at 12:45. I'd be asking AA to tell me the time the tickets were reassigned.
 
Likes: LMM0924

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,755
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#34
Here's the thing, though... if the husband was there at 12:45, for a 1pm departure, and did NOT hear his named called, that means that the seats, as OP said, were ALREADY given away - i.e. they were given away MORE than 15 minutes before departure. I would like to know what time the seats were given away. If they gave the seats away at 12:30, then AA is definitely at fault. It's almost sounding like someone at the desk didn't see that OP and husband already had seat assignments and were already at the gate. It almost sounds like someone thought they'd checked in but had NEVER appeared at the gate.

So either one of two things... either something weird is going on and the seats were given away EARLY... OR OP is incorrect about her times and husband was there AFTER 12:45. I think that's what people are missing here. They are blaming her for not being there on time... but she is saying that husband NEVER HEARD HIS NAME CALLED, despite HIM being at the gate 15 minutes before departure. Considering it takes a couple minutes to print a new ticket for a standby person, PLUS they call your name MULTIPLE times, SOMETHING is off here.

Again, the only options are 1) tickets were given away EARLY, or 2) husband was NOT really there at 12:45. I'd be asking AA to tell me the time the tickets were reassigned.
The issue is neither of them were at the gate until 12:45. They left the gate area. So they weren’t there to hear their names called. They should have stayed at the gate- you are supposed to be at the gate at the time printed on your boarding pass. I’m sure the story would be very different if they had stayed at the gate and waited to board last as they would have been there to hear their names called.
 
Dec 21, 2018
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#36
Here's the thing, though... if the husband was there at 12:45, for a 1pm departure, and did NOT hear his named called, that means that the seats, as OP said, were ALREADY given away - i.e. they were given away MORE than 15 minutes before departure. I would like to know what time the seats were given away. If they gave the seats away at 12:30, then AA is definitely at fault. It's almost sounding like someone at the desk didn't see that OP and husband already had seat assignments and were already at the gate. It almost sounds like someone thought they'd checked in but had NEVER appeared at the gate.

So either one of two things... either something weird is going on and the seats were given away EARLY... OR OP is incorrect about her times and husband was there AFTER 12:45. I think that's what people are missing here. They are blaming her for not being there on time... but she is saying that husband NEVER HEARD HIS NAME CALLED, despite HIM being at the gate 15 minutes before departure. Considering it takes a couple minutes to print a new ticket for a standby person, PLUS they call your name MULTIPLE times, SOMETHING is off here.

Again, the only options are 1) tickets were given away EARLY, or 2) husband was NOT really there at 12:45. I'd be asking AA to tell me the time the tickets were reassigned.
Thanks for your response, Shannon. Those are the exact points I've been trying to convey to AA. My understanding of the rule is that if we are not there and ready to board by the 15 minute cut-off, only then can they give away our seats. I know for certain what time my husband got to the gate because of a text message time stamp on my phone. I had received a text as soon as he walked directly across the corridor to the gate. That was the first thing I looked at when they tried to say he wasn't there in time. I'm conservatively estimating 12:45pm because the time stamp was 12:42pm and it doesn't take 3 minutes to walk across the corridor.

I understand that I wasn't present by 12:45pm. I've never argued that. And I keep seeing it mentioned that we weren't there to hear our names called, but what I'm having trouble understanding is why our names were even called in the first place if we had already checked-in in person and received our seat assignments.

I also understand that we should've stayed at the gate and then this would have never happened. We will never leave the gate again and will always board early from now on. What I'm trying to figure out, however, is if we really were in the wrong. To my knowledge, I may have not followed the rules, but my husband did. And the underlying issue with all of this, is that it appears our seats were given away prematurely and I can't come up with any legitimate reason that they would've had to call our names after already checking in with the gate.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#37
Here's the thing, though... if the husband was there at 12:45, for a 1pm departure, and did NOT hear his named called, that means that the seats, as OP said, were ALREADY given away - i.e. they were given away MORE than 15 minutes before departure. I would like to know what time the seats were given away. If they gave the seats away at 12:30, then AA is definitely at fault. It's almost sounding like someone at the desk didn't see that OP and husband already had seat assignments and were already at the gate. It almost sounds like someone thought they'd checked in but had NEVER appeared at the gate.

So either one of two things... either something weird is going on and the seats were given away EARLY... OR OP is incorrect about her times and husband was there AFTER 12:45. I think that's what people are missing here. They are blaming her for not being there on time... but she is saying that husband NEVER HEARD HIS NAME CALLED, despite HIM being at the gate 15 minutes before departure. Considering it takes a couple minutes to print a new ticket for a standby person, PLUS they call your name MULTIPLE times, SOMETHING is off here.

Again, the only options are 1) tickets were given away EARLY, or 2) husband was NOT really there at 12:45. I'd be asking AA to tell me the time the tickets were reassigned.
He was not in the gate area before 12:45 by their account which may have been 12:46 by the airlines clock. And the spouse was not even initially with him but was in another area shopping. They did not go to the gate together — the husband went ahead to fold the stroller. 15 minutes before departure is the very last minute. And by not being in the area one cannot hear the names being announced.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,755
15,365
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#38
Your names would have been called when everyone had boarded and had their boarding passes scanned and they saw you hadn’t boarded.

They call you before they give away your seats to stand by passengers.

AAs rules say you must be at the gate and ready to board 15 minutes before the flight leaves. Even if you arrived at 12:45 you were not ready to board- the stroller wasn’t broken down and handed off to be put in the cargo hold.
 
Dec 21, 2018
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#39
Your names would have been called when everyone had boarded and had their boarding passes scanned and they saw you hadn’t boarded.

They call you before they give away your seats to stand by passengers.

AAs rules say you must be at the gate and ready to board 15 minutes before the flight leaves. Even if you arrived at 12:45 you were not ready to board- the stroller wasn’t broken down and handed off to be put in the cargo hold.
But my issue is that even if we didn't have a stroller, our seats would have already been given away at 12:45pm. If the rule states that we must be there and ready to board by 12:45pm, once we didn't comply then they would been allowed to give our seats away, right?
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
1,063
920
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#40
But my issue is that even if we didn't have a stroller, our seats would have already been given away at 12:45pm. If the rule states that we must be there and ready to board by 12:45pm, once we didn't comply then they would been allowed to give our seats away, right?
Have you written to them yet using our contacts?