American Refusing Compensation for Overnight Stay Due to Gate Issue

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May 22, 2019
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#1
On Saturday evening, I flew from MCI to ORD with a connection to DCA scheduled for later that evening . The flight from MCI to ORD was delayed due to weather. In advance of boarding the flight, I called customer service to see if there was a way to change the flight given I was concerned about making my connection. I was told the earliest flight I could get was on Sunday evening and I declined the offer. I asked if I could place a hold on the first flight of the day from ORD to DCA on Sunday, May 19, and was told I would lose my seat on the scheduled flight on Saturday night if I did so. I declined to do so in hopes of making my connection.

When we arrived in ORD, we were behind schedule, but the flight from ORD to DCA was also delayed so I would have been able to make my connection with ease. However, American sat us on the tarmac for nearly an hour as a gate was unavailable. Thus, I missed my connection.

While we were on the tarmac I attempted to call customer service, but due to the weather was also on hold for about an hour. When I arrived in the terminal, I was told that if I wanted to go to DCA, I would have to wait until Sunday night and thus I was rebooked to BWI on Sunday morning. I was offered no compensation for hotel, meals, cabs/Uber, etc. that were required for the evening (Ended up being about $325). When I finally got a hold of customer service, I was offered 5,000 AA miles which I declined. That amount of compensation is insulting.

I understand that weather happens. However, despite the weather, I would have made my connection. It was American Airlines's operational failure that caused me to miss my connection and be rebooked to an airport nearly 50 miles away.

I have been a Gold member since 2014. I understand that there are higher status tiers, however, I have gone out of my way to fly AA for business and pleasure. Frequently paying more and accepting longer travel times and connections to fly American. However, my loyalty is regularly ignored and I am treated like a number. This is not the first time that I have had significant delays that have been a burden to my time and a financial burden. No compensation is provided when these issues occur. Last night was the end of the line for me. I have four month old twins and I booked American yesterday to get home to then in time for a full day Sunday. That didn't happen and customer service in person and on the phone didn't seem to care.

A quick annecdote. Earlier this month, my wife and twins flew on Southwest from San Juan Puerto Rico to BWI. On the flight, an emergency landing occurred, causing a 4 hour delay. Everyone was safe and while I was frustrated to get home late, when I awoke the following morning, Southwest had proactively emailed me and my wife $200 airfare credits each for the delay. This was unsolicited. I've never received an offer of this kind from American due to delays. United has also provided me similar compensation for significant delays when I used to have status with them earlier this decade.

The right thing to do in this case is to refund all expenses of my overnight stay last night, and make a significant contribution to my AA Advantage account via miles or travel vouchers. I spent nearly $325 in expenses that included hotels, taxis/Ubers (including a ride from Baltimore to my home in Virginia), and meals because of American's operational failure yesterday.

I hope that American does the right thing.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#2
It may be that weather forced the gate issue. If weather held an outgoing plane at the gate, and AA could not use that gate, then it is weather-related and thus, AA owes you nothing. And your demand for monetary recompense plus miles to your AA account is greedy. If it is truly an operational issue, then AA may owe you the cost of the hotel, but you shouldn't be able to double dip and get miles as well. Also, you chose to accept the BWI airport change, so I don't see them paying out for your transport from BWI to home.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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#3
Also, you chose to accept the BWI airport change, so I don't see them paying out for your transport from BWI to home.
If the alternative is staying a whole day, it's fair to ask AA to pay for reasonable cost of getting from BWI to DCA. They might have been able to give a voucher for a taxi but it should have been asked for at the time. I agree that the gate delay could have been weather related. Your best bet is to write to AA using our company contacts. If it turns out the delay was weather related, your best bet is to accept whether compensation they give you, if any. Make sure you write a short, concise e-mail focusing on the two issues - the overnight stay caused by the gate delay and the extra ground transportation caused by being dropped off at BWI.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#4
The airlines don’t have to compensate for weather delays and this is a result of weather delays. There was no open gate to put the plane at due to the delays.

If you have travel insurance, this is what you would use it for - most policies will pay for a hotel up to a certain dollar amount as trip delay. If you didn't buy a travel insurance policy, see if the credit card you used offers anything.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
The comparison to SW is not appropriate -- SW did an emergency landing -- for what a mechanical failure? That is very different from a weather issue.

As for complaining about the lack of gates --

Air Traffic Control for ORD mandated gate hold on May 18th -- as well as traffic management program. From the the FAA at ORD for that day

Due to WX:Thunderstorms Gate Hold and Taxi delays between 16-30 minutes and increasing.

No airline is going to defy the FAA and move the airplane from the gate to accommodate an inbound aircraft.

I am not an AA passenger, but this sounds really to be the fault of the weather.

You are not asking for the "right" thing. You are asking too much.
 
Feb 3, 2019
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#6
I was told the earliest flight I could get was on Sunday evening and I declined the offer.
[...]
It was American Airlines's operational failure that caused me to miss my connection and be rebooked to an airport nearly 50 miles away.
AA offered an alternative itinerary to DCA before you even got on the MCI-ORD flight. You chose to roll the dice and hope you could make your connection. Nobody "required" you to spend $325 on hotel, meals, and taxi/Uber - you chose to incur all those costs voluntarily.

AA owes you nothing. Their offer of 5,000 miles was generous.
 
May 22, 2019
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#7
AA offered an alternative itinerary to DCA before you even got on the MCI-ORD flight. You chose to roll the dice and hope you could make your connection. Nobody "required" you to spend $325 on hotel, meals, and taxi/Uber - you chose to incur all those costs voluntarily.

AA owes you nothing. Their offer of 5,000 miles was generous.
That flight was for SUNDAY night. At 6pm. And they wouldn't hold the first flight of the day from ORD to DCA when I spoke with them on Saturday afternoon because I would lose the seat on my connecting flight. When I arrived, I was shipped to Baltimore.

Fortunately, Sapphire Reserve will cover this when AA won't.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
May 22, 2019
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#8
The comparison to SW is not appropriate -- SW did an emergency landing -- for what a mechanical failure? That is very different from a weather issue.

As for complaining about the lack of gates --

Air Traffic Control for ORD mandated gate hold on May 18th -- as well as traffic management program. From the the FAA at ORD for that day

Due to WX:Thunderstorms Gate Hold and Taxi delays between 16-30 minutes and increasing.

No airline is going to defy the FAA and move the airplane from the gate to accommodate an inbound aircraft.

I am not an AA passenger, but this sounds really to be the fault of the weather.

You are not asking for the "right" thing. You are asking too much.
No. But UA and others have provided in similar circumstances for me. The approach taken by AA was, you're lucky to have gotten home at all. Disappointing for an elite flyer.
 
May 22, 2019
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#9
The airlines don’t have to compensate for weather delays and this is a result of weather delays. There was no open gate to put the plane at due to the delays.

If you have travel insurance, this is what you would use it for - most policies will pay for a hotel up to a certain dollar amount as trip delay. If you didn't buy a travel insurance policy, see if the credit card you used offers anything.
Ya. Sapphire Reserve is my next plan of attack. They will cover, but was hoping that AA would provide something given the BWI issue and the overall delay in arriving home. I guarantee that a 737 would have been prioritized for a gate over my Embrair 175.
 
May 22, 2019
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#10
If the alternative is staying a whole day, it's fair to ask AA to pay for reasonable cost of getting from BWI to DCA. They might have been able to give a voucher for a taxi but it should have been asked for at the time. I agree that the gate delay could have been weather related. Your best bet is to write to AA using our company contacts. If it turns out the delay was weather related, your best bet is to accept whether compensation they give you, if any. Make sure you write a short, concise e-mail focusing on the two issues - the overnight stay caused by the gate delay and the extra ground transportation caused by being dropped off at BWI.
Thanks, Barry. Thanks to this site, I contacted the customer service SVP at AA, which was forwarded to generic AA customer service. I was essentially told, sorry, but we owe you nothing. They didn't even reference the BWI issue when I responded despite me raising it in multiple responses.

Long story short, I'll be looking at status matches with Delta and UA.
 
May 1, 2018
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#11
AA doesn't owe you anything for a weather delay. You're free to switch to a different carrier, but the rules for a weather delay are the same for all of them unless you posses their highest status (Concierge Key, Global Services, Delta 360).

Using the trip delay insurance offered by your credit card is the correct response in this situation since it's the exact type of situation it was designed to cover.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,505
15,836
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
Ya. Sapphire Reserve is my next plan of attack. They will cover, but was hoping that AA would provide something given the BWI issue and the overall delay in arriving home. I guarantee that a 737 would have been prioritized for a gate over my Embrair 175.
That’s exactly what your Reserve insurance is for and glad you have it. No airline is required to provide a hotel when then a weather problem occurs. They are only required to provide a hotel if cancellation is within their control.

Chase may not cover the full amount- they usually have a daily rate they will reimburse you for so don’t be surprised if they don’t cover a $325 stay but anything is better then no coverage.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
No. But UA and others have provided in similar circumstances for me. The approach taken by AA was, you're lucky to have gotten home at all. Disappointing for an elite flyer.
If you have the insurance from credit card why not use that first rather than demand reimbursement from AA? Why not see what is covered? Airline could wonder if there was an attempt to double dip.

AA gold is the lowest status — UA does not as policy give hotels for weather for even the 1k status flyers — which has a requirement of 100,000 miles and $15,000. I believe Delta is the same with Diamond Medallion.

Maybe the highest status flyers will get it.

If there is no gate during a gate hold there is no gate; I am not sure what the speculation is about the aircraft.

ORD can be prone to bad weather and I try and avoid as a connection as much as possible.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,505
15,836
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
No. But UA and others have provided in similar circumstances for me. The approach taken by AA was, you're lucky to have gotten home at all. Disappointing for an elite flyer.
I am betting that’s because it wasn’t a weather incident that caused the cancellation. If it’s something under the airlines control - mechanical or staff- they have to provide a hotel.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,061
7,948
113
San Francisco
#15
Thanks, Barry. Thanks to this site, I contacted the customer service SVP at AA, which was forwarded to generic AA customer service. I was essentially told, sorry, but we owe you nothing. They didn't even reference the BWI issue when I responded despite me raising it in multiple responses.

Long story short, I'll be looking at status matches with Delta and UA.
I'm not sure why you think the airline owes you compensation for weather delays. It seems as if my colleagues have explained it all several ways. Is there something I'm missing here? Is this a AA status situation?