Flight cancellation and inconsiderate staff

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Feb 4, 2019
4
0
1
74
#1
I was scheduled January 24, 2019 on American Airline flight #2280 MIA to SFO non-stop at 9:50PM. The boarding took place on time and all the passengers were seated and the door closed; AA continued to delay the flight….after an hour everyone was asked to disembark from the aircraft…I was told they were waiting for a pilot since the present pilot was over his allotted hours…schedule departure was slated as 2:30AM…at 2:00AM an announcement was made that the flight was cancelled. I was scheduled to fly first class purchased with advantage mileage. I wrote the following to AA through their customer service portal and explained the situation…I could not relate the entire situation because the AA portal only allowed so many characters…
“Boarding went smoothly…departure was scheduled for 9:50 PM. At 9:56PM delayed until 10:05PM, then 10:20PM, 11:05Pm was then told to deplane, at the gate told waiting for a new crew departure 2:30AM…this was 12:15AM, at 1:57AM the flight was cancelled….it was chaos, not enough personnel to handle the situation everyone rushed the counter, instead of taking passengers by priority it first come first serve, out of control pushing and shoving, personnel were quite inept to handle the crowd, it’s been 4 ½ hours at the gate, get to the desk told only flight available was a 5:30AM at FLL, stopover Dallas, only coach, Had an important function, I took what was offered walked miles, no one there to assist me, stressed out cannot stop shaking, a 74 year old woman with a heart condition and asthma, inconceivable that with today’s technology pilots scheduled to work when they shouldn’t. I want to be compensated for my aggravation and stress…not to say that I paid for first class travel on a direct aircraft.”
AA responded by email with…
“January 29, 2019
Here is the voucher we promised. It's valid for one year from today and you can use it to purchase travel on American/American Eagle for anyone you choose. Ready to book your flights? Call us at 800-433-7300.
If there's anything further we can help you with, don't hesitate to reach us via our online web form on aa.com. We're here to help.
Thank you for flying American Airlines!
Sincerely, Jermaine Sean Customer Relations American Airlines AA Ref# 1-28080175313”
The voucher was for a $175.00 dollar. Although I believe my I was entitled to more money for my inconvenience…I think I’m still at least entitled to receive the difference in advantage mileage between an economy fare and a first class fare…I communicated with AA and they have not responded. I can understand if the plane was cancelled due to mechanical problems but it was cancelled because of scheduling problems…the pilot scheduled to fly the aircraft was over their allotted monthly hours…and AA could not find another pilot to fly the aircraft what puzzles me is when exactly that AA discovered that the pilot was over their hours when they already boarded the flight, closed the door and where ready for take off…so maybe you can get to the bottom of this and help me get a refund on my advantage miles…I just feel that someone needs to be held accountable…
 
Nov 27, 2017
46
39
18
38
#2
Hi Gerry, I read through your email to AA, but no where in it did you request for miles that you had paid for the first class seat that got cancelled. I appreciate that you were trying to keep within the limited characters, but you spent too much of it on the laundry list of issues that you didn't focus on the most important thing, which was asking for the miles that you had paid refunded back to you.

I would suggest that you start over with your request and focus on the miles between the first class seat and economy seat at the end. Also, leave out the aggravation and stress as the airlines will not compensate for that.
 
Feb 4, 2019
4
0
1
74
#3
Hi Gerry, I read through your email to AA, but no where in it did you request for miles that you had paid for the first class seat that got cancelled. I appreciate that you were trying to keep within the limited characters, but you spent too much of it on the laundry list of issues that you didn't focus on the most important thing, which was asking for the miles that you had paid refunded back to you.

I would suggest that you start over with your request and focus on the miles between the first class seat and economy seat at the end. Also, leave out the aggravation and stress as the airlines will not compensate for that.
Thank you for the advice on a separate email I requested the return in difference of mileage haven’t received a response as yet...just wondering why AA does not compensate for aggravation and stress...when they are the direct cause of it...do you know of anyone filing a lawsuit for that reason against an airline for their inept scheduling of personnel...causing grief and distress...please let me know....AA should not get away with this when you pay for a service it should be provided as required...
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,160
14,752
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
AA is one of the most complained about airlines . If they have money for aggravation and stress they’d be out of business.

How and when did you get home? Were you innthe same seat class that you purchased?

When a flight is canceled, according to the DOT the airline is required to do one of two things - either put you on the next flight with a seat (which could be two or more days away) or provide you with a refund and you can rebook on another airline.

That’s all they are required to do, although in your case they may have also owed you a night in a hotel.
 
Feb 4, 2019
4
0
1
74
#5
AA is one of the most complained about airlines . If they have money for aggravation and stress they’d be out of business.

How and when did you get home? Were you innthe same seat class that you purchased?

When a flight is canceled, according to the DOT the airline is required to do one of two things - either put you on the next flight with a seat (which could be two or more days away) or provide you with a refund and you can rebook on another airline.

That’s all they are required to do, although in your case they may have also owed you a night in a hotel.
So what you’re saying is there is no legal recourse against the Airline...maybe it needs to change...I can understand if the flight is cancelled due to unforeseen problems but inept employees scheduling pilots to work when they shouldn’t (although I believe that’s a lie) that the airline is not held accountable for any cancellations...
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,692
7,504
113
San Francisco
#7
So what you’re saying is there is no legal recourse against the Airline...maybe it needs to change...I can understand if the flight is cancelled due to unforeseen problems but inept employees scheduling pilots to work when they shouldn’t (although I believe that’s a lie) that the airline is not held accountable for any cancellations...
Oh, it needs to change all right, Gerry, but won't as long as the airline lobby keeps our elected officials happy. A trip that is a disaster to us is just ho-hum business as usual to the airlines. Frequent travellers all have a dozen stories just like yours. AA defintely gets more complaints on this forum than the others, I'm happy that I don't have to fly them. You are definitely entitled to your miles back as Ginny said. Be polite, patient and persistent ... and good luck.
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,838
5,043
113
48
#8
So what you’re saying is there is no legal recourse against the Airline...maybe it needs to change...I can understand if the flight is cancelled due to unforeseen problems but inept employees scheduling pilots to work when they shouldn’t (although I believe that’s a lie) that the airline is not held accountable for any cancellations...
How can you quantify aggravation and stress? No airline would be in business if passenger would be compensated for aggravation and stress.
What other business has to pay compensation for aggravation and stress?

It sounds like there was an initial delay and from that the pilot timed out. Pilots start working before the flight boards, looking at flight path, weather, fuel and such.

Pilot fatigue is a serious issue and the rules are more strict since the crash of Colgan Air flight 3407 where pilot fatigue was a contributing factor -- everyone in the plane died and one person on the ground was killed.

AA may have tried to get a pilot -- but a pilot has to be certified to fly a certain plane -- a 737 pilot may not be certified to fly an Airbus 320. And pilots have to have a certain amount of rest hours per night by law, which may have made it harder to find someone to fly at 2 am.

You should certainly get the mileage difference refunded.

I understand your frustration about the cancellation and downgrade; airlines are in a hub and spoke business and it is likely that your pilot had been working earlier. One weather delay or mechanical issue -- or even if a pilot feels tired -- is enough to require a new crew. In one way I understand as I know I am a worse driver when I am fatigued. In another way I do not like being delayed and having an additional stop.

Airlines have consolidated and there are less choices. But then again flying is less expensive than it was a decade ago. People want to pay the least -- otherwise Spirit and Allegiant would not exist.

Perhaps a polite letter will lead to more points or a certificate; sadly that is the best passengers can get in such a situation.
 
Feb 4, 2019
4
0
1
74
#9
So what you’re saying is there is no legal recourse against the Airline...maybe it needs to change...I can understand if the flight is cancelled due to unforeseen problems but inept employees scheduling pilots to work when they shouldn’t (although I believe that’s a lie) that the airline is not held accountable for any cancellations...
Oh, it needs to change all right, Gerry, but won't as long as the airline lobby keeps our elected officials happy. A trip that is a disaster to us is just ho-hum business as usual to the airlines. Frequent travellers all have a dozen stories just like yours. AA defintely gets more complaints on this forum than the others, I'm happy that I don't have to fly them. You are definitely entitled to your miles back as Ginny said. Be polite, patient and persistent ... and good luck.
thanks it really a sad state of affairs...but as recently observed our elected officials are in a class all by themselves...so what if we pass legislation that hampers a consumer advocacy...but strangely we let it hapoe...shame on us...thanks again you have been very helpful
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,231
2,068
113
#11
I don't have a suggestion but a comment......I think that the larger the business, the less personal customer service we receive. So, while mergers allow for more options with routing, those on the front line are stripped of their ability to make decisions based on individual consumer needs and are required to follow a specific protocol that spans many scenarios. As with all things in life, there is a give and take. While we are getting affordable flights and more options for routing, we are giving up the unique service that only small businesses are able to offer.

This scenario with the pilot timing out is both a blessing and a curse brought about by the unions and FAA. It serves to protect the public from fatigued pilots but maybe not all pilots have the same threshold for fatigue? I, for one, am terrible when driving at night. The bright lights in contrast to the dark sky leads me to fatigue sooner. My husband, on the other hand, is just fine driving at night. If we are both treated equally, then the rule would be 'no driving at night'. This isn't a criticism of the rules governing pilots, just an observation.
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,838
5,043
113
48
#12
patina your driving at night fatigue likely has to do with vision and not straight physical fatigue— ie lack of sleep or too long a work day.

The rules were made more stringent by the FAA and pilots because of a crash — where mistakes were made in the flying of the plane.

I would think that no one could argue that a person with few hours of sleep or after a long day over 8 hours of work is more likely to have slower reaction times and slower thought process. And in an air craft emergency that makes a difference.

There are similar rules for long distance truckers because of accidents and deaths due to fatigue.

I would not want to be on a plane with a fatigued pilot or have a fatigued surgeon operating on me.

I do not like what airtravel has become but proper rest for pilots is crucial.
 
Jun 27, 2017
97
173
33
#13
American Airlines is the world's largest airline when measured by fleet size, revenue, scheduled passengers carried, scheduled passenger-kilometers flown, and the number of destinations served. In a nutshell, AA and many other major airlines are concerned about making billions of dollars, hiring the best lobbyists and staying cozy with the 535 in DC. That's today's corporate culture, not just at the airlines, but many other businesses as well. It is what it is. We don't like it, but when we got to get from Point A to Point B in the shortest amount of time, we fly. We were in MIA, ATL, TPA and TUS a few weeks ago. Every one of these airports was packed with passengers. So regardless of how bad it is to fly these days, thousands of passengers are STILL boarding planes every day in the USA.
 
Mar 29, 2016
55
78
18
59
#15
I would thank American for the courtesy gesture of the $175 and request a refund of mileage difference between coach and first class. If they imply that the voucher is your compensation, note that on the American Airlines site, with the processing fee, $175 buys 5000 miles.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,231
2,068
113
#16
patina your driving at night fatigue likely has to do with vision and not straight physical fatigue— ie lack of sleep or too long a work day.

The rules were made more stringent by the FAA and pilots because of a crash — where mistakes were made in the flying of the plane.

I would think that no one could argue that a person with few hours of sleep or after a long day over 8 hours of work is more likely to have slower reaction times and slower thought process. And in an air craft emergency that makes a difference.

There are similar rules for long distance truckers because of accidents and deaths due to fatigue.

I would not want to be on a plane with a fatigued pilot or have a fatigued surgeon operating on me.

I do not like what airtravel has become but proper rest for pilots is crucial.
I agree with all those points except for my fatigue when driving at night. The lights stress me out so it brings on fatigue sooner than it would in the day time. But you missed my point.....that not everyone becomes fatigued at the same time (i.e., after 8 hours of work). So the FAA defaults to those that get fatigued sooner as the barometer for the rule. Not a criticism of the rule, just making an observation.
 
Likes: mmb and jsn55
Aug 9, 2017
9
9
3
59
#17
I guess I'm one of the few that actually is 'grateful' for delays and cancelled flights. To me it's a sign that the system is working to protect us from ourselves.
 
Likes: mmb