forced to buy a second ticket when bumped to standby

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Mar 13, 2018
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#1
my brother, son and I were going on a ski trip, flying on AA flight 1326 from chicago to boston leaving at noon. we had problems finding the parking lot, then finding a space in the parking lot, finally arriving with our preprinted boarding passes at 11:30 am - only to be told it was too late to check our bags, and one of us would have to stay behind and fly on the next flight with our bags. my brother offerred to stay behind and was given a ticket for flight 2626 leaving at 1:24. the bags arrived on that flight but my brother did not - he didnt board until after 7pm and was forced to buy a second ticket for $373.00 and a $35 service fee. this doesnt make sense that AA could give my brothers seat to someone else and charge him for another seat. why couldnt they just send our bags on the next flight and let us board as planned. I have been flying for 40 years(and a AA club member for 30+ years) and have never heard or have this happen. Please help.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#2
Oh my, it sounds like you were lucky to make your original flight and the agent really worked hard to take care of you. You may not know that these days airlines are just bears about checkin/boarding times, and I'm surprised that all three of you weren't forced to take a later flight. Luggage cannot fly without the passengers ... a security rule. Many planes fly full, and there is often a standby list, so you're fortunate that two of the three seats were still open. You three should split the cost of your brother's tix and be glad that each of you didn't have to buy a new one. Next time, plan to walk in the door of the airport at least two hours early (three hours for international); it's the only way to avoid these nasty little surprises.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
I am sorry but when the passenger is too late to check in bags, there are two options -- do not fly with bags or take a later flight with luggage. The airline cannot let you board and knowingly ship the luggage later. That is different from luggage getting lost -- an intentional sending of the luggage later is a major security concern. AA baggage cut off is 45 minutes for a domestic flight.

To be bumped one has to have a confirmed seat and be present at the boarding gate; the brother was not for the original flight 1326 so he was not bumped.

Was the additional fee the fare difference for a same day change? Were there any luggage fees? Was flight 2626 delayed and that is why he did not board until 7 pm or was he on standby?

Unfortunately, being late to the airport because of getting lost or not finding parking is not something that the airlines have to be responsible for; one may get some sympathy if there was a major accident on the road and traffic blocked; but this was just a case of not leaving early enough and giving enough time.

The rules for baggage and security have changed significantly since 9/11/2001 and passengers need to be aware of cut off times, check in times and such. The airline simply will not send the luggage on a later flight and allow the passengers on the scheduled ones when the passengers arrive too late to check in luggage.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#4
Agreed with the responses above. Just to be clear, luggage doesn't have to always fly with its owner, but the owner can't INTENTIONALLY separate himself from his baggage. The concern is that, if someone did want to bomb a plane, but didn't want to die in the process, they could show up after the baggage cutoff, fly on their scheduled flight, and have the bag (with the bomb) follow on a later flight, destroying that flight. If, on the other hand, you were flying A-B-C, with a tight connection in B, you could make the connection even though your checked bag missed it, and followed on a later B-C flight, since you didn't INTEND to separate yourself from your baggage.
 
Mar 13, 2018
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i undesrtand the rules but dont ticket agents have discretion? I dont fit the profile of a terrorist - I am a AA club member - I have picture ID - and why wasnt he told hed have to buy a ticket - instead he was given a ticket to get on the next flight(he needed one to get thru security. There were no available seatson any of the flights until the 7:00 one which was delayed. Yes - good point - why wasnt he charged a Change fee, not for an expensive, last min flight.
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
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Jan 6, 2015
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#6
Unfortunately, ticket agents do not have discretion to waive the rules. When you were not there 45 minutes prior to flight, the flight was locked and they could not add the baggage.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
i undesrtand the rules but dont ticket agents have discretion? I dont fit the profile of a terrorist - I am a AA club member - I have picture ID - and why wasnt he told hed have to buy a ticket - instead he was given a ticket to get on the next flight(he needed one to get thru security. There were no available seatson any of the flights until the 7:00 one which was delayed. Yes - good point - why wasnt he charged a Change fee, not for an expensive, last min flight.
Unfortunately they do not have the discretion. The computer programs lock out addition of baggage. They can not knowingly put the luggage on a later flight when no one is ticketed on that flight. There is likely a grace period of a few minutes programmed in, so that someone started to check in bags and 46 minutes before does not get locked out at 45 minutes before.

AA 1326 has a departure time of noon, and you arrived at 11:30 so the bag check was over by 15 minutes

AIrlines give a baggage cut off time as that is the time needed for the bags to be screened, sorted and loaded onto the airplane. When someone checks in on time and their baggage does not make the flight, the airlines pay to deliver it.

It does not matter if one does not fit the profile, or has been a member of the FF program; it just is not done.
AA's policy on sending baggage on a later flight:

General acceptance of baggage

Only baggage as defined in the definition section will be accepted for transportation. All baggage is subject to inspection. Checked baggage will be accepted for transportation only on flights on which you are traveling. American will not accept baggage whose size, weight, or character makes it unsuitable for transportation on the aircraft as determined by American.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/customer-service/support/conditions-of-carriage.jsp#baggagecheckin

Now for the fee for the change of the ticket, what does the receipt say? What is the breakdown? Usually the receipt will say change fee, baggage, etc.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#8
i undesrtand the rules but dont ticket agents have discretion? I dont fit the profile of a terrorist - I am a AA club member - I have picture ID - and why wasnt he told hed have to buy a ticket - instead he was given a ticket to get on the next flight(he needed one to get thru security. There were no available seatson any of the flights until the 7:00 one which was delayed. Yes - good point - why wasnt he charged a Change fee, not for an expensive, last min flight.
No they don’t. You are actually lucky they only made one of you fly with the bags because in reality you all arrived too late for check in. They could have forced all of you off and had you pay to rebook all the seats.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#9
Agreed with the responses above. Just to be clear, luggage doesn't have to always fly with its owner, but the owner can't INTENTIONALLY separate himself from his baggage. The concern is that, if someone did want to bomb a plane, but didn't want to die in the process, they could show up after the baggage cutoff, fly on their scheduled flight, and have the bag (with the bomb) follow on a later flight, destroying that flight. If, on the other hand, you were flying A-B-C, with a tight connection in B, you could make the connection even though your checked bag missed it, and followed on a later B-C flight, since you didn't INTEND to separate yourself from your baggage.
An excellent explanation to support our points. While some agents have discretion in some instances, people/baggage on the plane ideadlines are controlled by the airline's software. 99% of the time there's little anyone can do for a late-arriving passenger.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Mar 13, 2018
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#10
again we had preprinted boarding passes. and why was he given a boarding pass for the next flight"passenger ticket and baggage check" "PRIOITYVERIFICATION" and not told til the plane is boarding that he has to buy a new ticket
 

Carrie Livingston

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Jan 6, 2015
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#11
Although you had preprinted passes, you had luggage to check that had a deadline. You were unable to meet that deadline therefore the luggage can't fly on your flight. As to having to purchase another ticket, I'm not sure the reason for that but it may have had something to do with technically, they could have cancelled all the tickets. They did you a favor by only cancelling one and allowing two of you to fly on the initial flight.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#12
again we had preprinted boarding passes. and why was he given a boarding pass for the next flight"passenger ticket and baggage check" "PRIOITYVERIFICATION" and not told til the plane is boarding that he has to buy a new ticket
Preprinted boarding passes are for passengers and not baggage. You could have left the baggage and all three try to make the flight. You missed by baggage cut of by 15 minutes. Similarly, if I fall asleep in the terminal and miss my boarding, and get to the gate late, it does not matter that I have a boarding pass; I was not at the gate.

PriorityVerification is AA's term for no confirmed seat which often means standby. It gets one into the secure area but is a clumsy term.

The fee was assessed later as someone was reviewing the file. Let me ask something, if the fee had been told earlier, what would you have done differently? Cancel the entire trip? Abandon the luggage and travel anyway?
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#13
Pre printed boarding tickets have the boarding time printed on them. If you are not at the gate at the time stated boarding begins- then give away your seats to standby passengers. That’s why you hear passengers being paged before boarding begins- that’s their last attempt to find out if you are there to board or not. When you don’t come to the desk when they call your name, the seats go to standby passengers.

If you didn’t have luggage you might have all made it but when you have luggage- it isn’t flying by itself. Someone has to fly with it. As I said before, I am amazed they didn’t require all of you to catch the next flight.

It’s an expensive lesson that learn to be at the airport at least take hours early for a domestic flight and three for an international.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#14
`Gary, I've been flying for many years. It is my learned opinion that airlines do all kinds of weird things, and you'll never know WHY they handled your situation the way they did. The important thing to remember is that they took care of all three of you without insisting on three new tix at a "walk-up" price.
 
Likes: JVillegirl541

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#15
I believe this is really about a tale of 4 very late passengers. You dodged a very expensive bullet (new tickets for 4) vs new ticket for just 1. That was one fast thinking check-in agent who thought up this solution.
Sorry it happened but I hope you realize Now how lucky you all were!
 
Mar 13, 2018
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#16
Preprinted boarding passes are for passengers and not baggage. You could have left the baggage and all three try to make the flight. You missed by baggage cut of by 15 minutes. Similarly, if I fall asleep in the terminal and miss my boarding, and get to the gate late, it does not matter that I have a boarding pass; I was not at the gate.

PriorityVerification is AA's term for no confirmed seat which often means standby. It gets one into the secure area but is a clumsy term.

The fee was assessed later as someone was reviewing the file. Let me ask something, if the fee had been told earlier, what would you have done differently? Cancel the entire trip? Abandon the luggage and travel anyway?
 
Likes: JVillegirl541
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