Problems with American Airlines flight 0817

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Feb 7, 2018
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#1
Over 2 hour flight delay caused missing of 2 connecting flights plus loss of one night at bed and breakfast. AA now attributes delay to weather however at time flight listed on time. We boarded on time and told by AA flight crew while on plane waiting to go that delay due to waiting for passengers from Munich which took over an hour for them to board. Next delay caused by deicing which we were told would be a "few minutes" and ended up being over 45 minutes.
We arrived over 2 hours late to LAX with a further delay of 15 minutes before doors were opened. My out of pocket expenses exceeded $300.00.
After numerous emails and phone calls to AA I was told the problem was weather related and denial of anything having to do with Munich passengers which conflicted with flight announcement while we were on board. American has only offered a $200.00 future voucher and I do not trust AA and I consider this minimal offer a slap in the face. This was a trip of a lifetime for me, planned months in advance, used travel agent, Liberty Travel to further ensure reasonable travel plans and connections since I was going from Phila. to LAX to Sydney to Melbourne. I felt that the first third of my vacation was ruined by AA. Anything you can do to help, thank you, Alan Stiteler
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
Your issue, I think, should first be addressed by your Travel Agency. They handled the booking for you, and should have, in my opinion, scheduled more margin into your itinerary. Flight delays happen frequently, regardless of the underlying reason, and it's important for them to advise you of alternatives in case this happens.

Regarding compensation from AA , you can use the Company Contacts link at the top of this page to present your case. Before you do, be sure to read and follow the instructions at the top of the initial Company Contacts page first. Make sure you include your desired compensation.

I would avoid accusations and/or insults which are likely to hurt your case. Just explain what you were told and how that impacted your trip ...
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#3
@Alan Stiteler First, deicing is weather related so deicing is a weather delay. Keep in mind that at major airports long queues can form for deicing. You may have waited at the gate because your place in line was so far away and then someone may have decided to hold for the arriving passengers.

Second, you need to have a long discussion with your TA. If this was a "trip of a lifetime," it should have been insured to cover delays like this. Did they discuss insurance with you? Did you buy it? If not, you might want to check the credit card that you used for the trip. It may have trip insurance included.
 
Dec 7, 2017
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#4
I disagree a little - the initial wait was caused by AA making a decision to hold the aircraft for connecting passengers - if they had departed on time - and had a 45 min deice delay - then the OP still would have made the connection to YSSY. AA is at least partially responsible here - and your travel agent needs to step up and help you.

I think the weather delay 'get out of jail free card' needs to be amended to "Weather was the proximate and direct cause of the delay" because otherwise you have an airline claim the delay of a flight 3 days ago caused your delay today . . .
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#5
Even if AA was at fault for the delay, most airline's conditions of carriage state they do not guarantee their schedules and are not liable if the flight is delayed or canceled. So unless the flight would be covered by a specific government regulation (i.e. EC261), they usually will not pay any compensation for incidental cost related to a delay or cancellation of one of their flights. This is what travel insurance would help to cover (depending on the policy).

What you can do is write the company using the company contacts provided by this site to let AA know of your inconvenience, they may provide some miles or a small voucher as a gesture of goodwill.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#6
You absolutely need to go through Liberty Travel and see IF they can go through bat for you.

BUT - they can only do so much. They did their job selling you the ticket and what happened is not something they can fix nor are they responsible for.

I would suggest that you use our company contacts and start writing to the AA Executives. If you have already dealt with Customer Service , then write to the first executive.

I think it is unreasonable to ask them for a full refund- they transported you albeit late. Someone made the decision to hold that plane for the Munich clients and if they were using the excuse the weather was bad where the Munich flight was coming from - that shouldn’t be the excuse for your flight.

Ask for points or a future credits. Did you have travel insurance? Some policies will reimburse you for your missed night with trip delay.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
The delay caused by waiting for Munich passengers may have happened because of EU 261 rules -- so the passengers coming from the EU would not have been stranded (and airline have to pay out) - and the passengers from Munich would have had to clear customs and immigration in Philadelphia.

What a mess.

After missing the flight to Sydney did the airline rebook to a later day and pay for hotel at LAX?

I would write to contacts, and leave out emotion and things like "first third of vacation was ruined" by arriving a day late. Unless the trip was only three days...
 
Dec 7, 2017
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#8
Even if AA was at fault for the delay, most airline's conditions of carriage state they do not guarantee their schedules and are not liable if the flight is delayed or canceled. So unless the flight would be covered by a specific government regulation (i.e. EC261), they usually will not pay any compensation for incidental cost related to a delay or cancellation of one of their flights. This is what travel insurance would help to cover (depending on the policy).

What you can do is write the company using the company contacts provided by this site to let AA know of your inconvenience, they may provide some miles or a small voucher as a gesture of goodwill.
you guys keep getting fixated on the contract issues - if the airline intentionally interferes with the schedule for its own reasons - the contract terms are out and we are into tortious interference with a contract. . . .

AA, for its own reasons, delayed a flight otherwise ready to depart and cost a person $xxx - thats is a claim cognizable at law.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,260
12,443
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
you guys keep getting fixated on the contract issues - if the airline intentionally interferes with the schedule for its own reasons - the contract terms are out and we are into tortious interference with a contract. . . .

AA, for its own reasons, delayed a flight otherwise ready to depart and cost a person $xxx - thats is a claim cognizable at law.
Not according to our own DOT as stated in their Flyers Rights rules:
https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights

Delayed and Cancelled Flights
Airlines don't guarantee their schedules, and you should realize this when planning your trip. There are many things that can-and often do-make it impossible for flights to arrive on time. Some of these problems, like bad weather, air traffic delays, and mechanical issues, are hard to predict and often beyond the airlines' control.

The issue our writer has is that he doesn't know the exact reason for the delay. They are stating it is weather related - but there is a website that I believe you need to pay for that you can search a flight number and date and the reason for the delays are shown. If that doesn't state weather - then our writer does have a case. The delay apparently occurred in PHL.

How long was the connecting time between the PHL flight and the LAX? Did you have travel insurance to cover any of this?
 
Likes: VoR61
R

Realitoes

Guest
#10
you guys keep getting fixated on the contract issues - if the airline intentionally interferes with the schedule for its own reasons - the contract terms are out and we are into tortious interference with a contract. . . .

AA, for its own reasons, delayed a flight otherwise ready to depart and cost a person $xxx - thats is a claim cognizable at law.
No we are fixated on the reality of the situation. Most people do not have the resources or would it even be financially feasible to pursue these type of claims on the chance that the court will rule in their favor. Of course if you know of an attorney that would be willing to take these type of cases on a contingency basis, that actually may be helpful.

Pursuing your argument with the company can actually be counter productive. They may just ignore the complaint all together, or they will refer the complaint to their legal department, which basically will stop all communications outside legal channels.
 
Dec 7, 2017
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#11
DOT has rules - the airlines are REQUIRED to follow - that would be a regulatory violation if they failed to follow them. Those rules are enforced by the agency and they generate fines if the airlines fail to follow them A passenger is not allowed to enforce them.

However, you have rights that exist in addition to the rights provided by statute or contract.

Lets put someone from AA 0n the stand for this one:

Me: So, Mr. AA, why was the flight delayed originally?

AA: well, it was complex.

Me: Ok would I be wrong to state that AA delayed the flight for 40 minutes for connecting passengers from a european flight?

AA: Well - uh.

Me: I have the records right here - you have 16 passengers from the following european flights connectiing - are you familiar with EU261?

AA: Uh, Yes.

Me: What does that provide?

AA: explains

Me: so if you did not hold this flight, AA may have owed 16 times 600 euro to those passengers

AA: well I don't know - etc etc etc - lots prevarication

Me: How long was deicing delay?

AA: 45 min.

Me: So you held the flight 45 min, and it was delayed another 45 min - and then was stuck waiting for a gate for 20 min - my client missed her flight by 15 min.

AA: Yes.

Me: so if the flight left on time - and experienced a 45 min delay deicing - she would have made her flight to Sydney, most likely

AA: Perhaps. If there were no other delays

Me: Well, your records prove the flight arrived 90 min late after 2 45 min delays and the 20 min waiting for gate - take one of those delays away - and the flight is only 45-65 min late. thus she would have made her flight - given that example, correct.

AA: yes.

Me: so the only reason, under my example, why she missed her flight was because AA held hte flight for passengers so it would not have to pay them a delay penalty - wuold seem that, under my example.

AA screams for a moment to call to settle my case for funny money. . .
 
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Likes: SierraRose49
Jan 6, 2015
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#12
I found this to be informative regarding causes of delays as reported to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

They are the entity to which Air Carriers report the cause of flight delays. Reading their categories three (3) things stand out to me:
  • Extreme Weather: Significant meteorological conditions (actual or forecasted) that, in the judgment of the carrier, delays ...
  • Air Carrier: The cause of the cancellation or delay was due to circumstances within the airline's control ...
  • Late-arriving aircraft: A previous flight with same aircraft arrived late
Also of note is the absence of any mention of this scenario, where a flight is held for connecting passengers. That seems logical to me, as another inbound flight could be delayed for any reason. The question, at least for me, becomes then how would/should they report the cause?

Based on this information, weather seems to be the best description available from the list ...
 
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Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
VoR61 makes an interesting point, when there may be several reasons for a delay, and a deicing delay (ie the last delay) would be under weather.

And I have to agree with Realitoes about the issue of suing and contracts, the fantasy cross examination not-withstanding. Exactly how would paying a lawyer several hundred dollars an hour to get to the cross examination point benefit the traveler who was delayed and lost one night of vacation? How many lawyers are going to take this case on contingency or as a pro bono case?