Ooh, a direct hit

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Take this, American Airlines. This is what you get for costing me sixteen hours of bachelor party in Vegas. What follows is my letter to the airline that I mailed this morning. They’re going to be sorry if they make me bust out the BBB. You don’t mess with a man’s bachelor party.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to tell you about the worst airline experience I have ever had. On July 20th, I left with my brother and two friends to fly from Dulles Airport in Virginia to Las Vegas, Nevada for the weekend. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:26PM, arriving in Las Vegas via Dallas, Texas at 10:40PM. Our troubles began when the first flight was delayed, and we were told that we would miss our connection in Dallas, and that there were no more flights to Las Vegas from Dallas, either that night, or the next morning. Rather than risk being stranded indefinitely in Texas, we returned home after being booked on an America West flight through Phoenix the next morning.

Unfortunately, in the morning, our flight was again delayed, such that we would miss our connection. American called one of my fellow travelers, and we managed to get a flight for the four of us from Washington National airport through Newark. We rushed to National and arrived approximately one hour before our scheduled departure at 7:17AM. When we got to the America West counter, we were forced to literally run back and forth between the American counter and the America West counter, trying to get the proper documentation so that our boarding passes could be printed. At approximately 7:14AM, we had our passes and rushed to security, assured by the America West counter agent that the flight knew we were coming and would wait for us.

However, this was a lie, and the flight was already backing away from the gate when we arrived at approximately 7:19AM. We returned to the American counter and were booked on a flight through Continental at 11AM. Continental finally provided us with good service. When our 11AM flight was delayed, again making us miss our connection, the Continental agent found us another flight that left immediately and brought us to Las Vegas, through Cleveland, arriving at 2:30PM the day after we were scheduled to arrive.

I can understand delays. I understand that they happen sometimes, and sometimes there is nothing the airline can do. But when we are forced to change flights three times, change airports, and do all of the running back and forth to get the proper documentation ourselves, it becomes unacceptable. At no time did any employee of American Airlines apologize. At no time did any employee acknowledge that we had been subjected to unreasonable delays. The only thing that American employees did was dump us off on other airlines, hoping the problem would go away.

I have already written to you using the complaint submission form at aa.com. However, the 1500 character limit did not allow me to fully explain the situation. The reference number is XXX.

I travel a lot. My fiancée’s family owns a travel agency. At this point, I have no interest in ever flying with American Airlines again. You have made a mistake, which is understandable. But you have done absolutely nothing to fix it, which is unacceptable. Please contact me as soon as possible if you have not already done so as a result of my complaint online.

Thank you very much

I’ll keep you all posted on what transpires. I also submitted a thank you through Continental.com’s web form, because I figure I shouldn’t only contact the company when they screw up.

Posted in: complaint , Personal