Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

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Looking4Answers
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Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Looking4Answers » Fri May 18, 2018 9:00 am

DH was at airport this morning to take early American Eagle (under American Airlines) flight at Charlotte, NC. He was listening to all the flight announcements, but his flight was never announced. Finally went to desk and they told him everyone had been lined up for flight so they did not make announcement. The flight had not taken off and there was time for him to board, but they refused to let him on (evidently had given his seat to someone else). Now he cannot get another flight out until evening. He had already turned in rental car, so he is stuck at airport. Any suggestions to where he can register complaint? Any chance of any sort of compensation?

dbr
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by dbr » Fri May 18, 2018 9:09 am

See here: http://forum.elliott.org/whats-new/

Specifically find the link on that site to corporate contacts at American Airlines.

The recommended procedure is to go online and file a written complaint with AA customer service. If the response is not satisfactory, Elliot recommends drafting a polite and succinct letter to the contacts in their contact list starting at the lowest level and working up.

ddurrett896
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri May 18, 2018 9:11 am

Looking4Answers wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:00 am
He had already turned in rental car, so he is stuck at airport. Any suggestions to where he can register complaint? Any chance of any sort of compensation?
My FIL just got stuck in EU because of some strike and couldn't get any help over phone. Posted something on their Facebook page and received a response in less than 10 minutes and had the situation corrected within the hour.

Recommendation for an earlier flight...

Last week I flew American and had 3pm departure that connected in NY before my final destination. Meeting was done early and I wanted to get on the 10am direct flight to my final destination. Apparently you can pay $75 to make a change HOWEVER it must go thru the same connecting cities. In this case, there was no connection because it was a direct flight. The rep at the ticket counter wouldn't budge.

Went thru security and talked to an AA Customer Service person on the other side. She ended up letting me pay the $75 for the direct flight because the next flight that had the same connection, while a few hours earlier, only gave me 20 minutes to connect in NY and I would have never made it. Check Google Flights for like flights thru the same airline and give it a try.

These Customer Service reps see the worst in people all day (and rightfully so in a lot of cases). A little goes a long way when talking to these people. Be nice, smile, address as sir and mam and the odds are in your favor.

What really irked me was that even though they made an exception and put me on the direct flight against policy, there were like 30 empty seats on the flight!?!?!?!?!?

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Kenkat
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Kenkat » Fri May 18, 2018 9:22 am

Personal opinion here but the announcement of the flight / gate / boarding is a courtesy. I always make a point to find my flight on one of the Departure boards, check the gate and go to the gate and confirm that is indeed my flight. I don’t fly American often but you can also use apps to get this information and any updates. I use both the Delta and United apps for this type of functionality.

tev9876
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by tev9876 » Fri May 18, 2018 9:25 am

Was he in the gate area or hanging out in a lounge, bar or somewhere else? Major airports don't announce every flight throughout the airport. You are expected to check the monitors and be at the gate in time to board. A 50 seat regional jet can be boarded in 5-10 minutes from open to close so the window can be quite short. They would have called his name over the PA in the gate area before giving away his seat, but you are not going to hear it on the other side of the airport or maybe not even at the bar a few gates down. Even if they didn't give away his seat if they had closed out the flight they are not going to reopen it to let him on if he missed the cutoff. Once they print off the passenger manifest, hand it over to the crew and close the door it is over. A complaint is unlikely to do anything other than waste your time as it is the passengers responsibility to be at the gate.

tim1999
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by tim1999 » Fri May 18, 2018 9:25 am

The blame falls on him for not paying attention to what was going on at the gate at boarding time. If I were AA I wouldn’t give him anything other than a seat on the next flight. Was he not waiting at the gate, or did he not wonder why people were lined up before departure at the boarding door? You need to pay attention to the time and what’s going on at the gate around boarding time. Sometimes they don’t make announcements on the loudspeaker because it’s broken, etc.

Looking4Answers
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Looking4Answers » Fri May 18, 2018 9:31 am

tim1999 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:25 am
The blame falls on him for not paying attention to what was going on at the gate at boarding time. If I were AA I wouldn’t give him anything other than a seat on the next flight. Was he not waiting at the gate, or did he not wonder why people were lined up before departure at the boarding door? You need to pay attention to the time and what’s going on at the gate around boarding time. Sometimes they don’t make announcements on the loudspeaker because it’s broken, etc.
Your point is well taken. However, there was no broken speaker involved. He did go to the desk in plenty of time to board the flight, etc. I agree that there will be no compensation involved, but I do feel a registered complaint is in order. I think announcing flights is pretty standard.

dbr
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by dbr » Fri May 18, 2018 9:49 am

Looking4Answers wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:31 am
tim1999 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:25 am
The blame falls on him for not paying attention to what was going on at the gate at boarding time. If I were AA I wouldn’t give him anything other than a seat on the next flight. Was he not waiting at the gate, or did he not wonder why people were lined up before departure at the boarding door? You need to pay attention to the time and what’s going on at the gate around boarding time. Sometimes they don’t make announcements on the loudspeaker because it’s broken, etc.
Your point is well taken. However, there was no broken speaker involved. He did go to the desk in plenty of time to board the flight, etc. I agree that there will be no compensation involved, but I do feel a registered complaint is in order. I think announcing flights is pretty standard.
If he was at the desk in time to board the flight, then how was he marked a no show and his seat given away? There can be a lot of confusion about what on time is. The official policy at AA is that boarding closes fifteen minutes before scheduled departure time. If he was at the gate before that time and they had already no-showed him he has grounds for a complaint and compensation, otherwise not. If the flight was oversold and the passenger was at the gate in time then it might be that involuntary denied boarding could apply: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/america ... hread.html

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Watty
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Watty » Fri May 18, 2018 10:05 am

tim1999 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:25 am
The blame falls on him for not paying attention to what was going on at the gate at boarding time. If I were AA I wouldn’t give him anything other than a seat on the next flight. Was he not waiting at the gate, or did he not wonder why people were lined up before departure at the boarding door? You need to pay attention to the time and what’s going on at the gate around boarding time. Sometimes they don’t make announcements on the loudspeaker because it’s broken, etc.
+1

If there was a dedicated gate for that flight then he should have been at it on time.

Was there something else going on like the flight was several hours late, or they had some unusual setup like he had to take a bus to a remote gate?
Looking4Answers wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:00 am
Any chance of any sort of compensation?
Unless there was something unusual going on he could be lucky that they are letting him rebook without a fee if he had a discounted ticket with lots of restrictions.

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Watty
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Watty » Fri May 18, 2018 10:07 am

Looking4Answers wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:31 am
He did go to the desk in plenty of time to board the flight, etc.
What time was the flight scheduled for and what time did he get to the gate?

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Pajamas
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Pajamas » Fri May 18, 2018 10:12 am

Watty wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:05 am

Unless there was something unusual going on he could be lucky that they are letting him rebook without a fee if he had a discounted ticket with lots of restrictions.
+1 Most airlines aren't so accommodative these days when someone misses or is late for a flight. Seems like they probably already did what they are required to do or perhaps more than that. Check the "Conditions of Carriage".

https://www.aa.com/i18n/customer-servic ... rriage.jsp
Arriving at the gate
Be at the gate and ready to board the plane:

15 minutes before departure on domestic flights
30 minutes before departure for international flights

If you're not, we may reassign your seat to another passenger.

The doors close 10 minutes before departure and you will not be allowed to board once the doors close.

Looking4Answers
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Looking4Answers » Fri May 18, 2018 10:20 am

I was not there so everything I say is secondhand. There did seem to be some confusion as to the gate layout, and my husband was in line to ask about departure well before the 15 minutes. However, there was a line to get to desk and evidently before he actually was able to talk to someone it was probably in the 10-15 minute window. He is not interested in even lodging a complaint, that was me. He is taking it in stride and moving on, so I need to do that as well.

rb6p
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by rb6p » Fri May 18, 2018 4:30 pm

dbr wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:49 am
If he was at the desk in time to board the flight, then how was he marked a no show and his seat given away? There can be a lot of confusion about what on time is. The official policy at AA is that boarding closes fifteen minutes before scheduled departure time. If he was at the gate before that time and they had already no-showed him he has grounds for a complaint and compensation, otherwise not. If the flight was oversold and the passenger was at the gate in time then it might be that involuntary denied boarding could apply: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/america ... hread.html

This is good information. If he was there in time, I'd definitely consider a complaint. I was involuntarily bumped from a delta flight and was offered a seat on the next flight, which wasn't until the next evening. They also gave me a small voucher for a credit towards a future flight. I dug up Dept of Transportation info on the appropriate compensation (much more) and registered a complaint. A couple months later Delta sent me a check for $1200+.

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Pajamas
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Pajamas » Fri May 18, 2018 5:26 pm

Looking4Answers wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:20 am
I was not there so everything I say is secondhand. There did seem to be some confusion as to the gate layout, and my husband was in line to ask about departure well before the 15 minutes. However, there was a line to get to desk and evidently before he actually was able to talk to someone it was probably in the 10-15 minute window. He is not interested in even lodging a complaint, that was me. He is taking it in stride and moving on, so I need to do that as well.
So he was not " at the gate and ready to board the plane. . . 15 minutes before departure."

You could still complain and perhaps get a voucher or credit, especially if he is a member of AAdvantage. Couldn't hurt to try. I would just call about it rather than waste time writing a letter or sending an email.

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steadyeddy
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by steadyeddy » Fri May 18, 2018 5:42 pm

Looking4Answers wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:20 am
I was not there so everything I say is secondhand. There did seem to be some confusion as to the gate layout, and my husband was in line to ask about departure well before the 15 minutes. However, there was a line to get to desk and evidently before he actually was able to talk to someone it was probably in the 10-15 minute window. He is not interested in even lodging a complaint, that was me. He is taking it in stride and moving on, so I need to do that as well.
I wonder if he might have left out part of the story when he relayed it to you. He may not wish to lodge a complaint if he realizes he was in the wrong. It sounds like only a few minutes delay may have made a difference.

Looking4Answers
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Looking4Answers » Fri May 18, 2018 6:13 pm

steadyeddy wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 5:42 pm
Looking4Answers wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 10:20 am
I was not there so everything I say is secondhand. There did seem to be some confusion as to the gate layout, and my husband was in line to ask about departure well before the 15 minutes. However, there was a line to get to desk and evidently before he actually was able to talk to someone it was probably in the 10-15 minute window. He is not interested in even lodging a complaint, that was me. He is taking it in stride and moving on, so I need to do that as well.
I wonder if he might have left out part of the story when he relayed it to you. He may not wish to lodge a complaint if he realizes he was in the wrong. It sounds like only a few minutes delay may have made a difference.
Trust me,if you knew my husband you would know the essential details are exactly as I told them. He had called me while he waiting for the plane to board so I know he was not late. He listened for the boarding announcement, and the desk clerk acknowledged that they had not made the announcement. Was he looking at his watch when they told him it was too late to board in order to say exactly if it was within the 15 minute deadline? No. He had other things on this mind. Hindsight is always 20/20. Obviously there are a number of things he would do differently if he had it to do over. As for not registering a complaint, he just does not think it is worth it. As long as he gets a flight later today, he is not out any money to be reimbursed. He does not have any other travel plans coming up that he could use any travel voucher. He may indeed decide to report the incident later, but that is up to him.

rich126
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by rich126 » Fri May 18, 2018 6:22 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:22 am
Personal opinion here but the announcement of the flight / gate / boarding is a courtesy. I always make a point to find my flight on one of the Departure boards, check the gate and go to the gate and confirm that is indeed my flight. I don’t fly American often but you can also use apps to get this information and any updates. I use both the Delta and United apps for this type of functionality.
Totally agree with this. Your ticket has a boarding time and you need to be there by that time.

AA especially is adamant about what they call T0 (I think), meaning they want to gate to be closed and the plane ready for departure on schedule.

If you need a personal announcement to be on time, sign up for text or phone alerts.

In many years of flying I've never missed a flight by being late. I find it amazing any adult can be that careless. If he was close enough to hear, or not hear an announcement, how could he not notice a crowd of people leaving the seating area and boarding the plane?

I know people make mistakes but something seems to be missing here.

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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by AZAttorney11 » Fri May 18, 2018 6:35 pm

How many other people, if any, missed the flight?

I'm not sure what the issue is. There's a boarding time when all passengers are expected to be at the gate, even if you're zone seven on a basic economy fare and everyone knows you'll board last. Anytime I'm working in an airport lounge or not going directly to my gate, I always set an alarm on my phone that will remind me it's time to head to the gate so I arrive at the scheduled boarding time. I absolutely despise American Airlines, but I can't fault them based on what you've posted.

Looking4Answers
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Looking4Answers » Fri May 18, 2018 7:07 pm

AZAttorney11 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:35 pm
How many other people, if any, missed the flight?

I'm not sure what the issue is. There's a boarding time when all passengers are expected to be at the gate, even if you're zone seven on a basic economy fare and everyone knows you'll board last. Anytime I'm working in an airport lounge or not going directly to my gate, I always set an alarm on my phone that will remind me it's time to head to the gate so I arrive at the scheduled boarding time. I absolutely despise American Airlines, but I can't fault them based on what you've posted.
I guess the issue was that I posted a question too soon when I first learned what happened. Then the issue was that my husband had moved on and then that I had moved on. Now the only issue seems to be that a number of Bogleheads feel compelled to add their two cents, which is their right.

dbr
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by dbr » Fri May 18, 2018 7:15 pm

Looking4Answers wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 7:07 pm
AZAttorney11 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 6:35 pm
How many other people, if any, missed the flight?

I'm not sure what the issue is. There's a boarding time when all passengers are expected to be at the gate, even if you're zone seven on a basic economy fare and everyone knows you'll board last. Anytime I'm working in an airport lounge or not going directly to my gate, I always set an alarm on my phone that will remind me it's time to head to the gate so I arrive at the scheduled boarding time. I absolutely despise American Airlines, but I can't fault them based on what you've posted.
I guess the issue was that I posted a question too soon when I first learned what happened. Then the issue was that my husband had moved on and then that I had moved on. Now the only issue seems to be that a number of Bogleheads feel compelled to add their two cents, which is their right.
Well, airlines are capable of doing things that are not right and it may be that something might be done at the time to help or that it is fair for the customer to be compensated for a wrong. Passengers are also capable of doing dumb things that have consequences. It could be worth being sure which is the case. Unfortunately the issue depends on facts that are not completely available to people posting here.

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Kenkat
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Kenkat » Fri May 18, 2018 7:20 pm

Well hopefully he will be on a later flight this evening and home tonight. Air travel can be an adventure for many reasons but eventually you make it to your destination.

Golf maniac
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by Golf maniac » Fri May 18, 2018 7:45 pm

The key is the gate agent admitted they did not announce the flight boarding. That is not normal, and out of AA procedure. Also, they know at the gate who has checked in, so they should of had an announcement requesting your husband to Board BEFORE they gave away his seat. If he was at the gate and the gate agent did not follow standard procedures, then he can get compensation. Some commuter gates (American Eagle) have multiple flights going out of the same gate. I have flown out of Charlotte hundreds of times and never have I heard of them not announcing a flight even when people are lined up and waiting (which is every flight now).

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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by stlutz » Fri May 18, 2018 8:00 pm

If you're likely to fly American again in the future, I'd make a complaint and ask them to give you a travel voucher.

If you state specifically what you are looking for, and you're being reasonable in the amount, they will often be reasonable in kind. I've made written complaints twice in the past to different airlines and been satisfied with the result.

If you aren't likely to fly them again in the next year or so, then it's probably not really worth the trouble.

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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri May 18, 2018 9:34 pm

Golf maniac wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 7:45 pm
The key is the gate agent admitted they did not announce the flight boarding. That is not normal, and out of AA procedure.
I don’t fly AA very often, but I have traveled about a million and and a half miles in aluminum tubes on various airlines.

I am trying to picture the situation at the gate. Did the gate agent at boarding time simply open the door to the jetway, and everybody else booked on the flight just proceeded to walk down the jetway to the plane, in random order and in complete violation of documented AA boarding rules?

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/boa ... rocess.jsp

The usual process seems to be

- announcement that flight 123 to XYZ will begin boarding in a few minutes
- announcement that flight 123 to XYZ is now ready to board
- invitation for each boarding group, in the order documented above to board
- announcement that boarding is about to end
- door closes, manifest is printed, plane leaves

None of these announcements happened? (note: these are obviously not airport-wide broadcast; you generally have to be in the gate area to hear them). Or did they use LCD displays to show visually which group can board? If the boarding process was ignored, that would be worthwhile reporting to AA. American Eagle flights are operated by contract airlines or subsidiaries, but I am pretty sure AA doesn’t like it when gate agents make up their own rules for flights that operate under their brand.

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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri May 18, 2018 10:07 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:34 pm
Golf maniac wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 7:45 pm
The key is the gate agent admitted they did not announce the flight boarding. That is not normal, and out of AA procedure.
I don’t fly AA very often, but I have traveled about a million and and a half miles in aluminum tubes on various airlines.



Agree. Having had a similar number of sardine can aluminum tube rides over the last 40 years, I have never been on a flight where boarding was not announced at the gate.

There are people who are loath to stand in line and may tend to wait too long as the boarding process is ending... might have been OK 20 years ago but not a good plan these days.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Registering complaint with American Airlines/American Eagle?

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri May 18, 2018 10:13 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:34 pm



I don’t fly AA very often, but I have traveled about a million and and a half miles in aluminum tubes on various airlines.



Agree. Having had a similar number of sardine can aluminum tube rides over the last 40 years, I have never been on a flight where boarding was not announced at the gate.

There are people (including me at one time) who are absolutely loath to stand in line with the stinky herd and may tend to wait too long as the boarding process is ending... might have been OK 20 years ago but not a good plan these days.

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