Airline Nightmare

Ok. So, maybe it’s not exactly a true nightmare. Stuff worse than this happens all the time.

And, this sucks. And I have my own blog where I can vent. That’s the space I’m in.

So I was flying home from a Continuing Education thing in San Diego yesterday. It was good, and I was glad to be headed home to see my family.

With a flight leaving around 1:45, I started getting email alerts that my flight would be leaving late. Uh oh. So I knew my layover in Dallas would be tight.

On arrival at the airport, I asked to change seats to sit near the front and explained my situation. They agreed the layover would be tight and agreed to the seat change. They suggested that even 10 minutes made up in the air would help.

Did I mention that the layover in Dallas would require a Terminal change? Yes. I would have to land in one terminal and then go to a completely different terminal to catch my flight home. With a less-than-10-minute window.

Even so, I was hopeful.

Until we were literally just touching down when my connecting flight was scheduled to leave. To the minute.

Rather than run to the next terminal (the monorail to aid travelers at DFW was only running one way, and it was not the way I was going), I checked in at a random gate on the way.

She very sweetly told me that my flight had left already.

Crud.

So they offered to put me up in a local hotel (Wingate by Windham) and told me where to wait for the shuttle.

After the first hour, I went to find an American Airlines agent who sympathized and said that there’d been trouble with shuttles and called the hotel. And then she told me that I’d been waiting in the wrong place all along, and that I should wait elsewhere.

Great.

After the second hour (maybe more like 45 minutes), I called the hotel myself. I spoke with a lovely gentleman named Joe who suggested that I could take a taxi myself or ask American to put me up somewhere else.

Really?

I told him it kind of sounded like he was telling me they weren’t going to do anything. And he agreed.

Really??

By that time, I’d been in touch with a dear friend who I hadn’t seen in WAY too long. And he came to pick me up, he housed me, and he brought me back in the morning. Thank God there are people who care!

And so the epilogue is ongoing. When I arrived at the airport this morning, I asked if my flight was really going to get me home. They said, yes, but I’m waiting to see. They also told me that I could complain on American Airlines’ website.

Maybe they can’t do anything at the actual airport at the counter with the sign that says American Airlines??

And so I thought that it would only be right to post not only on their website but on my own. Here’s what I told them:

An hour delay on flight 872 from SAN to DFW caused me to miss my connecting flight 2732 from DFW to GRI. I was offered overnight accommodations and meal vouchers and was told where to await a shuttle.

After waiting an hour for the shuttle, I checked in with an American ticket agent who called the hotel and asked me to wait in a different location. After another hour (slightly less), I called the hotel myself and was told I could take a taxi at my own expense or ask to be housed in an alternate location. While I understand that this is not entirely American’s issue, American has a choice in which hotels with whom to partner.

I finally called a friend who had to drive half-an-hour to pick me up to host me in his own house before driving that same distance to bring me back to DFW in the morning.

This has been both frustrating and inconvenient. As I sit awaiting a flight home (and not all that comforted that this flight will be on time), I do not in any way feel as though this situation is resolved, nor do I imagine that I’ll feel differently when I finally arrive home.

I think a voucher for travel is the least that American can do as an offer of remuneration.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and for your kind response. I remain frustrated and inconvenienced.

I’ll post an update if I get home…

UPDATE: American contacted me to offer a voucher toward future travel. Kudos for their response, not only because I like free stuff but also because I think it’s important to respond to any customer’s dissatisfaction. Well done, American!

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