American Airlines’ Disastrous Delay Handling

American Airlines’ Disastrous Delay Handling

144

Ford just wrapped up a trip on American Airlines that’s a textbook example of how airlines sometimes fail the traveling public during delays. Heck, it gives me a better appreciation for why people have complete meltdowns in gate areas sometimes.

We’ve seen the Biden Administration propose mandatory compensation for flight delays and cancelations. Not surprisingly, airline executives are vehemently opposed to this, and they argue that they already do everything they can to take care of passengers when things go wrong, so implementing these kinds of policies will only raise airfare.

I’d sure love to know what they make of the below situation, and if this is a level of care that passengers should be happy with.

Airline operations are complicated, and stuff happens

Before I go into detail, let me acknowledge that airline operations are incredibly complex. Delays and cancelations happen, and that’s to be expected. My issue isn’t with accepting that things go wrong, but rather with how airlines handle it:

  • When things go wrong, airlines should communicate clearly with passengers, help them manage expectations, and just treat them with dignity
  • I feel bad for the frontline employees who are put in the position to deal with passengers in these cases; they’re among the lower paid employees at airlines, they often don’t have any information to share, and they get a lot of flak from customers, because customers have no one else they can complain to
  • There’s nothing that can be done about delays due to weather or other factors outside of an airline’s control; the problem is when delays are constantly due to lack of available crew or aircraft, since that simply means airlines are greedy, and are over scheduling, without having sufficient spare aircraft or reserve crews

A very unlucky trip on American Airlines

Ford spent the past several days in Canada, and had a very unlucky experience with American. American’s operation has been fairly reliable lately, so I’m chalking the number of issues up to bad luck — when it rains, it pours.

On the outbound, he was supposed to fly American from Miami to Charlotte to Toronto. The night before, his flight from Miami to Charlotte was canceled due to crew availability. The only option for getting rebooked was much later in the day, in which case he would have missed a commitment. So he instead refunded his ticket, and booked a ticket on Air Canada (which ended up being much more expensive).

For the return portion of the trip, he was scheduled to fly from Montreal to Philadelphia to Miami. The Montreal to Philadelphia flight was delayed by about 45 minutes, with the reason being “delay due to crew availability.”

Between waiting for his valet checked bag, and the long transfer from Concourse F to Concourse A, he missed his connection to Miami. But he was in luck, or so we thought! The earlier flight from Philadelphia to Miami was delayed by just under three hours, with the reason being “late arriving aircraft due to prior equipment change.” At least American is consistent with delaying its flights. 😉

We’ll talk more about that flight in a bit, but here’s the schedule with which that flight ended up operating. Yes, it departed after 2AM, over eight hours behind schedule. Nice.

Ford cut his losses a bit after 12AM (since it looked like the flight wouldn’t go), so then he was going to be rebooked for this morning. Well, the 5:37AM flight was delayed until 2:54PM, with the reason being “late arriving aircraft due to prior crew related delays.”

So then he rebooked on a different flight instead, which was subsequently delayed by over two hours, with the reason being “delay due to aircraft maintenance.”

So then he rebooked on yet another flight… okay, can I stop here?

As you can see, not a single one of these delays was blamed on weather. Each delay was because American spread its operation too thin. Clearly the focus was on maximizing revenue by selling as many seats as possible, even if there’s no room for things to go wrong. You know what would cause the airline to schedule more realistically? Mandating cash compensation when there’s a major delay or cancelation within a carrier’s control.

American Airlines throws flight to the wolves

Okay, so let’s focus on the delayed Philadelphia to Miami flight that Ford was rebooked on for a moment. While I wasn’t there, I feel like I might as well have been, because I got the play-by-play, all the app status updates, etc.

Ford showed up at the gate at around 7:30PM for the delayed 8:15PM departure. He was one of the lucky ones, since presumably most people had been at the gate for nearly three hours at that point.

As far as I could see, everything looked pretty good — the reason for the delay was a late inbound, and the plane was finally arriving. Then boarding time came and… nothing. There were no announcements, so Ford went up to the gate agent to ask what was going on, and she explained that they didn’t have pilots, and they weren’t sure if/when that would change.

Around 8PM there was a somewhat positive update, as the gate agent announced that pilots were assigned to the flight, and that they’d be landing at 8:59PM. Okay, I figured that meant maybe the flight could depart by 10PM. Ford said the initial gate agent had good vibes and was trying her best. Unfortunately after that update, things went downhill:

  • After 9PM there were no additional updates (flights can always be boarded before the pilots get there, so you’d think they’d board around the time the pilots landed); Ford asked the gate agent what was going on, and she said that passengers would probably get updated flight information before the gate agents do
  • The gate agent had no additional information; one woman in the gate area loudly demanded more information (keep in mind she had been waiting there for over four hours with few updates), and the gate agent accused her of trying to rile up the gate area, and threatened to deny her boarding
  • At 9:30PM boarding abruptly started, with no explanation; Ford was the first onboard and asked the flight attendant if they were close to timing out, and they explained that they had already timed out but all elected to work, as they were Miami based and wanted to get home, and one flight attendant was moving to Philadelphia in the immediate future and needed to pack
  • At this point it became clear that the two pilots who were supposed to be working the flight disappeared out of thin air, or something (I don’t know if they were over their hours, or what)
  • The crew didn’t have much to serve passengers (even in first class), because “catering never showed up”
  • American just kept delaying the flight by 10-15 minutes; the flight attendants had no clue if there were any pilots coming or not, and said they had no information
  • After a couple of hours, a passenger tried to deplane (the door was open and connected to the jet bridge), though the flight attendant physically blocked the door, and told the passenger that if she deplaned it would trigger everyone having to deplane
  • At this point the aircraft was getting uncomfortably warm, and passengers started complaining about that; at this point everyone was instructed to deplane for safety reasons
  • At this point the American app listed a new departure gate, so everyone went in that direction, but then an American employee in a golf cart in the middle of the terminal walkway screamed “turn around, do not go to gate A15, I don’t know what’s going on, but that’s not the gate”
  • Even after midnight, there was still no update about if or when pilots would show up; the gate agent didn’t know, and neither did the flight attendants

Note that at no time was there any offer in the gate area for snacks and drinks, meal vouchers, alternative arrangements, or accommodations.

At this point I encouraged Ford to just cut his losses, get rebooked for the next day, and get a hotel, because it seemed like they could have been there all night. Ford asked the gate agent about being rebooked for the next day, though she said he’d have to go to the customer service desk to do that. I’m not sure why, because it’s not like the gate agents had anything to do. The only thing they could say all night was how they don’t know anything.

When I woke up this morning, I of course had to check the status of the original flight. It ended up departing at 2:04AM, and landing at 4:37AM. Yes, it took off 8.5 hours behind schedule, and essentially operated as a redeye. Honestly, that’s just downright cruel. I mean, c’mon, you have seniors and children, and to just keep them endlessly waiting with no information is unacceptable.

Like I said, stuff happens. But humans (let alone paying customers) deserve to be treated with some basic decency. I don’t blame the gate agents, because can you imagine what it’s like to be put in a position to staff a gate where you’re given no information, and have 200 angry customers to deal with?

But to have no clue whether a flight is going to have pilots or not for hours on end, and to not offer passengers meal vouchers or alternatives, is just really, really low. I’ve had a lot of delays in my life, but I’ve never experienced anything quite like this.

I mean, I’ve had much longer delays, but in those situations they send you to a hotel and try again the next day.

Is a little bit of communication and common courtesy too much to ask for? The experience would have been different if the gate agent announced something like this at 10PM:

“We have two pilots who are on reserve, but they’re not at the airport. They need to be here within four hours, so we hope that we’ll be able to depart by 2AM. We understand that many of you have been in the gate area for hours and that this won’t work for you, and we apologize. If you’d like to stick around, we’re happy to offer you a meal voucher. Otherwise, we can see if there’s another flight we can rebook you on.”

Bottom line

The airline industry is complicated, and delays happen. The issue is when airlines seemingly have a complete breakdown in communication, and gate agents have virtually no information for over eight hours. That’s exactly what happened on last night’s Philadelphia to Miami flight, which ended up being delayed by many hours.

Hour after hour, the crew and gate agents knew nothing about the whereabouts of pilots, and no higher ups seemed to care enough to communicate with passengers.

What do you make of this American Airlines delay situation? Do you think this is an acceptable level of customer service? Do you think mandatory compensation for flight delays would minimize situations like this?

Conversations (144)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. David J Guest

    Does anyone know why American’s flights to Brazil have become so unreliable? I travelled with them from the USA to São Paulo over 30 times between 2001 and 2010, and never had significant problems. Last month my wife and I traveled from Miami to São Paulo on AA929 and it was about 6 hours late after an aircraft change, and complete chaos at MIA. I have monitored this flight since and see that we were...

    Does anyone know why American’s flights to Brazil have become so unreliable? I travelled with them from the USA to São Paulo over 30 times between 2001 and 2010, and never had significant problems. Last month my wife and I traveled from Miami to São Paulo on AA929 and it was about 6 hours late after an aircraft change, and complete chaos at MIA. I have monitored this flight since and see that we were comparatively fortunate - there have been several days when the flight scheduled to leave MIA at 7.55pm does not leave until the following afternoon. An example - yesterday’s flight still has not left, I am writing this at noon the following day, which point this flight is already 16 hours late. Meanwhile LATAM run their flights on time or early. Has AA given up on the Brazil market in which they once were dominant?

  2. Molly Torres Guest

    We had a similar experience on American trying to get from Seattle to Puerto Rico. Due to delayed and then cancelled flights, we spent two days in airports, zero communication, changed gates requiring walking miles through airports with an injured leg, missed one day of our prepaid Airbnb and one day of our prepaid car rental. Got to enjoy two days in P. R. then came down with Covid and was sick from that point...

    We had a similar experience on American trying to get from Seattle to Puerto Rico. Due to delayed and then cancelled flights, we spent two days in airports, zero communication, changed gates requiring walking miles through airports with an injured leg, missed one day of our prepaid Airbnb and one day of our prepaid car rental. Got to enjoy two days in P. R. then came down with Covid and was sick from that point on. Scheduled to leave tomorrow and already getting "possible flight delay warning" from American. Weather here is fine, appears to be okay in Dallas and okay in Seattle. I am feeling pretty sure we'll have the same miserable experience getting home. And why does American not serve drinks or even throw you a bag of pretzels? We had first class from Seattle to Philly and the only difference was a bit more leg room. Not even a glass of water!

  3. Mark R Guest

    I'm currently stuck in Miami. Was flying DFW/MIAMI ,3 hour layover and then to Buenos Aires on a 9:15 pm flight. Landed in Miami and was told 1 hour delay, then 2 hour delay then 17 hour delay. It's now a 18 hr. delay. In hotel but reason of delay no pilots. Now here's the kicker, 1st dropping us off 12:30 am in BA and 2nd roughly 6 hrs later have to get ready for...

    I'm currently stuck in Miami. Was flying DFW/MIAMI ,3 hour layover and then to Buenos Aires on a 9:15 pm flight. Landed in Miami and was told 1 hour delay, then 2 hour delay then 17 hour delay. It's now a 18 hr. delay. In hotel but reason of delay no pilots. Now here's the kicker, 1st dropping us off 12:30 am in BA and 2nd roughly 6 hrs later have to get ready for 20k cruise to Antarctica. If one more delay will probably miss cruise so won't fly out. AA customer service says not liable for 2 night hotel in BA before cruise, transportation to hotel prepaid or cruise cost. This is all because no pilots available for flight. Mid 60s, dream vacation and will be all in with flight and cruise, hotels 32k and no recourse. Wow thank you AA!

  4. Eric Engstrom Guest

    The Onion had it right when they first wrote about AA's merger with US Airways in 2013. Nothing has changed since then with American: https://www.theonion.com/american-airlines-us-airways-merge-to-form-worlds-larg-1819574550

  5. Jen Guest

    American is known for epic nightmares like this. My whole extended family avoids them. I did not this trip, which is why I’m in the wrong city for day 2, wearing the same clothing, trying to get a flight for the fourth time, while my exhausted children try to hold it together.

  6. Sid Wainwright Guest

    July 29, 9am, touched down in Tpa at 2:15am from a flight out of Regan Intl, scheduled to depart, the 28th at 1:15pm. 13 hours to get from DC to TPA. My sister's flight to Ireland was quicker. Those screen shots and chain of events were the same. The excuses told contradicted all their actions (American Airlines), and were minimal. Small kids, elderly, disabled, vets, and just tires bodies laying about a jammed concourse. All...

    July 29, 9am, touched down in Tpa at 2:15am from a flight out of Regan Intl, scheduled to depart, the 28th at 1:15pm. 13 hours to get from DC to TPA. My sister's flight to Ireland was quicker. Those screen shots and chain of events were the same. The excuses told contradicted all their actions (American Airlines), and were minimal. Small kids, elderly, disabled, vets, and just tires bodies laying about a jammed concourse. All the management associated with this specific incident should be fired. I even was considering an American Airlines credit card for flight points, forget that! I understand issues, but this just broke my loyalty to one airline. Thanks Anti American Airlines for spurring competition in me, even of it means taking a train. Its probably faster.

  7. Dale Guest

    As someone who is lifetime elite status in several airline programs I have seen a lot over the years. Today our air transportation system is in chaos. Just this week I flew my daughters family of 6 on AAL from SEA to AVL for a week. The inbound went through DFW where the connection had a mechanical. After getting replacement equipment and a brief weather delay it ended up arriving in AVL with only a...

    As someone who is lifetime elite status in several airline programs I have seen a lot over the years. Today our air transportation system is in chaos. Just this week I flew my daughters family of 6 on AAL from SEA to AVL for a week. The inbound went through DFW where the connection had a mechanical. After getting replacement equipment and a brief weather delay it ended up arriving in AVL with only a 2 hr delay. Yesterday they had an AVL - CLT - SEA flight scheduled. The trouble started in CLT. After boarding the connecting flight 2 hrs late they were taken off the plane for a mechanical issue. They waited for another plane that arrived 2 hrs later. After cleaning and refueling and just as the gate agents began boarding they were told this A321 was placed out of service for maintenance. They continued to wait until 10pm and were told the weather looked bad so the last flight to SEA was cancelled. They were rebooked for flights the next afternoon (2 stops instead of non stops) hopefully arriving in SEA by 11:30pm. They were denied any meal or room vouchers as American claimed the delay was weather related rather than mechanical.

  8. Kilver monroy Guest

    Not happy take 38 to ma family to get from colombia tu boston last Sunday. Not happy at all need answers. [email protected]

  9. Laurie Gregorio Guest

    Literally just saw all this and more in IAH in June by AA. Every flight that day was on a delay or from the day before. The gate changes were numerous and multiple for the same flights. When my gate was changed at DFW the kindness of a fellow passenger had came back and retrieved me right before boarding. Im in a wheelchair, They noticed noone had taken me to the new gate. The Gate...

    Literally just saw all this and more in IAH in June by AA. Every flight that day was on a delay or from the day before. The gate changes were numerous and multiple for the same flights. When my gate was changed at DFW the kindness of a fellow passenger had came back and retrieved me right before boarding. Im in a wheelchair, They noticed noone had taken me to the new gate. The Gate staff stated Yes now you have to let us know your here. I'm half paralyzed, what's your cell so can call you.

  10. Jennifer MacNeish Guest

    I was a victim on Flight AA1083 from Miami to DCA on Friday 6/30/23. Our boarding was delayed due to " cabin was too hot" . An hour after our initial boarding time we got onto the plane and an attendant was on the aircrafts phone reporting that it was 118 degrees on the aircraft . We sat in this heat for over 30 mins as we taxi for take off and it climbed even...

    I was a victim on Flight AA1083 from Miami to DCA on Friday 6/30/23. Our boarding was delayed due to " cabin was too hot" . An hour after our initial boarding time we got onto the plane and an attendant was on the aircrafts phone reporting that it was 118 degrees on the aircraft . We sat in this heat for over 30 mins as we taxi for take off and it climbed even higher to over 125 degrees. I almost had a stroke and I was way younger than most on the plane. There was no mention of any relief or apologies once in the air. 20 mins after our expected landing we are still in the clouds with no notifications that we are circling DCA waiting to land . Only once we pull up AA.com do we see that we are diverted to RDU- NC. The Captain then advises " We were waiting to land but couldn't due to DCA closing for weather( yet to be verified) . But now we are out of fuel and must divert. " An hour later we are sitting in the intense heat again on the tarmac waiting for instructions from the ground crews, no gates available, cant use the restroom, getting almost 100 degrees again. Pure hell. Then the pilot says he has timed out and will be exiting but we all must stay on the plane to wait for a new flight crew. 15 min later we are told we are getting a gate but still can't deplane. Then we start getting texts from AA that our flight is delayed until 9:40 pm , then another moments delayed to 2am , then moments later 7am the next day! The pilot then says we can deplane and AA staff will be available for connecting and support the poor soul of one staff who was available said he had no info for anyone including any info on baggage return. We were then advised to go to the baggage and ticket counters down stairs outside of security to get help! What a poor showing of customer service. This aircraft should never have flown from Miami if the aux air unit was not functioning. This all could have been avoided. Shame shame AA.

  11. Rosemary Hoffman Guest

    I totally agree with you, this one of the reason the I decided to retired from AA as a flight attendant base in Miami, because this is ridiculous what is going on with this airlines. Unacceptable what they doing to the passengers. I am very sorry the you have that terrible experience.

  12. Paulina Guest

    AA is a joke, 24 hs delaying constantly the flight, they treated us like animals, meal vouchers for $12 ! A decent sandwich was $24
    Vouchers for hotel another nightmare. Hotels don’t have rooms.
    When we started to complain and refuse their explanations ( lies) they bring the police officers for stops us.

    That was flight 953 JFK - EZE Argentina
    Full of babies and old ppl who couldnt get the luggage for medicines or diapers.

  13. Ming Guest

    I've been Executive Platinum with AA for several years and have learned that 1) fly direct if at all possible even if it means driving a few more hours to a major hub. I live in Charlotte so by default my airline is American. 2) fly early. Most aircraft are sitting at the gates having gone through their deep celan and maintenance overnight and ready to go first thing in the morning, i.e. no delay....

    I've been Executive Platinum with AA for several years and have learned that 1) fly direct if at all possible even if it means driving a few more hours to a major hub. I live in Charlotte so by default my airline is American. 2) fly early. Most aircraft are sitting at the gates having gone through their deep celan and maintenance overnight and ready to go first thing in the morning, i.e. no delay. 3) I also fly the last flight out, typically less full, but only when there is no inclement weather on the horizon that ends up cancelling the flight, but that can be a risky approach especially if you need to be somewhere the next day . 4) with the AA app, it's really easy to rebook as necessary. I've never stood in those long lines at customer service. 5) ask nicely. Gate agents are lowly paid and deal with a ton. I find if I am cordial and profressional acting they have never not help me rebook. A smile and thank you ma'am goes a long way especially even when Executive Platinum phone line's wait time can still go up 1.5 hours. I shudder to think what the wait time is for the non-status plebian mass? I read it costs $20000 to become Executive Platinum. I probably spend more on airfares, hotel and car through American, yet on a flight yesterday I tried to get on on standby and only barely made it. WSJ had a recent article on airlines status and whether it's worth spending the dough like my case to be able to barely get on a flight. In short, the Golden days of flying are long gone. Flying nowadays is often a misadventure not for the faint hearted. After marinading so long with American, I'll probably drive everywhere after I stop traveling. Good luck, everyone.

  14. Vin Guest

    I had a disappointing experience with American Airlines recently. My flight overseas was canceled due to inclement weather, and I couldn't get a seat on the next available flight. Even though I tried, the airline wouldn't book me on any other alliance airline, so I had to wait a week for the next flight. This caused me to miss appointments and incur additional expenses. To make matters worse, I saw another passenger being asked to...

    I had a disappointing experience with American Airlines recently. My flight overseas was canceled due to inclement weather, and I couldn't get a seat on the next available flight. Even though I tried, the airline wouldn't book me on any other alliance airline, so I had to wait a week for the next flight. This caused me to miss appointments and incur additional expenses. To make matters worse, I saw another passenger being asked to pay an extra $250, which only added to my frustration. I'm now hesitant to fly with American Airlines again and will tell my friends and family accordingly. Airlines should prioritize their client's needs and ensure their actions align with their reputation. This airline isn't committed to providing world citizens with the best air travel service possible. They don't value service, excellence, or humanity.

  15. Sharon Smith Guest

    I had an almost identical experience at DFW last night. Delays every 15 minutes. Boarding the plane only to have the pilots timing out. HORRIBLE! American is the worst.

  16. Chelsea Robinson Guest

    I will never fly American Airlines again as long as I live. My husband and I used this airline for our honeymoon, where we were left stranded on an island for 28 hours and lied to over and over again by the airline. The lack of organization and communication among staff and to customers is disgusting. I could write a novel of examples based on the 62 hours we spent trying to get home (which...

    I will never fly American Airlines again as long as I live. My husband and I used this airline for our honeymoon, where we were left stranded on an island for 28 hours and lied to over and over again by the airline. The lack of organization and communication among staff and to customers is disgusting. I could write a novel of examples based on the 62 hours we spent trying to get home (which should have taken 8 hours) but here are some highlights.

    1. After our flight was delayed 6 hours due to an internet outage in the airport, we finally boarded our plane. In first class we were denied alcoholic beverages which seemed odd. After sitting ON THE PLANE for 45 minutes, the crew timed out and we had to deboard the plane, back into the hot muggy air port we had been standing around in all day. They knew the whole time they would time out. WHY BOARD US. "Don't worry," they said "we'll take off first time tomorrow morning, boarding at 10am, be here at 7am!". Well... the airport didn't even open until 11am. EVEN BETTER: There's a flight with the same number AA2295 to Miami leaving at 2:30... that's us, no-brainer. NOPE. That's other passengers who just arrived to the airport a few hours ago, no 4 HOUR check-in, no delays, no issues, THEY GOT TO HOP ON THAT PLANE AND GO HOME. NOT THE 300 PEOPLE WHO JUST SPENT THE PAST 24 HOURS STANDING IN A NON-MOVING LINE, BEING DELAYED OVER AND OVER, KICKED OFF THEIR PLANE AFTER 45 MINUTES, HAD TO FIND SKETCHY SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS LAST MINUTE IN THE MIDDILE OF THE NIGHT IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY, THEN HAVE BEEN SITTING AROUND BEING DELAYED ALL MORNING INTO THE AFTERNOON. NOPE. WE GOT DELAYED AGAIN UNTIL 5PM. (Also leading to later missed connections)
    2. Finally take off, land in Miami (THANK YOUU) but the pilot comes over the speaker and announces "the ramp is closed due to lightening, we will be here for 25 minutes. Never mind the thunderstorm we just flew directly through... But DONT WORRY about your connecting flights, no ones deboarding, no ones taking off." Well, 45 minutes later, after watching SEVERAL planes pull up and dock, and take off, we were FINALLY let off our plane, but not in time to go through customs, get our luggage, re-check it, and board. So we missed our connection, the next flight not being until 9PM the next night.
    3. I wish more than anything it ended there... but we also experienced at least 12 gate changes within 1 hour, watched staff dumfounded at what to tell people because of so many changes and obvious lack of communication, one gate agent told three different people on the same flight 3 different gate numbers after telling the original group their plane was 100% at a 4th gate waiting for them to board right now... I even asked a flight attendant for some pretzels, she looked at me like it was a strange request, said "I don't have any pretzels" then later came around with a snack basket containing non other than a bag of PRETZELS. It was like an episode of the twilight zone.

    I understand shit happens, yes we were blessed to be in another country on our honeymoon... but we also shouldn't have been lied to, over and over again, and treated the way we were. We love to travel, but are so turned off to the industry right now because of our experience with American Airlines. It was a TERRIBLE way to end a vacation.

    I would highly suggest not using this airline. EVER.

  17. OC Reporter Guest

    Staring down a 4+ hour delay of American flight from San Antonio to Phoenix (6/27). The delay keeps increasing. NO assist from American to rebook. Makes me miss a connecting flight. I guess I need to allow 4-6 hours for layovers? Might as well drive at this point. American wants to issue vouchers...ummm...no thanks, I want my money back for services NOT provided. This is my third trip this year and all three were botched....

    Staring down a 4+ hour delay of American flight from San Antonio to Phoenix (6/27). The delay keeps increasing. NO assist from American to rebook. Makes me miss a connecting flight. I guess I need to allow 4-6 hours for layovers? Might as well drive at this point. American wants to issue vouchers...ummm...no thanks, I want my money back for services NOT provided. This is my third trip this year and all three were botched. In one case I managed to rent a car to drive from Sacramento to San Antonio. Drove it in two days...beating my anticipated rebooked flights. I blame it on the feds requiring the 5G updates on all places by July 1. Airlines are pulling planes out of service to update which strains their schedules over the limit. Any glitch causes a cascade failure.

  18. Jim Guest

    I have given up on American. Way too many problems in all functions. Nobody really knows what is going on and nobody cares and nobody is in charge…

  19. Aaron Guest

    June 19th at Orlando, American didn't move one of their aircraft at a gate for over 3 hours causing the inbound aircraft to sit on the tarmac for over a hour.

    This inbound was our proposed aircraft which then boarded late, departed late and inevitably caused a 5 hour and 40 minutes delay on departure from the original time causing a 17 hour delay to our final destination.

    American blamed and coded the delay as...

    June 19th at Orlando, American didn't move one of their aircraft at a gate for over 3 hours causing the inbound aircraft to sit on the tarmac for over a hour.

    This inbound was our proposed aircraft which then boarded late, departed late and inevitably caused a 5 hour and 40 minutes delay on departure from the original time causing a 17 hour delay to our final destination.

    American blamed and coded the delay as weather which American also had numerous flights as did other airlines all depart during these delay times.

    If it's a weather delay why are others including their own flights departing?

    American fraudulently coded their flights as weather delays as to not be held accountable and not be required to pay losses.

    Have every detail including times and other flights departing during this occurrence since one I was a dispatcher/ramp operations manager for another Airline for a few years but also a Airfield Operations Manager currently and during time in the military.

    Only way things will change is by bringing events to light and holding companies accountable.

  20. JG Guest

    My fiancée is dealing with this as i type this. She was in TN visiting friends and when it was time for her return flight to DFW, it was hit with several delays. Then she was rerouted to another flight that sent her the opposite direction for a layover in PHL.. Then that flight was flat out canceled, and the only excuse was "the Pilot didn't show up". Now she is stranded in PHL till...

    My fiancée is dealing with this as i type this. She was in TN visiting friends and when it was time for her return flight to DFW, it was hit with several delays. Then she was rerouted to another flight that sent her the opposite direction for a layover in PHL.. Then that flight was flat out canceled, and the only excuse was "the Pilot didn't show up". Now she is stranded in PHL till Wednesday morning and all nearby hotels are booked. No vouchers, nothing but a booking on a non-guaranteed flight. This is beyond ridiculous in my opinion, this should be criminal.

  21. hannah Guest

    I’m flying AA right now. Flight currently behind by 18 hours of original departure time. It’s 2AM and we were supposed to leave 8AM yesterday morning. Stranded at a layover when we paid for a direct flight. They refuse to cancel so everyone who checked bags are literally being held hostage. They have offered no vouchers, accommodations, or alternatives. This airline is a complete joke.

  22. Djja Guest

    It starts at the top. AA has the worst management team in the industry. They are terribly non customer-centric. Until there is a change at the top, AA is doomed to repeat this failure indefinitely! Fly other options!

  23. roger Guest

    It is long overdue that the US Carriers be subject to the same protections that exist in Europe with EU 261 or whatever it is called. AA is certainly one of the biggest violators but then again they are the Largest Airline in the World, but DL,UAL and all the rest are the same.....they are Greedy, Continually Overschedule and pretty much always attempt to shove ten pounds of chit into a five pound bag and...

    It is long overdue that the US Carriers be subject to the same protections that exist in Europe with EU 261 or whatever it is called. AA is certainly one of the biggest violators but then again they are the Largest Airline in the World, but DL,UAL and all the rest are the same.....they are Greedy, Continually Overschedule and pretty much always attempt to shove ten pounds of chit into a five pound bag and act surprised when it doesn't work. Hit them with regulations and fines because they will never Enforce anything on their own. It really is disgusting with how they operate. (And I come from an Airline Family)

  24. Dan Guest

    American absolutely refuses to cancel a flight and will do this fiasco every day (it happens all the time) be so that they can say they had zero cancellations. Yeah, it didn’t cancel but they literally have flights delayed for 8, 10, 12 hours. It’s all perfectly legal so they can say they “didn’t cancel the flight” and their official numbers from the FAA appear better than they really are - Also, international airlines have...

    American absolutely refuses to cancel a flight and will do this fiasco every day (it happens all the time) be so that they can say they had zero cancellations. Yeah, it didn’t cancel but they literally have flights delayed for 8, 10, 12 hours. It’s all perfectly legal so they can say they “didn’t cancel the flight” and their official numbers from the FAA appear better than they really are - Also, international airlines have higher tickets because they have way more regulations and laws that protect the consumers. Just like everything in America, it’s cheap and great until crap hits the fan and you are utterly screwed as a consumer.

  25. Mrhedley Guest

    What good is a meal voucher at 10 PM when nothing in the terminal is still open?

  26. Cindy R Guest

    We traveled last month on American, outgoing flight was delayed. Nobody would tell us why or how long. While waiting to board I noticed a pilot standing there waiting. I asked him if he was the plane’s pilot, no he was returning home. He did tell us the plane was delayed coming because of no crew. Crew arrives we get on the flight, only to find out there is now another delay due to a...

    We traveled last month on American, outgoing flight was delayed. Nobody would tell us why or how long. While waiting to board I noticed a pilot standing there waiting. I asked him if he was the plane’s pilot, no he was returning home. He did tell us the plane was delayed coming because of no crew. Crew arrives we get on the flight, only to find out there is now another delay due to a mechanical issue. Only problem no AA mechanics they send out somebody who doesn’t know how to fill out AA paperwork. We missed our connection in Philly to Barcelona. All of the flights had issues. Still waiting to hear back from AA. The issue is none of their employees care or want to help. They all shrug their shoulders. We were flying business/first class the entire trip, and next thing they rebook us in coach snd basically tell us to suck it up. My husband is a platinum AA flyer with millions of miles flown. It does not mean anything. So much for loyalty.

    1. WW Guest

      Flew the AA66 from JFK to BCN. Expecting major delays...but no; arrived early and now sitting on the beach at my second home, here in Sitges. Always 'hit or miss' with AA ..but when they 'miss'...the paying passengers REALLY suffer.

  27. Robert Fahr Guest

    I would have flown non stop on AA or AC both of which are available.

  28. Nicholas L Guest

    As a F/A? Have to say this is just daily operations at AA- ESP in PHL MIA ORD DFW ect. No ones knows anything and sadly, every domestic trip is a nightmare. We are run by bean counters via Isom ect who went from NWA to AWA. AWA got it's regional claws a-hold of USAirways and RAN for it! Then, AWA leadership sank it's claws into AA! This all circles back to AMERICA WEST- the...

    As a F/A? Have to say this is just daily operations at AA- ESP in PHL MIA ORD DFW ect. No ones knows anything and sadly, every domestic trip is a nightmare. We are run by bean counters via Isom ect who went from NWA to AWA. AWA got it's regional claws a-hold of USAirways and RAN for it! Then, AWA leadership sank it's claws into AA! This all circles back to AMERICA WEST- the Regional that could ...yet should not have! Not one of them knew what they were doing. AA folks think US Airways didn't have a great product and First Class or IFE? We had all that! AWA ripped it out vie Parker and Isom. The reality is- AA is run my America West Airline.! The airline that launched Lisbon and tried to put Spanish Speaking F/A on. The former union AFA-CWA had to explain the Spanish/Portuguese war to AWA Management ! Point is?- AA is run by a guy that would slam the door closed via a friend for relative's face- trying to get to a funeral. PERIOD! It's about $$ and when the door got closed. We (pax and employee) on an Excel speed sheet. That is all we are! So, please be kind to us as we are just as appalled & disgusted. Lastly ? It was mentioned the Cabin Crew waived legality. That will never happen with 99% of us. With the waiver? They have you and all protections ect gone. Other than FAA and even those they play with. I bet they crew learned quick not to "extend". LOL It's in my briefing as #1. "I don't extend". If I do not extend? NO one does.

    1. ER Guest

      I agree, AA was great before the LUS folks came and ruined our airline

    2. EnviroBK Guest

      And, Piedmont was better before US Air bought them. Unfortunately, we can’t go back in history. It’s too bad that the perpetual screw-ups by all airlines will result in new regulations. But that’s what is needed. As others have mentioned, something like the EU compensation regs might force the airlines to do better, especially if the compensation is so high that it isn’t profitable for management to ignore its customers. You’d think that competition would...

      And, Piedmont was better before US Air bought them. Unfortunately, we can’t go back in history. It’s too bad that the perpetual screw-ups by all airlines will result in new regulations. But that’s what is needed. As others have mentioned, something like the EU compensation regs might force the airlines to do better, especially if the compensation is so high that it isn’t profitable for management to ignore its customers. You’d think that competition would be the answer, but its resulted in a race to the bottom.

  29. Keith Murray Guest

    Reading all the details about the non-communications on that flight that finally left at two in the morning, I was reminded of a very similar incident, though a little less severe, I endured at PHX years ago, trying to catch a connecting flight to Southern California having flown in from Wichita.

    After the Xth miscommunication and non-communication, total strangers who were passengers turned to each other and said “how can a modern airline be...

    Reading all the details about the non-communications on that flight that finally left at two in the morning, I was reminded of a very similar incident, though a little less severe, I endured at PHX years ago, trying to catch a connecting flight to Southern California having flown in from Wichita.

    After the Xth miscommunication and non-communication, total strangers who were passengers turned to each other and said “how can a modern airline be so discombobulated?”

    That was on the old America West Airlines.

    I remember thinking to myself “a top-drawer airline like my usual AA would never let this happen.”

    But wait! Fast-forward to the years after that, and America West became US Airways, which became American Airlines!

    And so AA indeed let that happen. To Ford, and to an even worse degree than I had. Ha! Ha! :-)

  30. James Shriner Guest

    It’s true. The airline is imploding. My last 5 weekly trips to various domestic destinations have been disrupted due to either lack of crew or maintenance issues. It’s horrible and they don’t seem to care.

  31. Ed Guest

    The app shows details on the incoming plane. Maybe it should show details on the incoming crew too.
    My son had a situation where he was flying LGA-CLT-MCO, and his LGA flight was delayed an hour which made him arrive after his CLT flight's scheduled departure. His CLT flight ended up being delayed by 30 minutes, which was enough time for him to make the connection. However, they gave away his seat, because he...

    The app shows details on the incoming plane. Maybe it should show details on the incoming crew too.
    My son had a situation where he was flying LGA-CLT-MCO, and his LGA flight was delayed an hour which made him arrive after his CLT flight's scheduled departure. His CLT flight ended up being delayed by 30 minutes, which was enough time for him to make the connection. However, they gave away his seat, because he didn't arrive in time for the original departure time.
    Of course, he got zero compensation because they blamed the delay on weather in some other city that caused the delay of his plane/crew.
    Even if the government makes rules to require compensation for delays in the airline's control, the airline will find ways to get out of it by blaming it on weather elsewhere, or air traffic congestion, or something else.

  32. Michael Brown Guest

    Why wasn't my comment allowed to show? I wrote nothing offensive. This has happened to me a few times on this site when I try and post a comment.

  33. Wexville319 Guest

    And that is one of many reasons I took the buyout at covid time......granted i was at the age of deciding to retire shortly but this story is not uncommon......former gate agent here and the worse part is local management who do absolutely nothing for passengers or employees alike.........good luck in the future..........oh AA has quite the reputation over the decades on customer service as all airline employees know to well.

  34. R. Little Guest

    I’ll never fly AA again. Left us stranded at midnight on a connecting flight from MIA to ATL. No one from AA around to help, checked bag was no where to be found. I had to rent a car and drive all night back home. AA blamed it on the weather later when I complained, easiest way for them to not compensate passengers.

  35. Lara S. Guest

    Not the exception- its the rule at this point when 50% of the flights I take with AA are delayed and shuffled around like a deck of cards. Case in point- flying business class to Argentina, AUS-MIA-EZE, Two options from AUS to MIA, I take the earlier one in paid first. It shows delayed and getting in only 30 minutes before next flight takes off to EZE, so I call and ask to switch to...

    Not the exception- its the rule at this point when 50% of the flights I take with AA are delayed and shuffled around like a deck of cards. Case in point- flying business class to Argentina, AUS-MIA-EZE, Two options from AUS to MIA, I take the earlier one in paid first. It shows delayed and getting in only 30 minutes before next flight takes off to EZE, so I call and ask to switch to the later flight which is now leaving earlier than my original flight. Lost my first class seat. Then THAT flight gets delayed and is now leaving so there is no chance to make my connection. So I switch back to original flight which at least had a slim margin to make it. Original flight gets delayed a little further, but the second flight suddenly goes out near to on time. Get to MIA, have 30 minutes to make it to connecting gate which is luckily right across from the scheduled arrival gate. Nope. Sit on tarmac ten minutes to find out our gate is blocked by a broken plane. Get to alternate gate, run down terminal and arrive to see plane there, door open, ten minutes before departure and nope. Can't get on plane. Have to hustle back to customer service only to be told they don't have any more hotel coupons (this is spring break week apparently so hotels are a fortune), but its ok, just book this certain hotel and they will reimburse, so I do and then re-book myself for next day's flight online. Btw, no one ever picked up the Plat Pro line even after 45 minutes waiting. Three guesses if they reimbursed me for the hotel.... no, no they did not. Thankfully I had a credit card that did. So, it's not just people in coach, it's not just people with no status, they treat everyone horribly!

  36. Frustrated Gate Agent Guest

    I am a gate agent at AA. These scenarios are way, way to common. It's very embarrassing for me to get an update from a passenger who has the AA app and not from my company. You know something is happening when all the passengers get up and start leaving. The app updated but I wasn't advised. Gate change or flight cancelation.

  37. PM1 Guest

    Thanks for covering this Ben. This is helpful information when we choose who to fly with. I have been thinking of switching my loyalty to AA because of its FF program and ability to earn status with credit card spend. But something like this causes me to rethink whether it's worth flying AA.

  38. George Romey Guest

    The entire "forced compensation" thinking is and will be a joke. Any compensation will be exempt from weather, ATC holds and traffic reduction and crew availability due to both of these. That's the majority of delays and cancellations. It won't matter that you got delayed 12 hours, inadequate information, and no food or water. So nothing will change because the underlining conditions of unprofitable fares, a real profit model that doesn't involve flying, too many...

    The entire "forced compensation" thinking is and will be a joke. Any compensation will be exempt from weather, ATC holds and traffic reduction and crew availability due to both of these. That's the majority of delays and cancellations. It won't matter that you got delayed 12 hours, inadequate information, and no food or water. So nothing will change because the underlining conditions of unprofitable fares, a real profit model that doesn't involve flying, too many flights, flights packed to the gills, inadequate staffing and operational issues (all of this resulting from cheap fares) won't change.

  39. J Reg Guest

    I think this is the best example of why the current legislation (to impose $$ penalties on airlines for operational shortcomings that affect passengers) is pending in Washington. Someone should sent this example to the appropriate person on the Committee looking into passing legislation - that would make airlines sit up and take notice - for when $$ penalties are at stake that is talking to the airline in the language they understand - money....

    I think this is the best example of why the current legislation (to impose $$ penalties on airlines for operational shortcomings that affect passengers) is pending in Washington. Someone should sent this example to the appropriate person on the Committee looking into passing legislation - that would make airlines sit up and take notice - for when $$ penalties are at stake that is talking to the airline in the language they understand - money. Create a flowchart - visuals are very effective in a long story like this as it is impossible to follow along to the end and create a pic in your mind that communicates the full impact of all this. Can't remember it all along the way - lots of twists and turns.

  40. Jenson Guest

    Had Feds hired ATCs a year ago… ATC ground stops of 3+hrs in NE and LAS..cause domino effect. Can’t get crew in place or timeout.. if you have better algorithm- please share

  41. R Swanson Guest

    As an AA pilot I feel confident saying you are correct on all counts. Because airlines are all run by accountants and they plan for revenue optimization via best case scenario. When stuff happens the employees are left to patch the operation back together. Wrt the pilots, scheduling probably came up with a plan they thought would work and communicated that to ops without actually knowing all the details. Yes potentially reserve pilots may have...

    As an AA pilot I feel confident saying you are correct on all counts. Because airlines are all run by accountants and they plan for revenue optimization via best case scenario. When stuff happens the employees are left to patch the operation back together. Wrt the pilots, scheduling probably came up with a plan they thought would work and communicated that to ops without actually knowing all the details. Yes potentially reserve pilots may have been called but at that late hour they would have had little to no duty day left as the reserve availability periods (raps) start much earlier in the day: 2, 5, 8a.m. and noon with the occasional 2 pm thrown in. This leaves reassigning pilots from other flights and they frequently don’t know the status of those pilots. I have at times had to refuse a reassignment because i was just too tired to operate another leg. Pilots are scheduled like the rest of the operation: maximize utilization and best case scenario. That’s just not the case frequently and I frequently fall into bed bleary-eyed at 2 a.m. body time. I agree with your belief that financial penalties are the only thing that will spur action by management much the way the extended ground delay rules from DOT did.

    1. Jenson Guest

      I agree.. go back to old ways of having crew & pilots fly their 2,3 or 4 day shift routes. Scheduling will have better idea who is where and not scrambling to find a co-pilot or crew member only to find they timed-out or was yanked to cover another flight.

  42. Russ Gold

    The only other thing I would say is that even if a meal voucher was proactively offered, have you seen any services in typical US major airports bother to stay open late enough? All of the lounges close, including the Admiral's clubs. Many restaurants are still on limited hours. At DFW, the only place that's open late is 7-11, forget about restaurants.

    1. DLPTATL Guest

      Russ, I have had multiple rolling weather delays at DFW where Delta has kept the Sky Club open to accommodate passengers well past closing time. They also kept the agents at the check-in desk there to help issue meal/hotel vouchers. Agree that the restaurants close-up shop regardless.

  43. Clem Diamond

    Almost the exact same thing happened to me on AA connecting through Dallas last year. We left about 8 hours late in the middle of the night, very little information, no food or anything. At some point we boarded the plane again, waited, whole crew was there, and then the pilots left the plane saying they'd been assigned to another flight. They were literally in their seat ready to close the door and got up and left lol. It was such a harrowing experience.

  44. Bobby Guest

    This is why we need to adopt the European system for reimbursement when things go “wrong.”

    1. 02nz Guest

      Agree. The "mandating compensation will cause airfares to go up" is such BS - fares are often MUCH lower in Europe despite the higher level of consumer protection.

    2. eu resident Guest

      The EU has compensation rules but try and collect

  45. Echo Guest

    I just had a horrific experience at MIA last night with a rolling delay on a flight into DCA Originally scheduled to get home at 11 PM, we were one of the “lucky ones” to make it out at all. With that said, we didn’t get home until 2:30 AM.

    What frustrating me more than anything with the complete and utter lack of communication in advance, and at the gate. The gate showed a...

    I just had a horrific experience at MIA last night with a rolling delay on a flight into DCA Originally scheduled to get home at 11 PM, we were one of the “lucky ones” to make it out at all. With that said, we didn’t get home until 2:30 AM.

    What frustrating me more than anything with the complete and utter lack of communication in advance, and at the gate. The gate showed a 9:50 PM departure time as late as 9:46 PM when not only had boarding not begun, but the flight didn’t even have a crew assigned. Once they found a crew coming in on an Atlanta flight scheduled to land at 10:50 PM, they updated our departure time to 10:45 PM. How is that even remotely realistic?

    To add insult to injury, the plane sat at the gate for three hours and we only discovered after boarding that they never filled the fuel tanks during that time, further delaying our flight.

    I don’t know what’s happening at American these days, but in reading the comments, stories like this seem to be the norm these days, not the exception. Say what you will about other carriers, but I never experience delays like this (and the complete and utter lack of communication associated with it) on Delta. Unfortunately, on last night’s journey, the schedule was the product, as Vasu says. Well, until it wasn’t.

  46. George Romey Guest

    Airlines and airports continue to schedule more flights than can be accommodated and weather rolls in (a summer usual) things progressively get worse. And no one dare stand up to the airlines or airports and say no. This is what you get when a business is driving profits outside it's core business. In this case running a flying credit card mill versus an airline. And our Transportation Secretary? Please, he must find all those racists highways and bridges first.

    1. RB Guest

      AA is probably the worst when it comes to this nonsense

    2. Jenson Guest

      I agree. Transportation Secretary is a joke!! He takes vaca while others sit waiting.. Do your job “Pothole” Mayor Pete!!

  47. FA Guest

    Thank you for this honest review!! As a flight attendant I agree with you 100%. Delays are not handled well, for any of the human beings involved (employees and passengers). It is so incredibly frustrating, as a flight attendant, to want to take care of passengers but be given zero tools or information to do so. On top of that we get zero pay until the plane departs, even if we have passengers on board....

    Thank you for this honest review!! As a flight attendant I agree with you 100%. Delays are not handled well, for any of the human beings involved (employees and passengers). It is so incredibly frustrating, as a flight attendant, to want to take care of passengers but be given zero tools or information to do so. On top of that we get zero pay until the plane departs, even if we have passengers on board. We're exhausted. And this unfortunately leads to less than exceptional customer service from even the best meaning flight attendants. Every front line employee knows the operation is getting stretched too thin, but management refuses to listen because of "profitability." We hate delays as much as anyone, and would LOVE for there to be compensation on major delays! This would help everyone and keep airlines accountable.
    P.S. I am genuinely sorry for the experience you described. No one should have to go through that.

    1. Nate nate Guest

      Do FAs get paid during delays? Since the boarding door isn't closed, I'm thinking they don't

  48. willieron Guest

    Remember when they put the rules in for how long you could be on a plane before they had to let you off? Remember how the airlines screamed that this would result in the end of civilazation as we know it? Yeah, that didn't happen. This will be the same thing. If the government has to cojones to pass a rule that they have to offer compensation for delays this BS will greatly diminish.

  49. Tyrone Guest

    I find it very annoying that there is no Passenger Rights legislation protecting the consumer in the US as there is in the EU. Airlines in Europe are bound to respect the passenger given the consequences of failing to do so... and they can be quite substantial. The EU and the individual country members are starting to crack down on non-compliant airlines (those refusing to pay). It is outrageous that US airline CEOs are stating...

    I find it very annoying that there is no Passenger Rights legislation protecting the consumer in the US as there is in the EU. Airlines in Europe are bound to respect the passenger given the consequences of failing to do so... and they can be quite substantial. The EU and the individual country members are starting to crack down on non-compliant airlines (those refusing to pay). It is outrageous that US airline CEOs are stating such similar legislation in the US would only result in higher air fares. Look at Europe: airfares in Europe are already much lower than in the US with this legislation in place. It's time that the government stand up to airlines that bully their passengers in the US and pass this legislation now.

  50. Dennis S Guest

    Extemly complicated is an understatement! ! Obviously you think Airlines make lots of money. The profit margins are very thin to make sure nothin but weather ever causes a delay double the price of your ticket.

  51. Charles Stanford Guest

    Want to hear my nightmare - ORD>LHR and then even worse LHR>ORD? Because I'm now sitting in DUB with a flight to ORD scheduled in about 90 minutes. If that flight goes, I'll arrive home approximately 2 full days from my originally scheduled flight. All of this with literally NOTHING from AA.

  52. WW Guest

    Mandatory compensation in the EU is now set at:-
    If your short distance flight (up to 1500km) is delayed 3 hours or more you get: US$ 272.
    If your medium distance flight (from 1500 to 3500kms) you get: US$ 435.
    Long distance flight, gets you: US$ 653.
    All delays of 5 hours or more:- full refund must be offered or free change to earliest available flight+ free accommodation (Duty of Care).

    Mandatory compensation in the EU is now set at:-
    If your short distance flight (up to 1500km) is delayed 3 hours or more you get: US$ 272.
    If your medium distance flight (from 1500 to 3500kms) you get: US$ 435.
    Long distance flight, gets you: US$ 653.
    All delays of 5 hours or more:- full refund must be offered or free change to earliest available flight+ free accommodation (Duty of Care).
    If this were the case in the US; this would have been quite lucrative for Ford!

  53. James Guest

    Something really needs to be done about AA’s infamous rolling 10-15 minute delays. They jerk the employees around with them too.

  54. Cee Guest

    I was just in a similar situation - matter of fact, the plane is still at Myrtle beach and expected to fly out at 7AM - June 26 (now delayed till 11:20AM). It’s been “delayed” since its original time of June 25 - 6:44AM. We were so close on boarding and then gate agents had closed the gate, pilots disappeared, crew members never came out after entering the plane. Shortly after, a new gate agent...

    I was just in a similar situation - matter of fact, the plane is still at Myrtle beach and expected to fly out at 7AM - June 26 (now delayed till 11:20AM). It’s been “delayed” since its original time of June 25 - 6:44AM. We were so close on boarding and then gate agents had closed the gate, pilots disappeared, crew members never came out after entering the plane. Shortly after, a new gate agent came and passed out AA’s customer service card to call for concerns and to “find new flight, if interested.” Still no news as to why we were given the card - One agent had said, once they know more, their supervisor will come up to speak to everyone, which never happened.

    It was a hell show - after booking multiple flights and even a car rental - finally, home. By far the worse I’ve ever experienced with any airline.

  55. vicisglobal Guest

    Sounds pretty consistent with flying AA. I live in SOFL so Im forced to keep flying them to go most places nonstop. At first I used to make excuses and say it was just AA at MIA. But no, its the entire airline. It feels like they hate the very passengers they need to survive. The snarky attitudes, the lack of information, and the general feeling of contempt their front line employees seem to have...

    Sounds pretty consistent with flying AA. I live in SOFL so Im forced to keep flying them to go most places nonstop. At first I used to make excuses and say it was just AA at MIA. But no, its the entire airline. It feels like they hate the very passengers they need to survive. The snarky attitudes, the lack of information, and the general feeling of contempt their front line employees seem to have for passengers has gotten to be too much. It would be one thing if these were sporadic occurences, but they have turned into the norm rather than the exception.

    Ive been going home alot to CVG, and flying Delta has been a nite and day difference. I know they all have their problems, but I am at the point I feel like im being held hostage in an abusive relationship with AA. Everytime I fly them there is a major issue, and I walk away saying "I sure do wish I could quit you!"

    1. GA Guest

      Please quit AA!
      As a gate agent I hear this all day long. Abuse is yelled at me 13 of the 16 hour days I'm forced to work, it's called MANDO. I go to work I don't know when I'm going home daily as if Mando is called up, everyone has to stay or get points if you walk. 3 points you're fired. Kids home alone? No one cares. Quit my job? This is...

      Please quit AA!
      As a gate agent I hear this all day long. Abuse is yelled at me 13 of the 16 hour days I'm forced to work, it's called MANDO. I go to work I don't know when I'm going home daily as if Mando is called up, everyone has to stay or get points if you walk. 3 points you're fired. Kids home alone? No one cares. Quit my job? This is what I do and earn decent money, if I quit maybe I can work at the grocery store for $15 an hour. Can't feed kids on that.
      So that snarky agent probably had her ass handed to her 100 times today and had enough And I'm sure you were no rose petal to deal with. At least the guy who wrote this article SAYS it.. agents have the worst of it, lowest paid to boot.

      So go fly Delta, please do us all a favor. I hope you like my snarkiness. I've worked 5 days and 75 hours starting at 4am. I'm a person too and if you had walked up to me demanding something you get as good as I give. If you walk up and say hey, I know you're having a tough one here but what is going on, I will jump thru hoops to help you and engage in a light conversation to brighten up both our day

  56. Jake Guest

    Well put. A market-based solution that can't come soon enough.

    > You know what would cause the airline to schedule more realistically? Mandating cash compensation when there’s a major delay or cancelation within a carrier’s control.

  57. Sidewinder Guest

    "I’ve had a lot of delays in my life, but I’ve never experienced anything quite like this."

    You must be incredibly lucky then. About a third of the flights I took in the last two years (mostly UA and DL, some AA) had significant delays and they all played out exactly as described here. Chaos, confusion, no offers for snacks or drinks, and rebooking and/or hotel vouchers only after pleading my case with multiple agents.

  58. ATX Jetsetter Guest

    American Airlines doing American Airlines things again.

    DelAAyed.

  59. snic Diamond

    I had more or less the same miserable experience on AA, although the delays were not quite as long. I booked my family, including my elderly mother, in AA transcon business class. First they announced a flight delay in the middle of the night, when we were already asleep and couldn't adjust by waking up later. Then, when we got to the boarding area, the flight was further delayed because they had no pilot and...

    I had more or less the same miserable experience on AA, although the delays were not quite as long. I booked my family, including my elderly mother, in AA transcon business class. First they announced a flight delay in the middle of the night, when we were already asleep and couldn't adjust by waking up later. Then, when we got to the boarding area, the flight was further delayed because they had no pilot and they had no idea where he was. Mind you, he wasn't lost, he was just on a delayed inbound flight - something that AA obviously should have known, but clearly didn't. Eventually he showed up and we departed about 4 hours later than the original scheduled departure time. Then we landed at 1 am and there is an hour-long delay for the bags to be delivered.

    This is probably the last flight my mom is ever going to take, and I booked us in business class because of that. And this is how it turned out. I have no idea how AA managed to become such a dominant airline, as they are a complete joke.

  60. Sherry Lang Guest

    I almost exclusively flew AA for about 40 years. Yes, there were problems but never has AA been as bad as in the last approximately 6 or 7 years. I have written multiple complaint letters because the customer service has been so poor. I have a lot of AA frequent flier miles but have started flying other airlines. There have been a few problems, but nothing even comes close to my experiences with AA. How do they stay in business?

  61. anon Guest

    Northbound/southbound flights on the east coast have been getting hit hard lately. There have been a ton of flights like these because of weather and crew issues, especially on JetBlue. The worst I’ve seen is JetBlue 1694 from Orlando to Westchester on June 19, which was scheduled for 7:55pm-10:47pm but ended up being 3:49am-6:19am. Just horrific.

  62. AAExPlat Guest

    Fwiw...I just got back from a trip to LHR on UA and they cancelled our over-water flight without much of an explanation. Problem is that the bext daynor two, there were barely any seats available (not just on UA but any airline), much less reasonable routings. We got there a day late and I consider myself lucky. I assune many pax either never completed the trip or had to travel a week or more later....

    Fwiw...I just got back from a trip to LHR on UA and they cancelled our over-water flight without much of an explanation. Problem is that the bext daynor two, there were barely any seats available (not just on UA but any airline), much less reasonable routings. We got there a day late and I consider myself lucky. I assune many pax either never completed the trip or had to travel a week or more later.

    It is clear all the airlines are overextending their ops beyond what they can handle and we pax are held hostage as a result.

    I was going to take another trip this summer, but thatwill assuredly not be the case now.

  63. GREG C. Guest

    A similar situation Happened to me several years ago during the pilot slowdown when After boarding a nonstop redeye from LAX to Fort Lauderdale. I got an alert From Flight Aware that the flight had been Canceled. I checked and saw there was a jumbo leaving for Miami about 30 minutes later, so asked the flight attendant if I could deplane to move to it. She snippily told me that the flight was not canceled...

    A similar situation Happened to me several years ago during the pilot slowdown when After boarding a nonstop redeye from LAX to Fort Lauderdale. I got an alert From Flight Aware that the flight had been Canceled. I checked and saw there was a jumbo leaving for Miami about 30 minutes later, so asked the flight attendant if I could deplane to move to it. She snippily told me that the flight was not canceled and they were just waiting for instructions from the tower, refusing to look at The authoritative flight aware website which works from the pilot's routing plan. After another thirty minute several phones dinged and we had the message from American that the flight was canceled.

    We deboarded and found the terminal was closed with no one at the gate to help. A long walk to the service Center which had an hour long line And was saying the flight would go out the next morning so we had to wait.. The Miami flight had already left (half empty we learned later) So I walked the terminal until I found a Dallas flight leaving at three a m and was able to get on it.

    In communicating with American Airlines about this afterwards,. I noticed they were uninterested in doing anything other than depositing extra miles in our accounts. They didn't seem to care about the details of how we were inconvenienced or the grotesque mishandling of the situation by the systems and personnel set up to handle just these situations. My esteem for their airline dropped and has not fully recovered.

    .

  64. Jeff Guest

    My AA flight was cancelled last week. No reason given until I asked for reaccommodation and then I was told it was a weather delay. (There were no weather delays at departure or arrival and all the other airline's flights were operating) Anybody know of a site that logs the reason for the delay so I can see if they lied to me?

  65. Nate nate Guest

    I hope you send this to some public agencies, like the DoT, WH, and some Senators (the PA senators may be more sympathetic than the FL ones). There is always an off-chance that someone will read this and use it as a public story to support delay compensation in the US

  66. anon Guest

    This is why I always book nonstop when available, and book nonstop+rental car to a nearby airport rather than one-stop to my destination

  67. Chris S Guest

    AA was a freakin' disaster in Dallas on Thursday. Weather came through, I get that, but there were a TON of cancelled and delayed flights that seemed to be due to other circumstances as well. I ended up just bailing and grabbing a flight the next morning, but later realized I could've tried to get on a severely delayed flight to my destination that evening. After reading this, the hotel seems like the right choice....

    AA was a freakin' disaster in Dallas on Thursday. Weather came through, I get that, but there were a TON of cancelled and delayed flights that seemed to be due to other circumstances as well. I ended up just bailing and grabbing a flight the next morning, but later realized I could've tried to get on a severely delayed flight to my destination that evening. After reading this, the hotel seems like the right choice.

    My return flight on United was like night and day. A

  68. iamhere Guest

    In my opinion, it does not matter the reason or who is at fault. Just because it is weather related does not mean the airline should not compensate. If the airline does not compensate then this is to imply that the customer is responsible and takes the risk for the act of nature. This should be the risk that the airline has for operating in this industry. I think this is one of the few...

    In my opinion, it does not matter the reason or who is at fault. Just because it is weather related does not mean the airline should not compensate. If the airline does not compensate then this is to imply that the customer is responsible and takes the risk for the act of nature. This should be the risk that the airline has for operating in this industry. I think this is one of the few industries where the customer is repsonsible for something beyond everyone's control.

    As I see it, the problem is a lack of pressure from governments to give customers more rights (not too many rights but an appropriate amount) and a lack of complaints from customers. Many customers just give up and will not go through the effort of complaining. Such compensation should be factored in to their pricing. Look at other industries when things happen beyond anyone’s control the customer is not responsible and does not suffer the loss. Furthermore, I am surprised nobody has mentioned TIME. Time to many people is more valuable than money because you cannot replace it!

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      there are risks to life.
      You simply cannot eliminate all potential for inconvenience from anyone.
      The issue is not that delays occur but that AA uniquely seems unable to put the issues back together that need to work together for a flight to operate. and the customer is completely in the dark while it all plays out

  69. D3kingg Guest

    Welcome to AA. This happens to me all the time. I’m going Iah lax Syd next Sunday and the Iah lax has performed terrible the past week. Maybe I go to Australia maybe I don’t and am sol and about $1800.

    Ford should try air Canada next time. You have all the credit cards and miles. You get what you pay for. Maybe avoid American moving forward.

  70. HJ Hill Guest

    Instead of concentrating on profits & high CEO compensation they should concentrate on efficiency & service. The lack of concern for the customer is atrocious. These horrible flight experiences are terrible punctuation on often important life travel experiences.

    1. Bagoly Guest

      You highlight the nub of the matter: in the customer's mind efficiency means minimum delay; in their mind "efficency" means minimum money spent.

  71. Ed Guest

    Almost same story exact story happened to me while connecting via Philly last weekend. The AA is useless and my return flight completely disappeared from the app and the system the following day, thankfully got to the airport early and was able to get one of the few middle seats left. When things start to go bad they just seemef to snowball into chaos!

  72. Angus Guest

    I used to work for AA. A thunderstorm at any hub can delay the entire system. An early day delay or cancellation delays that aircraft’s routing all day. It can delay crews as well. I do not fly at the end of the month when fewer crew members are available. When flying during the summer, stick with AM flights if possible due to possible thunderstorms. Their scheduling leaves minimal allowance for disruptions.

  73. Michael Guest

    See the problem here isn’t so much the Airline industry as a whole but American Airlines management. But if you get government involved you are going to pay a lot more for a ticket and still get crappy service. Airline ea do not have enough employees and good ones at that.

  74. BRMM Guest

    It's happened to me, too. And then I wrote to complain and was told no compensation was possible because the delays were all weather-related, despite multiple announcements and the like that the reason was crew. Let's hope if you complain to AA Customer Service that they're more honest with you.

    1. Maipee Nessisbig Guest

      You can't spell honest without AA.

      Oh wait...

  75. Erick Guest

    While it is true that pilots are not needed to board the plane, there is no way in hell fãs should be putting up with passengers FOR FREE on-board the aicraft, until the pilots actually show up.
    Pilots have a lot of power and when they get a reassignment, they can basically walk away, and not get any type of discipline action.

  76. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The East coast is a complete disaster today due to thunderstorms, a fire at an ATC center, and short staffing in NYC.
    The problem that is uniquely American - and I have witnessed it over and over - is that they do not seem to be able to know all of the pieces that are out of sync during a delay, let alone communicate w/ passengers.
    You cannot legislate companies to have good...

    The East coast is a complete disaster today due to thunderstorms, a fire at an ATC center, and short staffing in NYC.
    The problem that is uniquely American - and I have witnessed it over and over - is that they do not seem to be able to know all of the pieces that are out of sync during a delay, let alone communicate w/ passengers.
    You cannot legislate companies to have good policies. You can only fine them or require them to compensate customers if they fail to deliver a reasonably decent service.
    The problem this summer is that ATC is understaffed and any discussion about airline performance is certain to deteriorate into what part of responsibility the FAA has.

    As bad as it is here in the US, look at flight delay stats for Europe and it is far worse there - every day.

    In the case of Ford's flight, the flight should not have been boarded without knowing that the pilots were on their way.

  77. Jon Smith Guest

    This is a flight with an initial point of departure from Canada, so there already is mandated cash compensation, as Canada actual has consumer protection laws for all flights departing from Canada:

    https://rppa-appr.ca/eng/compensation-flight-delays-and-cancellations?wbdisable=true

    Am I missing something?

  78. Frank Guest

    My last 4 AA flights have been delayed!! Way less reliable than Spirit

    1. Anonymous Guest

      Spirit is #2 in best airline study this year

      It’s the second consecutive year Delta was named No. 1 by WalletHub, which studied each airline’s delays, baggage issues, safety and other factors. Spirit Airlines ranks No. 2 in this year’s report.

    2. Michael Brown Guest

      That's why the airlines pay millions of dollars to lobbyists to make sure congress won't hold them accountable at all for almost any issue. I was actually fuming reading this and I don't know if I could have kept my cool. It's been going on for years now but I have definitely noticed once covid happened the customer service for all airlines has gotten much worse. And these airline executives don't care at all. Southwest...

      That's why the airlines pay millions of dollars to lobbyists to make sure congress won't hold them accountable at all for almost any issue. I was actually fuming reading this and I don't know if I could have kept my cool. It's been going on for years now but I have definitely noticed once covid happened the customer service for all airlines has gotten much worse. And these airline executives don't care at all. Southwest for example used covid as an excuse to permanently get rid of their call centers and ability for customers to speak to supervisors when calling their 800 number. They also got rid of the ability for customers to speak to customer relations if there was a problem. Now you have to email and wait up to 10 days just for a reply. It's a joke. The airlines need to be held much more accountable but as long as these overpaid lobbyists are buying congressmen and women, good luck passing anything to help the little guy.

  79. Rich Zimny Guest

    American Airlines two examples of poor management and until is cost senior management real money it will not change
    Flight from Philly to Orlando on June 23 scheduled to depart 6PM
    Adult children coming to visit 3 hour delay with continual extensions due some blood on carpet and their inability to provide either staff and bio hazard kit or substitute air craft
    Return trip Sunday night cancelled after gate change and 1 hour notice before takeoff
    I want USAir back

  80. XPL Diamond

    While mandatory compensation would be one solution to horrible service like this, it would not be the ideal solution. Different travelers value different things, and some people value other things more than reliability. Personally, I'm Team Reliability, so I try to fly with airlines that have good on-time records. In the U.S. these are published by the government. Other people prefer the best offered connections (that seems to be the case with Ford's travel this...

    While mandatory compensation would be one solution to horrible service like this, it would not be the ideal solution. Different travelers value different things, and some people value other things more than reliability. Personally, I'm Team Reliability, so I try to fly with airlines that have good on-time records. In the U.S. these are published by the government. Other people prefer the best offered connections (that seems to be the case with Ford's travel this time), and that's fine. Other people prefer the cheapest advertised fare, and that's fine too. Each airline for its part tries to be best in class in one of those strengths. An airline that says "our product is our network" is openly telling you that they will offer more flights than it realistically can fly when things go wrong.

    My advice is, know what is important to you and choose your airline on that basis. If either reliability or decent communication were priorities, American won't ever be a good choice, never mind what status you might have or how nice the lounges are.

    I will grant that is easier said than done when your home airport is a fortress hub, like Ford and Ben. For what it's worth, at my home airport 65% of flights are on either American or LCCs, so I feel your pain.

  81. James S Guest

    A few years ago i had a JetBlue flight out of Newark that was similar. Ended up departing 9.5 hours late but we only kept getting info every 30 minutes so there was no way to use the time productively or make other arrangements.

    I've never flown them again

  82. Kevin Guest

    Airline executives are to blame, they sit back, do nothing, and collect money. How about having their salaries tied to customer service experiences, that should get some traction. Look at ME3 or Asian carriers, they have 5 star airlines, executives actually work to get things moving, and on top of that, get paid less than their idiot American counterparts.

  83. Eskimo Guest

    AA442 Happening today too.

    AA, reliably unreliable.

  84. Sarthak Guest

    This sounds awful - @ben hope this lightens things up just a little bit.

    https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cr7YBqmOr1M/?igshid=Y2I2MzMwZWM3ZA==

  85. Mark Guest

    This is a product of trying to maximize revenue/minimize cost through a different system. hub to hub flights will get robbed of planes and crews to operate less frequent routes since there are more opportunities to rebook pax on hub to hub (theoretically). That’s why they had pilots assigned and then taken away. You have a system that thinks it’ll cost nothing to rob a plane from PHL MIA but isn’t smart enough to see the macro picture quite yet.

  86. David Guest

    Under EU261, American would have been OBLIGED to rebook Ford onto AC free of charge, exactly as it should be.

    Biden should copy EU261, it really helped making airlines accountable.
    And no, air fare is not more expensive in Europe, quite the opposite..

  87. Hank Guest

    The airlines clearly do this on purpose. They make the gate agent the sole point of contact and then fail to provide them with any information. The agent then pleads ignorance, leaving the passenger with no recourse.

    Then, just to mess with you, they start to dangle the possibility that your flight might actually leave at some point. First, they swear that the scheduled pilots are arriving soon on another flight. “It’s a weather...

    The airlines clearly do this on purpose. They make the gate agent the sole point of contact and then fail to provide them with any information. The agent then pleads ignorance, leaving the passenger with no recourse.

    Then, just to mess with you, they start to dangle the possibility that your flight might actually leave at some point. First, they swear that the scheduled pilots are arriving soon on another flight. “It’s a weather delay,” they say, though you can see on a flight tracker that there is no such thing. And when that plane finally lands the pilots have timed out. Amazingly, nobody figured that out ahead of time.

    So at that point they start promising relief pilots. But not now - maybe in a few hours. “We are trying to contact them,” they swear By then it’s past midnight and shuttles aren’t running and car rentals are closed. At some point after everything is shut down they tell you that, in fact, no pilots are coming after all.

    The next morning a new set of agents arrives, claiming to know nothing about what happened the day before. And then…

  88. A to Z Guest

    Keep in mind that because these trips were to/from Canada, Canada's APPR regulations apply so you should be eligible for compensation (since crew constraints generally aren't safety related). I'm not saying that you'll get the compensation quickly though as the CTA has a massive backlog...

  89. RobASFO Guest

    Why not fly nonstop: AA and AC fly nonstop for both routes.
    Booking flights with plane changes vs. direct flights generally gets you into messes like this.

    1. anon Guest

      How else will lucky get crazy stories for his blog posts? He does it for his fanz

  90. PDT Guest

    American execs continue to reiterate their product is their schedule. Yet I had a consistent 30% misconnect rate (and that's booking the second connection offered), until I finally gave up and stopped flying them. I have no idea what their product is and why anyone would rationally fly with them unless the flight, in whatever class of service, was offered at a significant discount to market fares. They are all truly finance guys (although their...

    American execs continue to reiterate their product is their schedule. Yet I had a consistent 30% misconnect rate (and that's booking the second connection offered), until I finally gave up and stopped flying them. I have no idea what their product is and why anyone would rationally fly with them unless the flight, in whatever class of service, was offered at a significant discount to market fares. They are all truly finance guys (although their negotiating skills with labor units are substandard and, in NYC, the dim bulbs didn't realize that cobrand credit spend of the New York market was important -- can they not read their own financial statements?) and remain truly clueless about running an airline. Choosing to fly with them means that you understand the bargain... why are you (or Ford) surprised?? They are a clueless lot.

  91. Nigel Guest

    I'm not gonna pass blame because there could be many reasons I don't know why crew wasn't available. I've been there so I know. People react to things becUse it's just happening to them. Was there weather that delayed the crew, was there AC availability issues? Tons of reasons. No airline wants to purposely delay a flight to have to deal with angry passengers

    1. snic Diamond

      Of course they don't "want" to make their customers angry. But clearly that doesn't prevent them from spreading their resources too thin to handle the slightest issue without an eruption of domino-effect delayed flights. Or from being utterly unable to handle these situations in a way that keeps passengers informed.

  92. DL Guest

    When companies can mess up without being accountable - or can even save or make money by doing so - that’s exactly what will happen. Individual fliers lack the ability to hold airlines responsible - the costs of the airline’s actions are widely spread across a large number of people, who lack to act separately. The way they act collectively is through this thing called government, and the action they take is called regulation. It...

    When companies can mess up without being accountable - or can even save or make money by doing so - that’s exactly what will happen. Individual fliers lack the ability to hold airlines responsible - the costs of the airline’s actions are widely spread across a large number of people, who lack to act separately. The way they act collectively is through this thing called government, and the action they take is called regulation. It is indeed a TEXTBOOK case for government regulation. Econ 101.

  93. dander Guest

    I blame some of this on the COVID cheese the airlines got in exchange for no layoffs. So they offered early retirement. Now it seems that they can't get them to unretire.
    I do agree that airlines need to communicate better. I'm on the fence on euro type compensation. Yes, there is a tad of greed going on by airlines and the flying public. If the airlines change the schedules enough to have more...

    I blame some of this on the COVID cheese the airlines got in exchange for no layoffs. So they offered early retirement. Now it seems that they can't get them to unretire.
    I do agree that airlines need to communicate better. I'm on the fence on euro type compensation. Yes, there is a tad of greed going on by airlines and the flying public. If the airlines change the schedules enough to have more reserve aircraft and crews, then people will be pissed when they see all the planes sitting at hubs. We all want cheap flights, and availability.
    Delays and cancellations suck.

    1. Scandinavian Aviator Guest

      Dont be on the fence about this, unless you have a lot of Airline stocks.
      In Europe this is all a win-win for the customers, they are helped out with hotel, food vouchers and compensation without having to do a thing. And the competition keeps prices Low, so Dont fall for the Airline executives bullshit about how it will raise prices, it wont, it will just slim their profit margins

  94. TravelinWilly Diamond

    NOBODY should fault airlines for delays, equipment changes, and other issues related to weather.

    EVERYBODY should fault airlines for delays, equipment changes, and other issues related to things within the airlines' control, such as missing crew, maintenance issues, crew timing out, etc. Airlines can control that, and should. Not informing pax of the reasons for delays and/or offering food/drink at the gate and/or food and hotel vouchers for flights that are delayed from, say,...

    NOBODY should fault airlines for delays, equipment changes, and other issues related to weather.

    EVERYBODY should fault airlines for delays, equipment changes, and other issues related to things within the airlines' control, such as missing crew, maintenance issues, crew timing out, etc. Airlines can control that, and should. Not informing pax of the reasons for delays and/or offering food/drink at the gate and/or food and hotel vouchers for flights that are delayed from, say, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. departures, is unacceptable.

    This is a reason that countries have national governments, and the reason that those governments sometimes need to step in and, you know, REGULATE the response behavior of customer-hostile companies. Like American Airlines. And this is a textbook case in point.

    1. dander Guest

      Maintenance issues are a pain in the ass for anyone that has to deal with them, especially unscheduled maintenance. That stuff throws everything off.
      Communication on delays is key. People are usually understanding if given the truth and kept up to date.

    2. HankKingsley New Member

      You have to know that airlines claim delays are weather related even when weather is a distant cause (if that). And you have no recourse whatsoever - you just have to take it.

  95. Maryland Guest

    Ford has experienced the French farce of air travel. Stereotypes, an overstretched airline, bumbling employees, improbable series of events. But the farce was originally created to skewer institutions and promote change. It is time for those changes

  96. James M Guest

    Sitting through a similar situation with UA from BOS to IAD now on 25-Jun-23. AA has not cornered the market on operational incompetence. Plane was supposed to depart at 2:14 and now 6:35 PM and getting later. This all started with the plane that makes up UA 1470 meltdown at ORD and then EWR. Airlines need to compensate travelers for this kind of lack of planning and agility.

  97. Jr Guest

    All airlines have these issues at one point or another during the year, so what's the point. AA runs 6,000 flights a day, one goes bad, bad luck for Ford but percentages say it won't happen. You could literally write the same thing about all the airlines. More advertising $$ for you it seems.

  98. David MOESLEIN Guest

    Totally unacceptable, but typical American … fly Southwest

  99. JB Guest

    I flew United on EWR-MIA on Friday night, and my flight was delayed by 2 hours because of a late arriving crew. I haven't flown UA in over a decade, and I was really surprised with how well they communicated. They texted me that my flight was delayed, gave me the reason (on the text, the app, and the airport departure boards!), and let me change my flight or cancel, all on the app. They...

    I flew United on EWR-MIA on Friday night, and my flight was delayed by 2 hours because of a late arriving crew. I haven't flown UA in over a decade, and I was really surprised with how well they communicated. They texted me that my flight was delayed, gave me the reason (on the text, the app, and the airport departure boards!), and let me change my flight or cancel, all on the app. They also constantly updated us via text, and told us what flight the crew was coming from! The flight was originally delayed 1.5 hours, but we got stuck on the ramp at EWR due to congestion. But the pilot kept us informed the entire time! It was such a relief, and I was honestly really surprised and blown away, given that I am MIA based and have been loyal to AA for some time. Good job UA! It was a pleasant experience flying with you. I can now confidently say in my opinion that AA is probably the worst of the US3.

    EWR, especially United, has been a mess in recent days in terms of delays and cancelations, but atleast they communicate well.

    MIA has also been full of storms the past few days, which means long ground stops. It's almost a given that your flight to Florida in the summer will be delayed if it is after 3pm. MIA is better in terms of not having storms daily though (like TPA, MCO).

    1. JB Guest

      Also, I saw a bunch of parked United planes at EWR on Friday, mostly widebodies, both in the morning and at night. Wonder why that is. Is UA short on crew more than it is short on planes?

    2. AA employee Guest

      Problem for lack of response to pax - 3rd party tickets, like Expedia, Hotwire, Priceline etc, USE airline address & phone numbers in reservations. Pax need to own responsibility when checking in for flights making sure to ADD cell # for text updates on flights…

    3. PM1 Gold

      In my experience, UA is much better than AA when it comes to communication and especially IT including the app.

  100. Alan Guest

    It's the total lack of transparency that makes it so frustrating for everyone. I had an AA TATL a few years ago where we got as far as being boarded before having to get off again only to have rolling 1h delays the whole way through the night and finally left the next morning. If they'd just decided that up front we could have slept in a hotel.

    The USA really really needs EU261 level...

    It's the total lack of transparency that makes it so frustrating for everyone. I had an AA TATL a few years ago where we got as far as being boarded before having to get off again only to have rolling 1h delays the whole way through the night and finally left the next morning. If they'd just decided that up front we could have slept in a hotel.

    The USA really really needs EU261 level rules - it's not even the compensation bit but the proper duty of care. Even if the airline doesn't proactively offer it you know you can book it and claim it back. The fact that Ford just had to eat the cost of the more expensive AC flight when it was AA's fault is especially annoying. In comparison my Ryanair flight to Bordeaux was cancelled, I rebooked on Aer Lingus via Dublin for £200 (original flight price £65) and they refunded my the difference no problem (which I must admit did surprise me a bit with it being Ryanair, but if even they can do it then the US airlines definitely can).

  101. Show me the money Guest

    Ben, can you tell us a bit about intra EU flights and EU vs US airlines profits bc EU has the delay compensation? It was headaches to once request my 700 dollars from United for 24hr delayed flight.

  102. Jim Guest

    Although I'm generally disinclined toward regulation as the solution to everything, I would like to see - at a minimum - something governing when airlines can declare "weather" as the cause of a delay/cancellation. Case in point, yesterday my flight from JFK-DCA was cancelled ostensibly due to "weather" - yet both JFK and DCA were operating (more or less) normally at that time and continued to operate (more or less) normally; i.e. other flights ran...

    Although I'm generally disinclined toward regulation as the solution to everything, I would like to see - at a minimum - something governing when airlines can declare "weather" as the cause of a delay/cancellation. Case in point, yesterday my flight from JFK-DCA was cancelled ostensibly due to "weather" - yet both JFK and DCA were operating (more or less) normally at that time and continued to operate (more or less) normally; i.e. other flights ran in and out of both airports. It's pretty evident that the real problem was crew availability on YX.

    1. JB Guest

      When there is weather, the FAA will restrict the number of flights that can operate through that area's airspace. If there was weather in DC or NYC, the FAA will put that limit in place, and that will affect flights since the NYC area airspace is so congested. It could also be that the weather was somewhere along the flight plan.

    2. Jim Guest

      When that happens, the immediate reason the flight was cancelled was an operational decision by the airline to decide which flights to operate - not weather.

      To be clear - I do not begrudge that this happens, and that airlines will from time to time have to triage which flights to operate. But it's still an operational decision, not a safety decision.

    3. AA Employee Guest

      Amen for saying that!! Pax do not understand FAA restricting flights and always blame airlines. Airlines CANNOT falsely report to FAA reason for delay..

    4. PM1 Gold

      I was on a JFK-ATL flight yesterday morning on Delta. There were 30 people without seats (previous night's flight had been canceled) and 4 deadheading pilots. Delta started offering $400 for the pilots to fly which increased to $1000 and the final offer was $1500 for the last pilot. That offer was made after the flight boarded. I would have taken the last offer but another passenger beat me to it.

  103. bc Guest

    AA442 is all too familiar! I was volunteering at the F info desk yesterday, and a passenger came up to me who misconnected AA571. I was looking at their options, and AA442 came up. When I checked the number of seats for them, there were 71(!) available. Perfect, they would still make their onward connection in Miami. I checked today, and was shocked to what happened. I think they still made their connection. At least...

    AA442 is all too familiar! I was volunteering at the F info desk yesterday, and a passenger came up to me who misconnected AA571. I was looking at their options, and AA442 came up. When I checked the number of seats for them, there were 71(!) available. Perfect, they would still make their onward connection in Miami. I checked today, and was shocked to what happened. I think they still made their connection. At least Ford wasn't flying Contour, two of their flights had departure time come and go with no agent or plane at the gate. On behalf of PHL, I'm sorry to all the passenger who experienced this.

    Side note: I wish Ford stopped by the desk!

  104. JOJO Guest

    Why didn't he just why direct from MIA to Canada? ? AA, Air Canada Air Transtat and West Jet all fly direct. Picking connecting flights is asking for trouble. Which he got

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ JOJO -- He was traveling in the morning, so the only nonstop was a single Air Canada flight. That flight cost more in economy than a connecting American itinerary cost in business class, so we decided that was the best option. Also, we're just ever-so-slightly on the Loyalty Points hamster wheel.

  105. Ben Guest

    I would like to see some thing online detailing what the delay is. I think United has something like that. And I know Air France has the website and it will generate a letter for you Air France. I think Air France is really top notch when it comes to admitting their mistakes and compensating you..

  106. Chuck Guest

    Where on the AA app do you see the reason for the delay? I haven’t been able to find that

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Chuck -- I'm pulling that up from ExpertFlyer. Unfortunately not listed on aa.com, but you can request to find out the reason through AA customer service by emailing them.

  107. Connie Guest

    Wow....June 17...same thing!!! AXA to MIA....perfect. MIA to MCO was a mess!!! Due to leave at 8:34pm. Gate change numerous times. Ended up at Gate E5. AA customer service in E was closed. NO gate agent at the desk.....it goes downhill from hill........Finally left at 1:12am.

  108. Dempseyzdad Diamond

    AA already has a workaround to get out of compensation, which is to declare "irregular weather ops", when none exists. It took me 26 hours to fly from DCA to HPN on AA finding my own accommodation at my own expense because of "weather" (somewhere). They refused to even provide meals to anyone, because of..."weather". They will use the same loophole excuse no matter what the Feds decide to do.

    1. Alan Guest

      The thing is if they follow the EU261 model then although 'weather' would get them out of compensation it would affect the duty of care, so they'd still be on the hook for hotel, meals, calls.

  109. Kevin Guest

    Totally outrageous. Mandatory compensation for non-weather delays makes a ton of sense. But more importantly, either AA needs to give frontline staff more discretion to, for instance, give vouchers or rebook, or needs to find staff willing to make the make basic offers of this type if they already have discretion.

  110. Becky Guest

    AA really is an absolute joke. Paying legacy prices for the reliability of a ULCC.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Frustrated Gate Agent Guest

I am a gate agent at AA. These scenarios are way, way to common. It's very embarrassing for me to get an update from a passenger who has the AA app and not from my company. You know something is happening when all the passengers get up and start leaving. The app updated but I wasn't advised. Gate change or flight cancelation.

3
FA Guest

Thank you for this honest review!! As a flight attendant I agree with you 100%. Delays are not handled well, for any of the human beings involved (employees and passengers). It is so incredibly frustrating, as a flight attendant, to want to take care of passengers but be given zero tools or information to do so. On top of that we get zero pay until the plane departs, even if we have passengers on board. We're exhausted. And this unfortunately leads to less than exceptional customer service from even the best meaning flight attendants. Every front line employee knows the operation is getting stretched too thin, but management refuses to listen because of "profitability." We hate delays as much as anyone, and would LOVE for there to be compensation on major delays! This would help everyone and keep airlines accountable. P.S. I am genuinely sorry for the experience you described. No one should have to go through that.

3
Becky Guest

AA really is an absolute joke. Paying legacy prices for the reliability of a ULCC.

3
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
5,163,247 Miles Traveled

32,614,600 Words Written

35,045 Posts Published