My Avoidable American Airlines Missed Connection

My Avoidable American Airlines Missed Connection

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I spent last night in Dallas due to a missed connection on American Airlines, but it didn’t need to be that way…

The basics of my American missed connection

Yesterday afternoon I was scheduled to fly from Puerto Vallarta to Dallas to Miami, with a 2hr4min connection in Dallas. Everything was looking good in Puerto Vallarta, as the inbound plane arrived on schedule, and boarding was moments from starting.

Then right at boarding time, it was announced that there was a maintenance issue. At first we were told there would be a decision within 20 minutes, then we were told it would be another 10 minutes, then we were told it would be another 15 minutes, etc.

Long story short, the flight ended up departing Puerto Vallarta a bit over two hours behind schedule, leaving me with a very short connection in Dallas. Once we were airborne, I received an email from American informing me that I had missed my connection, and was rebooked the following morning.

My American Airlines rebooking email

For what it’s worth, I was on a paid business class ticket but was rebooked in economy. Again, that’s fair enough too, since there were no first class seats left for sale.

I’ve been traveling frequently for a long time, and I really don’t get bothered by these kinds of situations. Is it kind of annoying when you want to go somewhere and you’re delayed? Of course. But statistically it happens. Aviation is incredibly complex, flying is very safe, and maintenance issues are bound to happen. There’s no benefit to getting worked up over it.

Now, I do wish the communication during delays were better, like the American app at 4:21PM showing an on-time departure at 4:16PM, even though there was a maintenance issue and no one had boarded yet.

I don’t think we’re leaving at 4:16PM!

Why this misconnect could have been avoided

My flight from Puerto Vallarta to Dallas ended up arriving at 8:36PM, 1hr45min behind schedule, as we made up a bit of time in the air. I was through customs and immigration in a matter of minutes, and by shortly after 8:40PM I was landside in Concourse D.

Flight status for my Puerto Vallarta to Dallas flight

Realistically I had accepted my fate at this point of probably not being on the 8:55PM flight:

  • I had actually been taken off the flight already, so my seat was given up, and I would have been downgraded if I wanted to be rebooked on it
  • Actually getting booked on the flight again would have taken time, eating into the little time I would have had to make the connection
  • The flight was showing an on-time departure from Concourse C, so it was unlikely I’d be able to clear security, take the train, and get to my gate, in time

So I headed to the Grand Hyatt DFW. While I had been taken off the Dallas to Miami flight, it was still showing in my American Airlines app, and I kept getting push notifications about the flight being delayed by a few minutes at a time.

Long story short, the flight ended up only departing at 9:34PM, 58 minutes after I arrived in Dallas. I would have made that connection with plenty of time to spare. Heck, my room service dinner arrived before the flight even departed.

Flight status for my original Dallas to Miami flight

I’m not writing this post because I feel I was wronged in some horrible way, but rather just because I find the situation amusing. If American hadn’t taken me off my original flight (and instead just protected me on another flight while keeping my reservation intact), I would have tried to make a run for it, since I figured there was no downside. But since I was already taken off the flight, there were no first class seats left, and the seatmap only showed middle seats in economy, it seemed to me like a losing proposition.

Usually when you misconnect it’s because you actually don’t make your connection. In this case I was essentially forced into misconnecting because American was more confident in my connecting flight operating on-time than I was.

Bottom line

I missed a connection at DFW, even though there ended up being 58 minutes between my arriving and departing flights, meaning I would have made the flight with time to spare. However, after a delay of over two hours departing Puerto Vallarta, American rebooked me for the following morning, taking me off the original flight.

If American weren’t so confident in its operational performance (assuming my connection would depart on-time), this wouldn’t have happened.

I get it from American’s side as well, though, as it’s a lose-lose situation. An alternative outcome might be that someone runs to make the connection and misses the flight, and is then annoyed the flight wasn’t held for them.

Has anyone else ever unnecessarily misconnected in this way? Would you have handled this situation differently?

Conversations (106)
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  1. Wondering Bear Guest

    I’m so confused. Why not try to make the connection?

    So the complaint here is the app is bad because it didn’t update your flight delay status. Yet, since the app showed you booked for the next morning, you trusted said app and made no attempt to make the connection.

    The app is just an app. It takes data and processes it how it is programmed. You were at the gate with the announcements real-time;...

    I’m so confused. Why not try to make the connection?

    So the complaint here is the app is bad because it didn’t update your flight delay status. Yet, since the app showed you booked for the next morning, you trusted said app and made no attempt to make the connection.

    The app is just an app. It takes data and processes it how it is programmed. You were at the gate with the announcements real-time; didn’t need the app.

    I’ve had apps show rebooked for next morning after a delay. So what? I walked up to the gate of my connection and found them waiting for us.

    If the app was unreliable at the gate why trust it to skip your next flight?

    Should apps be correct and up-to-date? Sure. But that’s not the reality. Reality is what is happening at the gate.

  2. Anthony Joseph Guest

    Did AA arrange your overnight accommodations? You didn't mention who paid for your Hyatt stay and in room dining.

  3. iamhere Guest

    Both Miami and Dallas are hubs for American. Surprised there is not a later flight.

  4. AC Guest

    I would of just went to eat at Pappadeaux's and been happy!

  5. Ean Tierney Guest

    When in doubt — Go for it !!! Always. You never know.

  6. Bobby Guest

    Two things frustrate me about this...
    1) Obviously, you should have been double booked in case you were able to make the connection.
    2) Complimentary status-based upgrades caused you to be rebooked into economy, when you booked a business class ticket. Paid business should always have priority over complimentary upgrades, even in a reaccomodation scenario. For this reason, legacy carriers shouldn't upgrade until just before boarding. I know people on this board will...

    Two things frustrate me about this...
    1) Obviously, you should have been double booked in case you were able to make the connection.
    2) Complimentary status-based upgrades caused you to be rebooked into economy, when you booked a business class ticket. Paid business should always have priority over complimentary upgrades, even in a reaccomodation scenario. For this reason, legacy carriers shouldn't upgrade until just before boarding. I know people on this board will howl over this concept - but if you want guaranteed first/business class, you should pay for it.

    Any frustration that you have toward AA in this scenario is warranted, in my opinion. You probably paid a couple thousands dollars for this ticket, or redeemed an equivalent number of miles. AA should aim for a much higher level of customer service given its high cost structure.

    1. Nelson Gold

      Bobby, don't know how thinks work in the US. But I have in the EU for business purposes contracts on my Corporate Fares which include, as of the moment I book a ticket and there's space available I'm automaticaly Upgraded, no matter how much time between booking and flying, albeit my tickets are almost never booked more than 6h in advance of the flight.

  7. Tom Feichtinger Guest

    You bring out a couple of points that I think are important. To give context, I am a lifetime Platinum flier on American Airlines with something over 3 million lifetime miles flown with them.

    1. American Airlines doesn't always keep their information about flights up to date, like showing a flight departing on time, but that time has passed and the flight hasn't even started boarding. I have encountered that and even complained about it...

    You bring out a couple of points that I think are important. To give context, I am a lifetime Platinum flier on American Airlines with something over 3 million lifetime miles flown with them.

    1. American Airlines doesn't always keep their information about flights up to date, like showing a flight departing on time, but that time has passed and the flight hasn't even started boarding. I have encountered that and even complained about it numerous times. They just don't do as good of a job with this as other major airlines. Talking to senior leadership, they agree with my point, but can't seem to fix it internally.

    2. The make proactive decisions based on forecasts or estimates that are often wrong. I have had the same situation that occurred with you happen to me where they rebooked me due to their expectation that I would miss a connection, and then I actually arrive in time to make the connection and/or the connecting flight is delayed so that I could make the connection. Their rebooking based on a guess of what might happen is just counter productive so often, I wish they would quit it. Other airlines don't do that until the flight/connection is actually missed. I have ended up at the boarding door ready to board only to be told that "I had requested to be rebooked on a later flight," when they did so without my request nor my approval, based on their prediction of what will occur in the future, but got it wrong. I have even insisted on getting my original seat in such cases and had them bring in a supervisor to resolve their mess. In a couple of cases they have had to bump people as a result, since I didn't miss the flight and I didn't request they move me to later flight.

  8. Brian Guest

    Stories like this are like bad beats at a poker table. No one cares. And why does everyone come here to comment about their misconnection? No one cares!

  9. Kathleen Guest

    Slightly different circumstances; we were scheduled for first class on a 8 am flight to La Guardia out of Seattle. Knowing what a zoo it is in the morning and the nasty traffic, we had checked into a hotel across the street. At 7:00 pm, I got a text from American that they had cancelled our flight and would be rebooking us. I immediately got on the app and rebooked us on a red-eye that...

    Slightly different circumstances; we were scheduled for first class on a 8 am flight to La Guardia out of Seattle. Knowing what a zoo it is in the morning and the nasty traffic, we had checked into a hotel across the street. At 7:00 pm, I got a text from American that they had cancelled our flight and would be rebooking us. I immediately got on the app and rebooked us on a red-eye that meant we had a little less than 2 hours to get our bags checked and get through security. If we had still been at home we would never have made it. As it was, the red-eye was delayed until nearly midnight. It took ages to get a refund from American for the first class seats.

  10. Paul Jackson Guest

    It is cool that you tracked the flight information with your phone. I tend to just use my tickets and not use my phone until I land.

    What would have happened if you did try to make a run for the original flight? You technically could have made it and had a ticket. You didn't ask to cancel the flight and just went to re-check your bags as if you didn't know? Does American...

    It is cool that you tracked the flight information with your phone. I tend to just use my tickets and not use my phone until I land.

    What would have happened if you did try to make a run for the original flight? You technically could have made it and had a ticket. You didn't ask to cancel the flight and just went to re-check your bags as if you didn't know? Does American have the right to just cancel your flight if you are already checked in and on the itinerary if you show up for the flight properly since it is delayed? Sorry if it seems like a stupid question but unless someone gets the proper notices on their phone, they would do just that. And frankly, my parents would be in that category. Once they have the paper tickets, they would not have access to the cancellation until it they tried to get on the other plane. They are not technically savvy and don't use their phone for anything but playing games and talking.

  11. Randy Diamond

    I likely would have made my way to the departure gate no matter. At least to see if they were going to pay for hotel since the delay was mechanical. Who was paying for your room at Grand Hyatt?

  12. NA Guest

    Doesn't surprise me with AA. Last year my partner missed a connection in PHX with AA that they sold on their website (35 minutes - domestic to domestic). His inbound was a few minutes early, we even paid for an upgrade to make sure he got off the plane first. Ran the whole way only to be told his seat was given away because he was late! When asked why the gate agent replied with...

    Doesn't surprise me with AA. Last year my partner missed a connection in PHX with AA that they sold on their website (35 minutes - domestic to domestic). His inbound was a few minutes early, we even paid for an upgrade to make sure he got off the plane first. Ran the whole way only to be told his seat was given away because he was late! When asked why the gate agent replied with "this is why I hate working the f**king gate" and walked away. And that is why you don't fly AA. They are trash.

  13. Kerry Gold

    Ben I think you handled this as well as possible… The most maddening thing about this story is the slow drip-feed of I for on the original delay. This “habit” of listing a flight on time until after the departure time, then rolling it back in 10-15 min “baby steps”, prevents people (and airlines) from making appropriate decisions on connections, and also prevents people from being able to return to a lounge for example to...

    Ben I think you handled this as well as possible… The most maddening thing about this story is the slow drip-feed of I for on the original delay. This “habit” of listing a flight on time until after the departure time, then rolling it back in 10-15 min “baby steps”, prevents people (and airlines) from making appropriate decisions on connections, and also prevents people from being able to return to a lounge for example to wait out a delay. I understand that operationally it may sometimes be necessary, but AA makes it a routine practice for nearly all delays these days it feels like.

    More worryingly, as a frequent BA flier based in London they have started doing this more and more as well, and I fear they are learning the practice from their JV partner… where possible these airlines should PLEASE accept a reasonable time estimate for a delay and announce it in advance! This has happened on every one of my recent BA trips LHR-MIA in particular, due to using their shoddy, clunky A380s that are seemingly prone to mechanical issues…

    1. glenn t Diamond

      Qantas is a past master at the incremental 'baby steps' for delays.
      Unfortunately they lie through their teeth as to the reason for the delay as well.

    2. Bob Guest

      I was an operations supervisor for many years and I was required to call in when our production machine was "down" (not operating).
      It was assumed I would be back up and running in 15 minutes, so if the repair was longer I was required to call in every 15 minutes.
      I some point (usually at the 45 minute interval), I would have to make a hard guess on the total duration of...

      I was an operations supervisor for many years and I was required to call in when our production machine was "down" (not operating).
      It was assumed I would be back up and running in 15 minutes, so if the repair was longer I was required to call in every 15 minutes.
      I some point (usually at the 45 minute interval), I would have to make a hard guess on the total duration of downtime.
      At that time all hell would break loose, since I had 9 hourly union guys producing nothing the entire time, and decisions on sending them home, firing up another production machine line, or waiting for the repair, had to be made.
      So the slow drip-feed of information may be just the required optimism built into the system.

  14. James aJackman Guest

    I know how you feel, I also suffred from Flight disruption although in my case it was on my way to the Philippines from Hong Kong on January 1st 2023.

    Whilst flying with Cebu Pacific on their brand new A330-900Neo.

    As with you everything went well until I was sat on the plane it was then announced that Manila Airport was shut due to a technical glitch that had knocked out all of the ATC...

    I know how you feel, I also suffred from Flight disruption although in my case it was on my way to the Philippines from Hong Kong on January 1st 2023.

    Whilst flying with Cebu Pacific on their brand new A330-900Neo.

    As with you everything went well until I was sat on the plane it was then announced that Manila Airport was shut due to a technical glitch that had knocked out all of the ATC and radios.

    So then I was stuck at the gate for over 7 hours and the crew went beyond their allotted allowance of time this after they generously handed out food and drinks for free which was a welcome bonus.

    After that we where allowed to deplane the aircraft as a replacement crew had to be sourced and the aircraft needed refueling as it had sat all the time with its engines on to at least give us some air-conditioning.

    Once at the gate we had to go through security a second time which meant going through arrivals then going back upstairs and to the departure/gate area

    We ehere handed out vouchers and told where we could redeem them unfortunately the forst place was completely out of food and drinks and their lack of service was awful they didn't even appologise they just seid out of food come back tomorrow.

    This when a full load of passengers was still ligned up it was very frustrating to say in the least, but at least Starbucks was still open in a different area of the terminal.

    After reddeming outlr vouchers which where originally for lunch but became dinner as time went past we settled in for another 5 hours with no information when we would be allowed to depart, even-though the frustating thing was 4 flights to manilla left before ours.

    It finally got to 1:38am when we where allowed to re-board thd plane and depart and some passengers almost went into full riot mode before this announcement, which was fully understandable as many had missed their connecting flights.

    So a flight that should have departed at 12pm was now at 1:38am the next morning without even a single passenger being allowed to get some rest at a hotel, so in short a total nightmare.

  15. Lee David Auerbach Guest

    At least they didn’t loose your luggage. My wife and I were on an AA flight from PV to DFW connecting to LGA. We landed with an hour and 45 minutes to make the connection and it took the baggage handlers an hour and 15 minutes to get our luggage. Enough said.

  16. Mary Guest

    I wish the app would give you an option to accept the new booking or to try to make the flight and then force you to a new booking when it is airborne. I missed a connection at IAH last year on United due to maintenance, the line for customer service was hundreds of people long, the app was down, and the lounges were all closed. It took me a year to get United to...

    I wish the app would give you an option to accept the new booking or to try to make the flight and then force you to a new booking when it is airborne. I missed a connection at IAH last year on United due to maintenance, the line for customer service was hundreds of people long, the app was down, and the lounges were all closed. It took me a year to get United to reimburse me anything for my overnight stay (the agent at the origin promised hotel vouchers which never materialized) at which point Chase had already covered it. Horrible treatment for a 1K.

  17. John l Guest

    I probably would have checked if the hotel was wide open (but not booked it), and headed to the gate. Even if first was sold out, someone else in first May have been delayed and a seat opened up.

  18. RobASFO Guest

    This same situation happened to me years ago on an AA flight connection from SFO to LAX to HND. The flight out of SFO was delayed 3 hours and we had 15 minutes to make the connecting flight in LAX to HND, running from terminal 4 to terminal 5.
    I was like OJ Simpson in that airport running with a backpack and a roll aboard!
    I made it to the Gate just in...

    This same situation happened to me years ago on an AA flight connection from SFO to LAX to HND. The flight out of SFO was delayed 3 hours and we had 15 minutes to make the connecting flight in LAX to HND, running from terminal 4 to terminal 5.
    I was like OJ Simpson in that airport running with a backpack and a roll aboard!
    I made it to the Gate just in time...our saving grace was that a flight attendant was also scheduled to work that flight coming in on our same flight from SFO and they had to wait for her. Unfortunately, my paid business class seat was given away but I was given a bulkhead premium economy seat, with lots of attention from that same flight attendant who ran with us. I was so happy to make the flight despite losing my business seat. And in the end, AA refunded the difference in the fare given the situation.

  19. EY Guest

    Not surprised at all. These things happened all the time. Sometimes airlines work too promptly to rebook the passengers of missing connection. Honestly, this cannot make everyone happy and cannot cover all the situations.

    One thing I noticed from the story is that it took Ben just four minutes from arriving to the landside of the Concourse D. It is because of Ben's Global Entry. I do not think any airline companies could assume...

    Not surprised at all. These things happened all the time. Sometimes airlines work too promptly to rebook the passengers of missing connection. Honestly, this cannot make everyone happy and cannot cover all the situations.

    One thing I noticed from the story is that it took Ben just four minutes from arriving to the landside of the Concourse D. It is because of Ben's Global Entry. I do not think any airline companies could assume a passenger to pass the custom in four minutes. Therefore, an automatic rebook is unavoidable in this case.

    On the other hand, the next connection flight from DFW to MIA was delayed by a few minutes at a time, as mentioned by Ben, which means this was not a very foreseeable delay either, unlike an inbound flight is 2 hours late so the next one has to be delayed for a long time. Therefore, in this particular situation, I do not see any possibility that the misconnection is avoidable unless Ben ran to the gate agency and check whether there is a spare seat so he can be put back to the system.

  20. kirker New Member

    It'd be nice if PV had CBP preclearance, considering DFW's train between terminals doesn't require you to go through security a second time if you're just transferring between domestic flights (unlike, say, JFK or EWR).

    My only tip here would be – in instances when you're already running late & will likely miss your connection, though this wouldn't have mattered in your own case – to refresh the airline's app on your phone prior to...

    It'd be nice if PV had CBP preclearance, considering DFW's train between terminals doesn't require you to go through security a second time if you're just transferring between domestic flights (unlike, say, JFK or EWR).

    My only tip here would be – in instances when you're already running late & will likely miss your connection, though this wouldn't have mattered in your own case – to refresh the airline's app on your phone prior to takeoff to see if they automatically rebook you before then (though not all of them have this specific functionality). If so, and you don't like the rebooked flight you're on (and I despite early-morning flights, so I would've looked for one later than 5:30am), you can switch it to a later one. This also usually lets you both choose a seat and have first dibs at doing so; even if you have a paid first or business ticket & no seats in them are remaining, you can at least try to snag a bulkhead or exit row seat as an alternative.

    I'm based out of Austin & have gotten stuck overnight at DFW more times than I can count. Another trick there, assuming you'd have at least 2-3 flight options upon arrival, would be to switch to the *second* nearest flight. Example: if your original connecting flight departs at 6pm, and the next one after that goes at 7:15pm, switching to one at 8pm-9pm would be advisable if there's even a slight chance of missing both the 6 & 7:15 flights (and as you can guess this occurs routinely if any major airports have a ground stop due to lightning or something of unpredictable length).

  21. Roamingredcoat Gold

    Flew through DFW from OGG late last year with a longer layover since the shorter connection was way more expensive, so I figured I'd chance standby on the earlier. DFW was having terrible weather, so a lot of flights were getting delayed or diverted. As such a lot of people in theory would misconnect, so the system booted them from their original flights to later ones. As noted, the system doesn't update for delays expeditiously,...

    Flew through DFW from OGG late last year with a longer layover since the shorter connection was way more expensive, so I figured I'd chance standby on the earlier. DFW was having terrible weather, so a lot of flights were getting delayed or diverted. As such a lot of people in theory would misconnect, so the system booted them from their original flights to later ones. As noted, the system doesn't update for delays expeditiously, like my flight still showed as on time 40 minutes past departure despite flightradar showing it diverted elsewhere in TX and they continued on short rolling delay updates for hours which were never going to be met. When lots of flights weren't landing or significantly delayed, those planes weren't on the ground for their next flight, so then people who had been rebooked showed up at the gate since in reality they had time to connect. Two guys who had their FC seats given up made the gate agent reverse it and put them back on the flight. One vented to me this was the 5th time in 2022 it had happened and the system was making calls a human probably would never make.

  22. Alex Guest

    Sometimes, just sometimes those automatic rebookings can also work in your favor: Back in 2006 (before smartphones and airline apps) I flew Air Canada from Munich to Québec City via Toronto and Montreal. My plane from MUC arrived late in YYZ, so I ran like crazy through the terminal, and after clearing customs and immigration I just got to the gate of the flight to YUL when boarding was still underway. When my boarding pass...

    Sometimes, just sometimes those automatic rebookings can also work in your favor: Back in 2006 (before smartphones and airline apps) I flew Air Canada from Munich to Québec City via Toronto and Montreal. My plane from MUC arrived late in YYZ, so I ran like crazy through the terminal, and after clearing customs and immigration I just got to the gate of the flight to YUL when boarding was still underway. When my boarding pass was scanned, it beeped and the agent checked my booking in the computer. Then she told me: „Apparently the system assumed you wouldn’t make your connection and has automatically re-booked you on the next non-stop to Québec City“. So instead of flying YYZ-YUL-YQB, I got on a direct YYZ-YQB flight and arrived there an hour earlier than with my original routing through Montreal. Funnily enough, my luggage had been sent the original way, so I had to wait until it arrived with the plane from YUL …

  23. Bobo Guest

    Where did you stay in Puerto Vallarta? Will you be reviewing it? Interested because I'm heading there soon.

  24. JOJO Guest

    That is shit on AA for auto removal. You should have gone to fhe gate and attempted to board. If they could not board you raise hell STOP BEING A PUSH OVER

  25. Bill 1950 Guest

    I’m a now-retired road warrior with 33+ years of very regular business travel.
    No whining!
    Your initial flight was a late takeoff due to maintenance issues. American should have given you a hotel voucher when you landed @ DFW. The Grand Hyatt isn’t on their list.
    BLUF - Don’t fly AA anymore.

    1. CG9 Guest

      Im glad you brought this point up. Were hotel vouchers offered due to the maintenance delay or do you have travel insurance that reimburses those expenditures?

  26. kenindfw Guest

    This season has been very difficult for travelers. I've learned over the years to not worry because airlines always find a way to fail. Case in point, returning from PSP to DFW via PHX. Seeing the crowds at the small PSP airport indicated all flights were "up in the air". It was obvious the connections were likely going to fail leaving us stranded overnight at least one day in PHX so I took to he...

    This season has been very difficult for travelers. I've learned over the years to not worry because airlines always find a way to fail. Case in point, returning from PSP to DFW via PHX. Seeing the crowds at the small PSP airport indicated all flights were "up in the air". It was obvious the connections were likely going to fail leaving us stranded overnight at least one day in PHX so I took to he app and could not get out either way for two days so we opt'd to stay in PSP for those two days and take the non stop earlier morning to DFW. So glad we did. Hotel was more than I'd like to pay, but overall I'd rather be stuck in PSP than PHX anyday.

  27. Ralph4878 Guest

    I love that Delta lets you know in their app that there is a potential for you to miss your connection, while not proactively remove you from your initially-booked connecting flight. I've had it happen a few times when I thought I'd miss my connection and the app provided potential alternatives to choose from, but they had not made the change...it was left to me to do. In each case (3 times in the last...

    I love that Delta lets you know in their app that there is a potential for you to miss your connection, while not proactively remove you from your initially-booked connecting flight. I've had it happen a few times when I thought I'd miss my connection and the app provided potential alternatives to choose from, but they had not made the change...it was left to me to do. In each case (3 times in the last 6 months with connections twice through DTW and once through ATL) I wound up making the connections due to them also being slightly delayed. Had they proactively rebooked me, I would have been in a similar situation as Ben (and in one instance, I wouldn't have gotten home until 3 days later as it was during the holidays and most flights were completely sold out!).

  28. Tanej Guest

    My husband & I were booked on an American flight out of La Guardia last November, with a connection at O'Hare to Seattle (the Seattle flight being the last one of the day out of O'Hare to Seattle!). The connection was VERY tight, so I had been in contact with American several times before the day of the flight.
    Then, American cancelled the flight out of La Guardia and very helpfully booked us immediately...

    My husband & I were booked on an American flight out of La Guardia last November, with a connection at O'Hare to Seattle (the Seattle flight being the last one of the day out of O'Hare to Seattle!). The connection was VERY tight, so I had been in contact with American several times before the day of the flight.
    Then, American cancelled the flight out of La Guardia and very helpfully booked us immediately on flight through Charlotte to Seattle - even our checked luggage arrived in Seattle on time!
    The weird part was that I kept receiving text notices for TWO days about the rescheduling of the La Guardia flight that had been cancelled!

  29. Chris Lapins Guest

    As a group of 4 we were flying DTW to AZS via MIA on 1/11/23. When the NOTAM outage occurred the gate agents assured everyone thier connections would be okay as it was a nationwide outage. I checked the incoming hardware for our MIA to AZS leg, it was running late, so we boarded the flight MIA. During the flight, they changed the assigned plane to one that would arrive earlier. We landed at MIA...

    As a group of 4 we were flying DTW to AZS via MIA on 1/11/23. When the NOTAM outage occurred the gate agents assured everyone thier connections would be okay as it was a nationwide outage. I checked the incoming hardware for our MIA to AZS leg, it was running late, so we boarded the flight MIA. During the flight, they changed the assigned plane to one that would arrive earlier. We landed at MIA at 12:36, our flight departed at 12:34, on time. We were 25% of the front cabin, on one of only 2 flights a week to AZS. Even though we were listed as a missed connection, we ran to the gate, only to find it empty at 12:54, with multiple gates open in the area. I wonder why they couldn't have held the flight when they knew we were only a few minutes late. Re-booking informed us they could not re-ticket us to AZS until the 18th; the check out date for our non-refunable hotel. The next day I checked and there were 6 seats available the 14th. We requested that they honor our fares for a trip March 22nd through the 29th, and were told that they "couldn't" do it, but they would refund our fares. I have requested that they refund our hotel as well, as we could have salvaged part of our trip.

  30. Donna Diamond

    Having never had the luxury of living in a hub city, missed connections have always been part of my travel planning calculus. I try to program reasonable connecting time of two to three hours on international itineraries. Oddly, it seems the tight connections of just over an hour to ninety minutes seem never to cause a misconnect, it’s the longer ones that I miss by ten minutes. Last year, nine trips, 36 flights, I had...

    Having never had the luxury of living in a hub city, missed connections have always been part of my travel planning calculus. I try to program reasonable connecting time of two to three hours on international itineraries. Oddly, it seems the tight connections of just over an hour to ninety minutes seem never to cause a misconnect, it’s the longer ones that I miss by ten minutes. Last year, nine trips, 36 flights, I had one misconnect at DFW. I always go straight to the gate if I see the departing flight hasn’t left regardless of what the app says. On occasion, it works out. I’m well acquainted with hotel airports in hub cities. I go with the flow in these situations because experience has taught me that injecting stress into the equation is counterproductive. I always have Plan B in mind. Fortunately misconnections are much less frequent today then a few decades ago.

  31. Erick Guest

    I think this was their bad, your mistake. Always ask for paper boarding passes at your origination, for both flights. You should have go to our gateand attempt to board, the gate reader would Jve rejected your boarding pass, but it was their obligation to downgrade the upgraded person. Sorry, but not sorry.

    1. M. Casey Guest

      Taking a screen shot of your BP works also

  32. daniel Guest

    well you could have tried for the flight, would it have been the end of the world if you had sat in a middle seat for 2 hours? would you have survived with the huddled masses ? the lowest caste people on the scale, the un entitled amongst us? the back of the plane is where i sit 95 % of the time, and I have survived it. you would have survived Ben, you are a very privileged person.

    1. Paul Guest

      I do wish there was an “unhelpful” button for the comments…

      But @Daniel, that’s not the point.
      1. AA should cover a hotel and reasonable expenses when Ben sends receipts (or credit card trip delay insurance will)
      2. I’ll also work hard to avoid middle seats - personal preference due to height
      3. Murphy’s law would probably have the door shut 2 minutes before he got there if he tried to make...

      I do wish there was an “unhelpful” button for the comments…

      But @Daniel, that’s not the point.
      1. AA should cover a hotel and reasonable expenses when Ben sends receipts (or credit card trip delay insurance will)
      2. I’ll also work hard to avoid middle seats - personal preference due to height
      3. Murphy’s law would probably have the door shut 2 minutes before he got there if he tried to make it
      4. Ben’s right - they should have held the reservation at least until boarding time, protecting him on the next day’s instead of rebooking

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ daniel -- Of course it wouldn't have been the end of the world if I were in an economy middle seat. Heck, I ended up flying in an economy middle seat today. But that's not what I paid for. This isn't about not "surviving" with the "huddled masses."

      If you went to a restaurant and paid for a steak but then were served a burger, would you want what you paid for, or would you want someone to accuse you of being too good to eat a burger?

    3. daniel Guest

      did they compensate you for the downgrade, give you a refund for the paid business class seat?

      I wrote that as it is a fact, that you will not or do not like to fly coach, you will not even fly coach overseas one time just to write a report for us about the experience. ben, you have champagne tastes, that is a truth, i can tell it from reading what you write. and there is nothing wrong with that, but please admit it you do not like to be with the huddled masses.

    4. George Guest

      @daniel

      Nobody likes to be with the huddles masses

  33. surfdolfin Guest

    Flew a delayed flight into DFW from San Jose, Costa Rica. We were told our LAX connection was waiting at the gate for us so we ran (fast) through terminals and when arriving at gate, instead the plane was backing out. We were given a later flight since DFW-LAX has a lot of choices. Since they told us 2nd flight would wait and it didn't, another couple raised holy hell and got free passes. I...

    Flew a delayed flight into DFW from San Jose, Costa Rica. We were told our LAX connection was waiting at the gate for us so we ran (fast) through terminals and when arriving at gate, instead the plane was backing out. We were given a later flight since DFW-LAX has a lot of choices. Since they told us 2nd flight would wait and it didn't, another couple raised holy hell and got free passes. I didn't complain and figured AA has given me a lot of freebies over the years and wouldn't get the gate person in any more trouble.
    No regrets.

  34. Peter Guest

    Wow, I would have been much angrier than you in this situation. Are you planning on filing trip delay insurance to cover hotel and meals? I would be demanding a lot from AA for this, especially if you are an elite.

    1. AC Guest

      @Peter - quit being so entitled. Stuff happens and you deal w it. Also for all the people asking about the hotel being covered and similar comments is a night in a hotel going to break you? If so you shouldn’t be traveling. People with their hand out looking for someone else to pay really tick me off.

    2. Grey Diamond

      Because only rich people should travel and multibillion dollar companies should not be forced to cover deeply discounted negotiated hotel rates to cover when they make a mistake and a passenger is booted from their flight. Maybe if AA had to pay the hotels and meals for these scenarios, they wouldn't be so quick to offload people from flights...

  35. Ben Guest

    Did they cover your hotel?

  36. David Guest

    This article wasted 5 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. You’re mad the universe didn’t align and the airline didn’t know both of your flights would be delayed? American flights have been mostly on time as of late so I can see why they would’ve assumed so in this case too.

    1. XPL Diamond

      Perhaps you missed "I’m not writing this post because I feel I was wronged in some horrible way, but rather just because I find the situation amusing."

  37. Eric Guest

    My daughter, flying back to college (VA to ID with a layover in Miami) had this exact thing happen during take off. She missed the connection thru Miami but her luggage made it. American said it wasn’t their fault because initial mechanical delays became eventual weather delays. She was stuck in Miami for 3 days and much abused by American. While it’s good you kept your cool and American treated you well, a younger female...

    My daughter, flying back to college (VA to ID with a layover in Miami) had this exact thing happen during take off. She missed the connection thru Miami but her luggage made it. American said it wasn’t their fault because initial mechanical delays became eventual weather delays. She was stuck in Miami for 3 days and much abused by American. While it’s good you kept your cool and American treated you well, a younger female against 100s of delayed passengers was not.

    American needs to improve their messaging and have a triage when things go awfully. They clearly don’t.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      "(VA to ID with a layover in Miami)"

      That's an interesting routing.

  38. Daniel Custer Guest

    American, now USAir, will no longer protect you on another flight. They used to, but no more. I have flown 3 million miles on American, but it's not really American anymore.

  39. Wayne Green Guest

    We had virtually the same situation on 11/24/2022.

    Our flight originated at JAX to DFW to OGG. We arrived at 5:15 for a 7:45 departure. Plane was at gate no visible activity. Got test new departure 8:15. No problem had 2 hr change at DFW. Delays enroute and arrived with only 15 min to go from C to D. Everyone slow getting off so missed connection.

    There was a plane leaving an hour later but...

    We had virtually the same situation on 11/24/2022.

    Our flight originated at JAX to DFW to OGG. We arrived at 5:15 for a 7:45 departure. Plane was at gate no visible activity. Got test new departure 8:15. No problem had 2 hr change at DFW. Delays enroute and arrived with only 15 min to go from C to D. Everyone slow getting off so missed connection.

    There was a plane leaving an hour later but put on standby ( I was #17 and wife #24) and did not make that plane. AA rep was nice enough to reroute through LAX then OGG with the last leg on Delta.

    On arriving at OGG at 8:45 instead of 3:30 no AA personnel at airport - no luggage. Had to return next morning at 9:00 but still no AA personnel and no luggage. Found out still at DFW due to arrive at 1:40. Was to be delivered to Hyatt in Hana - did not arrive. Found that bags were handed off to Delta as that was the last leg.

    Had to cancel 2nd night at Hyatt, Hana and find room closer to airport. Used 45000 points and $200+ for one night.

    AA only offering $150 plus 10000 points after filing BB complaint.

    Will NEVER fly American again and canceling my AAdvantage card as soon as I use points for hotel stays.

    1. Erick Guest

      Because it was person doing it manually. It used to be called an OSO position. They had one at each airport. Your job was to contalt MO itor inbound flights and its connection, and we would add a protection on a later flight, but we wouldn't remove the person from its original flight.
      Now, that position is gone, and it is a computer doing the job.... So many behind the door jobs are gone,...

      Because it was person doing it manually. It used to be called an OSO position. They had one at each airport. Your job was to contalt MO itor inbound flights and its connection, and we would add a protection on a later flight, but we wouldn't remove the person from its original flight.
      Now, that position is gone, and it is a computer doing the job.... So many behind the door jobs are gone, and now automated. So sad, but people want cheap tickets and airlines need revenue. Raising my shoulderrs.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      Will NEVER fly American again and canceling my AAdvantage card as soon as I use "points" for hotel stays.

      Why bother with the ifs. I just love these kinds of empty threats.

      Let me make them too.

      Will NEVER fly American again and canceling my AAdvantage card as soon as I'm wealthier than Jeff Bezos.
      Will NEVER fly Delta again and canceling my SkyMiles card as soon as I'm living on a Mars...

      Will NEVER fly American again and canceling my AAdvantage card as soon as I use "points" for hotel stays.

      Why bother with the ifs. I just love these kinds of empty threats.

      Let me make them too.

      Will NEVER fly American again and canceling my AAdvantage card as soon as I'm wealthier than Jeff Bezos.
      Will NEVER fly Delta again and canceling my SkyMiles card as soon as I'm living on a Mars colony.
      Will NEVER fly United again and canceling my MileagePlus card as soon as Tom Brady wins the World Series.

      See you on AA soon. LOL.

  40. Never In Doubt Guest

    In December, we had a delayed Turkish plane inbound to SFO, meant our outbound departure to IST was moved 2:35 later long before departure. Our generous connection time in IST vanished, and TK had already rebooked us on another flight leaving IST 5 hours later before we reached SFO.

    When we arrived in IST we made what was probably the longest airport run on the planet (that has to be the biggest airport in the...

    In December, we had a delayed Turkish plane inbound to SFO, meant our outbound departure to IST was moved 2:35 later long before departure. Our generous connection time in IST vanished, and TK had already rebooked us on another flight leaving IST 5 hours later before we reached SFO.

    When we arrived in IST we made what was probably the longest airport run on the planet (that has to be the biggest airport in the world without a train or moving walkways) just to reach the connecting gate as the aircraft was pushing back on time.

    We just had to try, we were otherwise going to be stuck in IST, and literally had nothing to lose. Had we not gone for it, and the connection left late like Ben's, I'd have been pissed.

    BTW, the PP lounge in IST isn't bad in the middle of the night, as we learned.

    1. Anonymous Guest

      There are also PP sleeping pods in IST

  41. Daniel Guest

    @Ben Could you maybe write a post about different airlines policies for holding planes for connecting pax? It's been my experience that some airlines will hold a plane for 10 minutes or so, and others will not.

    My wife and I had a very frustrating experience on AA where we were connecting from Doha and they would not wait a single second for us, causing an overnight in DFW with no AA support around.

    1. JB Guest

      I've seen from experience that Qatar will hold the aircraft a little bit if it is departing from Doha, since most passengers are transiting there. However, this is not normally the case at other airports with flights to Doha. I think it's because QR wants the passengers to be on their way and to prevent others from missing their onward connections.

      I had a 45 minute layover in DOH back in November and QR held...

      I've seen from experience that Qatar will hold the aircraft a little bit if it is departing from Doha, since most passengers are transiting there. However, this is not normally the case at other airports with flights to Doha. I think it's because QR wants the passengers to be on their way and to prevent others from missing their onward connections.

      I had a 45 minute layover in DOH back in November and QR held the aircraft for a few minutes for me as we got onto the plane. We were the last ones on though!

    2. Duck Ling Guest

      I don't think airlines have a 'policy' on holding back flights for passengers. It would be on a case by case basis.

      I mean think about it - if 'Airline A' is flying from London to Luanda and it only flies that route three times per week and there are twenty people on a late running connecting flight, they may hold the Luanda flight. But they would have to look at the knock on effects...

      I don't think airlines have a 'policy' on holding back flights for passengers. It would be on a case by case basis.

      I mean think about it - if 'Airline A' is flying from London to Luanda and it only flies that route three times per week and there are twenty people on a late running connecting flight, they may hold the Luanda flight. But they would have to look at the knock on effects first. How long would holding the flight delay its arrival into Luanda? Would that then create a delay out of Luanda, resulting in passengers on the Luanda - London flight to miss connections just snow balling the whole issue?

      I would say if an airline has a LOT of connecting passengers on a late running flight that isn't going to delay the connection by TOO much and there aren't many alternatives then maybe.

      If there are one or two people that will miss the connection and delay three hundred more people however? No chance.

    3. Daniel Guest

      Perhaps you are right, but I sat on a United plane in Denver for 10 minutes last week "waiting for two passengers whose connecting flight was late."

      Meanwhile, while we were within 5 mins of the door closing in DFW, AA agent said, "Our policy is to never hold a plane."

      So are you saying no airlines have a policy and it's all discretionary? In that case, the AA agent was not accurate with what she told us.

    4. Duck Ling Guest

      If it was ten minutes you're in with a chance. That ten minutes can probably be made up in the air or on the turnaround at the end destination.

      It would also depend on the route. If there was another flight on the same route say two or three hours later with seats they might be more unlikely to wait those ten minutes versus it being the last flight of the day or a route...

      If it was ten minutes you're in with a chance. That ten minutes can probably be made up in the air or on the turnaround at the end destination.

      It would also depend on the route. If there was another flight on the same route say two or three hours later with seats they might be more unlikely to wait those ten minutes versus it being the last flight of the day or a route with irregular frequency.

      The aim of the game from an airline perspective is:
      1) minimise knock on delays. There is no point delaying one flight to wait for delayed connecting pax if that is just going to knock on to the onward connection then being delayed and passengers missing connections.
      2) minimising costs for the airline. If they are gonna have to put up twenty people in a hotel, provide meals and pay compensation (i'm in the EU where all this stuff is statutory) then they will crunch the numbers and see.

    5. KW Guest

      Yeah that makes a lot of sense. If they know they are going to make up 10-20 minutes of time in the air, why not wait rather than have to rebook a bunch of passengers. But if waiting will have a worse downstream effect on logistics for the day, then they'll go.

  42. AdamH Guest

    I would have been way more upset than you in this instance.

    1. AC Guest

      And what would that have got you? Absolutely nothing. Sometimes s**t happens and you accept it. Grow up and don’t be so entitled

  43. Jimmy’s Travel Report Diamond

    Ironically, many times on American a routing is less expensive with two separate PRNs and tickets. Maybe one of the segments is redemption, or maybe AA just doesn’t want to sell me the combined routing, but I’ve had a couple of close calls on those routings, and because my connecting ticket is not changed I ended up making the flight. I’m always carrying my bags in these situations. On a standard connection with one PRN...

    Ironically, many times on American a routing is less expensive with two separate PRNs and tickets. Maybe one of the segments is redemption, or maybe AA just doesn’t want to sell me the combined routing, but I’ve had a couple of close calls on those routings, and because my connecting ticket is not changed I ended up making the flight. I’m always carrying my bags in these situations. On a standard connection with one PRN I do try to book a longer connection when traveling anymore. Maybe 3 - 4 hours, (domestic might be 2 1/2 hours). The kids are older or in college and we can always work or relax and read during those connections.

  44. Kevin Guest

    Good article: Recently my wife and I were on a flight from LAX to TYS with a two hour layover in DFW. We boarded on time and then waited at the gate for an hour to board two AA pilots. We were not on the last DFW TYS flight for the day; perhaps this flight had the only two remaining seats for the day and the pilots were required for the next day flights; I will never know.

  45. Kelly M Fuller Guest

    We were dumped at the Dallas fort worth airport because of delays. They blamed the faa mix up. Some nice people got us on standby and we were out of there the next morning.the hotel shuttle came.and got us around 1..am and we drove in circles very fast for a long time. I was.pretty unhappy.

    1. David Guest

      You mean when the FAA caused all flights to be grounded for hours? How awful of American

  46. Bob Guest

    Ben - I'm surprised that an experienced traveler such as yourself didn't go to the gate for the connecting flight anyway. Decent chance you would have been put back on the flight. Curious why you didn't?

    No excuse for AA's poor IT (as an EXP myself, I'm well aware of the shortcomings), but seems like this misconnect was avoidable for more reasons than just that...

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Bob

      I wouldn’t say “decent” chances. The damage had already been done by being rebooked. Had Ben got on the tram , ran to the gate , and boarding was complete. “I’m sorry the flight is closed boarding is complete. How May I help you ? “ “The flight is full. “ At that point they would need to go on the plane , reinstate him , and remove a family of 4 non rev passengers from the plane. The jet bridge was likely pulled already. Don’t see that happening.

  47. Tim Dunn Diamond

    American has long done a worse job than Delta or United in updating flight status on their flights - about on par with Southwest.
    Maintenance issues do happen but realistic updates esp. when crew or other known issues are involved can be done and not just by pushing back the departure time by 10 to 15 minute increments which add up to 45 minutes or more.

    Airlines should never assume you are going to...

    American has long done a worse job than Delta or United in updating flight status on their flights - about on par with Southwest.
    Maintenance issues do happen but realistic updates esp. when crew or other known issues are involved can be done and not just by pushing back the departure time by 10 to 15 minute increments which add up to 45 minutes or more.

    Airlines should never assume you are going to miss your connection because there is no certainty that the connecting flight will be on-time until it actually is. The only time period when it should be acceptable to "dump" connections is when the connecting flight is within the 15 minute cutoff to be at the gate (or whatever that number is for each flight/airline) and then when there are passengers on standby.

  48. Ak Traveler Guest

    This just happened to my daughter with a connection in Texas! She was flying AK Air and connecting to American (partner airlines). American said she missed her flight (she was delayed a few minutes due to mechanical but American said she missed her flight supposedly it left early and said they weren’t responsible and couldn’t help. Thank goodness she found a AK agent and they provided a hotel and meals.

  49. DS Guest

    I had a similar experience 17 years ago flying from PHX to IAD through DEN on United. I was a rookie traveler back then. Upon checking in at the kiosk in PHX it forced me to change my flight due to a delay and claimed that I would miss my connection. However when I got passed security I found a flight to Denver that was earlier and they let me on it (turns out it...

    I had a similar experience 17 years ago flying from PHX to IAD through DEN on United. I was a rookie traveler back then. Upon checking in at the kiosk in PHX it forced me to change my flight due to a delay and claimed that I would miss my connection. However when I got passed security I found a flight to Denver that was earlier and they let me on it (turns out it was my original flight). Upon landing in Denver I hauled myself to the gate for my original connection. The flight was mostly boarded. They were about to start clearing standbys at that time and I shouted “I was booked on this flight and the machine took me off it in Phoenix.” The gate agent stopped her process and asked if anyone else was originally on the flight. She then let me board next, cutting the standby line.

    I ended up flying my entire original itinerary because I didn’t trust what the airline told me. Since then I’ve never trusted an airline to give me accurate information.

  50. NedsKid Member

    I have had it happen before even back to US Airways and the time before smartphones. First flight arrives in CLT, go up the jetway and see my connection to PHL still boarding at the gate literally straight ahead across the hall. I had one trip where I joined the boarding line with my upgraded boarding pass as a Chairmans Preferred, then hear my name paged to the desk. I was handed a boarding pass...

    I have had it happen before even back to US Airways and the time before smartphones. First flight arrives in CLT, go up the jetway and see my connection to PHL still boarding at the gate literally straight ahead across the hall. I had one trip where I joined the boarding line with my upgraded boarding pass as a Chairmans Preferred, then hear my name paged to the desk. I was handed a boarding pass for a "Needs Seat" so clearly an oversold flight, later in the day. I said you've still got a line of people boarding so why can't I take this original flight. They were adamant that was impossible. I went a few gates down into the B USAirways Club and the agent there not only quickly put me back on the flight (into a exit row middle which was fine) but walked with me back to the gate and had some words with the agent.

    Delta has done this to me before... most recently a few months ago in Detroit. My origin flight out of PIT was delayed for deicing. Before we even reached the runway I got an alert saying I was rebooked for the next day. Land at DTW and we are at the very next gate from my connection. Maybe it was the late hour but the agent at that flight (door still open and people boarding) kept telling me that I misconnected. I asked them then how does that explain me standing in front of them prior to the end of boarding? This went round and round before logic kicked in.

    1. NedsKid Member

      I should note, and living in the same region Ben can probably attest, some airlines are pretty flexible with nearby airports that aren't even necessarily co-terminals. I've had a few times where things went bad with a misconnect going ATL-FLL or a canceled/seriously delayed flight where I went to the SkyClub and told them if they could get me anywhere south of I-4, I'll get myself the rest of the way. That has yielded results...

      I should note, and living in the same region Ben can probably attest, some airlines are pretty flexible with nearby airports that aren't even necessarily co-terminals. I've had a few times where things went bad with a misconnect going ATL-FLL or a canceled/seriously delayed flight where I went to the SkyClub and told them if they could get me anywhere south of I-4, I'll get myself the rest of the way. That has yielded results like avoiding a delayed, later canceled flight, to FLL because lightning blew a chunk out of the runway, and 15 minutes later I was sitting in a Comfort+ seat to RSW. I was happy to eat a $50 all-in (thanks company rate) National rental just to avoid the frustration.

  51. Tim G Guest

    Ben, always go to the connecting flight gate (even if it is in a different terminal) for exactly this reason, possible departure delay. If you didn’t have bags to check, the staff at the original connecting flight gate can put you back on that flight in a matter of seconds. For you to choose to go to the airport hotel, and later complain that you could have made the original connection, reeks of entitlement and...

    Ben, always go to the connecting flight gate (even if it is in a different terminal) for exactly this reason, possible departure delay. If you didn’t have bags to check, the staff at the original connecting flight gate can put you back on that flight in a matter of seconds. For you to choose to go to the airport hotel, and later complain that you could have made the original connection, reeks of entitlement and a lack of understanding of airline irrops- surprising for a very frequent flier and aviation enthusiast.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Tim G -- You could make your point and disagree with me politely, without suggesting that I reek of entitlement and don't understand airline irregular operations...

      I have a different take than you on the situation, but that doesn't mean I have no clue what I'm talking about.

    2. LEAVEBENALONE Guest

      Relax. That seemed like a reasonably no-win situation. The seat was undoubtedly gone on the original flight, plus you need to clear customs which can be a dice roll. At some point, you accept the loss in your mind and move to other important things.

      As Mr. Entitlement pointed out correctly, if AA would protect your alternate flight and leave the original intact, it would be a better result for many. AA should also...

      Relax. That seemed like a reasonably no-win situation. The seat was undoubtedly gone on the original flight, plus you need to clear customs which can be a dice roll. At some point, you accept the loss in your mind and move to other important things.

      As Mr. Entitlement pointed out correctly, if AA would protect your alternate flight and leave the original intact, it would be a better result for many. AA should also be willing to let that paid-for seat go out empty, but the real entitlement AA panders to would kick in, no doubt. I have encountered this recently with paid first seats, losing them to a misconnect, but said missed flight ended up being late too.

    3. D3kingg Guest

      @Tim G

      Yeah. Maybe you should reread the article. Ben knows what to do. His flight was already changed in the system.

    4. tda1986 Member

      Tim G - What, exactly, about Ben's approach "reeks of entitlement"? Do you even know what "entitlement" means? Because it seems like you're just throwing that word out because it's in vogue. Entitlement would have been if Ben showed up at the gate and demanded his old seat back after it had been given to another passenger. Or demanding that they hold the plane for him if he ran over and the plane actually was...

      Tim G - What, exactly, about Ben's approach "reeks of entitlement"? Do you even know what "entitlement" means? Because it seems like you're just throwing that word out because it's in vogue. Entitlement would have been if Ben showed up at the gate and demanded his old seat back after it had been given to another passenger. Or demanding that they hold the plane for him if he ran over and the plane actually was departing on-time. Having not made any demands of AA whatsoever, where is the entitlement?

    5. LarryInNYC Diamond

      Indeed. In this case Ben accepted a downgrade, accepted a flight the next day, and paid for a hotel room without requesting a voucher or food. Hard to see any "entitlement" here.

  52. Steven Guest

    I was on the same flight and found the lack of communication at the gate in PVR abominable. If they were truly just finishing up the log book (for over an hour) why couldn’t we board?

    I also went to the Grand Hyatt and my connection departed just as my dinner arrived. I probably could have made it but they also rebooked me for this morning.

    1. John Guest

      Is AA providing people rooms at the Grand Hyatt now or is this an out of pocket expense?

  53. Panos Guest

    It is happening also with KLM in AMS. People actually arriving at the gate of their connecting flgiht (after a run and stress) only to realize that they have been offloaded to the next one because the "system" predicted a missed connection.

    The difference between Europe and US is that most EU legacy airlines will (most likely) provide accomodation and meals for free, regardless of status, even when they are not obliged by the...

    It is happening also with KLM in AMS. People actually arriving at the gate of their connecting flgiht (after a run and stress) only to realize that they have been offloaded to the next one because the "system" predicted a missed connection.

    The difference between Europe and US is that most EU legacy airlines will (most likely) provide accomodation and meals for free, regardless of status, even when they are not obliged by the EU261 (e.g. happened to me recently in a AF missed connection at CDG due to ATC strike).

    1. Grey Diamond

      What do you mean 'even when not obliged'?
      If there is a long delay, they are obliged to cover food and if the delay is overnight, they are obliged to cover hotels. The cause of the delay is irrelevant...

  54. kq747 Member

    @Ben, did they put you up at the Grand Hyatt or offer another hotel for the night?

  55. Fraser Guest

    Had a similar situation with BA. Flight left ATH a few hours late and our connection to the last JFK flight was in jeopardy. Being in row 1 we were right off the plane and quickly to conformance but missed it by a couple of minutes. We were travelling hand baggage only and the agent at the Fast Track connections desk did call the gate to see if they'd accommodate us but no dice. Not...

    Had a similar situation with BA. Flight left ATH a few hours late and our connection to the last JFK flight was in jeopardy. Being in row 1 we were right off the plane and quickly to conformance but missed it by a couple of minutes. We were travelling hand baggage only and the agent at the Fast Track connections desk did call the gate to see if they'd accommodate us but no dice. Not a big deal as we were put up gratis at the Terminal 5 Hilton with meals covered and rebooked the next morning, also in upper deck Club World,,,plus were able to claim EU261 for a decent wedge of compensation.

    As it happened the flight ended up being delayed by another hour so we could have easily made it. Make me wonder if we'd hung around until the delay posted if we'd have been moved back...

  56. George N Romey Guest

    You of all people should know that even as an EXP you're now nothing more than a face in the crowd, in these days of airlines operating as credit card mills. I would never depend upon AA for routing. Upon landing and finding my connection was late I would have immediately headed to the AC to see if I could get back on my original flight.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ George N Romey -- I don't once mention in the post being Executive Platinum, so I'm not sure what makes you think I think I'm special for that?

      Furthermore, the flight was showing on-time as of 8:45PM, 10 minutes before departure. The delay was only posted at departure time (and only by a few minutes), hence why I didn't try to get rebooked on it.

  57. Maxie Dean Guest

    Did AA give you a voucher for Hyatt and meals ?

  58. Nick Guest

    I’m curious if AA provided any compensation for the delay and/or down grade to coach when you are on a paid business class ticket?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Nick -- Nope, they didn't, and I find that disappointing. I know some other airlines will proactively email elites when there are delays within their controls that cause people to have their travel plans changed.

      I have already sent an email to customer relations at least requesting a partial refund or credit to account for the forced downgrade. I'll report back on what the response is.

    2. John Guest

      This is really a crazy approach. I’m a 1K on United and recently was traveling on a ticket I had upgraded with pluspoints. The long-haul segment to London was delayed by 2 hours, and at that point, United’s app gave me the option to change to any routing I wanted (with a choice of a confirmed business class seat on any flight where there were selling any biz seats, even though none were available as...

      This is really a crazy approach. I’m a 1K on United and recently was traveling on a ticket I had upgraded with pluspoints. The long-haul segment to London was delayed by 2 hours, and at that point, United’s app gave me the option to change to any routing I wanted (with a choice of a confirmed business class seat on any flight where there were selling any biz seats, even though none were available as upgrades, or economy if I wanted a flight where there were 0 biz seats for sale). To me that was extra generous because normally your upgrade isn’t guaranteed in irregular operations but they basically treated it like a revenue ticket booked in J. There were multiple options to get there in J so of course I picked one of those.

      I’ve never had United involuntarily downgrade me without giving me the option to book another biz seat, or eliminate my reservation on a flight where I have a confirmed booking. United has a program called connection saver so they generally wait until your inbound flight arrives before they change anything or assume you will misconnect — if enough people are arriving late they might hold the outbound flight a bit especially for the last one of the day.

    3. Tim G Guest

      Rev (or points) biz class fare usually gets a hotel for missed connection, when economy doesn’t. At least that’s how UA did it when it happened to me at IAD. Sounds like AA is cheap and treating its J class pax like crap.

    4. GVA to GRU Guest

      @Ben --Kindly provide an update on AA's response for a partial refund credit. Perhaps this respresents an educational opportunity for your readers and/or a future review.
      I too have been in similar AA situations where I had a purchased business class ticket, missed on onward connection and then re-booked in economy because there were "no available first class seats". In requesting the credit for the downgrade, AA applied the economy fare at the time...

      @Ben --Kindly provide an update on AA's response for a partial refund credit. Perhaps this respresents an educational opportunity for your readers and/or a future review.
      I too have been in similar AA situations where I had a purchased business class ticket, missed on onward connection and then re-booked in economy because there were "no available first class seats". In requesting the credit for the downgrade, AA applied the economy fare at the time of the rebooking (often a very high economy fare as the lower economy fares are no longer available). This last minute, high fare often has been more expensive than the business class return fare and, thus, AA claimed that I was not due a refund, despite the downgrade. Why should I accept to fly coach when I specificlly purchased business, unless the trip is time critical?

    5. Brian Guest

      When booking a Premium Economy, Business Class, or First Class ticket I have started to print out the price for a coach ticket on the day of purchase. That’s leverage to get a refund if you get downgraded.

    6. Levi Diamond

      DL's standard practice, as I understand it, for a downgrade is refund for fare difference as of the time of booking plus a $200 eCredit.

  59. Ray Guest

    I have this happen consistently with AA and UA in Dallas and Houston respectively over the past 15 years. I don’t understand why but at both of those airports they love to bounce you on a delayed incoming flight and then you show up and the departing flight leaves an hour afterwards.

  60. D3kingg Guest

    They probably take into consideration that it is an international connection ?

    Had it been a domestic connection I would be angry and less understanding.

    One time 7 years ago I was on standby on a flight from JFK to BOS and overheard the agents discussing that they had passengers who must be held up at customs connecting from Mexico and gave away their seats.

  61. pstm91 Diamond

    Unfortunately it's a lose-lose situation for both sides. If the airline doesn't automatically change the passenger, then the passenger gets pissed off that they have to deal with it. If the airline does automatically make the change for the passenger and then the passenger can make their original flight, they're pissed off. In this case it seems there was no way of knowing the connection would be delayed, so it's just an unfortunate circumstance. I'm...

    Unfortunately it's a lose-lose situation for both sides. If the airline doesn't automatically change the passenger, then the passenger gets pissed off that they have to deal with it. If the airline does automatically make the change for the passenger and then the passenger can make their original flight, they're pissed off. In this case it seems there was no way of knowing the connection would be delayed, so it's just an unfortunate circumstance. I'm surprised AA didn't have a later flight on that route - or was it sold out?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ pstm91 -- Indeed it's not an easy situation, though I think the ideal option would be to protect someone on another flight, while keeping them booked on their original flight. The 8:55PM Dallas to Miami flight is the last one of the evening.

    2. pstm91 Diamond

      I hear you, but the problem then is you have people double booked and that opens up numerous other complications. The GDS won't allow you to do double book anyway, though in this case it's for different dates, so it may? Interesting...
      I think the optimal solution would the app giving you a notification and giving you (the passenger) an option to accept the change or refuse it and gamble on your original flight....

      I hear you, but the problem then is you have people double booked and that opens up numerous other complications. The GDS won't allow you to do double book anyway, though in this case it's for different dates, so it may? Interesting...
      I think the optimal solution would the app giving you a notification and giving you (the passenger) an option to accept the change or refuse it and gamble on your original flight. That way the airline has acknowledged the issue and the passenger is the one making the decision.

    3. John Guest

      The problem with double booking is that often (though not in this particular case) late inbound connections will be caused by weather or other factors that might affect a whole swath of the network. If they start protecting everyone (or even all their Exec Platinums), it will be that much harder to find seats for other passengers who misconnected. So I don’t think double protecting people makes a lot of sense.

      I think ideally...

      The problem with double booking is that often (though not in this particular case) late inbound connections will be caused by weather or other factors that might affect a whole swath of the network. If they start protecting everyone (or even all their Exec Platinums), it will be that much harder to find seats for other passengers who misconnected. So I don’t think double protecting people makes a lot of sense.

      I think ideally when it looks like you’ll be late they’ll give you the OPTION to make a change in the app — but otherwise leave your booking alone until your first flight arrives, at which point (if you already missed the outbound one) they ought to book you on the next flight in the same class of service you booked. It’s easy to get an economy seat if you’d prefer to leave earlier in economy — they can just overbook if need be — so I don’t think you need any “protection” if all they’re doing is putting you in economy. To downgrade unilaterally after a misconnect is frankly pouring salt in the wound.

    4. ExPlat Guest

      Double booking works, at least for ExPlat.

      The issue is that, in 2023, the airline has not figured out how to address the above issue, which happens regularly. From an IT perspective, this is solvable. From a process perspective, this is solvable. From a "do we give a hoot to solve it," no, the airlines do not.

      The absolute "worst" thing that airlines do is "think on my behalf." The airlines, especially American, are...

      Double booking works, at least for ExPlat.

      The issue is that, in 2023, the airline has not figured out how to address the above issue, which happens regularly. From an IT perspective, this is solvable. From a process perspective, this is solvable. From a "do we give a hoot to solve it," no, the airlines do not.

      The absolute "worst" thing that airlines do is "think on my behalf." The airlines, especially American, are terrible at this game. They assume failure. "Nah, you won't make it." Most of the time, I make it. Then, the argument starts.... Nevermind that American cheats when it says the flight departs at, say, 1:00 p.m., but the cut-off time for customers is 12:45 or 12:50. C'mon.

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Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Tim G -- You could make your point and disagree with me politely, without suggesting that I reek of entitlement and don't understand airline irregular operations... I have a different take than you on the situation, but that doesn't mean I have no clue what I'm talking about.

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tda1986 Member

Tim G - What, exactly, about Ben's approach "reeks of entitlement"? Do you even know what "entitlement" means? Because it seems like you're just throwing that word out because it's in vogue. Entitlement would have been if Ben showed up at the gate and demanded his old seat back after it had been given to another passenger. Or demanding that they hold the plane for him if he ran over and the plane actually was departing on-time. Having not made any demands of AA whatsoever, where is the entitlement?

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Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ daniel -- Of course it wouldn't have been the end of the world if I were in an economy middle seat. Heck, I ended up flying in an economy middle seat today. But that's not what I paid for. This isn't about not "surviving" with the "huddled masses." If you went to a restaurant and paid for a steak but then were served a burger, would you want what you paid for, or would you want someone to accuse you of being too good to eat a burger?

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