What a NIGHTMARE. My husband and I took a vacation in February. We were flying into New Orleans, LA, driving to Houston, TX, finally ending up in Austin, TX where we would fly home to NY from. We were really looking forward to this vacation. We had booked it months before. Shortly after the holidays, my husband ended up having to leave his job and was in between jobs for a month or so. As a teacher, I was worried that my salary would only be enough for us to just get by. We thought about cancelling the vacation all together but realized we would lose too much money on flights and other pre-paid reservations.
Our departing flight to New Orleans(on United Air) was cancelled and rescheduled due to snow. Apparently, when United rescheduled my flight, they took over our returning flight reservations (on American).
Thank god my husband and I called the day before we were set to come home to try to get on an earlier flight. We weren't scheduled to get back to New York until close to midnight on a Sunday. My husband had to fly to North Carolina for training for a new job very early Monday morning. We were both worried about not being at our best the next day and I could tell he was stressed over the idea of starting over at a new job, coupled with the stress of basically getting off of one plane only to go back onto another one a few hours later.
If we hadn't called that morning, we never would have known that American bumped us off of the original flight home we had booked. We would have been stranded at the airport.
While on the phone with American, they put us on another flight home, but said they couldn't reissue the tickets to us because our reservation was being held by United Air and needed to be released. They assured me we were definitely on this new flight and that all we needed to do was call United to get them to release my reservation.
What followed was a 4 1/2 HOUR game of phone tag between American and United, each one of them placing the blame on the other one. By the end, I was on one phone with United while my husband was on the other phone with American. Neither one of them could figure out how to fix the situation. By the end of the conversation, I can only assume that the customer service representative I had on the phone was bored with trying to help us, so she blatantly told us that there was nothing else they could do and if we wanted to get the tickets (that we were ALREADY reserved to have), we would have to pay for the new ones. I was ready to pay a ticket change fee of $200 if I had to, even though they bumped us off our original flight so we should't have paid anything. They weren't suggesting we pay the $200. NO, she told us we had to pay $1000 A TICKET. Are you kidding me? The solution to the problem was to pay a mortgage payment of $2000 for standard airline seats? For $2000, I should be flying in the cockpit.
So when you bump passengers off of a flight that they already paid for, don't tell them, then can't figure out how to solve the problem you try to drain them of more money? That's a great business practice.
Thankfully, I had United still on the line, they were able to put us one of their flights back to New York FREE OF CHARGE. Furthermore, when I wrote into their customer service department, they issued me a free flight. Would you like to know what American did when I contacted them? I got a generic fill in the blanks response thanking me for my input with no way to respond back to the person that emailed me. I've emailed them, tweeted them, left messages on facebook, and they have NEVER responded.
I'm so disgusted with the way American handled this. It's bad enough that I had to spend my last day on vacation stuck in my room on the phone with them instead of seeing Austin. It's even worse that they bumped us off of our original flight without alerting us. It's BEYOND inexcusable that the solution to THEIR screw up be for me to pay MORE money to get home.
Product or Service Mentioned: American Airlines Flight.
Monetary Loss: $1000.