My American Airlines mishaps...
On Friday afternoon on August 29 @ 5:00pm, my sister dropped me off at the Mobile Alabama airport for a 6:45 flight with American Airlines (Eagle).
Regarding my knee replacement, the security at the San Jose airport did not signal to show I have metal anywhere.
However at Mobile AL security! I set off alarms. Previously before entering, the security lady asked if any metal IN my body. I thought she was asking if any metal ON my body. I said no, then proceeded to set off alarms.
Guess what? A pat down! The lady doing this was very nice and funny, too. She told me what to expect at each stage. I started giggling as she made it comfortable and not a bad experience at all. Yes, I got touched and although I was embarrassed, it really was a gentle procedure. Keep a sense of humor unless you are guilty!
Ok, onwards. It was about 1/2 hour before boarding to Dallas was too happen. I got a notice from Expedia to my iPhone that a delay was occurring. An hour and 10 minutes. Aarrgghh. This meant my 9:30pm connection in Dallas was going to *** without me. And, it was the last one to San Jose. My mouth dropped.
I had the ask the clerk where you board "what's up? What do I do now?" She was totally unconcerned. Then she told me American Airline will be putting me up in an hotel. Ok, great.
Well, finally an hour and a half later, we boarded the plane to Dallas which arrived around 11:00pm. I didn't really make note of exact time. I knew my connection left on time at 9:30. Boohoo :-(.
Silly, naive me - I ACTUALLY thought we'd be greeted by AA staff and shuttled off to an hotel of their choice. Silly me (ha ha ha). As I stepped into the lobby, off the plane, there was no one....and I mean NO staff of any kind anywhere.
One of the other passengers somehow found out we need to go to baggage claim. I'm thinking ?? There's an American Eagle desk there run by a very nice, congenial, hard working lady all by herself handling flight and baggage problems and complaints.
All in all, this woman needs a medal!! Long story short, people were being very abusive towards her. No need to go into detail about all the *** going on with American Airlines. Bottom line, they don't give a *** about passengers. This baggage lady does, but her hands were tied.
Ok, she asked that all passengers that missed the connection please be seated and once she has handled all the other problems with lost and missing luggage was taken care of. There were 6 of us who were told we'd be put up overnight.
What they DIDNT tell us is that when a flight arrives after 10:00 pm, there's no one around to honor the vouchers we were given for AA to put us up. (I forgot to mention that my voucher from Mobile airport was written on a torn piece of paper because the printer was working...oh joy)
So, the baggage lady was doing everything possible to find a supervisor with the capacity to set us up. We waited for over an hour. Finally, the nice baggage lady walked up and said....very carefully.....that what hotels the airline uses are all booked up! Aaarrgghh.
We had two options:
1) pay for taxi to take us to a hotel, pay for it, then pay for taxi to bring us back. Then get reimbursed sometime down the road. No thanks.
2) sleep in airport. Oh, a young couple on vacation said American Airlines did this too them another time before this time. They went with AA again NOT expecting to happen again. Ugh.
I chose to sleep there. We were given a blanket and a small pillow. What to do, what to do. Nothing was comfortable. It was suggested we walk to the military section for more comfortable lounges. Sounds pretty good. Well.......one lounge left. It wouldn't push back to lay flat enough to sleep. Aarrgghh!! The handle on the side was broken. ***.
Then, I sat in an upright chair and put my head down on the table. I tried putting the dinky pillow between my head and the table, but it would pop out of place so I could bang my forehead against the table....oh joy (again). BTW, you can't spread out across the chairs anymore. The arm rests do not move out of the way. :-PPPPPP
Soon, I gave up and stared at my watch longing for 5:00 am when the ticket counter and coffee places open. Got my boarding pass. Walked around looking for coffee. I felt half drunk from lack of sleep. The coffee was the best experience at the airport up to that time (the BEST of the whole experience which I would realize later).
Ok, by my watch (5:30am), I had 5 hours until flight time. I found a row of empty chairs facing the windows where planes come in and leave, etc.....wishing I was on one ha ha ha. I tried to nod off, but to no avail.
FINALLY, I noticed that boarding time was about an hour away. I got something to eat, then sat down in the gate area. When it was time to board, I notice nothing happening. I checked. The gate number changed. It was on the other side of this monster of an airport!!!! What????? I had not heard an announcement. Nothing. Maybe I was too groggy. The attendant said it was boarding now. SH*T!!!! You've GOT to be kidding.
Suddenly, the adrenaline kicked in. I was walking super fast, even trotting along...nearly flying. I felt like OJ in those old Hertz commercials. I knew my knee would be screaming later....and it was.
I got to the Skyline tram, saw the gate I needed to stop at. Flew down the escalator. The gate I needed was, OF COURSE, was the LAST one! It was supposed to be gate C1....I thought. Nothing past C2! What????? I asked the guy at the podium, where's C1? He said we don't have a C1. ::thud:: when I told him where I'm going, he said that's C21. Oh no!!! During my haste, I miss understood the gate number. Here goes my OJ impersonation ***! Ouchie!!
Aarrgghh. I arrived totally put of breath and limping. I told her I'm here to get on board. She calmly said, "it's already left".
Ok, I can handle that (no way). The tears came as I explained what I'd just been through. No response. Cold as ice. She said the next flight is in 2 1/2 hours. I can do that. What choice do I have? I could jump off a building, but that would not get me home. I don't think OJ ever did that (maybe in hind sight, he should have......sorry)
Ok, got something to eat. Sat down. I had 20 minutes until boarding. THEN, I actually heard the announcement. A voice cheerily said, "flight 189 to San Jose has a gate change to A33. ???? Nooooooooooo but, I was sitting at A35. This mean just a few yards away. ::whew:: No more OJ, no more knee throbs, no more though of jumping off anything lol.
I was happy at last. When I actually boarded, it was blissful. I am scared of flying, but with the relief of getting home, I was not scared one bit. Besides, I has a strong vodka and tomato juice just in case I came back to my senses and got scared like I normally do.
No more American Airlines for me. Gee, I wonder why?
I am proud to say that I kept a calm, nothing-bothered-me attitude until I missed that second flight....then the tears came. Even after that, I remained relatively calm. Relatively is a relative term :).
Product or Service Mentioned: American Airlines Flight Attendant.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.