I experienced lack of adequate customer service, attention, responsibility and professionalism of AA personnel during a terrible experience I had coming back home to Caracas from my vacations in the US.
Let me give you a summary of what happened to me and my wife:
1. We got to the Orlando airport on Tuesday January 11 to take our flights to Miami (AA898) and connection to Caracas (AA935) the same day.
2. When we arrived at 6:30 am AA representative informed us:
a. That the flight to Miami was cancelled
b. That they would try to get us in another flight to Miami (they finally got us place in a AA flight 1267 at 2 p.m. to Miami) and that
c. Since we would lose the connection to Caracas, that they could not book us in another flight until January 21
3. I asked the attendant if she understood what she was saying. That I had to stay 10 additional days in the US?. She answered me that she could not do anything because that is what the computer told her. No solution offered, no sympathy, no correct attitude – we felt abandoned and desolated.
Since we are frequent travellers to the US and we always fly AA, I started suggesting the attendant to look for alternatives routes that fly to Caracas like Dallas, New York, San Juan, etc. and apparently she did but the answer was the same: "Sorry, I cannot do anything, the best I can do is booking you for January 21".
4. When I complained I was told to try to find an alternative in Miami because she could not do anything in Orlando.
Nice way to say: "THIS PROBLEM IS NOT MINE".
5. Since I needed a solution (we had our kids home, we had work responsibilities, commitments and schedules to attend, etc.), I called the AA Advantage number while waiting for the 2pm flight to Miami and tried to look for a solution, meaning I had to get to Caracas somehow.
6. AA Advantage # was better and they got us one (1) place for my wife in a flight to Caracas from Miami that night. Also I suggested the person that since there was no more seats available, if I could flight to Aruba (close to only 40 min flight from Caracas) and I would get a ticket from there to Caracas because I could not wait until January 21 (TEN DAYS).
7. Finally, we got my wife reservation to Caracas and my reservation to Aruba and I would find out there how to go to Caracas because AA could not do any booking for me in another airline (anther lack of service) for flying Aruba->Caracas. I found later that other airlines help you to get tickets in this type of emergencies.
8. After 8 long stressful hours at Orlando airport, we were notified that the flight to Miami (AA1267) at 2 PM was delayed 1 hour and a half (90 minutes). Consequently, my wife missed the connection to Caracas (no time to pick up the bags and re-check to Caracas). So, we were at the beginning of our nightmare again.
9. We went to Admirals Club and decided (I took the decision because there were NO suggestions from AA, except to wait until January 21 and without specifying where to stay and how to cover the cost of it) to try to get a ticket to Aruba for my wife also, which we finally did.
10. We went to Aruba that night, stay in the first hotel we could find availability (it is high season in Aruba) and next day we found that the first available flight to Caracas was for Thursday 13 at 3:45 pm in Aserca Airlines. I purchased the tickets and arrived home Thursday 13 at 8pm.
The summary of this nightmare is the following:
1. We spent 10 hours in Orlando airport with no solution, stressed because AA could not offer any alternative and without knowing what to do or when we would arrive home. I understand the Miami airport was closed by fog but the only morning flight cancelled was ours. Other flights were delayed and we had plenty of time for the connection if they got us in any other of the flights that morning
2. Since my wife lost the connection to Caracas, again no solution was provided by AA. I had to suggest alternatives. We had to get to Aruba a close island without knowing if when we would get flight to Caracas (of course, we thought it would be before January 21)
3. It is unconceivable that AA personnel unprofessionally and without any sense of customer service tell you: "Sorry, we only have place in January 21 and we can do nothing else" (unacceptable behavior).
4. We spent almost 1,500 US dollars in getting from Aruba to Caracas (hotel and tickets)
5. We were late 2 days for work which we will have to pay somehow or they will be deducted from our salary
6. We fly AA because we have a high opinion of the company, its people and its customer service but really we will have to re-evaluate the current attitude, professionalism and customer service in these tough times.
7. Other people we know that had delays and cancellations problems solved them with help of the airline they were flying. What is happening to AA?
Finally, it took us 48 terrible and long additional hours to get to Caracas and a wonderful vacation until that day was totally spoiled due to the irresponsibility and lack of service of AA personnel and AA has refused to acknowledge any compensation
Review about: American Airlines Flight Attendant.