• Report: #779295
Complaint Review:

American Airlines

  • Submitted: Wed, September 21, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, September 21, 2011

  • Reported By: Meena — Nottingham Maryland United States of America
American Airlines
Internet United States of America

American Airlines AA Poor customer service and deceptive practices Internet

*Consumer Comment: Don't blame you

*Author of original report: American Airlines cont

*Consumer Comment: Bumped?

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I planned a trip and booked tickets 5 months in advance to attend my cousins wedding in India. The wedding is in a rural area so I had to make ocal travel arrangements in advance as well because travel in India is difficult at the last moment. My trip was for 7 days total of which 4 days went in travel. The wedding ceremonies would last about 2 days.

American Airlines in their infinite wisdom bumped me involuntarily from my local flight to JFK from BWI. Then they tried different methods to get me there, all of which would make me miss my local transport to the village area. There answer to that is that it is not there problem.

They broke Dept of Trans. rule about giving me in writing my rights for involuntary bumping. Second the boarding person asked me to wait by the side while she loaded the passengers onto the flight and did not inform me of what was happening. Apparently my seat was given to a pilot who had to get to JFK. This lady left after boarding saying that I would get a voucher in the mail and to see the front desk about rebooking on the next flight.

Front desk told me that I had to take a ticket for the next day same flight or else I might not even get that. I explained that I had to go home and see if I can transport after arrival to the village. They said no problem and pushed me off. Later I found out that I would be missing a key ceremony so I cancelled the trip and informed of that. They then told me that I will not get a refund for cancelling.

The voucher they mailed me is for half the ticket cost I paid for my India ticket. There answer is that is all they are responsible for. American Airlines does not have a phone number for complaints, either mail or the website.

My last complaint is that I was the only asian on the flight, everyone else was caucasian with the exception of two african americans. Whether that was intentional or not I do not know. But the lady who was boarding did not care of my travel plans was quite obvious. She did not even apologize for the inconvenience. She said she was in a hurry and to go to the front desk.

So here I am with no trip, a loss of ticket money because the voucher was for less than my ticket cost and no one to talk to at American Airlines. I went to their website and filed my complaint 2 weeks ago and no response except an automated message saying they are looking into it.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/21/2011 05:16 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/american-airlines/internet/american-airlines-aa-poor-customer-service-and-deceptive-practices-internet-779295. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Don't blame you

AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)

Under the circumstances they ought to make you whole and court is probably the only recourse you'll have. I'm sure they've covered themselves to their satisfaction with all the terms and conditions that come with tickets. Try calling the corporate executive offices. High level staffers can do a lot more than typical customer service. It works with many companies.
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#2 Author of original report

American Airlines cont

AUTHOR: Meena - (United States of America)

I booked the travel to India on a travel site one reservation number for the whole trip that included AA to JFK from BWI, then JetAir JFK to MAA and back one week later.

AA involuntarily bumped me after no one volunteered, but did not inform me initially that is what was happening. Instead the lady told me that I was not going on this flight and to wait over on the side. She was quite rude and was not caring about the way she handled me. She knew when she had my luggage pulled that I was headed to India.  I really believe that I would have been treated differently if I was someone else rather than a small asian woman. After the flight departed, she told me to take a voucher and go to front desk to find another flight. DOT says the minute she pulled me out of the group she should have explained to me that I was being bumped involuntarily and given me in writing my rights to appeal and what my options are. This was to happen before she allowed the flight to leave. This person did not do this.

I called into confirm my flight night before, was not successful at that and also was not able to do it online. I came to airport 3 hours before flight and did this at counter. I was at gate 2 hours before departure.

AA people never explained details of any option which included that if I took the ticket for the next day flight, that I could not cancel that if I was not able to arrange local travel or if I changed my mind about going since I was losing a crucial day. If they had said that, I would have demanded that they give me a voucher for another travel date that I would choose at a later time. Now they are saying they do not owe me for the ticket cost.

From the beginning they did not seem to care about my trip or my headaches involved in this rebooking. It is so obvious to my husband and me that they just wanted to push out as quickly as possible without any explanation.

I am actively seeking counsel on this to sue. I also will spread through my network of Indian friends the experience I had. I have reached a stage that I intend to make that a part of my regular activity to discourage Indians from travelling on AA. What else to do. I do not plan on cashing that ridiculous check they mailed in place of the voucher that only covers half the travel cost that I lost.

One way or the other I will get some satisfaction on this matter.
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#3 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

There are many ways you can get bumped, perhaps you can give a little more detail as to your exact situation.  Was the JFK to India flight booked through AA as a Connecting Flight(same Reservation Code)?  Did you have a boarding pass with a seat assigned?  How long before your flight did you check-in?  How long before your flight did you arrive at the gate?

As far as I know every airline has minimum times to do certain things your you could get "bumped".  For example most airlines will require you to be "Checked-In" no more than 30-60 minutes before the flight and be at the gate no later than 15-30 minutes before the flight.  If you do not meet these times your seat may be given away..even if it is confirmed.

They also take the order of check-in as a factor in determining who may get bumped in case they need to involuntarily bump a person.  That is if you were one of the last ones to check-in you are on the top of the list for bumping.  Most airlines won't just bump a person without first asking for volunteers, since you didn't mention that it seems as if you may have been bumped for the time issues. 

They do also take into consideration your travel plans.  That is a person trying to make an International Flight even though they may check-in later may not get bumped if there is someone who is just taking that as the only flight.  Which again would lead one to think there is more than you are not saying.
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