American Airlines - 45 days to the honeymoon and no way to get there. Thanks American Airlines!

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 1:08pm CDT by 43f24720

Product: Airlines

Company: American Airlines

Location: American Airlines Customer Relations P.O. Box 619612 MD 2400
DFW Airport, TX, 75261-9612, US

URL: http://www.aa.com/

Category: Other

Dear American Airlines,

I am not usually the type to complain in a public matter, but a recent event has caused me to feel the need to share my experience with your airline. I have yet to fly with American Airlines but already we are off to a bad start. My fiance and I booked a trip for our honeymoon back on March 26th. We spent weeks checking different travel sites to find the best price and the itinerary that would fit our schedule. After a long process, we selected a flight with American Airlines and booked through Orbitz. Feeling relived that the honeymoon plans were set; we were able to concentrate on the other daunting and stressful tasks for our wedding. About a month passed and we were notified that a 'significant' change had been made by the airline; we should check our reservations and contact them if there are any issues. At this point, the 'significant' change was simply a departure time change of a few minutes which was not an issue for us.

Time marches on closer to the wedding and we have everything set (or so we think). Randomly I login to the Orbitz website to check our flight reservations one more time and I see changes that made my heart sink. Our first flight went from leaving in the early morning to leaving in the late afternoon; our connecting flight is now scheduled to depart while we are still in the air on our first flight. Realizing that some mistake must have been made, seeing I was never notified of such a drastic change, I called Orbitz customer service. After reaching a friendly agent, he agreed that this must be a mistake as we would never reach our end destination. The agent offered to contact the airline on my behalf and work out the issue. I waited on the phone while Orbitz and American Airlines worked though the details; the details resulting in American Airlines having no way to rectify the issue but simply cancel my trip and refund my payment. Feeling this was unacceptable, I enquired if there were any other options, seeing that I really would like to go on my honeymoon and our resort had been booked and paid for well in advance.

I continued to work with the Orbitz and American Airlines agents to find some type of solution. Because the time of my second flight (JFK to St. Kitts) was moved up so much, there was no way for me to get from my local airport to JFK and make the connection. The only option the American Airlines agent made was that I could drive to JFK and board my connecting flight there. When I asked her about making other travel arrangements to JFK, she simply responded by stating I would receive a full refund within 60 days and that my trip had been canceled.

At a complete and total loss, we now had no way to reach our honeymoon destination and I would have to make other arrangements with less than 45 days before our scheduled arrival. Going online I found my exact same flight running from JFK to St. Kitts (as I was previously booked for) but getting to JFK still posed to be a problem. If I were to drive to JFK, I would need to leave at 3:00 am to make the flight in time. Realistically driving at 3:00 am following my wedding and reception would be almost unfeasible. Having no other choice, I rebooked my original flight (which now costs more) and arranged for a car service to drive us down (and back) to JFK. Not the best of arrangements, but with the lack of help from American Airlines, I had little choice.

After this whole ordeal (and we haven't even flown yet) I am very disappointed with American Airlines. Why was I never notified about the major change in my travel plans? Why did American Airlines offer no other options then to refund my purchase? Why did I need to book the exact same flight again at a higher cost? Why will it take 60 days to refund my payment? Why did they not offer other arrangements to reach my connecting flight? Why do I now have to pay additional amounts for the flight and for a car service for the same travel plans I originally purchased?

With all the stress and worrying that accompanies wedding planning, why did American Airlines have to add to it and offer no assistance? From my experience so far, I would never recommend American Airlines as the service I received was substandard and completely unacceptable.


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