American Airlines - American Airlines overbooking problem

Posted on Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 at 12:49pm CDT by c1687d29

Company: American Airlines

Location: US

Category: Other

A lot of people complain, and rightfully so, that US Domestic airlines are next to american automible makers as the worst run companies in the world. I can understand that sometimes delays can't be prevented nor that it's unreasonable that you have to arrive 2 hrs early just to make a domestic flight (do our airports really require two hours of security checks to put people through? I went through security in 5 minutes lots of time at LAX, one of the world's busiest airports, so I highly doubt it)

I wasn't allowed to proceed to my flight, put on standby by American Airlines, told that my chances of making the next flight are good. When I got to gate, the customer service rep told everyone EVERY FLIGHT TO JFK IS GROSSLY OVERBOOKED. One customer in particular complained that first class and business class seats were still available and why aren't those being filled. He was told, "Sir. Are you a first class or business class customer? No. You are an economy class customer. There is nothing I can do for you." I've never heard such a thing.

It's incredulous how a popular flight could be so massively overbooked, giving passengers the impression that they had a good chance making these flights. I almost wonder whether they do this so that they can reroute customers onto emptier flights, maybe give them a hard to redeem voucher, and fill as many seats as they can, regardless of how customers are being treated.

At the end of the first standby, the computer screen said I was #1 for next flight. But when the next flight rolled around, I was suddenly #8. I complained and was told that I would have to find a supervisor and that waiting in the line for the customer service window would do no good because they will just page a supervisor and there was none to be found. So when I finally tracked one down, I was told that standbys are last in priority and frequent flyers will always be ahead of me, no matter how long I had already waited.

After two standbys and 4 hours, I had to call the company with which I had an interview the next day to see if they could put me on a different carrier or possibly reschedule. Their travel person found every flight to be oversold, and since the company had to make a decision quickly, they canceled the interview.

And I forgot to mention that my luggage had been checked in and was on its way to NYC, and on my return ticket I noticed that there was no assigned seat, which means that flight was oversold as well. The line to the customer service office was 50 angry people long, with only two service reps and no supervisor around.

I understand about giving preferred flyers certain perks, but overbooking and giving people impressions that the flight is boardable and then telling customers they're at the bottom of the totem pole just tells you how lousy and careless American Airlines is. (Unless you travel a lot for work, what do they do to attract loyal customers?) Even loyal customers are punished by the eroding value of their mileage. It's a shame that there isn't a Honda or Toyota that can run these shams into the ground.

1 Comment

9e23a38d, 2010-04-07, 02:55PM CDT

American airlines recently overbooked a flight I was on,and would not allow me to board.It was a connecting flight,and there was no seat assignment. I was placed on stand by,and boarded the next flight where I was separated from my child.After 3 letters complaining of the dirty tricks of overbooking,I received a lousy $75.00 voucher.I paid $1800. for the tickets.I won't need the voucher,I will never fly AA again!At least the other airlines compensate for your inconvenience.

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