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Posted: 12/16/2001 8:39:58 PM EDT
Got up at 0530 Barbados time (Atlantic time zone), that's 0430 Eastern time. Got to the airport at 0715 for an 0900 flight. They searched all bags coming back to the states. For some reason, the flight was leaving an hour late. The crew and the plane spent the night in Barbados, so it was not like they were waiting for it to get there. Found out MUCH later that it was because of required down time for the crew. As a result, I missed my 1300 Eastern time connection in Miami after going through Customs, which did not take long. Instead of holding the baggage in a certain place and rechecking it in when I got slotted onto a new flight, American makes you lug all this luggage, including a printer box, upstairs and won't let you use their cart. So while I am trying to get all this stuff on the elevator, these assholes in the airport are just pushing pass you and being just generally rude. If you remember, this was a seven week business trip, so I was not traveling lightly like many of these holiday travelers. Eleven other people on the Barbados flight missed the Atlanta flight because American would not hold the Atlanta plane 30 freaking minutes, but would hold the plane in Barbados an hour. We then had to go through two more lines. While in line, I tried to talk to the highest ranking supervisor on duty, who turned and started carrying on a conversation with a buddy while I am talking to him. I was already furious, but not cussing him or raising my voice. Well, now I raised my voice, pointed my finger at him, and asked him if that is the way he conducts his job. He threatened to have me arrested if I pointed my finger at him again (can you believe that?),upon which I stuck my finger in his face and told him to call the cops, which he did not do because they would probably laugh at him. He them told me that I did not have a legitimate gripe, that I just wanted to vent, and that, get ready for this, "you are an evil man, an evil man who needs to get closer to God"!!!!!!! I ask any of you, especially those in customer service supervisory positions, if you made such a statement to a customer with a gripe, how long would you last? After all this, the 1700 flight I was rebooked on was 45 minutes late getting in, and then had a minor maintenance problem, which took another 30 minutes to correct. I finally got to Atlanta at 2230 that evening. I got this clown's name in Miami after almost threatening to rip his ID off and I will pursue this to the limit. It was bad enough, with American's complete incompetence, but then to be told that I am "an evil man who needs to get closer to God" by someone in a supervisory position with them was just way too much. By the way, while waiting, I talked with several Guardsmen at the airport. First, they all hate Clinton. Second, most of them agreed that them being there was not handling the situation correctly. Third, they have loaded mags. One dropped his mag and showed me. At Atlanta airport, one guy told me his M9 was loaded with one in the pipe. Not having one in the pipe in an M16 because it can't be decocked and one in the pipe in the M9 because it can, doesn't sound too bad.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 8:44:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 8:49:15 PM EDT
How very Christian of him to point out the dust mote in your eye. [rolleyes] He must have been a damn yankee.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 9:21:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/16/2001 9:14:35 PM EDT by Cazador223]
I can only imagine how tramatic it must have been for you to have him trying to force his religious views on you. Have him fired and then sue the airlines. edited to say that AA sucks. Tom
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 9:34:12 PM EDT
From what you have said I believe you were in the right. But and this is a big BUT if the customer service agent calls the cops you will miss many of the next flights. in this time and this atmosphere if you piss off any one and they call the cops the cops are going to make life difficult for you. You may be right but you may be walking home!... Pat..ps i work for an airline, so I know what you are living through and i know his side too...
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 9:40:22 PM EDT
I recently took a 12 day trip (shooting and shopping) from SD to rural Michigan. I rented a newish minivan with unlimited miles and a CD player. The wife fed me smokes and water and it took 26 hours or so to get there with a small nap. We had great conversation, listened to Sam Kenison comedy CD's and had a good time. The airlines treat everyone like dirt because they know they can, and you'll be back no matter what (for you it sounds business mandatory). I had a day like you described some time ago , and vowed not to fly again until the airlines got better. I've had some interesting drives since then, but my AR's have always been safe, my ammo cans undented and my stress level ... LOW.
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 10:07:13 PM EDT
I have my nomex on so go ahead and flame me! Every one thinks the airlines are screwing them, but most do not understand the times we are living with.. Jet fuel(jet1A or kerrosene) is over a dollar a gallon, an aircraft going from fla to bos will burn 15000 lbs of it or about 2500 gallons. the flight crew costs another 1500 dollars, the aircraft costs $10,000 per hour to operate and the flight takes 3 hours. the baggage costs about $200/ton to load and if you have 100 pax with 40 lbs of bags each... every landing costs $600 in fees and $5 per head gate charges from the local athority. For every flt hr you need 15 maint man hours at $25. The airlines pay for all of the security personnel at the airport. .... you get the idea.. The Flying public still want their ass kissed but want to fly around the world for $29. It isnt going to happen. Every one demands that we have more crew rest but when a crew has to have 8 hrs off clock time and the flight is late incoming because security is extra tight, we get pissed. When a flight is 1 hr late in the morn because crew rest time the problem only multiplies all day long. now thow in a couple of late bags, and a tire change and the schedual goes to hell... we all want clean safe airplanes for free but not in this life time......pat
Link Posted: 12/16/2001 10:50:30 PM EDT
OK, LarryG Remember the thread a few months ago when someone was going off on the airlines and especially, rude treatment by the airline people who should care about their customers. You were saying at the time that this "air rage" was a problem which should be pinned on the passengers who got so upset. I'm not going to laugh at you, I just hope that this experience has opened your eyes. Hope you have better luck on your next flight.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:30:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By prk: OK, LarryG Remember the thread a few months ago when someone was going off on the airlines and especially, rude treatment by the airline people who should care about their customers. You were saying at the time that this "air rage" was a problem which should be pinned on the passengers who got so upset. I'm not going to laugh at you, I just hope that this experience has opened your eyes. Hope you have better luck on your next flight.
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At that time, I had never flown American and had never experienced such crap. I have mostly flown Delta and they have never even been close to something like this. Besides, this was 'ground rage'.[:D]
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:32:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Cazador223: I can only imagine how tramatic it must have been for you to have him trying to force his religious views on you. Have him fired and then sue the airlines. edited to say that AA sucks. Tom
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I hope you are being facietous. It was not even a matter of his beliefs, they just did not belong in this situation.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:35:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By paterpk: From what you have said I believe you were in the right. But and this is a big BUT if the customer service agent calls the cops you will miss many of the next flights. in this time and this atmosphere if you piss off any one and they call the cops the cops are going to make life difficult for you. You may be right but you may be walking home!... Pat..ps i work for an airline, so I know what you are living through and i know his side too...
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First, since I had 4 hours to kill, I had plenty of time. I asked several cops and guardsmen if had called them because I pointed my finger at him, they all with no exception said they would laugh at him. As for his side, he could have gone a long way by taking the time to listen to my gripe and at least acting like he gave a damn and that would have helped a lot. His actions just made a bad situation worse.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:40:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2001 5:36:59 AM EDT by LARRYG]
Originally Posted By paterpk: I have my nomex on so go ahead and flame me! Every one thinks the airlines are screwing them, but most do not understand the times we are living with.. Jet fuel(jet1A or kerrosene) is over a dollar a gallon, an aircraft going from fla to bos will burn 15000 lbs of it or about 2500 gallons. the flight crew costs another 1500 dollars, the aircraft costs $10,000 per hour to operate and the flight takes 3 hours. the baggage costs about $200/ton to load and if you have 100 pax with 40 lbs of bags each... every landing costs $600 in fees and $5 per head gate charges from the local athority. For every flt hr you need 15 maint man hours at $25. The airlines pay for all of the security personnel at the airport. .... you get the idea.. The Flying public still want their ass kissed but want to fly around the world for $29. It isnt going to happen. Every one demands that we have more crew rest but when a crew has to have 8 hrs off clock time and the flight is late incoming because security is extra tight, we get pissed. When a flight is 1 hr late in the morn because crew rest time the problem only multiplies all day long. now thow in a couple of late bags, and a tire change and the schedual goes to hell... we all want clean safe airplanes for free but not in this life time......pat
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At the checkin counter in Barbados, they already knew that the plane was going to be late. They could have scheduled me a later connection then and I would have understood and I would not have had to drag my baggage all over Miami airport. As for the crew down time, when I finally got to Atlanta, the AA woman there looked in her computer and explained that and also said that the Barbados location should have automatically rescheduled my connection. If the guy in Miami had done the same as the lady in Atlanta instead of blatantly being rude and then telling me I was an "evil man", it would have helped immensely. Granted, I would have still had to drag my baggage, but at least I would have felt that someone at AA gave a damn. This wasn't expecting them to kiss my ass, just expecting someone to do his job (the Barbados checkin and the asshole in Miami). Yes, the day would have been just as long, but a lot easier to take if the Barbados checkin had rescheduled my connection to later (I would not have had to drag the baggage, just give it to the people just outside customs to recheck) and the guy in Miami wasn't a prick. I can tell you that Delta would not have been so assinine. I have actually had them open the door on a plane ready to back away and let me on.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:41:25 AM EDT
I USED to work in the aviation industry..One of the first things I saw was that whenever things got tight, the maintenance staff got pinkslips. Not the regional execs, the turnaround crew, or the ticket agents.. Just the stupid, lazy mechanics.. Then they wonder why they have such a bad on time arrival/departure rating.. Yes, it's a business, but it's not a bus up there.. so why do they insist on treating it like one? Meplat-
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:46:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RamblinWreck: How very Christian of him to point out the dust mote in your eye. [rolleyes] He must have been a damn yankee.
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Stereotypes are alive and well in the south, huh?
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:46:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ozzie223: I recently took a 12 day trip (shooting and shopping) from SD to rural Michigan. I rented a newish minivan with unlimited miles and a CD player. The wife fed me smokes and water and it took 26 hours or so to get there with a small nap. We had great conversation, listened to Sam Kenison comedy CD's and had a good time. The airlines treat everyone like dirt because they know they can, and you'll be back no matter what (for you it sounds business mandatory). I had a day like you described some time ago , and vowed not to fly again until the airlines got better. I've had some interesting drives since then, but my AR's have always been safe, my ammo cans undented and my stress level ... LOW.
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Kind of hard to drive to an island. [:D]
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 5:53:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By a3kid:
Originally Posted By RamblinWreck: How very Christian of him to point out the dust mote in your eye. [rolleyes] He must have been a damn yankee.
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Stereotypes are alive and well in the south, huh?
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He was just kidding. Like you guys don't stereotype us as a bunch of hillbillies.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 6:21:08 AM EDT
Well, a different perspective here. I'm a million+ miler flyer on AA. They treat me just fine. Then again, I'm not paying $29 for most of my flights. I have found that AA is probably the best for customer service in a domestic carrier. If you really want fun, try United. Flights get delayed/canceled for a number of reasons. Getting pissed off and yelling/pointing fingers because of it isn't worth it. I have also found that most of the time, people that get all pissed off are the least likely to be accomodated/helped. Being professional, and courteous goes a long long way with most of these folks.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 6:56:58 AM EDT
Here's one for you. I'll call it "terminal rage" I took my son & his Mexican bud who lives here, to the airport for son's first flight to Mexico (from this airport, anyway). Going in, the big sign points us to A. International Terminal B. Domestic Flights & Canada So, figuring that Mexico is not part of this country (yet, anyway), we head for the International Terminal garage. We get inside the terminal and still haven't seen any sign for American Airlines. But we did pass another sign that said "All International Flights Except Canada". Fugured we were on the right track. Wrong. When we asked a ticket agent where American was, he said they were only in the Domestic terminal, and gave us some sorta confusing directions. As we went down one hallway, there was this long-ass line of international passengers who musta been waiting to go through customs. As we excused ourselves across the line and down the hallway to the domestic terminal, several of them yelled comments about my heritage and various anatomical parts, thinking we were cutting the line, I guess. Response from American Airlines about this: a big shrug.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 7:09:01 AM EDT
I flew from Germany on the 4th with US Airways and fly back later this month. Their customer service wasn't bad but I have to say that security in Germany is always better then the States......even before September. I first noticed this two years ago on my first flight to Frankfurt when I saw the Border Patrol walking around the airport with loaded MP-5's...........
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 7:14:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By LARRYG:
Originally Posted By a3kid:
Originally Posted By RamblinWreck: How very Christian of him to point out the dust mote in your eye. [rolleyes] He must have been a damn yankee.
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Stereotypes are alive and well in the south, huh?
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He was just kidding. Like you guys don't stereotype us as a bunch of hillbillies.
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Dammit Larry [b]I'M[/b] a hillbilly!! A true radical right-wing conservative Republican, stuck behind enemy lines. My wife's family is from the south - never met nicer people in my entire life. I'll never forget the words her uncle said to me the first time I went down there for a 3 day family reunion with [b]ALL[/b] of the fixin's:
If you don't feel at home, that's where you oughta be.
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I've never seen so much food, drink & good times in all my life. When you marry into a southern family - you really [b]ARE[/b] family. (Alot of folk up this way say that, but don't mean it.) Y'all got your acts together down there!!!
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 8:10:22 AM EDT
Everything that happened here is the airline's fault. First, the "down time" excuse is BS. American Airlines knew that flight was going to happen at that time on that day for MONTHS ahead of time! Yet, they couldn't make sure they had a crew ready? Mechanical failure or weather is a legitimate reason to delay or cancel a flight. Not having an aircrew is incompetence. Second, calling a customer "evil" is just plain wrong. I don't care what the customer said or did (barring illegal actions or violence). What ever happened to the saying "the customer is always right"? It has been a long time since I've worked in a situation where contact with the public at large is required. I know it is difficult sometimes, but you should ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, attempt to make the customer feel as though you are CARE about their individual problem and are attending to their needs. The AA representative did nothing but escilate the situation...that is just bad customer relations. Period. I fly fairly frequently. I've had bad experiences and good. I would generally characterize AA as one of the better airlines to deal with. Your milage may vary...
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 8:41:57 AM EDT
I'm on the road about one week a month. I have too many free tickets to count with AA & United now. (That's bad 'cause the wife wants to go all the time!). I have had problems with virtually every airline at one time or another. It happened with AA a couple of years ago in LaLa Land. Pissed me off so bad I wrote letters, and made phone calls to AA supervisors and customer service reps. I also booked travel on other carriers for a couple of years. Lately, AA's service has improved and I'm back...with all my miles. United did the same thing...I quit them for awhile too. It has been said before...delays do happen, the flights get cancelled...all of that type of stuff can happen and its just part of the business, especialy after 9/11. What can NOT be permitted to continue is rude airline employees. No way. Call them...write them, give AA all the info you can. Stress to them if they expect people to keep flying AA planes, they better correct the egregious problem they have with rude employees. [soapbox]
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 11:51:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:30:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:58:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2001 1:20:44 PM EDT by Robbie]
I spent nearly a decade with the airlines and from what I'm reading, there's a few things the the locals could have done better, some things the company as a whole could have a better policy and an item or two that only Congress could change. [b]The "crew rest".[/b] If the airline cuts a "crew rest" short, the FAA gets quite miffed about it and the pilots' union gets downright nasty about it. And no, this isn't something that the airline knew in advance as the airline can't schedule a short layover...I'll bet money that the crew got in late the night before due to one of 571,342 reasons. If this happened at one of the airline's home bases, they could sub out the crew, but in an outlying airport, they have to wait. But this type of thing is not a secret to the airline workers (unless nobody told them..communication breakdown between dispatch/crew scheduling and the airport)...they should have notified their passengers as they checked in. When you checked in at the first airport, the local agents should have been pulling up "connection lists" to see who would be missing their normal connections then properly notifying and rebooking the misconnected passengers including their luggage. They should do this any time they have a flight leaving late for whatever reason. They have this ability and their computer system does pull up such listings. On a busy holiday, it's hard to find open seats sometimes, but it didn't sound like they tried. The airline worker at the connection point was put in a situation by the lack of work of the originating airport workers...but still...no...I've never said anything close to what he said to you. The post-9/11 airport is definitely jumpier and calling the cops even when a law isn't being broken such as pointing fingers, etc. Maintenence things happen since airplanes are mechanical devices. 30 minutes is better than I'd expect in today's world, but still no fun. Not fun for the airline either as it cost them money. Which brings us to the next point...money. As already stated, today's fare structure dates back to May of '92 when Robert Crandall with American Airlines came out with the lower cost/higher volume fare structure. Airlines hire a lot of "bean counters" and airlines know the exact percentage point they need when the flight becomes profitable (usually around 67-75%). Below that, airlines bleed money like no tomorrow...above that, they're making bucks hand over fist. But today that means they make money only by packing in more people and as far as I can tell, they haven't increased sizes of their crews at the airport or on board. In general though, many airlines still don't know that it doesn't cost them anything to smile. Some do. I've seen some absolutely great customer service among most all the airlines and some of the worst service among all the airlines. Some notable good examples would be Midwest Express, Southwest, Alaska and the international crews of most major airlines (an international crew on United and another on Northwest was [i]really[/i] good to my surprise even though we were on the domestic leg). I say write to American, if it goes positive for you, they'll send you a voucher worth $200 towards a flight withing the next year...kinda standard "carrot" these days.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 8:54:57 PM EDT
Speaking of American Airlines: A few weeks ago my wife was returning to a business trip in Europe and her flight from Copenhagen to Dulles was cancelled. Probably just didn't have enough passengers but they didn't say. The next flight to the States that SAS could get her on was going to O'Hare so they gave her a ticket for that and a ticket on AA from O'Hare to Dulles. So my wife lands at O'Hare, clears customs, walks to the other side of the airport to get to the AA ticket counter and stands in line. When she finally gets up the counter the woman looked at the ticket, tore it in half and turned to one of the other women working there to discuss some extracurricular subject, turned back to my wife and asked to see her ticket as if my wife had just walked up to the counter. When told that she'd just torn the ticket in half the woman denied it until my wife pointed out the specific pieces of paper, to which the ticket agent said, "Oh, I wonder why I did that?" The when she got to Dulles one of the suitcases had been seriously damaged. This was a good Samsonite that I've had for years and never had a problem with bu AA somehow managed to break off the handle with it's attached tags and lose the luggage strap that was wrapped around the case. My wife got the paperwork to file a claim about the suitcase and called AA customer service number to file a complaint. They sent her a coupon to save money on her next trip but since the suitcase was several years old we probably won't get anything for it.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 9:49:32 PM EDT
LarryG, Next time you have to fly with a lot of gear, tell the airline that you need a wheelchair. The airlines are deathly afraid of an ADA lawsuit, and will hold planes for you, drive you around in the carts, and generally kiss your rear. I don't believe there is any requirement of proof to ask for a wheelchair, but a call to American can clear that up promptly.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 9:57:18 PM EDT
I usually fly about 3 trips a year. I hate every minute of it. The worst was when Nothwest went on strike and they bused us from Detroit to the final destination airport! NW didnt care that I had paid for a plane ticket, and if I had wanted a bus ticket I would have bought a bus ticket. I'm driving from now on.
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