American Airlines Dallas Cancellation Party Not Going So Well

Reader Drew is currently stranded at Dallas Fort Worth airport and would like to speak with someone from American Airlines on the telephone. Unfortunately, we’re the only ones he can reach.

Drew says:

Bad weather = dangerous = a somewhat understandable need to cancel flights. That’s fine.

However, after my (non AA) connecting flight finally got me into DFW six hours late, it would be nice to be able to call somebody at AA and discuss my now canceled connection. No dice. If you dial their number (8004337300), you get a recorded announcement: “Due to the weather, we’re experiencing high call volumes. Please call back at another time if you want to speak to a person. Let me give you some prerecorded info.”

Awesome. The one time I need to talk to somebody, I get a robot. I keep calling back, occasionally I get the normal message. Everytime this has happened, however, I’ve gotten hung up on before I can get to a real person.

Meanwhile, I don’t see any notice about any other airlines canceling all their flights.

I’m done with American Airlines.

Yuck.

(Photo:balmes)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. billbillbillbill says:

    My dad just called and is stranded in Houston from the same storms. Not too fun.

  2. Corydon says:

    Uh…doesn’t AA use DFW as one of their hubs? Why are you stuck having to call the 800 number? I know it’s kind of retro compared to fixing things online or over the phone, but you’re in an airport—aren’t there plenty of real live people around that should be working on getting everyone’s travel unsnarled?

  3. smarty says:

    Once in Seattle with a snowstorm, I wondered why some airlines showed no delays on the departure screen while my flight was delayed. But as soon as it got closer to their departure time, they announced delays also.

    If there are flights taking off, then be upset.

  4. CaptZ says:

    Watching the local DFW news and they had an interview from earlier in the day with a AA gate person. She said they were all told to go home for the night. So, I can only imagine that most, if not all AA employees at DFW are gone. AA said they cancelled all flights until midnight. Maybe a skeleton crew hanging around somewhere…..good luck Drew

  5. Corydon says:

    @CaptZ: So, I can only imagine that most, if not all AA employees at DFW are gone.

    That’s some damn good planning there.

  6. petrarch1608 says:

    umm, shouldn’t Drew be upset at Mother Nature? What is AA supposed to do about it?

  7. petrarch1608 says:

    this seems like more of a weather issues than an AA issue. Maybe consumerist should point out that there’s not much the airlines can do about the weather.

  8. IssaGoodDay says:

    I was delayed coming into Detroit late one evening and missed my connecting flight. Literally the second everyone had disembarked – WHILE WE WERE FORMING A LINE AT THE TICKET DESK to inquire about the next available flight, the employees up and left. There was NOBODY. Oh, and they claimed “weather” (it was the calmest flight I’d ever been on) was the reason we were delayed, so we had to pay our own hotel for the night as well.

    Doesn’t surprise me much that all airline employees would be checked out.

  9. DogTown says:

    This is just another example of why Dallas is a dumb place to locate a major Airline hub as it is frequently subject to unstable weather from the regular collisions of the Canadian (cold) and Gulf of Mexico (warm) air masses.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed because I have to stop there next week on my trip to Costa Rica.

  10. IceTrojan says:

    Wait… WHY, after your flight was delayed for 6 hours, did you not reroute through a different city withOUT weather delays? You flew yourself into the fire, as it were.

    Also, out of the hundreds of humans at DFW who work for AA, you decide to call a number that only has so many lines and expect that it will go through every time even though you’re one of thousands of passengers trying to call as well? Would you rather have a busy signal? (Wait, I’m sure you want AA to hire 10,000 more phone agents so you can speak to one).

    The storm sucks, the cancellations suck… but those are the realities of air travel (especially when you fly headlong into a storm).

    Yes, be done with AA… it frees up a seat for me.

    (FYI – A quick search shows that all United flights are also canceled. I bet I know what I’ll find if I spend the time to search the other airlines.)

  11. Cranky Customer says:

    Drew has every right to be upset with a company that takes his money and hangs-up when he calls.

    Yes, Mother Nature is to blame for the weather. AA is to blame for FAILING on its customer service ‘pledge.’What makes AA or, in my case, UA, believe they have the right to under-staff the telephone banks when bad weather occurs?

    What gives the airlines (and the airports) the right to strand passengers on runways during weather-related delays? The airlines seem to believe they don’t need to have backup plans because that would raise the price of tickets. WHO THE HELL operates a business that way? Seriously, I completely expect that my ticket price includes the cost of simple life-saving measures during weather-related delays.

    For example, when bad weather strikes, where are the emergency cots that every airport should stock? Where are the emergency plows and buses to free passengers from being stranded on the tarmac for hours and/or overnight? Where are the backup telephone operators? Why do they have a telephone system that’s overloaded? HOW IS IT that American Idol can accommodate 30 million phone votes every week but American Airlines can’t handle their customers’ call volume when, predictably, bad weather happens?

    Yeah, blame Mother Nature.

  12. ptkdude says:

    I can understand that there is bad weather, and that flights were canceled. What I don’t understand is why did they cancel all the flights for the rest of the day? It’s not a snowstorm that going to dump a crapload of snow on the field. Certainly flights later in the day would be able to operate.

  13. PeteyNice says:

    @petrarch1608: Provide a team of employees to deal with customers, provide information and rebook people? I don’t think that is too much to ask.

  14. ptkdude says:

    … and not a word about this on their website.

  15. BlondeGrlz says:

    @petrarch1608: Did you RTFA? He said he understands it’s about weather, but he’d like to talk to an employee. Because you know if he misses the flight he’s been rebooked on, AA is going to blame him. When there is am obvious reason for high call volume(storms), they need to start calling in more people to answer the phones.

  16. valarmorghulis says:

    @petrarch1608: mother nature didn’t make AA not take his calls, just made them not fly any plains.

    on the upside, DFW has to be one of the best airports to be stuck in. not much of an upside though…

  17. SuffolkHouse says:

    @petrarch1608: This is crazy snarky. It is really clear that he wants to talk to someone about the next available flight. I don’t understand the confusion.

    Having just been royally screwed by AA on an international flight, I fell his pain.

  18. henwy says:

    jcapello: whinefest much?

  19. DogTown says:

    @jcapello:
    “What makes AA or, in my case, UA, believe they have the right to under-staff the telephone banks when bad weather occurs?”

    What makes AA do this is its incompetent, unqualified management, that doesn’t understand that this is exactly the kind of situation that NEEDS TO BE MANAGED by working with the people (customers) that make their paychecks possible.

  20. coddat says:

    Umm the weather here in Dallas is awful and is going to be all night, that is why they cancelled the flights. It’s a very unstable airmass with microbursts embedded making it very dangerous for flights. Yeah AA should probably answer the phones, but with the dangerous flooding conditions in Dallas right now, it was a good decision to let employees go home safely before it gets dark.

  21. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @jcapello: Very well put!

  22. rochec says:

    As shitty as the not being able to contact anyone sounds, the weather here is insane. I can’t say I blame them and it’s probably not a constant recording, just a all lines are busy call back or something. Certainly he’s not the only persona calling and to expect any company to have that many people staffed would be a little ridiculous.

    But if they just turned off their customer service to not deal with it, that would be beyond bad. Seems very unlikely though.

    Anyways, there isn’t a damn thing any airline could do today. The monsoon turned to hail and I’d be much more pissed if they flew me in it rather than strand me.

    Also apparently a database crashed at DFW airport, so all flights are cancelled due to that. Although the weather isn’t letting up at all, other than for 5 minutes here and there.

  23. FLConsumer says:

    Phone # working properly as of 7:25pm

  24. jcf70816 says:

    Couple of things here. If you use a travel agent then you can call them instead of trying to call the airline 1-800 number. The travel agent can access your reservation on their computer and make any changes for you, and by the time you get to the head of the line, all the airline person has to do is hand you your new boarding passes.

    To the poster who made the comment about “it’s not like snow on the field and flights later in the day could operate”, in theory, yes, but they may (probably)don’t have the equipment there to operate later flights, because the planes were supposed to be coming in from somewhere else and didn’t get there, because the flights were cancelled. Contrary to what many people think, airlines don’t have spare planes sitting around, even at their hubs, that can go out at a moments notice. Even if they did, they have to get a crew there to operate the plane.

    No, I don’t work for an airline, but I am in the travel industry, and it really is a lot more complicated than most people think it is.

  25. pshifrin says:

    Can’t get through to the 800#? Just call the Spanish 800#. 1-800-633-3711 We did this today at work for an employee who was flying to DFW today. Got right through after 1 ring. They answer in Spanish but all speak English once you start speaking English.

  26. Buran says:

    It’s obviously his fault for expecting assistance in response to money taken and service not rendered…

    (I kid)

  27. petrarch1608 says:

    woah looks like i’m gonna get my account banned again.

  28. Corydon says:

    @jcapello: HOW IS IT that American Idol can accommodate 30 million phone votes every week but American Airlines can’t handle their customers’ call volume when, predictably, bad weather happens?

    Nothing to do with the difference between talking to a computer and talking to a human being who needs to be paid.

    What makes AA or, in my case, UA, believe they have the right to under-staff the telephone banks when bad weather occurs?

    Yeah…someone at AA saw a huge storm heading for Dallas and decided to give half their phone reps the day off (roll)

    They probably had the same number of staff as they always do to handle the calls coming in. They just got a larger spike than they generally would because of the sheer number of people affected (DFW is a hub, so this storm probably affected AA flights everywhere, not just out of Dallas).

    I’m sure they were calling everyone they could think of to come in and work the phones once they realized what was happening.

    But it’s not like you can just grab people at random off the street, hand them a headset, and have them start taking calls.

    If AA let their staff at DFW head home early just because they canceled all their flights, that’s a bad decision worth railing against. Getting pissed off because their call center got overwhelmed by a freak storm isn’t.

  29. CaliforniaCajun says:

    Wow…there’s a lot of stupid in this thread.

    @sourc3: “Oh, and they claimed “weather” (it was the calmest flight I’d ever been on)”

    The weather causing the delay doesn’t have to be at the airport you’re landing at. If your connection will be flying into bad weather, there could be an ATC backup – planes have to have more spacing and time to land during bad weather. If there’s bad weather at the origination of your connection, it could be delayed from taking off for the same reasons.

    Drew wrote: “Meanwhile, I don’t see any notice about any other airlines canceling all their flights.”

    Those other airlines don’t route most of their daily flights through Dallas, where funnel clouds and hail have been reported all afternoon. Seriously – take the SkyLink around DFW. Count all the airplanes belonging to airlines other than American – not even 100, despite the 200+ gates at DFW’s four main terminals.

    “Why don’t the phones work?”
    LIkely because American contracts for a certain number of voice circuits from their telecom provider. When the number of calls to their Reservations number exceeds the number of contracted open circuits, those calls will be routed to IVR. On a day like today, when American is handling not only regular reservations calls, but also tens or possibly hundreds of thousands more calls than normal, this is perfectly normal and expected; they’e at least trying to help by providing you with an automated system when there is neither the hardware (circuits) or people to help you.

    I don’t expect people to know all the ins and outs of telecom or the airline business – but if you want to blame someone for bad service at the airlines, don’t blame the employees. They’ve taken pay cut after pay cut and stayed on the job, dealing with cranky and sometimes unfair customers.

    Blame the executives who take millions in bonuses while making flying a frustrating a la carte affair. The service you’re paying for (a flight from a to b, possibly through c) has decreased in cost in real terms over the past ten years, despite the fact that the jet fuel costs over three times as much as it did in 2000.

    American could have possibly done something to make your day a little better, but in the end, it comes down to a twenty thousand (or more) people on the ground at DFW, no safe way to operate aircraft on time, and dependencies (like landing slots and open gates at other airports) that can’t be changed on a whim.

  30. humphrmi says:

    I usually defend AA but I must say, I’ve always been underwhelmed at how AA handles accommodations for people due to weather cancellations. I’ve had it happen to me more than once at various elite levels and every time they just sort of go home and leave you looking for hotels. It’d be nice if they at least stuck around at the airport for 90 minutes to help people find hotel rooms.

  31. Cranky Customer says:

    @Corydon: If AA let their staff at DFW head home early just because they canceled all their flights, that’s a bad decision worth railing against. Getting pissed off because their call center got overwhelmed by a freak storm isn’t.

    I disagree. I have sympathy for anyone that had to work through those conditions and perhaps may have sent them home — particularly since customer service calls can be handled at umpteen other venues (including overseas).

    My problem with the airlines is that ‘freak storms’ aren’t uncommon. Hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, monsoons, tidal waves, ice storms — they happen all the time SOMEWHERE in the world. BAD WEATHER is no excuse for having a customer support telephone system that can’t handle a spike in calls.

    Look, I don’t pretend to know how to run an airline, but surely there are ways to have standby Customer Service reps for emergency circumstances. What about part-timers working from home? How about former employees willing to work piecemeal? How about call centers in other time zones? How about a telephone queue that doesn’t hang up on customers? How about redirecting agents from new reservations for an hour until the stranded customers can get help? At the airport itself, why not send some of those front-desk ticket agents back to the concourses to assist with the chaos?

    I’m always amused when a storm hits Denver and United has, say, two people staffing the 8 stations at their Customer Service counter where 200 people are lined-up. Doesn’t United employ hundreds of people at that airport? Are you telling me that NONE of them are capable of staffing Customer Service during an emergency? And don’t look for those ubiquitous Customer Service telephones for assistance during an emergency. They, too, disconnect you when the airline is deluged with calls from customers they’ve stranded.

    My advice nowadays? Find a comfortable seat near a power outlet because your cellphone battery is sure to go dead while you’re trying to get through to the airline.

  32. StevieD says:

    @CaliforniaCajun:

    Darn well done.

  33. iEddie says:

    The help-the-customer-after-taking-their-money division isn’t as advanced as the money-taking division. Try calling the money-taking division.

  34. rbcat says:

    As someone who just drove through this crap to get to work, I can attest that it’s nothing any sane person would want to be driving through. (The prosecution rests, your honor)

    AA has its main reservation center just off FAA Blvd near Dallas/Fort Worth International. The two main highways near there–State Highways 114 and 183–are FLOODED. 183 is down to one lane in a lot of spots, and 114 is closed according to local radio traffic reports. Highways all over the Metroplex are shut down due to wrecks or simple water.

    From experience and knowledge, AA has reservations centers in other locations, but none overseas from what I am told. However, the size of these centers pales in comparison to the main center here in Dallas. Would you be willing to shoulder the cost of two equally-sized reservation centers just for the 1/12th of the year when AA’s main hub gets smacked around?

    Yes, lack of communication is frustrating, especially when you’re stuck in a 70s-era airport with limited entertainment and located in the smack middle of nowhere (by intention), comparatively speaking. On the other hand, sure is nice that DFW Airport is usually on time with limited ground delays–compared to, say, JFK or LGA–and ample parking the remainder of the year, isn’t it?

  35. jfischer says:

    Why not walk to Atlanta’s Hartsfield airport?

    A little-known but handy factiod, if you walk far enough down Atlanta’s concourse D, you will suddenly
    find yourself in DWF’s Terminal E, just past gate E38.

    Go ahead, call me crazy, but try it, you’ll like it.

  36. ChuckECheese says:

    Mother nature FTW!

  37. sirwired says:

    @jcapello: Feel entitled much?

    You are wondering where the free cots, backup reservations center (the main one is in Dallas, and they likely sent the employees home so they could actually get home to do things like take care of their kids, which they can’t do if it isn’t safe to leave the airport), emergency plows, extra buses, and tens of thousands of phone lines are?

    Here’s a hint: Those things are expensive. If you want those things, they most certainly can be included in your ticket price, if you don’t mind that ticket price going up. Over and over, the American public has shown themselves to be tolerant of lousy service, because they want to pay the absolute lowest for a ticket.

  38. drizzleray says:

    If you’re ever stuck in D/FW, head to terminal D (the newest terminal) – lots of room, plenty of food options. AA has plenty of room to improve, but I’m finding it hard to get really mad at them when their biggest hub (AA is in 4 terminals & approx. 110 gates) is shut down by weather, completely wrecking the schedule NATIONWIDE. I would think bringing in a couple extra shifts to work the phones would barely put a dent in the number of reservations they have to change.

  39. D-Bo says:

    Sounds like AA needs to due some call routing management or at least hire a few more CS agents.

  40. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @wesmills: Well, it’s a shame that there are no other suitable locations for call centers other than Dallas.

  41. Buran says:

    @IceTrojan: You try changing your flight plans without getting bent over by the airline. THAT’s why it didn’t happen, I bet. And you can still wind up screwed by this kind of thing out of the blue too. How do you know he knew this was happening.

  42. s35flyer says:

    as a pilot, i say get over it. You really want to fly in unsafe weather? Not with me.

  43. scoosdad says:

    @jcf70816: Do travel agents routinely stay late in their offices so they can answer angry calls from passengers at say 7:25 PM? Seriously, it’s been so long since I’ve used a travel agent that it would be nice to know if you can count on them outside of regular business hours in a case like this.

    I also think that no matter how crappy the weather was outside the airport and making it hard for AA employees to get home, you would think that it being an AA hub full of passengers who are going to need to get somewhere, sometime, that there would at least a few AA employees left on duty through the night to try to start the process of rebooking the stranded passengers a little bit earlier than making them all stand in a huge line first thing in the morning. No, I take that back, that’s too much to ask, too sensible.

  44. CaptRavis says:

    @pshifrin Keep that under your hat. If “everyone” knows it won’t work as well for you and I in the future. Also as an added benefit you don’t get a Mumbai accent from an outsourced call center.

  45. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @jcapello: “If AA let their staff at DFW head home early just because they canceled all their flights, that’s a bad decision worth railing against. “

    God forbid those AA workers at DFW get to leave their jobs early when flooding is prevalent and they may not be able to leave later.

    I mean, hell. Let their kids wonder where mom and dad are while thunderstorms, hail and funnel clouds pound the DFW area. Mom and dad might have some customers to asuage at the airport, after all.

    More proof that people these days think first and foremost about themselves.

  46. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @doctor_cos: “Well, it’s a shame that there are no other suitable locations for call centers other than Dallas.”

    Yes, damn American Airlines to hell for wanting to employ local people at decent jobs. They should farm all that help over to India so that we can all bitch and moan about it even more.

    You want customer service? Then get ready to pay a thousand dollars for an advance purchase nonrefundable coach class ticket for a cross country ticket.

    Because the cost of jet fuel is sky high and you’re still paying 1999 prices for tickets. Reality enters the equation when you suddenly realize that the airlines have cut their employees’ pay several times and don’t offer the service you think they used to.

  47. Fly Girl says:

    @coddat: I was just going to say the same thing– it was probably a decision on the part of the DFW station management to allow their employees the opportunity to go home early, before it got too late and they, too, were stranded at the airport…

    While I have plenty of negative things to say about the airlines and the way they treat both their employees and their passengers, allowing people to leave early and close when there is inclement weather is a good thing– a kind gesture on the part of AA.

    I’m sure there’s still some AA employees floating around there at the airport somewhere, and chances are this guy has already been rebooked on another flight but just doesn’t know it yet…

    Things happen– storms happen, flights get cancelled. It doesn’t really seem like AA didn’t anything wrong here and that all of the airlines are having the same problem. It sucks to be stranded in Dallas with no idea when you’re going to leave, but this is just one of those things that you can’t predict and that isn’t really anyone’s fault.

  48. charliux says:

    I think somebody got its facts wrong. The employees who left early were not the ones in answering the phone calls but the ones in the ramp. Thunders and funnel clouds are sometimes the reason of why operations are stopped and no plane can join/leave from the gates ( they need the wing walkers and bag loaders to do the work you know…)

    Another little fact being ignored is that one of the control towers got evacuated because of fears of a tornado.

    So what is it now? AA needs to have robots working the ramp and the tower control. Most likely somebody is going to complain because they are putting people out of their job… yadda yadda

  49. azntg says:

    American Airlines, there’s something special in the ground!

  50. Fly Girl says:

    Oh, and one other thing– most airlines have a policy of not allowing a passenger on a flight when they are going to get stranded at their connection.

    Since the OP stated that he was on a non-AA flight TO Dallas, I have to imagine that he bought two separate tickets and that AA didn’t know he was flying in from somewhere else and that the airline that brought him to DFW didn’t know he had an outbound connection in DFW…

    While I don’t want to jump on the “blame the consumer” bandwagon, it kinda seems like he got himself into this pickle.

    Why did the OP get on the flight to DFW if that wasn’t his final destination– especially in situations like this, where there’s not going to be any hotels in Dallas, there’s not going to be any place to sleep in the airport, and there’s no way to know when he’s going to get out of there…

    It’s better to be stranded at home rather than in some connection city, right? And he said his flight to Dallas was six hours late– what did he think was going to happen?…

    Even if his AA DFW flight hadn’t been canceled, he wouldn’t have made it on time… And the people working his AA DFW flight, which I imagine was scheduled to leave HOURS before he even arrived in Dallas, would have left long before his flight even touched down.

    Let this be a lesson to other travelers: never, ever book tickets separately. Seriously. If you book tickets separately, you have no protection at all– had his AA DFW flight actually left on-time and his inbound flight arrived six hours late, causing him to miss his connection, both airlines would tell him he was SOL. And they have every right to, because they held up their end of the contract, which was getting him from Point A to Point B– they knew nothing about the secondary contract that gets you from Point B to Point C and have no legal obligation to ensure that you get to Point C.

    Plus, if it had all be put on one ticket, he never would have been put on the flight to DFW, and would have never been stranded in Dallas, in the first place…

  51. psychos says:

    I flew DFW-BOS on the 6:25am flight on the 18th. We luckily left on time with maybe an 80% load factor since the storms hadn’t hit yet. Since there was severe weather predicted, I was quite surprised that more people did not show up earlier and fill the flight. At the very least, I believe AA elites shouldn’t have a problem getting put on an earlier flight in those circumstances (even if they hadn’t had their flight affected by weather yet.) And the DFW-BOS route is certainly quite full of passengers with high-tier elite status, especially on an early morning flight like that. So where were they? Certainly they had access to weather reports. I have never had any problems as a DL elite getting reaccommodated if it looks fairly certain that there will be bad weather en route, nor in general on other airlines. And that is just being speculative as to delays; if the flights are already delayed and it looks like I will misconnect, I have never had an airline not at least make a good attempt to reroute me (and they generally have.)

    Reader Drew should have been proactive in looking for other connections as soon as it was apparent that he would misconnect with his original connecting flight in DFW, which probably wouldn’t have been more than a couple hours after his initial planned departure. It does not appear to me that he did that, instead opting to fly to DFW 6 hours late and then pass the buck on to AA. Why would anyone leave their originating city 6 hours late without having done anything to try to improve their chances of getting to their destination without serious delays?

    Now, I think AA should have had a contingency plan to have more representatives available in a situation like this, but due to the magnitude of this event I can understand why they wouldn’t. They had hundreds of cancellations, and all flights are booked up for the next couple days now. All over the place, too, since MANY planes are out of position due to not being able to fly in/out of DFW. Again, you need to be PROACTIVE when you are traveling to try to avoid a situation like this. Even if Reader Drew got through to AA after arriving at DFW, he most certainly wouldn’t have been given any options past taking a flight a day or two later since many other people would have been rebooked by then and filled up most available seats.

    I would have more sympathy if Reader Drew had been denied at least an attempt at reaccomodation at his originating airport, rather than trying to call AA after getting in on a flight that had been delayed for six hours.

    As for AA employees leaving the airport early, well, that part is inexcusable in my book. They should be paid extra overtime to stay late in a situation like this so that there are more humans to deal with all the stranded passengers. There are many inexperienced flyers who need to deal with a real person in a situation like this, especially if the phone lines are over capacity. But anyone savvy enough to be writing in to The Consumerist should also be savvy enough to not have arrived at DFW in such bad weather on such a delayed flight without having previously tried for an alternate routing.

    Reader Drew fails to mention where he was coming in from, what airline he was arriving on, how long of a connection he had, whether it was an international arrival, whether he had a single ticket or had booked the flight out of DFW separately (generally a bad idea), whether he attempted to have his original flight rerouted after the flight to DFW was delayed, etc. He is simply complaining that AA did not answer the phones. But, again, did he seriously expect to easily get through to a human when it appears his first attempt to contact them was after getting to DFW many hours late in the middle of a severe weather event? (And I have to mention that AA had a fair amount of delays at ORD, their second largest hub, due to weather as well. Not a good day for them.)

    As to the separate ticket issue, it’s Reader Drew’s own problem if he DID have a separate ticket from DFW and arrived late, for whatever reason. (Again, generally a bad idea to have separate tickets in a situation like this.) If he was on the same ticket as I assume he was, it’s up to the ticketing or handling airline to reroute him. But he needs to ask them to do that, not sit around and wait to get to Dallas where he is certain to miss his flight.

  52. psychos says:

    Oh yeah-and I have to add that I don’t even like AA very much. I was traveling on them this morning due to revenue tickets very being expensive and AA frequent flier miles being the best to burn for this trip. But I still don’t think they did anything wrong, other than perhaps send some DFW employees home earlier than they should have.

    @I Ain’t Tryin’ a Hear Dat!:
    Agreed about airlines not putting a passenger on a flight if they can’t make their connection (or be rebooked on a different connection.) But this, in my experience, often does not apply when you are interlining from one airline to another; if it’s your final leg with airline A and you are connecting to airline B, all airline A may care about is getting you to your final connection point with them. (But, of course, the ticketing airline still has the responsibility of reaccommodating you if you miss airline B’s connection, assuming it is on a single ticket as it almost always should be.) So one does need to be more proactive in an interlined (multiple airline) connection situation if it looks like there will be a misconnect or other problem.

    It’s pretty simple. If you are delayed, figure out if you are going to miss your connecting flight. Check the weather at your connecting city/cities. Check the flight status on your connecting flight(s). If any of the above are problems, talk to an agent immediately (at the airport or on the phone.) Not after you get to somewhere in the middle of your trip that has funnel clouds and microbursts bearing down on it.

  53. BillyMumphry says:

    To paraphrase the great Louis CK..

    ‘you know, there was terrible weather in a city I had a flight out of once and they ALSO canceled the flight’

    ‘Holy shit really? Wow, you fucking old lady, that’s amazing!’

  54. Fly Girl says:

    @psychos: Ya, that’s what I was saying.

    I knew he was interlining (the OP states as much in his email), and generally if the entire routing is printed on the same ticket stock, airline A will be more attentive about making sure that you’re not stranded at your connection, even if it’s airline B operating the second leg…

    Not as attentive as if it was airline A operating the entire routing, but attentive none-the-less– if he misconnects on airline B because of airline A, it’s airline A’s responsibility to get him rebooked, so they’re usually pretty good about it… So long as it’s all one ticket.

    I imagine that the OP, to save a buck, booked two separate tickets– perhaps a WN ticket from his home airport to a connection on AA in DFW to his final destination.

    If that was the case, airline A, the one that brought him to DFW, would have never even known that he had an outbound connection and would not have advised him to stay at his home airport until he could be reaccomodate.

    Savvy, frequent travelers/consumers would never, ever book two separate tickets for one routing because of the inherent risk involved… Hopefully this unfortunate case can serve as a hard-lesson-learned for anyone who was thinking about booking seperate tickets to save a buck (or ten).

    It’s just not worth it.

  55. IceTrojan says:

    @Buran: Actually, I’ve never been bent over by AA, and I’ve flown many flights. In fact, AA has changed my flights around weather every time I’ve asked, and has saved me every single time I’ve needed them to. I also help things along by NOT FLYING INTO BAD WEATHER LIKE A DUMBASS.

    I also happen to check the weather in the cities I’m flying to, especially in the winter and spring. Don’t you all (besides Drew) check the weather before you drive to work?

    (I also can’t help but notice that most of the whiners wrote only a few lines, and most of the ones who are in the know had substantial posts. Interesting, but not surprising. While everyone is busy bitching, I’ve already gotten my boarding pass next flight).

  56. LUV2CattleCall says:

    @DogTown:

    Yeah…real dumb to locate a hub at DFW… it’s not like they’re the world’s biggest airline or anything.

  57. My dad is stranded in Atlanta going to TX from this…

  58. jcf70816 says:

    @scoosdad: There are lots of travel agents like me who work from home who are available 24/7 to their clients, and then there are those that utilize a back-up service, so the answer to your question….while I can’t speak for every travel agent, yes, there are some that are available 24/7.

  59. Hedonista says:

    I can’t believe that everyone got so freaked out by a little storm. The flights got grounded because the scaredy-cats at the FAA freaked out about the funnel clouds and decided to evacuate the control towers. Of course, it could have been the 70 mph straight winds that caused them to wimp out. Those weenie pilots should show some backbone!

    700 flights got canceled, I’m not great at math but I think if there were 20 people on each canceled flight that would be 14,000 people who needed to get in touch with AA at the same time. They should be taken out and shot for not having enough CSRs to handle the volume!

    The really bad part? All the humidity made my hair frizzy, and it is all AA’s fault!

    Signed:

    Damp in Dallas

  60. picardia says:

    @IceTrojan: Yes, once your flight is delayed, you can just pick and choose from ANY reroute in the whole world! You have total control over that — at least on Bizarro World. In this one, you don’t. Seriously, have you EVER been on a flight? I don’t understand how you could say something like that with any, any information whatsoever.

    Weather delays (when genuine, which they aren’t always) are unavoidable, and it helps to have patience and a sense of humor. It ALSO helps to have airline personnel on the ground doing their best to help people out, which seems to be severely lacking for AA in Dallas today.

  61. OK, so the real deal is that the airlines have scheduled more flights than they have capacity for. One thing goes wrong and then there’s a domino effect and flights are delayed for days.

    I fly about once a month and I haven’t had a flight in recent memory where at least one leg wasn’t delayed by an hour or more. This is not acceptable.

  62. picardia says:

    @IceTrojan: So, if you have an important business meeting in Omaha, and there turns out to be bad weather that day, you just tell your business associates to fuck off? Or if you’re headed home for your grandmother’s funeral in Chicago but Illinois is windy, you just send a couple carnations and a card? I seriously doubt it. If so, the phrase for you that’s coming to mind is not “smart traveler.”

  63. FatLynn says:

    What is the recorded info? I know that I have often been rescheduled and AA has called me before I was able to get through to them. If they are busy rescheduling all of their passengers and making notification calls instead of answering phones, it may not be so bad. Maybe the recorded info is something to that effect?

  64. tschepsit says:

    Re: No people answering phones – this is the problem with having a major hub, corporate headquarters, and large call centers all in the same area. Just when you need them the most, the employees that you depend on are stuck in traffic or in drainage ditches (or both).

    Re: Dumb place to locate a major Airline hub – Any other city in the middle of the country (Chicago? St. Louis? Denver?) will have similar issues, depending on the time of year. Of course, most of the others will also be more susceptible to more disruptive snow and ice.

    Re: Cancelled all flights for the rest of the day despite no snow – Wind gusts were regularly too high to safely takeoff/land, and like a previous commenter said, the area has a history of microburst wind shear in those kind of conditions. Look up Delta Air Lines Flight 191 for more info.

  65. j3s says:

    @billbillbillbill: Given that it is currently 70°F/21°C in Houston with a 0% chance of rain (according to weather.com), it sounds like it is the better place to be.

    Unless you’re sitting in the airport with 50,000 other stranded passengers instead of the comfort of your own home (assuming it wasn’t in danger), of course.

  66. SpamMeNot says:

    My friend is currently sitting on the tarmac en route from DFW to LGA. Her flight was scheduled to depart at 1pm (CT) today. Though it has yet to take off (now the airline is citing adverse weather conditions in New York), it seems at least slightly more hopeful that she is actually on a plane.

    Also, while she was unable to get through to anyone on the phone since her original flight was cancelled on Tuesday, she was able to get seats on subsequent flights by talking to the counter agents directly, and also by showing up for the earliest scheduled flights of the day to try and get a seat. I know no one WANTS to spend a full day at the airport hoping to maybe possibly get a flight, but it seems worth it if you really want/need to get to your destination.

  67. flyingphotog says:

    A.A. gave a big F.U. to all of their Customers by not staffing the AIRPORT to assist customers with booking new flights. Nevermind the phone lines, they should have handled it all face-to-face.

  68. IceTrojan says:

    @picardia: I think that you’ve shown yourself to be the not so “smart traveler”…

    In fact, yes, I know the weather before I take off, and I will get myself rerouted. “Oh, there are t-storms in Dallas? Route me through Chicago!” Obviously, since you’re too retarded to actually do that, you’ve never experienced the joy of boarding a new flight why people such as yourself stand around moaning and groaning as your flight was delayed. And yes, ANY routing… I once flew from San Francisco to New York via Miami because of weather in both Chicago and Dallas, and the direct flight was full. So if that’s “Bizarro world,” then I’m living in it.

    Oh, and what would I do if I had to be in Omaha if it’s clear weather is going to keep me from getting there?
    –1st call to AA, “Hi, can you fly me to Sioux City instead?”
    –2nd call to business meeting, “Hi, I’m going to be about an hour or two late because of the weather, so I hope you understand. But I’m so committed to making this deal happen that I’m driving from Sioux City to make it happen.”
    Actually, for a business meeting, I would fly in the day before to make sure that problems like this don’t happen.

    What about the funeral?
    Call to AA, “ORD is closed? How about fly me to Indianapolis via Dallas or St. Louis? I’ll take it… it’s my supposed grandmother’s funeral and all…”

    How do you like them apples? Retard. (That’s the phrase that comes to mind when I think of you).