Airline Bumps Us Off Flight, Doesn't Bother To Tell Other Airline

Danielle said she and her friend were stuck in London without a flight back to Boston after their original flight was canceled. She said American Airlines, on which the original flight was scheduled, told them it booked them on a British Airways flight, but the latter airline said that wasn’t the case. Danielle said AA wouldn’t listen to her complaint.

Here is an excerpt of Danielle’s letter to AA:

I’d like to share a particularly hairy experience with American Airlines that my girlfriend Teresa and I recently endured.

After a lovely weeklong vacation in Europe, we arrived at Heathrow airport for a trip back to Boston. We had a 10:30 am flight, set to get us back well ahead of time for me to teach a university class at 6 pm (Boston time). Upon arrival, we saw that the flight had been canceled – we first tried the American Airlines Lounge. Though Teresa has more than 80,000 frequent flier miles on the airline, the fact that we were not flying first or business class that day meant that they did not care to hear our problem, and they sent us away.

We found the American Airlines desk, and were promptly – and rudely – told that we had been automatically re-booked on a British Airways flight leaving six hours later. This was not acceptable as the 4 pm flight would get us in around 7:30 pm. But we were dismissed without further comment to another terminal, where we were told someone could “deal with us.”

After a train ride over to Terminal 5 (Heathrow is massive), a customer service agent at British Airways (the partner airline we had originally paid through) informed us that the AA person had lied to us and their behavior was “unheard of” because we weren’t actually booked on ANY of the three flights back that were leaving later that day. The given reason for cancellation, “inclement weather” in Boston, was also untrue. British Airways had a flight going to the same destination literally 30 minutes later than when we were scheduled to depart, with no delays in service. We begged and pleaded until someone – an angelic agent – had our tickets transferred over to Virgin Atlantic, for a 2:30 PM flight, which would get us in to our destination in the nick of time.

We still had to take the train back to Terminal 3 to ask AA to give us at least a food voucher. BA was stunned that they didn’t offer us anything because the law requires this if a passenger is delayed for 6 hours or more.

If you’ve ever had a flight canceled, what did the airline do to make it up to you?