It's Not American Airlines' Problem That Your Mom Died

Rita’s mother recently passed away. We offer our condolences to Rita and her family, and our rage to the American Airlines employees who were complete jerks to Rita as she tried to travel from Texas to the distant Canadian city of Halifax, Nova Scotia for the funeral. After her first flight was twice delayed due to “mechanical problems,” she wound up stranded in Orlando. Missing her connection due to the two delays wasn’t the airline’s problem, a supervisor told Rita.

I had already purchased an airline ticket, trying to get from Dallas, Texas to Halifax, Canada to see my mom before she passed away. Unfortunately she passed away 2 days before my planned trip, so I changed my ticket to fly a day earlier. Since purchased last minute, I had multiple connections. The initial flight was Dallas to Orlando with American Airlines. Was to leave Dallas at 9:25 am Friday June 24th.

We all boarded the plane, then were told due to mechanical problems we were deplaning. Once back in the terminal, I tried to get American Airlines to change my flight as it was obvious I would miss my connections due to mechanical problems with their plane. Their supervisor could not have been more rude to me, saying that “it wasn’t American Airlines problem” when I explained that I was trying to get home for my mother’s funeral. Supervisor [redacted] refused to help me, was downright rude and showed no concern for my situation.

American did find another plane, again has us board the second plane, and then we sat on that plane for another 1 1/2-2 hours while they tried to fix the mechanical problems with the second plane. We finally left Dallas over 3 hours late, so that by the time we got to Orlando, I had missed my connections and could not get on another flight. With tears streaming down my face because my mother had just died 24 hours earlier, and now I was stuck in a strange city alone, again American Airlines said it was “not their problem”.

I tried to get them to just send me back to Dallas, but the plane I had flown in on and was to return to Dallas was a cancelled flight due to mechanical problems. American Airlines finally agreed to pay for a hotel room for me and a meal voucher, and acted like they were doing me some great favor! I have never been treated so rudely and callously in my life. They were so rude and so disinterested in my plight, that I really don’t think they even tried
to put me on another flight! Not once ounce of assistance, sympathy, caring or customer service!! I got stuck in Orlando overnight and it took me 2 days to get to Canada.

First, decide what it is you would like from the airline. An apology? A travel voucher? A refund for some part of your travel? Try calling this super-secret direct number to get a human at American Airlines customer service. If that doesn’t work, send a complaint letter to the CEO.

American Airlines: Passengers Are Happier When We Apologize For Screw-Ups Than When Things Go As Planned

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.