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27 April 2012

A broken foot is more painful when your airline lets you down

Flight Details
Date: 16 April 2012
Airline: American
Location: Chicago (ORD)

I was arriving from Belize in time. I left my luggage for the flight connection. I already had my boarding pass for April 16th AA1869 flight with a boarding time at 4:55PM. I arrived at the gate D03 around 4:30PM with the wheelchair services (I'm have a broken foot, so I cannot walk all the way in the airport). The wheelchair responsible informed me that my flight is delayed (departure at 7:10PM instead of 5:25PM), she cannot stay with me. The radio was saying that the gate is changed for D04. I walked to D04 Gate (with a broken foot), nobody was there to answer our concerns.

I've verified my connection in Chicago, and with the flight delay I will miss my connection to Ottawa. So, I ask to another wheelchair responsible to go to the rebooking center. There, he gave me a new passenger itinerary for a flight to Ottawa for April 17th on flight AA3907 with a departure at 10AM and informed me that I will need to obtain a voucher for hotel/breakfast in Chicago.

It's around 5PM and I returned to gate D04. Around 6PM, AA responsibles are present at the booth. They asked for volunteers who want to change their flight with a compensation of $400 because the flight is overbooked. I go see them; I' m already delayed so I could help someone else if I could keep my next flight to Ottawa at 10AM.

The AA agent looked in the computer and said that I did not have a ticket for that flight; my flight to Chicago is registered for April 17th. She printed me a passenger receipt and ignored me and she didn’t want to listen me, and the said that I have to go to the rebooking center if I want to change anything to my ticket, she cannot do anything for me. I didn’t have access to the wheelchair services, so I had to walk to the rebooking Center.

The line was very long, I waited about 30 min in a standing position, but I cannot be in a standing position for an extended period and as the line is moving very slowly; I estimated the waiting period for about 2 hours. I see AA agent in an electric cart. I asked him if I could have access to the wheelchair services. He cannot do anything for me but I have to go to on the side of the booth and ask for the services. All peoples in line were yelling, the AA agent totally ignored me. I had to walk to another booth (at the Gate D15) to ask for the services. Fortunately, the agent there helped me. She looked my ticket and tried to understand what was happened. She was not able to understand why my ticket has been changed for April 17th (AA1869 Miami-Chicago– departure time 5:25PM and AA4098 Chicago-Ottawa – departure time 8:50PM). But, considering I didn’t have any other option to reach Chicago, Ottawa or Montreal on April 16th. She printed my boarding passes for these flights and gave me voucher for dinner/hotel/breakfast.

I asked to have a voucher for the hotel in the airport considering that I have a broken foot and I have difficulty to walk. She gave me a voucher for the Regency Hotel which is not inside the airport limit and required to take a shuttle. After trying to have access to the wheelchair services (I had waited for 30 min.), another AA agent in an electric cart, drove me to the closest door to the shuttle area. It was around 9:00PM when I could go out of the airport.

So, I want to know what compensation American Airlines will offer to me. Why if my flight is delayed of 24 hours I do not have access to 3 meals (I didn’t have access to a lunch voucher)? I want to know what I’m supposed to eat with an allocation of $12 for the dinner and $7 for the breakfast (the minimum breakfast cost at the Regency is $1250)?

For your information, I had to miss a complete working day which is representing for me about $550 of income loss. This is not considering all the other inconvenient.

When I tried to sent this to complain to the AA customer services, I cannot send the whole story because they limit the number of caracter to 1500. I've sent two parts of the story, but I cannot sent the latest section, because the web complaining access system has been blocked.

- Beaulieu

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