American Airlines stranded my parents and treated them like #refugees. Here's what happened:

The truth is that my parents did leave a little too late for the airport. They did, we were having such a lovely dinner that we lost track of time a bit. They were also blessed with a cab driver who had never taken someone to the airport, only picked up (so they had to keep calling their supervisor) and this person drove at the exact speed limit. That means that a trip that took us 25 minutes took this cab driver 45 minutes so my parents were doomed from the second they ordered their tuna cones at #Spago. When the cab driver finally got them to the airport at 9:35 for what was originally a 10:30p flight which got changed to 10:20p they had to lug their bags across the street with no help to get to the #baggage check counter. When they got to the baggage counter, all they needed to do was check their luggage because they already had checked in online and had their boarding passes. On the AA website it clearly states that you must be CHECKED IN at least 45 minutes prior to the flight but they were checked in hours before the flight (just want to make sure that everyone understands that they were following the rules outlines on aa.com to be checked in at least 45 min prior).

When they get to the counter to check their bags at 9:45p they were told that they could not check their bags. The American Airlines employee then told my senior citizen parents to take all of their luggage (checked included) through #TSA and to check their bags at the gate. So being as my parents don't know any better, they listen. As a result, they get held up at TSA (despite being pre-check) because the female agent there was either miserable with her life or just hates old people and she decided to rummage through my mom's bags and remove everything that was over 3oz. asking my mom over and over again if she understood TSA regulations. Please keep in mind that the woman was removing NEW and EXPENSIVE souvenirs and toiletries (partially used) from my mom's CHECKED BAG that she was supposed to "check" at the gate. So after throwing away hundreds of dollars and spending roughly 20 minutes being harassed by TSA because of the lazy American Airlines #employee, my parents arrive at the gate at 10:10p which was 10 minutes before their flight.

When they arrived the door was already closed, there was no announcement made over the loudspeaker looking for them and they were denied boarding. Then, after being denied boarding they were finally assisted by someone to put them on a flight the following day but they didn't give them the upgrades that I had paid for and they left them stranded in a strange airport in a strange city with absolutely no direction. My parents called me at 10:45p to tell me about the nightmare and said they didn't know what to do because they are not allowed to stay at the airport and their flight wasn't until 5:45 the next day. I was absolutely FUMING that American Airlines would treat two elderly people this way.

I called #Marriott, made arrangements and they went to find and pick-up my sweet parents at the airport. Thank god for Marriott, they really were amazingly helpful and kind in an awful situation. On their way out they went back to TSA to retrieve my mom's brand new souvenirs that she had been made to throw away into a freshly emptied garbage can and guess what? They were missing so it looks like that miserable female TSA agent did a little holiday shopping in my mom's CHECKED luggage instead of being a kind human. She'll get hers but unfortunately I won't be there to see it as she's in #Maui and I am not.

The next day they were able to get on their flight, they fought with the staff to get the upgrades that I paid for and to remove the $200 change fee that shouldn't exist in the first place. Here's my beef, bottom line. IF they were actually going to miss their flight, the staff at Baggage Check should have explained it and rebooked them there and not sent them through TSA and told them to check their bags at the gate. They knew that TSA was going to go through "checked" bags and remove things, that was completely ridiculous. They also could have went with them to TSA, explained the situation (if there actually was one) and escorted the "checked" bags to the gate and checked them there for them. I would assume that even miss five finger discount TSA would have been okay with that. Had they done that or had rebooked them and told them that there was a Marriott nearby and gave them the number I wouldn't be angry. It is what it is. HOWEVER, those jerks lied. It clearly states that you need to be CHECKED IN 45 minutes prior to flight time, it does not give a time to have your bags checked. Also, they were at the gate 10 minutes prior to their flight time which is also the rule and yet American decided to close the door early DESPITE seeing that they were missing two #passengers. I've heard people called over a loud speaker in airports a million times, why didn't they call them? Why didn't the jerk at the baggage check desk radio the gate to let them know they're coming? This was an #EPICFAIL on the part of American Airlines. Epic.

I've written letters and had numerous interactions both written and oral with Andrea Chabe who is absolutely useless and rude. She feels that they did their part by apologizing and waiving the $200 fee, I disagree. You would do that for anyone over something small as a courtesy, this was big time and as I said before, EPIC FAIL. She also says that check-in includes checked bags, well, that's not what your site says and if you mean that why don't you say that? We are your customers, not mind readers. She claims that the report she has says that my parents wanted to go through security. LIES! There is absolutely no way that my parents would opt-in to that torture. They're senior citizens! They don't know! They would have done whatever the agent told them to do and the agent told them to take all of their bags through security so they listened. By the end Andrea and I were basically screaming at each other and I ended the call with her by saying " I understand. I get it. You are asking me to NEVER be your customer again. That's fine, I agree. I will never be your customer again. If the place I want to go to is only serviced by your airline, I either won't go or I'll fly private. Me and my husband work way too hard for our money to support a company that treats people and worst yet, senior citizens the way you do. I will never be your customer again. Never. You win". She probably thinks I'm bluffing, she doesn't know me. I don't bluff.

After that we both hung up. I am now making it my personal goal to make every single person who books airfare aware of the type of disgusting humans that they are. If people continue to fly them and their revenue is good, they'll never treat people better. Also, I don't think that people realize that where and how you spend your hard earned money is also a representation of who/what you support so it's an extension of your personal belief system. I do not support companies like this. I do not support the mistreatment of people and poor service that this company provides, they do not deserve another penny from any of us and they won't be getting one from me.

Please share this so that your friends, family and loved ones don't become the next victim of American Airlines.

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33433
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Author: 
Paula Archinaco
Address: 
Kahului, HI 96732
United States