Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Worst Travel Experience Ever!

I believe my letter (below) to American Airlines speaks for itself.

Dear American Airlines:

I am writing to express my extreme dissatisfaction with my most recent flying experience while attempting a return home to Washington, D.C. from Kansas City (flight 1557) on April 2-3, 2006.

Due to problems originating in Chicago due to weather, all air traffic in Kansas City was delayed at the gate for 2 hours. When we were finally allowed to board, the plane was grounded on the tarmac for 4 additional hours. While on the plane, the male flight attendant angrily shouted at the passengers in attempts to address growing frustration. This lead to several passengers suffering panic attacks, and an arrest threat against a frustrated passenger in first class.

When we finally landed in Chicago well after midnight, I was forced to stay overnight, at my own expense of $220, at a hotel outside of Chicago since it was too late to make any connections. But this was just the beginning of my trouble.

The earliest available connection into DC (IAD) left at 11:44am the following day (flight 4048). After waiting for this flight, watching its departure time come and go, we were informed the flight would be canceled due to mechanical problems.

Following this bad news, I was moved to yet another flight, this time going to DCA, which was due to depart at 1:13pm (flight 4203). By 3pm, the pilots had not yet arrived making this flight significantly late. At 3:30pm, this flight too was canceled due to mechanical problems.

After this, I was sent to St. Louis (flight 1397), so that I could catch a working flight to Washington, D.C. (Flight 5304), which itself was delayed two additional hours. By the time I arrived home at 10pm, my total travel time from Kansas City to D.C. stood at over 24 hours.

While I understand weather problems are beyond the control of American Airlines, bad service, multiple mechanical problems and late pilots are not. Indeed, because of these problems I have missed a full day of work, been forced to spend over $300 in lodging and other transportation costs, and have been away from my family longer than needed.

Recently, I purchased 8 separate round trip tickets on American Airlines because of my past positive experiences. I am now beginning to regret that decision. As a former Gold level AAdvantage member, I was looking forward to my future 8 flights which would again put me at AAdvantage gold status.

In an attempt to seek relief from this situation, I am asking that you please take steps to restore my faith and trust in your airline. Please contact me at the address below with your response.


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