American Airlines Complaint

Dear American Airlines Customer Relations:

My flight #2166 on January 11, 2011 was canceled.  It was scheduled to depart DFW at 2:15pm and arrive in Boston at 6:45pm.  We retrieved the gate information that morning from where it did not tell us of the cancellation, so we drove to the airport.  There, we found out the flight was canceled due to weather, but the 3:30pm American Airlines flight to Boston was still going, albeit overbooked by 38 passengers.

It did not start snowing in Boston until late into the evening on January 11th and there were many other airlines flying into Boston, all overbooked probably due to the American Airlines cancellations.  Now I have missed 1 day of work, wasted hours and gallons of gas driving back and forth to the airport because your website did not have the proper information displayed.  I have also lost hours just trying to find someone to explain to me how a flight was canceled due to weather when there was no “weather” expected for 6 hours after the time of arrival at the destination – plenty of time to turn around the plane and get it away from the impending blizzard.

Every person I spoke with was matter-of-fact and unsympathetic to the fact that I am stranded in Dallas.  Though I finally spoke with one person who explained that, while there was no bad weather at the time, American Airlines did not want to have multiple planes get stuck in Boston, so they decided to to fly only one.  Though you have coded this cancellation as weather related, it was not actually due to any weather threatening the safety of the flight.  Now the flights today, January 12th, are canceled due to the blizzard that hit Boston last night.  So, instead of flying me to Boston as I had paid you to do before the storm, which would make logical sense, you chose to cancel that flight and put me on one during the storm.

Your customer service plan promises dependable service.  It also states that in the event of a cancellation within your control, and I call canceling a flight in clear skies in order to keep that plane in Dallas within your control, the passenger is owed.  I would like to receive a flight voucher or some form of compensation to make up for the day of work I missed and the gas used to get to and from the airport.

Given the fact that you have a customer service plan, that you are “dedicated to making every flight [I] take with [you] something special,” and that my convenience is one of your most important concerns, I would expect you to inform customers of canceled flights well before they drive to the airport via website and telephone.  I suggest that you have a customer service line to call when something does go wrong and that you empower those employees to do something keep those customers, instead of driving them away.  It costs you much more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.  I would like to speak to somebody with the information to explain and the resources to remedy the inconveniences this has caused me and my fellow passengers.