33 comments on “Contact Kate to get more info on the Coalition

  • Dear Kate,
    My name is Joy and I fly atleast 6 times a year with my now 3 year old. I just watched you on Rachel Ray (you are actually still on) and I have just signed your petition and emailed your site to everyone i know even the people i dont like. I agree that this is a very important issue that needs to be resolved. This is America and we are being help hostage on airplanes. I am truely thankful that you have taken it upon yourself to help and hopefully we will get our bill of rights. Thank you so much for your time and effort, and i pray that when i fly on April 5th- April 11th will go smoothly, although it almost never does. I pary that this will be resolved quickly and properly.

  • Hi Kate. Saw you on Rachel Ray this morning. My husband and I were stranded on the tarmak for nearly 4 hours on our way to our honeymoon. Long story short, we missed our connecting flights to Tahiti, even though another flight would have gotten us there on time (I had asked AA about another flight and they said there weren’t any that would get me there sooner). Flights to Tahiti only go out every other day so we were stranded. We spent the first night of our honeymoon in LA trying to find a hotel that wasn’t a rathole to stay in. Then I spent the entire following day fighting with American Airlines on the phone and at the ticket counter… treated very rudly and to no satisfaction. When I got home, I wrote the President of AA and eventually got a $100 voucher each for a future flight. As if I wanted to travel with AA again.

    I’m happy to share as much detail on this nightmare as you’d like. I support and commend your efforts. Thanks!

  • Kate,
    Any way that you can see for passengers to get rights to bring bottled water on the planes? I am claustrophobic and having water is a basic necessity and a basic comfort factor. I also like to take homeopathic remedies with water to help myself stay calm when I fly, while others may have to take presciption meds. The thought of being stranded makes me crazy and I think I could have a heart attack if I were not allowed to have water, stand up and walk or elect to get off the plane after more than 30 minutes of sitting without moving.
    Finally, if passengers are forced to stay belted in their seats, held as hostages on a tarmac-stranded plane, what is your current advice to the passengers? I think we may have to resort to forcing the emergency doors open. What is your personal advice to get out of a hostage situation or to receive medical attention while held on a plane?
    This is a current topic of discussion among all our friends and colleagues. Everyone is shocked that the airlines are getting away with this and that our government is not taking appropriate action. Everyone we know is petrified about flying now more than ever.
    I am concerned about signing the petition as it is written today because I feel that even 3-3.5 hours is too long for passengers to be held, and I see so many loopholes in the petition for the airlines.
    Thank you.

  • For Anonymous…Brining H2O on the airplane…The current DHS/TSA regs state that you may bring it on with you, as long as it was purchased inside the secure side of the airport. You may want to have a doctor write a note stating you need water and bring it from home, but that is a long shot for the TSA to accept.

  • Kate: Do you know if anyone in Canada is pursuing this issue? If so can you please let me know where I can get in touch with them?

  • Hi, Kate! Saw you on Rachel Ray’s show this afternoon, and I had a look at the bill. Just on first glance, though, I see a loophole that the airlines will use to completely negate it. If it goes into effect as is, all the airline management will do is order the pilots to declare that it would be dangerous to allow passengers to deplane under ANY delay situation. Remember, it’s our word against theirs as to what is reasonable. This needs to be amended to set an absolute condition under which NOBODY can keep us on the planes. Another thing that really needs to be addressed is the ever-shrinking seat. It’s not just that the average American is getting bigger; the seats are getting smaller as the airlines pack more and more and more people onto the planes. Maybe if they start by giving us a little room…

  • Dear Kate, I agree with anonymous’ comment from today when they suggested forcing the emergency door open. I am clausterphobic and manic depressed and feel that I would not under any circumstances be able to be confined to my seat for up to 3 hours. I fear that I would incite a riot and demand to be released.

    Please give me any ideas you can come up with that would help me overcome my fears of flying and being forced to become a hostage. I really don’t want to fly, but my husband insists on flying. We are flying in two weeks. Any ideas are welcome.

    Also, would it be advisable to contact and retain an attorney? Would an attorney be able to get me released from a hostage situation from the airline? OR, do I still not have any rights? As long as I am thinking along those lines, what if I were to break the “rules” and get out of my seat and start yelling and trying to incite a riot? Then, would that force the airline to contact the police and then would I finally get released from being a hostage? To me, if that’s what it takes, then that is what it takes and I will do it. I shall have my husband or son (if my spouse refuses) to record the event.

    At any rate, I am very serious that I cannot be in a hostage situation and do nothing about it. My freedom means everything to me and I thought that being an American citizen meant we had an inaliable right to have rights. So, why is that being contradicted by a lousy airline? Is a lousy airline more powerful than our country is? A lousy airline can take away our inaliable rights that our own government cannot due to it being stated in our constitution. Now, that is really, really, really messed up. Reminds me of colonial times. This should be fixed and fixed right away before more inaliable rights are being nullified.

    Thanks so much for what you are doing. I wish I could travel to Washington with you, but, alas I fly the least amount of times I can!

    Sincerely, Bobbie

  • Hi Kate,

    I too was watching the Rachael Ray show today and have signed your petition. You go girl!!!Count me in!!The only reason I was watching the show is because my family and I lost our entire seven day cruise vacation due to a delay of fog.I should be now on the crusie as I type. Yesterday it all happened so your comments made on the show hit home We were flying out of Chicago to go on a 7 day crusie to Central America with two other couples and their children. We were delayed on the turmac in Chicago for 4 hours due to fog in Pittsburg. We wanted to get off the flight but were told we would get some help when we landed in Pittsburg even though our connecting flight was gone. When we finally arrived, US airlines indicated there was nothing they could do since it was weather related and it was not their fault. At times US air was rude, disconnected and really did not seem to care at all that we had just lost our vacation that we only get once a year. It was hard to tell the kids we had to fly home to Chicago and see what else we could do on our spring break. We had planned this vacation 9 months ago so it is hard not to be frustrated and sad in the disappointment. As of tomorrow we try again to Florida to finish a spring break. Thanks for being on the show and taking a stance. We need rights and the airlines need to take care of their passengers. Many people work too hard for one week’s vacation to have it all come down to fog!!
    My husband also was caught in the delays last weekend on the east coast causing him a delay to his destination by 24 hours!
    Take Care and with eyes still swollen,

  • Dear Katie,
    I applaud your efforts! I, too, have a three year old, and we were forced to wait in an airport for 16 hours for a flight delayed for technical difficulties, and we still didn’t get on! I would like to send you the letter I sent to United, but don’t know exactly where to send it. Is there an address I should use?

    Kelly P, Kansas City

  • Thank you, Kate for being our voice. I have signed the petition, and hope that the Passenger’s Bill of Rights will help. I was so surprised to see you on Rachel’s show this morning since we just returned from a trip that left us swearing we would never fly Airtran again. I am so tired of airline problems. We have had so many, but the latest happened last Sunday, March 18, 2007. We were on our way to a school in Fla. to take classes. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 11:15am. We called before we left home to ask about delays, and sure enough, our plane was delayed until 1:30pm. A short time later, we checked the Airtran website, and it stated that the flight was delayed further to 2:19pm. Rather than sit in the airport, we stayed at home. We arrived at the airport two hours before our departure time only to find out at the ticket counter that the plane was gone. It left without us. We were not able to get another flight out that day which meant we would miss our first day of school. The young man behind the counter, had obviously dealt with other passengers who were left behind, because he was rude to us. And we were so angry! We explained to him that there would be no refunds on the school, or for our hotel. It was an expensive loss for us. Airtran did get us on a flight the following morning. I wrote a letter to Airtran, and basically, they don’t care! Their attitude is that it was our fault for not being at the airport for the original departure time. They did not even hold themselves accountable for not updating their website. If we ran our businesses that way, we would be out of business fast! They have not heard the last of me!

  • Kate,
    Thank you for stepping up to the plate and you have my full support. I am proud of you and hope in the future we have charter groups county wide to spread the word. I don’t travel abroad extensively but need advice. I booked a flight online to go to Africa and NA* debited my credit card for the flight. They have sent no confirmation to me nor will they respond to my emails. It’s been 3 weeks. I tried calling but an automated machine takes you through everything but a real person. I then found another number and left a msg; no response. I thought this airline was legitimate! I need advice since I am going to Ghana, Africa in May to get married. Also, shouldn’t the Passanger Bill of Rights (extend to online bookings, etc)also ensure that passengers should always receive confirmation by email and/or mail when travelling international with 7 days of payment?? I say this because there are so many additional steps when travelling abroad than when flying state to state.
    Also, I travelled to Barcelona in November 2006 and Chea** gave me a bad flight. There wasn’t enough time between connecting flights and I missed the flight stranded in Germany. This airline said that since I booked online that I was my own travel agent and they took no responsibility for it. Is this true? I’m out of at least $400 and they didn’t have the curtosity to offer me a travel voucher like the “honeymoon” lady received from AA. I really need a break… candyredstyder@netzero.net

  • Wow – I just happen to be home from work resting today after a horrid travel experience. How ironic to switch on the tv and see you on Rachel Ray. I just signed the petition. Last Wednesday I was stuck on a plan for 4 hours in St Louis, when I was supposed to be catching another flight from Chicago to Louisville (I started in Seattle). Missing my connection and no other flights to Louisville I was forced to stay in the only non booked hotel, Motel 6 – which was a scary place. The next day my travel agent luckily got me on a flight to my final destination, but my bags didn’t make it until another day later,Friday – I was wearing the same clothes for 3 days. My bags arrived on Friday night, I left Saturday. Arrive to the airport and again delays, and told I may not catch a flight until Tuesday. One person said the flight wasn’t leaving until 5:30, the board said 7:50 and we actually boarded at 6:30. If I had not been seating at the gate, I would have missed that flight. I would have missed the connection in Chicago, but surprise surprise it was delayed and I barely made it. Get to my final destination, Seattle, and one of my bags was missing again! This was my worst travel experience. Long lines, rude attendants and missing bags. Thank you for the petition!! It’s time that we all take a stand, and not “sit back” to this sort of treatment.

  • Dear Kate, Thank you for your time on the phone this afternoon. I’m trying to get an address to write you but am not having much success. My story isn’t mine.. it belongs to a lovely lady who’s mother had only hours to live. This lovely lady was desperately trying to get to see her before she passed away. Due to delays and other complications, she was going to misconnect. I struggled for two hours trying to come up with some solution; but to this day I don’t know if she made it or not…. I still ache for her. No vacation, no honeymoon, nothing can make up for not being able to say goodbye to your mother. And I know that her pain was compounded by greed. I would hope Congress can somehow look into the root cause for many of these problems. It’s greed, often coming from the highest levels of management. (The ones getting the big bonuses). Folks get angry at the customer service rep in front of them; but do they know that person has taken a 33% salary cut, given up their retirement and vacation — and is now doing the work that 2 – 5 additional people used to handle, and there are additional responsibilities (post 9/11). There used to be a minimum of two agents on any flight, and depending on the aircraft type, up to five. Now, even 747s sometimes get only 1 or 2. It just can’t be done The agent can’t do the job.
    Flight attendants have problems too. The people the passengers see are the ones having the greatest trouble with the situation as it is. CEO’s aren’t on the tarmac, they aren’t in the aircraft, they aren’t in the boarding areas, they aren’t in the towers, and it’s really easy to sit in an ivory tower and send out orders. And you experience the results.

    I’d like to see a Passenger Bill of Rights, and an Employee Bill of Rights alongside it. I’ve seen both sides, and I don’t think there’s an easy answer! But, please, keep up the work. There is an answer, somewhere
    J (cajenmom@aol.com)

  • I had an experience on US Air 2 years ago. Not as bad as most but it could have been. I was coming home from visiting my daughter in Florida and the flight was delayed on the runway. We sat for 2 hours with the plane off in the Florida heat. Well, it would have been all right but I have MS and MS and eat do not get along. I told the stewardess and asked for some ice to put my hands in this does help. There were elderly people and small children on the flight also. They need to take all these factors into consideration before doing some of the things they do. The heat causes problems some serious with differant medical conditions. I did contact the airline and was fortunate to get someone who knew about MS because a family member has it and he was sympathetic and said he would make sure that they be aware of this and sent me a voucher to use on a future flight. So I have to say at least US Air did try hopefully things have improved with them.
    Susan Alsdorf, Watertown, CT.

  • Kate,
    I saw you on Rachel Ray. You made my point. The airlines lie. On my way to an interview about 10 years ago, the airline (SW) said that the flight would arrive in 30 minutes. They said this 4 times. The plane was coming from an hour’s flight away, and they knew that the flight had not taken off yet. So a 30 minute arrival was not physically possible. We were held off with the lies until all other planes to the destination were booked and gone. I missed the last connection and didn’t make my destination until the next day. The person that had driven over 2 hours to pick me up also was stranded. Luckily she had a relative to stay with. I was stranded at a crappy hotel with bad security and had to fight the airline for reimbursement. The worker told me that it was my fault for getting on the plane and there was bad weather. Yet other airlines, even SW, flew to the same destination while we were waiting “30 minutes”.

  • Kate,
    I know there is a lot of talk about false imprisonment. But there are things that the airlines do that other industries can’t. With their lies, they also defraud and are guilty of the bait and switch and false advertisement. They intentionally interfere with the consumer’s efforts to educate themselves. They use lies and misinformation to hold on to our money until we run out of options to use their competition.

  • Dear Kate:

    First of all, I do appreciate that you have had the courage and intelligence to step up and say that enough is enough.

    I am not an American citizen, I am Mexican, and around 2 years ago I was flying with AIR CANADA back to Mexico from Toronto, and at the beginning of the flight I asked a flight attendant if I could sit just right by a window because I had gotten an aisle seat, and I was told that I could do so in a vacant seat right in the back, but after the airplane took off I was told by another flight attendant that that seat was reserved for the crew, but there were plenty of vacant seats around, and that flight attendant wanted just that seat for herself.

    She did behave rudely and was capricious. Then the head flight attendant offered to take me to the first class, and when I didn’t answer a question about the type of food I was going to be offered the head flight attendant told me that after the 9/11 attacks, I could be charged as if I were a terrorist.

    It was awful!

    Please, tell me whether a foreign passenger might benefit from that bill of rights when flying on American soil if passed by Congress.

    And if a class-action lawsuit could be filed by the complainants against the airlines.

    Should you need further details or my support, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.


    Quetzalcóatl Aguilar Virgen, M.D.


  • Hey Kate.
    In the last year My best friend, Stephanie, who is legally blind has been on several planes, so may I cant even remember how many. Any way at each and every one of these flights, I would say 10-15 including concections she was stopped by security for a supposed “Random”security search I have to wonder as a concerend friend is this really a random security search or is she being targeted for disability, according to Stephanie the searches boardered between a random search and a near strip search, again I have to stress I am concered is she being targeted because of her disability and if so is this fair, I travel more then she does and in the last five years have only been a victim of a random search twice, once in Chicago May of 03 and again the following fall in Vegas,

  • Thank you for taking up this fight. Frankly, I feel that my packages on UPS and Fed Ex get better treatment than I do on any airline. I have a better idea of when that Ebay purchase will show up, than when my flight will actually take off or land. The airlines are supposedly a service industry, but any other business in the world that provided the level of service they do would be bankrupt almost immediately (wait a second, half of the airlines ARE bankrupt). One area that needs improvement is to be open and honest with the passengers. I fly enough to have sat through the 3 hour delay in your seat to “reset the planes computer” or “fix the video screen in seat 10b”. Also, I have had gate change where you get the next gate only to find your plane has vanished (or should I say, re-routed to fly-out the earlier flight they screwed up). IF, and this is a huge IF, an airline would truly step up and treat it’s customers as customers and not warm butts in a seat, I would immediately fly that airline. No one appreciates being treated like a piece of baggage and not a human being.

  • I have not personally encountered these problems, but as a diabetic I am concerned about them. I always carry a nutrition bar with me when I travel, enough for a one-meal delay, but after eight hours I would need more substantial food. (I never put my meds in check-through). Also, for most people over five years old, being forced to eliminate waste into their clothing would be extremely traumatic.

    I wonder–would it be possible for some of the airlines to adopt your program voluntarily? Wouldn’t it be great for their advertising: “Airline X: the only line that won’t hold you hostage.” Or are they all too cynical?

    I have written both of my Senators and my Congressman, but I have yet to receive a reply.

    God bless you for your work on our behalf.

  • Dear Kate,

    I signed your petition and sent in my latest airline horror story (March 16th Northeast Cancellations) after being contacted by your coalition. I also wrote to my Senate and Congress Rep. I just wanted to post my support and let you know that my collegues and I and stand behind you 100% and support this bill.

    I have traveled again (March 26th) and again was delayed due to the plane not having, and I quote, “milk and cereal on board”. The passengers, 90% business travelers, went nuts. Try to use that as a reason for missing a board or client meeting. I leave to go back home tomorrow and pray that I get there. This is my living fear, since I am required to travel as part of my job twice a month.

    I have forwarded an email with the link to the Coalition for an Airline Passenger’s Bill of Rights to all my collegues, friends, and family, asking that they support this bill. I have also requested that they forward it to as many people they know. Chances are that most people have had a negative experience with an airline given the downhill performance exhibited by various carriers. Take this and the likeliness that many will be taking summer vacations, it’s just the thing needed now to gain more support and hopefully start getting treated as paying customers and human beings, and not excess baggage.

  • Dear Kate,
    You guys are so spoiled, how would you like it if you were knocked unconscious by falling luggage on Delta Airlines, spent over a year with severe head pain, unable to work, going to ER several times, medical bills over $30k and the airline does not respond. I had an international ticket on Delta Airlines, liability for death or injuries is covered by the Montreal Convention, however, since they are in bankruptcy no lawyer will sue them. Congress can sign all the bills they want but they cannot enforce them, airlines always have an exit strategy.

    I just watched you on Rachel Ray and I have just signed your petition…in 2004 I traveled to see my family for the holidays and coming home I was stranded in a major air port for many hours ..waiting for our next trip to home, they announced more trips then cancelations – giving us no time to buy food [actually passengers had to share their food] After 12;OO am they finally announced it was after all due to the feeble excuse- Weather related-loophole that the airlines used and it was clear both the leaving and arrival destination was actually clear.. the worse part a plane that they had originally for us but changed routes was sitting on wait for hours – they could have sent us on like they scheduled and unloaded them [that wait as weather] giving the airport more space for people to sit ….NO food was available for us at the airport since all the restaurants were closed at 12:00 am..A kind employee bought me a pop because I didnt eat all day [ due to the fact they kept cancelling and rescheduling] .. I saw many under age children were traveling to see parents..They were unattended and stranded and left to sleep in a airport designated spot – that we had to go thru security again the next day if we didnt opt for the chairs in the lobbies -which was safer than the choice the airlines offered. even though it didnt feel like it -I should have been home at 12:00 pm -After too many empty promises of hotel rooms ,rude attendants swearing at passengers , no food, lost luggage& broken christmas gifts, Uncaring upper management & staff of the air lines did little to resolve this nightmare of a trip Thank you so much for trying to make a difference [pjp_707@yahoo.com]

  • Dear Kate – have signed the petition but would like to suggest covering even more problems passengers can encounter and have not recourse, such as the harassement I encounter for an entire flight by an undisciplined child. I was told by the stewardess there was no recourse for several of us. Pasted here is my letter to American Airlines, also including my most recent delay in traveling with them. Cheers!
    What recourse do American Airlines passengers have when they are harassed for an entire flight by an unknown willful, undisciplined child? I and others endured this appalling experience for the entire flight from Puerto Rico to Boston on March 2, 2007.
    The child was allowed to stand backwards in his seat talking, touching, drooling and coughing onto three trapped passengers in the row behind him. His parents and grandparents ignored him and our requests (yes, in two languages, although the boy spoke English fluently) for him to leave us alone. Two flight attendants spoke to him. He screamed at the second attendant and still his mother, a row in front of him, completely disregarded his behavior. The ineffectual grandfather he sat with spent time lightly tapping the boy on his arm to control him. The boy did not notice or respond to this ridiculous chastising.
    This was AA Flight 2478 on March 10. The boy sat in Seat 33A, his grandfather in Seat 33 B and his mother in Seat 32 B.
    My hope was to sleep on this flight, after rising at 5 am to make the connecting flight to Puerto Rico, flying to Boston, finding a way home 40 miles north to pick up my car and then continue on to New Hampshire the same day to pick up my pet. You can see why one would wish for a peaceful flight without constant aggravation. Two of us and a man in his row did fall asleep briefly, but he woke all of us momentarily.
    Do these folks have more rights with their fare payment than others? I was told by the flight attendant there is no recourse in a situation like this, although it is known unruly adults are expelled or penalized for bad behavior.
    The new Passengers Bill of Rights should also include options for a situation like this, such as changing this family’s seating to the back row where there are no victims available (uncomfortable seats, certainly those seated there would willing change), additional payment or banishment from further flights.
    Since the child drooled and coughed wetly on us, I’m sure the resultant cold I got was caught from him, my first in several years.
    This combined with a three plus hour delay in leaving Boston (and a forced overnight in San Juan — also one would think AA might offer complimentary onboard snacks to make up for this, but we were charged for all), a delay the next day, another delay in landing on the return to Boston, one beverage service – I had purchased one of the overly salted sandwiches and could surely have used a second drink of water (which I can no longer supply myself) during this delay – made my recent trip via American Airlines unpleasant but memorable for all the wrong reasons. The delays were pleasant, however, compared to the relentless torment by this boy.

  • In response to the person who had baggage fall on him, and no help from Delta.
    This is why I think the airlines should be put on a strike system. After three strikes of poor service their business permit should be revoked and then forced out of business. The proceeds generated from their liquidation could be used to pay compensation to passengers.

  • I saw you on Rachel Ray and I want to tell you WAY TO GO!!! I fly around 4 times a year. Sometimes it is nice but most of the time it is a big headache. There is no reason the airlines have the right to hold you on planes for as long as they want. My husband was delayed over 24 hours 3 weeks ago when he was trying to fly home from TX. He arrived an hour and a half before the flight and was told he had missed the flight because he did not arrive in enough time. He was told it would take too long to try to check him in and go through security. He was later told that they had over sold the flight and that anyone checking in less than 2 hours before the flight was bumped. He had to wait at the airport 24 hours and fly out the next morning. They didn’t offer him anything for being bumped.

    My worst experience was flying from Hawaii to TN. It took over 24 hours to reach TN because of delays. We were held on a plane for over 4 hours. We were told we could not get off of the plane because the airport was too small and we had too many passengers. They ran out of food and drinks and the bathrooms were overflowing. Best of luck to you and thank you for doing this for all of us who travel.

  • Kate. My name is Christina Burkett and I’m a reporter for SRAmerica, a website for seniors by seniors. I want to help with the Passengers Bill of Rights. I have a projected market of 60 million people over 50. These people travel. I would like to get a few quotes to use in my article. Please email me at cssprincess@yahoo.com to set up a time. Thank you.

  • Dear Kate:

    First of all, I do appreciate that you have had the courage and intelligence to step up and say that enough is enough.

    I am not an American citizen, I am Mexican, and around 2 years ago I was flying with AIR CANADA back to Mexico from Toronto, and at the beginning of the flight I asked a flight attendant if I could sit just right by a window because I had gotten an aisle seat, and I was told that I could do so in a vacant seat right in the back, but after the airplane took off I was told by another flight attendant that that seat was reserved for the crew, but there were plenty of vacant seats around, and that flight attendant wanted just that seat for herself.

    She did behave rudely and was capricious. Then the head flight attendant offered to take me to the first class, and when I didn’t answer a question about the type of food I was going to be offered the head flight attendant told me that after the 9/11 attacks, I could be charged as if I were a terrorist.

    It was awful!

    Please, tell me whether a foreign passenger might benefit from that bill of rights when flying on American soil if passed by Congress.

    And if a class-action lawsuit could be filed by the complainants against the airlines.

    Should you need further details or my support, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.


    Quetzalcóatl Aguilar Virgen, M.D.


  • Dear Kate,
    This is a letter I am sending to US Airways

    To: US Airways
    From: Thomas D Sawyer

    Subj: Unsatisfied Customer

    On the 18th of March I proceeded to the San Diego at 0430 expecting to get on an Airplane for a 0700 take-off. When I arrived at the ticket terminal I was informed of the flight being delayed by 2 hours due to crew rest. So they put me on another flight (567) which was scheduled for a 0630 take-off. So I get on the plane @ 0630, but we didn’t take-off until 0720. This put me @ Phoenix for my connecting flight (250) to Philadelphia 35 minutes from take-off all the way at another terminal. I had to run, but made it. So after arriving in Philadelphia we were stuck on the runway for 40 minutes. The good thing about that is that my connecting flight (3733) was one + hour late from take-off. So after arriving in Portland, my luggage was lost.
    The problem with this is that I needed to be at work @ 0630 am on the 19th and had no
    clothes to show up to work, so I missed a day of work. I returned to the airport to see if my luggage had arrived, the computers were down. So in turn I waited for the next flight to arrive 2 hours later and my luggage arrived. I am trying understand why your company didn’t offer any kind of incentive for all the hassle I had to go through. Having a degree in Aviation Management from SIU, and being Black-belt certified in Six Sigma, this would make a great project for a process failure in Management. I am currently serving in the US Navy as a Parachute Rigger and have been for 21 years. If I do not do my job to satisfaction, someone dies. If someone pays for a service, shouldn’t that service be provided with customer satisfaction. I guess not in this situation. Maybe you should just put a disclaimer on your ticket that states, “your flight is only guaranteed to Our Satisfaction.” I travel 32-35 weeks a year, and I have to say this is the worst Airlines I have flown on.

    Thomas D Sawyer

  • Our complaint against American Airlines is in this letter we sent to them (posted below)
    March 26, 2007

    Gerard J. Arpey
    Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
    AMR Corporation/American Airlines, Inc.
    4333 Amon Carter Boulevard
    Fort Worth, TX 76155

    Dear Mr. Arpey:

    My husband and I just returned from a trip to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. The occasion was my daughter’s wedding. She and her fiancé made arrangements last summer to get married on the beach on the island. We made our arrangements with travel agent, Tim Burke of Kansas City, KS in July of 2006 and paid for most of the trip at that time. The groom’s 2 sisters and the best man were also on this trip and traveling with us. We are experienced travelers and expect some occasional problems. We are also nice, reasonable, patient people. The trip was worse than we could ever imagine.

    March 21, 2007, Wednesday. We were scheduled to leave from Kansas City on flight #1214 departing at 9:20 a.m. to Chicago O’Hare. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time to get checked, obtain boarding passes and get on our way. We were informed that departure would be delayed by 45 minutes. This would still allow us to make our connecting flight to Miami from Chicago. After boarding the plane we were informed there would be another 45- minute delay. The reason was the weather in Chicago was bad and flights were not getting in and out of that airport. We hoped that our connecting flight would be delayed and we would continue on from Chicago to Miami. We arrived in Chicago about the same time our flight left. This was AA flight #1220 to Miami. We immediately were put on a priority standby for the next flight to Miami so we could get our connecting flight to Providenciales. At this time, AA personnel knew that all flights were overbooked and there was not a chance we were going anywhere. We were number 4 and 5 on that first standby list. Numbers 1,2 and 3 got on the flight. Two of those passengers were AA flight crew members (non-paying). I am sure AA personnel in Kansas City were aware of just how bad it was in Chicago that morning. What they should have done was looked at their passenger list and see how many passengers could be rerouted through Dallas or another city to get to Miami. We wish we had thought of it sooner.

    Once we realized we were not going to get out of Chicago via American Airlines, we called your 800 number for help. We reserved at least 2 other flights via other cities to get us to Miami and eventually Providenciales. Those flights were cancelled. I cannot describe the chaos in that airport that day. Dozens of flights were delayed and eventually cancelled. We were not the only victims. The lines to the service counters were very long. We finally realized we were stuck. We called Southwest Airlines and booked a flight to Baltimore for the next morning. This was done at our own expense ($374.80). We took a cab ($20.00) to a hotel ($116.63) and spent the night in the hotel. At no time did AA offer us a voucher for hotels, meals, etc. We were at O’Hare that day until midnight.

    March 22, 2007, Thursday. We took the hotel shuttle to Midway for our Southwest flight. The flight was delayed an hour. I called the 800 number again to ask for assistance in getting word to AA that we would be arriving in Baltimore and needed to get on our flight to Miami. The representative assured me that the seats would not be given away until 10 minutes before flight time. She assured us if we arrived within 30 minutes we would get on that flight. This delay gave us less than an hour in Baltimore to catch our AA flight (#2133). Southwest flight personnel were very sympathetic and allowed us to pre-board so we could get off quickly and hurry to the counter to get boarding passes and through security to the gate. We arrived in Baltimore 40 minutes before flight time of flight #2133. We arrived at the counter and were referred to Mr. Drew Maricle. There was a line of waiting passengers and they allowed us to get in front of them to resolve this problem. We waited for Mr. Maricle to finish the ticketing process of a group of passengers before addressing him with our problem. I explained that we were on the second day of our trip and that it was very important to get to my daughter’s wedding the next afternoon. He refused to give us boarding passes because boarding was closed. I explained to him that all we needed were boarding passes; we had no luggage to check. I also told him what we were told on the phone about holding our seats. He said, “She lied.” I was polite and asked him again why he would not do this for us. His response was “Because I am in charge. And I am not going to do it!” The plane was still on the ground while this incident was happening. This, by far, was the low point of the trip. The waiting passengers were clearly appalled at Mr. Maricle’s behavior. I was in tears at this point.

    We called the 800 number again and made reservations for a later flight to Miami. We were unable to get to Providenciales until the next day. We reserved the flight to Provo for March 23. We spent the night in Miami in a hotel ($158.15).

    March 23, 2007. We finally arrived in Providenciales at 1:00 p.m. just 4 hours before the wedding. It took us 52 hours to make a trip that should have taken 12 hours. It cost us an extra $669.58. The biggest surprise was that our luggage was there. I attempted to track our luggage several times during this trip with no success. We had nothing with us during this trip except for our carry-on bags and the clothes on our backs. We spent a day and a half at our destination. The hotel did not charge us for the 2 nights we were not there. We hope we get the same consideration from American Airlines.

    If it had not been for the best man, who spent much of the time on his cell phone while we were stranded in Chicago, we probably would have missed the wedding. He/we spent hours in line and on the phone trying to get us there. By the way, he had enough of the inefficiency of the airline in Chicago that he returned to Kansas City and did not attend the wedding. This was my only daughter getting married and I was determined to be there.

    The airlines’ practice of overbooking flights was a big factor in what happened on this trip. Of course, the weather cannot be controlled but there were several times during the course of this trip that AA could have helped us out of the situation. Mr. Maricle’s behavior was inexcusable. We feel that the AA gate personnel in Kansas City and Chicago were not honest with us. They were aware of the potential problems all the overbooked flights and the weather were going to create. The customer service representatives that answered the 800-433-7300 were helpful with rebooking our flights. Unfortunately, they could not help us on the ground.

    I expect to be reimbursed our extra costs. You cannot put a price on the stress this trip caused us and my daughter and what we missed. I missed the last minute mother/daughter preparations that moms and daughters look forward to all their lives. . Your airline took the edge off of what should have been a wonderful, beautiful day. By the way, the wedding and the bride were beautiful.

    We will probably never fly American Airlines again. There are many other carriers. There is also Amtrak, Greyhound and the car. We would consider them before American Airlines. Our return trip was all on schedule. While in Dallas waiting to board our flight to Kansas City on Sunday, March 25, a call was made for 4 people to volunteer to delay their trip because the flight was overbooked. Surprise, surprise! They were offered a hotel voucher for the night, meals and a $400 trip voucher on your airline. We never volunteered for any delays and were offered nothing. We were not even offered any help. Please send a cash refund. We do not want a voucher to fly on your airline that will expire in one year. I am old enough to remember when service was a big deal when traveling by air. Not anymore. The airlines seem to have forgotten if it were not for the travelers there would be no airline. As it is, tickets are expensive and there is no guarantee for anything. We are at your mercy. From now on if Southwest Airlines is going to where I want to go, they will get my business.

    I will wait for your response.

    Richard and Jeanne Hopkins

    Raymore, MO 64083

  • Thank heaven someone is speaking to this travesty of consumer’s rights.

    We were held on the ground for 4 ½ hours by US AIR in Philadelphia last August, with faulty air and/or no air at all, cabin temperatures of 90 – 93 degrees measured by some passenger’s watch function, given only 3 oz of water in paper cups during the entire ordeal while watching the first class passengers getting bottled water, with crying babies and passengers, people fainting and begging to be taken off due to health problems, with most of crew disappearing after just a few hours and remaining crew threatening the sweating passengers who protested this in human treatment.

    After 4 hours, we were forced to file into a roped off area of the terminal for another 3 hours with threats of being expelled from the flight should we leave. One lady who protested privately at the service desk was berated and threatened loudly in front of gathered passengers in the holding area, frightening all of the elderly. Those who asked were also told no other flights were available on other airlines, and that US AIR could only route us to alternate cities the next morning, causing us to miss the whole first day of an European tour, our hotel reservation in Rome to be cancelled due to “no show,” and ruining the beginning of an expensive European tour. For this treatment, some were offered a $250 voucher when the actual peroration should have been around $1,000 or more.

    Calls to the Department of Transportation were not returned, nor even acknowledged on their Website. What a sham government regulation has become under “deregulation.”

  • I concur with the anonymous post on March 26. I’m claustropic, so while not afraid of flying, the enclosed space and not being able to get out is what truly panics me. I’ve flown domestic once/twice year and overseas on 2-3 occasions…but on my last short domestic flight the plane’s aisles were just too incredibly narrow and I had to leave the plane. We’re planning a trip overseas next year, but I’m pushing for a train trip here in the states – can’t stand the thought of being held on a tarmac. Sadly, I think even if I was mellow with Ativan or some such, just the fear of being stuck on a tarmac is enough to limit my travel in the clouds. I just can’t imagine the panic/discomfort people have being “stuck” on an airplane without A/C, etc. – nightmare.

  • Many of the complaints are justified. However, the comments about the public laws, DOT and the FAA show a tremendous lack of understanding of what areas these agencies regulate as prescribed by congress. FAA regulates safety as relates to the conduct of a flight. I suggest that folks read the public law 49 USC (formerly the Aviation Act of 1958) the Code of Federal Regulations, titles 14 for FAA and 49 for DOT.

    Of course none of the news outlets want you to be wise to these rules. Be advised that the size of these rules is onerous for the airlines and more onerous for the public, it takes a brain to read them.

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