This is going to be very long and since I'm updating from the web interface and I can't remember how to do lj cuts, feel free to ignore this whole post.
I have never been so frustrated by a group of people in my life. I looked at my itinerary a couple of weeks ago, and I realized that the connection time in Dallas for my flight from Memphis to Paris was only about 40 minutes long. My mother is a travel agent, so I can access the program that travel agents use to book tickets. When I went on there to book the flight originally, the flight I was on was their default routing. My mom calls American Airlines to ask if the 40 minute connection time was sufficient. She called several times. Each time, they told her that it was a daily flight, and nobody's ever had a problem making the connection. They said that as long as I took the SkyLink from terminal C to terminal D, I would make it in plenty of time.
I get to the airport some 3 hours in advance. I check in, and I talked to the gate agent in Memphis. I asked her if it would be better to standby for the earlier flight, but she again assured me that there wouldn't be a problem making the connection.
We start boarding a couple of minutes after we were scheduled to board. I'm not too nervous yet, but the minute I get on board, I corner a flight attendant and explain to her my situation. She said that we were still on time, and that I wouldn't have a problem. Halfway through the flight, I know for a fact that we really are no longer on schedule. I ask her to call the airport and get them to hold the plane, and she does. She told me that we were coming in gate C8 and that the SkyLink platform was right there. I would just need to get off at D22. She said that since it was the last flight to Paris, they would hold the plane a couple of minutes. They know I'm coming, and they would wait. She said that she couldn't guarantee that they would wait long, but they would wait a few minutes.
The minute we're on the ground, I've got my seatbelt off, I've got my backpack in the aisle, and I'm ready to bolt off the plane. Seriously, I was the 3rd person off that plane. I run all the way to gate D22, and I'm 2 minutes late. TWO! The conversation only gets more stupid from here.
Me: I was told by the flight attendant that you were going to hold the plane.
Him: It is our policy to NEVER hold planes.
Me: The flight attendant said you would.
Him: You probably flew American Eagle, and they don't know what they're talking about.
Me: I flew in on American Airlines.
Him: I don't believe you. Let me see your ticket. (Looks at ticket) Well, you were misinformed.
Me: It is ridiculous that if this is your daily routing that the connection time isn't longer.
Him: Well, it is your fault for not taking an earlier flight.
MY FAULT?!?! Seriously! If this is your default routing, and you can't guarantee that your customers are going to make the connection, it is now the customers fault? I am completely pissed and frustrated by this point. I call my mom and told her that she had to come and talk to these people because I want compensation (which they say they don't have the authority to give and I have to snail mail their customer relation office).
My mom comes and we go to the ticketing counter. Seriously, the customer service went from bad to worse. We go up to the counter. My mom starts to talk to the guy because I am seriously so frustrated that I was a hairsbredth away from hysterical. He listens to my mom for all of a second, and I'll relay parts of the conversation below.
Him: Are you the customer?
Mom: No, she is.
Him: Well, I don't want to hear from you then. (turns to me) What's the problem?
I explain the situation.
Him: What do you want me to do?
Mom: We want compensation in two forms. We're not going to use the hotel or dinner voucher (because I've lived in Dallas 20 years and I have no idea where this hotel they put me up at was). We want an AA voucher instead. Second, I want her on the waiting list of business class upgrade.
Him: I can't do either of that. We don't handle any of that.
Mom: If we don't stay at the hotel, then AA makes money.
Him: It is your decision not to use it. There is nothing I can do.
Me: Look, if you can't do anything, at least I want my luggage.
Him: I am not in charge of luggage. I have to way of getting it for you. I don't understand why you want your bags.
Me: Can you guarantee that it will get to Paris?
Him: American Airlines has been in business for 75 years. They have procedures for this. Your bag won't be in Paris without you (which was completely not what I was worried about). It's not like your bag is just sitting on the curb.
Me: In the 75 years that American Airlines has been in business, are you trying to tell me that you've never lost a bag?
Him: Oh, we lose luggage every day.
Me: Exactly. Can you guarantee that my bag will make it to Paris?
Him: Well, if you're going to be so pessimistic about us, there's nothing I can say to you.
Mom: Look, what can you do to compensate us and rectify the situation?
Him: I've been standing here listening to the two of you for 30 minutes. What more do you want from me? Plus, you're not the customer.
Mom: I am the mother of the customer.
Him: Sure, now you say you're her mother (as if my mom would lie!).
Mom: (now completely pissed) I am her mother, I have always been her mother, and I will always be her mother. I want your name.
Him: Please, write down my name. This way I don't have to talk to you people any more!
The nerve of the guy! I realize that I'm just a lowly customer flying coach, but my mom works at the largest travel consolidator agency in the whole of the US. Please, piss them off. She personally knows a lot of the bigwigs at American Airlines.
We go down to baggage claim to try to find my bags. The girl there was like, that people at the ticketing counter have to do a bag pull before we can access your bags. I was like, there is no way I'm going back up there to talk to the guy. Can you not call? Apparently, they have no ability to call their own people within the same airport. I was like, fine, what do I have to do. Apparently, I have to get the ticket person to pull my bags. Then I was to go down to them and let them know. Then, I had to wait at the airport for SIX HOURS before I could get my bag. At this point, I am sooooo hoping that my bags don't make it to Paris.
I am already going to write a letter to customer relations. I will write letters to the CEO, CFO, CIO, and whoever else in the company. If I don't hear from them promptly, I have no issues sending the same letters to the Dallas Morning News, ABC, NBC, CBS, and whatever other news organizations. I will so start a boycott American Airlines campaign if I have to.