AA denied me boarding even tho i got to the JFK 2:10 min before dep. AA is just sorry.

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Can i get compensation? is so, how?

  • Yes

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • No

    Votes: 3 75.0%

  • Total voters
    4
  • Poll closed .
Dec 30, 2015
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Guys, thanks i found this forum. I went through a nightmare thanks to AA and i wrote this letter to their Customer Service. Please, read so you know what happened.
Dear American Airlines,
My name is Maria Lopez Carrasquel and I’m afraid I’m writing this letter to complaint about your service. I was denied boarding at JFK airport in New York on the 21 of December, 2015, in a flight to Caracas, Venezuela number AA2559 that suppose to depart at 07:06 am even though I got to the airport 2hours and 10 min. early. I have an Uber receipt that proves this, (see attachment that I downloaded from my inbox). I arrived at 4:56 am. My airline ref number is: xxxxxx(Uber receipt is attached).
Also, I already had checked in and have my boarding pass in my hands since I got it at Heathrow airport in London, since my flight was from London to Caracas with a stop in NY, so I only had to drop my bag. I took my bag with me thanks to US regulations that asked to take it with me in my stop, and I guess you are familiar with that.
When I got to the airport there was a massive long queue, I asked to one of your representatives if that I needed to do that line to drop my bag and she said yes. When we are getting closer I see how your agents were incredible slow doing this process. There were only four of them and one other, the supervisor that kept going from place to place. The people started complaining they were going to miss their flights so she started checking people in, also very slow. I put my timer on and I realized even her took 15 min to do a check in, so I started to worry and asked to the other member of the staff that were around the queue and they were rude to me saying: That’s not my problem.
I got to the counter 1hour and 06 min earlier of my departure time, exactly at 6:00 am and I was told I was too late. I asked to talk with the supervisor but of course I had to wait so time was running. When I spoke to her she told me I missed my flight and that I have to call to make a new reservation. I told her why I have to make a call if I was at the airport, and why I was being denying boarding if I got there early and there was still time to check in but she said that there was no space for my bag. So I said I have no problem with my bag coming in the next flight but she was so rude, and told me she can’t do that for me and went to speak with the next person in the queue.

She was absolutely impolite; I’ve never seen someone behaving like this wearing an uniform of a company. She did not say: “I’m afraid I can’t help you”, she did not try to help me; she just left to talk with someone else.

I stayed there watching her to attend this guy, she had his passport in her hands but she misspelled his surname, the guy complained, and she took his passport again and did it again. The guy said: Is wrong again, there are no “As” in my surname, but again she did not apology, or anything. I kept timing her and that took 23 min to be done.

No wonder why many people were missing their flights if your staff, specially your supervisor is definitely not efficient.

I spoke to her again asking why am I being denying boarding if I have my boarding pass in my hands and she said there had given my seat to someone else because I didn’t arrive 4 hours early. I got very upset and I said I didn’t know I had to be that early, and that is not my fault you don’t have enough staff. There was still empty counters were qualify staff could have been there to help us, passengers.

Also, she denied giving me her name and she took another 12 min to find me the information of the next flight I could take. She wanted me to pay for another flight, to what I said no, and then she left me once again there waiting. In the mean while, they kept saying to many people there were being too late for their flights. I got the contact of two people, one lady, and one guy flying to Chicago even though his flight was 30 min later than mine. The guy started complaining but he was lucky enough to be attended by another girl, not the supervisor. I took their details. After she saw me doing this, she took my boarding pass and said I can be on stand by to a flight to Miami and then in a flight to Caracas, the next day.
The details of this people are: Jennifer Gonzalez and Chris Pravat (i gave to AA their contact details but i am not posting it here to keep their privacy).
I was incredible tired, and I didn’t feel anyone was solution minded, everyone was rude, nobody was actually trying to make the start of a holiday pleasant. I was crying because I was on my way to see my family whom I haven’t seen for 4 years, and I was scare I’ll be stuck in NY without being able to have Christmas with them.
I was tired for a long stopover since my previous flight from London to NY landed in the evening of the previous day and I had to wait for this one. So, I begged to another lady part of your staff and she told me there was a long stand by list for that flight and that you gave my seat to one of those stand by passengers, what upset me since is alright if you give my seat to someone else if I’m not there 45 min before departure, but I was at the airport on time according to your condition of carriage that say the check in time is up to the airport, and I checked the check in times at the JFK and I found the following (The screen shots are attached).
The JFK is NOT one of the airports that need extra time to do check in!!!!!! Then I checked if the JFK need extra time to check baggage since that was the first excuse that I was given: There was not enough time to check my luggage and I found that you recommend 60 min prior departure time, but actually JFK needs 45 min. You can confirm all this info here: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInfor...DirectURL&title=arrivaltimes#checkedbagcutoff
I could have been at the check in counter earlier if your staff could have been efficient. I am also surprise that even they knew that many of us will miss our flight they didn’t try to do anything about it, like giving us priority, but of course then everything makes sense when the last lady says is because you are carrying out a long waiting list of people.
Anyway, nobody was polite; everybody messed about the reasons, and with my time. I even felt the supervisor did it on purpose. Staying another day and night in New York cost money to me and to my family who doesn’t live in the capital and had to spend more money and time in arranging my pick up.
Also, stressed me so much that caused me a panic attacked in the cab after I have to tell to my mother I wasn’t going to arrive that day and I was in “stand by” for a flight that I was being told it was fully booked. I ended up landing super tired, what was not my intention considering I haven’t seen my family in four years, and then got me ill out of the stress and I spent the first three days with fever in bed, including Christmas evening and day.
Also, and very important to point out, the supervisor told me to arrive the next day at 3 am, I got there at 2:50 am. It was 3:15 am and nobody was there, people from AA started to come out at 3:20 am and they actually started to work at 3:30 am. The supervisor was not there, she came into the airport at 3:45 am. Yes, into the airport, not coming out from behind the counter.
And something else, after all this waiting, delay, stress and panic attack, there was no vegetarian food option in the flight from Miami to Caracas, there was a salad with meat and a ham sandwich, what make me think of you like a very orthodox airline that does not care about your own customer needs even though you proclaim to be the best and biggest airline in the US and one of the best of the world but is 2015 and any of your flights have WIFI even though when I was searching for flights it did say you have wifi on board, and also the recorded message that is being play loud inside your airplanes, but then I asked to one of your flight attendants and he said you don’t have wifi, I checked with my phone, and there was no wifi.
So, what sort of airline are you? I asked at the airport for a complaining form and they denied it to me since they said I bought my ticket with British Airways, then I called BA and they said that since this happened at the airport I should complain to you. I also contacted the website through it was booked the flight and they told me the same, and I agree, it wasn’t British airways who treated me badly, or them, it was you.
King Regards,
Maria Lopez.

Then i got this email where they only apology and contradict themselves by saying their system was blocked automatically so i couldn't check in, but then saying i got there 44 min. before my departure what is a LIE because i was timing the check in process of the people before and after me, and also how does she has that record but doesn't have the record of the 20 min. the supervisor took to do a check in while letting me waiting and not trying to find a solution for me? just saying i couldn't board the airplane? Then coming back to me to tell me i have to fly to Miami and then to Caracas? Probably those 44 min refer to the second time she came to talk to me. Here is AA answer:

Our Executive Office has received your email, and it is my privilege to respond on their behalf.
There is simply no excuse for rudeness. Our customers should always experience polite service from our employees, regardless of the circumstances. In view of your comments, I've shared the details of your experience with the appropriate management personnel.
When hiring employees who will serve our customers, we work hard to look for those applicants who demonstrate a warm and friendly attitude. Our training programs emphasize to all our employees, new and experienced alike, the importance of an individualized, caring approach even in the face of the unique difficulties that only an airline can experience.
As well, I'm sorry you were not able to check in for your flight when you reached the ticket counter. As you may already know, each airport has specific guidelines about check-in times (2 hours for international) to ensure customers and bags (60 minutes for international) make it through security and to the aircraft on time. Once the check-in cutoff time has arrived, the computer system automatically restricts the ability to check any passenger in for the flight. Our records show your record being access at 44 minutes until departure to check your bag. Since we cannot allow bags to travel separate from the passenger, we were unable to allow you to continue on to this flight. Although I'm happy our agents were able to book you on the next flight with available seats, I realize this was a frustrating situation for you.
While we make every effort to ensure there are enough agents staffing our ticket counters and bag drop locations, it is not always possible to forecast the number of customers who will need assistance -- especially when unexpected circumstances cause long lines. As you experienced there will be occasions when lines move slower than we would like, and our customers are inconvenienced.
Whenever possible, we try to obtain additional manpower -- either to help customers check in at the counter or to identify those customers whose flight times are fast approaching so they can be given priority. When these efforts are still not enough, we feel it is the responsibility of each customer to let us know if his scheduled departure is at hand and he is in danger of missing the flight. There is simply no way for us to know the itinerary of each person in line and act accordingly. Still, we apologize again for this undoubtedly frustrating experience.
Whenever possible, we try to obtain additional manpower -- either to help customers check in at the counter or to identify those customers whose flight times are fast approaching so they can be given priority. Accordingly, we regret that, when you advised our agent that your flight time was imminent, you weren't accommodated. It is possible, however, that our agent working the line knew there were other customers ahead of you with similar or sooner flight times than yours. In that case, it would not have been fair to advance you in line. If we determine that the sequence of customers in our check-in lines compares pretty closely with their respective flight times, the best that we can do is efficiently process the line as quickly as we can. Still, we apologize again for this undoubtedly frustrating experience, and we have shared your comments with our management personnel to ensure our personnel are following correct procedures in this regard.
Please note, our customer relation department has not receive previous correspondence from you. I apologize if you felt you were being ignored previously.
Ms. Lopez, despite what happened on this occasion, we hope you will continue to select American Airlines for your travel needs. We will work hard to ensure that you receive the service you expect and deserve.
Sincerely,
Kristina Lorey
 

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VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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A few things Maria. First, we are all disappointed to hear of your dilemma.

In reading through the events, your frustration seems understandable and legitimate, which was acknowledged by Kristina Lorey from AA. One thing I see from your timeline is that you arrived at the airport 2 hours and 10 minutes ahead, but did not get to the counter in time to check your bags (60 minutes prior to departure). If so, this is the key factor in your mishap.

We tell our site visitors to be at the airport 3-4 hours prior to departure for international flights as airport lines can be very long and unpredictable (like in your case). I don't see a clear case for compensation here, but you can still appeal to the executive level using our Company Contacts in the order shown below

Include the relevant highlights without emotional statements or threats of any kind
Attach any documentation you have, and save all your correspondence

Initial Contact . . . . . . . Primary
1 week later . . . . . . . . Secondary*
2 weeks later . . . . . . . CEO*

* extend by 1 week from November 15th - January 5th for travel providers

When you complete your appeals or if you have further questions, please update this thread
 
Jan 5, 2015
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A few things Maria. First, we are all disappointed to hear of your dilemma.

In reading through the events, your frustration seems understandable and legitimate, which was acknowledged by Kristina Lorey from AA. One thing I see from your timeline is that you arrived at the airport 2 hours and 10 minutes ahead, but did not get to the counter in time to check your bags (60 minutes prior to departure). If so, this is the key factor in your mishap.

We tell our site visitors to be at the airport 3-4 hours prior to departure for international flights as airport lines can be very long and unpredictable (like in your case). I don't see a clear case for compensation here, but you can still appeal to the executive level using our Company Contacts in the order shown below

Include the relevant highlights without emotional statements or threats of any kind
Attach any documentation you have, and save all your correspondence

Initial Contact . . . . . . . Primary
1 week later . . . . . . . . Secondary*
2 weeks later . . . . . . . CEO*

* extend by 1 week from November 15th - January 5th for travel providers

When you complete your appeals or if you have further questions, please update this thread
The only thing I'll add to this excellent advice is I do think an hour in line is excessive. To my mind, AA owes you the hotel stay and any a refund on any change fees you paid, and you should ask for that.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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The only thing I'll add to this excellent advice is I do think an hour in line is excessive. To my mind, AA owes you the hotel stay and any a refund on any change fees you paid, and you should ask for that.
Maria, I agree with "techno". If you appeal, I suggest you trim your content (which is great by the way) to just the basics. Executives are very busy and you can help them help you by "hitting the highlights".
 
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I agree with the others. The wait in line does seem excessive and it seems like you did arrive in plenty of time, just that AA could not handle the passengers at that time. That is more on AA than on you, so I think some compensation is due. You will receive more asking for a voucher/flight credit/miles, than cash, if you will use AA again.
Otherwise, settle for a lessor amount of cash.
 

Neil Maley

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We always recommend our clients to arrive at the airport 3 hours before an international flight and exactly for the reason you are citing- if lines are very long. 3 hours has never had one of our clients have check in cut off.

If they are short handed, there is not much more they can do. The may have had people call in sick and tried to get others to come in and just couldn't get them. Some things are out of their control but planning to arrive 3 hours before an international flight will pretty much guarantee you won't have a problem.

Didn't they have an employee at the front of the line calling for people who's flights were closing out?
 
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Yeah, you can recommend to arrive 3 hour prior departure, but legally i think they should compensate me because as their contract of carriage says is up to the airport check in times, and i did check that, and the JFK needs a minimum of 45 min. See screen shots attached, or the link to their own rules. Also, i already checked in, i only needed to drop my bag. Other airlines have a queue for people in need of check in, and another for just to drop your bag. They didn't. AA is not efficient. I did arrive to the counter 1 hour and 10 min early but the staff was messing around, the guy about to miss his flight to Chicago was screaming, the supervisor was taking ages to do a simple check in. As i said she misspelled twice the surname of a passenger even with his passport in her hands what ended in a 20 min check in for him, and me waiting... if they could taken 5 min max. to do a check in, then i wouldn't have missed my flight.
One thing is to recommend to be 3 hours prior but i don;t have to. I took the previsions to be there on time, i took a cab. Is not my fault they did not have enough staff in high season.. lol
Thanks for your reply. It would be helpful to me if you could please help me to trim it because i am absolutely mad at this since i paid a very expensive flight from London and being stocked in NY costed me a fortune.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Also, next day when they put me in a flight to Miami, going through security was very quick and getting to the gate. Also, i should add i got to Heathrow 1 hour and 15 min prior to my flight, not to the counter, to the airport, and i managed to do my check in, dropped my bag, do some work in my laptop, have a salad and board my flight.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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Maria,

Here's my shot at a rewrite:


I write to you today reluctantly because I know that you are very busy with other important matters. Thank you in advance for your time and attention.

My issue began at JFK airport on the 21 of December, 2015, where I was denied boarding for a connecting flight to Caracas, Venezuela (#AA2559). I arrived 2 hours and 10 minutes early (Uber receipt attached) and had already checked myself in online. I needed to check my bag as my originating flight from London had arrived late the previous evening.

I arrived at the counter 1 hour, 6 minutes before departure time, but a supervisor told me the following:

- There was no space for my bag
- They couldn't put my bag on another flight
- I would have to pay for a new reservation (which I declined)
- They had given my seat to someone else because I didn’t arrive 4 hours early.
- To arrive the next day at 3:00 AM

I arrived the next day at 2:50 AM, but no one from AA showed up until 3:20 and only started to work at 3:30 am. The supervisor arrived at 3:45 AM. I was then placed on a flight to Miami.
Maria Lopez Carrasquel

***************
That's it (the relevant portions). You need to add to this what you want from them. I would suppose a partial refund or voucher, but only you can decide. It helps a lot to request something less than a full refund.

I hope this helps …
 

VoR61

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Tips for Future Travel . . .
To help meet the required arrival times before departure, I use a "doubling rule":

30 minutes . . . . . . at the Gate or on board the Ship
60 minutes . . . . . . . . . . . . checked-in, including bags
2 hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . at the Airport or Pier
. . . . . . . . and double those for International flights!

Airlines do make some "recommendations", but really when it comes to arrival times they treat these as "required". I believe if you follow the above you'll avoid most, if not all, timing issues and the stress that goes along with them!

You'll see on this AA web page that the "recommended" check-in time for flights to Caracas is 3 hours before departure:

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInfor...p?anchorLocation=DirectURL&title=arrivaltimes
 
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Neil Maley

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You are reading the airport times wrong. That 45 minutes for JFK is ADDITIONAL time besides the 60 minutes. So they are saying you need one hour and 45 minutes for checking luggage. From the link you point to, it states you must be checked in 60 minutes before an international flight.
Plus the extra 45 minutes equals one hour and 45 minutes you have to have your luggage checked by
 
Jan 5, 2015
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You are reading the airport times wrong. That 45 minutes for JFK is ADDITIONAL time besides the 60 minutes. So they are saying you need one hour and 45 minutes for checking luggage. From the link you point to, it states you must be checked in 60 minutes before an international flight.
Plus the extra 45 minutes equals one hour and 45 minutes you have to have your luggage checked by
Looking at it again, I think you're right. I suggest in this case the appeal should include that the chart is misleading. The first time I looked at it I thought the same the OP did. The chart should say, minimum check in time is 60 minutes except for the following, then list the times like so: New York (JFK) 1 hour 45 minutes.
 
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VoR61

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Looking at it again, I think you're right. I suggest in this case the appeal should include that the chart is misleading. The first time I looked at it I thought the same the OP did. The chart should say, minimum check in time is 60 minutes except for the following, then list the times like so: New York (JFK) 1 hour 45 minutes.
I'm going to disagree with you both. The check-in and boarding times both say "before scheduled departure" and "prior to scheduled departure". That makes them concurrent and not additive.

But the web page does specify in the chart a check-in time ("recommended" which really means "required") of 3 hours for Caracas. And it says to arrive at the airport 2 hours before for international flights.
 
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I'm going to disagree with you both. The check-in and boarding times both say "before scheduled departure" and "prior to scheduled departure". That makes them concurrent and not additive.

But the web page does specify in the chart a check-in time ("recommended" which really means "required") of 3 hours for Caracas. And it says to arrive at the airport 2 hours before for international flights.
The fact we all disagree shows it's misleading. I can see it both ways, actually.
And the OP did arrive at the airport 2 hours 10 minutes early, so she met that requirement.
 
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I think AA could save us a lot of our time if they could use the right word. Requiere and recommended means different things. Legally that is a case, my mother is a lawyer sadly she doesn't live in the US or UK and that is a case. You can't expect someone to just arrive way early cause our time is money, is precious, is life. Also, again the point here is that i did arrive on time and i was at the counter 1:06 min early. Also, i find rude and non practical at all that they expect everyone to get there 3/ 4 hours early when they don't even get there on time. Remember i went there the next day when they supposed to start working at 3 am and they started working at 3:30 am. That is just disrespectful to our time and money.
But they are saving money in staff and in training courses for them.
Pathetic.
 
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Hey Maria,
I noticed you said you had boarding passes in hand issued earlier in London.
Were you a TRANSIT Passenger?
I did not read your whole case because it is very long and I am already toasting the New Year :D
I think you know where I am coming from. If you were actually a TRANSIT pax, even if overnite, then MAYBE AA should have handled you differently since you were already checked in and your bags only needed to be dropped off.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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the United States
I think AA could save us a lot of our time if they could use the right word. Requiere and recommended means different things. Legally that is a case, my mother is a lawyer sadly she doesn't live in the US or UK and that is a case. You can't expect someone to just arrive way early cause our time is money, is precious, is life. Also, again the point here is that i did arrive on time and i was at the counter 1:06 min early. Also, i find rude and non practical at all that they expect everyone to get there 3/ 4 hours early when they don't even get there on time. Remember i went there the next day when they supposed to start working at 3 am and they started working at 3:30 am. That is just disrespectful to our time and money.
But they are saving money in staff and in training courses for them.
Pathetic.
Maria, I agree that the terms can be confusing, but to be specific as it applies here:

"At the airport" - only one meaning
"Checked-In" - means both you and your bags
"At the gate" - only one meaning
"At the counter" - is not relevant to any requirements

Thus AA requires you AND your bags to be checked-in 60 minutes before scheduled departure for domestic flights. The chart on their webpage actually specifies a 3 hour "check-in" (prior to departure) for Caracas. You did not meet that.

And yes, "recommended" is not "required", but if the airlines all treat it that way, better that we do as well. The result, as you have witnessed, can be unpleasant.