It was supposed to be a 2-hour flight from San Francisco Intl Airport (SFO) to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX). However, Flight AA486 departing SFO on May 22nd at 3:45 pm never took off. For this flight we purchased preferred seats in Economy class.
As soon as everyone was on board and settled the captain announced that Air Traffic Control (ATC) at SFO is delaying the flight for about 20 min. When the 20 min were up the captain told that he exceeded the allowable work time per FAA of 8 hours for the day because of the ATC delay and that he cannot fly the aircraft, and that another crew has to be found in order for this flight to leave; however, when that other crew will be found and will it be found at all, no one had any information.
As time progressed the cabin crew announced that if passengers wanted to leave the aircraft they are free to do so, but once you leave you cannot board again. After more time passed people started to leave realizing that they can no longer make their connections or simply because they did not want to stay in the aircraft. At about 4:30 pm lots of passengers received a text message or notification on their cell phones, including us that the flight is rescheduled for 11 pm. Soon after that the cabin crew asked everyone to leave as we were not able to stay any longer on-board having another 7 hours to departure. People raised concern about their luggage that was still in the belly of the plane and how in this situation would be able to rebook.
As we deplaned we tried to find American Airlines customer service desk within the terminal but not until we walked back to the main terminal departure area, and passed security where we were able to find customer service. The representative took swift action to rebook us on another airline flight later that afternoon, after he first said there were no more AA flights to Phoenix, and after our reply that the situation was created by American Airlines and they airline had an obligation to take us to the final destination within reasonable time since the 11 pm was very, very late departure for us.
While at the customer service desk another employee showed up and informed the guy who was helping us that flight 486 was delayed to much later departure time so “no hotels and no transportation” to be given as the delay was “caused by ACT and not American Airlines.” We couldn’t believe that they would say something like that not realizing that we were form the troubled flight. Even the fact that ATC delayed the flight with 20 min, why was that pilots didn’t have ample time to buffer the short delay and complete this flight? So whose fault really was?
We’d like to commend the customer service agent who help us rebook on United Airlines flight just 3 hours later. We’ve also checked historical flight data and found that flight AA486 did not leave until 11:37 pm that day. We are still waiting for refund of the preferred seats we purchased.
My flight to my destiny was somewhat bearable. Flight attendants were rude, pretended not to understand spanish. I speak english perfectly well but my husband doesn´t, he said 2 or 3 basic words in spanish when offered his sandwich and they pretended not to understand anything. The word sandwich and "sanduche" sound pretty much the same in both languages. Also, for a 4 hour flight I was hoping to put my son a movie. They had forgotten all the headphones so no one on the flight could see a movie. Fortunately, we brought our iPad with us and a pair of headphones we gave to my 2 year toddler. But the flight back home was the worse. It departed 20 minutes late, again no headphones. And when we got home one of my bags did not arrived. This was 4 days ago. Since then, I haven´t received any information of what happened. I´ve called AA´s Call Center a million times and they claim they have no updates regarding my bag since we landed, that the AA´s office at the airport doesn´t reply their internal messages. I had to ask a friend of mine that lives in Miami to go to the airport. The supervisor told him that they found the bag and that they were going to send it in the next flight. It has been 1 more day after that and 2 more flights and they haven´t even notified me about the finding neither they have sent it in any flight back home. Now that I call this morning they say they still haven´t heard from the Airport and that is probably because they haven´t found it. Rude staff at the call center too. I kept calling 4 times a day, (international calls) and kept me on hold for hours! It is outrageous! I payed for 3 full priced tickets, payed 2 additional bags and I´ve received the worse service. They even have the nerve of not answering. I´m not flying in American Airlines not even if I get free tickets. It´s probably the worst customer service I´ve ever experienced. I used to travel a lot a few years ago since I studied in Europe. I´ve used KLM, Lufthansa, Iberia, low cost airlines, etc and never have experienced this. No wonder they are broke!