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Kauai Trip 3/30/14 to 4/3/14 - (Post 6 of 7) -Back to Dallas

Frisco, TX
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Kauai Trip 3/30/14 to 4/3/14 – (Post 6 of 7) -Back to Dallas

Not enough time to really do anything before the flight, so just wanted to get up whenever, and relax. A dead day for sure, but we had crammed plenty into the three days.

Flight to Dallas wasn’t until 1, but had to check out of the hotel by 11. Enjoyed one last quickie breakfast at the sundries shop, before walking along the beach. I couldn’t leave the island without at least dipping my foot in the ocean, so I did just that…and it was about as “cold” as I expected.

Headed to the airport, and even after dropping of the car, and making it through security, we had too much time, but I’d rather sit in an airport sipping a beer, than be stuck in traffic or some other stressful situation.

Our flight back to Dallas was not direct; had a small layover at LAX. Forget the plane-type, but it was your standard 3-3 seating. I am an aisle guy, and my golf buddy is a window guy, but luckily we had an empty seat between us, so there was a little extra room.

Now, I mentioned something in the “Headin’ West” report about doing my best not to fly American Airlines for future trips. Well, here is why: Our plane landed at 10:50pm, with our scheduled departure to Dallas at 12:15am. As we scanned the boards for our gate, the dreaded CANCELLED was next to our flight. Apparently, the severe thunderstorms that I read about before takeoff were dropping tennis ball sized hail around Dallas, and had upset the system so much, it warranted a cancellation. Somewhere over the Pacific, American left me a voicemail stating that my flight was cancelled, and that I was now on the 7:20 flight the next morning.

Immediately, we went to customer service, where we were met with a rather long line. The agent, whose grasp of English wasn’t the best, was ill prepared to handle the onslaught of irate passengers. Before she was “kind of enough” to put us on the stand-by list for the last flight out at 1:20, I asked about Admiral’s Club passes. She told me that was impossible, as it was controlled by American Express. (It sounded fishy to me, but didn’t matter as it was going to close in about 30 minutes). She also couldn’t give me a straight answer to where my checked bag might be.

We were number 6 and 7 on the stand-by, but not one of the 27 people on the list got on the plane, so we all spent the night in LAX. Now, I could handle 7 hours in an airport if things were open, but no food, no booze, no reading material…yeah, this was going to suck. I didn’t care that my bag “might” be on the plane that was leaving, and really didn’t like that the two gate employees were so preoccupied to get home, that no one checked if every one of the 27 displaced persons had a cot, or was ok in any other way.

It was kind of neat to see LAX come alive around 5am, but that might have been the sleep deprivation, caused by the lights and music being on as though it was the middle of the day…and the cleaning…and the construction. We were numbers 2 and 3 on the standby list for the 5:50 flight, and really lucked out when someone slated for an exit row tried to board with crutches just as we were called to the desk. I was out before the wheels were up, and slept almost all the way to Dallas. Of course, the trip couldn’t end there: Our bags were on the 7:20 flight, so we had to wait around for another hour for them to show.

I left out a few details (doesn’t seem like it, does it?), but the shoddy service, or lack of service, was enough to push American Airlines below Spirit on my list.

Buford, Georgia
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1. Re: Kauai Trip 3/30/14 to 4/3/14 – (Post 6 of 7) -Back to Dallas

I've had some pretty shoddy service on other airlines, too. At least your AA flight was free.

Texas
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2. Re: Kauai Trip 3/30/14 to 4/3/14 – (Post 6 of 7) -Back to Dallas

I am sorry you had to spend the night in the airport--that stinks--however--you can't land planes with tennis ball sized hail happening. Not sure what you expected AA to do. If you would have been on Delta or United or Spirit--in your situation the same thing would have happened.

California
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3. Re: Kauai Trip 3/30/14 to 4/3/14 – (Post 6 of 7) -Back to Dallas

I hope our DE Denny reads this post since he LOVES American Airlines. Delays happen especially with weather issues we are experiencing lately, but they didn't get you a hotel? That's not ok!

Jettybetty is right though! Don't blame AA for hail. If you want to avoid weather issues anytime of the year, go through states that don't have weather issues.

Buford, Georgia
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4. Re: Kauai Trip 3/30/14 to 4/3/14 – (Post 6 of 7) -Back to Dallas

As long as the delays and cancellations are weather related, the airlines don't have to provide hotels or food vouchers.

Frisco, TX
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5. Re: Kauai Trip 3/30/14 to 4/3/14 – (Post 6 of 7) -Back to Dallas

Agree that things happen, and know that AA is not alone in shoddy service. I'm sure that other airlines were affected by the hail, but this was several hours after the reports, so it was poor handling of the ripple effect form my opinion.

Where I got frustrated was the service agent (whatever the title is) gave his two last cots away, and then started to leave. My friend threw up his hands and asked what about us. When we pressed for a hotel room, the agent got flustered, and found someone to defend him (another AA) employee; supervisor of some kind. We were told that hotel rooms are not given away for weather delays. We tried to argue the angle that AA's handling of the cancellation, and poor redistribution of displaced passengers (felt that they knew we were in mid-flight and thus couldn't do anything to try and improve our situation ourselves) was the reason we were stuck in the airport. Only when they sensed we would not relent (shortly after my friend foolishly {don't condone the action} opened one of the drawers behind the counter and showed them the hotel vouchers) did they start thinking about where they could score a few more cots.

This wasn't the first time that a hail storm hit Dallas in April, so they should have been better prepared. Couple that with customer service being possibly the last thing on these employees' minds that night (er, morning technically), surely left a bad taste in my mouth.

I try to live by the motto that the customer is always right...until they become a jerk. Most of these frontline employees put up with real jerks all day long, so I try to be as understanding as possible. An example, this past fall in Vegas, I needed four trips back-and-forth to the front desk because of a bum key card reader. It led to an upgrade to a suite, all because I was polite, understanding, and empathetic. I didn't get any sense of sympathy from the employees I engaged with from AA, so I shut it all down. I used to like US Airways, so I hope some of their culture infects AA.

The optimist in me says at least it happened at the end of the trip. It didn't scar a wonderful time, and we can look back now, and laugh a little...somewhat :)

Edited: 04 June 2014, 23:57
6. Re: Kauai Trip 3/30/14 to 4/3/14 – (Post 6 of 7) -Back to Dallas

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