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Thread: Horrible experience and mistreatment from American Airlines

  1. #1

    Unhappy Horrible experience and mistreatment from American Airlines

    Hi ,

    I had a horrible experience and mistreatment from American Airlines.

    I was traveling American Airlines (AA) from Philly to visit Seattle past week. There was no issue boarding the flight. The problem was at Seattle when the flight landed there was no assistance to help me deplane. After few minutes a couple of female agents arrived there with the aisle chair. However they wanted my parents to lift me and transfer from seat to aisle chair. We declined because my aged parents are not capable of lifting me. The agents then called for male aisle chair assistance and wanted us to wait and we did not find any issue waiting there for the help to arrive.

    However, an AA customer support representative (rep) came inside the plane, and she was in a hurry to vacate me because the same plane was waiting to board the other passengers for the next flight. She was rude to my family and asked us to bring our assistance in future and not to trouble the airline. She forced the agents to transfer me to aisle chair, but they were reluctant until more assistance arrives. The AA rep said she is strong enough and capable of lifting me, and she did not head to any words of my family or air-hostess and forcefully transferred me from seat to aisle with the help of the reluctant agents. She tried to drag me from the seat to the aisle chair but was not successful. She just seated me on the edges of aisle chair and could not wholly transfer me. She swiftly hastened the aisle chair belts and went to fetch some help. In couple of minutes she brought an AA employee who had no idea and unfastened the aisle chair belts and tried to pull my pants, but unfortunately, I fell towards my right side on the plane floor.

    As soon as I fell, everyone ran away, including the AA rep, agents, and the last guy whom the rep brought in. My shoulders were aching on pain due to the fall, and there was no help available. My parents were crying, and finally paramedics arrived after 15 minutes. The irony was the paramedics could not know how to handle a person with quadriplegia. A single guy was holding my shoulders and trying to lift me to aisle chair from the ground. Somehow they managed to take me outside the plane and gave some ice to my aching shoulders, which were a vast reliever.

    The AA rep came to me at the end and blamed the agents. Next the agents came and blamed the AA rep. All way through, the only support I received was from the air-hostess who witnessed everything from the beginning to the end. She said that she would make detail note of the incident, and wanted us to report the incident to the AA.

    When I returned home, I found contusion of right hip. Fortunately, there seems to be no acute fracture in ER finding, but I?m still suffering from shoulder pain and increased spasticity.

    I reached out to AA customer service about this incident, but their response was a simple templated apology and not convincing. Even though the agents did not allow my parents to record anything, but still my parents managed to record most of the incident including AA rep?s rude behavior.

    I am not sure how to proceed with formal complaint against the AA and its rep. Any input and feedback is very much appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    I know airlines are required to provide assistance but I'm unclear if they are required to lift a person in/out of the seat. I just did a little research and all I found was the word "assist". not sure how to interpret that. I hope someone can clear that up. If they are required to provided qualified personnel to transfer you in/out of the seat then you have every right to file a complaint.

  3. #3
    You can get information here about filing a formal complaint with the DOT. https://www.transportation.gov/airco...umer-complaint

    We have had frequent complaints about AA here in the past; many of our members refuse to fly with that airline.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post

    We have had frequent complaints about AA here in the past; many of our members refuse to fly with that airline.

    (KLD)
    in my experience they definitely seem to be the least competent when it comes to gettin aisle chairs ready and doing the actual transferring. When I was first injured I liked in a city that was an AA hub, so they were the only option lots of the time. They’re the reason why I call when i book the ticket, then a couple days before, then the day if, then tell them at checkin, then go immediately to the gate to tell them (usually early enough that the previous flight hasn’t boarded yet), then wait in front of the gate in a very obvious spot for the half hour before the flight, and I still assume that they’re not going to have an aisle chair ready when it comes time to board.

    hope everything works out OP. This is America. Sometimes you gotta sue someone to change things.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    in my experience they definitely seem to be the least competent when it comes to gettin aisle chairs ready and doing the actual transferring.
    The people who operate the aisle chair are agents of the airport not the airline. They are not required to transfer you.

  6. #6
    They are not required to transfer you.
    This is what has me confused. The OP seems to feel they are required. I thought KLD would know but she didn't address the issue.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by kansrk View Post
    Hi ,

    I had a horrible experience and mistreatment from American Airlines.

    I was traveling American Airlines (AA) from Philly to visit Seattle past week. There was no issue boarding the flight. The problem was at Seattle when the flight landed there was no assistance to help me deplane. After few minutes a couple of female agents arrived there with the aisle chair. However they wanted my parents to lift me and transfer from seat to aisle chair. We declined because my aged parents are not capable of lifting me. The agents then called for male aisle chair assistance and wanted us to wait and we did not find any issue waiting there for the help to arrive.

    However, an AA customer support representative (rep) came inside the plane, and she was in a hurry to vacate me because the same plane was waiting to board the other passengers for the next flight. She was rude to my family and asked us to bring our assistance in future and not to trouble the airline. She forced the agents to transfer me to aisle chair, but they were reluctant until more assistance arrives. The AA rep said she is strong enough and capable of lifting me, and she did not head to any words of my family or air-hostess and forcefully transferred me from seat to aisle with the help of the reluctant agents. She tried to drag me from the seat to the aisle chair but was not successful. She just seated me on the edges of aisle chair and could not wholly transfer me. She swiftly hastened the aisle chair belts and went to fetch some help. In couple of minutes she brought an AA employee who had no idea and unfastened the aisle chair belts and tried to pull my pants, but unfortunately, I fell towards my right side on the plane floor.

    As soon as I fell, everyone ran away, including the AA rep, agents, and the last guy whom the rep brought in. My shoulders were aching on pain due to the fall, and there was no help available. My parents were crying, and finally paramedics arrived after 15 minutes. The irony was the paramedics could not know how to handle a person with quadriplegia. A single guy was holding my shoulders and trying to lift me to aisle chair from the ground. Somehow they managed to take me outside the plane and gave some ice to my aching shoulders, which were a vast reliever.

    The AA rep came to me at the end and blamed the agents. Next the agents came and blamed the AA rep. All way through, the only support I received was from the air-hostess who witnessed everything from the beginning to the end. She said that she would make detail note of the incident, and wanted us to report the incident to the AA.

    When I returned home, I found contusion of right hip. Fortunately, there seems to be no acute fracture in ER finding, but I?m still suffering from shoulder pain and increased spasticity.

    I reached out to AA customer service about this incident, but their response was a simple templated apology and not convincing. Even though the agents did not allow my parents to record anything, but still my parents managed to record most of the incident including AA rep?s rude behavior.

    I am not sure how to proceed with formal complaint against the AA and its rep. Any input and feedback is very much appreciated.

    Thanks.
    So sorry you went through that...

    FYI Make sure while your flying that when you land who is going to over see you de boarding. Bottom line the pilot is not allowed to leave and passage unintended ever if he or she has a connecting flight.

    Just as you posted email this group, keep it facts and lets us know what they say.


    doug.parker@aa.com
    CEO

    robert.isom@aa.com
    President of American Airlines Group and American Airlines

    kerry.philipovitch@aa.com
    Senior Vice President ? Customer Experience

    Vincent.T.Carcaterra@aa.com
    Director of Customer Relations

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    The people who operate the aisle chair are agents of the airport not the airline. They are not required to transfer you.
    Actually, that varies by the airport. For example, at LAX these people work for the airport, which contracts their services to the airline, while in Denver they work for the airline. The airline is ultimately responsible for moving you to your seat in the USA:

    S382.111 What services must carriers provide to passengers with a disability on board the aircraft?

    As a carrier, you must provide services within the aircraft cabin as requested by or on behalf of passengers with a disability, or when offered by carrier personnel and accepted by passengers with a disability, as follows:

    (a) Assistance in moving to and from seats, as part of the enplaning and deplaning processes;
    (b) Assistance in preparation for eating, such as opening packages and identifying food;
    (c) If there is an on-board wheelchair on the aircraft, assistance with the use of the on-board wheelchair to enable the person to move to and from a lavatory;
    (d) Assistance to a semi-ambulatory person in moving to and from the lavatory, not involving lifting or carrying the person; or
    (e) Assistance in stowing and retrieving carry-on items, including mobility aids and other assistive devices stowed in the cabin (see also 382.91(d)). To receive such assistance, the passenger must self-identify as being an individual with a disability needing the assistance.
    (f) Effective communication with passengers who have vision impairments or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, so that these passengers have prompt access to information the carrier provides to other passengers (e.g. weather, on-board services, flight delays, connecting gates at the next airport).
    You can access all part of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) here: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...82_main_02.tpl


    (KLD)
    Last edited by SCI-Nurse; 10-07-2019 at 02:46 PM.
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    They?re the reason why I call when i book the ticket, then a couple days before, then the day if, then tell them at checkin, then go immediately to the gate to tell them (usually early enough that the previous flight hasn?t boarded yet), then wait in front of the gate in a very obvious spot for the half hour before the flight, and I still assume that they?re not going to have an aisle chair ready when it comes time to board.
    I would add to this the following for disembarkation:
    At least 30 minutes before landing, alert the cabin attendant that you will need the following upon landing:
    • Your wheelchair brought up from the hold and placed in the jetway for you. Ask them to make sure that no one else takes your chair...it happens!
    • An aisle chair for deplaning.
    • 1-2 (depending on your needs) staff to LIFT (or otherwise assist) you from your seat to your aisle chair and to your wheelchair.
    • Assistance/escort to baggage claim (if you need this).


    Once you land, and the remaining passengers leave the plane, they should bring the aisle chair along-side your seat and lift/assist you to that chair. Insist that they follow your directions for lifting, and ideally, have someone who is traveling with you be very specific in monitoring that this is done correctly (for example, not lifting you by your arms), and assuring that you are properly secured in the aisle chair. I have seen people break bones falling off aisle chairs when incorrectly secured, and break a leg when a leg hanging out was banged against the seats going down the aisle.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Actually, that varies by the airport. For example, at LAX these people work for the airport, which contracts their services to the airline, while in Denver they work for the airline. The airline is ultimately responsible for moving you to your seat in the USA:



    You can access all part of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) here: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...82_main_02.tpl


    (KLD)
    Interesting. I like the Denver airport. They definitely have more control if they don't contract the work to others.

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