This was my first international flight out of *******. I read on your website that I needed to be at the airport 2 hrs early. (See www.aa.com/i18n/travelInformation/checkingIn/arrivalTimes.jsp)
I even printed all my boarding passes. I arrived at the airport at 8:45 am for my 10:55 am flight.I stood in line at the curbside check in for 10 min until an attendant told me I couldn't check my 1 bag at the curb if I was traveling internationally. He showed me the line I was supposed to get in inside to check my bag. All American Airline passengers are required to go through the self serve kiosks to get to a counter attendant to check their bags. ONE line for all passengers and only 3 attendants at the counter. I waited and waited and finally got to the self kiosk 5 min after 45 min cut off to check my bag. I was then told to get in another line to see a counter attendant. I was in that line for 30 min. I asked a passing attendant why there weren't more counter attendants. She said
they had called their manager for more help but the manager said they didn't need more help. I finally got to the counter & was told by the attendant Ms Bloom (who stopped to help another passenger while she was supposed to be helping me), that there was nothing she could do for me. She said she couldn't get me on any other flight, that I had to call customer service.This was clearly the fault of the staff of American Airlines. There was only one line and only 3 attendants. It is a despicably fraudulent way to cause passengers to be late checking in and then force them to pay more money to rebook the flight. When I called Customer Service, I was immediately offered a flight at 11am but I would've had to get back in that line. There was no way I would make it through. I was then offered a flight at 3pm. The manager was willing to waive the $250 cancel fee but I would still have to pay additional $601.60 to get a new flight. I didn't have a choice. I needed to meet my husband, currently deployed to Afghanistan and attending a NATO conference in Belgium. He needed his dress uniform for a briefing he was giving Monday morning. I paid for the new ticket and immediately got in line- again, forced to go to the kiosk to get to the counter to check my bag. I finally got to the kiosk at noon, but the kiosk didn't recognize my new flight info. I was again told to go to another line with several other people waiting on 1 ticket attendant- who was also helping the kiosk line.
Totally confused at this point? Imagine the confusion of 100 passengers!
I finally checked in, was able to check my bag at about 1pm. I will be filing a complaint with Dept of Transportation Aviation Consumer Protection as well as the Better Business Bureau. The AA staff at ****** Airport is clearly gaming the system to force passenger to wait, therefore missing their flights, and having to purchase a new ticket. I’ll also be advising all my friends/family, both in our personal & military communities, to think twice about traveling American Airlines. I’ll also be posting this notice on my military wife blog, on twitter, and on our family website.
I would appreciate a refund for the $601.60 I had to pay because of the delay caused by your staff at ****** Airport.