AA Stranded in Mexico

Apr 12th, 2008, 08:28 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 849
AA Stranded in Mexico

While we were (getting) fat, dumb and happy on the beach in Los Cabos, AA canceled all its flights for 3 days on April 8. We had no access to US news outlets and did not find out about the problem until April 9, when we got a call from our dog sitter.

The AA platinum line, reached via cell phone from Mexico, advised us our flight was canceled and said it would connect us to an agent. Then it went to a busy signal!

After a long time on hold, we reached AA in Mexico via land line. The best the agent could do was get us a booking to return late on Sunday, April 13. The agent made a point of taking my cell phone and hotel phone number.

We managed, after several hours of begging, to get hotel reservations for the additional three nights and informed our car rental company that we would not be returning the car until Sunday. (Hertz' reaction was, "No problem; no one is coming in to pick one up.")

On the morning of the 10th, we were awakened by a call from our traveling companions' secretary, and told our flight had been reinstated. Because travelers are advised to arrive at the airport 3 hours before flights, we threw our clothes into our luggage and dashed to the airport to find out our flight had indeed been reinstated and our reservations for Sunday had been wiped out! AA must have thought we would find this out by osmosis.

We got our boarding passes and were told the plane would be delayed until 2:20. We were given breakfast vouchers for the meager selection of vendors at SJD. Then we watched the boards as our plane was delayed further until that reached 4:50 p.m.

There was no announcement, but about 1:00 p.m. the flight was showing canceled. We went back to the AA desks, found out that our flight had indeed been canceled and that there were no seats available on the Sunday flight! After about an hour of work, the station manager, who was superb throughout, even though he was getting bad or no information from AA, put us on a 5:00 p.m. flight to Mexico City, connecting to a flight to Torreon, Mexico, arriving at 10:50 p.m.

After 9 hours in the airport, we got on the plane to Mexico, DF, carrying our Subway sandwiches as there were no meals, and got to Torreon about 11:00 p.m. We were supposed to be met by an AA agent, but there was no one at the airport. We called the hotel and they sent a shuttle.

The Camino Real bills itself as a five star resort. In fact, the highlight of the hotel was the lukewarm water in the shower.

After about 4 hours of sleep, (it would have been more, but the loading dock below our window went into operation at 4:30 a.m.) we got to the airport about 6:00. Fortunately, our plane, and RJ-145 was on the ground from the night before and we actually got to DFW early. But, because we were early, it took AA 10 minutes to get the jetway to the plane.

While I understand that it is not possible to inform everyone of problems, AA MD-80s cross borders only to SJD, MEX, and a few other cities in Mexico, as well as a few in Canada. Why was it not a priority to get in touch with passengers or at least hotel associations for the relatively few thousand of us stranded in a foreign country with, for most passengers, an unfamiliar language? To add insult to injury, the top executives are due to receive a bonus this week! A classic American tradition. Pay more for incompetence!
Jeff801 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2008, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,875
Jeff...WOW - that is some story! I do not even know what to say...
dawnnoelm is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 04:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,711
According to a "source", the Fat Lady isnt even on her way to her dressing room yet.....
BeachBoi is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 09:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 849

During the chaos at SJD, we heard of a couple being offered a routing SJD-MEX-FRA-DFW. Don't have any verification, but under the circumstances, suspension of disbelief was a survival strategy.

Jeff801 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,819
Wow - SJD-MEX-FRA-DFW. Hmmm, Maybe if I had the time and they put me in first and i got to rack up the FF miles....
Seamus is offline  
Apr 13th, 2008, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,875
Jeff I believe it - I have told my tale of woe before... we flew LAX-DFW- Santigo (do not know the code) - Paris... we were re-routed on Amercian from DFW to Santigo to get to Paris...
dawnnoelm is offline  

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