#AmericanAirlinesFail Part 2: The Saga Continues 10 months Later

Last July my family traveled to California via American Airlines from Dayton to LAX with my infant son (3.5 mo) and toddler daughter (2.5). You may have read this post and if not, I urge you to check it out here. If you don’t have time to read that post, the long story short is that American Airlines failed at family-friendly traveling forcing us to check our stroller with luggage on our return trip instead of at the gate as we did during our travel to California. We had to navigate through LAX and Chicago airports with our two little babes. It was scary, traumatic, stressful and flat out exhausting! As if that wasn’t bad enough, once we arrived in Dayton and took our stroller off the luggage belt, we noticed that it was broke in multiple places (I have pictures in our other post). After talking with multiple supervisors and employees, we were told that our stroller was not their responsibility and it was never replaced or fixed but American Airlines gave us two vouchers (we paid for three tickets originally) for our troubles that were mailed to me.

Fast forward to present day and I would like to use said vouchers towards a trip – going on a cruise actually to celebrate 10 years of marriage. I honestly didn’t want to use the vouchers and really just wanted our stroller replaced but after a stressful start to 2015 (found out my dad has cancer) I felt like I should go ahead and take advantage and get away with just the hubby.

After reading the voucher several times, which I thought was confusing, I called to talk to a ticketing agent in March to ask how the voucher works. She assured me it was easy and when I brought up the verbiage on the voucher that reads, “VOID IF TOTAL VALUE EXCEEDS USD 1000.00” she NEVER mentioned to me that I really need to worry about the OTHER number on the voucher which says “TOTAL USD 300.00” under where it says the following: “RELATED TO FLIGHT 3702 FROM LAX TO DAY ON 29JUL14” which I thought was just a value from my previously terrible experience in which they were issuing a voucher to help amend. After the confirmation with the ticket agent I went ahead and booked my cruise and hotel online feeling assured that I would have no problem getting FREE/VOUCHED flights.

On Wednesday, April 22, I called American Airlines back to actually book my flight to New Orleans with a ticketing agent as you cannot do it online. After talking with the first ticketing agent and beginning the process of my reservations, she asked me the value of my voucher, I stated that it says “VOID IF TOTAL VALUE EXCEEDS USD 1000.00” which she said was not the value. At this point I am feeling totally mislead to believe that I could book any flight so long as the value did not exceed 1,000.00 but NEVER understood that my voucher VALUE was actually only worth $300 and since you have to book through a ticketing agent either in person or over the phone the prices were astronomical with a price tag of $994 PER ticket making the price for our tickets almost $700 a piece after using a voucher!! How is this an acceptable “apology” for breaking our stroller? Sorry we broke your stroller – please pay another $1400 to our company…..I mean, really?

The ticket agent quickly routed me to a supervisor as she didn’t know how to help a sobbing customer (me) and the supervisor, Cody, that I talked with was extremely rude and mean and literally put me into more tears and heartache. He said, that it was not his problem that I misunderstood the voucher – could he be any more rude? Like I read airline vouchers everyday!  I am a customer who is giving American Airlines a second chance, after being a loyal Southwest Airlines customer for many years, and having a TERRIBLE first experience in which they had to give me vouchers for in the first place. Now, he is going to kick me while I’m down? What am I supposed to do about the booked cruise and hotel? What a missed opportunity for American Airlines!!!

At this point, I have tweeted American Airlines, posted on their Facebook page and sent in a request via their website 3 times and just continue to receive canned responses. I just can’t believe this experience with American Airlines is happening again. I just think it was awful how they treated me the first time and yet again! As I do more research I have also found that many more consumers are mis-treated by American Airlines just by searching #americanairlines on Facebook and Twitter. At this point I just want to share my story and let others know that it is NOT RIGHT to treat other human beings with such disrespect, have some compassion!!

Again, I am asking my dedicated readers to please help! Please retweet my posts on www.Twitter.com/JesyHerron and please share my story. I don’t think it’s fair that I was originally forced to check our stroller and then it was broke by American Airlines, I really just want it replaced. Forget the vouchers at this point but focus on the fact that this giant company shouldn’t get away with mistreating a family during what is supposed to be a happy experience, traveling! This is a $500 stroller and it needs to be replaced!!! We would love your help!! Love you all!!

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#AmericanAirlinesFAIL at Family Friendly Traveling, updated 4.24.15

UPDATE 4.24.15 – #AmericanAirlinesFAIL Part 2: The Saga Continues 10 months Later

I’ve used this blog as a platform for sharing my family ups and downs, giveaways, updates on pregnancies, freebies, and now I’m sharing about my recent travel experience. George (@mrpreggers) and I recently hauled the family across the country all the way to CALIFORNIA for some family fun and my Take Shape For Life convention. Our weeklong vacation was awesome! Hands down it was amazing to take our babes to some seriously awesome places and create memories that hopefully Ab will remember and poor Jack will live through via pictures. But I’m going to have to share these experiences with you in a different post, this post is reserved for the epic fail that is American Airlines.

We started our travels at Dayton International Airport via American Airlines and it was GREAT! We brought our checked bags, one each per paid ticket which was Ab, George and myself, and we had our carry-ons, our stroller that holds both babes and both carseats. YES that is a lot but from my research it was all okay to bring with us. I was concerned with our stroller only because I have only traveled Southwest Airlines with Abbey and never been on this airline before so my first question at the ticket counter was, do I need to check the stroller or can it be checked at the gate. The lady at the ticket counter was so nice and assured us that it was okay for the stroller to be checked at the gate, FABULOUS! So our trek across the country via plane started in Dayton with a slight layover in Dallas then our final arrival at LAX.

Fast forward a week and a day and we are checking in at LAX this morning at 8:00am – what a disaster! We still had all the same stuff and started checking it all in at the ticket counter with no help and the ticket agent noticed our stress and requested a younger man to help with our bags, she was our saving grace in the morning but then it all went downhill from there.

Once we left the ticket agent and headed up the elevator (that the ticket agent pointed out for us because of our stroller) and started for TSA, we were stopped by an American Airline employee. Stopped because our stroller was too big to be gate checked. WHAT?!?! No problem, I stayed calm because this was clearly a mistake as we traveled from Dayton to LAX with said stroller with no problems. A supervisor was called over to help us and at this point I’m sweating bullets that we are going to be late for our flight, we hadn’t even gone through TSA yet on a busy Sunday morning at the LAX airport. The supervisor comes over and I’m basically doing a demonstration on how amazing our stroller is and she was not impressed. She had me take off some of the “parts” which were Jack’s Chicco car seat and the adapter for our City Select Stroller then head back downstairs to weigh my stroller. We went downstairs, weighed the stroller and it was over the “24lb” weight limit that was news to me as a weight limit for gate checked strollers.

The supervisor was super helpful despite my fear/panicked/sobbing attitude. All I kept thinking about was, “how are we going to get through some of the busiest airports, LAX and Chicago, without our stroller?” We had our carry-ons and diaper bag and really how do you carry a 3 month old infant and keep track of a very busy toddler while man-handling all the bags with diapers, extra clothes, snacks, games, etc?

The supervisor called over a new ticket agent to check our stroller – ARGH – and I said that if that was the case then the car seat and adapter for the stroller needed to be checked too (how are we going to carry those along with all the other stuff I listed and the two kiddos?) and that’s when the attitude started….the ticket agent was laying in on me about how I shouldn’t have brought such a heavy stroller, WHAT?!?!

As a reminder, we made it through Dayton to Dallas to LAX with this same stroller and stuff with ease, how could we not make it back?

Hands tied, we had to check our stroller…

I took the opportunity to share this experience via Twitter, what else would I do? @AmericanAir was extremely responsive but not too helpful.

Three airplanes later we arrived in Dayton tonight around 7:45pm and headed to baggage claim to pick up all of our stuff. Great news, it was all there! BAD NEWS, our stroller was BROKE! Yes, BROKE!

American Airline Broke Our Stroller photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

Hmmmm….bad attitude ticket agent (second one) at LAX about our stroller and now it is broke….coincidence?

So in Dayton I had to track down an American Airline employee to get help on the broke stroller and to see what could be done. We met Amy and she was so sweet and so helpful but poor Amy couldn’t help us much. She was empathetic and really was upset that LAX made us check our stroller and didn’t understand, Amy was also upset that our stroller was broke and suggested that we surrender to the damage claims which meant losing our stroller for a week while it was either being fixed or replaced via insurance. We were okay with this option and waited for Amy to write up the paperwork.

BUT then Amy came back to us with more bad news, she had to call her supervisor, Alan, to help her with the paperwork and he said that per policy strollers were NOT covered under the damage claims and that he would be out to talk to us. So we waited and waited and waited. In the meantime I had George getting the car so we could load up and go to get the kids home at a somewhat decent time. When Alan came out to talk to me he had the policy paperwork all printed out and highlighted the section that spelled out how strollers were not covered. I explained how LAX forced me, they FORCED ME to check the stroller and then broke it and how was that not covered but Alan was just referring back to the policy. I asked him if he as a person, not an employee, thought it was fair for a family to travel from Dayton to LAX without checking the stroller then being forced to check it from LAX back to Dayton and then it was broke. He thought it was, and that’s when I knew that he wouldn’t be that helpful. I asked for someone else to help me and he suggested his manager Rodney and that’s where this story pauses for now. I have already left Rodney a message and expect to get a phone call from him by tomorrow and I can’t wait to hear his answer when I ask the question:

How will you help me brag about you and your company?

Because right now, it’s not great what I’m posting to Twitter/Facebook/Blog and I ask all of you to help me! Please retweet my posts on www.Twitter.com/JesyHerron and please share my story. I don’t think it’s fair that I was forced to check our stroller and then it was broke by American Airlines and they won’t do a thing for me. They want me to work with baggage services but I was told that their policy is policy. Does that seem fair? This is a $500 stroller and it needs to be replaced!!! We would love your help!! Love you all!!

2013 Florida Vacation Highlights

Going on vacation with a toddler takes a bit more prepping than going on vacation with an infant, but it was well worth it to get away with my two loves. Also, I can’t thank my in-laws enough for hosting us and helping to make the week so amazing. I have to share some highlights (both in pictures and videos) from our week in Florida.

Easter egg hunt at MarVista{Easter Egg Hunting} How many kids get to say that they went to their first Easter egg hunt on the beach? Abbey gets to say that because she got to do it TWICE! The first hunt was hosted by one of our favorite restaurants, MarVista, on Longboat Key. We were welcomed by a buffet of food and coffee and surrounded by 150 other kids. Abbey really had a great time and had some good egg-loot by the time we left. She did upset a few other kiddos when she “stole” eggs out of their bucket but was happy when we re-planted her eggs so she could find them again. We played with the eggs the whole rest of the week, they were especially fun when Ab played on the beach.

{Visiting Great-Greats} Abbey is so lucky to be surrounded by family ALL the TIME and vacation was no different. Not only did we spend the week with Grandma and Pappa Herron but we also visiting my great aunt and uncle (Sue and Jack Martin) in Leesburg, Florida. We hung out, checked out visiting Great GreatsPappa Wenstrup’s new boat, shopped at Bealls and went to Takis for dinner. Takis is Pappa Herron’s favorite place  because the calzone he orders is literally the size of Abbey when she was born. Of course when we visited Abbey was spoiled! Couldn’t leave Great-Great’s house without a few fun Easter presents including a Mickey book that sings, “Hot dog, Hot dog, Hot diggity dog” when you press his nose.

{Chef Mickey + Disney World} WOW, just WOW! Abbey had such an amazing time meeting all of her favorite Disney characters at Chef Mickey for breakfast. But before we were able to dine, we did some shopping at the gift shop outside the restaurant. Abbey found a Minnie purse that she immediately put on the crook of her arm and then continued to browse around the store and literally said, “CUTE” when she was checking out princess shoes. Yes, she is totally my daughter! I wouldn’t be a good mom unless I showed off the videos that my mother-in-law took of Abbey meeting the characters. If you don’t want to watch them all (like Abbey still does EVERYDAY) then you’ll need to at least watch “Party time” because it’s my favorite.

Goofy

Donald Duck

Mickey Mouse

Party Time

Minnie Mouse

Pluto

{Loving the Beach} I truly feel like God created the most perfect daughter for me, I could not have picked one out better if I tried…this little girl LOVES the beach! George and I took turns one day chasing Abbey up and down the gulf shore while she ran, giggled, played, collected shells, made friends and enjoyed chasing the waves. Abbey truly loved spending lots of time on the beach and we truly enjoyed watching her take it all in.

BeachBaby