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Horrible experience and mistreatment from American Airlines

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    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.

    Its not 100% clear during this process if you spoke up and stopped the process? If I misread your post I am sorry. But what I mean is if we feel some situation is not going to work we need to speak up and take charge.

    I fly often and only fly with Southwest for this specific reason...they listen!

    Remember understand the business and you will understand some of the behavior.

    If someone is rushing you slow them down make sure what they are doing or about to do is going to be OK for you.

    So the gate agents have their own agenda and they will use 3rd party company's to get people that need "assistants" at any time you are not comfortable with who is going to lift you or how speak up and speak loud.

    Even try a test lift just to make have to tell those lifting how and why, remember only you know whats best.

    In my case I have no balance so I tell them once you lift me and get me to the isle chair you need to hold me till all the belts are around my chest, waist and knees. Set them up for what to expect.

    I just came back from a trip to NYC in our case it got so crazy because all the ramp agents cared about is getting the plane loaded so I got the pilot and explained what was going on and what I needed so he took charge.

    Its a hassle but after you got off the plane you should have gone to baggage claim and AA has a office there and filed a complaint, this can help if your pain needed to be treated, etc.

    Now looking back know its more rare then common but next time give yourself a little time and make sure you check in with the ground crew on what you need both boarding and like I said know who is in charge when your landing on how your need to transfer off the plane.

    Your chair should have a tag on it to bring to gate, but the isle chair should be there with the right trained staff to get you off the plane and it is the responsibility of AA to get you transferred and if they dont have staff at that gate they can call from other gates to get stronger staff.

    FYI calling in advance as someone said does not help because its a call center but when you book if your airlines ask if you need assistance it will be flagged on your ticket.

    Last reporting to DOT doesn't do anything for your customer experience its solely used for statistics and fines at the end of each year.