This weekends Compensation Clinic is about my 5h American Airlines flight delay a week ago which I complained to AA Customer Relation and got a reply for yesterday afternoon.
American decided on a generous mileage compensation for this flight delay which in my opinion should have been credited to everybody on this flight automatically.
American Airlines flight 1058 was supposed to leave Los Angeles at 5pm but ended up leaving the gate at 10:20pm, arriving at Las Vegas about 11:25pm all due to lack of flight attendants.
On top of the delay American also forgot to cater the flight with beverages so the pilots announced that they believe we all agree it’s better to finally get out of there instead of waiting for catering to arrive and deliver a can of soda for everyone.
These delay notifications arrived constantly (I got about 11 of them from 4 pm when the first delay was announced up until the boarding finally started.
In the meanwhile I already complained to the AA Twitter Team who apologized and offered a 4,000 Miles compensation.
Of course that’s not even close to enough considering the long delay and the fact that both the entire Saturday evening and show tickets went to waste.
I decided to forward the matter to the AA Customer Relations team who has a better handle on what such delays are worth and how to compensate for monetary damages.
Here is their reply:
… We can certainly understand how disappointing it must have been for you when your recent trip did not go as smoothly as planned. Please accept my sincere apology. There’s probably nothing more frustrating than having to wait — especially when you are eager to get where you are going — and we truly sympathize with your experience.
Although we do not reimburse for out-of-pocket expenses when flight disruptions occur, we wish to change the unfavorable impression you have as a result of what happened. Please accept the 10,000 bonus miles we have added to your AAdvantage® account as a gesture of our concern and goodwill. …
10,000 Miles plus the initial 4,000 Miles makes a total compensation of 14,000 AAdvantage Miles for this 5 hour delay and the loss of my tickets (~ $250 value).
The miles were already in the account when I checked.
I will try and claim 150$ of the tickets with my travel insurance as it covers flight delays over 3 hours and that has proven very useful over the years.
14,000 Miles is a very good compensation outcome. I’d value these around $280-300 when used properly (read: long haul Business Class tickets) even under the currently ‘enhanced’ AAdvantage chart. In Europe the carrier would have to pay the same amount but in cash for such a long delay so it’s a realistic value American offered here after pushing them a bit more.
These miles should be credited to every customer on board that flight automatically even without complaining. Alternatively vouchers should be offered. I remember when I started flying American back in 2007 it was common that the flight manager could forward the flight entirely to customer relations so that each passenger got a mileage credit. Especially out of Chicago that happened frequently considering their delays at the time and even today.