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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

AN OUTSTANDING & AFFORDABLE PRIVATE ROOM IN KEY WEST AT SILVIA'S -- part 10


Air B&B Host Delivers Quiet & Clean Room for Slightly More than $100 in High Season

I'm not sure if she has a car, but if she does, I think she would have raced me to the ferry dock if my car had been towed...or maybe she would have ridden me there on the back of her bicycle...or arranged a magic carpet ride to the docks -- she's that kind, efficient and accommodating.

To make time, I didn't go back to Silvia's (but knew I could return for that promised shower and change of clothes to ease my trip up the Overseas Highway).

Candidly, I also don't think I wanted to show my humiliated face to the poor airbnb host who I scared the wits out of when I couldn't find my auto!

Bottom line, Silvia's private room in Key West is perfect for every type of traveler.

I can't wait to go back with my wife and we've even invited Silvia out to a meal at one of our quirky haunts in Miami for the next time she ventures north to the big city.

Monday, January 30, 2012

AN OUTSTANDING & AFFORDABLE PRIVATE ROOM IN KEY WEST AT SILVIA'S -- part 9


Air B&B Host Delivers Quiet & Clean Room for Slightly More than $100 in High Season

Poor Silvia rushed back to her complex and was worried to death about me -- even though all I was, was 40-something old dude who got twisted around in the dark and didn't find his trusty Toyota till he hit the panic button and the beeping Corolla's horn guided me back to me sedan in time to drive to the ferry boat dock.

Poor Silvia even called me a couple times as I was boarding the ferry to the Tortugas and kept checking on my wellbeing while salving my embarrassment by telling me her condo complex is large and that people do tend to get twisted around on where they park.

I share this final story only to show what an amazing "innkeeper" Silvia is.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

AN OUTSTANDING & AFFORDABLE PRIVATE ROOM IN KEY WEST AT SILVIA'S -- part 8


Air B&B Host Delivers Quiet & Clean Room for Slightly More than $100 in High Season

Turns out I slept as well as I do at home. I went to bed early, thinking maybe more time would help me get at least some quality shut eye. As it turned out, I drifted right off and zonked out for nearly 8 hours of REM sleep before my big journey the next day.

I woke, dressed and quietly left.

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but Silvia's condo complex is very large and in the pre-dawn hours, I got twisted around and feared my car was towed by her homeowners association.

I thought I'd circled the entire complex, come up with no car and phoned her (turns out Silvia had left for her morning run so quietly that I didn't know her condo was unoccupied when I tiptoed out, thinking she was sleeping in her master suite) in a bit of a panic.

It turns out that I had stupidly gotten twisted around in the darkness and on my second sweep of the complex, realized I'd parked by the west wing when I thought I was at the south wing.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

AN OUTSTANDING & AFFORDABLE PRIVATE ROOM IN KEY WEST AT SILVIA'S -- part 7


Air B&B Host Delivers Quiet & Clean Room for Slightly More than $100 in High Season

I liked Silvia so much, I even looked her up at the restaurant where she works -- cutting back through to say howdy and to share the details of my roaming.

I knew I'd go directly to bed when I got back to her place and I would leave early in the morning, so I went out of my way to bond with my hostess -- I liked her that much.
When I did get back around 9, Silvia had already gotten home and she again offered snacks, use of all common areas and a healthy stocking up of her bottled water for my daylong ferry journey to a little spit of land 70 miles off Key West.

The shower was clean and the warm water was endless.

The best part was the bed.

I should have asked her what kind of mattress was in my room.

I'm a stickler for comfort and have a pretty expensive bed set in my historic Miami home....but Silvia's guest room bed was dreamy comfortable.

I'm usually one of those people who toss in turn the first night in a strange place.

I could be restless in the presidential suite of the Mexico City St. Regis, so I wondered about how well I'd rest at Silvia's -- no reflection of her, just of who I am when I'm on the road the first night.

Friday, January 27, 2012

AN OUTSTANDING & AFFORDABLE PRIVATE ROOM IN KEY WEST AT SILVIA'S -- part 6


Air B&B Host Delivers Quiet & Clean Room for Slightly More than $100 in High Season

I told her didn't have the heart to drink up her prized stash of gourmet chocolate, but her kind offer showed what kind of super star host she is.

I left my bag of clothes and toiletries in the condo (my room could not be locked from the outside) having zero concerns for safety or security of my belongings.

We chit chatted more about off the beaten path things in Key West (I'm an aficionado of great fish shacks, architecture and taverns not visited by the cruise ship and weekend warrior masses.)

Silvia gave me a key to her entire condo and basically said I could hang out on the balcony, use the kitchen....do just about anything aside from hanging out in her master bedroom instead of napping in my appointed guest room (one of two in her cozy apartment).

When I mentioned that my wife is a wheelchair user who requires a separate bed from mine, Silvia showed me the second guest bedroom and said we should come back down together.

Usually, unique apartments do not serve disabled travelers, but with plenty of disabled-reserved parking at her condo complex, more than one elevator to serve access needs and our simple packing of a portable bath bench for low-sided tub shower, I truly think we could turn Silvia's place into a wheelchair accessible getaway for half to one third the price of a similar-sized hotel room.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

AN OUTSTANDING & AFFORDABLE PRIVATE ROOM IN KEY WEST AT SILVIA'S -- part 5


Air B&B Host Delivers Quiet & Clean Room for Slightly More than $100 in High Season


It also had extra linens and a nice TV set.

The full bath was right next door to my room and had a lock for privacy.

The living room in the common area had a huge flat screen with tons of cable channels. Silvia welcomed me to watch the tube at any hour, saying she could sleep through house guest noises.

She also welcomed me to free bottled water and other goodies in her fridge. It really was the my house is your house kind of old European welcome.

Right off the bat, Silvia even said she could let me back into her place on Friday -- many hours after my official check out -- to shower.

Many folks on the ferry like to snorkel in the Tortugas and she knew showering off the salt water and changing clothes would be good for my comfort before my final dinner in the Keys and northward drive back to Miami.

When I joked that I make as good a cup of Spanish hot chocolate as any hillbilly anglo who ever ventured to espana, Silvia opened her cupboard and offered a package of premium chocolate from mother Spain for my stovetop handiwork.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

AN OUTSTANDING & AFFORDABLE PRIVATE ROOM IN KEY WEST AT SILVIA'S -- part 4


Air B&B Host Delivers Quiet & Clean Room for Slightly More than $100 in High Season

In very short notice, in very high season for Keys travel, I had a clean and safe room booked at a price point that didn't make me feel guilty for burning the budget on solo, soul-soothing travel.


I emailed Silvia for more details and mentioned I'd like to check in early if possible. She said no problem and also gave me very easy directions to her condo community.

The next morning, I made great time driving from Miami and arrived at the edge of Key West about 10:30 a.m.

I phoned and Silvia was ready to help.

She showed me both the stairs and elevator and welcomed me into her spacious 3rd floor condo.

The place, including common areas, was immaculately clean and featured smart, simple decor.

It turned out Silvia is from Spain, my favorite place on earth, and we shared stories about espana and my so-so ability to speak Spanish (gringos don't worry -- Silvia speaks perfectly English, with just hint of charming Valencia accent.)]

She showed my small, but efficient room.

I could lock the door from the inside for privacy when napping or sleeping and it had enough storage space for 10 times the amount of light luggage that I packed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

AN OUTSTANDING & AFFORDABLE PRIVATE ROOM IN KEY WEST AT SILVIA'S -- part 3


Air B&B Host Delivers Quiet & Clean Room for Slightly More than $100 in High Season

I quickly found Silvia's add for a room in Key West.

I emailed her and she provided outstanding details -- that she is not in the historic, walkable Old Town area, but that her locale a couple miles from the center allowed her to charge less.

She also reminded me that there is a bus route into Old Town Key West, that the center is quite bikeable from her abode and that there also are shuttle trolleys nearby.
None of that mattered to me as I would be driving down from Miami in my own car and I knew the places to park for a discount near Old Town.

Basically, all I wanted was a very clean and quiet place to be 6 or 7 hours of sleep before rising pre-dawn the next day to catch the ferry to the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson National Park.

Silvia understood and I liked her price point of $120 out the door (including the reasonable $13 airbnb fee).

She even understood that I needed her to hold her room for an hour while I booked the non refundable $169 round trip ferry trip.

I booked the trip for a Friday, booked with Silvia to sleep at her condo the Thursday evening before -- inking all deals the Wednesday before my drive.

Monday, January 23, 2012

AN OUTSTANDING & AFFORDABLE PRIVATE ROOM IN KEY WEST AT SILVIA'S -- part 2


Air B&B Host Delivers Quiet & Clean Room for Slightly More than $100 in High Season

Naturally, folks in Miami in January think of the fabulous Florida Keys.

The only problem is that half of the Great Lakes, New England and other frigid regions also think of the Keys in general and Key West in specific this time of year.

I knew when I checked the usual booking sites for standard hotels, that I would be looking at paying about $200 a night including taxes for a dump.

If I wanted a nice place, I'd pay upwards of $300 while leaving my poor wife behind to finish a project at her job.

I even checked a zillion standard Bed and Breakfasts for the smallest, windowless, shared bath room and found few options much below $200.

Finally, my thoughts drifted back to airbnb...which I had tried to use for a brief weekend in Manhattan, but found that every person with a room in an area I wanted to stay at was already booked for the Memorial Day 2011 weekend.

I figured the booked out rooms -- some with only air mattress and not a private room -- spoke highly of airbnb.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

AN OUTSTANDING & AFFORDABLE PRIVATE ROOM IN KEY WEST AT SILVIA'S


Air B&B Host Delivers Quiet & Clean Room for Slightly More than $100 in High Season

For an old dog who grew up in a world of cookie cutter Holiday Inns, Marriotts and Hiltons, airbnb was a bit of a leap for me.

On one hand, the idea of saving tons of money and having a non corporate cookie cutter place to sleep sounded great.

On the other, there was that hint of trepidation -- what if the place was loud, or dirty, or far from the having the comfortable bed as advertised?

Like most airbnb devotees, I found zero pitfalls and dozens of positives with my stay in Key West.

My maiden voyage on the good ship airbnb was a better experience than I've had at many of those $300 to $400 per night soulless rooms in chain hotels.

The captain for my voice was Silvia, a delightful host who was more accommodating than many of the full-fledged (not airbnb listed) Bed and Breakfast innkeepers that have hosted me over the years.

I was in a reflective mood in the middle of a week in between leaving a terrible employer and starting with a new, wonderful, understanding employer.

My wife suggested that I take an overnight trip somewhere within driving distance of our Little Havana home.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 12



Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.
THIS RUNS THE COMPLAINT IN ITS ENTIRETY. BY THE WAY, THE SOOTHING PHOTOS SET AGAINST THE JARRING TEXT, ARE OF GUANAJUATO MEXICO


I am a longtime, loyal customer of American Airlines writing to complain about a very horrible experience on Monday November 14, 2011.

Flight 3341 from Guanajuato/Leon Mexico to Dallas Fort Worth Airport was professional and tranquil.

The lone flight attendant (he was outstanding and I wish I had taken down his name, but I can only identify him as a bilingual Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s) made for a smooth flight for all of us.

When we landed at DFW, the captain announced that we had arrived about 15 minutes early and because of that, it would take at last five minutes to get a gate agent so we could exit the plane.



As promised, about five minutes later, the jet bridge touched the exit door and the very professional male flight attendant told us to hold on for just a moment more.

I happened to be first in line to exit the small jet. The friendly flight attendant motioned for me to exit. Because I am consciences and very aware of 21st century security concerns, I asked the flight attendant directly if it was okay to exit and he said “yes.”

I proceeded onto the jet bridge to pick up my gate-checked carry-on bag. Immediately, a woman (African American, in her late 30s to early 40s, with a radio and wearing a gate agent/crew member windbreaker – I failed to get her name so I only have this basic description to identify her) screamed at me and a couple other passengers who had must exited.



She threateningly yelled "who let you out?, you're not allowed out!…go back!”

The handful of us at the opening of the jet bridge were stunned.

A gentleman who exited with me responded to the woman in a kind, warm tone: “ma’am, what gives you the right to yell at us like this?”



At the top of her lungs, she screamed back something to the effect that she had every right gain yelled at us to get back in the plane (this was impossible, as all passengers were queued up at the front of the plane, though I doubt most of the passengers that had yet to exit had any idea why there was such a commotion after an uneventful flight.)

The woman shrieked something about passengers leaving the plane without permission.

Her hysterics and body language clearly implied that we were about to be detained, arrested, etc.


The man behind me again stated in a very non-threatening tone "ma’am, you can’t talk to us like this. The flight attendant gave us permission to leave the airplane.”

The whole time this gentlemanly man and his traveling companion were trying to reason with this abusive and threatening woman, she continued to shriek something to the effect that we'd exited without permission and that she would send the flight back to Mexico or deny the right to go through Customs to re-enter our native United States.


She kept wailing something about the door (which leads to external stairs down to the tarmac – the stairway that ground crew members use to walk up to deliver strollers, wheelchairs, gate-checked baggage, etc.) not being secured before the plane door opened.

Perhaps some procedure was not followed, but of course no everyday American Airlines passenger would know what she was talking about (and any competent employee would know not to yell at the innocent victims of whatever perceived breach of procedure that she detected and over reacted to.)


But reason did not enter the mind of this crazed and incompetent employee who continued her bombastic attack on confused and frightened passengers.

Finally, the flight attendant (looking bewildered and defeated) made his way to the abusive woman to explain that we passengers had done nothing wrong other than to follow his directions to deplane once the jet door opened to the jet bridge.



I was speechless during the few minutes this confusing, intimidating event blew up in front of me.

In my hundreds of flights, including many international flights, I’ve never encountered such an angry, threatening and out of control employee.

Part of me wanted to use my camera to video tape the incident, but I feared the screaming woman would retaliate against me.









Finally, after conferring with the flight attendant, the woman she stopped her confusing verbal attack and I picked up my gate-checked carry-on.

Walking up the get bridge, my legs shook and my heart raced. Throughout the 2-hour-plus flight, I was resting comfortably, but the moment I exited the plane, I was face to face with an out of control employee in full meltdown.

10 1-19

While waiting to get through Customs, I still feared that I would be pulled out of line and arrested by federal marshals based on the unreliable and crazed ramblings of the woman who verbally attacked me and a few other first-off-the-plane passengers.

In the wake of the female employee’s irrational outburst, I worried that I would be detained and questioned. I feared I would not make it to my connecting flight to Miami – where my wheelchair-using disabled wife was waiting for me to care for her.


When the other couple (including the gentleman who had politely questioned the abusive worker about her behavior) saw me in the long customs line, they remarked that I was still shaking.
We exchanged contact information so each of us – who had never met before – could confirm this story of worker abuse against confused, innocent passengers.

Less than 48 hours removed from this incident, I am still hesitant to make my complaint. I fear that for pointing out an injustice, I will receive retaliation – possibly being placed on some kind of watch list of do not fly list.

But I feel like the truth must be spoken and I can only hope that I am rewarded, not punished for exposing this abuse by your employee.

Friday, January 20, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 11


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.

When the other couple (including the gentleman who had politely questioned the abusive worker about her behavior) saw me in the long customs line, they remarked that I was still shaking.
We exchanged contact information so each of us – who had never met before – could confirm this story of worker abuse against confused, innocent passengers.

Less than 48 hours removed from this incident, I am still hesitant to make my complaint. I fear that for pointing out an injustice, I will receive retaliation – possibly being placed on some kind of watch list of do not fly list.

But I feel like the truth must be spoken and I can only hope that I am rewarded, not punished for exposing this abuse by your employee.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 10


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.While waiting to get through Customs, I still feared that I would be pulled out of line and arrested by federal marshals based on the unreliable and crazed ramblings of the woman who verbally attacked me and a few other first-off-the-plane passengers.

In the wake of the female employee’s irrational outburst, I worried that I would be detained and questioned. I feared I would not make it to my connecting flight to Miami – where my wheelchair-using disabled wife was waiting for me to care for her.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 9


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.

Finally, after conferring with the flight attendant, the woman she stopped her confusing verbal attack and I picked up my gate-checked carry-on.

Walking up the get bridge, my legs shook and my heart raced. Throughout the 2-hour-plus flight, I was resting comfortably, but the moment I exited the plane, I was face to face with an out of control employee in full meltdown.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 8


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.

I was speechless during the few minutes this confusing, intimidating event blew up in front of me.

In my hundreds of flights, including many international flights, I’ve never encountered such an angry, threatening and out of control employee.

Part of me wanted to use my camera to video tape the incident, but I feared the screaming woman would retaliate against me.

Monday, January 16, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 7


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.

But reason did not enter the mind of this crazed and incompetent employee who continued her bombastic attack on confused and frightened passengers.

Finally, the flight attendant (looking bewildered and defeated) made his way to the abusive woman to explain that we passengers had done nothing wrong other than to follow his directions to deplane once the jet door opened to the jet bridge.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 6


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.

She kept wailing something about the door (which leads to external stairs down to the tarmac – the stairway that ground crew members use to walk up to deliver strollers, wheelchairs, gate-checked baggage, etc.) not being secured before the plane door opened.

Perhaps some procedure was not followed, but of course no everyday American Airlines passenger would know what she was talking about (and any competent employee would know not to yell at the innocent victims of whatever perceived breach of procedure that she detected and over reacted to.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 5


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.

The man behind me again stated in a very non-threatening tone "ma’am, you can’t talk to us like this. The flight attendant gave us permission to leave the airplane.”

The whole time this gentlemanly man and his traveling companion were trying to reason with this abusive and threatening woman, she continued to shriek something to the effect that we'd exited without permission and that she would send the flight back to Mexico or deny the right to go through Customs to re-enter our native United States.

Friday, January 13, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 4


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.


At the top of her lungs, she screamed back something to the effect that she had every right gain yelled at us to get back in the plane (this was impossible, as all passengers were queued up at the front of the plane, though I doubt most of the passengers that had yet to exit had any idea why there was such a commotion after an uneventful flight.)

The woman shrieked something about passengers leaving the plane without permission.

Her hysterics and body language clearly implied that we were about to be detained, arrested, etc.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 3


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.


She threateningly yelled "who let you out?, you're not allowed out!…go back!”

The handful of us at the opening of the jet bridge were stunned.

A gentleman who exited with me responded to the woman in a kind, warm tone: “ma’am, what gives you the right to yell at us like this?”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 2


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.

As promised, about five minutes later, the jet bridge touched the exit door and the very professional male flight attendant told us to hold on for just a moment more.

I happened to be first in line to exit the small jet. The friendly flight attendant motioned for me to exit. Because I am consciences and very aware of 21st century security concerns, I asked the flight attendant directly if it was okay to exit and he said “yes.”

I proceeded onto the jet bridge to pick up my gate-checked carry-on bag. Immediately, a woman (African American, in her late 30s to early 40s, with a radio and wearing a gate agent/crew member windbreaker – I failed to get her name so I only have this basic description to identify her) screamed at me and a couple other passengers who had must exited.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES DOES NOTHING TO STOP ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE - 1


AMERICAN AIRLINE REFUSES TO COMPENSATE WEARY PASSENGERS ATTACKED BY ITS OWN ABUSIVE EMPLOYEE

Editor's Note: A harrowing story about an attack by an abusive American Airlines employee will be told in segments for the next several blog posts. This story was 100% corroborated by several frequesnt flier passengers who also suffered the same attack that I did. These high level executives and leaders in their community also contacted American Airlines and did not have their complaints addressed. I received a half hearted call from an American Airlines customer service representative who refused to confirm the employee worked for American, refused to say what corrective action would be taken and all but laughed at me when I suggested a refund for that flight or a credit for a future flight was in order to compensate me for the abuse I suffered. I got an apology from the Dallas Mayor's office, which also led me to a Dallas Fort Worth Airport executive who confirmed the abusive gate agent indeed worked for American Airlines. That polite DFW employee said he would refer me to American's DFW point person and he was certain that person would contact me. The DFW-based American Airlines person never called. This incident happened nearly 2 months ago and I have still not gotten proper redress from American. Perhaps bankruptcy will shake some sense into this carrier that abuses disabled fliers routinely and even attacked some innocent passengers re-entering the US on an evening flight. I encourage everyone to forward this story, so other abused American customers can unite against this carrier. The blog posts reads exactly like the complaint letter I sent to American.

I am a longtime, loyal customer of American Airlines writing to complain about a very horrible experience on Monday November 14, 2011.

Flight 3341 from Guanajuato/Leon Mexico to Dallas Fort Worth Airport was professional and tranquil.

The lone flight attendant (he was outstanding and I wish I had taken down his name, but I can only identify him as a bilingual Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s) made for a smooth flight for all of us.

When we landed at DFW, the captain announced that we had arrived about 15 minutes early and because of that, it would take at last five minutes to get a gate agent so we could exit the plane.


Monday, January 9, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW'S SELFISHNESS HURTS DISABLED TRAVELER - 10


WHEELCHAIR SEVERELY DAMAGED BY UNCARING GROUND CREW AFTER AMERICN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW REFUSES TO MOVE ITS LUGGAGE TO ACCOMMODATE ONBOARD WHEELCHAIR STORAGE

Editor's note: We arrived home on Dec. 31 from a week in Mexico City. The City was great, our Hotel -- the St.Regis -- was spectacular but the flight getting there was a nightmare caused by American Airlines employees who are abusive toward the needs of disabled travelers. It is no wonder why this carrier is in banktruptcy. We will share our tale of disability discrimination during the next several days. This final posting, combinging the previous serialized postins, is in the form of a letter to American Airlines, which has not even been addressed -- despite the urgency of our complaints.

I am writing to make American Airlines aware of a terrible situation for disabled travelers -- one that very negatively impacted my wife and me. My wife, an attorney and the American with Disabilities Act coordinator for one of the largest counties in America, has flown dozens of AA flights with me.
She uses a super-lightweight manual wheelchair that folds in half and can be further reduced in size with easy removal of the foot rests and wheels. We learned more than two decades ago that when we gate check her wheelchair, it often gets broken either by a careless ground crew or by other items in the cargo hold. That is why we invested in a very expensive lightweight, collapsible wheelchair -- because the disassembled chair readily fits in the closet area entry of aircraft.

We also prearrange AA disability services so my wife has assistance at the jet bridge, while boarding the plane and with stowage of her wheelchair in the onboard closet. We are aware that crew members like to stow their baggage in the same closet that provides space for passengers’ wheelchairs and other mobility devices. In most cases, crew members kindly relocate their bags to clear space for the wheelchair.
On Christmas Day 2011, we flew from Miami International Airport to Mexico City on flight 2199, departing at 7:30 a.m. The folks at the AA check-in counter understood our needs and said the wheelchair could be stored in the closet (not gate checked where it can get damaged). The gate crew that checks boarding passes and escorts us down the jet bridge also confirmed this. But when we arrived at the door of the plane, it was obvious that the flight crew had a large amount of luggage stored in the closet. It also became clear that the brand new plane had a smaller than usual closet, a dreadful design flaw that negatively impacts wheelchair-using passengers.

I pleaded with the flight crew, but they refused to move their bags. (I must note that this 12-25-11 flight was less than half full and had more than enough room in empty first class bins to store crew luggage near the front of the plane.) I told them we'll arrive in Mexico City on Christmas Day, when no shops will be open to repair my wife's wheelchair, with her chair very likely damaged by being gate checked into the cargo area. I tried to take the wheels off my wife's wheelchair to show how easily it can be stowed, but the unyielding flight crew refused to move its baggage. I was told to take my seat or there would be consequences.

Upon arrival in Mexico City, the crew brought up a broken chair. My wife’s lightweight chair has a canvas seat that folds. There are metal rods inside that hold the seat in place. Plastic caps on the outside of the metal tubes hold the rods inside. The plastic cap had been knocked off while my wife’s chair was stored. Because of this, the rod that holds the seat in place slid out, rendering the wheelchair unusable– on Christmas Day upon arrival in a foreign country.
Anguished, I chided the crew for being so selfish as to not move a couple bags into empty overhead bins for the sake of a disabled traveler. I did not curse, but I’m sure my voice was raised, considering how upset I was. I was told the chair was fine, but when I placed my hand where she sits, it fell right through. If my wife had believed this line of lies and tested the chair, she would have fallen and broken her leg. I complained more – emphatically but not threatening in any way – and was told I would be taken into custody if I didn’t accept the chair as-is.

Finally, the ground crew appeared with the metal rod that holds the chair in place. This was only a half solution, because the plastic piece that holds the rod in place was never located. By now the plane was empty, the flight crew were heading toward the jet bridge and customs was waiting for us. I crumpled some napkins to stuff in place of the plastic piece and pushed my wife’s wheelchair toward Mexican customs.
I asked the AA gate agent where we could make a complaint, but she said it was Christmas Day and no one was around and if they were, we’d have to make our damage complaint in Spanish. Thankfully, at customs, an airport employee saw how upset we were and my wife, in her primitive Spanish, explained our plight and pointed to the missing plastic piece and the rod now jutting dangerously out the side of the seat. The kind man helped us Scotch tape over the napkins to try to hold the rod in place.

We caught a cab to the St. Regis Hotel and by the time we got there, the chair was broken again and my wife was almost falling out of it. Because the St. Regis is a 5-star property, it called a member of its engineering staff to try to make a substitute plastic cap out of materials on hand. The hotel assistant manager could not believe that we were treated so poorly by American. Finally, we got a decent substitute cap. But it continually fell out during our week-long visit and we had to borrow duct and electrical tape to try to hold the cap in place to keep the rod from falling out.

We not only lost time waiting for the makeshift repairs at the hotel, but my wife also had to head back to the hotel at 6 p.m. most days because her arthritic hips were aching from the poor condition of her wheelchair seat. This painful condition was caused directly by the wheelchair damaged by American Airlines. On the couple evenings that we went out for dinner, my wife stayed back at the hotel from noon to 6 p.m. – missing out on the sights and culture of Mexico City to be rested enough to be able to stand the pain of being in a wheelchair seat damaged by American Airlines.
When we returned to Miami on Dec. 30, we went to the Mexico City airport 3.5 hours prior to our flight. The person who printed our boarding passes was polite. But when I told her we wanted to file a complaint about the wheelchair damage, she wasn’t sure what to do – even though we had several hours to speak with an airline representative. Her best guess was to go to baggage claim in Miami when we arrived, which would be less than two hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Thankfully, the crew on the return Flight 2188 (Dec. 31, 2011) heard our pleas and allowed me to take my wife’s wheelchair apart and store it in the front closet. The closet was full of crew luggage, but they quickly moved their stuff to some very nearby vacant overhead bins in first class. I thanked the crew profusely and they were shocked. They said “this is what we do for disabled people. This is the right thing to do and that’s what we do.” I politely explained that the crew on Dec. 25 did the opposite and we suffered greatly because of it.
Upon return to Miami, we did not have to go to baggage claim because we carried on our two small bags. We went to the baggage claim area, but saw no one capable of handing a complaint about a wheelchair damaged on a flight. Besides, my wife was in pain, we were exhausted and wanted to get home.

We both have been swamped with work upon our return, but I have now taken the time to write this letter. Not only am I asking American Airlines to repair my wife’s wheelchair (she uses a power wheelchair in Miami, so we have yet to take the manual chair for travel in to the shop for a damage estimate), but I also am asking American to refund the entire amount we paid for the Dec 25/Dec 31 flights. That cost is $676.82.
American’s behavior was shameful and we are owed an apology and financial redress for the extreme pain and suffering we were forced to deal with because of the Dec. 25 flight crew’s negligence.
I expect a response from a high-level decision maker within 48 hour of receipt of this complaint.



Sunday, January 8, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW'S SELFISHNESS HURTS DISABLED TRAVELER - 9


WHEELCHAIR SEVERELY DAMAGED BY UNCARING GROUND CREW AFTER AMERICN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW REFUSES TO MOVE ITS LUGGAGE TO ACCOMMODATE ONBOARD WHEELCHAIR STORAGE

Editor's note: We arrived home on Dec. 31 from a week in Mexico City. The City was great, our Hotel -- the St.Regis -- was spectacular but the flight getting there was a nightmare caused by American Airlines employees who are abusive toward the needs of disabled travelers. It is no wonder why this carrier is in banktruptcy. We will share our tale of disability discrimination during the next several days. The postings are in the form of a letter to American Airlines, which has not even been addressed -- despite the urgency of our complaints.

We both have been swamped with work upon our return, but I have now taken the time to write this letter.

Not only am I asking American Airlines to repair my wife’s wheelchair (she uses a power wheelchair in Miami, so we have yet to take the manual chair for travel in to the shop for a damage estimate), but I also am asking American to refund the entire amount we paid for the Dec 25/Dec 31 flights.

That cost is $676.82.

American’s behavior was shameful and we are owed an apology and financial redress for the extreme pain and suffering we were forced to deal with because of the Dec. 25 flight crew’s negligence.

I expect a response from a high-level decision maker within 48 hour of receipt of this complaint.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW'S SELFISHNESS HURTS DISABLED TRAVELER - 8


WHEELCHAIR SEVERELY DAMAGED BY UNCARING GROUND CREW AFTER AMERICN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW REFUSES TO MOVE ITS LUGGAGE TO ACCOMMODATE ONBOARD WHEELCHAIR STORAGE

Editor's note: We arrived home on Dec. 31 from a week in Mexico City. The City was great, our Hotel -- the St.Regis -- was spectacular but the flight getting there was a nightmare caused by American Airlines employees who are abusive toward the needs of disabled travelers. It is no wonder why this carrier is in banktruptcy. We will share our tale of disability discrimination during the next several days. The postings are in the form of a letter to American Airlines, which has not even been addressed -- despite the urgency of our complaints.

Thankfully, the crew on the return Flight 2188 (Dec. 31, 2011) heard our pleas and allowed me to take my wife’s wheelchair apart and store it in the front closet. The closet was full of crew luggage, but they quickly moved their stuff to some very nearby vacant overhead bins in first class.

I thanked the crew profusely and they were shocked.

They said “this is what we do for disabled people.

This is the right thing to do and that’s what we do.”

I politely explained that the crew on Dec. 25 did the opposite and we suffered greatly because of it.

Upon return to Miami, we did not have to go to baggage claim because we carried on our two small bags.

We went to the baggage claim area, but saw no one capable of handing a complaint about a wheelchair damaged on a flight.

Besides, my wife was in pain, we were exhausted and wanted to get home.

Friday, January 6, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW'S SELFISHNESS HURTS DISABLED TRAVELER - 7


WHEELCHAIR SEVERELY DAMAGED BY UNCARING GROUND CREW AFTER AMERICN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW REFUSES TO MOVE ITS LUGGAGE TO ACCOMMODATE ONBOARD WHEELCHAIR STORAGE

Editor's note: We arrived home on Dec. 31 from a week in Mexico City. The City was great, our Hotel -- the St.Regis -- was spectacular but the flight getting there was a nightmare caused by American Airlines employees who are abusive toward the needs of disabled travelers. It is no wonder why this carrier is in banktruptcy. We will share our tale of disability discrimination during the next several days. The postings are in the form of a letter to American Airlines, which has not even been addressed -- despite the urgency of our complaints.

We not only lost time waiting for the makeshift repairs at the hotel, but my wife also had to head back to the hotel at 6 p.m. most days because her arthritic hips were aching from the poor condition of her wheelchair seat.

This painful condition was caused directly by the wheelchair damaged by American Airlines. On the couple evenings that we went out for dinner, my wife stayed back at the hotel from noon to 6 p.m. – missing out on the sights and culture of Mexico City to be rested enough to be able to stand the pain of being in a wheelchair seat damaged by American Airlines.

When we returned to Miami on Dec. 30, we went to the Mexico City airport 3.5 hours prior to our flight.

The person who printed our boarding passes was polite.

But when I told her we wanted to file a complaint about the wheelchair damage, she wasn’t sure what to do – even though we had several hours to speak with an airline representative.

Her best guess was to go to baggage claim in Miami when we arrived, which would be less than two hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW'S SELFISHNESS HURTS DISABLED TRAVELER - 6


WHEELCHAIR SEVERELY DAMAGED BY UNCARING GROUND CREW AFTER AMERICN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW REFUSES TO MOVE ITS LUGGAGE TO ACCOMMODATE ONBOARD WHEELCHAIR STORAGE

Editor's note: We arrived home on Dec. 31 from a week in Mexico City. The City was great, our Hotel -- the St.Regis -- was spectacular but the flight getting there was a nightmare caused by American Airlines employees who are abusive toward the needs of disabled travelers. It is no wonder why this carrier is in banktruptcy. We will share our tale of disability discrimination during the next several days. The postings are in the form of a letter to American Airlines, which has not even been addressed -- despite the urgency of our complaints.

We caught a cab to the St. Regis Hotel and by the time we got there, the chair was broken again and my wife was almost falling out of it.

Because the St. Regis is a 5-star property, it called a member of its engineering staff to try to make a substitute plastic cap out of materials on hand.

The hotel assistant manager could not believe that we were treated so poorly by American.

Finally, we got a decent substitute cap. But it continually fell out during our week-long visit and we had to borrow duct and electrical tape to try to hold the cap in place to keep the rod from falling out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW'S SELFISHNESS HURTS DISABLED TRAVELER - 5


WHEELCHAIR SEVERELY DAMAGED BY UNCARING GROUND CREW AFTER AMERICN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW REFUSES TO MOVE ITS LUGGAGE TO ACCOMMODATE ONBOARD WHEELCHAIR STORAGE

Editor's note: We arrived home on Dec. 31 from a week in Mexico City. The City was great, our Hotel -- the St.Regis -- was spectacular but the flight getting there was a nightmare caused by American Airlines employees who are abusive toward the needs of disabled travelers. It is no wonder why this carrier is in banktruptcy. We will share our tale of disability discrimination during the next several days. The postings are in the form of a letter to American Airlines, which has not even been addressed -- despite the urgency of our complaints.

Finally, the ground crew appeared with the metal rod that holds the chair in place.

This was only a half solution, because the plastic piece that holds the rod in place was never located. By now the plane was empty, the flight crew were heading toward the jet bridge and customs was waiting for us.

I crumpled some napkins to stuff in place of the plastic piece and pushed my wife’s wheelchair toward Mexican customs.

I asked the AA gate agent where we could make a complaint, but she said it was Christmas Day and no one was around and if they were, we’d have to make our damage complaint in Spanish.

Thankfully, at customs, an airport employee saw how upset we were and my wife, in her primitive Spanish, explained our plight and pointed to the missing plastic piece and the rod now jutting dangerously out the side of the seat.

The kind man helped us Scotch tape over the napkins to try to hold the rod in place.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW'S SELFISHNESS HURTS DISABLED TRAVELER - 4


WHEELCHAIR SEVERELY DAMAGED BY UNCARING GROUND CREW AFTER AMERICN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW REFUSES TO MOVE ITS LUGGAGE TO ACCOMMODATE ONBOARD WHEELCHAIR STORAGE

Editor's note: We arrived home on Dec. 31 from a week in Mexico City. The City was great, our Hotel -- the St.Regis -- was spectacular but the flight getting there was a nightmare caused by American Airlines employees who are abusive toward the needs of disabled travelers. It is no wonder why this carrier is in banktruptcy. We will share our tale of disability discrimination during the next several days. The postings are in the form of a letter to American Airlines, which has not even been addressed -- despite the urgency of our complaints.

Upon arrival in Mexico City, the crew brought up a broken chair.

My wife’s lightweight chair has a canvas seat that folds. There are metal rods inside that hold the seat in place.

Plastic caps on the outside of the metal tubes hold the rods inside.

The plastic cap had been knocked off while my wife’s chair was stored.

Because of this, the rod that holds the seat in place slid out, rendering the wheelchair unusable– on Christmas Day upon arrival in a foreign country.

Anguished, I chided the crew for being so selfish as to not move a couple bags into empty overhead bins for the sake of a disabled traveler.

I did not curse, but I’m sure my voice was raised, considering how upset I was. I was told the chair was fine, but when I placed my hand where she sits, it fell right through.

If my wife had believed this line of lies and tested the chair, she would have fallen and broken her leg.

I complained more – emphatically but not threatening in any way – and was told I would be taken into custody if I didn’t accept the chair as-is.

Monday, January 2, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW'S SELFISHNESS HURTS DISABLED TRAVELER - 3


WHEELCHAIR SEVERELY DAMAGED BY UNCARING GROUND CREW AFTER AMERICN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW REFUSES TO MOVE ITS LUGGAGE TO ACCOMMODATE ONBOARD WHEELCHAIR STORAGE

Editor's note: We arrived home on Dec. 31 from a week in Mexico City. The City was great, our Hotel -- the St.Regis -- was spectacular but the flight getting there was a nightmare caused by American Airlines employees who are abusive toward the needs of disabled travelers. It is no wonder why this carrier is in banktruptcy. We will share our tale of disability discrimination during the next several days. The postings are in the form of a letter to American Airlines, which has not even been addressed -- despite the urgency of our complaints.

I pleaded with the flight crew, but they refused to move their bags.

(I must note that this 12-25-11 flight was less than half full and had more than enough room in empty first class bins to store crew luggage near the front of the plane.)

I told them we'll arrive in Mexico City on Christmas Day, when no shops will be open to repair my wife's wheelchair, with her chair very likely damaged by being gate checked into the cargo area. I tried to take the wheels off my wife's wheelchair to show how easily it can be stowed, but the unyielding flight crew refused to move its baggage.

I was told to take my seat or there would be consequences.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW'S SELFISHNESS HURTS DISABLED TRAVELER - 2


WHEELCHAIR SEVERELY DAMAGED BY UNCARING GROUND CREW AFTER AMERICN AIRLINES FLIGHT CREW REFUSES TO MOVE ITS LUGGAGE TO ACCOMMODATE ONBOARD WHEELCHAIR STORAGE

Editor's note: We arrived home on Dec. 31 from a week in Mexico City. The City was great, our Hotel -- the St.Regis -- was spectacular but the flight getting there was a nightmare caused by American Airlines employees who are abusive toward the needs of disabled travelers. It is no wonder why this carrier is in banktruptcy. We will share our tale of disability discrimination during the next several days. The postings are in the form of a letter to American Airlines, which has not even been addressed -- despite the urgency of our complaints.

We also prearrange AA disability services so my wife has assistance at the jet bridge, while boarding the plane and with stowage of her wheelchair in the onboard closet.

We are aware that crew members like to stow their baggage in the same closet that provides space for passengers’ wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

In most cases, crew members kindly relocate their bags to clear space for the wheelchair.

On Christmas Day 2011, we flew from Miami International Airport to Mexico City on flight 2199, departing at 7:30 a.m. The folks at the AA check-in counter understood our needs and said the wheelchair could be stored in the closet (not gate checked where it can get damaged).

The gate crew that checks boarding passes and escorts us down the jet bridge also confirmed this.

But when we arrived at the door of the plane, it was obvious that the flight crew had a large amount of luggage stored in the closet.

It also became clear that the brand new plane had a smaller than usual closet, a dreadful design flaw that negatively impacts wheelchair-using passengers.