Friday, July 31, 2009

My arm hurts and American Airline disappoints...

We had such nice expectations for our return home. A combination of advanced ticketing and the use of some hard-earned frequent fliers had us flying home next to each other in sleeper seats on a widebody plane with personal video monitors, free food, etc.

Such was the plan, anyhow.

Mechanical problems delayed our flight from Little Rock to Dallas. After sitting on the tarmac for thirty minutes, they pulled back to the gate to keep fixing the problem, and they had us deplane. I could see trouble brewing so I called American to try to ensure we had reservations on a different flight for the afternoon leg. I was halfway through finishing this when we were told to board again. They went to the trouble of deplaning for 10 minutes -- adding another 20 minutes to our delay getting on and off the plane. We got there with twenty minutes before our other flight took off.

I ran as fast as I could -- which is not fast since I'm in the worst physical condition of my life -- and got to the gate. The door was closed, but the plane was still there. If I had a nickel for every time I have been on a plane where they have announced that they are waiting just a moment for a few passengers connecting from another flight, I'd be a wealthy man. But I have no nickels. Nor did the passengers on the nice widebody plane from Dallas to LA receive any nickels today, since they wrote off the seven or so people connecting to that flight, ourselves included.

By now, of course, first class was sold out all day. And in fact the only seats they had were on a redesigned 737, narrow body jet with VERY narrow seats that do not recline. Jill and I were seated in middle seats in separate rows. My shoulder was killing me, both from the exertion and from the extremely uncomfortable position I was forced into by the small seat.

So much for the triumphant return home.

I have been on Oxycontin for the pain, and the nausea is setting in, so I'm going to have to take something for it. Hopefully the pain will subside by tomorrow.

I'm going to give American a piece of my mind...they had better refund the difference in ticket price and also refund any change fees that they had previously assessed. And they had better refund the difference between 21-day advance purchase coach versus what we had.

I'm very, very ticked off about this.

So much for not sweating the small stuff or hoping to keep my blood pressure under control!

I am completely exhausted and I don't feel well (nausea) so I'm going to go to bed very, very early.

At least, though, we are home!


  1. There's something just not right when your car
    has a more enjoyable, event-free trip than you and Jill.
    Bet you were awful glad to fall into your own bed after that day. Wishing you 4 all smooth sailing from here on out. :o)

  2. Nick-
    Companies and people in general can be so inconsiderate! Sorry about the surgery mix-up, and the plane, and your complications! I am re-locating to Florida but will still be headed back to Mayo from time to time in Minnesota and reading your blog does raise travel concerns. Travel is difficult enough even when you are feeling OK! Good luck to you... Sounds like the big picture looks positive! Pat

  3. I've had more problems with American Airlines than any other airline, bar none! I'm almost on a first name basis with Gerard Arpey, the CEO, President and general factotum. I won't bore you, or your readers, with the details, but if there's an option, I NEVER choose American anymore.

    They are a "freight shipper" and view all their ticket-paying customers just that way, sad to say.

    I am sure glad you made it home safely, though, and intend continuing good progress toward your goal...