An American Airlines passenger spent three days trying to get home on a trip that should only have taken a few hours after his flight was canceled.
Dan Ryder, a school teacher, was attending a conference in New Orleans with two colleagues who were due to fly home to Maine on Thursday. On Wednesday American Airlines told them their connecting flight from Washington DC to Maine had been canceled.
After arriving at the airport to check in on Friday, only one of the trio’s flights had been changed, leaving Ryder and one colleague scrambling to find new seats and somewhere to spend the night.
“What’s upsetting is that despite the series of bailouts the airline industry has received, it has not upped its game on pay, benefits and incentives to attract and retain staffing,” Ryder said.
American Airlines let them rebook their flight for free but made no offer to help with extending their Airbnb or offer any vouchers.
The mishaps meant Ryder and one of his colleagues were stuck in New Orleans for two days and did not back to his home in Maine until Saturday.
Meanwhile, Valerie Diamante and her husband were set to travel from Santa Ana, California to Geneva in Switzerland to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
The couple missed their connecting flight from Phoenix, Arizona to London after someone was discovered smoking on the plane.
No flight was available until the following day but were then told that seats had not been reserved for them, forcing the couple to rebook a second time.
“We lost two full days of our trip as well as any sort of Fourth of July celebration in either America or in Europe since we would be en-route during that time,” Diamante said.
American Airlines tried to get the couple to their destination by putting them through a Delta flight. However, their seats were not confirmed because American’s codes were not acknowledged by Delta’s systems.
“We were told things were really busy with the season and all the airlines were bogged down with full flights and being stretched thin with short staff,” Diamante said.
American Airlines offered its pilots a pay rise of up to $64,000 this week to help bring an end to a shortage of pilots.
American Airlines and Delta were contacted for comment.