Never Back Down

At the beginning of last month I posted a rant on my luggage (Another Travel Rant…). I finally got some compensation from the airline and I figured I’d do an update on it.

I first submitted a report on Oct 6th the day I returned and I hadn’t heard from AA until Oct 23rd, letting me know that someone from the Seattle office will be contacting me. Again, some time went by and I hadn’t heard anything so I decided to let them know that no one has contacted me up to now. I received a response a few days later on Nov 19th apologizing and again letting me know that the Seattle office has been notified to contact me as soon as possible. I finally got that call on Nov 21st. I was on the phone for about 25 minutes creating a new file with the Supervisor because for some reason she was unable to open my file and see the claim. In the end, because I told her I’m travelling next month and I will like this resolved ASAP, she told me she just received stock luggage and I can come and collect it. The normal procedure would be for me to give them my damaged luggage, they send it to HQ, HQ assesses it and then compensates accordingly.

She told me the box was marked with the same brand as my luggage and even though it wasn’t the same piece, I was happy to take it. I was just hoping for the same brand and not feel like I was being outsmarted by them. She had opened the box as it had just arrived that day and told me the color and let me know it was all soft as mine was a hybrid of hard and soft materials.

After the Thanksgiving festivities, I dragged my husband with me on Sunday afternoon to the airport to collect the piece. I took in my damaged piece and came out with the box with the new piece in it. I didn’t stop to check it (something I should’ve done) and I ran back outside before the police came and made my husband move the car. When I got home, I opened the box and pulled out the piece which was labeled American Explorer not Ricardo. My husband couldn’t contain his laughter because only a few minutes before he was asking if I was receiving the same brand and I said I would not be taking anything less than it. I hopped on the phone and called American. After being shuffled around and getting in contact with the kiosk at the airport, I let them know this isn’t what I was promised and to not throw out my old piece until this gets resolved. The agent told me that as my claim has been closed, with the understanding that I was receiving this new piece of luggage, I had to call their luggage supplier to sort it out. On Monday I called 3 times and got through on the 4th call, which I was lucky to do because it was closing time for the company in Dallas. Throughout this whole ordeal, I was finally able to speak to one person who gave me all the advice and answers for everything I needed to know and what to do.

I learned that American Explorer is made by Ricardo (their lower market pieces – hence the Ricardo box it was in) and that they needed permission from the Supervisor at Seatac to send me the correct piece of luggage. I took her name and direct number and called the Supervisor. By then she was aware of the situation and apologized – she assumed that from the Ricardo box it was a Ricardo piece. I gave her the name of the contact and she said she will call me back once she had spoken to her. I got my call back, asking me to bring back the piece to the airport and that they will be shipping the correct piece directly to me. It’s over. THANK YOU!!!!

The day I went home with the first piece, and realized it was the wrong thing, my husband was telling me to just leave it, and stop getting flustered and going after AA. I was determined for one reason. AA is the only airline I can use to fly home without changing airlines, flights are never “cheap” and I basically conduct most of my travel on them. I didn’t think that it was right that I just let them get away with something like this. If everyone always says “fine, forget about it, I’m done”, then big companies get away with doing things.

Travel isn’t what it used to be. We do not get free food or blankets or pillows. Security is hell. Gone are the days of discounted kids tickets and discounts in general. Tickets have soared in price. Couple that with delays and multiple long flights/layovers, you always need a day to recover from a trip – going and coming. Certain things are expected of us when we travel, so why shouldn’t certain things be expected of those whom we’re paying to get us from A to B?

I managed to keep my temper down after the whole luggage mix up and I was very proud of myself for that. I didn’t want to fly off the handle again like when the incident first occurred. I’m a real stickler for customer service and, unfortunately, as I get the feeling like someone is taking me for an idiot or not behaving as they should in customer service, I get annoyed quickly. As a travel agent, I always gave of my best, even when I was being cussed by someone else’s client, I tried to help them and not return attitude with them. In customer service, your job is to help the customer whether or not you are the reason for their anger. You are there to help not judge.

As I said, this was just to fill you in on what happened since that rant and I promised my husband this wouldn’t be another rant. So I’ll sign off here with a quote I posted the other day.

never back down from getting what is rightfully yours. don’t let people/companies get away with crap. stand up for yourself. 


Joys of flying pt deux

‘The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

No truer words can be said. Even if you do not leave the country, the diversity within the states of the USA will definitely open your mind to new things. As I said in my last post, I was in Orlando, FL last weekend for a wedding. We flew down on Virgin America and flew back on AA because we used our miles for the second part of the trip (saved a lot :)). Surprisingly, the trip down was uneventful and with the help of my sleep mask I managed to get some rest seeing we left so early. It is the best $5 I’ve spent for the whole year! I bought it Wednesday from TJ Maxx because my husband often goes to sleep later than I do and I do not sleep well with lights on. I decided to keep it in my handbag in case it would come in handy on the flight which it did. It’s soooo comfortable and it truly blocks out all of the light without being uncomfortable and sticking to your eyes. Plus the back has velcro that you can adjust it to suit, another feature I adored.


 looks like a bra doesn’t it? lol

We flew in Friday, the wedding was Saturday (which we were almost an hour late for – I thought it was at 4 not 3 :() and then left Sunday morning. Sunday morning… I did not want to get up, but I did and we made our way to the airport, and hopped on to the plane… As I stated in rant 1, I always let my husband get his window seat, and I always end up dealing with some shit. This time, I was seated next to a man who believed that because he was twice my size (not fat just tall and big) that he was entitled to encroaching on my armrest and foot space. My husband calls this “leaking”. The flight was at 10.30am but seeing that I hardly slept (time difference) and was up early to check out and get a taxi to the airport, I was tired and wanted to sleep. But even with my neck pillow and wonderful eye mask, I couldn’t with an elbow in my side just lingering and the shitty thing about it is he couldn’t do anything about it! Even when he tucked it in (after probably feeling me next to him) it was still leaking… Mind you, for the majority of the flight I was leaning on my husband sleeping! Not even sitting straight. So there I was, halfway out of my seat, and still feeling this elbow in my side. Then I went to get my handbag from under the seat in front of me and whose big foot do I see rather close to it? *sigh* I would love to know what I do to attract these characters. The second flight wasn’t bad. I got some sleep on that one as well as some lovely views of Mt. Rainier from the plane (I woke up for the last half hour of the flight).

I have thus concluded that I will create a document that I will call “Airplane Etiquette”. I hope to one day turn it into a worthwhile document and have it posted on or attached to the safety card. Yes, this shit is serious to me. I will be working on this throughout the year as I have other trips coming up and it wouldn’t be fair to do it so early and keep adding. Maybe I’ll have it as an End of the Year list – it’s the least I could do with my big dreams. But for now, I’m safely back home and somewhat caught up on sleep lost as I crashed last night. Hope you enjoyed this little post.