Alaboutnothing Official Blog

January 2, 2010

American Airlines Flight 1366 – DFW to Memphis

Over this Christmas holiday I was one of the travelers who took advantage of the low airfares on priceline.com.  I booked a round trip ticket from Memphis TN to San Jose CA and started the trip on United Airlines and the return was on American Airlines (AA).

  To begin the United flight had a connection in Denver, which I normally avoid during the winter months, but this trip went great. I arrived on time and spent a great week with my family.

  On my return to Memphis, the first leg of the AA flight to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) went fine.  We arrived on time at gate 18 at DFW.  I checked the screen for Flight 1366 and it showed the gate to be A17.  I thought “Great!  I only needed to walk about 20 feet for the connecting flight.”  Because I have taken several (hundred) flights over the years, I know that because DFW is a very large airport and if your connecting gate is in a different terminal it might take awhile to get there.  I also know that at DFW if you need to get to a different terminal they have a “Sky Link” shuttle train that runs between terminals because of the lengthy distance.

  So I am sitting at Gate A17 waiting for the next flight and after about 15-20 minutes the desk attendant announced that the flight that was scheduled for a 4:45 PM departure was going to be delayed until 5:35 PM and the Gate has been changed to C27.  That’s it, nothing else was said.  Now this is where my experience at DFW came into play.  I knew I need to simply take the “Sky Link” Shuttle to get there in a timely manner.  The delay was no big deal, but I think the AA Desk Attendant should have given instructions to the other passengers as to what would be the best way to get to the C27 Gate which was very far away.  I would guess that at least 80% of the passengers on the flight were first time flyers and they had no clue other than walking to get to Gate C27.  I estimate that the walking distance from Gate A18 to C27 is about a mile. Even though Terminal C is right next to A, a person would have to leave A17 and proceed to A39 (22 Gates), then cross a walkway from A to C and then continue on to Gate C27 (27 Gates).  Keep in mind this is not a straight line walk, the terminals are curved so a 48 Gate walk is quite a long walk.

  When I arrived at Gate C27 I talked to a few of the other passengers and found out that one lady was originally scheduled to take a flight to Memphis at around 2 PM and her flight was cancelled and she was moved to Flight 1366 for the 4:45 PM departure and now that was changed to 5:35 PM so she had been waiting around for about 3 hours.  Then I talked with a young fellow escorting his mother and he told me that his mother needed help to walk.  She was good for a short distance, but long distance was a problem.  He said that on this gate change he got lucky and when they were starting to walk from Gate A17 to C27 he noticed the “Sky Link” sign and asked another passenger what it was.  That is how they made the gate change, and that was a strain on his mother because of the walk.  I told him that if at Memphis he needs assistance for his mother to ask the AA attendant to call for either a wheelchair or for one of those special “Golf Cart” like vehicles for assistance for his mother.  This is my point folks, all these “special” assistance services are available in probably all airports but the passenger must ask the airline attendant or look up the services on the web for a particular airport.  I would think that over holidays when most of the travelers are either first time flyers or people who rarely fly, the airlines would volunteer the information to the passengers when a special circumstance comes in to play.  In this case the American Airline people were mute.

  One more final tidbit of information is that when I was waiting at C27 I called an AAN team member that is in the aviation industry and asked him to find out what was going on.  He got back to me and said that flight 1366 originated in Phoenix and arrived at DFW on time and was at the airport a good 40 minutes when we arrived from San Jose.  He surmised that AA needed the plane for something else and did not know anything else.

  To wrap up, we did leave at 5:35 PM and arrived in Memphis at approximately 7:00 PM.

  I really did not appreciate the “games” American Airlines were playing.  What I think they did was cancelled the 2 PM flight because it wasn’t full and moved those passengers to the 1366 Flight at what was suppose to be a 4:45 PM departure.  Then when this flight wasn’t full, they delayed the flight to 5:35 PM.  AA obviously did not care about the inconvenience to the passengers after the long holiday and decided that their needs came before passengers.

  The next time you get the spiel where the pilot thanks you for flying their airline because of all the choices you have, keep in mind that American Airlines really doesn’t care.  American Airlines has gone from the top of my list to the bottom as far as choices for airline travel.  To you folks  out there in cyber land remember that if you need help, just ask.

  I have nothing further to add at this time except for you to remember to fly “The friendly Skies.”

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3 Comments »

  1. Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more! What do you see the future of this being?

    Comment by Me — January 9, 2010 @ 5:36 am | Reply

  2. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian, iwspo.net

    Comment by absewstreange — May 15, 2010 @ 8:32 pm | Reply

  3. Thank you very much for sharing all of the good information! Looking forward to seeintg more!

    Comment by Shenita Darveau — March 28, 2011 @ 12:53 pm | Reply


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