This tells of a disaster that came about after a few small thunderclouds and lightning hit Dallas, TX following the 2006 Christmas holidays. American Airlines has done nothing to help these passengers on Flight 1286 so far. This incident involves my family on the plane and I am very upset that American Airlines acted the way they did and treated their passengers so badly without any humanity at all. No running water, no food, no compromises – just plain imprisonment worse than any jail where you are stuck in a coach seat and cannot move for 11 hours straight. Here is what my family had to go through on the very low staffed American Airlines:
Our return Flight 1286 from Oakland to Dallas left at about 1:30 p.m. CST on Friday, December, 28, 2006, and after circling DFW for about an hour because of lightening on the runway in Dallas was diverted to Tulsa. We were forced to remain on the plane on the tarmac in Tulsa for over 4 hours with no water or food and everybody trying to use the restroom at once.
The pilot announced that the plane would leave the Tulsa airport and return to DFW, but no flights would be going out of Dallas that night. Since we knew we had missed our connection flight #1369 at 6:20pm to Oklahoma City and would be stranded at the airport in Dallas overnight, we asked if we could get off the plane at Tulsa at the same time they were letting the 5 Tulsa people off. We were told â€˜Noâ€™; we had to stay on-board to return to Dallas.
We got back to Dallas around midnight, and at this point we had been on the plane since 11:30 Pacific time, 1:30 central time, making the time on board the plane about 11 hours, without food. By the time we finally were able to leave the airplane, we could not retrieve our checked luggage. We were told it would follow us on a flight to Oklahoma City. Then the stranded passengers from Flight 1369 lined up to wait for an agent to try and arrange for a standby flight the next morning. We were stranded at the Dallas airport at 12:30 am without food or a place to sleep. We were told we could catch a cab to a hotel and rent a room at our own expense.
After a horrible night in the airport, without any help whatsoever from American Airlines, we lined up at the gate the next morning to try and board flight 3587 to Oklahoma City. The agent arrived and told us that the gate had been changed so we rushed to the new location where the gate and flight time was changed two more times forcing the 44 people waiting on standby to rush from one site to another in hopes of getting on the flight. The agents were very rude. Finally they announced the flight and started boarding people, and then they called out a few names from the standby list. We did not get on that flight and the next flight was supposed to be at 10:30 a.m. and would be the last flight of the day.
Because no one could assure us that we would get seats on the 10:30 flight, we finally gave up and rented a vehicle and drove the 3 hours to Oklahoma City. The expense for a vehicle was $128.00.
Note: This compares to the horrible treatment from American Airlines for the good folks who flew from SFO to Austin on the same day as the USA Today Blog reported.