American Airlines holiday travel horror story: 11 hours no food, no running water

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 ‘No’; 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.

5 thoughts on “American Airlines holiday travel horror story: 11 hours no food, no running water”

  1. 11 hours no food..Wow…first time in history a homosapion went with out food for that long…did you drop from 310 down to 309!!..litlle people are people too!

  2. AA has a virtual Monopoly on travel originating from Miami to Puerto Rico, Virgin Island and Dominican Republic. During my 14 years of constant travel I have seen violations of virtually all Human Rights done to passengers.
    If Politicians enact Specific Laws to deal and punish by monetary fine many of the non human or sub standard treatment, legal violations and the rough treatment we are subjected (we are at their mercies),and establish a fund for the affected, maybe the monies amount would be subtantial to create a concience on this Airlines.

    We need drastic changes on the Airline Industry, and competition, and money fines is one way to discourage abuse. Help smaller Airlines to compete with the Airline mogules.

  3. i have an issue with american, though not as bad

    someone i was traveling with was carrying a guitar onboard because one time he checked it and it got stolen. He asked the gate agent if he could preboard so he could get there in time to put it in the overhead bin. She said no. He said he had to preboard because he was in seating 6 (last) and everyone else would take up the space and he would have to check his guitar (bad). she told him to use the under the seat storage. He is carrying a GUITAR and she tells him to put it under the seat!?!?! what a snobby attendant! She told him she had a whole planeload of children so she would not preboard us. we got on earlier anyway thank goodness

    try united! they have actual customer service!

  4. There is no priority boarding to families with young children in American Airlines. When we fly from Boston to Miami, we stand in the line for more than 25 mins to get our seats. When we asked is there is priority boarding, they told me there is no policy. Also they broke the stroller, our vacation got ruined. When we asked for the damaged baggage, the customer service told Stroller is not considered as baggage, so they can’t pay or repair (Phil & Ted stroller).

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