During a recent trip to Chicago, I had a very strange experience with American Airlines. The flight there, was just fine. Well, for me. There were at least two people that lost their breakfast (it was a bumpy ride), and one of them was sitting next to my girlfriend. However, that wasn’t the “strange experience” that I already alluded to.
That happened before we even boarded the plane for the return flight. When I woke up the morning of, I found it odd that I haven’t gotten an email kindly reminding me to check in. So, I opened my AA app. Guess what? No return flight was listed! This is when I started to quietly freak out. The flight Crystal and I were supposed to be on left later that evening, I had a massive headache (that’s a story for another day), I still had to finish packing, and now it looked like I wasn’t going to make it home that night.
So, I did something people rarely do these days: I called the airline to figure out what the hell was going on. The woman I talked to from American was very nice. After I gave her my name, record locator, and all that, she found my flight info. At least, that’s what I thought.
She told me, and I’m paraphrasing the phone call here, “your return flight was probably canceled because you didn’t take the flight you were originally supposed to take to Chicago.”
I then said, “okay...what flight do you think I took to Chicago, b/c as far as I know I was on the one that I was originally scheduled to take.”
“....” (awkward silence).
Finally, she said (and this is the kicker), “I think I know what happened. Those record locators are just randomly generated. I think someone accidentally started making changes to your reservation, thinking they were making changes to someone else’s reservation.”
Yeah! Someone (we’ll never know who) canceled my return flight! Now, I’m not sure if this is possible for a random Joe Schmoe to do from home if they type in the wrong record locator. I doubt it, but I guess anything is possible. I kinda suspect it was an AA employee who made the mistake and didn't bother fixing it.
Crystal and I finally got back on the flight we were originally supposed to be on. But, because our reservation on that flight was (at one point) canceled, we were put in two seats that were nowhere near our original two seats. I was assigned 11B and Crystal was assigned something like 13J. After we got through security at O’Hare, we went to see the gate agent to see if it was possible to sit next to each other. The agent found us two seats right next to each other, and it was smooth sailing from there on out.
American messed up. But thankfully they lucked out and were able to correct their mistake.
Is there a takeaway here? Maybe. I think it's don't be afraid to call someone (i.e. an airline) every now. That's probably what got Crystal and me back to Dallas.
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