✈Anyone want to hear a (not so short) #story about why I always prefer to fly @americanair? Corporate had booked us on @usairways flights, and on this #gorgeous Monday we arrived at the #ATLAirport at 1 pm to catch our 330 flight. When checking in, the kiosk couldn’t pull up our flight information, so we stood in a 30 minute non-priority line with the other #jetlagged & #frustrated customers to speak with an agent. The agent was able to help us find the flight reservation, but informed us that our tickets were of “No Value”, and that we essentially didnt have tickets for our flight! !! She told us that it was in no way #UsAirways fault, and that our corporate must have made a mistake while booking. We called corporate who said they had booked on @expedia .com, but the agent insisted the flights were booked on Corporate spent time figuring things out on the phone, and it ended up that us airways HAD canceled our #personal ticket, although the flight was still scheduled and on time. Corporate re booked us on the flight we were originally scheduled to leave on, and we scrambled to check our bags (85$) and get in the regular security line. If you’ve ever been through a non priority line at an airport, then you KNOW it can take ages! Frazzled travelers searching through their bags for boarding passes and id’s, women struggling to remove their heels and jewelry while men quickly attempt to shed their loafers, jackets and belts- all the while kids throwing temper tantrums on the floor and refusing to let the security line move. It was 310- our plane had boarded at 3 and we started sweating bullets. By time we got trough the lines and metal detectors it had been 45 minutes, and we were running, bags in hand and buns falling off the top of our heads to catch the AirTrain that would take us to our #terminal. On the train, off the train, onto the walking belt, off of the walking belt. Up the escalators, down the halls, through the glass doors and to the right. We were sweating bullets- it was 335 by the time we got to our gate, and the plane was scheduled to leave at 330. We took a huge breath & sigh of relief as we saw a huge line of angry and confused passengers- our plane had been delayed, meaning we had made it! Our new departure time was 415 pm, and we sat to wait along with everyone else for airline issues to be resolved. The 415 departure turned into a 445 one. 530. 6pm. As our backs started to ache in the seats, the cracky voice came on the loud speaker yet again. Expecting another delay we half tuned in, until we hears the words “mechanical” and “completely canceled”. We, along with the other passengers on their way to #SanFransisco, #HongKong and other parts of the world were flightless, and bound to spend hours more at the airport. We were given phone numbers to call and re book flights- after speaking to a #robot on the phone for 20 mins we got in touch with a human, who then informed us the flight she was going to re book is on had also been canceled. All other flights had been fully booked but the other canceled passengers, and in order to get home we would have to spend the night in #Atlanta and fly out in the morning on separate planes with 2 layovers-
No #compensation, no hotel #accommodations, no meal vouchers. Seeing as I have a #Photoshoot in the morning and leave to Los Angeles 10 hours later, flying out alone at 11 the next day with a layovers in #NorthCarolina and again in #Arizona was not an option. As frustrated and distressed as the other flightless travelers, we decided to have the ticket refunded to corporate and were able to book our own trip home. Thankfully, @americanair had flights leaving at 545, 630, 715, and 800. We booked within 10 minutes via an iPhone app, and ran downstairs to retrieve our checked baggage from the canceled flight. When we arrived at baggage claim, we watched the suitcases and hard cover bags rotate in cirlces-once, twice, three times- as if they were on a marry-go-round. Our bags never appeared, and with raised eyebrows and blank faces we walked briskly to the Us Airways baggage service office. The woman behind the counter let us know that when flights are canceled, it can take between 2 to 6 hours to return our bags to us! Even with priority checks in and priority security, we wouldn’t be able to make our flight in time. In addition, our checked baggage fees were “non refundable”. 20 minutes of arguments and phone calls confirmed this, and although we dont have any credits, I plan to rebut this absurd, greedy airline implication. The is airways agent found a way to attempt to re route the bags to our new Americain airlines flight ( AA gives us up to 6 bags checked free)- with hopes that they will actually arrive in Sf. We quickly dashed to the #AA checkin counter- minutes later we had our boarding passes in hand and were waltzing through security. We arrived at our gate with an hour to spare, and an #admiralsclub right across the way. As we checked in and requested our first class upgrade, the agent smiled and let us know we were first on the list. And that brings us here, 5 hours delayed but still getting home, snacking on pretzels and chicken salads while writing #novels of #FlyerFrustration on #Instagram. As exhausted as I am, I can’t wait to get on our plane, and yet on another one tomorrow, knowing #AmericanAirlines will take care of me. It’s a complete “I told you so” kind of moment, but a relief to finally be on our way. Life is such a funny thing, and out of your control #circumstances are always bound to happen. It just goes to show that no matter what, things always have a way of working themselves out in the end…. And that if a company doesn’t treat it’s customers right, another company certainly will!! ✈ #cassandrabanksontravelstoatlanta (at ATL Airport, Admirals Club)

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