- A passenger claims that American Airlines wrongly moved his family on a flight to Canada.
- Grady R. Heins had booked a flight from Seattle to Burlington, Vermont for his brother’s wedding.
- When his connecting flight from Philadelphia was canceled, he rented a car and drove all night.
A passenger said American Airlines booked his family on a flight to another country and then canceled the replacement flight.
Grady R. Heins, a Washington state attorney, had booked a flight from Seattle to Vermont in January for his brother’s wedding in May.
He bought tickets for himself and his three children for the fastest trip he could find on American Airlines via Chicago.
Before leaving, he was surprised to receive an email from the airline asking him to prepare for his “next trip to Canada”.
He told Insider that he logged into his account only to see that his destination had been changed from Burlington, Vermont, to Montreal, Canada, without his permission.
Heins said he tried to rectify the situation over the phone, but couldn’t get through, he decided to drive to Seattle airport to book his flights in person, taking an afternoon off to do it.
American Airlines staff at the Seattle airport eventually found him an alternative flight to Burlington with a stopover in Philadelphia. The Seattle-Philadelphia flight was operated by Alaska Airlines.
However, her travel headache didn’t end there.
When Heins and his family arrived in Philadelphia, his connecting American Airlines flight to Burlington (AA5032) was canceled. According to Heins, the airline told him the cancellation happened because a flight attendant didn’t show up for work.
Left at the airport with three young children, Heins said he went to the American Airlines customer service counter for help.
He said staff told him there were no more hotel rooms and they could not provide a rental car and assistance was provided on a “first come, first served”.
After four hours at the airport, Heins decided to collect his family’s luggage, rented a car, and drove from 11:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. to reach his intended destination.
Correspondence seen by Insider between Heins and the airline shows that a representative apologized for the canceled flight and erroneous rebooking.
The airline offered to reimburse Heins for the segment he did not fly, but not for the Seattle-Philadelphia segment of the trip. He also offered to reimburse her for the rental car, according to email correspondence seen by Insider.
As an alternative to reimbursement, the airline offered vouchers of $300 per passenger.
Heins said that in 26 years of air travel, he had never experienced anything like this.
A spokesperson for American Airlines told Insider, “We apologize for the inconvenience caused following the cancellation of Mr. Heins’ connecting flight from Philadelphia to Burlington. We have been in touch with him regarding his experience. .”