Their computer systems out of Dayton, Ohio slowed to a crawl. The systems managing crew couldn’t keep up with scheduled flights, and those that were still flying were being dispatched manually. Flights were being boarded and held for hours waiting for manual release.
Yesterday the story came out that a customer in Charlotte became so frustrated she broke a window in the airport. She merely received a citation. (HT: Tocqueville)
FRUSTRATION IS SKY HIGH | multiple airport employees tell me one customer was so upset about her flight cancellation she shattered this window pane. A witness says the woman was yelling and cursing before multiple CMPD officers responded. @wsoctv pic.twitter.com/70ieCRbLuM
— Stephanie Tinoco (@STinocoWSOC9) June 19, 2018
While American says the PSA operation is ‘returning to normal’ so far today there are still a substantial number of PSA cancellations.
What’s really offensive though is that throughout the entire past week American Airlines never issued a travel waiver. Despite massive flight cancellations for days customers weren’t allowed to change their travel plans without a fee in advance. They’d have to wait until their flight cancelled to get a refund. In thousands of cases this meant having to go to the airport and wait for hours to see whether a flight departed. Anyone not wanting to do that would have to gamble — save hours of their life, skip the airport, and if their flight did take off they’d lose the cost of their ticket.
Supposedly American is unable to program waivers based on flight number or regional carrier. They could have issued a waiver for Charlotte but that would have meant that some customers unaffected by American’s major outage could have benefited with fee waivers.
They chose to inconvenience well over 100,000 customers on cancelled flights, not counting myriad more on massively delayed flights, instead of allowing fee-free changes for passengers flying through the most affected airport — chancing that someone somewhere not flying PSA might benefit from the waiver a cost American money. Shameful.