As previously mentioned, this particular Arsehole has taken on both United Airlines and Delta and declared victory in both instances. In March 2017, American Airlines were offering an extremely reasonable fare from Melbourne to Los Angeles in Business Class, which suited this Arsehole perfectly as he needed to get to the US for some business thing. The fare even included flights between Melbourne and Sydney on Qantas, but did require that it be booked through a travel agent (something that this Arsehole normally refuses to do).
3 hours into the flight from Sydney to LA, things started to go more wrong than a Barnaby Joyce-themed porn shoot:
- The flight diverted to Brisbane due to a medical issue onboard
- The flight then diverted to Sydney as Brisbane wasn’t in a position to handle AA’s ground needs
- Announcements were made telling all passengers to stop asking about what would occur after the aircraft landed in Sydney
- Upon landing, all AA staff decided to fuck off and had Qantas staff tell the passengers to come back the next day at 7am for updates “if available”
This Arsehole was not in a position to wait until the next day, as the business thing in question needed to be rescheduled as a result of the delay. At this point:
- AA/Qantas staff refused to discuss the issue or rescheduling after determining that no other flights to the US were available that day on AA (no other OneWorld partners were considered)
- The travel agency stated that they had no idea what they could or could not do to accommodate the changes to my schedule (in direct response to this issue occurring)
- Neither party was willing to offer any assistance on returning to Melbourne other than “just go buy a cheap flight from Expedia or something”
Obviously, up with this I would not put! Upon the event in the US being rescheduled, the fun started.
Dear Travel Agency,
The engagement I was travelling for has been rescheduled to X/Mar/2017. As previously discussed, please ensure that tickets are issued for MEL-LAX on (X-1)/Mar/2017 and LAX-MEL on (X+1)/Mar/2017.
Of course, expecting a remotely helpful response to this message would be akin to expecting an admission of error from The Orange One. Instead of replying in writing, a bloke named Keith called me.
Keith attempted to insist that I would need to pay a change fee of ~$5,000 as I had chosen to not take the flight heading out the following day. The fact that this would have seen me spending barely 36 hours in the US was quite lost on poor Keith, and he refused to investigate options beyond asking me for my credit card number.
At this point, I told Keith that he needed to get my requested changes made at no additional charge by the end of the day or I would come to his office and subject him to my best Elephant Impression . Keith put me onto his manager, Jaydee-Taylah (yes, I did check the spelling) who explained that she would personally call the airline and call me back. Which she didn’t.
Because I was feeling charitable the next day and had picked out the ideal set of pants to pull the pockets out of, I called Keith and was told that he had been given the waiver code required to alter the reservation but could still not get American Airlines to budge, likening the experience to attempting intercourse with a bull. As much as I would normally like to explore a man’s admission of attempting to pleasure a bovine, I decided to focus on the facts:
- Give me the waiver code. No sayeth Keith, as apparently there’s some sort of super-secret set of rules between Travel Agent proles and Airline proles.
- Give me the details of the department you’ve been speaking to at the airline. No sayeth Keith, as they’d apparently refuse to talk to me.
- Which would you prefer – to give me a refund now or to experience a chargeback? At this point the pleading started, and Keith responded to My Favourite C Word with details of who to call at American Airlines.
And this is where the real fun started.