American Airlines/US Airways have had some complaints as of late regarding waiting customers. On Sunday, I wrote about the flight that waited for 9 hours to take a 30 minute flight (combination weather/mechanical/crew) and now there are others that are talking about being on hold with AA for over 6 hours! One customer on Twitter has been posting videos showing on hold for over 11 hours! Other customers on Twitter have also talked about/mentioned waits in excess of 5 hours.
On a recent phone call, I was on hold for almost 90 minutes and it was during a lot of their weather issues so I acknowledge that would cause a delay. It certainly makes a strong case as another reason to have elite status! When I was Diamond with Delta and there were delays that were stranding people in NYC for days, I was able to get to a person on the phone within 5 minutes and have my flight delay fixed in less than that. Not having any status with AA, I just had to wait.
In the case of this woman, she had a flight for the next day canceled and rebooked so she called to get it fixed. After spending 6 hours on hold, she finally just hung up. The customer on Twitter claimed he had been on hold for 3 hours before someone spoke with him and put him on hold again, where he waited for another 8 hours before having his problem addressed. He said that he was using multiple portable phones on chargers to get through the wait.
Want Shorter Wait Times?
If you find yourself in a similar situation, shorter wait times can often be had by calling the international phone numbers listed on the airlines’ websites. You would likely want to use Skype or some other internet service to avoid paying a large long-distance bill, but it is an option. Of course, you could also go to the airport and ask them for their help. I have had good success with that in the past, especially if you go right after a flight has checked in or right before (at smaller airports). I have been as polite as possible and they have always been very helpful in return.