I recently took a trip to Georgia to visit my sister. My flight left out of Palm Springs and I was flying on American Airlines. We boarded the plane, once everybody was on board we pulled away from the gate and then stopped. We sat for about 15 minutes when the pilot came on and told us we needed to go back to the gate for some more fuel. Which was kind of scary, shouldn’t someone checked to see if we had enough fuel before we took off?
We returned to the gate and after about 10 minutes we headed out again. We got to the runway, started taxiing and were just about to take off when the pilot slammed on the breaks and we all went flying forward hitting the seating in front of us. Even though we had seatbelts on the seat in front of us was so close we still hit it. The plane skidded off the runway into some gravel.
The pilot came on and told us we had to go back to the gate and that he felt the plane was unsafe. So of coarse once we got back to the gate and they started letting us off the plane is was a mad dash to the ticketing counter to try and get on another flight. The problem was that Palm Springs is such a small airport there wasn’t too many other flight options available.
I headed for the ticketing counter like everyone else but also decided to call the airline. Once I got a hold of an agent I was told the first available flight wasn’t until the following day. So I book us on that flight. But then called back and asked if there were any flights available on another airline which there was and we were able to fly out a couple of hours later.
The moral of the story – don’t assume they will provide you with all available options. You have to specifically ask for a seat on another airline.
Once I did reach the American Airline ticket counter I asked the agent about compensation for the canceled flight. She told me “no.” So I had to remind her that the law states if a flight is delayed by more then 4 hours (we were flying out 6 hours later) and it is due to mechanical problems the airline has to give you some sort of compensation. After which she gave us food vouchers. So you need to know your rights because the airlines are always upfront about what you are entitled to.
We eventually reached our destination and we had a great visit.