Customer says American Airlines gave seats away, made them pay for new ones

@therealcosmopolitan_/TikTok Carlos Yudica/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘The pilot was so mad that the pilot got off the plane’: Customer says American Airlines gave paid seats away

'Gave away our seats & made us pay for new ones.'


Brooke Park


Posted on May 18, 2023

Airport anxiety can plague even the best among us. So much can go wrong: lost baggage, never-ending wait times, the realization you forgot an essential item. Yet surviving all the security checks and getting to your assigned gate does not guarantee success.

In a TikTok video posted last week that has so far collected more than 182,000 views, @therealcosmopolitan_ said American Airlines made her search for a different flight after the company oversold the seats on her initial plane at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The beginning of the video panned across a room full of people standing in line. In the clip, @therealcosmopolitan_ said the crowd missed their flight after American Airlines changed the gate that all those people, including the @therealcosmopolitan_, were originally assigned because the transportation company overpromised seats on the flight. The situation was so frustrating that the TikToker said, “The pilot was so mad that the pilot got off the plane.”

“Instead of losing sales and refunding — (they) gave away our seats & made us pay for new ones,” the text overlay reads.

American Airlines’ policy for compensating travelers who get bumped from overbooked flights say compensation will be provided for delays greater than one hour. In a follow-up video, @therealcosmopolitan_ said a travel credit was obtained, but the TikToker was moved out of first-class seating. The Daily Dot reached out to @therealcosmopolitan_ via TikTok comment and American Airlines via email.

@therealcosmopolitan_ Anthony – the customer service manager – couldnt handle me telling him to correct the nasty behavior of his custoer service agent being a bigot, prejudice, and discriminating against spanish speaking customers and a yt woman – like girl we dont claim you. #letsbeclearcosmo #americanairlineskaren ♬ original sound – Chewbacca

But during the process of transferring travelers to new flights, at least one customer service representatives was unwilling to help remedy issues, @therealcosmopolitan_ claimed.

“The customer service agent … kept saying, ‘This is not my job. Go to customer service. I’m not helping you,'” @therealcosmopolitan_ recounted.

Amid what many may consider a public relations disaster, the TikToker accused the manager of failing to assuage customer concerns. To close the video, @therealcosmopolitan_ said, “The manager, named Anthony, you should go straight to Hell.”

“Anthony — the customer service manager — couldn’t handle me telling him to correct the nasty behavior of his customer service agent being a bigot, prejudice, and discriminating against Spanish-speaking customers and a yt woman,” the video’s caption reads.

Overselling flights is a rather common practice airlines employ to ensure planes depart as close- to full-capacity as possible. Yet the consequences of this practice can negatively affect a company’s public image.

Users on TikTok and across the nation seem to believe that American Airlines is one of the most unreliable airlines to travel with. However, it is also the largest. According to the Airways Magazine article, the company saw over 6,400 complaints in 2022.

The airline company is also embroiled in several discrimination allegations. In January, the rapper Talib Kweli accused the airline of racism after airline employees removed Kweli from his flight and threatened to arrest him over a luggage dispute, according to Axios. Another man, according to Business Insider, sued the airline earlier in the year for “blatant racial discrimination” after he was kicked off a flight.

Meanwhile, chatter about American Airlines’ failures has been flowing freely on TikTok. One TikToker denigrated the airline giant for forgetting to include their wheelchair on their flight. Another TikToker described the harrowing journey to get her cat through an American Airlines trip. At one point, the airline was accused of losing a passenger’s cats.

In the comments, users only added to the compilation of American Airlines horror stories.

“They did this to me too,” one viewer wrote. “Changed the gate 3 times. I swear they changed the gate, so people were late.”

“I got delayed, gate changed, flight/plane/gate changed at Dallas with American,” another added. “I was supposed to be home at like 10p. I didn’t get home until 2a.”

“They did the same thing to us.” a third said. “We were sitting IN THE TERMINAL, and they closed 20 mins early. And never called the last seating. Stuck 14 hours.”

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*First Published: May 18, 2023, 9:26 am CDT