Angry father's online rant goes viral after American Airlines 'cancelled his flight, lost his bag and wouldn't put him on an earlier flight'

Dave Carruthers' video rants slammed American Airlines' customer service. Photo / YouTube, Dave Carruthers
Dave Carruthers' video rants slammed American Airlines' customer service. Photo / YouTube, Dave Carruthers

A British father and businessman has lashed out against American Airlines after he says his flight was cancelled, his luggage was lost and he was unable to fly home early to see his family.

More than half a million people have watched Dave Carruthers' videos in which he criticises the airline's CEO, Doug Parker, and demands that it reimburse him for US$2,000 ($2945) in costs he says he incurred during a calamitous week of transatlantic travel.

It started when Carruthers was set to fly from Birmingham to New York, but the flight was cancelled due to a mechanical issue after a four-hour wait and he had to make emergency arrangements to get to business meetings on time.

In his first video, Carruthers tells the camera: "I believe, Doug, your strapline is "going for great", unfortunately my experience with American Airlines over the past seven days has been nothing short of abysmal."

He also hit the airline, based in Fort Worth, Texas, with a barrage of tweets, including one that read: "Could you explain to my 5yr old daughter why Daddy can't fly home early?"

Carruthers, who founded a company called Voxpopme, said he spent nearly £1,500 ($3189) to travel to London's Heathrow Airport by taxi and fly to New York from there.

He tells the camera: 'Your company has refused to refund me that money and only have refunded me half of that money.'

He said his bag wasn't forwarded on time and he spent a week without his belongings, forcing him to buy new luggage and new clothes.

Carruthers wanted to fly back to the UK a day early so he could spend time with his family, but he claims the airline wouldn't change his return because he wasn't on the original flight from Birmingham.

He said in the video: "I think that's absolutely disgraceful. The only reason I didn't get the outbound flight with your airline was because you cancelled the flight.

"I would really like if someone could get in touch with me about the problems I've been having with American because right now you're nowhere near great."

In an update in a second video, Carruthers said the airline later said he could take the earlier flight, but by then it was too late as he was in a meeting and didn't have enough time to go back to the hotel to collect his belongings and make it to the airport.

In the video, which was recorded in front of a check-in desk, Carruthers said he asked for an upgraded seat and a waived fee for his second checked bag, but "was confronted by an extremely rude employee".

He claimed the employee threatened to sue him because he was recording their conversation, and she told him there was no way they could give him an upgrade and to take it up with customer service.

Carruthers said staff refused to check his second bag for free and made him pay a fee of US$94 ($138).

He said: "The only reason I have that bag is because they lost my original bag."

Carruthers added: "I just find the whole experience with American absolutely disgraceful. I've been nothing other than polite to their employees despite the situation and have been treated with utter contempt.

"The second time I spoke to the lady she actually just walked off mid-conversation and said she didn't care."

He wound up flying back to the UK as scheduled, and said American Airlines has asked him to send his receipts while it reviews his complaints.

An American Airlines spokesman said: "Mr. Carruthers' flight from Birmingham was unfortunately cancelled due to a mechanical issue.

"I can confirm that American's customer relations teams are in ongoing contact with Mr. Carruthers to resolve his complaint."

During his time in the US, Carruthers corresponded with the airline over email and Twitter, but wasn't satisfied with the way the situation was handled.

After he first complained on Twitter, an American Airlines employee wrote: "We always want to provide a great and smooth service from start to end.

"We're truly sorry to hear that we missed the mark."

Later in the week, as he prepared to fly home and tried to find out if he would be charged for a second bag, the airline wrote: "We're sorry for your disappointment, Dave. Customer Relations will contact you directly once your info is reviewed."

- Daily Mail

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