On July 1st at 2:30pm I arrived at the American Airlines ticket counter in San Diego. Mr. Flynn was there to greet me and help me with my check-in. I was holding my ES animal at this time. Flynn asked me if I had notified the airline of me traveling with an ES animal. I had not, nor did I know I was supposed to. I have flown through numerous airlines, often, and have never had a problem with my animal’s paperwork or the fact that he is an ES animal. Flynn notified me I could not fly because I did not show my letter to the airline 48 hours ahead of time. He then told me I had to speak with customer service to try and get proper documents for my ES animal if I wanted to get on the flight. Flynn, at this time, was in possession of my documents from my physician. I called customer service and waited twenty minutes to speak with a supervisor named Sonya. Sonya told me that Flynn needed to call customer service and fax my paperwork to them. She then started asking the details of my paperwork. She told me it may not be sufficient because of details about my physicians license not being on the document. When I started getting upset and crying she became defensive. She then told me the only way for me to fly was to have Flynn fax my paperwork to customer service. I got off the phone with Sonya and asked Flynn to fax my paperwork. He then informed me that he has no way of doing this and could not help me anymore.

I suffer from anxiety and panic disorders. I travel with an animal to help keep me calm. I have traveled with this same animal for two years because of my anxiety and panic attacks. The employees that I spoke with were not helpful in trying to solve the issue. I am aware of the policy now that 48 hours is needed. But, I have a disorder. The actions and words of the employees caused me to have a panic attack in the middle of an airport. I was hysterically crying, sweating, shaking, dizzy, light headed and could barely breath. These symptoms are what I try to avoid while flying; because of American Airlines policies and horrendous customer service I was not only put in a dangerous situation for my health but I was publicly embarrassed.

On top of this incident, I had to have a man help me to three different ticketing counters to find a flight on another airline because I could no longer fly with American Airlines. I had to purchase a $600 ticket to get within driving distance of my final destination. On top of that I had to have somebody drive three hours to get me at 12:00am to drive me back 3 hours to my original, final destination.

This incident was expensive, dangerous, embarrassing, stressful and inconvenient. American Airline’s employees showed no compassion, no empathy and seemed annoyed at the help I was seeking for my disorder.

I would like an immediate response explaining how this can be solved so another customer does not have to go through what I went through. I would also like to be refunded my ticket amount. I would add that I would like a future ticket compensated for me, but that would go to waste because I have no interest in flying American Airlines. I also am sharing my experience with friends, family and coworkers that are frequent flyers as well. With the millions of people that suffers from anxiety and panic attacks who also have a difficult time flying; this is not attention an airline should want.

I hope this can be settled.


Kristen Eck

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