AA Interrogation in South America

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by KenInEscazu, Apr 3, 2016.  |  Print Topic

  1. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I am now based in Medellin, Colombia after having lived in San Jose, Costa Rica for eight years. The way AA treats me at MDE vs. SJO is notably different, and it is also notably different from the treatment of other airlines.

    Every time I check in, they literally interrogate me regarding where I'm going, why, for how long, the reason I have been in Colombia and the reason for my trip that day. It's not as if they simply ask the questions, but they do so quite intensely to the point that it's difficult to describe in writing. The demeanor of the agents changes from one of customer service to one of an authoritarian. Their questioning far exceeds that of Colombia Migración exit questions.

    In addition to the interrogatory, they insist that I place their paper bag tags on every bag. The Briggs and Riley duffle bags I carry have built in bag tags. They can only be lost if the entire bag is lost. It's duplicitous and unnecessary.

    I also fly frequently on Copa, and the contrast is astounding. They ask my destination in order to confirm that they are pulling up the right ticket for the right person, then it's all smiles. When asked if my bags are tagged, I point out the feature of having all of my information visibly attached, and away they go down the belt to be loaded.

    I'm an American citizen, Colombian legal resident and hold Executive Platinum status on AA. It's annoying to have to go through this every time I fly AA out of my home city. When it's practical, I choose Copa more often than normal for this reason. It isn't always possible, however, so I suffer through it for the scheduling convenience and maintenance of status.

    Having not flown AA out of other South American cities, I have no point of comparison against which I can compare. SJO is easy, but I'm curious about other departure points on the southern continent. Any experience that you folks can share will be greatly appreciated, along with any knowledge regarding the reason for these customer-unfriendly policies.
     
  2. John Woram

    John Woram Silver Member

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    I'm an American citizen, living in New York State, and do an annual r/t to either EZE or SCL (for the past 7 or so years). Not quite the same as your situation, but I've never been interrogated at either airport, nor at GYE or UIO in Ecuador. Why are the AA staff so belligerent in your situation? I have no clue -- maybe you just look suspicious ;).
     
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  3. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    On another board that you folks may be familiar with, I got plenty of replies. Seems that Colombia is singled out as the place where American's contractors can be so interested in what we ate for breakfast. It's also inconsistent from one city to the next.

    End result, what is ~ is, and acceptance is the key to serenity in travel. I'll simply continue to tell them the answers they want and ask them to fill out my bag tags.

    I was really hoping to get this question resolved here. To get the feedback required for a conclusion meant reading through all the reasons that I'm a whiner, should just go along with it, etc., and those who thought it was reason enough to start a war. Sheesh.

    This site is so much more friendly. I do my part to contribute, but it still seems to be lacking whatever it takes to get the word out. Hope that changes someday.
     
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  4. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    I have flown through BOG a few times on AV, but I've never originated there. Living in SCL fo rthe last seven years, I've never been treated poorly at check-in in SCL, EZE, LIM, GRU, or GIG; I don't know what could be causing your poor reception at check-in. I'm sorry I don't have much to offer, but I think it's the exception to the rule.
     
  5. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I'm not being singled out. It's the policy with every passenger departing here. It's also an AA thing. Doesn't happen to me on AV or CM. Have not yet flown on DL, as that service is new, and I won't fly Spirit. Jet Blue could be an option if they had a real business class.

    Truth is, I was just whining. Maybe "venting" is a better word. It's something that I accept but really get tired of. I fly out of here a lot. Not sure where else to go to find a tiny bit of empathy. ;)
     
  6. Seat6A

    Seat6A Silver Member

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    Try carrying a CPAP machine coming out of EZE. Even when it's already in my record I suddenly am subjected to the rudest people in Argentina who happen to work for AA. My complaint letters went unanswered. Sad.
     
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  7. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I, too, carry a CPAP. Although I have never flown to/from EZE, AA is the worst about giving me a hard time about my "third bag" far too often. IME, MIA is horrible. I have also had FAs deny that it's allowed (I don't use it in flight). One FA was determined to make my one hour paid F flight from MIA-MCO miserable, and he succeeded. AA really needs to do a lot of training.
     

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