Passengers Chant ‘We Want a Bed’ During 15 Hour American Airlines Delay

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Passengers protest an American Airlines 15 hour delay in Miami chanting a demand for hotel rooms in Spanish.

Some frustrated passengers said the delay forced them to spend the night sleeping on the floor of the airport.

…[American Airlines] said all passengers were offered hotel accommodations and vouchers for meals, which she said is company policy when planes have mechanical problems.

But a video from Miami International Airport shows a large number of passengers crowded in the terminal chanting “we want a bed” in Spanish.

The plane to Santiago experienced mechanical issues and turned back to Miami. A passenger reports that they were back on the ground for two hours before American told “everyone to sleep in the lobby.” That’s likely an exaggeration as another passenger noted “some got hotels at about 4:30 a.m.”

The lesson here is simple — and it isn’t specific to American Airlines, the same situations arise with any airline — book your flights with a premium credit card that comes with trip delay coverage. Get your own room and send the bill to your credit card company.

  • Don’t rely on the airline, if they give you a room it will probably take a long time that you could have been sleeping, and will be at a hotel you probably don’t want to stay at.

  • Airline claims about ‘no rooms’ are almost always bogus, there may be no rooms in the airline’s system, but that’s just another reason to book something yourself (even if it’s a little farther afield), much better than sleeping in the terminal.

Of course some prefer 5 points per dollar from the Platinum Card from American Express but that doesn’t have trip delay, here’s how to decide between them.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I’d be more interested in trip delay insurance that covers a walk up fare on another airline that gets me there a lot sooner

  2. Your average occasional holiday traveler is not going to get an SPR, especially like these folks if they are residents beyond the US. For those who are US based travelers this makes sense but a cheaper card is fine.

  3. How does such card insurance work of a holiday maker books via a travel agent like Thomas Cook? Still covered for flight mechanicals?

  4. But Gary makes more money getting you to sign up for Chase Sapphire, so it benefits him to mention that with a referral link.

  5. Virtually all the Chase travel cards include this coverage, including Sapphire Preferred, UA Explorer, and Marriott Rewards.

  6. Here’s my question – if you’re traveling on an award ticket does the CC insurance still “count” even if you only paid the mandatory $5 tax/fee?

    What if you book an award on BA but it’s an AA flight? Always wondered in both cases how that would work.

  7. CC insurance says after all other possible remedy. So, AA will have to issue you a letter denying hotels before CC insurance could work. I think you maybe able to just invoice AA for that hotel bill

  8. @Jeff

    Yes, as long as you pay anything towards travel, including just the taxes, the cards benefits can be used.

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