American (doesn’t c)Airlines

After an unexpected eight-hour delay at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and ultimately a flight cancellation, Plus3-Dublin has temporarily turned into Plus3-Charlotte. In our time so far in Charlotte, we have interacted with multiple large corporations performing business functions in very differing ways. For example, American Airlines people management compared to that of Hyatt Place could be described as polar opposites as their problem-solving skills and adaptability have been contrastly demonstrated directly in front of us.

On the airplane from Pittsburgh to Charlotte, the pilot informed us that we were to try to land before storms moved into the Charlotte area. We landed and could see the dark clouds moving in and then it started storming, so it was relatively evident that our flight would be delayed for some time. Little did we know that we would be stranded in Charlotte for nearly three days with no hotel reservations, no means of transportation, and without our luggage. Sitting in the Charlotte airport waiting for our flight, we were in the dark the entire time about when our flight would actually board and depart as American Airlines had not kept us updated on what was happening. We were all extremely frustrated as we had an eight hour flight ahead of us, followed by a full day of events once we landed in Dublin; it had also been evident that our fellow passengers were frustrated as well. Once they announced a just one of many delays, passengers would “boo” and verbally express their displeasure with the airline — one passenger even went as far as to scream that he had been there for two days without boarding a flight. After this announcement, American Airlines did not continue to update those who should have been which was wrong on their part as it made for many unhappy customers. At one point, they decided to tell us that they would be boarding a Barcelona flight and ours would follow, it then switched to Dublin being boarded first but then they changed their minds again and boarded Barcelona — ultimately not having a plane or crew for us. As paying customers to this large airline, we should be entitled to know what is going on, at the very least and that was not granted to us. Following the flight cancellation, we found that we are not able to catch a new flight until Tuesday — three days later than we were supposed to.

Needless to say, we are not very pleased with American Airlines or their people management skills. They did not communicate nearly anything to anyone and made us feel extremely helpless throughout the entire disastrous process. Their problem-solving skills were nearly non-existent as they did not even attempt to work out anything but just gave up and cancelled the flight. They did not adapt to the cancellation but rather did what was convenient for them by throwing us on a flight three days later. Our experience with American Airlines has been nothing but negative thus far as they have demonstrated extremely poor business functions.

Once the cancellation occurred, we had to find somewhere to stay for seventeen grown adults in the middle of the night. It seemed like Liz and Chris did a lot of searching before coming across a Hyatt Place — just fifteen minutes from the airport. We all piled into Uber’s and traveled to our hotel, where we were immediately greeted by their welcoming staff. From the moment we entered the Hyatt, I could sense they were happy to have us and consoled with our unfortunate circumstances. In the two days we’ve spent at the hotel, they have been nothing but kind to our group of fifteen students as they have offered us a meeting room to eat (free) breakfast together in. Yesterday, some of us were sitting in the lobby and wanted to play cards but did not have any. We asked the desk if they had any and the receptionist was happy to offer two decks to us and we played card games to pass time which was a lot of fun. Every time I pass a worker, I am greeted with smile, a “hello,” or “how are you?” Hyatt Place adaptability has been excellent as they unexpectedly took in fifteen (sometimes rowdy) college students and two chaperones and treated us better than I could have ever expected. The problem-solving skills demonstrated by each worker we have encountered at Hyatt Place have been of the highest quality.

So far, this trip has been a roller coaster of ups and downs with some extremely unexpected circumstances thrown our way. I have felt so many emotions including happy, sad, angry, frustrated, and confused. At first, I wanted nothing more than to be in Dublin. After spending some time in Charlotte, I have learned to make the most out of every situation because each difficult encounter is an opportunity to learn from and grow. Our group of Pitt Business students has experienced an indescribable and unexpected whirlwind of events in our four days together, but the positive attitudes remain evident among each and every person. As for myself, I have learned that I am capable of adapting to difficult situations by not letting difficult situations put a damper on potential good and fun experiences. Currently, some of us are sitting at tables between a Starbucks and Jack in the Box in Charlotte, North Carolina; wishing we were in Dublin, Ireland but it seems that we have all accepted the situation and are doing what we have to do until we get there. Tomorrow we will (hopefully!) be on the way. 🙂

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