- Two American Airlines passengers and their 9-month-old baby were stranded after a cancelation.
- The mother told Insider she had run out of baby formula when the flight was canceled at 130am.
- She said the pilot told passengers he couldn’t fly because there was no copilot.
Two American Airlines passengers and their baby were left stranded after a connecting flight was canceled in the middle of the night.
Donna, her 9-month-old baby, and her husband were stuck in Charlotte airport at 130 am after taking a flight on July 25 from the Dominican Republic bound for Raleigh, North Carolina.
However, after landing in Charlotte at Douglas International Airport, Donna told Insider they “started receiving alerts from the airline saying our flight was delayed.”
The couple, who did not want their last name to be used, finally boarded at 1230 am but the plane remained at the gate for more than an hour while a copilot was sought.
“We kept waiting until the pilot stated that the flight was canceled as they couldn’t find a copilot and we all had to exit the airplane.”
They went to the AA help desk but those already queuing had been waiting for “two to three hours to get rebooked,” Donna told Insider.
“We decided with our baby that we did not want to wait in a long line at 130 am, so we were going to rent a car and drive back home to Raleigh – which is about two hours away from Charlotte.” That plan was foiled because rental desks were closed and they could not find a hotel room despite making 20 phone calls.
But Donna was most worried about how she would feed her baby after running out of formula. “I had packed enough formula for our trip and to get back home. Unfortunately, I did not account for there being an extremely long delay or canceled flight.”
“The airport looked like a refugee camp as hundreds and thousands of stranded passenger slept on chairs, floors, doorways – everywhere.”
After spending an hour calling AA’s customer service line they were offered a flight the following day: “They did not care that we were traveling with a 9-month-old baby and that we ran out of formula.” It was an offer they ended up having to choice but to accept.
Donna said she was told by AA that the cancelation was due to weather issues, “which means they wouldn’t have to accommodate you in any way – no food vouchers, no hotel vouchers, nothing.”
“This was not a weather issue, but a staffing issue as there was no second pilot. The pilot himself got on the intercom and stated that he had no second pilot and could not fly the plane without a copilot,” Donna said, adding that she “felt very helpless, confused, perplexed, saddened, and infuriated.”
But most of all, Dona and her husband “were scared and anxious thinking about how we would feed our baby.”
American Airlines was contacted for comment.