AA sells impossible connection, blames gov't, declines responsibility

So I needed to go to St. Kitts, and purchased a return ticket on American Airlines from Costa Rica to St. Kitts, via Miami.

It turned out the return connection didn't have enough time to make it through immigration in Miami. I was not unusually held up in any way - I even ran from the airplane to immigration. It's just that the lines this time of year are so long, by the time I was through, I missed the connection to Costa Rica.

The surprising part is, American Airlines declined responsibility. "We have no control over immigration," they said. Yes, but you put millions of passengers through Miami every year. You know how long the lines are. Why do you sell tickets for connections which you know a person can't possibly make?

"We won't pay for your hotel if you were delayed at immigration," they said. But I wasn't delayed - not compared to any other passenger. I just went through the normal process.

"The connection time is legal, you had one and a half hours to get through immigration." What does that mean, legal? "It means that you had enough time." But I didn't have enough time. I went through the process I had to go. I even ran from the airplane to immigration. How could I have possibly done anything more?

"We spoke to the government numerous times, it's not our fault they don't have enough agents. It's always going to be like this when government is involved." But you sold me a ticket knowing full well how long the lines are going to be this time of year. And if your argument is that government is bad at planning, how come I needed to stand in line another hour, to have this conversation with you?

"Best we can do is a discounted rate at a shitty hotel so you pay $80. Also your next flight is 24 hours from now, and we will give you a discounted rate for only a day. You can also spend this time at the airport."

American Airlines. "Responsibility. We've heard of it."


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