CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- An Air Force Staff Sergeant says American Airlines staff at Charlotte Douglass withheld her bags for almost 12 hours.
Sgt. Krystall Roach’s 3 p.m. flight out of Charlotte was delayed for several hours Thursday, and was eventually canceled after midnight.
But she still needed to make it to her brother’s air force officer graduation in Alabama Friday morning.
However, when she asked for her bags so she could drive down, she said she was refused.
“I needed to go so I needed just to get my bag and I would get a rental car and make the drive,” Roach said.
“This is my little brother’s graduation, he asked me specifically could I be his first salute because he's an officer and I'm enlisted.”
So she was willing to make the drive overnight with her five-year-old son, but she needed her uniform out of her checked luggage.
“I asked them to pull my bag and he told me that all the workers left at 11 p.m.” she said.
She claims she was told no one could pull her bag until the morning.
“There was another military member that was deploying for six months they wouldn't get his bag either,” Roach said. “It blew my mind.”
Krystall pulled out her cell phone and started to record the manager, who had called security to remove her.
An American Airlines spokesperson says police were only called because Roach was using profane language and was moving behind the counter.
Finally around 3 a.m. Krystal says an employee did get her suitcase.
“Something that took four hours of me waiting and complaining and having to record somebody, and it took someone 10 minutes to get my bag,” she said.
She and her son drove through the night and made it to the graduation with minutes to spare.
We asked American Airlines about the incident. A spokesperson called us immediately to apologize, saying there was a “miscommunication” and the situation was “not handled the best way.”
They reinforced their respect and support of military members and vowed to make things right in this case.
If you ever find yourself wanting your luggage off a canceled flight, American Airlines says they try to help in a timely manner. Customers can also opt to have their items shipped to them.
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