Picking and grinning in Nashville

I returned to Nashville for work back in October. Sadly, it was rather uneventful trip for site seeing, exploring. It was long days being stuck at the Gaylord Operyland, which is up on the Northeast side of the city.

We did manage to make it out to The Pharmacy, a very good burger and beer garden joint. Otherwise it was eating and drinking at the resort. Had some Yazoo brews but nothing mind blowing.

I really need to get back here someday, especially since a good friend has lived in the city for several years now.

Creative Commons License
Observation of An Illogical mind by Sean Kimmel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Please feel free to share the link but contact me for any other uses or publication. Thanks.


St Louis calling me back

I had a quick trip to St. Louis back in early October. It was a strange trip because I was going to attend a conference instead of working one. I was asked to part of our ESOP Communications Committee at work and represent the Northern Indiana/Northern Ohio region. It's a necessary part of being an employee owned company. I didn't realize the amount of work it take but I am finding it rewarding.

Anyways, myself and three other committee members went to a two day conference held in downtown Saint Louis. I had been to the city once before about eight years ago. We got into town late afternoon on a Sunday and it was dead. With no football or hockey or baseball, there was nothing happening.

We walked around and grabbed something to eat before walking down to the Arch. Afterwards, I ended up a local brewery called Morgan Street Brewery, shocking I know, before retiring for the night.

After the first day of conference we all went out to eat again, I chose the place, a beer bar called The Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar down the street with upscale food. It was had a good selection and tasty food. The others didn't feel like staying so we left and walked around the once again dead downtown area. Seemed like lots of abandoned buildings. We ended up back at the hotel bar and talked for awhile before calling it a night.

We drove back for Indianapolis after the conference the next day. So time was brief. This is a town with a lot of history. Too bad I didn't see much of it.

Creative Commons License
Observation of An Illogical mind by Sean Kimmel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Please feel free to share the link but contact me for any other uses or publication. Thanks.


Back to the Philippines again

The second part of my vacation was returning to the Philippines once again. This would be my third trip with in a year's time. I'd be lying if the reason wasn't because my girlfriend Pam. After four months, I missed her and was already in that part of the world. We made plans to go to a place she always wanted to visit and I had a surprise up my sleeve.

After already being in Japan for a few days, it was a much shorter travel time. I had an early afternoon flight and arrived in Manila around 8pm. I went through the usual processes after arriving, got way over charged for a taxi who got lost on the way to the hotel, and was pleasantly surprised when the hotel let Pam in the room before I arrived at 10pm.

We stayed over night in Makati area at Artina Suites Hotel. Didn't really explore anything as I was tired. The hotel was very affordable, clean, and had a good layout. The next morning we had a breakfast, packed up, and headed to the bus terminal bound for Angeles City.

A couple hours later we arrived at Marquee Mall stop and got a trike to the Elyseah Condotel. We stayed here the last time and liked it. This time I got the larger room for us which had a downstairs kitchen, bathroom, living room and an upstairs bedroom and bathroom. We spent little time unpacking and heading down the street to SM Clark Mall for food supplies and lunch.

I didn't wait long for my surprise. The next morning, August 15, we were making breakfastr and sat my Grandmother's wedding ring on her plate. Pam walked over to dish out the garlic rice she made and saw the ring. Her face lit up as I asked her to marry me. She put down the rice, grabbed the ring, and said yes. Marriage was something we had talked about in the past few months. Because of the legal process we will need to go through, it will take several months before she can get to the US. Still, the first step was asking.

We spent a day in the Clark Freeport Zone. We went walked by the famous K9 Cemetery on teh way to Nayong Pilipino Park. There's a lot of history to see here like the different village replications from the past, Barasoain Church, Dr. Jose Rizal's House, wild orchid garden, and cultural dance presentation. It was a fun and education day.

We didn't do much else in Angeles City in our few short days there. I did take Mama Mel, my future mother in law, to dinner along with Lany and Marvin (Pam's sister and brother in law). And went to her brother's Asper one day and to the Marquee Mall. Also managed to squeeze in going to the theater for Guardians of the Galaxy.

Finally it was off to Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island. We took the bus to Manila, grabbed a cab to the airport, and took a short hour long flight. It was Pam's first time on a plane. She was eager with excitement. We arrived at the small airport and found an awesome trike driver with an extra wide cab. This was the first time my big ass wasn't crowded in a trike.

We got checked in to the Puerto Pension Bed and Breakfast. We had a small mix up in the room reservation because they had not got the updated days after I switched booking, but luckily the still had rooms for our time. It was a smaller room but it worked for us. The hotel was very cool place with an onsite restaurant and bar and plenty of outside tables for relaxing. And it's right behind the City Baywalk, which overlooks a bay and is full of places to eat. We just hung around this area for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

The second day we called the trike driver to drive us around all the sites in Puerto Princesa. We went to the WWII Museum, Crocodile Farm, Butterfly Garden, Mitra's House, and Baker's Hill. It was a jammed packed day and we only scratched the surface of the cool things to do in the area.

 The next day we booked a tour for Ugong Rock and The Underground River. The van picked us up in the morning. We were two of ten on the trip (2 Filipina ladies with their 2 kids, 2 guys from Argentina, and a female Canadian). The drive was up and down winding mountains with a lot of stop and go. I do not do well in these situations. I ended up getting dizzy and sick. Luckily Pam noticed and was able to hand me a bad to puke in. Shorty after we stopped at Ugong Rock. Which was a cave to hike and then you zipline down. In my state of queasiness and with a bad knee, the two of us opted to stay in the village area and chill out. There were a few neat things. After about an hour the group left and continued the journey. Shortly we arrived at the Underground River where lunch was provided for us. I was starting to feel better and ate a little before we hurried off to our sail boat to get to the site. The underground river is a just what it sounds like... miles of river in a cave system. The tour was really cool. Though more than once I thought we would take on water as our boat was low. After the tour it was hopping back on the boat to get dropped off and then into the van. I was dreading the trip back. I did not get sick on the return, but the two little kids did. I felt for them. We got dropped off at the hotel and was wiped out for the day. We did go back to the Baywalk that night for dinner where Pam had a grilled lobster for the first time (another first for her).

Our last day in town we decided to stay close and see some more sites in the city. With Plaza Cuerto. Immaculate Conception. Palawan Heritage Center were on today's tour, we both ending up learning a lot of history about this amazing island..

Puerto Princesa was my favorite place of the destinations I have been in the Philippines so far. There is an effort to keep things cleaner here. Trash cans everywhere and not the litter I have seen in other cities. All kinds of activities and things to do and see (we only did a few). It's an area which relies heavily on tourism and the city seems to take a lot of pride making things easy. And did I mention the extra wide trikes.

We both talked about the city being a great place to retire to down the road. We definitely want to return.

We had an afternoon flight back Manila where I had two days before returning to the United States. We got the Guijiro Suites Hotel in the Makati area in the late afternoon. It was kind of hard to find but for the price, a very nice hotel. We walked around for awhile and found food to eat before going back to the hotel for the night.

The next day we decided to go to Ayala Museum. We went through all four floors. Each had something very neat to offer. One floor was dedicated to the paintings of Filipino artists particularly Fernando Zobel, one floor was a diorama representing a detailed history of the Philippines, and one was an exhibit of ancient artifacts (including ceramics, gold, and jewelry). After the museum we went to Greenbelt Mall for food and ended up at the Burger Bar. Then it was off to Global Beer Exchange for craft beer. Here I met and conversed with the owner while Pam patiently sipped her soda putting up my indulges. We got back to the hotel, A few hours later I started to feel sick. This makes the three times getting ill in three times traveling to the Philippines.

The next morning, we had breakfast and checked out of the hotel. Pam went with me to the airport. I said goodbye to my beautiful fiancee and went inside to get tickets. After standing in line for about twenty minutes, I realized the line wasn't for my flight. In fact, I was in the completely wrong terminal. This is a big complaint of mine about the Manila airport. Nothing is easy to find and the terminals are spread out. One has to take a taxi and go off property to get between them. So I did, and hauled ass through ticketing and security just as we started to board.

It was a long flight home, especially with an aching stomach. Eventually I arrived in Chicago and my flight back to Fort Wayne.

The more I go to the Philippines, the more I enjoy it. Sure, there are good and bad things, like every place. But it is the country of soon to be wife and her family. More than likely, it will the place we live once retirement happens. Until then, it's time for Visa paperwork so Pam cant get to the US and we can be married.

Creative Commons License
Observation of An Illogical mind by Sean Kimmel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Please feel free to share the link but contact me for any other uses or publication. Thanks.


Visting Tokyo

Another blog entry that is way over due.

A couple of years ago the plans were put into motion. A group of friends decided to go to Tokyo and started saving for the trip. Since Japan was always one of the places I wanted to visit, I planned on going as well. Last year we picked date at the beginning of August 2104. The trip was supposed to be close to two weeks, but my situation in life had changed due to a wonderful woman in the Philippines, So I cut my Japan trip down to four days and the rest was going to be spent with her.

A British,a Finnish, a Irishman, and three Americans walk into a rental house located in Roppogoni Hills area. Sounds like a the beginning of a joke but that's the group we had on this trip. Our friend Mark, arranged the accommodations for us. It was a small rental house, especially for 6 people, but it was lots cheaper than a hotel.

As with almost every time I have flown this year, my flight out of Fort Wayne was delayed and I was booked on a later flight. When I got to O'Hare International, I had about thirty minutes to get to my connecting flight which I barely made. I arrived at Narito Airport and was happy to see my luggage made the tight turn around. I grabbed a charter bus to Roppogoni Hills and a cab to the rental house, which was a tad difficult to find.

Mark was at the house to greet me as the rest of the group had arrived there about a week before me. I got cleaned up and decided to explore the area.  Mark showed me the layout of the area and where the subway was  located. We ran into Aleksi on our journey and three of us ate a ramen place in the subway underground, which was the first of many great meals. We then hit up a grocery store across from the restaurant, and then headed back to the house. The others started piling in for their own individual adventures. It was good to see people again.

The next morning I tagged along with Mark to the Shinjuku area of town to visit the Tokyo Sky Tree Tower. It is the largest observation tower in the city. It was quite a view that went on for miles, even on a cloudy and overcast day.
Sky Tree Tower

Sky Tree Tower

After getting lunch in the tower, we went to grabbed the subway and went to Ueno Park for some walking around action. There are lots of things to do at the park with different museums, a zoo, and lots of open walking space. We ended up at the Natural Museum of Nature and Science. It felt good to get out of the muggy heat. Plus the museum was rather awesome with five levels of exhibits including a stellar fossil collection, an exhibit on how all life is connected, a dinosaur and evolution of man.

After a long day of walking around, my bad knee was throbbing. We went back to the rental house to catch up with everyone else. Basically we just hung around watching wrestling clips and chatting for the night. And I also was sipping on a variety of Japanese craft beer, which again I was pleasantly surprised with what I picked up at the store.

The next day Aleksi,Stephan, and myself decided to find Brewdog Roppongi for lunch and brews. I could have spent a long time here but after a delicious burger and three delicious high alcohol brews the other guys wanted to go to other things. Stephan and I decided to find this particular samurai sword shop which ended up being farther than I wanted to walk in the scorching heat. Glad I did because this shop was so cool and the owners very kind as it was obvious we weren't going to purchase any of the high end swords.
Brewdog Roppogoni
We walked back to the rental house and prepared for our group trip for the evening. The Shinjuku Robot Resto. Once I saw this place on Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown, I knew we had to go and lucky everyone, but Mark did go experience this hard to explain, mind blowing show.  So Blake, Ceej, Stephan, Aleksi, and myself catch the subway and head to find the place. We had about an hour so we grabbed a quick dinner. We go back to the Robot Resto, which is really not a restaurant though it does serve a bento box, and purchase tickets. We are lead down this brightly light hallway to an elevator which takes us up to the bar. We order drinks and listen to the band, dressed up as robots, play songs. After about an hour we are lead down a staircase to the main floor for the show. I cannot begin to describe the next ninety minutes of  mind blowing images. There are YouTube videos out there but those don't do the show justice either. If ever in Tokyo do yourself a favor and witness this amazing show of scantily clad women, fighting robots, aliens fighting animals, and song. All of us who went agreed and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Robot Resto show
Robot Resto stairway

It was getting late and the subways were closing for the night and it was pouring down rain. So we took taxi's back to our rental house and decompressed from the visions we just saw.

We all woke up with one group activity to do, New Japan G1 Climax Finals. It took well over an hour and several subway changes to get to Seibu Dome and another mighty storm was closing in on the area. Being wrestling fans, we were all stoked for the show. And it did not disappoint. One of the best wrestling events I have ever been to. We got back to the house afterwards and reflected on our fun day.

I woke up ready to face my last day in Tokyo. The couple of items I wanted to do were closed so instead I decided to go bar hopping in the late afternoon. I ended up at Two Dogs Taproom which ended up being a fine craft beer bar. We all got together for a group picture at Roppogni Hills Observation Deck in Mori Tower. It's not as high as Sky Tree but on this clear the view was breath taking view. Afterwards Ceej, Aleksi, and myself went to find a sushi place to eat dinner. I had very fresh sashimi. Then Ceej and myself decided to take the long way back to the house and explore some more. Alright, I confess, there was a Godzilla art display to be seen.

Two Dogs Taproom

The group overlooking Tokyo

Tokyo is an expensive city. Tokyo is an amazing city full of history and sites to see. There could have been a better group of friends to take this adventure. All the people we ran across were very friendly, respectful, and helpful to us gaijins (foreigners). If ever visiting there remember that a small head bow goes a long way w/ the language barrier. The outstanding beer scene surprised me. The convenience stores kick the US convenience stores in the ass. And if you aren't near a store, there are vending machines for almost anything one can image all over the city. It was also odd to see lockers in the airports and subways. Haven't seen those in US terminals for quite a few years. For one the largest cities in the world it was so clean. It's definitely a place I want to spend more time in... some day.

Creative Commons License
Observation of An Illogical mind by Sean Kimmel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Please feel free to share the link but contact me for any other uses or publication. Thanks.


Brew Haven 2014 (the place for craft beer lovers in Northeast Indiana)

It's that time of year again in Northeast Indiana. Time for a craft beer festival called Brew Haven! Another massive crowd lined up and invaded downtown New Haven, IN for a tremendous amount of beer samples.

The first thing I noticed this year is how smooth and well organized the event was. Much better than in years past. The area was well laid out with a food tent, a larger tent for the majority of brewers, two smaller tents, and two tap trucks (one with 15 Three Floyd's). It was spaced out where with enough walking room to help avoid the being overcrowded. There was a decent amount of brewery representation as I always find it fun to actually talk those making the beers and a lot of beers to try.

This year I finally talked a couple of friends in joining me on this adventure. They had a great time and will be returning. We had VIP tickets as I personally like to get in ahead of the big crowd and find it to be worth the extra cost. With my hit list in hand and marked, I had forty I wanted to try, the first couple of hours I hit it hard with samples and grabbing free swag. Then spent the last few hours calming down a bit and talking to people. I never got to all the new to me beers I wanted to sample (very close though).

There was a VIP section of the back tent this year where the sponsors came and talked about their beers. I thought this was a neat idea, but didn't seem to be a big hit. I had fun chatting with a couple of them. The area could have definitely used a few chairs to go along with the tables and about half the area was actually used. I would be surprised to see it return next year.

Shortly after the general session folks started coming in, the hard rain fell for about thirty minutes. People packed in under the tents. Luckily, one still could move around. After the sun came back and it was a nice afternoon. It seems the Fort Wayne Homebrew Club (MASH) were once again a big hit and with good reasons. This group knows how to brew good beers.

Indiana has a growing scene for craft beer. Nice to see drinks from Triton, Iechyd Da, New Albanian, Granite City, Big Dawg, Quaff On, Tin Man, Daredevil's. Taxman, Flat 12, Great Cresent, Burn Em, Mad Anthony's, Fountain Square, Carson's, Shoreline, New Day, Three Floyds, Sun King, Cutters. Upland, Summit City Beirwerks, Bloomington Brewing Co., Three Pints, People's, Chapman's, New Boswell, and Olde School Brewhaus being poured. Maybe a few Hoosier breweries will come back or join for the first time next year.

Now mostly I give praises here, but not were a couple of glaring issues to me that I  have to bring up a couple of things.

First off, as a VIP ticket holder you are suppose to get a shirt. We were about the number fifty in line and the XXL shirts were gone when we got to the stand. I am not sure if they simply did not order enough or their was a shipping problem, but its a tad annoying. I'm really not certain how you dont have enough bigger shirts available. And they had a cool design too. A voucher or something would have been nice since it is part of the package.

Second, there needs to be more bathrooms. The lines were terrible for the second year in a row. Good news is I have already heard there will be more next year. So that will help big time.

Third (final and minor), I was really looking forward to trying some samples from Evil Twin and Clown Shoes as they are two of my favorite breweries right now. They were suppose to be on the larger tap truck, but I never found them there or anywhere. It is a possibility that I I just missed them.

Favorite New To Me Breweries:

Burn Em Brewery - Hands down my favorite brewery which I never had before. These guys out of Michigan City are doing very unique and outstanding beers. They are very friendly and chatty too. Combinations like a coffee wheat (Joey Wheat) and coconut pale wheat ale (Coconoats) does not sound appealing at first read but are simply amazing once they hit the palette. The Boomerango (mango IPA) and MCA (IPA) both hit the mark as well. Watch out for these guys! Hopefully a tap house and further expansion to this side of the state will be coming in the near future.

Taxman Brewing Co. - This brewery on the South side of Indianapolis brews Belgium style beers. La Maison (a farmhouse ale), Deducation (dubbel), and Exemption (tripple) all made the mark for delicious. Another brewery that I would love to see distribute up this way.

My Favorite New To Me Beers:

Apricot Sour Ale by Tin Man Brewing. An explosion on sweet apricot in taste and aroma quickly followed by a slight puckering tartness. I could drink a lot of this beer.
This Evansville brewery, and co-sponsor for the 2nd year, is doing things right. And if they start selling there product this far North, then I will be buying it.

Good Game by Oskar Blues. This abbey quad is simply one of the best American style quadruples I have ever tasted. Period.

Overall, another fantastic Brew Haven. Big thanks go out to the Trion Tavern and their staff, the co-sponsors (Brewers Art Supply, Sierra Nevada, Tin Man Brewing, Iechyd Da Brewing Company, MASH Club, Five Star Distributing, and Daredevil Beer), and all of the volunteers for the event. An outstanding job was done by all.

I look forward the fifth annual Brew Haven in 2015. My calendar is already marked!

Creative Commons License
Observation of An Illogical mind by Sean Kimmel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Please feel free to share the link but contact me for any other uses or publication. Thanks.


MIla-Wau-Kee (That's how Alice Cooper pronounces it)

Once again, late to write about travels and what not. I've comes to term with my problem. I am a lazy writer. The ideas would rather swirl in my head than be put down in written form. At least on here, the Fringes portion gets good attention. But I digress...

About a month ago I had the chance to work in Milwaukee for about a week. This was my second time to the city but the first time for more than just an overnight.

We were working a conference at the Wisconsin Convention Center. Luckily we had plenty of time to patrol the area on our down days. I found a lot of pleasant surprises in this town and despite being right in the middle of Summer Fest there was never too much traffic or over mass of people crowding the streets.

These are a few of the places where I ate well and drank even better. I suggest any of them if you are in the downtown area.

Milwaukee Brewing Company - Drank a lot decent amount these guys over my stay. The large brewpub had a cool vibe going on. The food was better than good "bar style" eats and the beer surprised me. The Columbian Saison and Sheepshead Stout topped my favorite list.

MKE Brewing flight

Hinterland Gastropub - Two things that go well together are charcuterie and beer. This place has both and much more on the menu. The food is a tad on the pricey side but excellent. The beers flowed down my gullet easily. I have tasted some of their beers back home before with a mixed results but this time around everything hit the spot. The cherry wheat was the best of the four I drank down.
Hinterland Gastropub

Old German Beer Hall - Authentic German food, live polka style music, fun bartenders, and multiple styles of Hofbrau directly imported from Germany. What is not to love about this place!

Old German Beer Hall
Build a Breakfast, Build a Burger - I ended up here more times than I wanted to during my stay. Not because it wasn't a great place, I like to spread out a bit and explore, but sometimes you take what is close by and opened. The food here was absolutely amazing. Several different and not the standard burgers to choose from or a gigantic breakfast list. You wont go wrong either way. Throw in a handful of taps and a great staff to help the experience. I think this place has something for all to enjoy.

Miller Time Pub & Grub - This was the hotel bar. The only reason I kept going back was the really good beer selection in both draft and bottles. I was very surprised by a few new to me beers including New Glarus Spotted Cow, Futhermore Fattyboombalatty, and Lake Louie Warp Speed Scotch Ale. Typical bar food menu did the job but was far from spectacular.

Milwaukee Public Market - Eat. Shop. Drink. This market is so awesome. It's not large, but packed full of vendors either selling food or making food. Wish we had something similar to this market where I live.

MKE Public Market

I left Milwaukee thinking it'd be a decent place to spend time long as it wasn't winter. I enjoyed much of what I stumbled upon. Wanted to get to a couple of the more famous craft beer bars and Lakefront Brewery, but just didn't have the time or means to travel.

Maybe next time.

Creative Commons License
Observation of An Illogical mind by Sean Kimmel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Please feel free to share the link but contact me for any other uses or publication. Thanks.


My personal battle with American Airlines

As you may have read in the previous blog entry, my flights this trip did not go smoothly.

After the first flight delay and cancellation, I immediately went home and sent an email off to American Airline customer service department. When all the other ones started happening, I just waited until I return home after my twelve days away to inform the airline of the misery which took place.

About two days after I sent the first email, I received a nice and friendly apology and 10,000 airline miles. It does not equal the lost finances I occurred for a hotel room and wrestling ticket being unable to use, and definitely does not make for the wasted vacation day, but I was content with the settlement.

This was the second email I sent.

Last week I had the worst experience flying of my life and I am extremely angry. I’ve been flying on a regular basis for nearly twenty years and never I have I endured so many delays and cancellations. Of the eleven flights I was scheduled for over a twelve day period, nine of them were canceled and/or delayed. This cost me hotel fees that could be canceled, event tickets I could not use, vacation days wasted, and extra vacation days used at work to deal with these issues. Not to mention the airline broke a the wheel and handle off a piece of three month old, hardly used luggage to the point where I could no longer use it and had to go purchase a new one.

My route was as follows:

1. Fort Wayne-Dallas-New Orleans

2. New Orleans-Dallas-Tokyo-Manila

3. Manila-Tokyo-Chicago-Fort Wayne

Below is a detailed archive of what happened on this trip.

April 3, 2014

Flight: AA 2962, Fort Wayne to Dallas

-          Flight delayed, and then canceled due to mechanical failure. Cause missed connection flight Dallas to New Orleans

-          Rebooked for next day

-          Personal Damages: A nonrefundable hotel reservation ($100) and ticket to a show unable to use ($50) both lost plus a wasted vacation day from work (equivalent $150) and parking ($15)

-          Total Personal Lose:  $315

-          Compensation: 10,000 Airline Miles as I contacted the airline the day it happened. However, the miles are not enough to justify what I lost.

April 4, 2014

Flight: AA 2962, Fort Wayne to Dallas

-          Flight delayed due to late crew. Caused missed connection flight Dallas to New Orleans

-          Rebooked for late 10pm flight to New Orleans

-          Personal Damages: ticket to show unable to us ($100) and basically another wasted vacation day from work ($150).

-          Upon receiving luggage, which was delivered to my hotel because it did not arrive when I did, the wheel and handle was broke. This piece of luggage was only 4 months old and the third time used. It was was broke and useless ($65). I had to go out and purchase a new luggage for the rest of my trip ($85)

-          Total Personal Lose: $400 and half of a four day vacation

-          Compensation: NONE YET

April 7, 2014

Flight: AA 1284, New Orleans to Dallas

-          Flight delayed. Caused missed flight AA 61 Dallas to Tokyo and Jap Air 745 Tokyo to Manila

-          Rebooked for flight Cathay Pacific for 12 hours later

-          Personal Damages: A non-refundable hotel reservation lost for the night ($175) and one day vacation ($150)

-          Total Personal Lose $325

-          Compensation: NONE YET

April 14, 2014

Flight AA 3680, Chicago to Fort Wayne

-          Flight canceled

-          Rebooked for next morning

-          Personal Damages: Had to pay for extra hotel room ($90) and had to take another day off work ($150), which I could not afford to do, and parking $15 for the extra day.

-          Total Personal Lose:  $265

-          Compensation: Voucher for ½ off hotel which is a decent gesture but not close to what it cost me for the extra day which I could not return home.

The way I see it, all of these delays and cancellations and luggage damages cost me $1305 in extra spending, which was about as much as the original tickets costs. This is absurd and ridiculous! The 10,000 miles and hotel voucher are a good start but either a lot more miles or flying vouchers are needed to even come close to making this right. In my twenty years of flying, I have never had a trip like this and quite frankly, there is no excuse for it. While I understand mechanical breakdowns occur, American Airlines needs to make it up to the passengers. Other airlines were not being delayed and even other planes under your fleet where taking off. And a smile, rebooking on the next available flight, and “sorry for any inconvenience” only goes so far when plane after plane is delayed, and then canceled.

Based on airline miles being the equivalent of 2 cents a mile, I have only been compensated $200 for my troubles and extra spending due to the damages caused by the airline and the delays and cancellations. I would like to be compensated an extra 66,500 airline miles or $1300 in travel vouchers. I think it’s the least the airline could do and it’s a fair trade out for the burden occurred in my travels.

Please contact me on how this issue will be resolved.

Sean Kimmel

About a week after the second email, I received a response which stated the following:

We have received your additional email. Again, we are sorry to hear about the difficulty that you encountered. We are also sorry that you were not satisfied with the AAdvantage® bonus miles that we provided. However, the mileage is intended to convey goodwill and to make amends in some way for the inadequate service you reported. It represents a level we believe to be fair and reasonable. As such, we must respectfully decline any additional goodwill.

Mr. Kimmel, we appreciate you and look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon.

So I got 10,000 for first cancellation and nothing for the other three or broken luggage. Doesn't seem fair and reasonable to me. In all honesty another 10,000 miles for each of the other three cancellations and maybe 3000-5000 miles for the luggage and I would have let it all go and been content. But nope. DENIED.

So I hit up social media. Tagging them on Facebook, which was useless, and on Twitter, which got response. After a few exchanges I received this message:

Sean, we've forward this on to a specialist in Customer Relations for review. You should hear back soon. Thanks for your patience.

Then about thirteen days later the following email was received.

I'm sorry your flights didn't operate as scheduled when you traveled with us. I know you were inconvenienced. Too, we regret your disappointment with the compensation that was previously provided to you.

We wish we could guarantee that planes would always depart and arrive on time. Regrettably, we can't -- but what we can and should do is make every attempt to minimize the inconvenience for our customers whenever our flights are delayed or cancelled. I am sorry that we didn't do a better job of overcoming the challenges we faced that day in order to make your experience a little less trying.

While it is certainly our goal to operate each and every flight as planned, we have the responsibility to make changes to our schedules to resolve problems caused by weather, flight conditions, mechanical difficulties or other operational challenges. Accordingly, it is not an airline industry practice to assume financial responsibility for our customers' personal time lost or for out-of-pocket expenses when extenuating circumstances prevent us from operating as planned. I am sorry.

However, for the additionally issues you experienced, I have credited your AAdvantage® account with an additional 15,000 Customer Service bonus miles.
Mr. Kimmel, we are not unmindful of the inconvenience to you. As hard as we are trying to deliver on respecting your time by operating our flights as scheduled, it just wasn't possible this time. Again, we apologize for the disruption of your travel plans. Please fly with us again soon -- we'll do our best to get you to your destination as planned.

While another 15,000 is another step in the right direction, I think it still falls short. If you are counting that's 25,000 miles total or about $500 equivalent and still no acknowledgement of the damaged luggage. Back on the warpath I went as this was a battle not to give up easy on. I know my demands where high and at the beginning if half was granted this would have been a done deal. But American Airlines just couldn't make things right. And the similar emails with the catchphrases were getting annoying.

I sent another email to customer service.

Once again, a total of 25,000 miles is a decent offer. But not anywhere close to what I loss financially due to airline delays & cancellations. I simply dont understand why American wont just out just compensation and own up to responsibilities. Especially when I stand in an airport and constantly hear the airline give out vouchers of varying prices for overbooked flights. I feel like you have compensated justly for 2 of the 4 cancellations & delays, but it seems as you trying to solve this with minimal effort. And still there is zero acceptance about the broken luggage, which IS the airline's responsibility. Once I had off my bags at check in, they should come back to me in the same condition. What is being done about this? Do you I need to send you the pictures and video of the damage? 
I am getting a tired of all these exchanges. It's been a month and half since this happened. I am a reasonable person who just wants treated with the respect and care a customer deserves. Yet it is not happening. Do something to make the luggage situation right.

And course I rampaged on Facebook and Twitter about the situation. I get immediate replies saying please send damage bag info to Customer Service. They respond to all emails. Blah Blah. The next day an email comes stating the following:

Thank you for contacting us. We have received your additional email. Again, we are sorry to hear about the difficulty that you encountered. We are also sorry that you were not satisfied with the AAdvantage® bonus miles that we provided. However, the mileage is intended to convey goodwill and to make amends in some way for the inadequate service you reported. It represents a level we believe to be fair and reasonable.

In reference to your baggage, when this kind of difficulty happens, every effort is made to make amends in a reasonable manner. It is our policy that a report is made with our personnel prior to leaving the airport or within 24 hours of receipt of your baggage. Nevertheless, our staff at each airport and our Security Department have been informed of this reported incident.

Mr. Kimmel, it is never easy to decline a customer's request, and our position in no way suggests that we are insensitive to what happened. Again, we are genuinely sorry for the reported loss of your belongings. Please be assured that we will work harder than ever to restore your confidence in our ability to provide good service.

Once again denied compensation and American does not take responsibility for breaking my brand new luggage. And again, the same generic responses. Now I am very angry. And emailed the again. Unfortunately I forgot to copy it before I sent it off, but it was basically the same as things I just stated.

A friend sent me a link which I will now try, Air Help. It supposedly help you get money back. What do I have lose...nothing. I am sure that my account has already been flagged in some way as hostile. I tried it but nothing as it only works for when you get bumped from a flight for overbooking.

I responded back one more time with my displeasure.

We have reviewed the correspondence exchanged between you and our colleague, and we recognize that you are still unhappy about the damage to your luggage. We work hard to find common ground and to resolve problems to our customers' satisfaction, and we are disappointed that we have been unsuccessful. However, our conditions of liability exclude any damage claim not initially reported in person within 24 hours after the arrival of your checked items.

Ultimately, our position in this matter remains unchanged. We are sorry, Mr. Kimmel. Still, our position in no way suggests that we are insensitive to what happened. Please be assured that we will work harder than ever to restore your confidence in our ability to provide good service.

Denied again. This is a losing battle. At this point, I am basically screwed. The fucking airlines win. Sean loses.

But for next over sea trip in August I booked United. Simply out of principal.

Creative Commons License
Observation of An Illogical mind by Sean Kimmel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Please feel free to share the link but contact me for any other uses or publication. Thanks.