PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- This is a complaint in regard to a trip I took using America West Airlines. On May 10th, 2003, I took flight 765 from JFK (NYC) to Phoenix. That morning, I called the airline to confirm the flight, and was told that everything
was scheduled to take off on time. I got up that morning at 4:00 am, to ensure that there would be no problem in taking the flight and going through security.
While on route, America West called me on my cell phone, to inform me that my connecting flight # 6104 from Phoenix to Palm Springs, CA was cancelled. Obviously, I did not receive the message until after I arrived in Phoenix, since I could not have my cell phone turned on once we were air bound. I discovered that my flight was cancelled only after we landed in Phoenix and I began looking for my gate number on the monitor.
I spoke to someone at the customer service desk in Phoenix, Jon, (at the A gate) who put me on Flight 6110, which left me stranded at the airport for over 3 hours. I asked him for an earlier flight and he said that he couldn't help me and that I should call the 800 number.
I called the 800 number and spoke to a woman who not only appeared to be new and uninformed, but she was apparently ill trained. I asked for a supervisor and spoke to **. ** was rude and did not appear to be concerned that I was upset. She advised me that this happens all the time and told me that I was lucky that I was
able to get booked on the next flight out. I asked her if she could put me on a competitor's flight as stated in their Customer's First plan and she told me that she will not give America West customers away to another carrier. I asked her the reason for the cancellation and she told me that it was due to maintenance problems.
When I asked her why I wasn't notified sooner, so that I could make other arrangements for that day, she was unable to answer me. I asked her for a partial rebate or refund for my inconvenience, as I no longer intend on taking another America West Flight again. She replied that that would not be possible but that she would send me a future discount plus voucher that would prorate my next flight with America West.
When I told her again that I no longer care to do business with America West, she basically told me to take it or leave it, even when I told her that this is not what I wanted. I still do not intend to take America West and if and when I receive this voucher, I will give it away or throw it away.
I had this very same experience on May 18th, 2002 when I took a flight to Las Vegas. At that time I had an 8:00 am flight and wound up leaving at 6:00 pm. I received a $300 voucher. That was the only reason I took America West this time. But I will NEVER take America West again.
On either occasion, I don't believe there was a maintenance problem at all. I believe that due to financial problems and the fact that fewer people are traveling, the flights were cancelled because they could not be filled and that there was little regard for passengers' comfort and sanity. Also, if in both instances (2002 and 2003), if there actually had been maintenance problems and I was lucky enough to be scheduled for both of those flights, then that tells me that the fleet is old and I still do not want to fly America West.
I will never forget the insensitive supervisor (**) with whom I spoke. She noted my account, because I asked for a lunch voucher, which she arranged for me. She didn't even offer me that much! That would be a $5.00 - FIVE Dollars - lunch voucher, which did not even cover lunch at Burger King. I am extremely disappointed with America West and would not recommend this airline to anyone!
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA -- I had purchased my ticket online. I have never flown with America West before. I printed my itinerary and was also emailed my reminder through the ticket agency. On my itinerary, it stated that I did not need to confirm, the email reminder was my confirmation and America West had my reserved seat. I was to arrive at the airport 1 hour early which I did 5:30 am.
I had approached an A.W. employee outside the airport and asked if he could check me in and he looked at my paperwork and said, "No I can't help you, your flight has been cancelled." I was so upset, I said, "Are you kidding me!" He was so rude he said, "Do I look like I'm kidding?" I said, "Now what am I supposed to do?" He said, "You see that long line inside? You have to wait and get rescheduled onto another flight."
So I went in got in line, waited 45 minutes, and when I got to the front of the line, I stood there not knowing what to do. Nobody was available to help me and nowadays, it's all automated check in yourself, and finally a woman said, "Miss can I help you?" and I said, "Yes I need to be rescheduled. My flight was cancelled." She said, "You will need to go to the back of the line and wait your turn." I then said in a very upset voice, "I waited in that line already." She said, "I'm sorry. If you need some help, you will have to wait like everybody else."
I went back to the end of the line and just a few minutes later, she came over and apologized, she said she didn't hear me and the lady in front of me told her I had been waiting. In the meantime, I'm standing there not knowing what I was going to tell my best friend who was coming to see me all the way from Iowa. We had not seen each other in almost 3 years, her brother was getting married the next day, and her dad is really sick not doing very well. All these thoughts were going through my head and I was crying so hard at the thought of not getting to see my friend we had this trip planned for a year, and I had taken the day off work, etc.
The gal at the ticket counter told me they had 1 flight going out that evening at 5:00. It was only 6:15 am by this time and I would have to take a shuttle to LAX which I only had 20.00 on me at that moment, and then the plane would fly me into Phoenix which is 2 and 1/2 hours each way from my friend's house. Nobody to pick me up at the airport. It just got worse and worse as the morning went on. I decided to get a full refund on my money and to just forget the whole thing. It just was not meant to be for me to fly that weekend.
Then I went to the pay phone (I don't have a cell phone - can't afford one). So I called my home collect hoping maybe my younger son would still be home and not left for school and he could call his brother at work to come get me but the operator said there was no answer. I hung up, just a little more upset than I already was and walked outside to see if I could get some help, and they told me to carry my bags and walk across the street and take a taxi. I only had 20.00 on me and for the ride home it cost me 25.00. Luckily I had my bank card and was able to use that.
I never did find out why my flight was cancelled. I called America West customer service number and tried to tell someone of my experience and they transferred me and I was put on hold for over 30 minutes, never got through, and no one ever contacted me after that, and doesn't seem like any one was concerned at all. A very bad experience. I had also purchased another ticket at the same time to go see my brother in April to North Carolina, and I'm so worried about being disappointed about that trip.
I will be seeing my parents, my sister, and my brother on this trip. And I just want it to go smoothly, but I have great concerns about it. "The fear that the same thing will happen." I feel I should be compensated for at least my cab fare of 25.00. I received no help, no concern, no compassion, no care from any of the staff members of this airline. I was not treated very well.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- My girlfriend just had the worst travel experience on a New Year day. I am not sure if this is a rare occurrence or not but I definitely think America West need to be penalized for such a BAD service. She boarded the flight in Baltimore, Maryland. Since she was moving to California, she had to carry a lot of stuff and hence her baggage was quite heavy. The baggage size limit was 50 pounds per baggage. One of her baggage was only 55 pounds. The other baggage was about 30 pounds. She had to shell out 50 dollars extra to get those extra 5 pounds into the flight.
Thinking back, she could have shifted stuff from heavier suitcase to the lighter one but couldn't the airline discount the fact that the total weight of 2 checked in luggage was less than 100 pounds??? The lighter suitcase had fragile things and it was packed carefully. She pleaded with them and explained why she couldn't repack but lo! The airline people won't listen. This is ridiculous.
Her flight was supposed to leave BWI at 8.18 am. The plane was on the runway and had started the run for takeoff when the captain figured out that one of the engines had failed to start due to electrical problems. I mean, what happened to the pre-flight checks? Couldn't they have figured this out when the flight was leaving the boarding area????
2 and half hours later, when all the 4 engines were working, the captain casually mentioned that the flight was leaving to Phoenix, instead of Las Vegas. When the flight attendant corrected him, he mentioned that he had referred to the wrong charts!!!This shows how careless the captain was - first he didn't do a good job on checking if the engine was OK or not, and next he had the wrong chart!!!!
Since the flight to Las Vegas was delayed for 2 hours, she couldn't catch the connecting flight from Las Vegas to San Jose. What happened in Las Vegas airport for the next 8 hours completely amazes me. She was waiting in a long line to get the boarding pass for the next flight out of Las Vegas. Upon reaching the counter, without asking her preference, she was conveniently placed on a flight which was 12 hours later to San Jose. She was told that was her best chance of getting out although there were other earlier flights to San Francisco and San Jose (which were conveniently missed).
The airline attendant mentioned that there was a flight leaving to Sacramento in 3 hours but was quick to mention that the airline will not pay for the transport from Sacramento to San Francisco. Later, she was placed on a flight to San Francisco at 6.20 pm but baggage was conveniently sent to San Jose in a flight leaving at 11.56 pm (we didn't know this until the day after). She had requested the attendant to reroute the baggage to the SFO flight and she was given a printout stating that it was being done.
She later confirmed (before she boarded her flight) with the flight attendant and she was told it was already rerouted and it can be picked up at SFO airport. Basically, the airline attendant provided the wrong information to her without actually finding out if the baggage was loaded in the correct flight or not. On top of this, the flight to San Francisco was delayed by 2 hours. So, she had to spend a total of 8 hours at Las Vegas and still find her luggage routed to the wrong airport. TOTALLY UNPROFESSIONAL!
So, when she finally landed at SFO airport, we waited patiently for the luggage to come but in vain, of course. We lodged a complaint and were told that the luggage might go to San Jose. The office attendant appeared very certain that the luggage wouldn't have been rerouted to SFO. Her exact words "You know, even if they say the luggage will be rerouted, they probably won't." It appears that this happens all the time. She told me to check with her in another one hour (around midnight) to see if she has located the luggage. I gave a call to the SFO office from 11.45 to 12 pm (around 10 calls) and nobody picked up the phone. Very convenient indeed....
Since I stayed close to San Jose airport, I decided to give it a try and see if the luggage arrived there. When I went there, the baggage claim office attendant was very RUDE. She was like, "I have a lot of things going on here and I can't help you." I was extremely angry at this response. Later she apologized for her behavior and she told me the baggage could come through in the last flight (at 1.30 am) and she will definitely call us to tell us if the bags have arrived or not but she didn't.
I also called her from 1.30 to 1.45 am but she never picked up the phone. The report that I had filed earlier had some mistakes and I had asked this office attendant to call SFO airport office to correct it. She said that she will do it as soon as possible but was never done. I left a message and was hoping someone will call us in the morning but nobody did. Repeated calling in the morning also didn't get any response. I had to drive to the airport (San Jose) and check if the bags had arrived.
Before I left to the airport, I checked the website for baggage tracking and found that the baggage hasn't arrived. I talked with the baggage claim office attendant at the airport in the morning and he told me that the tags are always immediately entered into the system upon receipt. 2 things puzzled me: why wasn't the website updated to show that the bags were received and why didn't the SFO airport or San Jose airport offices call me in my cell to let me know this? Did the attendant actually scan the tags on to the system??? I wouldn't know this at all.
This is the worst service possible. Wrong information was provided all the time and we were made to go around hunting for our bags. America West has to retrain the staff definitely. If their motto is to satisfy customer requirements, they definitely are doing a very BAD job of it.