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Mistreated, Harassed and Assaulted by a Flight Attendant
Posted by Rfocardi on 06/03/2009
I am writing this in total disbelief. I hope US Airways will understand the gravity of what I am about to recount and take the appropriate measures to make it right.

This abuse needs to end and by bringing this story out in the open, hopefully airlines will start taking responsibility for their declining customer service, allowing passengers and paying customers to stop feeling mistreated and harassed by airline employees.

I am a 30 year old female executive who travels every week all across and outside of the country, nationally mainly on US leading airlines, internationally or whenever I can on Asian airlines who are among the few that still have incredible service.

I still remember back in the 90s when flying was a fun and glamorous experience… When flight attendants would remember that a large part of their job description is to serve the customer, and where one received the service that is expected in a first world country and the land of “the customer comes first”.

I am sure many of you have experienced the change…. Service has been declining, customer service has gone down to the bare minimum and passengers often find themselves dealing with rude check in representatives, airport personnel, gate agents and, worse of all, flight attendants.

In the past few years, these unacceptable experiences have become the routine, and the people I happen to talk to seem to have given up to the idea that this is how it is, and that the airline industries decline (USAirways’ in particular) is just at the beginning stages. I constantly witness passengers getting yelled at, or being mistreated for taking too long in putting away their bag in the overhead bin, or treated rudely for requesting something during the flight. The sad thing is that this is something that by now, we are all used to and expect when we fly … unfortunately.

But yesterday, I had the most unbelievable experience of all. USAIRWAYS shame on you! I was traveling to Saint Louis on a US Airways evening flight. I travel US Airways multiple times a week because of its convenient flight schedules from Miami. Because of my loyalty and the many flights I take every month, I have received a Preferred Status and am often upgraded to first class… Not that I would expect this to mean something, but it makes the whole experience even more scandalous.

I was waiting to board the plane, where I was assigned the very first seat to the right as you walk in the cabin. I was on the phone with my CEO discussing an important meeting we had that day. As I walk into the plane, I hear a flight attendant scream to me in a rude and demeaning way “YOUR BAG IS TOO BIG (which it isn’t, as it is a standard carry on size)”… Being on the phone I did not realize the screaming was directed at me, so, as we are instructed to do, I went ahead to open the overhead compartment immediately on top of my seat. Here, plenty of space to put my bag as the compartment was completely empty with the exception of a small black bag. As I am about to push the black bag to the side to fit my carry on, the same flight attendant roughly GRABS MY ARM and yelling again says “DO NOT DARE TOUCH MY BAG!” Still on the phone and in disbelief I respond that I had no idea the bag was hers and that all I was trying to do was place my suitcase in the bin assigned to my seat. At that, with the same tone, she responds “YOU HAVE TO GO ALL THE WAY TO THE BACK OF THE PLANE” (which seemed unnecessary since the plane was half empty and there were plenty of empty bins between the first class cabin and the end of the plane.) Since I had people behind me who were trying to board the plane, and since I was assigned the first seat at the front of the plane that has plenty of extra space and leg room, I pulled to the side with my suitcase, allowing people to make their way to their seat instead of slowing down the boarding process… Another shout “MA’AM YOU CANNOT STAND THERE WITH YOUR BAG, IT NEEDS TO GO IN THE OVERHEAD!!!! IN THE OVERHEAD I SAID! GO TO THE BACK OF THE PLANE!!!” At which I responded that I was just waiting for the passengers to board so I would not block the entry way and made my way to the middle of the plane where a much more professional flight attendant smiled at me and helped me store my bag.

Displeased by the discourtesy and approach of the flight attendant (who should help make the passengers’ experience a positive one), I decided to ask for her name so I could file a complaint as soon as I arrived in Saint Louis. Enough is enough! And I also figured that if passengers start taking the time to report these incidents, the flying experience might improve for passengers all across the country. After all, I wouldn’t expect US Airways to be able to fix what they don’t know is broken.

The flight attendant did not like the idea of being reprimanded. So, a few minutes later, while I am sitting down reading my new book, she asks me to deboard the plane. “MA’AM STEP OFF THE PLANE!”, “May I ask why?” I replied.
“DO YOU WANT TO FLY TODAY OR NOT? she said, with her unlikable manner. At which of course, I said yes. “THEN STEP OFF SO THE GATE AGENT CAN HAVE A WORD WITH YOU.” “No problem, I said, I would like a word with him too.”

The gate agent (who then I found out might have been the pilot) asked me what had happened. I explained and he apologized profusely for the experience, suggesting I report the incident and writing for me on a piece of paper the information about the flight so I could file a complaint. Throughout this process the flight attendant was standing close, worried, and raising her voice while trying to plead her case by denying what had happened.

I thanked the pilot for his concern and apologies, and took my seat. The pilot then pulled the flight attendant aside and explained to her that such behavior is unacceptable. She started making up lies and blaming everything on me saying that I was the one with the problem and again denying the entire incident. Compelled to clarify my side of the story and EXHAUSTED from having to experience such lack of class and professionalism, I got close again and reiterated that such behavior is unacceptable and that if in my line of business if I dared to treat customers half as bad as she had treated me (and others, I am sure) I would have gotten fired a long time ago. The pilot once again apologized, told me I had every right to complain. At that point, glad I had at least had a chance to voice my mind; I sat back in my seat.

The moment the pilot locked the cockpit door, the flight attendant started harassing me and walking down the aisle pleading passengers to please sign a petition against me to help her keep her job.

To my disbelief, a couple of bored passengers who hadn’t even witnessed the incident as they had not boarded the plane yet when it occurred, found it amusing to team up with the flight attendant and support her mobbing.
Although this made me uncomfortable (after all the flight attendant was walking around soliciting passengers against me and harassing and laughing at me together with the rest of the crew), I kept reading my book… “It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile” I was taught.

The harassing however did not stop. Feeling extremely frustrated and uncomfortable, and also determined to make a point -- as I don’t believe that a Premiere Member (or ANY PASSENGER FOR THAT MATTER) should ever have to go through such an implausible experience on a commercial airline -- stunned that a flight attendant instead of doing her job would walk around the isle soliciting and harassing passengers, I decided to take my bag and step off the plane. Something that I NEVER in my life have done or was put in the condition of considering before.

As I walk out, the same flight attendant starts clapping and cheering and the couple bored passengers tagged along. I WASH IN SHOCK!!!! I did nothing but exercise my right to be treated with courtesy and respect.

I want to clarify that I am in no way a rude person, anyone who knows or works with me will tell you that I do not go around mistreating people, I am very involved in charitable organizations and at no point throughout this incident, other than complaining and addressing my concerns, did I ever act out of line. Exercised a right, is more like it.

After thinking about it, I decided “why not” after all I had early meeting in St Louis the next day that I could not miss. The supervisor then asked me to wait at the gate while she talked to the crew.

After 10 minutes in the plane she walks out “I AM SO SORRY, BUT THE SITUATION HAS NOT BEEN RESOLVED, SO WE WILL HAVE TO KEEP YOU ON TOMORROW’S FLIGHT”. “What do you mean has not been resolved?” I asked, at that point severely tired and surprised.


AGAIN, I AM SHOCKED. Not only was I treated with disrespect, harassed and bullied. But the flight attendant got away with it and ultimately I was denied reboarding on a plane I had left on my own accord. I cannot believe that US Airways would allow such behavior, and especially, even though at fault and after being reprimanded by her superiors, she would be allowed to go around soliciting passengers asking them to sign a paper to help her keep her job. And the clapping.

Yes, it is true that I stood up and spoke to the pilot expressing my unhappiness and complaining about the service, but in no way different than any of you would complain about poor service anywhere else. Also, last time I checked, the United States was a country that granted freedom of speech and freedom to express one’s own opinions. I guess that does not apply to US Airways.

I cannot believe that this incident would go unpunished and that the flight attendant would be able to make up stories, behave in such an unprofessional way, and ultimately get away with it.

I will make sure that anybody out there who had similar experiences or has been subject to crabbiness and lack of respect while flying US Airways, will speak up. This is ridiculous and needs to stop.

Last but not least, this ended up costing me over $300 dollars in Taxis and overnight stay as the earliest available flight was the following morning.
I am confident that US Airways, will realize the severity of this and take the approapriate measure to make it right.

Until then, I will never again fly US Airways and will make sure none of my employees and acquaintances do.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-03:
This story sounds ludicrous because surely no professional in any line of work would ever treat a customer this way. But, it seems this is the way airlines are going these days. I've been traveling for business a lot the last few weeks and enountered more than one rude flight attendant/airline staff. Nothing as you describe, of course, but rude enough to be infuriating. Many times, complaining gets you no where because the staff is unionized, but if customers start complaining, maybe the airlines will do something about it.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-06-03:
got a couple of comments for this

1) I do agree with the Gate person's comment that you should have stayed out of his conversation with the FA.

I know you were upset, if you had remained quiet it would have shown that only she was having control issues. Yes, she butted in when you were talking to him, but you did want to fight on it.

& i understand wanting to fight when you know you're right, but sometimes it's also good to stand back, & let people hang themselves on their own ropes.

2) Since you did chose to join in, you unfortunately gave her fuel to use against you.

I know it sucks. Believe me I've had differences with co-workers when the other person is completely out of line... but they still try to find the *one* thing you did wrong, so they can spin it so it's not 100% the other person's fault.

3) Not putting you on the same flight again. Actually I'd do the same thing if I was in charge.

I suspect she got in trouble over the incident. Even with the debate over "stepping up to the gate person", I really think she got spoken to about her behavior on the plane.

I think the airline was just covering its ass with that one....

if they put you both on the same flight, so soon after the first incident... if the FA was horrible to you again and just as abusive, then you'd have even a more serious case to bring up against them.
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-03:
I believe this review. I don't know why, I just do.

Christopher Elliott might be interested in hearing your situation, here's how to contact him:

Regarding compensation, which I believe you are fully entitled to the additional costs you had to endure as well as partial refund of your fare, I suggest contacting the US Airways head offices, here is more information:
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-03:
Wow, this tops every airline complaint I have ever read on M3C's. That flight attendant needs another job and an attitude adjustment. (VH)
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-06-03:
i would like to hear the airlines side of this story.

i am sure the attendant was speaking louder due to the poster being engaged on the telley.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-03:
Some interesting points:
F/a primary role is is safety, customer service second.
"First world service" really? In the land of Wal-Mart. 3rd world nations have better air service
"Customer comes first" see above.
"service has been declining..." so have prices, its never been cheaper to fly. People want no service thus LCC's.
"Convenient flight schedules from Miami" Really? Um, its a AA base.
I don't doubt you got hassled however I'm suspecting there is a bit of embellishment here.
STL is serviced primarily by RAH (no mainline) so you'll get a nice form letter from US stating how sorry they are blah blah blah.
Believe it or not you could have been arrested. You broke a big FAR (actually you broke a few 121's)you don't talk to the flight deck crew - not in that situation.
You may want to try AA, they have direct mainline service MIA-STL
Posted by MrNigel on 2009-06-03:
I would call my attorney ASAP and file suit for slander, the clapping and petition are clearcut signs of unlawful harrassment.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-06-03:
soaring... I believe there's a lot of truth to her letter too.

heh... it's a good thing it wasn't ME in her place... if someone had grabbed me i would have likely spun around with my hands up in a defense move, which would have caused a lot of issue...

at the same time, i understand why the airline did what they did however.

and as i said above, i don't think the FA would have been sweet and docile on the return flight. I think the FA would have acted the same way.

so the airline moved her flight to avoid any further issues.

VF: FAR & 121? What's that?

I figure the "ar" is airline regulation but i could always be wrong
Posted by MSCANTBEWRONG on 2009-06-03:
Wow...just wow!
Posted by dan gordon on 2009-06-03:
I absolutely hate US airways, but for your complaint to be taken seriously you really have to condense it. Even starting at pg 2 its way too long. May I suggest you write a shorter version on Flyertalk.com? They have a US airways forum and members can give good advice.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-06-03:
that's a good point...

when i first started reading the letter i was thinking... ok "service going downhill" but.. what's the exact complaint.... until i got to the part about "yesterday"... etc
Posted by 2003m3 on 2009-06-04:
I would definitely put U.S. Air on my no-fly list for this. The problem is, who do you fly with on domestic flights? The others are not much better. Quality of service on U.S. carriers has gone done incredibly over the last 8 years across the board.

I flew close to 300,000 miles last year, most of it outside the country. My rule is: avoid U.S. carriers like the plague! Service on Asian, Middle Eastern and European airlines is far better. Flying with Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa, BA or Air France is a pleasant experience (for no more money than one would pay to these characters).
Posted by DisputeTheCharges on 2009-06-04:
VF-213 Flying AA isn't an option since AA is $5 more than US on the MIA-STL route. Why in the heck you'd rather fly on a Jungle Bus vs. a 757 is beyond me. It's worth the $5 extra in my opinion.
Posted by goduke on 2009-06-04:
Pretty awful story. In most cases, I'd believe that the customer has no right to be privy to the internal HR process of the company, but in this case, I think the customer is owed a "this was the outcome with this employee" kind of response.

It stinks that the pilot had to make the choice to not allow the customer to continue on the flight, but he was probably wise knowing that they two could not co-exist for the flight. If he had tossed the flight attendant (probably first choice), it would have delayed the flight for everyone as they would have had to find a replacement.

Never had such problems with Southwest. They get tons of my money. I especially like the flights where the attendants sing the safety rules.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-06-05:
My family's visiting this weekend and I told this story to my mother.

Her idea was very very interesting...

That when you were told to talk to the gate person, you should have said... "I moved her bag a little to the side to put mine in and she started screaming at me. Her reaction was so intense, I am worried that there is something unsafe in it and I want that bag searched by security."

yes. A security search of her bag.
Mom was thinking that her reaction was so intense ... because maybe she was smuggling contraband. And I have heard some other stories like that.

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-05:
Pepper, I had to go thru the employee's entrance one time to re-enter the terminal (long story). I watched them search the employee's, attendants', pilots, ground crew, everyone. And that search was a lot tighter than what we go thru. It's very hard for a airport worker to sneak anything on a plane now.

Now, taking stuff out is a different story. We all know how much of our stuff walks out the gate -via- the TSA and luggage handlers.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-06-05:
could she still request it?

i wonder if she's contacted corp yet about how she was treated.
Posted by suzieg on 2009-06-15:
It would have helped the situation if you ended the cell phone conversation when boarding the plane. The consumer set the "rude" tone. I really feel for those who deal with the public(Coffee shop, stores, etc...)especially when people are on cell phones and they are trying to communicate with you-- very rude to be on the phone and consumer...it does not matter who you were speaking to...Hang up the phone! That is why the situation escalated to this level, the attendant was probably very frustrated that you could not follow her instructions.
Posted by taufiq on 2009-06-15:
Im sorry but I just DONT believe your story as it stands and I have to take the attendants side!!
Yes I know your jaw just dropped. Here's why.

1. You were talking on a mobile phone as you were boarding. This is rude and inconsiderate to the attendants and to other passengers. To make things worse you stayed on your cell phone as the attendant was trying to communicate with you.
2. You did interrupt the pilot as he was talking to the attendant. You need to respect the pilot and other passengers. The plane is not your house where you can do and say what you want.
3. The fact that other passengers signed the petition and applauded as you exited the plane tells me that your behavior and attitude were not acceptable.
4. Your story is extreme. What I mean is that you are doing everything correct and the other person is always in the wrong. This is rarely the case.

Im sure the attendant was not on her best behavior but she might have had a long day - as you might have had.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-06-15:
I have to disagree on some of that Taufiq

But before I get into that... I'm wondering now... do these flights have surveillance cameras inside the passenger cabins? I would think that after 911 they would, but i never thought to ask. ... and if not, perhaps they should start considering it...

a tape would be good evidence to show what really happened.

and back to the list in response to T
1) talking on the mobile while boarding isn't against the rules. even if someone else finds it "rude" it doesn't justify abusing them.

2) Interrupting the pilot/gate guy - yes this i agree with you on. Each person should be allowed their say.

3) The petition - the FA should have never sent this around. The argument was between her and the OP. It was unprofessional and petty.

4) One sided - this you also have a good point on. We are only hearing the OP's side so it is possible she downplayed her actions and up-played the FA's.

Posted by njgal on 2009-06-15:
US Airways has really gone downhill. Their flights are never on time (departure or arrivals) and I experienced a flight with a really rude attendant. We were stuck on the tarmack for over an hour in 90 degree heat with no ac. They gave me a $50 vouchers for all of my troubles, as if I'd want to fly with them again. Good luck and of course you deserve to be reimbursed but I'd be really surprised if they do entirely. They don't seem to care anymore.
Posted by Ponie on 2009-06-15:
The first few paragraphs seem to be the poster puffing her importance. It's underwhelming.
Attitude is quite apparent: 'the people I happen to talk to seem...' I always talk WITH people, not TO them. Doesn't matter if I'm low man on the totem pole or top dog.
I haven't noticed a difference (probably because I wasn't looking for it) in the overhead bins. Do they now assign space in the bins to correspond to the seats? The poster seems to think they do. But I could be wrong...
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-15:
I swear to God, I'd marry Ponie if I had the chance.

Posted by BokiBean on 2009-06-15:
Get in line! :D
Posted by Ponie on 2009-06-15:
Nah, you wouldn't want to MissM. I'm so damned set in my ways...as you can tell by some of my comments. Once was plenty for me.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-06-15:
She's just bein' coy!
Posted by Adams complaint on 2009-06-23:
there is a part misisng to this complaint.I find it hard to believe that this women went after you like a hawk just because she thought ur carry on was to big?
Posted by Nicki J on 2009-06-25:
I'm surprised that you didn't get arrested. I think that the Flight personnel have to much "power" now and if you get upset watch out, because you could get arrested.
I hope you update us with what happens with this because it is beyond unbelievable. I can't believe she got away with you missing your flight. Maybe you should have asked your CEO if he heard anything while you were on the phone with him.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-06-25:
"The first few paragraphs seem to be the poster puffing her importance. It's underwhelming."

the great never claim to be.
Posted by Nunyadb on 2009-07-01:
This is very unfortunate and I hope this lady put in the complaint to the airlines although I am sure it doesn't make a difference. I would have pitched a fit until that attendant was taken off the plane. That is not fair to the customer who paid all that money to fly and is a loyal customer to get treated this way.
Posted by tabikatz on 2009-07-06:
I believe the complaint, simply because I have been put in such positions before. To some it may sound outlandish and farfetched, but those are the lucky ones who have not had to endure such treatment. I think you should be reimbursed for your trouble, and I agree. Do not take US airways any time soon. As far as the flight attendant, she should not have been permitted to remain on the plane either. Her actions as far as the petition and the continuing harrassment were unsafe. Considering I probably would have been arrested, due to my large personal space bubble. Had she laid a hand on me I can't say I would have been completely in control after having my space invaded so rudely. Good luck to you, miss. I hope you find someone willing to assist you in setting your mistreatment right. Perhaps, if you were on business your then higher up would consider filing a complaint as well. I am not sure how your company works, but the way mine is, if I were to tell my boss I had been abused so on a business flight he would be as infuriated as myself.
Posted by consumer76154 on 2013-07-26:
US Airways DOES mistreat their customers. I too, am a 30something professional that has traveled many times both for business and pleasure. They have become impatient, unsympathetic and arrogant. This will not change because the policy at US Airways is to support whatever the crew writes in their report and their decisions are never wrong. The customer relations rep told me on the phone that there policy is never to compensate. The best you can hope for is an email apology and that other airlines will travel the route that you need to take to get to all of your destinations.
Posted by TonyHorns14 on 2014-03-31:
That sucks. You should have just stayed on the flight in the front because the fact that you got off the plane encouraged the flight attendant to keep doing that to people. She's probably fired by now and lives in the streets somewhere in no-mans land. At least you could be happy about that.
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US Airways SUCKS! Don't use them EVER!
Posted by DrSuess on 07/05/2007
I will NEVER ever EVER fly US AIRWAYS again!!! It’s the worst airline service I have ever experienced in all my years of travel. They acquired America West Airlines which was the airline I always used to fly to Fresno. Let start from the beginning:

For my departure Sunday morning I arrived at BWI 1 ½ - 2 hours before my flight, the line was three to four rows of a couple hundred people and only (4) kiosk machines were working out of 10 -12 kiosk machines. People were being pulled out of the line for the very next flight. At this point I was wondering if I was going to make my flight and still had to go through security with only 25 min till flight time. Luckily I made did my fight with a few minutes to spare.

When I arrived at Fresno, CA my luggage with all my clothes was missing. I was one of many standing in line with lost luggage. I filled out a claim number with my cell number and was told to call this number later in the day. I called several times that afternoon and received a standard answering machine message like a home answering machine: “Please leave a message” I left several messages and finally decided to go to the airport at 11:30 pm that night to check on my luggage. My luggage was there at the airport and nobody ever called to say it have arrived.

When I was out in Fresno I purchased a new pair of Sony Studio Monitor headphones ($100.00) from the Guitar Center. I did not have enough room in my carry-on baggage so I packed it in my checked baggage for my return flight home.

My flight home was a red-eye fight (my choice). When I got home at 9:00 am I went t sleep and later that afternoon I woke up and started unpacking. Guess what my new ($100.00) headphones were missing out of my checked luggage. I called the airline and was told I have to return to the airport within 24 hours with the checked bag with the missing item. I went to the airport Saturday night and filled a claim and given a printout with a claim number and told to call Monday morning for instructions on how to proceed with my claim.

I called this morning and they have no record of that claim number.

They then gave me a new claim number. They said to check back later and they will see if my item has turned up?

I asked you do not even know what’s missing? How often should I call back?

Well just call back in a week.

Is there a time limit when you will issue a check? No, just call back every couple weeks.

What a JOKE!!! Item will not be replaced because of the policy below reguarding what they will replace.

This is the policy for items in your baggage:


As detailed in our Contract of Carriage, US Airways is not liable for loss, damage to, or delay of perishable property; not liable for damage to, or caused by, fragile articles, liquids, or perishables; and not liable for lost, damaged, or delayed:

Negotiable Papers/Securities/Documents
Precious Metals/Stones
Natural Fur Products
Sound Reproduction Equipment & Related Items
Photographic/Cinematographic Audio/Video Equipment & Related Items
Artistic Items
Computer Hardware/Software & Related Items
Lifesaving Medication
Electronic Components/Equipment & Related Items
Business Samples/Equipment/Documents & Irreplaceable Items

Why don't you just say we do not cover anything missing from your baggage!!!

I checked with other airlines I travel with ad the list is not as near long as this one.

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Posted by rhondam718732 on 2007-07-05:
I would be frustrated too but airlines aren't going to hand out chewcks to every passenger that cites a missing item. It will never happen. I have the attitude that whenever I fly, I fly with the knowledge that everything I am checking may disappear with no reimbursement. It's the harsh reality. I don't pack anything above and beyond clothes and toiletires in the check in baggage. Get a bigger carry on bag if you need to (plus you can have 2) so there should be a way to have enough room to carry on the impt items. Many mothers have carried on their purses, kids food, and necessities, toys, reading material, medicine, etc and managed...so can you.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-05:
This is why I drive...

Airline ticket price are high.

overbooked and understaff.

too many plans, not enough airports.

Airline merge into a monopoly operation.

This is why I drive...
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-07-05:
Rhondam is right - don't check it unless you can afford to lose it. And FWIW, America West bought and merged with USAir, not the other way around. They are slowly making some progress in getting USAir more like the old America West was with regard to customer service.
Posted by MRM on 2007-07-05:
Addition to HappyJoyBear comments:
The airport is crowded
Long waiting lines at times
Posted by ibrwrng79 on 2007-07-29:
US Airways happens to be my least favorite airline for customer service. But, I am biased as they lost my bag over a year ago. They have never found it, nor have compensated me for it. I don't care about the compensation, I'd just rather have my clothes and tennis racket back. I was told though, that it was stolen by a US Airways employee in Philadelphia!! As is the case with most 'lost' items out of PHL,
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-31:
America West bought US Airways. So Us Airways did not aquire AWA, it was the other way around.
Posted by 98Bird on 2009-03-20:
Hey, welcome to risks of flying cheap. Why did you fly US Airways? Oh, because Orbitz, Travelocity, etc. showed you the lowest fares with them. Most of the airlines are in the tank. But damn, the rates are so cheap it's hard to pass up.
Posted by 2003m3 on 2009-06-03:
What more would you expect from a chickens**t outfit? Unfortunately, they are not alone in being like that. This is not meant to be arrogant and badmouth the U.S.. This is simply a fact learned from my own experience of flying 200,000-300,000 miles a year. There are no decent airlines in the U.S. any more.

To travel happy, I have made it a rule to avoid American carriers like the plague. In the last 8 or so years, the quality of service has gone down terribly. The airlines are squeezed between unions, shareholders and the government. Shareholders demand return on investment. Unions demand high pay. FAA won't let them fly if they cut corners on maintenance. So where is the only place where they can save money: service to customers! No food in economy, food as cheap as possible in first class, no newspapers, poor selection of drinks, ancient seats, ancient audio/video systems, rude flight crews, rude ground crews. Most of these outfits deserve to put out of business.

When traveling, my routine is to somehow get to the nearest international hub airport (Houston, most often), then get on a decent airline to fly out of the country. Decent airlines in my experience are SE Asian, Middle Eastern and European (in that order): Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Thai, Lufthansa, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, KLM. I try not to fly with anyone else. Obviously, if you fly domestic, you are stuck with American, Delta, United, U.S. Air and the rest of this dismal pack. You get a little better treatment if you fly first class, but even then you are often treated like dirt.
Posted by oinfante on 2014-04-22:
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Unbelievably Horrible Customer Service Experience
Posted by San Diego Steve on 02/05/2009
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- This is the first time I have ever posted my opinion about anything on the internet - I am normally very hard to offend, but the experience I just had with US Air has left me so amazed at their terrible, insulting customer service that I am going remove US Air as a choice for my employees to use, and write this post to hopefully keep others from flying US Air and potentially experiencing anything close to what just happened to me.

I fly about once ever 3 to 4 months, so not often but not a total rookie either. I flew for the first time to Philly, and for the first time chose US Air due to their partnership with United, on which I have Premier status (barely). My flight out of Philly to Atlanta was scheduled for 4:30pm Wed. and about 2:15pm I received a cell phone message saying the plane was delayed about 70 minutes. I had just arrived at the airport, so went to a restaurant where I located an outlet for my laptop close to the airline info screens, and started working while I waited. The flight screen continued to update with increasing delays - now up to 2 hours, so I ordered a margarita and continued to work, resigned to a long stay in this airport before my business trip leg continued to Atlanta. 30 min later the flight updated on the board to cancelled. I was not near the actual gate yet, so I called US Air from my cell while I continued to work, and was told we have been moved to a 9:00pm flight. Sigh.

I decided to head over to Delta and check out their 5:55pm departing flight to Atlanta - figured if it was under $250 I would just pay and go. Got to the gate and found out that most of the passengers from the 4:30pm US Air flight had been moved onto this Delta flight - cool! However, because I had not gone and sat at the gate, I was not tagged to move to this flight. The nice Delta representative told me to head over to the US Air service desk & have them put me on the 7:20pm flight heading to Atlanta. Cool.

Off I head again (and anyone who knows this airport knows I was doing a lot of walking with luggage by this point). Get to the US Air service desk and wait in a substantial line, watching in increasing concern as the service representative and her manager systematically belittle, deny and in one case seem almost gleeful in their refusal to help various folks in front of me...I assumed I was not hearing both sides of the conversations taking place ahead in line & actually smiled at the seeming straightforward nature of my request. Ha! My turn came, and I walked up, then told the story and asked cheerfully if I could be moved to the 7:20pm Delta flight with over a dozen open seats. The US Air representative told me no luck, I would have to take the 9:00pm flight. I asked why everyone else had been nicely moved to a Delta flight while I - with the same dilema & transferring United status, had to sit and wait. She told me I had not "followed proper procedure" and that "she did not have to put me on any flight since she smelled alcohol on my breath.

She then called over her manager while I noted with increasing dismay that I had never had a flight cancelled underneath me & did not realize there was a procedure, nor did the US Air representative on the phone mention anything. The most amazing thing was how MEAN this lady was - and I realized a moment later I was going to become their next victim. The manager came over and proceeded to verbally assault me in a manner that in my 38 years of life I had never experienced in a customer facing experience - she made the first representative seem like the good cop! I still can hardly believe what happened. I never got in a word, just listened as she threatened to keep me in the Philly airport overnight due to my "not being at the gate, choice to have a drink (which I would not have done had their flight not been delayed 2 hours at one point), etc. She was beyond anything negative I had ever experienced. I walked away speechless.

2 minutes later I decided to fight back, and walked across the terminal again to the far US Air service desk on the other end. Upon finally arriving the lone service representative there nicely listened to my brief repeat story / transfer request, then immediately and successfully transferred me to the 7:20pm Delta flight (I made no mention of my experience at the first US Air service desk). She was excellent, and seemed much less interested in tearing passengers apart and more interested in really listening and helping.

I am a Director for multiple global software support teams, and have to say that I would not blame anyone for having a bad day, but what Veena did transcended anything resembling a bad day, and ensured that I will never fly US Air again nor allow any employee in my company or business units to have a trip approved on this airline for fear of them experiencing anything remotely as negative as what I experienced.
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Posted by dan gordon on 2009-02-05:
US Air now charges for bags, drinks (even water) food and now announced they will charge for pillows and blankets. They are also changing the size of carry ons allowed. I would never fly them again either. Enough is enough
Posted by wgaguy1984 on 2009-02-06:
I'd file a formal complaint against the employee, but I wouldn't write off the entire airline. Any company has @$$e$ working for them.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-06:
I'm with wgaguy on this one, however complaining to Airways is futile as your bad experience wasn't with a USAirways employee. Your complaint is with Air Wisconsin, a feeder carrier. There is a degree of culpability on your part in that you should have been at the gate, irrespective of the flight board, they gate personnel need to work out a transfer list and you could have been deemed a "no show."
Dan makes salient points, however the trend is towards buy on board and they won't be the last carrier to do so. The domestic flight (only) purchase pillow and blanket is a good idea (AC has done it for years) - I'd never use any carriers coach pillow and blanket...those things are nasty dirty.

The FAA is the one prompting the sizing and carry on limit, its some new job justification mandate they have undertaken.
Posted by memoryx57 on 2009-02-06:
Was the ticket purchased from Air Wisconsin? Can't figure out why the poster would blame US Air when it would have been painfully obvious that the ticket counter he was standing at would have clearly stated Air Wisconsin...hummm
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-06:
Memory, most people aren't in the stupor you seem to be in...
You technically are buying travel from the feeder carrier and if you read your boarding pass and/or review your itinerary it clearly states operated by XXXXX I was trying to help the OP understand thus if he/she wanted to make a formal complaint where it would be most effective.
I know you are dying to win a dig in on me....keep trying... its good for a laugh.
Posted by memoryx57 on 2009-02-06:
I Fly feeder carriers with Delta quite frequently BUT I purchase the ticket from Delta and that's who my credit card pays. If I have an issue ( which I haven't ) the onus of the responsibility would be with Delta, Not the feeder carrier. Delta is the one who sold the ticket. They contracted the feeder carrier, not me. So therefore, logic would dictate that Delta would be the one who would have to bear the brunt of any problems. I'm not trying to win a "dig" on anyone, especially you. Why would I? I think you're the one in the "stupor" based on some of your responses.
Posted by Burned consumer on 2009-03-17:
I think that regardless of who the "alternate" carrier was-they are still receiving pay via the "Flight/ticket" purchase! US Air is AWFUL and I will never EVER fly them-they have completely lost what "Customer Service" implies! Let's be honest-it's not like US Air would have disapproved of the bad service-they endorse it via their own reps!
Posted by ibrwrng79 on 2009-05-18:
VF-213: Air Wisconsin may have been scheduled to operate the flight, but the gate agents are the focus of the complaint. Customer Service in the F terminal is operated by Piedmont (wholly owned by US Airways), not Air Wisconsin. Either way, it's still US Airways.
Posted by Melony345 on 2010-03-17:
Ha HA, the first time I posted anything on the Internet was about this airline.

I just had to see if anyone else felt the same way. lol This is too funny
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US Airways Is Fraudulent
Posted by Kina on 05/20/2008
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- USAirways has horrible customer service and they do NOT back their promises. Last summer, I gave up my flight, the last flight of the night, while traveling with my infant son in return for a "free roundtrip ticket." What they did not tell me, nor was it printed on the ticket, was that "free round trip" really meant subject to USAirways releasing the tickets. I called to book my "free round trip ticket from Phoenix to Louisville, KY, in February.

At that time I was told that the "free ticket class may not be released and even if it was, which no one could predict either way, that the release would not occur until five weeks before the scheduled departure date. So, I called back in March, I was told the same thing. I called back mid April, and the tickets were unavailable, so I plugged the number in m phone and began to call and check on the flights every other day. I called on May 17th, and the tickets that were going to be released were released or USAirways decided not to release them. I tried 3 days before and 3 days after my desired June 26 departure date. They did however, have a return flight on my desired departure date, June 28th.

My only option was to use my "free roundtrip ticket" as a credit towards the purchase of a flight. They only give $200 credits in exchange for the free roundtrip ticket. So the agent priced out my trip at $684 - so by using my "free roundtrip ticket" all I had to do was PAY $484. So, I tried to book the free return flight and purchase the incoming flight elsewhere. I was told I could not do that either. One way free tickets were not available, the had to be round trip. So I asked if I could book a roundtrip and just use the return flight - NO! If I didn't come to the first flight, I would lose the return flight. So I asked if I could book a flight with the first flight going from Louisville to Phoenix - no free flights were available.

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Posted by chris513 on 2008-05-21:
hate to say this, but I know the voucher you have because I have received one before...it says on the voucher, tickets are subject to availability....there should be an option for a dollar amount off of a ticket...that might be your best option...but yeah, those vouchers suck.
Posted by Ben There on 2008-05-21:
These free tickets that you get are similiar to Frequent Flyer tickets, so the space to book one can be hard to find. This year in particular free seats are even harder to get as airlines are reducing the number of planes in the air by about 20%.

USAirways has done nothing "fraudulent" as you have claimed - it is perfectly legal to offer something for free with a "may not be available" note. Also remember that June is peak summer season so everyone is flying - Winter and Fall outside of holidays are much better times to hunt for free seats.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-21:
I think it is fraudulent in the sense that when they are trying to entice you to give up your seat, they are not disclosing the fact right then and there that there are severe restrictions on the use of the voucher. Knowing that up front would make one much less likely to be willing to give up a seat, and so they will not disclose it. Perhaps fraudulent may be too strong a word, but they are certainly being less than forthright.
Posted by Ponie on 2008-05-21:
My niece makes out like a bandit on these 'give up your seat for a free roundtrip ticket' offers. She's usually first one at the desk when this is announced. She was ticked one time when they wouldn't accept her because her return trip was not non-stop. (Don't know what difference this would make, but I guess it does.) These tickets are very good for people, like my niece, whose business and personal life are such that they can pick up and leave on a moment's notice.
Posted by Ben There on 2008-05-22:
Everytime I have seen an airline hand out a voucher for getting bumped, they have the customer read and sign a little card that includes something along the lines of "subject to availability". If this was not the case and the agent said "here is a free ticket to use on any flight whenever you want", that would have been fraudulent. However, I don't think this happened... Just because there are not free seats on the exact dates that this poster wants during the middle of high season does not mean that flexible travels wouldn't give him a range of dates during low season.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-24:
It does state on the back of the voucher that seats are subject to availability, but the airport employees don't tell you that. Some of them don't even know those seats are limited. They don't book the flights. I have spoken to a few gate agents who had no idea what the terms of those vouchers were. Not your fault that they are clueless, but if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always, always, always read the fine print.
Posted by jseger9000 on 2008-06-05:
I have to agree with the poster. I am going through the same problem myself. I can tell you that at the time the vouchers are offered there is no mention that the vouchers can only be used on a very, very limited basis.

Also, since the only way to see what is printed on the voucher is to go ahead and accept the voucher, I don't think fine print is a very good solution. To get to that point you had to already accept the deal, (in our case, disembark our original flight) and have the voucher printed.
Posted by dpotull on 2008-06-24:
Just another deceitful, deceptive American company doing what they do best...lie, and they say America's best days are ahead of it...ROTFLMAO!
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Cancelled Flight
Posted by on 11/27/2001
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- A while back, March 4th to be exact, my flight to Ithaca, NY. was cancelled. I had to spend the night in NYC with someone who was sympathetic to my dilemma. I asked the person behind the counter about a refund and she practically laughed at me and assured me that one would not be issued. My anger was potent then and has grown since. I am a dividend miles member but i have avoided flying US Air since then. Those people have no problem taking my money for flights but when the service is not performed they locate loopholes to keep my money.

To help keep me as a potential future customer, I would like the following:

REFUND my unused portion!

At the very least I would like a response from your company regarding this incident. Thank you for your time.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2002-07-07:
Why can't you take your flight the next day?
Posted by Anonymous on 2002-09-16:
what no one seems to get is that these companies provide a service which you pay for. if it is unmet, you deserve compensation. if you buy a car, and it breaks down, do you just say "i can still get home the next day".
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-31:
Why was the flight cancelled? If it was weather related than most airlines will not issue a refund as the weather is not something they can control.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
US Airways Prides Themselves on LACK of Customer Service
Posted by Winchesterqhrider on 09/25/2012
CLEVELAND, OHIO -- Plain and simple if you want to get to a destination and be treated like a human being then DO not travel on US Airways! The company is after one thing : your money NOT your satisfaction! The attendants are rude! The customer service people pride themselves on LACK of customer service! If you miss a flight it is actually cheaper to rebook a new flight on a completely different airline than to get a flight adjustment from US AIRWAYS and that to me is pretty darn pathetic!
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-09-25:
If you provided details of one or more specific incidents, it would be helpful.
Posted by Ben There on 2012-09-25:
Many airlines charge fees and increased fare if you miss a flight, especially if you can't make it on a flight the same date. It is just luck if there happens to be another airline with a seat cheaper than what the fee and fare difference will be...
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Posted by 2di4 on 01/24/2010
This airline has the worst customer service on the planet. My husband and I booked a trip to Bridgetown, Barbados on 10/23/09. We obtained a spectacular rate, and great flight times as well. There were several other carriers to choose from at similar prices booking that far in advance, however, US Airways had the best schedule to meet our needs. On January 7th, I called to confirm our flights. I was initially told it was a good thing I called as there had been some "minor" changes in our flight times. We were flying from Columbus, OH to Philly, then to Barbados. The customer service representative went through the first three flight changes, which were minor, then put me on hold. After quite sometime, she got back on the line to inform me that our "late night" return flight from Philly to Columbus had been discontinued. No weather issues. All US Airways. I was told that there was absolutely nothing they could do - we would have to leave our vacation a day early, offered to totally cancel our flights (tickets with other carriers now over $1200/ea) or offer a $64 refund for the Philly to Columbus portion of our ticket. Period. There is an American Airlines flight out of Barbados that would have got us home on schedule, however, US Airways refused to book it for us. Our only option is now to pay for an overnight hotel in Philly, and fly home the next day. US Airways sucks. Even if they could not do anything we suggested 1.) Pay for our overnight in Philly 2.) Purchase the American Airlines flight home or 3.) upgrade us to First Class, their customer service was not even remotely empathetic to our situation. It was basically that's the way it is. Unfortunately, America needs better legislation dealing with air passengers rights. Sadly, the airlines pretty much own us.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-24:
These things can happen with every airline. If a flight has not sold enough seats, if weather ANYWHERE on the travel path is bad, mechanical issues...EVERY airline has the potential for a canceled flight. You should ALWAYS confirm your flight plans a few times before you actually leave.
Posted by dan gordon on 2010-01-24:
I just flew home thru PHX when the FAA closed PHX airport. US air booked on another carrier to get home the next day. When they cancelled the flt they normally 'protect' you on another airline. Booking you the next day was the easiest. If you read any newspaper you would know that airlines are reducing capacity, and cutting flights. When you book months in advance you tend to run that risk of having flt changed or cancelled.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-24:
Simple fact is that an airline reserves the right to change their schedules for any reason. You agreed to this when you bought the ticket. I realize most people don't read the disclaimers but unfortunately for you it is in writing. That disclaimer of course gets US Airways out of having to pay a $1200 ticket on AA. That's why the disclaimer is in there.
Posted by let me see? on 2010-01-24:
So what you are saying is that a airline should never change its schedule. I find it interesting that you said "nothing they could do" what I really think is that you want them to change the schedule to make you happy. What dan gordon says is the best advise, when you book months ahead, things change.
Posted by Ytropious on 2010-01-24:
A single night in a hotel isn't exactly expensive either. If you can afford Barbados you can afford a quickie night in Motel 6 or better. It's a good thing they have a flight out the next day. Next day is reasonable. As others have pointed out, booking that far ahead has risks and rewards. You were rewarded with a low price, but it comes at a risk.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Take Your Money
Posted by Ooninang4892 on 04/07/2014
I had an issue with purchasing my ticket from Travelocity for this airline. I had put in a search for a flight time of 10 pm Thursday night and first results are for 23 hours prior to my time. I realized it too late. I tried to change my flight but it would have cost me $200 few for changing and another $200 difference in tickets. I didn't need to change my return leg and I let them know this. But $400 was ridiculous. I could buy a one way ticket for less.

I told the representative this and she understood and it hung up with her. She didn't even mention that if you don't check in for one leg, they cancelled my whole itinerary, including my return flight. I wasn't until this until I tried to get my boarding pass at the airport. I was told I didn't have a ticket even thought I have an email that says my Reservation was confirmed! To top it off, a ticket would cost me $800. Are you kidding?

Luckily I was able to book a flight with Southwest for a fraction of the price, $177. Don't just pay the crazy prices through this airline. Never doing business with them again!
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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Unprofessional Handling of Unattended Items
Posted by Oztalmor972 on 02/11/2014
CHARLOTTE, SOUTH DAKOTA -- I woke up extremely tired from a flight and I was the last passenger to leave the plane, but I forgot my laptop on my seat. After half an hour when I realized I forgot it I returned to ask the crew at the gate if they know where my laptop is. They checked and it was gone. I went to the customer service which was near and they couldn't find it in any of the US Airways offices or the Lost&Found. I had to take off to another place and I called them, they told me they didn't have it. Other authorities in the Airport didn't have it (they quickly answer - no) and from that moment onward I felt completely helpless. I was nagging them for a while and they keep answering they couldn't find it until I was getting no answer.

Now why was I stubborn? I was the last person on the plane, so staff obviously have it. By the way, how is it, that an unattended item at the size of a laptop is taken care of so poorly? This is also an issue of security to be concerned about. In 2014, an American airport, how is that possible?

Last time I pick US Airways or American Airlines for sure.
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Posted by Likesbeefpies on 2014-02-11:
could very well be they were being honest, no one turned it in but cleaners came on board and one of them helped themselves to it. You put Charlotte which is a hub and a cleaning station. By the way, Charlotte is in North Carolina.
Don't by the myth that airports are secure. Tons of staff have SSID (secure side ID) and are minimum wage workers with dubious backgrounds, despite background checks.
Posted by clutzycook on 2014-02-11:
This would have happened on any airline.
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Not Military Friendly
Posted by Ctmoody on 12/18/2013
USAir has been by far the worst airline for us. As a military family, we have the needs of being flexible with dates and schedules. When we fly Delta, they change the tickets when needed without added fees. My husband is coming home for the holidays for 2 weeks, the dates we booked the flights are no linger going to work for his schedule. We needed to change the dates USAir did not work with us at all unless we paid a difference of $456.00 for each tickets (myself and my son). I sent the corporate office an email, and they told me they were not going to do anything about it.
An airline that does not accommodate to military families when they are separated due to deployment should be out of business! Shame on USAir! Never again we will fly this airline, neither will we recommend it to our fellow soldiers and family members.
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