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. US Airways 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 legroom, 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.
Anyway, returning to the gate I asked to be rebooked on the next flight (which happened to fly out the following morning). The supervisor, hearing the story, and herself in disbelief, asked me to please get back on the flight: "As a customer and preferred passenger you have every right as a customer and preferred passenger you have every right to be on that flight and be treated with courtesy and respect. This is unacceptable and this is not how we treat our customers, I will escort you in the plane myself and make sure that the flight attendant is taken off the flight so that you can get to your final destination with dignity and unharassed. If you give up this flight she will have won the battle and this is not the message we want to convey."
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.
"Well, the pilot said that he is not comfortable having you and the flight attendant on the same plane. He said that although the flight attendant's behavior was out of line and unacceptable, you stepping into the conversation when he was talking to her could be taken as a sign of aggression (aggression???) and since that is his ship and he ultimately decides, he felt it better for you to take the next flight. I am so sorry miss, please accept my apologies on behalf of US Airways." and she handed me piece of paper with www.usairways.com telling me to go online and file a report.
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 appropriate 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.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I wanted to share my experience while checking in for flight 2103 on June 13, 2014. I had a first class seat for my BOS - DCA leg, and was first in line at the designated First Class queue. The agent called my name as she had the tag for my suitcase available. As I walked up to the desk, a man approached from the check in kiosks. The agent waved me off and told me to wait – even though I was closest to her desk. As she spoke to him, she called my name again and I walked forward again.
Once she realized that I was the person she was looking for, she made efforts to give a lot of explanations. She explained how people were coming from different directions (just 2 of us) and he was ahead of me (in her mind maybe). She also told me that I should have made extra efforts to tell her I was "MyLastName". I simply walked up to the desk when called. I'm guessing it is because he was dressed in a suit while I looked more like a leisure traveler that she felt she needed to serve him first.
Perhaps you can train your agents to not make assumptions based on dress or appearance? She was not so much rude to me, just incredibly dismissive - until she realized I did have a first class ticket. I know Boston is not a town known for its warm, friendly people. But the agent should have apologized for dismissing me. At 6 am not having had any coffee, I did not need nor want the explanations, and certainly not the instruction on how to identify myself properly while waiting in line.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I'm a big traveler. I used loads of company. Never complaint. But US Airways is the worst low-cost company ever. They canceled my return ticket without notice and I had to repay for it!!! Staff really pleasant. No customer service at all. They just do not listen and come over and over again with no solution just pay. This company can hijack your trip and make you feel really bad. Check in is completely disorganized. Staff are not helpful. Aircraft outdated. Nothing works inside. Worst landing ever. 55 mm to get back luggage in transit when you have a next fly. This is just zero, null, disgusting. No word enough strong to described their method. Avoid this company.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Flying from Cancun to Huntsville, AL, the flight route was Cancun to Miami, Miami to Charlotte, and then Charlotte to Huntsville, AL. To make a long story short, the flight from Charlotte to Huntsville was canceled. Granted, it was not US Airways fault. Huntsville closed its airport due to an "incident".
HOWEVER, US Airways rerouted us to Nashville, TN, and then it was just up to us to reach our final destination (my car was in the parking garage in Huntsville). US Airways offered us NO compensation, therefore the cost of getting from Nashville to Huntsville was left entirely up to us. We were told that we HAD to accept the alternate flight, even if it wasn't to our final destination. NO refunds! I will NEVER fly US Airways OR American Airlines (they are one in the same now) EVER again. I am no longer confident they will get you to your final destination. Worst customer service I've ever experienced.
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 I tried to get my boarding pass at the airport. I was told I didn't have a ticket even though 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!
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.
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 longer 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.
CHANTILLY VIRGINIA -- Traveling to try to get there to see terminally ill parent. Flights cancelled, on standby. To my joy I got a seat. I was pulled off when a tardy US Airways Vacationer (read package deal) showed up as the door was closing. My name was bellowed across the plane and my luggage pulled off.
I am feeling emotional but this made me tear up. I did not lose my temper but was pulled away because I was upsetting other passengers. Ellie tried to get me to agree to a taxi voucher to DCA for a flight leaving in less than two hours - from IAD. I think they wanted to get rid of me. This major airline let me down when I needed service the most. No doubt their routed will be ones I need and I will have to fly them again but I will never forget this shabby treatment at a sad time.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- This is the 2nd time in a month I've been seated on the last row of a CRJ 700. There is equipment behind this seat that forces the seats on this row to be more erect than any other on this plane. If that isn't enough, on my last flight I sat next to a plus size individual. He took up a full one-third of my seat (the armrest could not be lowered). This forced me to raise the aisle armrest in order to sit down.
I sat there waiting for the attendant to address this issue. She of course refused even to make eye contact with me. The flight was full as it is always, makes you wonder why US Airways assigns this size jet to this route. I was allowed to violate FAA regs and sit in this most uncomfortable position for the entire flight.
I make a customer complaint with the airline and was given a list of what I should have done differently. Lots of "we are sorry", but we plan to offer you nothing in compensation. My issue with this airline is, if they gave you something more than soda and pretzels they'd happily charge you. Therefore why is this seat sold at full price. Clearly they have cheated the occupant out of the standard amount of room allotted every other row on this plane. The price for space should go both ways.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I will never fly this airline again. The front desk employees' customer service is atrocious at the Philadelphia International Airport. I waited twenty minutes in a very short line to be given a boarding pass, and to check my bag. For twenty minutes, the African American employees were catering to an entourage of African American customers. An African American employee let the other African Americans cut all of the other people in line. They were very polite to these customers even though they had stated themselves that they are NOT allowed to be doing this.
Meanwhile, there was a Caucasian woman frantically asking for help because she had lost her dog. NOBODY even lifted a finger to help her or to show sympathy. When I got to the counter they were extremely rude to me and three of them took turns accosting me over a pet carrier (that was to the airline's specifications). It took a second supervisor who was educated in customer service, to resolve the issue in the matter of seconds. I was almost late for my flight because of this atrocity.
US Airways employees from the Philadelphia International Airport are racist, uneducated, and have no tact. US Airways employees are also cruel to animals. This whole event left my dog petrified the whole entire day and is now starting to recover. They also did not care about that poor lost dog in a giant terminal.