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Bully Flight Attendant
Posted by on
I really feel thankful that I listened to that "little voice"in my head, just shut up! before you get thrown off this plane.

I was flying back from a wonderful 5 days in Vegas, I did not return w/money but Bellagio treated me like royalty and the Lady GaGa concert was fabulous. How could US Air ruin this great moment but they did within minutes ! I had seat 33c flying from Phonix to Charlotte, great the last seat, the potty seat. I was one of the last entering the plane, we had already been warned no overhead space so I had crammed everything in my one bag. I had my other carry on taken on the first leg of the flight. I wasn't at my seat for a second when Ms. Bully said "that will not fit under the seat, put it in the overhead" I said " it will fit, I just need to get my lunch and sweater out" .Ms. Bully tried to be funny and say that we(US AIR) love these people, pointing to seat A+B. I must have looked shocked, "what do you not understand" I said "I don't understand how this bag fit on the last US Air flight I just got off of" she said" WELL, Someone wasn't doing their job!"

I'm a 53yr. old southern white women, I'm a teacher and self employed. I haven't seen this kind of bullying since I taught at a 6th grade center and that was with kids and it wasn't directed to me. I told me children when someone makes fun of you, they don't feel good about themselves so they have to make fun you so they feel better! So.... I bit my lip...and put my pocketbook in the overhead...lucky for me! It seems if any body "talks back" gets arrested.

I've reported Ms. Bully, sadly I don't think anything will come from it. I'd love to volunteer to become a US Air secret flier that can pass out termination notices to employees like Ms. Bully because she doesn't like herself, customers or her company. She's probably wishing I had said something and still laughing that the company will not do ANYTHING!!
     
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Awful Customer Service
Posted by on
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I can't emphasize enough how rude the people who work for US Airways in the Philadelphia airport are. As a matter of fact, I have never encountered souch lousy customer service in any consumer experience in my life. I arrived at the Minnesota/St. Paul airport at 10 AM for a 12:30 flight to Philadelphia where I would then connect on to Hartford. I was told my flight would be delayed because of storms in Philadelphia and the airport had shut down. At 1:10 they loaded us on the airplane and we taxied out to a spot on the runway and sat their until 3pm. They said the airport in Philadelphia wasn't open because of the weather so they took us back to the terminal so we could get off the plane, stretch our legs and get a snack since they couldn't provide everybody on the plane with one.

At 3:30 they loaded us on the plane again and pulled up to spot near the runway to wait for takeoff then the pilots immediately turned the plane engines off because we couldn't take off yet with the situation still a mess in Philadelphia. We sat on the plane until 6pm and the pilots informed us the weather was easing up and we would be taking off shortly. Why did they load us on the plane and make us sit there all this time if the airport we were flying to was closed like they had been telling us? We finally leave and land in Philadelphia at 9:15PM and sat on the runway until 11 pm because they said there were no gates available.

I looked out the window and saw gates open on other concourses which had US Air planes at the gates next to them but I guess they didn't care about that and they were determined to use concourse B no matter how uncomfortable it was for us after sitting on this plane for so long in Minnesota and Philadelphia. When we were finally allowed to escape this plane they had us sit on for almost 6 hours, we get off the plane to find out if we will be lucky enough to make our connection to Hartford and came across a rude counter person who just said to go to customer service at the check in counter. There was a couple in front of me that spoke very little English and were trying to find out where get they should go to for their flight to Frankfort, Germany. The US Airways agent just said go to the check in counter for help. He didn't seem to concerned with helping these people that told her they spoke very little English.

As my fiance and I were going to the customer service counter because no more flights were going out at this point in the evening, we tried to help them and had them follow us to customer service. The line was long because so many people were being re-booked because so many flights were canceled because the weather closed the airport for a long period of time. A supervisor came out of the back and told us the bad news that because so many flights were canceled, all hotels in the area were full and we probably would be stuck in the airport for the night. I was in line for an hour and then decided to use my cell phone and called the toll free number for the US Airways to rebook my flight, and after an hour of sitting on hold, a was finally able to speak with somebody and rebook another flight to Hartford.

If I stayed in line with the other travelers, I would have waited even longer because when midnight came, most of the agents were done with their shift and only a few people were working for the airline despite a line that had several hundred people waiting in it to have their flight rebooked. Before I left this long line, my fiance and I didn't want to leave the German people alone because they didn't speak English and were going to be stuck overnight in an airport. I then realized I should have checked their tickets to see if they were continuing on with USAir back to Germany. They showed me their tickets and if the attendant who was waiting for us after we got off the airplane took a few seconds to check their tickets instead of telling them to go to customer service, they could have made their connecting flight to Germany. Great Customer service US Airways!

We then spoke to a supervisor and asked him if anybody working in international travels would be able to translate or help out these people and explained how they spoke very little English. Showing very little interest in their problem, he said there wasn't anything he could do and told us to tell them to keep waiting in line. Thanks a lot buddy. I then decided to call the toll-free number and connected with international travel within 5 minutes and asked them if they had somebody that could speak German that would be able to help these stranded travelers and they did. I guess that nighttime supervisor felt it was more important to drink his cup of coffee and talk with a security guard rather than to try to help these foreign travelers in need of assistance. After sleeping in the airport all night with my fiance and 10 year old daughter, the next day is even worse when it came to customer service from US Airways. I went to the self service check in and I print up my tickets only to find out there is nobody their to tag my bags and check my ID so we can go to the gate. I, along with several other travelers that used the self service check-in were waiting for service, asked a US Air agent if there is anybody working this area and all she said was "I don't work it".

We waited and looked for somebody else to help us but nobody appeared so we asked her if she could get somebody to help us and all she said was "talk to somebody down there". We walked about 40 feet to the US Air customer service agent that was standing next to the self service check-in terminal in that area and asked for assistance but she said "that's not my job, go talk to her" and she pointed to the woman that had sent us to see here. We told her that the woman she told us to see was the one that told us to see her and she rudely said" I don't work there, go see that woman and stop being so rude". All we wanted was our bags checked so we could escape the LOUSY treatment we have been receiving from US Air employees at every encounter we had with them. When we finally got our bags checked and went through security, the topic among many passengers was how rude the US Air employees were and a regular business traveler from the Philadelphia area told us they are always rude.

When a customer from the Philadelphia area is so critical of the airline and states their employees are always rude, it shows you this is not a one time event. I forgot to mention, we got at the airport at 10 AM the morning of our flight to Philadelphia, passengers were loaded up on the plane at a little after 1pm and 2 of our 3 bags got lost. It took 3 days to finally get them back from US Air. US Airways was by far the worst airline experience I have ever encountered in all my years of flying. Never mind how many hours I sat on a runway without a chance to take takeoff because the airport I was flying into was closed because of storms(why load if the airport you are going to is closed), it didn't matter that I sat on the runway for almost 2 hours after landing in Philadelphia waiting for a gate to open so I could finally get off the plane and move on to my connecting flight, the one thing I will remember from this trip was HOW RUDE AND UNHELPFUL THE EMPLOYEES OF US AIRWAYS WERE.
     
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Anonymous on 2007-09-07:
I don't' want to be an apologist for US Airways (not an employee) but I am a commercial pilot. Pilots are often given conflicting information and we simply pass what is given to us.... this information is not generated by the company with respect to airport closings etc. As far as being on the aircraft for so long... no one likes it, including the crew but you can't simply pull up to any open gate (ownership ie, rivals gate, scheduling, etc) With respect to departure... one can lose a departure slot if you aren't pushed from the gate.
The German couple etc....very kind of you to help. LODO's (langu. of dest.) employees are not all that common....
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Denied Boarding, but Should Not Have Been
Posted by on
LONDON -- Dear Mr Parker

I have addressed this letter to you because I feel that, as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, you will be as concerned about my recent experience as I was.

I am a Silver Preferred Dividend Miles member, # ******* and US Lawful Permanent Resident, and I undertook an Envoy Class trip to the UK by US Airways, leaving the US on Thurs, July 26, 2007, with return flight booked for Weds, Aug 15, 2007.

On Weds, Aug 15, 2007, I arrived at US Airways check-in at Gatwick Airport, London, to check-in for my return flight to the US, 733 to Charlotte, NC, with onward connecting flight 4446 to Lynchburg, VA. My Flight Confirmation number was ******.

At pre-check-in screening, I presented my UK passport and my US Green Card to an ICTS employee named Jemma. I pointed out that my Green Card had expired and I produced the required I-797 Notice of Action (Receipt Notice) extending my Green Card for one year beyond its expiration. I had been assured by the US Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) prior to leaving the US that that receipt, coupled with my expired Green Card, is all that is needed to allow me to re-enter the US. Indeed, that I-797 states that, ‘Your conditional resident status is extended for a period of one year from date of expiration on your form I-551, conditional resident card (green card). During the one-year extension, you are authorized employment and travel.'

Jemma informed me that I would not be permitted to fly with an expired Green Card. I pointed to the above paragraph on my I-797 and explained what I had also been told by the US Citizenship & Immigration Service, and Jemma said she would call the US Embassy to confirm that.

She asked me to return to the US Airways service desk in 15 mins and, when I did so, she told me that she had called the Embassy and they had told her I could not fly.

A US Airways employee at the service desk then offered to call the Embassy and explain to them what other documents I had. She called them in my presence but failed to explain that I had my I-797 with me. She told me that the Embassy had said I could not travel, and that I would need to go to the US Embassy in London to request a Letter of Transportation.

My flight was cancelled and I was then booked on the same flight the next day, Aug 16, 2007. I had to book into a hotel and make my way 30 miles to the US Embassy in Central London.

On arrival at the Embassy, I was refused entry because I did not have an appointment. I pointed out that US Airways at Gatwick Airport had sent me, but was told by security that they had repeatedly told US Airways at Gatwick to stop sending people to the Embassy as they would not be admitted without an appointment.

When I asked at Embassy security how I could arrange an appointment, I was given the phone number of the US Embassy Appointment Line, and I called from a payphone opposite the Embassy.

The first available appointment was on Tues, Aug 21st, 2007, i.e. 6 days hence. That meant that I was effectively stranded, and I called my wife in the US to ask her to approach our Congressman's office for assistance.

My wife emailed the Embassy and in response to that email I was granted an appointment at the Embassy at 9am the next day, Thurs, Aug 16th, 2007. Because I had been booked onto flight 733 on Aug 16th, I again had to cancel my flight.

I attended at an interview at the Embassy with two officers from the Department for Homeland Security, who asked for my Green Card and any other documents. When I produced the I-797, i.e. the same document I had presented at Gatwick Airport the previous day, the officers asked me why US Airways had refused me permission to fly.
I told them that Jemma claimed to have spoken to the DHS at the Embassy, but the officers were adamant that no one had spoken to them. Further, they confirmed that my documents were perfectly adequate and acceptable for travel and that US Airways was incorrect in refusing me permission to fly.

They went on to say that US Airways had clearly not read the Carrier Guidelines issued by the DHS, or they would have known the documents were acceptable, and that US Airways routinely referred anyone with questionable documents to the Embassy, despite being repeatedly instructed not to do so, in order to avoid any possibility of incurring fines.

The officers agreed to issue a Letter of Transportation to avoid any further problems with US Airways and, because my documents were in order and I should not have been refused permission to travel, they even went so far as to waive the $165 fee normally charged for the letter.

I called US Airways that afternoon and rebooked for flight 733 the next day, Friday, Aug 17th, 2007, and attended at the US Airways check-in desk the next morning.

Jemma was again on duty, and asked whether I now had the proper documentation to allow me to fly. I explained that the documents I had presented previously were perfectly acceptable, according to the US Embassy, but I produced the newly-acquired Letter of Transportation anyway.

I asked Jemma for her last name, and told her that I intended to pursue the matter on my return to the US, but she refused to identify herself, and simply referred me to the US Airways service desk.

I went to the service desk and asked them for Jemma's last name, but the three US Airways employees on duty claimed not to know it, though they work with her daily. They told me that Jemma works for ICTS, not for US Airways, but when I pointed out that she was manning a US Airways desk, they agreed and confirmed that ICTS is employed by US Airways to vet passengers.

In summary, then, these are the salient points:

1) I was refused permission to fly because my documents were supposedly not in order, although they were in order, as confirmed by the DHS at the US Embassy, London

2) It would appear that Jemma did not call the Embassy, despite her claim to have done so.

3) I was sent to the US Embassy despite US Airways having been repeatedly instructed not to send refused passengers there without an appointment

4) I incurred extraordinary expenses, c.$2000, because of US Airways' error in refusing me permission to fly

5) On asking an ICTS/US Airways employee to identify herself, that employee, and her colleagues, declined to do so

Prior to me taking any further action, I would appreciate receiving your proposal for dealing with this frustrating and costly experience in a satisfactory manner.
     
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Timboss on 2007-08-23:
Jemma was wrong. You should have really pushed at customer service until you got someone who could comprehend English well enough to read the documents. In retrospect when USAir called the Embassy you should have insisted on talking to them to make sure they understood you had all your documents. I am not a 'pusher' either and I think in this case I would have kept trying the first day. Not quite sure how you spent c.$2000 in expenses for 2 days and I am quite confident you will get no compensation. Please keep us posted.
nelsonswalker on 2007-08-23:
Hi Timboss! Thanks for the comment.

Pushing achieved nothing, just a closing of ranks, and Jemma insisted the call had to made from a secure area away from the counter, so I couldn't be present.

When other US Airways employee called Embassy, she refused to hand phone to me when I asked.

If you've ever been to London, you'll understand the expenses..!

Hotel was $350 per night for 2 nights (NOT a luxury hotel!)

Rebooking fee charged by US Airways was $1050

Buses/trains/taxis from hotel to Embassy twice was another $80 each time, total $160

International phone calls & internet access cost another $150

One call to Embassy Appointment Line, charged at $2.50 per minute, cost me $27.50..!

Add food (NOT in hotel, I ate fast food to limit costs) another $30.

Other incidentals not included here, were about another $150, total almost $2000 for 2 days.

If no satisfaction forthcoming from US Airways, I'll be seeing my attorney.
Timboss on 2007-08-23:
It seems at least you should get the rebooking fee. Keep at it and make sure you document everything - it sounds like you have. The airlines are bad enough anymore without having to put up with incompetence too. Just out of curiosity, why couldn't you have just shown your passport to her? Did it have some kind of work visa in it?
Anonymous on 2007-08-23:
What a horrible experience--and quite expensive too. I hope you receive everything you are asking for.
Anonymous on 2007-08-23:
Wow, what a nightmare. My question would be why not put you on the plane and let U.S. Customs / Immigration deal with you when you land in the USA? Why is US Air playing Immigration Agents when they have no idea how to even run an airline?
Anonymous on 2007-08-23:
I think your grievance is with ICTS as its very commonplace in Europe for many airlines that have a single daily flight or less to hire contracted service with possibly 1 actual company employee on duty.
nelsonswalker on 2007-08-23:
Hi again Tim! I did show my passport, but it was my expired green card that was the problem. I need no visa as I am a US Lawful Permanent Resident and my expired green card with the form I-797 I possess is proof of US entry eligibility.

nelsonswalker on 2007-08-23:
Hi Dianec! Thanks for the comment, I hope US Airways sees sense...
nelsonswalker on 2007-08-23:
Hi VF-213! ICTS refused me permission to pass pre-check-in screening, but it was the US Airways service desk that cancelled my flight after calling the Embassy. Besides, ICTS are employed by US Airways and, as such, are their agents.
Timboss on 2007-08-23:
I don't know if the US works this way, but if you show up in some countries without a valid visa you are sent on the next plane out - no matter where it is going - and the airline you flew in on is fined. So the airline has a legitimate reason for not letting a passenger fly but this case is stupid (on the airlines part).
nelsonswalker on 2007-08-23:
Hi Superbowl! Thanks for the comment. US Airways wouldn't let me, or anyone else with what US Airways consider to be questionable documents, board a flight for fear of being fined by the USCIS or DHS on the passenger's arrival in the US. Of course, they have Carrier Guidelines from the Department for Homeland Secuiry that spell out exactly how US Airways should respond in any given sitaution, but they don't apply them as they can be misinterpreted and result in a fine State-side.
nelsonswalker on 2007-08-23:
Hi Tim. I have no need of a visa, I am a US Lawful Permanent Resident with right of abode in the US. My wife is a US citizen and I have lived in the US since 2003.
Starlord on 2007-08-23:
Nelson, I certainly hope you ccan get some satisfaction from US Airways. You indeed were wronged, and someone's head should roll on account of it. Could you enlighten someone who is unaware, what is ICTS? Keep on my friend, don't let them get you down.
nelsonswalker on 2007-08-23:
Hi Starlord! Thank you for your comment. For info, ICTS is International Consultants on Targeted Security, a private contractor employed by a number of large airlines to perform pre-check-in screening.
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US Air's failure as an airline
Posted by on
US Air lost another 2 customers. Our flight from Washington, D.C.'s National/Reagan Airport to Fresno via Phoenix was delayed for hours, causing us to miss our connection (a US Air flight) in Phoenix and to also miss the first day of our vacation. After waiting for a long time on line at the US Air Customer Service desk, we were given a voucher to stay at a hotel near the Phoenix airport that night, but the hotel said they clearly told US Air they were not accepting vouchers. The vouchers were worthless and US Air knew it when they gave them to us. Furthermore, the hotel had no available rooms.

We returned to the US Air service counter for assistance in locating a hotel with available rooms, but found it closed. US Air left its passengers stranded at the airport. This same scenario happened to other passengers, as well, they told us.

Another passenger on the flight said he read on the internet that this flight is delayed 60% of the time. The stewardess confirmed that it was usually late, and the reason was because the plane comes from Hawaii and not enough time is scheduled for turnaround. Day after day, this flight is chronically late, and the cause is known, but the problem is not corrected. Instead, passengers are given false information and are greatly inconvenienced.

US Air had scheduled us for a connecting flight in Phoenix that departed just 25 minutes after the flight from Washington was supposed to arrive, assuring us that would represent no problem as the gates were close together. US Air KNOWS the flight originating from DCA will probably not depart on time, and knows that 25 minutes is not enough time to get from one flight to the other if there is the smallest delay, yet schedules passengers this way, knowing they will miss their connections.

A US Air pilot told us there have been tremendous infrastructure difficulties since America West took over US Air two years ago. They have had 2 years to correct the problems, but have not succeeded, and the problems just seem to be worsening by the day.

On the return flight, the scenario was the same - a morning flight from Fresno that was supposed to meet a connecting flight in Phoenix was delayed for hours, causing the connecting flight to be missed or cancelled. The entire day was taken up waiting at the airport in a huge crowd of other inconvenienced passengers. We were not able to depart Phoenix until after midnight, and instead of a direct flight to Washington, which is what we booked, we were rounted through Las Vegas and made to wait in Las Vegas for yet another flight. We arrived only the following day in Washington. PASSENGERS WERE DEPRIVED OF SLEEP FOR AN ENTIRE NIGHT, arriving exhausted and once again, losing an entire day of work or vacation.

On the plane, there were no pillows and only a few blankets, which the stewardess asked passengers to share. Use your blanket to warm up and then give it to another passenger, she suggested, saying US Air does not provide enough blankets for each passenger to have their own. No meals were served on the 4 hour flight and no movies shown. We were told we should feel fortunate because we got the last 2 seats and other passengers were even more inconvenienced.

US Air tells passengers their flights are delayed or cancelled due to weather (so they don't have to pay for their hotels that night) or to mechanical problems, but no passenger we spoke to believed them because every flight, day after day, was delayed or cancelled and there was complete bedlam at all US Air departing gates. As a plane was supposedly about to board, passengers were told to go to another gate or that their plane had been switched or delayed or cancelled. Loud groans could be heard from a hundred inconvenienced passengers at a time.

This chronic chaos in every area will surely lead to safety problems. After we boarded, the pilot shut everything down, even turning out the lights, saying he had computer problems and had to do something with the circuit breakers before he could turn the plane on again and move forward. It does not make the passengers feel their flight will be a safe one.

At the US Air departure gates in Fresno, there were no staff members. Only when the hour for boarding arrived and still no representatives were there did another passenger tell us he had just come from the departure terminal and found out that our flight was delayed or cancelled. No announcement was made at the departure gate, so all passengers there were just left to wait and wonder what had happened and why their flight wasn't boarding. Their only other choice was to walk back through security to the departure area ticket counter, all the while worrying they might miss their flight. Only at the departures ticket counter - where there was a huge line - could they find out that the flight was delayed and cancelled and all seats on any plane out of that situation were already booked. The US Air representatives said they were so busy dealing with the cancellations and delays, they had no time to go to the departure gate to inform the passengers waiting thereof their fate. Left stranded again.

While at the departure gate, I used the counter phone to call US Air. While speaking to a US Air ticket agent, two US Air employees walked passed, and told me I was not allowed to use the phone without permission. I answered that there had been no one there to ask permission from and explained that I was on the line with a US Air representative who was in the midst of answering my question. I asked if I could just listen to her answer. They just pressed the button to hang up the phone, saying they would help me instead, but did not. Then left without another word and without providing help of any kind.

Concerned in advance that our flight from Fresno might be delayed, we asked if we could change our ticket to depart from Los Angeles airport, thinking that at least from that airport, we would have a better chance of finding another departing flight without an overnight delay. The answer was no. US Air does not permit a passenger to change their ticket to depart from a different airport than the one they originally book, while US Air is free to re-route passengers to any airport they please.

If you want to live a nightmare for two days on your outbound flight and another nightmare for two more days on your return flight, and maybe risk your life along with losing your work and vacation time, then by all means choose US Air. If you expect to be treated with respect and decency, and to get what you pay for, choose another airline. US Air is having so many difficulties functioning, perhaps the FAA should put it out of its misery. Hopefully, enough disgusted passengers will write to the FAA asking them to do this. If US Air is incapable of running an airline properly, they should turn their routes over to an airline that can.



     
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Anonymous on 2007-06-28:
I can't think of anything to say here.
Slimjim on 2007-06-28:
Look at the bright side pirate, now at least you won't be wrong again.
Anonymous on 2007-06-28:
Yes he will.
Slimjim on 2007-06-28:
LOL
ejack053824 on 2007-06-28:
That why I'm a pilot. I can fly myself whenever and where ever I want to.
Anonymous on 2007-06-28:
BRRRRRRRRRT!
ejack053824 on 2007-06-28:
BRRRRRRRRRRRRRTTT...Flameout in the cockpit!! LOL!
Anonymous on 2007-06-28:
OH CRAP! BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT! BRRRRRRT! BRT BRT! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
bigboxworker on 2007-06-28:
This was probably the least of your problems but unless you were flying first class, airlines no longer serve meals on four hour flights, nor to they provide enough blankets and pillows for every passegner in the non first class cabin.
Starlord on 2007-06-29:
No airline I know of provides meals on domestic flights, and haven't for several years. If lucky, you will be given a small package of peanuts or pretzels.
yoke on 2007-06-29:
The only way to get a meal on the airline is to fork over $8-10 dollars or bring your own.
Anonymous on 2007-06-29:
I agree with yoke and add only if you're in first class. It's still better to bring your own.
ejack053824 on 2007-06-29:
I eat a spam sandwich when I fly. That's my inflight meal when I fly the F-16.
Anonymous on 2007-07-31:
A merge between two major companies does not happen overnight. There are bound to be some problems that need smoothing over. And, why would you want to use the blankets and pillows on the plane? Do you know how rarely they get washed? EWWW!!
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Never again
Posted by on
I am taking this opportunity to inform you of the absolutely horrendous experience I had on your airline.
I fly for business on a regular basis (basically about once a month).I normally fly the so-called “bargain” airlines, usually Southwest. I had the opportunity to take my wife and 8 year-old son to Florida and decided to splurge and fly on an airline that had a better reputation for amenities, specifically assigned seating and more flexible travel routes.

How surprised was I when as we were leaving to return home that I was entering into a flight nightmare.

We left Orlando Int’l airport at 6:45pm on Friday June 8th. We landed in Charlotte, North Carolina at around 8:15pm. We had just enough time to run to our connecting flight (the flight out of Orlando was late). When we arrived at the gate that our connector was leaving from, we were informed that the flight to Columbus was cancelled. Now, I understand that there will always be interruptions in schedules, and I am sympathetic to that fact. We were told to go to the Customer Special Services desk at another gate. Fine, I thought, they’ll get this straightened out and we’ll be on our way. No problem. We arrived at the desk to find a line of around 250 other travelers who had also been “inconvenienced”. There were exactly two people working the desk. After standing in line for the better part of an hour, and seeing no more than 10 people make it past the desk, one of your associates came out and made an announcement: “Sorry, folks there are no more flights out tonight so you will have to find a hotel and wait for tomorrow”. Understandable, it was late and I realized that the routes couldn’t be adjusted quickly enough to absorb all of us. I asked the woman what hotel they were going to put us up in and she said “The cancellation wasn’t our fault; you are on your own to find a hotel”. Excuse me? I am in a strange city, at 10pm at night, traveling with my family and you are not going to even give us a voucher for food and/or a hotel room?
We then asked where we could pick up our luggage so that we could go to the hotel. “You can find them in baggage claim” was the very rude reply. “Exactly where in baggage claim?” my wife asked. “IN BAGGAGE CLAIM” came the same reply. So, off we headed to baggage claim. After standing in another line for almost an hour, where we met a lovely couple who had saved up for a trip to Paris that US Airways had “interrupted for at least three days”, another of your associates made an announcement: “Sorry folks, your luggage is already being re-routed to the next flight. “Can we get it “unre-routed so that we can change our clothes and get our toothbrushes?” “If you’d like to wait, we MAY be able to get it to you in 2 or 3 hours, but I wouldn’t count on it”. Great, just great.
We found a hotel off of the airport, spent $20 for a cab to get there (sans luggage) as none of the shuttles were running that late, paid $100 for the room, $30 for dinner and we went to sleep hoping tomorrow would be a better day.

DAY 2:
We woke up on Saturday in a hotel room (we had expected to be waking up in our own beds this morning). I went down to the business center in the hotel to print out my boarding passes. No luck, there was an “error in the process”. No big deal, we’ll get them at the airport. We arrived at the Charlotte Airport at 11:30 am for a 1:15pm flight (another $20 cab ride). We stood in another long line where there were, again, two people working behind the counter (do you have some rule about that?). After standing in line and being kept on hold on your “Customer Help Line” they got the error fixed so I could use the check–in kiosk. I finally printed my boarding passes with about a half hour to rush through security and race to the gate. Sorry, wrong gate. So we headed across the airport to the new departure gate. We finally make it to Philadelphia to catch our connector to Columbus. Once again, after several gate changes we made it to the departure gate. Sorry, flight’s been cancelled. We ran to the customer service counter to beat out the 100 or so other people to see if we could get on another flight. Understand that it is now around 6:00pm, I have been wearing the same clothes for over a day and a half and I have an 8 year-old in tow who is getting cranky and wants to get home. We make it to the counter before everyone else and are told that there is an 8:15 flight to Columbus. BOOK IT! Oops, sorry not quick enough (total elapsed time 7.8 seconds). I ask to see the manager. Wait 15 minutes while other passengers are booked on the 1:40 pm flight on Sunday. I wanted to see the manager to request a refund. There were several passengers who were willing to pitch in for a rental van to drive the eight hours to Columbus (funny aside – had I decided to drive at that point, I would have gotten home only an hour and a half later than I ended up getting there). Wait another 15 or 20 minutes for the manager. At this point I am LIVID. If you’ll recall from the top of my letter, I fly quite often for business. Guess what I do for a living – Customer Service Manager! I have never seen such inattention to customer’s needs in all my life. Just as the passengers were about to mutiny, due in no small part to the fact that it was discovered that, once again, the cancellation was not your fault and all expenses would be borne by the traveler, the ticketing agent pulled me aside and gave me 3 seats on the plane that was supposedly full not 25 minutes earlier. Not only did he give me three seats, but they were 3 in a row. The agent all but told me that I was riling up the other customers with my story of the previous cancelled flights and he was giving me the tickets to get rid of me. Fine by me. The flight was delayed (big surprise) because we did not have a flight crew. Almost an hour after the scheduled departure time the crew showed up. A big sigh of relief and a standing ovation greeted their arrival. We went wheels up just before 10 pm (this was for an 8:15pm flight). We arrived home over 24 hours late.
Sir, I can appreciate the fact that things don’t always go according to plan. It happens. What I cannot tolerate is the way that we were treated throughout this ordeal. We were shuffled around to multiple gates to find out that the flights were cancelled. We were treated rudely by US Airways employees time and again. We were surrounded by dozens of other people who were in the same position we were in.
     
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marsh on 2007-06-11:
I had a very similar situation as you. You should at the very least receive 3 free round trip tickets for your trouble. My suggestion would be to write to the BBB and include your letter. I did and received 2 round trip tickets. Good Luck!
FoggyOne on 2007-06-12:
Agree with marsh - keep complaining. I've used USAir quite a bit and never had a problem but what happened to you is really inappropriate. Keep complaining.
jktshff1 on 2007-06-12:
good post, thanks
former USair traveler on 2007-06-26:
I find it interesting that tickets for you did materialize when you started to trigger a "mutiny" or what I would call an "I'm Spartacus" moment! Perhaps we all need to do that. Collectively we allow the industry to intimdate us, we are anxious about security issues, don't want to make a public fuss, etc., afraid somehow we might get "flagged" by security and detained or delayed. If, when this type of situation unfolds, a hundred or more standing in line for hours while only one or two service people are behind the gates, if we the people asserted ourselves as a group, protested loudly as a group, worked together to create a public scene, in short publicly backlashed against incompetent management rather than meekly walk off to find our own hotels and silently endure delays, maybe that might start something. The squeeking wheel does get the oil. I am not advocating harassing the poor souls behind the counters, who are stuck being the fronts for lousy administration, just that we demand loudly and together fair treatment. Imagine if on a regular basis a hundred or more stranded passengers staged a protest in the airport, then called a local television station to report on it. Just pull out your cellphones and call information for a local news station, I think you'd have a camera crew over there in short order if enough called. Do that across the country a few dozen times and I think it'd start something! Vox Populi.

I'm Spartacus!
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The worst airline I've flown
Posted by on
I've been flying a long time and airline travel has been going downhill since deregulation. An avid traveler for work and pleasure, flying is regularly the worst part of any trip -- something to be endured rather than enjoyed.

Yesterday, 7 of us were travelling back from Providenciales where we enjoyed several days in the sun and the wedding of a great couple. We were scheduled to fly out of Provo at 3:15 pm, and connect in Charlotte for a 7:25 pm flight to Minneapolis -- a comfortable 1.5 hour layover to clear customs). Our Provo outbound flight was delayed because of mechanical problems with the inbound aircraft. when they got to Provo they found out that the island had no fuel so they didn't have enough fuel to get the 757 back to Charlotte (who flies to a destination island expecting to refuel without verifying the availability?).

We finally board and the pilot tells us we need to go to Ft. Lauderdale to refuel before continuing on to Charlotte. The pilot spoke as though it was information that we clearly should have gotten from the ground crew, which of course we hadn't. This will add 30 minutes to our flight time, seriously jeopardizing our connection time as well the connection time of everyone else on the airplane. The flight attendants then get on the PA system to tell all of us that it simply is not possible for them to have any information on connections.

Adding to the confidence in this entire flight crew, the pilot then comes on the PA to tell us we're about to leave a location other than "Providenciales". The murmuring among the passengers that the pilot doesn't even "know where the hell he is" was audible.

The flight to Ft. Laudredale is uneventful. The refueling goes well but takes about 15 minutes longer than had been promised. Leaving Ft. Lauderdale it is still "not possible to have any information on the status of connections".

As we approach Charlotte there's essentially no chance that our connection will be made, but hope comes when the pilot tells us that other planes have been circling because of some rain that occurred earlier, but we're cleared to proceed to land. Those of us sitting by the window had no difficulty identifying that we circled 6 times before landing an hour later. Who do they think they're kidding?

Baggage and immigrations performed brilliantly in Charlotte. We cleared both of them in less than 30 minutes. The same can't be said for US Airways staff in Charlotte. They're probably good people, inadequately trained who know that their company has hung them out to dry. What a thankless job.

Luckily, because we cleared baggage and immigation quickly, we were one of the first to get to the ticket counter to figure out how we were going to get home.

A totally clueless ticketing agent was what we got. It's now about 9:15 pm. We're in Charlotte. We pretty much know we're not getting home this night. When this has happened to me on other airlines, the rebooking has been done by the time I got off the plane. The gate agent has been able to tell me what's happening. With US Airways in Charlotte, the fact that we had missed our connection from their own flight was a surprise to them.

For the next 2 hours, the groom who was trying to do a quick roundtrip (and get back to his honeymoon) to ensure his kids got home safely, spent coaching the ticket agent, her supervisor, and his supervisor how to do their jobs.

Their first plan was to book the party of 7 onto 5 different US Airways return flights (with further connections) the next day despite the fact that there were 3 minor travelers and one more than 85. When the groom suggested they check for availability on other airlines, the reaction was that they couldn't because all the other ticket counters were closed. He then suggested they call the 800 numbers for the other airlines which are open 24 hrs. The response was that they didn't know those numbers. So he spent the next 10 minutes calling 411 from his cell phone to get numbers for several other airlines with service from Charlotte to Minneapolis.

After messing up the itineraries in the computer so badly that they had to resort to paper coupons, we ended up being booked onto American Airlines leaving Charlotte at 7:45 the next morning. And the rest of the trip on American went flawlessly.

The groom's return flight to Provo on US Airways to continue his honeymoom was originally scheduled out of Minneapolis for the next morning. Since US Airways knew that wasn't going to happen they brilliantly rescheduled it for 2 days later.

He's booked a flight on another airline for this evening at an additional cost to him of $1500. He'll only lose an additional half day of his honeymoon. We're all praying for he and his bride that they'll be able to get back to Minneapolis in a week on the US Airways flight they booked months ago. He is desperately trying to rebook the return from the honeymoon on a different airline.

This complaint isn't about circumstances that happen. They happen. It's all about doing the right thing for your customer. None of this was about money.

US Airways is a lousy airline. They have lousy procedures. They have lousy training. Charlotte is a hub where you'd expect to have the best trained employees. I can't even blame it on the merger with America West. AW was a decent airline. They make the citizens of Charlotte look BAD. And this is all in comparison to a number of other airlines including Northwest (the primary airline of this gold elite status reviewer) which doesn't always get great reviews.

The best thing we can do is put US Airways out of our misery. There are at least 7 of us (and anyone we can get the message to) that will NEVER fly them again.

Join us!

Thanks.








     
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familytravel on 2007-04-02:
This sounds awful. My big complaint in travelling is when you are lies are told--for example, when you were circling and they said you weren't. A good travel tip, prior to your trip, program airline numbers into your cell phone. I have Delta, Continental, Northwest, and American all programed in and I like having those so I know I'm prepared. Efficiency has been a problem at US Airways mainly because of just as you said..undertraining. So many times gate agents and other people want to serve you the best they can, but with the lack of training they simply don't know how to.
2003m3 on 2009-06-03:
I had to fly with U.S. Air once to Charlotte recently. I had an around-the-world business class ticket bought from Singapore Airlines, I was catching a Lufthansa flight from Charlotte to Munich. Compared to the other carriers in that itinerary (Singapore Airlines, a 5-star airline, and Lufthansa, a 4-star airline), pooor old U.S. Air was definitely the weakest link :-/ They did not lose anything of mine, but I was definitely significantly happier when I got to Charlote and started dealing with Lufthansa.

One buys a $8000 business class ticket, and U.S. Air does not have the decency to help me hauling two 60-lb bags through the New Orleans airport at check-in.
Ms.Sunshine on 2009-12-03:
I only travel with US Airways if there is really absolute no other option. They are the worst!!!
My favorite is Lufthansa. It´s a difference like day and night.
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Purchase a new ticket!?, It's Canceled!?, My luggage Didn't Make It!? Oh My!
Posted by on
HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA -- Our flight from Huntsville Alabama to Nassau Bahamas was booked on Feb 16’ 05, with the plan of being married before we went, we booked it in the name that I was supposed to have after the marriage; well plans changed the day after. We knew that it took Boeing Travel 24 hours to process our tickets, and upon receiving our confirmation information we called the US Airways customer service Feb 18' 05, and told the representative of the situation at hand. She said don't worry this happens all the time, just bring your license that verifies that your name is in fact Brandy ***** and not Brandy *****. My fiance and I were both on the phone and we asked TWICE if all we needed was a DRIVERS LICENSE with the name on it and she answered YES, BOTH TIMES. I called the day before just to make sure and sure enough we were told the opposite of what was originally told to us. In the representatives notes she did not specify what license she told us to have. Obviously if we were told that we needed a marriage license we would've gotten this well in advance as we booked our tickets in February and our vacation was in April. The supervisor at the customer service department was worse than the representative. She made comments like "how do you plan on getting married in the Bahamas without a marriage license," (F.Y.I. you cannot use a US marriage license in the Bahamas, in fact you can only use a marriage license from the actual state that you get it in.) After this, we decided to go to the airport and talk face to face with them. The supervisor at the Huntsville ticket counter (who goes by the name of Richard) said "ya know, what are ya going to do... nothing... and you want to know why we do it, because we can; If you want to go somewhere you will always come back." A supervisor of all people should NEVER say something like that to a customer; he is a direct representation of the company. Ultimately we had to purchase another ticket with the correct name on it for $1145.15 the night before we were set to leave, when we arrive at the airport at 515AM our flight was delayed by 3 hours and 5 minutes, and our itinerary was changed by a representative at the gate and instead of getting the itinerary that I paid for the night before ($1145.15) we got the itinerary that I could've purchased the same night for $547.00. We get to Charlotte and had a 2 hr layover, which happens when you get a $547.00 itinerary. We finally fly into Ft. Lauderdale and our flight is cancelled. So we had to drive 30 min to Miami for our flight, and finally arrived in Nassau at 830pm. (What makes this even worse is that my sister was meeting us in Nassau and she arrived without a problem through another airline and had to sit in the Nassau Airport for 8 Hours.
Returning from Nassau, our flight is 40 min late in getting us to our destination, making us RUN to our gate and our luggage didn't make it, so now everything we have is in Charlotte.
The most angering thing beyond the messed up flights is that their represenative gave us the wrong information and caused us to be out money that we didn't have. We actually had to come back early because we couldn't afford the hotel.

Ps. I know that the Patriot Act is a big part of the problem that I exerienced with the name issue...but they need to look at the name of the person who purchased the ticket, and the person requesting the change. There will probably be many changes to the Patriot Act in the future; and rightly so, not everything is cut and dry.

UPDATE:
WE FAXED A LETTER TO THE CONSUMER AFFAIRS DEPT. AT US AIRWAYS AND THE CORPORATE HOME OFFICE (NUMBERS AND ADRESSES PROVIDED BELOW) AND THIS IS THE ORIGINAL LETTER WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO OURS.

Dear Mr. ********:

Thank you for taking the time to contact our office. I appreciate being given the opportunity to respond on behalf of US Airways.
The ticket that you purchased through ****** Travel was a nonrefundable ticket that did not allow for name changes. If your travel agency was notified of this error within the first 24 hours of booking, they could have refunded the nonrefundable ticket and issued you a new ticket in the correct name.
The misunderstanding our reservation agent caused and the Huntsville
supervisor's handling of your situation are both inexcusable. I have
voided your original ticket for $366.15 and I am refunding the ticket that was purchased in Huntsville on April 5 for $1,145.15. This refund will be processed by our Passenger Refund Department.
In reference to the delay of US Airways Express flight 2930, I apologize for any inconvenience that was caused. Although I am unable to comply with your request to adjust the cost of your ticket due to this delay, I am sending each of you a voucher that can be used to discount your next ticket purchases on US Airways. The vouchers are valid for one year and can be exchanged at any US Airways ticketing facility or travel agency.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact our office.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. We look forward to welcoming you aboard your next flight.

Sincerely,
Katharine M. Lang
Executive Staff
US Airways Office of Consumer Affairs
END LETTER.

Although we appreciate this beyond what words can express...we will never travel with US Airways again; in fact we will probably never fly again. We are taking a trip to Disney World in Florida and guess what...we are driving.

I hope this story helps and I hope everyone can get the justice that they deserve.

ALWAYS SEND CERTIFIED WHEN MAILING AND REQUEST A RETURN RECEIPT THAT SHOWS THE NAME OF THE PERSON THAT ACCEPTED YOUR LETTER.

Consumer Affairs 866-523-5333 (fax) 336-661-8031
OR
Corporate Headquarters
US Airways
2345 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22227
703-872-7000


     
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tpebop on 2005-04-11:
problems like this are a result of the patriot act your I.D. must be current and correct as we must prevent terror at any cost. Bummer
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US AIRWAYS SELL FLIGHTS THAT THEY CANCEL AT OUR WHIM
Posted by on
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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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.
dan gordon on 2010-01-24:
I just flew home through 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.
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.
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.
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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Stuck in Charlotte
Posted by on
We were flying home from San Juan PR to Philadelphia on Dec 19th. Philadelphia was expected to get 2 feet of snow which started early in the day. Our flight was scheduled to leave SJ at 1:45 pm and arrive at Philadelphia around 5:45 pm. Because the weather forecasters were predicting blizzard conditions, we thought our flight would be canceled. No such luck....we left SJ at 2:30 pm. The Capt kept us informed and told us that Phila was allowing planes inbound and that we may have to be in a "hold" depending on conditions. As we approached Phila, the Capt actually told us that conditions were improving and that they temporarily had closed the runways so that they could be plowed. She assured us we had enough fuel to hold for about an hour. About 45 minutes into the "hold" she then told us the airport was closed and we would have to go to an "alternate" airport. That was when the nightmare really started. They turned us around and flew us one hour and 10 minutes south to Charlotte. We couldn't understand this - why not go to Newark (they only had about 3 inches at the time). But...no....let's go NC b/c Charlotte is US Airways' hub. They told us our luggage would be at carousel B so we proceeded to baggage claim where we waited one hour for our luggage which never came. We then found out from another passenger that we were not getting our luggage. He was told by a representative that the Federal Gov't would not allow it b/c Charlotte was not our final destination. The line for service to book another flight the next day was 4 hours long. We had to find a hotel (not an easy task since all US Air flights were diverted to Charlote). We called the 1-800 number for US Air when we got to the hotel and the wait was "119 minutes". We finally (after being disconnected twice) got to speak to a representative and we were booked on a flight the next day at 2pm. We arrived at the airport at 11:30 am and the lines were unbelievable. Since we never got our luggage, we had no bags to check (lucky for us) and we already had our boarding passes. We only had to wait an hour to go through security. Charlotte airport was not equipped to deal with all the crowds of people. They had 2 lanes for security check through. As soon as we arrived at the gate, we noticed our flight was now changed to 3:46 pm. Great. It only went down hill from there. 4:00....4:30.....5:00....5:30....We were told that Philly would not release our flight b/c of the backlog of airplanes, the amount of snow and the inability to clear snow from the gates. We finally boarded the plane around 5:45 pm and were informed we had a 6:04 take off. Then the Capt told us we were still not cleared for take off and wasn't sure we would be and would have to wait until 7:00 pm. At 7:00 pm we were told it was still definite we would be taking off. Then, all of a sudden, they started the safety video and told us to put our trays up and seats upright. We pulled away from the gate. Everyone clapped. Then the engines stopped. The Capt then told us "they needed the gate". So there we sat on the tarmac. how much more torture?? Couldn't they have told us we were just moving away from the gate?? Everyone thought we were taking off. Then he told us we would have another update at 8:00 pm. Still not sure we would get clearance. They let us watch movies (how generous). Then, we got word at 8:30 that we were taking off. We landed in Phila about 1 hour later. Had to wait 20 minutes to pull up to a gate. We were told our luggage would be at Carousel B. We never saw our luggage. However, the carousels were loaded with luggage from previous flights. There was luggage all over the place - abandoned. The line to report a claim was about a 2-hour wait. There were 2 US Air personnel to take claims - can you imagine? We decided to end our torture and left the airport without the luggage. My husband went back the next day and had no wait. The most upsetting thing aside from the wait, was the irresponsibility of the airline to make the decision to take off from SJ in the first place. They did not care how they inconvenienced people. They were going to get that plane in the air no matter what. I think they knew all along they were going to bring the plane in to Charlotte. How inconvenient to the passengers. I will NEVER fly US Air again, nor will I fly out of Philadelphia. They are no way equipped to deal with chaos!!!
     
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Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
You would have had a similar experience with any airline. The weather was bad all over the east coast. ALL airlines had to delay and cancel flights. Be grateful you arrived at your destination safe and sound
Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-12-23:
The airline can only go by what the FAA tells them. You honestly believe they always intended to send your to CLT? Then why fly you to the outskirts of PHL and circle for nearly an hour? Just to throw you off their little scheme to send you to CLT?

Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
Hugh, they also have to do what the control tower tells them to do. Sometimes the ATC will cancel or delay a flight
Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-12-23:
That was my point - the OP claimed it was "irresponsible" to take off from SJU in the first place and they believed the airline's plan was to fly them to CLT all along.

I'm sure when they left they fully expected to be landing in PHL, then conditions worsened and they had to go to a city equipped to handle that many diversions - and that would be CLT for that particular airline.
Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
Live with it. It happens quite often on the east coast.
Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
There may have been other reasons why the plane couldn't go to Newark. My guess is that Newark didn't have room for an extra plane. Since CLT is the hub, there were more gates to accommodate the plane.
Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
(BA) yaya
Ben There on 2009-12-23:
I think your issue is with Mother Nature. If they really had known that you would not make it to Philly, they never would have left PR. Why waste the fuel and pay the crew?

Going to another hub makes the most sense - chances are most people were just changing planes in Philly. While Newark is close enough for some people that live in Philadelphia to get home by car or train, it would have made matters much worse for for all those other people on the plane that live in the rest of the world. Landing in Charlotte gave the airline hundreds of more flights to get people home as soon as possible.
Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
What a mess the weather caused. One of the busiest travel times of the year....sure made a mess for everyone.
jktshff1 on 2009-12-23:
PEOPLE!!!!!! The weather sucks, there are problems, handle it. There are going to be delays, bumped flights all the bad things you can imagine. Live with it, looks like it's going to get worse.
Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
I'm sure the airlines are just as aggravated with mother nature....the airlines can't do anything about the snow. The airports have delays because of the ice and snow. Would you want them to allow you to go 30,000 feet into the air, then ice builds up on the wing? Then you plummet 30,000 feet? or allow you to land, and slide sideways bursting into a flaming ball of fire? You won't be enjoying your family at Christmas anyway because you will be DEAD.
Anonymous on 2009-12-23:
Understandable you are upset but your anger is misdirected. Weather caused this and all carriers had their N. Eastern ops crippled. Not wishing to post a book I'll address a few of your many factual errors.
EWR had IReg ops. US has virtually no gates there - airlines have to lease gate space, they just can't land wherever they wish.
CLT being a hub and limited in weather impact would provide the best opportunity for pax to connect to final destinations. CLT is well equipped to handle the pax volume. At about 4M O&D CLT is no tiny airport.
Updates are scarce as airlines work off of data and orders provided by the Federal folks in Herndon, VA. Weather being dynamic and inexact you get a lot of waiting and false starts.
No airline wants to keep pax in the air burning fuel, they were hopeful for a break in the weather and permission to land. Circling for close to a hour burned about 5000 lbs of fuel so they don't take these decisions lightly.

Eloise on 2009-12-23:
How dare US Airways be impacted by the weather.
Ytropious on 2009-12-23:
"There was luggage all over the place - abandoned." Well YOU YOURSELF abandoned your luggage too! Pot meet kettle.
Principissa on 2009-12-23:
My stepfather was supposed to fly in on Tuesday to spend Christmas with us, he couldn't. He couldn't get another flight out until Friday. Not his fault, not their fault, it was the weather. All of the flights out of PHL at least were canceled. They weren't flying at all. Sorry that it happened but oh well. Until the airlines come out with a weather changing machine and a new way to charge a fee so they can use it, we'll all be under the mercy of mother nature when it comes to airline travel.
Anonymous on 2009-12-24:
I don't see anyone suggesting why the airline could not provide the passengers with their bags as they landed at CLT. That bit about Federal regulation that the luggage can't be provided until the final destination, that someone told the OP sounds like nonsense. Once you land you are entitled to collect your bags. Weather is not an absolute defence to a claim by a passenger. The test is, "Did the airline take all reaaonable steps to fulfil its obligations to the passenger under the contract of carriage?" For the airline agents to throw their hands up in the air saying "Act of God", "Weather", "Snow Storms" may not always be sufficient.
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Medicine Delayed due to Rude employee
Posted by on
TEMPE, ARIZONA -- On October 7, 2009 my son was scheduled to fly on USAIRWAYS Flt #4175 from LaGuardia to Roanoke, Virginia. We arrived at the USAIRWAYS curb-side check in at 12:50pm which was well within the airline’s limit of 30 minutes for a 1:29pm flight. The airline personnel erroneously insisted that the flight was 1:14pm and would not check the bag. Given this wrong information and faced with long lines at the ticket counter and security, my son raced to get to the gate leaving me to figure out how to get his baggage to Virginia. More critical than the fact that he was now leaving with nothing but the clothes on his back was that his liquid prescription medicine was in the suitcase.

No sooner had he gotten to the gate, than it was announced that the flight was delayed. Both the courteous USAIRWAYS employee who checked him in and the TSA security person said that since the plane had not yet arrived, no baggage was loaded and there was plenty of time to get a sticker and check the suitcase. I was directed to a supervisor who was to take care of it.

This is where the nightmare began! The supervisor was extremely unprofessional and nasty, “Get to the back of the line!” she barked as I approached the desk. Even when I responded that it was a matter of some urgency and sympathetic fellow passengers also voiced concern, she walked away. Finally, the helpful USAIRWAYS employee got her attention. However, all this did was allow the supervisor to become even more discourteous and abrupt. She did not listen to my concerns that the suitcase contained my son’s necessary prescription medication in liquid form which I did not think could be taken in his carry-on. She told me that I would have to buy a ticket and fly the next day down with the suitcase! Another USAIRWAYS employee told me that I could ship it cargo. When I asked the supervisor about that procedure –she ignored me. No one could give me any information about how to get the medicine to my child. I was attempting to get the situation resolved for over an hour until the plane finally departed at 1:53pm and I was left with the medicine and the suitcase and absolutely no assistance or possible way to get it to Virginia. Many passengers came up to comfort me, aghast at the behavior of USAIRWAYS.

I had to pay $186 for UPS to overnight the suitcase and medicine to my son. As a result of this USAIRWAYS supervisor’s unconscionable behavior which is in absolute violation of your own written policies, my son was without his medicine for over 24 hours which resulted in exacerbation of his symptoms and a lot of worry, inconvenience and potential serious health risk for him.

All my letters and calls to their customer service yielded was the reading of a script and a $50 coupone for another flight. I don't think I will be needing it in the future.
     
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Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
Sounds like a frustrating time. Airports are not easy to deal with. Just a word of advice though. I think if you (or your son) check the TSA website, you will find you can carry prescription liquid medication on-board. Further, please and tell everyone you know, never ever put presricption meds in your checked bags. If it doesn't arrive for some reason, you're up a creek.
goduke on 2009-11-24:
I think situations like this are why the airlines and airports tell folks to get there 2 hours before the flight. The person with the ticket has to be there to check the bag. To allow otherwise would be quite dangerous.
Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
The OP seems to have a complaint about everyone. Kind of a pattern showing here.

Passengers are normally always informed to be at an airport at least 2 hours before a flight, not 30 minutes. I have flown all my life and never have I been told to be there in under 2 hours.
msnanny on 2009-11-24:
Is there a reason why you started 3 different threads about your failure to arrive at the airport in time for your son to check his own luggage? That's the issue and it has nothing to do with Travelocity or any rude behavior by the airlines.
JR in Orlando on 2009-11-24:
You did not have to overnight the suitcase, only the medicine. That would have save you significantly.

Thirty minutes to the "curbside" check-in is not enough time, if you are checking bags.
Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
You and your son were late getting to the airport. This was all your fault regardless of how "unprofessional" you think US Airways was to you.
Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
You weren't even close to being there early enough for that flight. Sorry, but that's the plain truth.
Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
The USAirways site says for domestic flights you must check in at least 30 minutes before the flight. The 2 hours that most airlines say is a recommended time for you to arrive at the airport. I don't see anywhere on he USair website saying 2 hours. If the OP's son reached the curbside checkin to be checked in 30 minutes prior to the flight and they refused to check him in because they had the departure time wrong, then it's they who are in the wrong here. The airline seems to know that and offered a $50 voucher.
goduke on 2009-11-24:
Exactly James, you must check in at least 30 minutes before the departure. They didn't check in 30 minutes before departure. They arrived 30 minutes before the departure, and saw a line for the checkin. the OP then sent the kid through security and never even checked in with the bag.

The $50 was not an admission of wrongdoing. It was a token to placate the customer. A $50 voucher for airfare doesn't get you much.
goduke on 2009-11-24:
Oh..and here's what the website actually says:

Always get to the airport with plenty of time to check in, get your boarding pass, clear security and get to the gate. If you're seated in an exit row, be sure to check in at a kiosk with an agent.

US Airways closes passenger and baggage check-in 30 minutes prior to departure for domestic travel and 60 minutes prior to departure for international travel.

JR in Orlando on 2009-11-24:
Even assuming they were there 30 minutes before departure, that allows for no problems or mistakes on the part of anyone.

The focus of the complaint, however, appears to be that the mother thought after the son went through security, she was special enough she did not have to stand at the end of the line but could walk right up to the counter. She apparently forgot that the fact she created a crisis by putting the medicine in her child's luggage, did not create a crisis for anyone else and that the rules related to security apply even to her.
Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
Goduke, the OP reached the curbside checkin at 12.50 p.m. for a 1.29 flight, in time to be checked in before the 30 minutes. Apparently she didn't see a line there and this is entirely believable as you don't usually see lines there - the lines they saw were at the counters. The agent at curbside made an error with the time of the flight and refused to check the OP's son in. An offer of a voucher may indeed be just to placate an aggrieved customer, but during the past few years, airlines have repeatedly refused to offer vouchers even when they are clearly in the wrong, so I am not inclined to believe this was just to placate.
Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
If when they reached the curbside they met a line and when it was their turn the agent told them it was too late, then they could complain, but they reached 39 minutes before and the agent was the one who got it wrong. In my experience it takes only 2 or 3 minutes to check in at curbside. Yes they were cutting it very close, but they should have been allowed to check in at curbside. This agent closed off his checkin before the 30 minutes on his erroneous belief that the flight was a 1.14 p.m. flight. Yes she was wrong to put medication in the suitcase, but the root of her problem was the mistake of the curbside agent.
goduke on 2009-11-24:
James, anyone who travels much knows that curbside always closes before the gate does. They have to have additional time to get the bags into the terminal.
Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
I don't know what airport you are thinking of goduke, but at LaGuardia, curbside is mere yards from the checkin counters inside the terminal. So I can't see why curbside should close before the gate.
Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
Just to correct an earlier post, If when they reached curbside they met a line and when it was their turn the agent told them it was too late, then they could NOT complain. You have to be there early enough so that you get to the check-in agent in time to check in before the 30 minutes.
goduke on 2009-11-24:
Call the airport and ask them. The curbside checkin always closes for a flight earlier than the counter check in. Never seen it different at any airport.
Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
I thought you had said curbside closes before the GATE, and I knew that could not be true. If that was a typo and you meant that curbside check in closes before the counter check in, that is probably true. However the USAir website mentions both curbside and counter check in and says that check in closes 30 minutes before departure, without distinguishing between curbside and counter check in deadlines. If I was the OP I would hold the airline to its website. She should try to get better compensation, maybe a $200 voucher.
Anonymous on 2009-11-24:
I'm looking back at the first few words of my last post. You did say that curbside closes before the gate, and that is true, but the gate closes about 15 minutes before take off. So the passenger has to be checked in 30 minutes before the flight and then has 15 minutes to find himself at the gate before the gate closes. I think what matters here is not what time the gate closes, but what time check in closes.
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