US Airways, Oct 15th 2009, 6:10AM flight from Reno NV to Phoenix, AZ. continuing to Guadalajara, Mexico. I arrived at at the ticket counter at 4:55 am to 2 different lines of people. One was international and mostly people getting checked in and ticketed for Mexico. This would understandably take longer than domestic as the checkers were dealing with passports etc... but that line had 20 +/- people and was moving VERY slowly. The domestic line was moving faster and never had more than 4-8 people there at once. I was flying non rev and was told that I could not be issued a ticket until all of the other passengers had been cleared. Understandable.
So I waited with 8 other non revers to the side of the counter. During that time I witnessed the counter person (later identified as the Supervisor) throwing bags AS HARD AS SHE COULD against the back of the conveyor belt while being uncommunicative and spiteful with passengers. I did not see a single passenger who checked in with her leave the counter happy. When the line had cleared, I approached her counter and asked if I could change my 9:30 listing to the 6:10 flight (it was now 5:45. Note: there was never more that 8 people in her line at once.)
And she informed me that the ENTIRE line needed to be cleared meaning the international line which was seemingly immobile. She then started working with the other gentleman on the international line and it started moving a little. During this time a man, woman and toddler (who were now standing in the domestic line, and had been since before I got there) had been told to wait for her to "get to them" after she helped to clear the international line which they did patiently. It was now 5:55.
As soon as the international line was finally cleared, the gentleman who was working the international line looks to the family and says "we're going to schedule you for a different flight". At that time both the man and the woman (who had been waiting patiently) erupted in disagreement saying "We got here at 4:30... we booked this trip 8 months ago! We're will miss all of our connections..." at which the gentleman at the counter said "Not my problem... talk to my supervisor!" (who was the angry woman standing beside him, violently throwing bags). She picked up the phone and then hung it up, looked at them and said "it's just too late to board the plane".
It was 6:00 AM. While the family was having a meltdown and the counter people were being unresponsive to that meltdown. I stepped up and checked in for the 9:30 flight and went to the gate. The gate was still open but closing. After the plane left I asked the gate personnel "How many available seats were on the plane that just left for Phoenix?". The reply "Over 20". OVER 20! The reason over 10 people missed that flight (as well as all of their connecting flights) was none other than the incompetence of the counter/bag personnel.
It's no wonder US Airways ranks #1 in customer complaints. If American Capitalism works the way it is supposed to. Hopefully, US Airways will go the way of Braniff and Eastern and rot along with the other companies who forgot the reason they were ever profitable in the first place: The Consumer.
My new husband and I had an absolute nightmare experience dealing with US Airways. We left for Las Vegas for a short wedding weekend and flew out on American with NO problems...they were wonderful. When returning, we unfortunately were flying US Airways. We had no clue how horrible of an experience we would be dealt and the lack of respect or concern on the part of the airline was beyond appalling.
We arrived at the Las Vegas airport 3 hours prior to our flight and were the second and third persons to check in and get to the gate. We were told the flight was overbooked by several people and offered first class seats if we transferred to the later flight, leaving at 7PM. Since the later flight was direct we would have made it home sooner than the one with the layover so we said we would be glad to do that and were told to confirm an hour prior to departure.
When we went to confirm, a VERY rude and snide male with dark, scruffy facial hair (I only give this description b/c I didn't get his name); told us there was no way he would be putting us in first class on any flight and this one was not overbooked. He made it sound as though we had asked for the transfer when in fact they had asked us! Obviously, someone at US Air thought lying and misleading us was okay, and he felt comfortable treating us like second class citizens.
When we finally boarded the plane, we walked to the back and the flight was full. My assigned seat was being occupied by another person who did not budge or blink an eye when I told the flight attendant about the error. The flight attendant had no problem moving me to the last row and seating me next to strangers even though I had a RESERVED seat that was paid for, next to my brand new spouse.
She did not even ask to check the man's ticket who was in my seat and did not give one single thought to honoring what we had PAID for and purchased! Meanwhile the man and his girlfriend made out the entire flight and relished in their new seats next to each other. The unprofessionalism on the part of the airline was over the top.
Now the story gets even better (insert sarcasm). We pulled out onto the runway...(each of us seated apart), when the pilot said "we are number 45 in line to leave". What??? Turns out there was only one lane open for the planes at the airport. The flight itself was horrendous with many passengers certain it was going to crash - an obviously untrained pilot that added physical terror to the emotional battering we were already experiencing.
By the time we landed in Phoenix our connecting flight was in the final stages of the boarding call...on the OTHER side of the airport. Again, the attendants did not even consider rising to the occasion and no priority was given to those on the plane to depart first if they had a connecting flight. They even commented on the overhead that many would be missing their connections. Of course, they did not offer an apology for this.
We ran to the gate and got there just as they were closing the door. We were told we would be separated again and they were going to check our bags and that's just how it was. We said "NO" because everything up to this point was at the fault and in consideration of the airline and its staff. We were certainly not going to give them the opportunity to screw up another matter.
When we walked down the jetway leading to the plane yet another rude staff member promptly told us our luggage had to be checked and began taking my husband's luggage out of his hand. I told her (an African/Jamaican woman with a thick accent) that we were not checking our luggage as it was the airline's fault we were late and mistreated until this point. I got on the plane and was physically shaking with a red face and almost in tears because of the flight attendants we had already encountered. At this point I was offered a glass of water and the first decent gentleman attendant said he would make room for the bags...which he did.
I was back on the jetway waiting with my spouse when the woman took my husband's luggage from his hand, handed it to the man on the ground and said "IT WILL BE CHECKED"!! Right after, the male flight attendant came and asked for our luggage to which we told him she had taken it anyway and had completely disregarded our wishes and his statement that he had made room. She did not care at all and continued giving an ugly look with a sense of satisfaction that her mission had been accomplished...and that was the last straw.
When I sat in my AGAIN newly appointed seat on the last row, I was placed next to a gentleman with horrible body odor and a woman who was sick with the flu. The point again is that I was never to be in this seat placement anyway. When we finally arrived in DFW after midnight, my husband's luggage was the last bag off even though it was the last one put under the plane so abruptly.
Not one apology was made during the entire course of our experience with US Airways and not one individual cared that we had been misled, given false information, had our money virtually stolen and our honeymoon trip home absolutely ruined. These are experiences I wish upon no one.
FROM MY NOTE TO US AIRWAYS: I am an avid flyer and have NEVER witnessed anything of this magnitude. While you may think we do not matter and our business is small in comparison to how many customers you have, we will do our part in informing everyone we know not to ever utilize this airline. A response acknowledging the many errors and rude treatment given would be appreciated as well as a refund or something this airline deems appropriate for the situation. The response we receive will be taken into play as far as our next step goes. We will not stop here if nothing is done and the company where we purchased our tickets from will also be notified.
You can contact us at the phone number or the address provided. We hope this matter will be given serious attention. Please note that with the state of our economy the way it is, one would think a company would be concerned with their reputation and ability to maintain customer care and retention. How sad it is that so many businesses operating under a model of integrity are failing while a company with such poor service and rude employees is still surviving. What a terrible shame.
I sent the following letter via email on April 27, 2009 (using the online customer service form, which is listed as the preferred method of communication). Though your Website states that all written complaints are processed in 3-4 business days, I've received no response to date - it is now June 2nd.
I am writing to tell you about my recent experience flying US Airways. I have two young children at home, so I haven't flown in about 3 years. I was in Atlanta attending a conference and I have an infant at home. I am nursing, so I was traveling with my breast pump. In anticipation of the trip home, I purchased 2 large thermoses to transport the milk. When closed properly, they are vacuum sealed, and hold the temperature of a liquid for up to 24 hours.
At the airport, I paid the $15 to check this bag and spoke to agent about the bag. I told her that it contained breast milk and if it were to be searched, I needed to ensure that the thermoses would be closed tightly. She assured me that the agents checking the bags were very careful.
I was flying from Atlanta to Philadelphia, with a connection in Charlotte. The flight from Atlanta was delayed, meaning that everyone on the flight missed their connections. During the entire three hours the flight was delayed, my fellow passengers and I stood in line at the desk. We did not know if we should take the delayed flight, if we were being rebooked from Atlanta or from Charlotte, or any other helpful information.
The supervisor at the desk took frequent breaks. While he was on a break and not helping customers, I asked him about my checked bag. I told him that I had refrigerated items and also that I had medicine that I needed to take that evening. I asked if, since the bag had not yet been put on the flight and it looked like we had a long wait, if it was possible to get back my bag. He said that that would be problematic. I asked what my recourse would be and he said that if I had a life-threatening condition, he could call the paramedics. Luckily, I did not, but I don't imagine this would have been helpful to someone who did.
I do want to say that when we landed in Charlotte, the staff was excellent. They appeared to have no knowledge that there would be a plane full of dislocated travelers needing their connections rebooked and hotel and meal vouchers, but they immediately jumped to action. They called over more staff, took care of us all very quickly, and were very pleasant as well. I (am, I'm sure the rest of the passengers) really appreciated that.
The agents did tell us that we would be able to get our bags from the plane, but when we went to the baggage area we were told that the baggage crew had gone home and there was no way the bags were getting off of the plane that evening. The agent I spoke with said that my bag would go to Philadelphia on the 6:30AM flight. I was not able to get on that flight, however; I was confirmed on the 5:50PM flight. I asked if my bag could be retrieved and sent to the hotel in the morning (I had until about noon to get it into the refrigerator).
The agent photocopied my claim ticket and took my information. I was able to get a mini-fridge at the hotel, so I was hopeful that maybe I would be able to salvage the milk after all. When I didn't hear anything in the morning, I called the airline and was told that my bag had gone to Philadelphia on the 6:30AM flight. When I arrived in Philadelphia - nearly 19 hours after I was scheduled to come home I knew that I would be throwing away 70 ounces of breast milk (if this seems like no big deal to you, please tell this story to a nursing mother).
I did not know, however, that I would be throwing away my entire bag. When I picked it up, it was dripping. The thermoses had been opened, but not tightly closed. This not only caused 70 ounces of milk to spill into and soak my bag, but it also ruined the vacuum seal, so the glass in the thermoses exploded. So, I paid you $15 to ruin my bag and everything in it.
I want to assure you that I was always polite and respectful to your agents. I understand that things happen beyond the airline's control and that you certainly cannot be held accountable for weather delays. However, I do think the situation could have been handled better. I think that there were multiple opportunities for me to retrieve my bag that were ignored, and I think better care could have been taken when examining my items. I have been compliant to added security measures and extra fees, but I think these need to be tempered with respect for your passengers. US Airways will no longer be my airline of choice.
In addition to posting this online complaint, I resent my hard copy letter (with the information above and below it, the way I posted it online) to the director of Customer Relations. A few weeks later I received a check (no letter or explanation or anything) for $215 (I guess they reimbursed me for checking the bag, but decided I wasn't getting anything for the breastmilk!). I would have been satisfied with a formal apology, but I will certainly take the check. Thank you!
I made a complaint to US Airways Baggage Resolution department about my things being stolen by one of their employees and was basically told they are not liable because they decided they are not. I was on a flight on January 7th from Detroit to Providence. My flight connected in Philadelphia. My first flight was an express flight and we were told we had to give our carry-ons directly to the baggage handlers to put inside the storage compartment in the plane. The planes are small and cannot hold all the carry-ons inside. It is the only time the bag was out of my sight.
In the front pocket of my backpack I had my portable external hard drive and a wireless mouse. When I started to unpack the next day, the only thing in the pocket was a package of peanuts, and the pocket was zipped when I got my bag so it did not fall out. I e-mailed the airline immediately and have yet to receive a reply, so I am already unimpressed with the customer service. I called eventually and was told to handle it through the mail with Baggage Resolution.
I was forced to give my carry-on, a bag intended to stay with a customer, to the baggage person. I was not offered anything so they are not concerned with keeping customers, and I am a frequent flier. I not only lost my personal items in this situation but I can never recover the things on my hard drive. I sent them receipts of the items and it is clear what happened so they know the items exist and were not lost. I was offered nothing and basically told 'too bad', so I take that to mean the airline encourages their employees to steal by not caring about these situations.
I have no doubt that there was no investigation as to who was working that day and no kind of disciplinary action took place. I do not understand what makes the airline think they can type up a limitation of liability statement. They are liable because it is their problem if their employees are stealing, not mine. So it is their responsibility. U.S. Airways does not have the right to not accept liability when they either lose someone's baggage or have employees who are stealing from customers. I did not sign anything agreeing to this disclaimer so I do not see how it can be valid.
It is despicable to treat customers this way regardless and I will no longer fly with this airline, and neither will my family. I was offered anything, not even a ticket which costs just about nothing to the airline. So there is no concern about losing customers.
I have made a complaint to the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs, the Attorney General's office, AirlineComplaints.org, and the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation. Even after filing with the BBB, the airline has still refused to take responsibility for their employees.
SAN JOSE COSTA RICA -- I am writing this letter in reference to a very serious situation that I recently experienced while traveling on your airlines. During this experience I and my family were made to endure great physical and mental abuse because of the actions of the Captain.
I will attempt to summarize the events as concisely as possible with this letter. I would be able to expand on the events if you need any additional information please contact me. I also encourage you to please seek testimony from other passengers on this flight. I also would request that the flight recordings of the Captain's announcements be retained for reference.
The check-in and boarding of the flight proceeded professionally and proficiently as has other flights I have experienced with your company. Upon closing of the doors and preparations for push-off from the gate the pilot informed the passengers that we would be able to fly non-stop from San Jose to Phoenix only if we could take off from runway 07 because the plane was overweight. If we had to take off on runway 25 we would be required to stop in Mexico to refuel. Unfortunately this was a downwind takeoff and against the flow of traffic so it would be a slight delay to wait for the break in traffic. Most likely no- longer than 20 minutes.
I thought this was curious because the flight was not full and the recent change from two 70lb bags to one 50lb bag per passenger should save some 11,000lbs of weight. This and the fact that the tickets did not include a stop in Mexico. I believed that the pilot was obviously trying to save fuel / money by avoiding a stop. I could understand that attempt, as I realize an air stop for fuel can be very costly. I reassured my wife and children that we had a lengthy layover in Phoenix before our next flight so it wouldn't affect our travel.
After some time, I would guess about 45 minutes, the pilot informed passengers that we missed our break in the traffic because we were unable to warm up the engines in time. About 45 minutes later the pilot informed passengers that the winds were now too strong for a downwind takeoff and that we would have to have both a break in traffic and lower winds to safely take off. Sometime later the pilot informed the passengers that we had missed another break in traffic because some passengers weren't trying hard enough to will the wind speed down to a safe level.
The pilot informed the passengers that we were still on standby. During all this time the Flight Attendants were trying to appease the passengers but repeatedly asked if people could conserve water as they would surely run out. I was immediately alarmed at this prospect because due to a medical condition it causes me extreme discomfort to become dehydrated.
At this time, some 2 ½ to three hours into our delay, I began to question the ability of the pilot to make the decision to take off on the other runway and get underway. Passengers were becoming very uncomfortable and children were crying. The pilot proceeded to make several announcements that contradicted previous announcements, and he started blaming the runway, ground crew and overall backwardness of the facilities for the predicament.
The pilot announced that a decision was made to take off on the other runway but we were too heavy for that runway also, and we had to burn off fuel. This decision didn't make any sense but at this point everyone was so relieved that we were doing something passengers felt somewhat appeased. After being moved to a location we could burn fuel it became apparent that we were out of drinking water. Many passengers began to protest and the captain came on and announced that we would return to the gate and get water and food. He was very rude and again blamed the passengers and the Costa Rican facilities for the problems.
When we returned to a position near the gate the passengers were informed that we could takeoff from runway 25 without burning any more fuel as soon as we got water and food. I and many passengers, including my wife were confused and really worried about the events. I heard over and over from other passengers "Something just doesn't seem right with this."
The passengers were getting increasingly upset and someone must have asked if they could get off the flight because the captain informed the passengers that they had no reason to be upset and that no one should be asking about passenger rights and it would only cause further delays. At this point (some 5hrs delay) my wife and I became worried about the decisions being made by the pilot. The inconsistency in direction and the increased tension of the situation seemed to clearly limit his ability to properly consider the health and safety of the passengers.
I don't claim to know all the circumstances of this situation, but I do have a limited knowledge of flight procedures. I have a pilot's license, my father got his pilot's license when he was minimum age, he became an aircraft mechanic and flight instructor and was an airtraffic controller for his career. We owned several aircraft as I grew up. My wife has pursued her pilot's license, and she was an aircraft dispatcher for many years. We both travel yearly for vacations and business.
I have spent many hundreds of hours seated next to commercial pilots for my work and I consider them to be very professional and based with integrity. I began to really get an uneasy feeling about Captain ** and requested his full name and pilots license number. Up to that point he had referred to himself as Captain **. I had to repeatedly ask for this information and was finally refused anything except his name.
Captain ** then announced that anyone wanting to leave the aircraft would cause a minimum takeoff delay of another 2 hours for the rest of the passengers. My wife and I were concerned about our safety and well-being and so we inquired about leaving the airplane. I was told that if I wanted to leave the aircraft that it would be an hour to wait for a bus to come out to the ramp and pick us up, an hour to get our bags off the aircraft, and that no flights out of San Jose were available for 3 days. We were told that no reimbursements for hotel, food, etc. would be paid for during this time.
We were told that we must immediately make this decision. This was a clear cut case of bullying and manipulation by your airline. We had to weigh the potential loss of thousands of dollars and an extended amount of time dealing with customer relations with putting ourselves and children in potential harm. We were assured that we would be taking off within the next 15 minutes and that complimentary food would be provided for the flight.
The fact that we were in a foreign country where we did not speak the language, staying would cost a minimum of $2000 to us, and we were reassured that all missed flights were being taken care of by a special part of the company while we were in route. We unfortunately elected to remain onboard the aircraft. We burned off more fuel and departed 1 hour later.
We were again told to use water sparingly and were given no food. We landed in Mazatlan Mexico for fuel and were told we could not leave the aircraft. We left Mazatlan and upon reaching altitude we were each given the smallest low quality sandwich I have ever eaten. My little girl was unable to eat the food because its taste caused a gagging reaction. No other food was offered. I was told that if I wanted water it would be from the tap because of the scarcity of bottled water.
Upon landing the Captain again blamed just about everything he could on the delay but at no time said he was sorry. His parting comment was: "Everybody needs to get their feet wet sometime; I thought I did as good as **!" I was amazed that someone in such an important position as himself with the well being of so many people in his care would be so lacking in consideration and professionalism. We were told that everyone had been rebooked and to proceed to the desk outside of immigration to get information.
I would like to take the time to say Thank You to Flight Attendant. Forgive me for not being sure of his name if it is incorrect. ** spent the entire 12 hours of our time on the aircraft trying to help passengers. I believe he was as honest and upfront as he could be and genuinely was concerned about the decisions of the Captain.
Upon arriving at the US Airways it became apparent from the upset passengers in front of us that anyone having to stay overnight was not being reimbursed for any expenses. When I reached the counter we had not been given enough food and water to maintain healthy blood sugar. My daughter was shaking and my son, wife and I were extremely hungry and thirsty. We had been on your aircraft for 12 hrs.
We were told that our continuing flight was the next day at 7pm. I said no problem but I would need food reimbursed and a hotel paid for. I was told very rudely by your manager that it was a weather delay and that no expenses would be paid for by the company. The weather delay is a ridiculous false statement. The weather was clear, 73° and 14 knots wind. We saw many aircraft taxiing by our aircraft and taking off.
The delay was clearly pilot error. I politely told your manager that I would require some food for my family or I would not leave the counter. She again very rudely said to write customer service with complaints. I became upset and told her I wasn't leaving without food money or by security. She immediately called security and refused any further conversation with me.
A gentleman behind us tried to record some of our interactions and was instructed to turn off his recording device as it was a security violation. While we waited for security, I talked with another employee behind the counter. She obviously realized your airline was making a big mistake and provided us with some food vouchers for some airport food. She also got us an earlier departure for the next morning. Your manager continued to be very rude to myself, family and other people.
When security arrived to escort myself, my wife, our 11 year old son, and our 8 year old daughter out of the area another passenger had to be escorted away from my family by the officers because of his protests about the way we were being treated. I don't know this gentleman, but he told us he was an attorney and that he was going to press charges against US Airways.
We were escorted by two officers a very long distance from the counter to another floor of the airport. During this time my children were very upset and unsure about the whole situation. I talked with one of the officers escorting us and he apologized for what he was doing and said he had to because of the way things were set up at the airport. He conveyed to us that he was on our side of the issue and again apologized.
I believe that the whole situation was handled very poorly and that US Airways should take a serious look at the competency level of the Captain on this flight.
I am sure that if anyone of power in your company experienced this flight that Captain ** would not be employed by US Airways at this time. I also believe that you owe me, family and many other passengers an apology on behalf of your employee's actions. The whole incident was a terrible way to end an experience of a lifetime. We saved for years to take our children to Costa Rica and now one of our overpowering feelings is the memory of this flight and of shame by being semi-arrested by police at the airport.
I cannot convey the desire that I have that your company. Please follow up on this complaint and do a thorough job researching the events. I would hate to think that someone would be hurt because of the future actions of your company. If you have any questions, please contact me. Thank you.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I will describe in the detail the nightmare I experienced with US Airways just recently. On August 16, 2008, I booked my flight to Miami with US Airways. On November 16, 2008 I received Schedule Change Notification email regarding a change to my itinerary. Instead of departing from Philadelphia on 12/28/08 at 7:40 AM and arriving to Miami 12/28/08 at 10:46 AM, my departure time from Philadelphia was changed to 12:15 PM and arriving time to Miami - to 3:03 PM.
I called and explained to the representative (her name was Audrey) that this change cannot be accepted, because I have to be at Miami airport preferably by 12 PM: my cruise ship will be leaving Port of Miami 12/28/2008 at 4:00 PM sharp and I've been instructed to be at the cruise terminal on time in order to go through the appropriate pre-cruse procedures.
Audrey said that she is sorry, that all earlier flights are full and there is nothing she can do. I was in disbelief. I started to complain about how I booked it in advance, and about such short notice and how hard it is going to get good ticket price now, at this time of the year, and the terrible inconvenience, etc. She asked me to hold. After I had been on hold for several minutes, Audrey came on the line only to confirm that there are no earliest flights available for me, unless I'd like to fly to Miami a week earlier(?!.).
Then I was on hold again. When Audrey was back, she informed me that my options are the same. If they are not for me, she said she can process the refund. I asked Audrey to let me speak to her supervisor and received the following response: “You are going to hear the same from her.” I insisted. After being on hold, I heard supervisor to come online to only tell me that this particular flight was taken out of the roster, to say that I don't want to understand that she could not help me and to repeat all the same I previously heard from Audrey. Needless to say, I was quite frustrated. I basically was given no other option, but to request a refund, which I reluctantly did.
This call took place between 12:20 PM and 12:50 PM. At 1:00 PM I had a meeting to attend to. When I came back from the meeting, I started to look for the new ticket online. Right away I saw US Airways flight departing Philadelphia at about the same time as my previously booked flight and arriving to Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami at about the same time as my previously booked one. I realized that I was entitled to be given such an option. I was entitled to hear the nearby airport names, approximate distance between them & original one, flight schedules to those nearby airports, maybe even help with the arranging flight with another airline.
I immediately called US Airways customer service, was put on hold again and again was told that there is nothing they can do to help me, since request for my refund was already in processing. It was outrageous experience, which made me feel helpless, tricked, used and abused. I'm sure I was not the only one.
After reading the reviews on this site, I was regretting my decision to use US Air (didn't really have a choice... death in family and US AIR was my only quick and reasonably priced option. From beginning to end my flight were hassle free, and I found US Air's personnel to be helpful and friendly. I did not check any bags, so that eliminated one whole potential problem. My flights from Harrisburg, PA to Dallas through Philadelphia were uneventful, flights left on time and arrived early in both cases.
It was my return flights which prompted me to post a review. The first leg from DFW to PHL was on a smaller Embraer 190 which I would recommend choosing as your flight option whenever possible, they always seem to have just a little more legroom despite SeatGuru's listing of having the same pitch as most of the other airlines... two abreast seating is always nice as it eliminated the center seat potential problems.
Despite being full, the flight attendant, whom I regret not getting a name for (He was a middle-aged Black man. I hope if he reads this he'll excuse the description) who I watched introduce himself to passengers who asked questions, and then addressed them by name when passing by later. He was unfailingly pleasant and humorous in his PA announcements.
We arrived 30 min early into PHL and I went with my traveling partner to the US air gate desk to check out the possibility of catching an earlier flight rather than waiting 2+ hours for our original flight. Initially the gate staff stuck to their guns that it would cost $50 to change to an earlier flight, after some good natured (and polite) prodding she either got tired of us or we charmed her into working some kind of magic and she called us to the gate and handed us boarding passes to the earlier flight... that all happened so quick that again, I regret getting her name. (Maybe just as well, she might get into trouble for working her magic.)
The final leg flight also got in early with no incident. Perhaps, since most of the time people only take the time to write a review when they've had a bad experience and seldom do so when everything works out, maybe US Air isn't as terrible as posted reviews indicate. I may regret choosing them in the future, but as of my latest experience I would fly again with them with no hesitation.
Just an aside, they do seem to have what seems to be an ass-backward policy of charging a fee to change to an earlier flight that is not full (and not allowing standby status unless the flight is full) while allowing a no fee switch to standby status on a full flight. I would think that allowing a no fee switch to an early flight would fill up the earlier flight thus opening up seats on later flights that might be available as normal flight delays/cancellations, etc cause missed flights as the day goes on. Just my opinion.
To make this story short and to the point, as short as possible!!! We flew from Florida to Maine for a family vacation, had no problems! Flew out of Boston on Aug 12 (so we had tickets to fly!!) arrived 5 hours early in Boston, and there was a line out the door for only US Airways, we waited 4.5 hours just to check our luggage! During our long stand in line, the agents were announcing for people to call the US Airways 1800# and start the process of re booking flights because most people are missing their flights due to the long line!
(While we are all waiting in line, we start to watch how many agents they have working! Guess what not once during the 4.5 hours we waited in line, were there more than 5 agents, and 2 of the 5 were only helping first class people!) I know the airline had people stranded for 2-3 days due to some weather issues, but to be this far behind days and days after the weather cleared up was crazy!!
We finally get to the agent after 4.5 hours, and he says "hi, let me guess you missed your flight?" I said yes! He had the nerve to tell me we should arrive earlier next time so we have time to wait in line! I said, "thought 5 hours was plenty of time!" (Is this guy for real I thought!) He said "I cannot get you home for 3 days." After making him try harder, he offered us a flight into NC from Boston, and we would be put on a 10 pm flight into Florida from NC the next night! So we did that, paid for hotel in NC out of our pocket and food etc. (Mind you we have kids traveling with us!!!)
Get to the airport to check in our luggage 12 hours early because we had no place to hang out other than the airport the next day, and I give the agent our boarding passes for the 10 pm flight that the agent in Boston gave us...... Not stand by!!! Confirmed seats on this pm flight! She couldn't find out reservation, called a supervisor and couldn't find any proof we ever flew to Maine or anything! (If we had not had the boarding passes in our hands, she said we would have been buying new tickets because the system lost everything about us!!)
She said in 23 years never seen this happen, but couldn't get us home for another 2 days! I freaked out and she finally overbooked the 10m flight to get us home, we were given vouchers to use on our next flight to be upgraded to first class....
We finally arrived home 3./5 days later! I called the airline today to find out about these vouchers they gave me to upgrade us, well seems no one knows anything about them! And they don't give out upgrades anymore! So now I have nothing! No one will even help me! I will resend email and cert letter this week and see if that helps again! This is wrong what they did and they don't even care!
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- Original return trip from St. Maarten on 7/26/08 to DFW through Philadelphia. Departing at 2:50 PM arriving at DFW at 11:46 pm. US Airways flight # 1036, T.O. Saint Maarten 2:50 pm, arrive Philadelphia 7:19 pm. We arrive at Airport at 12:00 pm as instructed by US Airways for International flight. At approximately 1:50- 2:00 pm started boarding flight- about 30 min early? At about 2:15 & everyone was boarded we were told that we were waiting on a few passengers who had left the gate area probably because boarding time was 2:20. 2:45 still waiting on these missing passengers?
3:00 still waiting, captain over loudspeaker explained that they must have gone online & US Air showed our flight as 2 hours late because original incoming aircraft from Philadelphia had mechanical problems, returned to gate and was switched out. He said there was a Charlotte flight departing about 2:45 and those people were bumped & we were given their plane.??? The other plane would not be arriving until approximately 5:00 pm.
Problem now is the missing passengers have already checked in and have luggage on board and being an International flight we can't leave without them unless we remove their luggage. As far as I know no luggage was ever removed and no one else boarded the plane. Approximately 3:45 we took off. Captain then explained that we were going to Philadelphia after a stop over in Charlotte to change crews and refuel. What the heck is going on!!!
This is a 3 ½ to 4 hour flight and we were told that on returning flights there are no snack boxes, sandwiches etc. They did have 3-5 boxes left over from arriving flight which were given to first class passengers. We would not be allowed off the plane in Charlotte because we needed to clear customs.
You would think competent people might arrange to have the pantry restocked while they are refueling and changing crews. Flight crew updated connecting flights and for the most part assured us we would all be on our way home maybe on a different flight that evening. Other than that the crew seemed most interested in selling your duty free stuff which were well stocked even on returning flights and getting people to sign up for US Air Credit cards. We were not able to enjoy the movie "21" due to repeated interruptions by the male flight attendant hawking these items over the P.A.
About 7:15 landed in Charlotte and sat on the ground about 1 hour, took off for Philadelphia about 8:15 pm. The new crew was very short with passengers and just overall not friendly or helpful. They explained since plane had not been restocked they would not be running the beverage cart, but, and I quote "If anyone absolutely has to have something to drink press your call light and we will see what we can do."
The flight attendant nearest us sat in his jump seat most of the flight. Near the end of this flight after no information or updates on connecting flights had been given we asked and were told first by the flight attendant and then by the captain that we would have to find out at the gate after clearing customs.
Landed little after 9:00 pm, picked up our luggage and discovered one of our large suitcases had been ruined. it appeared to have been crushed ruining the frame and now the wheels point different directions and the built in metal support across the back is hanging off. It now has to be carried as it no longer will roll. Thank God for the 50 lb. rule.
After clearing customs we were met at the ticket area by US Airways reps who were very nice and gave us our new boarding passes for a 7:30 flight the next morning. It is now around 9:45 PM. She handed me several slips stapled together and thumbed through them confirming there were 4 boarding passes, food vouchers and hotel voucher. We were then instructed to meet the Sheraton shuttle and to hurry as their restaurant would close by 10:00. We rushed quite aways (dragging the broken suitcase) ground transportation and just missed the shuttle. We had already been told it would come back every 20 minutes or so.
While we waited I looked through the vouchers and discovered there were only 3 instead of 4. I rushed all the way back, had to go through long explanation with a security agent & his supervisor to regain access to the international area. I was told by the US Airways rep I would have to get my boarding pass at the gate the next morning. I requested they look through their stack one more time and sure enough there was the missing boarding pass and vouchers.
I rushed all the way back to ground transportation and we had missed the next couple shuttles but the driver assured my wife he would return for us which he did & all seemed to be looking up. It is now about 10:30 but the hotel is only a few minutes away.
We arrived in the hotel lobby at about 10:40 pm with our luggage in tow (no bellhops to assist) and were told restaurant closed at 11:00. My wife hurried off with our 4 vouchers to order us a sandwich while I got in line at check in desk. When I finally got to the clerk I was told the driver had dropped us at the wrong Sheraton. I was told we would have to take all of our luggage and walk across a parking lot to another Sheraton.
The shuttle driver walked in about now and I told him he had taken us to the wrong hotel, he debated with the clerk back and forth blaming each other and he left. (he was off duty now). The clerk explained to me there was nothing she could do as they had no rooms and as far as getting the luggage to the other hotel she didn't know what to tell me. I pulled the luggage cart into the restaurant and parked it next to our table. Even though the restaurant is now closed we have ordered and our sandwiches were being prepared.
Because of the constant mistakes of the day my wife decided to walk to the other Sheraton and at least get us checked in while we waited on our food. About the time our food arrived she returned and informed me that they originally said they also had no rooms either and only after arguing with them were they able to come up with 1 room with 2 double beds. We were traveling with our 2 nearly grown sons (19 & 15) and had two room vouchers. Both boys and myself are over 6 foot and over 225 lbs. One of hotel vouchers was not honored.
We finished eating about 11:30 and the bill for 4 sandwiches, chips and soft drinks (no alcohol) was 77.04 and with 20% tip came to 93.04. Our 4 meal vouchers from US Air = 40.00. We now left and walked across the parking lot in a strange town at almost midnight carrying and dragging suitcases etc. from a weeklong trip for four adults and went to bed. One son had to sleep on the floor. We were in bed by 12:30 am exhausted and we had to be up at 4:30 am to catch the 5:40 am shuttle to catch the 7:30 am flight.
At the airport and checked in by 6:30 am all looking good. Spent another 40-50 on breakfast at the airport. No vouchers. At 7:05 boarding time gate agent explained we would board in just a moment that they were missing one flight attendant. This message was repeated a few times over next 30 minutes. At 7:35 departure time agent said attendant was checked in at the airport and on her way to the gate. This was repeated a couple more times for next 20-30 minutes.
At around 8 said they had located attendant and she was not at the airport but about 45 minutes away??? We were finally boarded by attendants not assigned to our flight waiting on this one to arrive around 9:00. When the attendant did arrive she said it was her day off and US Airways had asked her to come in for this awol attendant. We finally took off I believe around 9:30. Also during the entire trip we had to keep rearranging our scheduled transportation back home. We finally arrived at DFW right at 24 hours after we arrived at the airport for 2 flights with a combined flight time of about 6-7 hours.
Tuesday morning 7-29 at 11:15 I called the customer service # (1-800-428-4322) listed on our confirmation. I first spoke to ** who said the only way to file a complaint is to go online to your website. I asked what would I do if I did not have access to the internet? ** repeated the previous statement.
Until now I have kept my temper and have been polite to every person I have dealt with but I am now out of patience with US Airways. I then explained to her that I did not wish to go online that I called the # US Airways provided me for customer service and now that they were on the line I wished to speak with a human. I asked that she transfer me to a supervisor rather than arguing with her. Before she could transfer me she needed our confirmation info which she confirmed a few times and then asked the nature of my complaint. Finally she transferred me to Supervisor **.
I started explaining why I was unhappy and ** stopped me about half way through and said he couldn't help me and again said I had to go online to file a complaint. I told him I did not wish to go online and what would I do if internet service was not available? He then offered me a phone # to another US Airways customer service. 866-523-5333. I now asked him why it took 20 minutes for anyone to offer that #. ** should have done that in the first minute of the call when she was telling me my only option was to go online.
I called this # and it went to an automated message saying "Due to high call volume US Airways will not be able to take my call and please visit our website and fill out a form." Now I know why they didn't give me the #, because no one answers it.
So here I am online where I did not wish to be and I am completely put out with US Airways and it's policies. Your company is nowhere near as good as it used to be. And I still would like to talk to a human. This was submitted and confirmed electronically 7/29/08. 8/15/08 11:00 am resubmitted. Have never heard from US Airways. Tried calling again and was told the only people I can talk to at US Airways are the reservation clerks and the lost baggage people. Neither of these could help me.
TUCSON, ARIZONA -- This is a long letter, but before dismissing it you may want to go to your computer, go to this link (**), and watch Carol Anne Gotbaum, a lone woman, being tackled by several policemen at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on September 28, 2007. This woman died while in police custody at Sky Harbor Airport. This is the image and story that my friends, from San Francisco to New York, have of Phoenix Sky Harbor. Then, take the time to read my somewhat lengthy narrative about my experience at Tucson International Airport (TIA).
Yesterday, Saturday, August 9, 2008, a US Airways employee, **, tried to use the TAA police force to punish me for expressing a legitimate grievance. My domestic partner, **, was flying back to Wichita, KS, to visit his brother who is terminally ill with a malignant brain tumor. Like most working people, ** had only a few days to see his brother and this time was valuable. Unlike most people, ** has severe, adult-acquired hearing loss which is partially alleviated by a cochlear implant. However, his hearing is not good enough to negotiate difficult situations or to hear announcements made over loudspeakers in areas of high ambient noise like airport terminals.
** had a seating assignment from Tucson to Phoenix on US Airways, but could not get a seating assignment online from Phoenix to Wichita the evening before his flight. We suspected the flight was oversold. We drove to the airport early to obtain a seating assignment and I spoke with the US Airways staff as ** has a communication disability. He frequently misapprehends what has been said to him, especially if the context is unusual or uncommon.
At the US Airways ticket counter, ** informed us that ** could not get a seating assignment in Tucson; rather he would have to fly to Phoenix to get his seating assignment. I asked why this was so, and ** replied that the flight might be oversold. There was no offer to reschedule the flight from Tucson, and the implication was he had to fly to Phoenix and take his chances or lose his ticket. This was accompanied by a disparaging remark about the ticket being purchased through Priceline.com.
I told ** that ** would not be able to hear announcements regarding flight status and possible standby arrangements. Still, Jessic** did not have the authority to obtain ** a seating assignment, so I asked to speak with her supervisor, **, who supposedly had the authority to assign ** a seat. ** made the first call to ** at 3:10 PM. After a second call and waiting 20 minutes I told ** to catch his flight and text message me if things went wrong. Only then did ** think to write up a notice of disability to alert Phoenix US Airways staff of **'s communication difficulties.
Since I had already waited twenty minutes I asked ** to place a third call to **, and ** arrived a 3:35 PM spoiling for a fight. Without giving a blow by blow description, our interaction resulted in my fleeing the airport with ** chasing me down. The TAA police officers who determined that I had done nothing wrong, Officers ** and **, sent me on my way shaken and disillusioned.
Late yesterday afternoon, when safely in my own home out of TAA police jurisdiction, I called the TAA police at 5:40 PM to inquire whether ** had committed assault. I was told an officer would call me back. At 6:24 PM, I called back and was put through to Corporal **. We discussed whether **'s actions had risen to the level of assault, and he took down my statement and assigned a case number **.
I called the airport police again on Sunday morning, August 10, 2008. I talked with Sergeant ** (sp?). Sgt. ** explained that airline and rental companies involving the TAA police force in disputes was common at TIA, and it was often unwarranted. Further some airline employees were frequent callers for police assistance in situations that do not warrant police involvement. (The TAA police were, on the whole, balanced and professional. They were surprisingly forthcoming, but I know how to chat people up.)
Sgt. ** characterized the incident involving ** from US Airways and me as a misunderstanding, perhaps a situation that got out of control. I think she believes that to be true. However, that is not my analysis or my perception.
My perception is that **, the US Airways supervisor, was angry that I had the audacity to ask to see her. That I had the temerity to have her subordinates call her three times. She was fuming because I had the endurance to wait twenty-five minutes and not walk away angry and impatient. She was furious and determined to act punitively, even if that action required deception and false accusation. Why do I come to this conclusion? There are several reasons.
She did not go to the staff side of the counter; rather she walked up to me on the passenger side of the counter and stood uncomfortably close to me. Could she address my problem without the use of a computer terminal? Her demeanor was hostile and aggressive. **'s statement that “she didn't like my attitude” was both condescending and irrelevant. This statement was meant to provoke. When I told her that if my partner were to be stranded in Phoenix I would write letters of complaint with her as the primary focus, she cynically chose to characterize this as a threat.
When she asked me, “are you threatening me,” I knew this was a thinly veiled attempt to construe this as a threatening situation: it was a set-up. When I replied, “I am not threatening you physically, I am threatening to write letters,” I was purposefully dispelling the notion of physical threat. Perhaps if I had been more quick witted I would have said that I was informing her of the consequences of her poor customer relations. In any case, it was clear that there was no physical threat.
However, **, unable to accept that I would not fall into her trap, decided to act as if I had: she screamed for the police, and because she was so threatened (I am being facetious) she followed me without police escort outside the building and several hundred yards down the sidewalk toward the street while I repeatedly told her that I was walking away and I wanted her to leave me alone. In between screaming for help she spokes less audible remarks of “getting me.” Her actions were deliberate, cynical, and calculating.
When threatened, I and most people try to distance themselves from the person who is threatening. **'s choice to follow me, hounding me down the sidewalk towards traffic, was not the choice of a threatened person. It was the choice of a disgruntled, angry person who wanted to cause me harm. My question is why did she feel the airport police (or security) would back her up?
What is the institutional culture of the TIA and how did this contribute to her libelous accusations? Again, Sgt. ** told me that this type of incident, airline and rental car company employees calling the police to resolve customer conflict is common and that seldom does the dispute rise to the level of criminal threat. Further, Sgt. ** told me that some employees routinely call security to resolve what should be resolved with good customer relations.
If this is routine, apparently there is no repercussions for those employed at the airport that make hyperbolic accusation and use airport police as de facto goons. Has airport security replaced the railroad goons of the 19th and 20th centuries? Are airports, including the usually friendly Tucson airport, virtual police states where legal and legitimate disputes are resolved with the threat of police force? This kind of behavior would not shock me in Newark, but it shocks me in Tucson.
After speaking with Corporal ** and Sergeant I now know that the TAA police force are not goons, but how would I know that while being pursued by a harpy like ** who was screaming for them to do what? arrest me for threatening to write letters of complaint. How was I to know that I would not be shackled to a bench like Carol Anne Gotbaum who died in the custody police at Phoenix Sky Harbor in September on September 28, 2007. When faced with apparent misuse of authority and poor institutional culture, I often find it useful to follow the revenue stream. Your website contains the following statement:
"TAA does not receive any local tax dollars. Operations are funded through revenues from parking, space rentals, land leases, fuel sales, airline landing fees, and concessions. Capital improvements such as runway and terminal construction are funded through state and federal grants."
If airline landing fees and concessions such as car rentals are major sources of revenue, do these financial interest either directly or indirectly affect the use of TAA's police or security forces? Is it in TAA's financial interest not to upset their sources of revenue by instating repercussions for companies whose employees use TAA police to intimidate passengers and customers? Is this why company employees feel free to use TAA's police to resolve disputes that should be resolved by good customer relations? How well does this serve the economic interest of greater Tucson?
I realize the TAA police do not feel that they are threatening, but when TIA patrons are faced with police with badges, weapons, and handcuffs, most are intimated and, to some degree, threatened.
The current issue of The Economist features articles about Alexander Solzhenitsyn and the headline is: Speaking the truth to power. If you are the power at TAA, I must speak the truth to you. Using police force to intimidate TIA's customers is wrong. Unless there are repercussions for airline and rental car company employees who de facto use the TAA police as a force of intimidation to quiet customers who are voicing grievances, the TAA is tacitly condoning this behavior.
This is the United States of America, and we have the right to state our grievances. In a perfect world these grievances would be reasonable and legitimate, but that is not a requirement. Acting within the law is a requirement.
Unfortunately, my experience at TIA is probably indicative of more widespread deterioration of service in the airline industry. I travel relatively often and I usually fly coach: I see how employees treat the least of travelers. I have seen hints of disgruntled airline employees using the threats of police intervention to quell the dissatisfied of those suffering through delayed, overbooked, and cancelled flights.
I've had a TSA security agent bark at me like a drill sergeant during a random search at Logan International Airport while I was being a model of cooperation. This bad behavior, or power run amuck, is done in the name of security. How does this make us more secure? I like Tucson. I think of it as a special place to live, but after this experience I feel I might as well be living in any major city in the USA.
The events of September 11, 2001 are a great tragedy. The cynical use of the threat of terrorism to instill compliance and fear in the traveling public cheapens the lives lost and the bravery of those who responded. It is shameful. If TAA is passively complicit in promoting this, TAA is responsible. TAA is as responsible as ** who cynically made false accusations and as responsible as US Air who promoted an irrational and vengeful employee like ** to a position of authority.