US Airways Complaint - Unbelievably Horrible Customer Service Experience
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- This is the first time I have ever posted my opinion about anything on the internet - I am normally very hard to offend, but the experience I just had with US Air has left me so amazed at their terrible, insulting customer service that I am going remove US Air as a choice for my employees to use, and write this post to hopefully keep others from flying US Air and potentially experiencing anything close to what just happened to me.
I fly about once ever 3 to 4 months, so not often but not a total rookie either. I flew for the first time to Philly, and for the first time chose US Air due to their partnership with United, on which I have Premier status (barely). My flight out of Philly to Atlanta was scheduled for 4:30pm Wed. and about 2:15pm I received a cell phone message saying the plane was delayed about 70 minutes. I had just arrived at the airport, so went to a restaurant where I located an outlet for my laptop close to the airline info screens, and started working while I waited. The flight screen continued to update with increasing delays - now up to 2 hours, so I ordered a margarita and continued to work, resigned to a long stay in this airport before my business trip leg continued to Atlanta. 30 min later the flight updated on the board to cancelled. I was not near the actual gate yet, so I called US Air from my cell while I continued to work, and was told we have been moved to a 9:00pm flight. Sigh.
I decided to head over to Delta and check out their 5:55pm departing flight to Atlanta - figured if it was under $250 I would just pay and go. Got to the gate and found out that most of the passengers from the 4:30pm US Air flight had been moved onto this Delta flight - cool! However, because I had not gone and sat at the gate, I was not tagged to move to this flight. The nice Delta representative told me to head over to the US Air service desk & have them put me on the 7:20pm flight heading to Atlanta. Cool.
Off I head again (and anyone who knows this airport knows I was doing a lot of walking with luggage by this point). Get to the US Air service desk and wait in a substantial line, watching in increasing concern as the service representative and her manager systematically belittle, deny and in one case seem almost gleeful in their refusal to help various folks in front of me...I assumed I was not hearing both sides of the conversations taking place ahead in line & actually smiled at the seeming straightforward nature of my request. Ha! My turn came, and I walked up, then told the story and asked cheerfully if I could be moved to the 7:20pm Delta flight with over a dozen open seats. The US Air representative told me no luck, I would have to take the 9:00pm flight. I asked why everyone else had been nicely moved to a Delta flight while I - with the same dilema & transferring United status, had to sit and wait. She told me I had not "followed proper procedure" and that "she did not have to put me on any flight since she smelled alcohol on my breath.
She then called over her manager while I noted with increasing dismay that I had never had a flight cancelled underneath me & did not realize there was a procedure, nor did the US Air representative on the phone mention anything. The most amazing thing was how MEAN this lady was - and I realized a moment later I was going to become their next victim. The manager came over and proceeded to verbally assault me in a manner that in my 38 years of life I had never experienced in a customer facing experience - she made the first representative seem like the good cop! I still can hardly believe what happened. I never got in a word, just listened as she threatened to keep me in the Philly airport overnight due to my "not being at the gate, choice to have a drink (which I would not have done had their flight not been delayed 2 hours at one point), etc. She was beyond anything negative I had ever experienced. I walked away speechless.
2 minutes later I decided to fight back, and walked across the terminal again to the far US Air service desk on the other end. Upon finally arriving the lone service representative there nicely listened to my brief repeat story / transfer request, then immediately and successfully transferred me to the 7:20pm Delta flight (I made no mention of my experience at the first US Air service desk). She was excellent, and seemed much less interested in tearing passengers apart and more interested in really listening and helping.
I am a Director for multiple global software support teams, and have to say that I would not blame anyone for having a bad day, but what Veena did transcended anything resembling a bad day, and ensured that I will never fly US Air again nor allow any employee in my company or business units to have a trip approved on this airline for fear of them experiencing anything remotely as negative as what I experienced.