This is in regards to my recent travels on your airline, July 20th and July 24/25th. I was scheduled to depart Dallas/Ft Worth at 5:15am on July 20th with a connection in Charlotte, NC and final destination of Montego Bay, Jamaica. I checked my bag online and printed my boarding pass the day before (24 hours). When I arrived at the airport that morning, I still had to stand in line to check my bag again which caused me to miss the 45 minute bag drop policy that you supposedly have. I was told that my bag had to be physically tagged 45 minutes before my flight or I would not be able to fly and that I had to fly with my luggage.
I have never heard of such a rule and didn't see it on your website, I figured since I had already checked in online 24 hours prior I would just need to drop my bag. I asked the attendant how late was I in getting my bag physically tagged and she told me I missed the 45 minute cut off by 4 minutes, and that it took 45 minutes for my bag to go from the counter to the plane.
I couldn't understand any of this at all especially since there were passengers standing at unattended kiosk waiting for their luggage tags as well. What is the point of self check-in if someone still has to tag my bag but the kiosk is unattended? So standing in line for a second time made me miss that flight. I was put on the 6:55am to Charlotte NC with standby on the 11:30am to Jamaica which was the last flight from Charlotte for the day.
Luckily, I was able to get on it. If I hadn't gotten on, I would have been stuck in Charlotte for another day and been a day late to Jamaica. Where is the logic in that? Well I figured it was all over and I could enjoy my trip until the chaos I experienced on the way back.
Leaving Montego Bay, I couldn't find my flight reservation at the kiosk. I had to wait in line an hour to see an agent. When I get to the agent I discover that my reservation showed my trip to and from Jamaica for the same day. I feel confident that I didn't book it like that and maybe there was a glitch in the system. I had to purchase a one-way ticket back to Dallas with a connection in Charlotte. I could not get on the last 2 flights out of Charlotte because they had been overbooked so I couldn't even fly standby. Overbooked? Still doesn't make any sense. This resulted in my having to stay overnight and leave at 7:45am on July 25th.
When I get to the Charlotte airport the next morning, I am observing the same thing unattended kiosk and people waiting to get their luggage tagged. I am wondering are they missing the 45 minute baggage drop too. I decide to stand in the Resolution Line hoping to get on an earlier flight only to have the unfortunate encounter of the worse airline agent ever. I believe her name is Jennifer. She is African American, very short hair that is reddish in color, and she wears glasses. Her attitude and behavior was inexcusable. She was rude, short tempered, unaccommodating. You name it, she was it.
When it was my turn to approach the counter, she switched her attention to another line saying she couldn't keep track of who was in queue. The issue with that is the people she decided to assist weren't in the Resolution Line with the rest of us, they were off to the side. She also came from behind the counter and turned off some of the kiosk without announcing to those others standing in line what she was doing and why she was doing it. They were just left standing there. One poor lady had been trying to get the Cambodia since Saturday. I must say out of all airlines there is a very strong possibility that I will not be flying US Airways in the future.
TEMPE -- I am disabled and I take medication for my disability. I was booked on a flight from London Gatwick Airport, England, Uk going to Phoenix, Arizona, USA. I had to change at Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. I had pre-booked disabled help from London Gatwick Airport, all the way through to my final destination, Sky Harbour Phoenix International, Arizona, USA.
I got into an assisted wheelchair at LGW. However I was dumped in these seats in the departure lounge. I could not get to the toilet or even get a drink. I was given this bleeper and told to put it around my neck. Nothing like showing the world who is disabled. Anyway I nearly missed my flight, this was because I could mother from where I was dumped without a wheelchair and the departure gate. I thought that this would be a one off event. Well can you believe that this also happened at Charlotte airport and at Sky Harbour, Az. Can you believe it that this happened on my return to the UK.
This time I flew from Sky Harbour Phoenix, Philadelphia Airport and at London HEATHROW Airport.. Now you may think that was bad enough service, however things get worse. While I was traveling from London Gatwick to Charlotte, NC, USA I had to take on board my medication. Now on the whole, the medication I was taking with me was medication you could probably get over the counter. However I take a drug that is in the same class as Heroin and Cocaine. The medication was Morphine. Now the only persons who can carry these or deal in these are fully qualified Doctors, Head Licensed Pharmacists and obviously the patient.
When I got on the plane I was given a bulkhead seat as this gives you more legroom. Now I had on me my personal bag which included my medication. This is when things started to go wrong. One of the cabin crew came to me and said that I had to put my bag with my medication in it above in one of the overhead lockers. I said to the person that I had a letter from a Doctor stating that I had to retain the bag with me due to the contents.
Anyway at that point other people were now boarding the plane. Numerous people overheard the conversation between the cabin crew member and myself. All these people heard that I had Morphine Tablets in my personal bag. Well moving on, the cabin crew took away my personal bag with all my medication against my wishes. Now you would think that they would put the bag where I could keep an eye on it. But that was not the case. The cabin crew must have thought it funny that they put my personal bag half way down the plane. I could not see my bag at all. Now this is the only time that the bag was out of my sight.
When I eventually arrived at my final destination, I noticed that the bag with my medication had been turned over. Now at that point I thought that with traveling things may of moved. Not thinking any more about it until I came to opening a new box of my Morphine medication. Now that was just about three weeks later. I looked through my bag thoroughly, however over three weeks supply of my Morphine Medication had disappeared. My other medication was all there, it's just there was no Morphine Tablets.
Now the only time that the bag was not with me or out of my sight was on the flight with US Airways travelling from London Gatwick (UK) to Charlotte, North Carolina (USA). Because I require this medication and the fact that I could not get any more from either the UK or the USA, the only thing I could do was to cut short my six week stay. I take the Morphine to ease the pain I get from having Degeneration of my L3, L4, L5 of my Vertebrae. Without my medication the pain becomes unbearable however not LIFE THREATENING!
Now I have had to pay for extra travel costs getting to and back to the airports. I had to pay for the change of flight time. In total I have lost around £300 ($450.00) in hotel charges etc... I have also had to pay £225 +($300-$350) for the change of flight to get back to the UK. The reservation staff told me that I would get back the cost of the flight and other money I had lost when I put in a compensation claim. Well I have sent two emails to the customer services team in which I received no response.
I then found the Chief Executive's contact information. I sent the full complaint with all the information to the Chief Executive's Office. I was then contacted at 11:30 pm, a time that I am normally asleep. I was again contacted by a representative of US Airways. I tried to discuss with her what had happened. She said to me that US Airways staff were allowed to carry any medication. I inquired and said that according to UK and USA law states that you need to be qualified to carry certain medication. This includes the likes of Heroin, Cocaine and Morphine. The lady I spoke to said that all US Airways cabin crew were qualified to carry such substances.
I asked for her to send to me the qualifications that the staff had passed. She then said that it was US Airlines policy to be able to carry any medication or even class 1 Narcotics. I again asked for this to be sent to me. I also asked for this qualifications that all cabin crew had to pass. Again she said that she was not allowed. Then she began to be very rude and obnoxious with me on the phone. Then I asked to speak to her manager, I was told that I was not allowed to speak to her manager. I asked to speak to another person as I wanted to escalate the complaint. I was told that US Airways do not escalate complaints.
I then told her that I would be sending another email to the Chief Executive, she replied to this by saying "It's OK. If you make a further complaint, I would deal with that anyway". So apparently even if you make a complaint against the person you are talking to, that complaint would be dealt with by them anyway. So much for having a Good Customer Services.
Anyway, I still sent another email to the Chief Executive. I was then sent an email from US Airways, this time offering $100.00 dollars. Now this was in a way of a voucher. This meant that you had to buy a full price ticket to get $100.00 dollars discount. Now this only works out to be around £60.00. I think that this is a joke, a complete and utter derisory offer. For the money I have lost and the extra charges I have been charged, I think it is a disgrace. To add to this all the stress and anxiety that this has caused. I feel fully aggrieved!
Now I was just about to send back an email when I received another call from US Airways. This time we went through what had fully happened. Then they tried to say that they had lost all my previous emails. Then after me saying that I can re-send them all of them. My emails re-appeared... Now for some reason they could not find any fault with their service. Then I said that the disappearance of over three weeks of Morphine with a street value in the USA of around $3000 dollars, was according to them no big deal. I am sure the Federal Government in the USA would not take this stance.
Then I find that US Airways had changed their tack. They asked me to go to the tools management of US Airways baggage and luggage liabilities. They now claim that even though my medication was stolen while on board a US Airways flight, they were not liable. I asked them why, they said if you look at the exemptions, there is a part that US Airways will not pay for lost or stolen LIFE THREATENING MEDICATION.
I told them that my medication was not taken for a life threatening condition. The US Airways representative then tried to claim that all medication was regarded as LIFE THREATENING. So if we take a headache tablet, that apparently is classed as LIFE THREATENING MEDICATION. I am sure that a court of law either in the USA or in the UK would disagree with US Airways definition of the words LIFE THREATENING MEDICATION. I use Morphine as a medication to ease the severe pains I have due to my disability.
All I want is to be treated fairly and to be reimbursed for the loss of three weeks of my vacation, the extra charges I incurred for changing my tickets and my additional travel costs. Also to be given as a gesture of goodwill some form of compensation for all the stress and anxiety that I have had. Could someone tell me which organisation will look into the problems that I have had. I just want to get this situation sorted in an amicable way.
I did not stop to obtain the name of the person at subject of this communication, so I apologize in advance for my inability to provide the full details of the issue. I'm sure this is not the first complaint about this employee however and have no doubt that you will in short order identify her. I have never been so aghast or repulsed by a flight attendant's performance and do fully expect that this complaint will be taken seriously. The flight attendant was working flight 1480 from Charlotte to Detroit that was scheduled to depart at 4:27 PM and is thin with short blonde hair, approximately 45-50 years old.
I was seated in 11C, just behind the emergency exit rows as the safety speeches were underway. The flight attendant going through the explanation of the duties required for seating in these rows was standing in the aisle two rows in front of me, asking all to affirm that they understood and agreed, asking that they respond with the statement "I understand." The gentleman in 10D said "yes" rather than the required statement and the flight attendant's behavior became shockingly demeaning.
She told him that she needed him to say that he understood and he responded that he understood, at which point she leaned down in front of him as one does with a naughty toddler and said to him loudly, "Then what did I just say?" Looking at her in disbelief as she launched into a loud and indiscreet lecture over the necessities of his seating, the gentleman was quite visibly embarrasssed. She then asked if he would like to be moved to another seat, to which he responded no, that he liked the leg room (in what appeared to be an attempt to defuse the situation with humor) and she responded with more public lecture.
She then came down the aisle to me and said "Push your bag completely under the seat in front of you." I pushed the bag the required inches from its original location and quipped to the man seated next to me (who had been equally appalled at her behavior) that three inches will make all the difference and reopened my book. The flight attendant bent down, placing her head between my face and the seat in front of me and said "What did you just say to me?" Shocked at her confrontational behavior and invasion of my personal space, I repeated what I'd said to the man next to me.
At this she began a lecture about the space and an accident, to which I said "Yes, yes, I understand". I was trying avoid the same extended public shaming delivered to the man in front of me. She then stood up and pressed the call button, interrupting the other flight attendant in his safety speech, making her threat to remove me from the plane very clear. In my utter horror and surprise, I said "really"? The idea that I was about to be removed from the plane and probably arrested for making a joke about the effectiveness of three inches in saving my life during a plane wreck left me astounded.
Was this really happening? She looked back down at me and said, again loudly and as if I was a school child being reprimanded on a playground by a nun, "Are we going to have a problem?" I responded that I just wanted to read my book. I know by this point my face was burning red with mortification and my only goal was to end the harassment. The people seated around me, to my left, behind and across the aisle, all expressed the same incredulity as soon as she was safely out of ear shot - no one wanted to place themselves in her sights.
I fly on a regular basis and I have never been chastised or threatened with removal from a plane. More, I am a paying customer who did not deserve the treatment I received on your flight. If any of my employees EVER treated a customer in such a way, he or she would be terminated with prejudice on the spot. I am still quite beside myself and frankly furious.
I tell you now that if I ever see that woman working a flight on which I am scheduled to fly again, I will immediately disembark and find another carrier, knowing that US Airways allows their employees to indulge in pointless power trips, to disrespect and publicly demean its customers. Today was completely uncalled for, utterly unacceptable and I would rather pay much higher prices at Delta than ever subject myself to that again. P.S. I would recommend that you reach out to the man seated in 10D and apologize - he was also humiliated and did not even crack a joke to bring this degradation down on himself; I am quite sure that he also is furious.
On January 7, 2010 I decided to take a last minute trip to fort lauderdale, fl. Usually I would make the hour and a half drive to the Philly airport from bethlehem pa and use southwest airline. So since this was a last minute trip I decided to leave from the abe which is located in allentown the last flight that I could find to get to fort lauderdale that night. This flight I had booked at around 3:15 that afternoon to leave from abe around 5-5:30pm on this particular day...
What I didn't know that the planes that US Airways uses out of the lehigh valley airport are called express because this is a small airport and these overhead bins cannot accommodate carry-on luggage unless you decide to carry a purse or plastic bag to put in these bins. I had a small carry-on suitcase in which I had my laptop in. My laptop size is btw 17-19 inches so it's not your tiny 10inch notebook. While boarding with my carry-on luggage I was told that my luggage needed to be put under the plane and I will get it back plane side when I get off at clt to continue on my trip to fort lauderdale.
Yes I know you guys are saying "Well why did you not pull your laptop out..." Remember the size. I just told you it could not have fit in the overhead bin. So anyway I had no worries because I'm assuming that been that this is an actual carry-on luggage they give you a yellow ticket which only ask you to put in your name and the destination of where the airline is going. And I figure that they would handle these bags at least with care. Anyway I made it to clt no worries. Didn't even think that there would be any problem at all. Went on my merry way to get on my connecting flight to go to ft lauderdale...
I made it to fort lauderdale at around 10:30pm that night. Made it to my destination around 11:30 that night. Now somewhere between 12:30am and 1:30am I decided I wanted to go online and check my emails. Powered my laptop on heard it loaded heard it connected to the internet. I got signed out of my instant messengers on my phone. Look at the laptop no picture. Upon inspecting my laptop I realize something didn't look right. So I sent an emergency text message to a friend of mine who owns a computer repair shop stating laptop emergency.
Later that morning around 9am I dropped off the laptop to find out what the problem was via text message around 1:45pm what the problem was indeed my screen. So what it seems is that when they put my bag in the undercarriage either they threw it in or they threw another bang on top of mine which caused the separation. Of what seemed is the hinges so which means the entire screen needs to be replaced. On my yellow ticket it has no phone numbers or anything in fine print stating what should you do if there was a problem. So then I asked to have an estimate emailed to me so I can contact US Airways.
When I arrived back home on January 11 I called US Airways customer service and I was told that there is no one I could speak to you in regards to my claim. I can only send out an email and wait to be contacted. I was told to email firstname.lastname@example.org. I got a computer generated email said I should expect a response within 7 business days so I could understand that I decided to be very patient and wait the 6-7 business days to be contacted back via phone call or email. So 15 days later no response so I decided to email them again once more on January 26. Here is a copy of my email:
"I would like to know how long is it that I am supposed to wait for someone to contact me about my property that was damaged due to the lack of care of your baggage handlers. I first sent this email to you on January 11, 2010 and now it is January 26 15 days later and I still haven't heard anything from anyone. My phone number is ** and my name is **. So I got another computer generated email saying wait 6-7 business day."
Here is the response I received on January 29 from US Airways: "** and **, This acknowledges our recent email sent to Customer Relations. It was forwarded to our office by Customer Relations for our response to your baggage claim status inquiry. Our records indicate the following email reply was sent on January 21st. Quote:
Ref: ** Dear Mr. **, Thank you for contacting the Central Baggage Resolution Office at US Airways. Your email was forwarded by Customer Relations for our review and response to the baggage related concerns you've described. I apologize for the length of time it has taken us to address your email. I regret we are unable to open email attachments due to our Internet security settings. Also, I was unable to locate an active Property Irregularity Report for this incident.
Mr. **, unfortunately, all damage must be reported in person within four hours of arrival, thus allowing for a physical evaluation to be completed prior to any assumption of liability. When a customer arrives at his/her destination and does not immediately report damaged property, we cannot honor any subsequent claim. In addition, per the Published Airline Tariffs we are unable to compensate for computer equipment, as it is among those items excluded from coverage when transported in checked baggage.
If you have not already done so, you may wish to contact your personal property or travel insurer to see if you have coverage for an incident such as this. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to clarify our position. I sincerely hope we have an opportunity to restore your confidence in our service. Respectfully, ** Central Baggage Resolution Office US Airways Unquote. I appreciate this opportunity to be of further assistance. Respectfully, ** Central Baggage Resolution Office US Airways."
Here is a copy of my response this email: "I'm sorry this was not a bag that was checked in as a carryon bag... I was told that the plane that we took which was the express is the overhead bins are too small to put our carry-on luggage in so we had to get a yellow ticket to put on our bags where we will receive the bag back once we get off the plane... and getting in contact after 4 hours after the arrival of that flight would have been impossible since I had a connecting flight to fort lauderdale and I did not find out the problem until the next morning after I turned my laptop on...
I need to speak to someone in person. This email communication is not working.... and if I need to fax over a copy of what information that was given to me by the computer repair which is the diagnosis and quote I will... and if I knew I would not have been able to carry my carry-on on this trip as a carry-on I would never used your company...
I've never had a problem with any other airlines with my carry-on luggage...what's the point of having a carry-on when you can't actually carry it on... So I would appreciate it if I get a phone number or have someone call me. I would like to speak to a live person not typing via email because I need to this resolve.... and my name is Ms ** not Mr **."
Still no response so now I sent another email on February 6 here is my email: "I'm still waiting for someone to contact me about my problem... so I can explain to the person about my problem... because on the yellow tag that I was given to put on my carry-on bag it states nowhere on there about contacting anyone if there is a problem with my luggage. Only thing it ask for is the flight number and destination of departure and arrival and no phone numbers... So can someone please contact me via telephone or do I need to go to the airport...to speak to a live person? my name once again is ** and my phone number is."
Finally on February 8 almost one month after my first contact with them about my issues here is that email. I have contacted the computer repair shop to send fax them over the estimate. Hopefully this will resolve the issue and no I still have yet to speak to anyone in person from the baggage resolution department. I'm so tired of dealing with these email communications. Here is the February 8th communication. Looks like it will be getting somewhere:
"**, This will acknowledge your recent email. I apologize for the length of time it has taken us to reply. To review this matter further, you may provide an invoice indicating the necessary cost of repair. If your property cannot be repaired, you may provide the repair shop's documentation along with the date of purchase and original cost. You may wish to send this information via certified or registered mail to the address below. If the item has a singular cost over $100, we ask that substantiation of the original purchase price be provided.
US Airways Attn: Central Baggage Resolution Office 4000 E. Sky Harbor Blvd. Phoenix, AZ 85034 Fax 480-693-2305 You may reply or reach our office at 866-874-3931, option 3, and leave a message at anytime if you have further questions at this time. Your information will be reviewed and a Baggage Specialist will return your call within 24 hours, between the hours of 8 am to 8 pm local time. Your cooperation is appreciated, we await your reply. Respectfully, ** Central Baggage Resolution Office US Airways." Sorry for such a long blog but I had to put my 3cents in lol...
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 Charlotte).
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 2 pm. 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 downhill 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 to 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 into 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!
My turn to pile on. I booked a flight on 10/30 (at 3 am) for a Christmas Eve flight to Greenville, SC. Or so I thought. The same morning at 8 am, I double-checked my itinerary and noticed a mistake-- I selected Greenville, NC by mistake. Four hours away, but I was confident the mistake was caught early enough-- heck, the plane was 90% empty when I booked.
The first customer service representative was very unsympathetic to my dyslexia problem and told me I would have to pay the $150 change fee. Obviously perturbed, I decided to call back later once the blood returned to my extremities.
Around noon the same day, I tried again and got a much better response. I was now told that company policy is to make these changes WITHOUT the $150 change fee if caught within 24 hours of booking. "Whew", I thought. Crummy that company policies seem to be dependent on the mood of the customer service rep you get, but it seemed to work out in the end, so I was happy...or so I thought.
December 15th, and I go back to double-check my itinerary. "What's this", I said as I noticed I was still headed to...you guessed it, Greenville NORTH CAROLINA. I called customer service (in the Philippines) and was mysteriously disconnected four separate times (and had to re-queue for 25 minutes each time!). But unfortunately for me, there was no record of my flight change request on 10/30...so I was SOL. Plus, each time I spoke to customer service, I got a different story on the policy about the $150 change fee again. Kind of makes it hard to listen to statements like, "There is nothing I can do" when you know darn well they can do something about it.
To make things worse, I was definitely going to be charged the difference between the flight I booked on 10/30 and the flights available now-- to the tune of an additional $308. Did it matter that they were negligent in fulfilling the change request? Nope. According to the grand wizard of supervisors (everyone seems to be a supervisor at US Airways customer service, though no one has the power to fix anything) it was MY fault for not verifying the change wasn't made within 24 hours. My bad! I guess I should also be ready hop in the cockpit if the crew decides to nap, or carry my paddle and water wings in case they decide to splash-land in the Hudson again.
Needless to say, I will be driving to my destination on Christmas Eve this year. Thanks again for remembering the importance of customer service and reliability US Airways! BTW, I later found out that there was a flight to Asheville, NC for $400 total, but no one mentioned that in the 3 hours I spent on the phone trying to straighten out this mess.
TEMPE, ARIZONA -- On October 7, 2009 my son was scheduled to fly on US AIRWAYS Flight #4175 from La Guardia to Roanoke, Virginia. We arrived at the US AIRWAYS curb-side check in at 12:50 pm which was well within the airline's limit of 30 minutes for a 1:29 pm flight. The airline personnel erroneously insisted that the flight was 1:14 pm 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, then it was announced that the flight was delayed. Both the courteous US AIRWAYS 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 US AIRWAYS 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 US AIRWAYS 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 1:53 pm 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 US AIRWAYS.
I had to pay $186 for UPS to overnight the suitcase and medicine to my son. As a result of this US AIRWAYS 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 coupon for another flight. I don't think I will be needing it in the future.
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!