US Airways No Way

I have now officially “had it” with US Airways.

I had a trip out west, and unfortunately, flew on US Airways. The night before I left, I received a call telling me that my flight out would be delayed by about 2 hours, which would mean I would miss my connecting flight. I had to press hard for them to work through that, but luckily I had already built in a buffer to that schedule. My meeting was the next day at 7 am, so I would be “fine.” I had planned on meeting my wife in San Francisco and thus we had more “complications.” I needed to get her flight re-routed as well, so that she wouldn’t be waiting for 5 or 6 hours in the airport. At first, US Airways was not willing to work with us on this. “Her flight isn’t the one delayed” they kept reminding me. Finally, after a full hour on the phone, I was able to not only work out changes that had us arrive at the same time, but it put us on the same connecting flight!

All’s well that ends well? Not quite. Actually, not by a long shot. When we got on the plane to connect to San Fran, it turned out my wife’s seat was literally double booked.1 She, and another gentleman, had the same seat assignment.2  On an overbooked flight. Ah, but they were able to accommodate us again. We got to sit next to the bathroom.

Now here is where I feel bad. I could write a nice long blog entry about how the meeting went quite well. (It did.) How absolutely enjoyable (and fabulous) the “vacation” portion of it was. (It was!) I should write about how I enjoyed the seafood, and how I thought it was neat to see and hear the sealions in Monterey. (all true.) But nope. I am still too angry.

You see, I am still at the airport waiting for the final leg of my flight home. When I arrived (yesterday morning) at the airport in San Francisco, I was told that my final flight, the 50 minute connector to my hometown, was canceled (already.) And why was it canceled? Because they wouldn’t– 12 hours later– have an aircrew to fly the plane. Yup–they had a “crew cancel” scheduled more than 12 hours before the flight would even take off!

The gentleman at the counter worked hard to find an alternative, but when US Airways is the only airline to the local airport, the options are limited. Ultimately, I ended up heading to the connecting airport on the East Coast, and having to stay at a (very crappy) hotel at US Airways expense. They did provide me with meal vouchers. And you know just how far that $5 goes at an airport!

I did tell them that, since they screwed up my outbound and my inbound flights that they owed me some additional compensation. Alas, so far I have only received the buck passing. More to follow, no doubt.

1 This is interesting, given that on April 24th the airline’s President, and the Chairman/CEO issued a letter to customers touting that the new reservations system is in place, and that the “new software and better airport processes will allow our airport employees to focus less on keystrokes and more on getting you where you need to be, on time, with your bag. ”
2 To delve further into this story, on that same flight there was another seat with two bookings. On top of that, on my final flight home (yes, I finally got one!) “they” double booked a seat on that flight. In today’s era of “Web 2.0” and Digital Natives, how does this happen? Perhaps another post, on that…


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