US Airways, Purveyors of Service

Posted on March 5, 2007
Filed Under business | 6 Comments

Sounds like US Airways and America West really made a hash of combining their reservation systems. US Airways is one of the common carriers out of Myrtle Beach and often these United tickets are cross-booked with them. I think they are the most consistently sucky airline I’ve ever flown. It’s not one thing, it is a pervasive culture of unhelpfulness and hostility that permeates the entire business.

For me, the moment that crystallized it was coming back from Oregon last fall and not getting my suitcase back. When I was 10 minutes out from the airport they called my cell and told me they found my bag and it was behind the ticket counter. An hour later I went back to the ticket counter and the woman there told me they didn’t have it and sent me to baggage claim. The baggage handler walked me back up to the ticket counter, where my bag was two feet from the woman who told me they didn’t have it. I don’t generally raise my voice at airline people but this was clearly a case of rampant laziness and sorriness. She couldn’t be bothered to bend her neck enough to lower her gaze 20 degrees to see, yes there is a suitcase right next to her. If that was an isolate incident, I’d write it off but that pretty much defines how every interaction with US Air feels. They don’t really care about your experience. If they get your money and get you there within 24 hours of when they were supposed to arrive, mission accomplished. Whether or not you were miserable means little to them.

I have heard the story of how Allegheny was the worst airline in the country and that after the name change people said US Air is an acronym for Unfortunately Still Allegheny In Reality. This is a business that has sucked for a long time, is known to suck and has built up and solidified a culture of suck. Why is it still in business when others fail? I’m now building my travel itineraries around making sure I don’t have to fly it, which is a pain because they usually have the best flight times out of here. We need more tourists coming to Myrtle Beach, so we can have more and better flights for me when I need them!

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6 Responses to “US Airways, Purveyors of Service”

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  1. MikeD on March 6th, 2007 10:10 am

    Dave,
    We’re taking the family down to Myrtle Beach this spring from Boston and have decided to drive 15 hours rather than deal with USAir. That, and the fact that they double the prices during vacation week.

    If only JetBlue flew to Myrtle Beach. I’d fly down all the time.

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  3. hiwesunshine on March 6th, 2007 1:45 pm

    MikeD,

    Spirit flies from Boston to Myrtle Beach, and they are both cheap and good: http://www.spiritair.com.

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  5. Lorelai Jensuit on June 11th, 2007 12:53 am

    Let me give you a taste of what you can expect from US Airways.
    On May 26, 2007 my husband and I were returning from a Caribbean vacation. To say the least, we were exhausted and ready to get home. Upon disembarking US Airways flight 1051 Ft. Lauderdale to Charlotte, NC both pilots and a member of the flight attendant staff were positioned at the exit of the plane. As I began to advance down the aisle, the pilot stated loudly and directly to me, “OK, everybody off. Let’s go ‘hoochie mama’, move it, let’s go”, at which point he began slapping the co-pilot on the back with each of them exploding into uproarious laughter.
    Unaware of what my rights are in flight anymore, which I’m not particularly sure I have any, I made my exit rapidly, attempting to ignore this verbal assault to the best of my ability. My point of leaving this commentary, is that no one should experience this type of sexually harassing behavior on the part of someone who is in charge of the plane you may be flying on (God forbid).
    Of course, my attempts to contact the US Airways corporate complaint center concerning this matter have been futile. I have also contacted the office of my state Senator, Senator John McCain’s office, the Arizona state Attorney General’s office, the Arizona Consumer Protection Bureau, etc.
    Most recently, I have been informed to lodge a complaint with the US Justice Department which is what I am in the process of doing.
    By whatever means necessay, avoid patroning this airline. If you have been the victim of fraudlulent ticketing practices, etc please refer your complaints directly to the US Attorney Generals Office or whatever other federal bureau your complaint may apply. And whatever you do, fly with another more reputable corporation.

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  7. Charity on July 2nd, 2007 10:22 pm

    I was schedule to fly out of LAX on flight 117 on June 29, 2007, to Las Vegas on flight 557 to West Palm Beach. The whole reason for booking an overnight flight was to arrive early the next morning & have the entire day to begin my vacation. My flight left late from LAX, due to mechanical problems, therefore causing me to miss my flight in Vegas. I then had to wait an additional 3 hours to catch a flight to Philadelphia on flight 1404. Then from there, I took flight 1593 to West Palm Beach & arrived approx 2:45 in the afternoon!! I wasted half my vacation day in airports & in the air when I should’ve been in West Palm Beach on the 30th at approx 6:30am. Then, to add insult to injury, I get to PBI & my luggage has been lost. I have to go to the store to get toiletries & other items to get me through the night. Finally my bag does end up arriving shortly after midnight, however, my digital camera & beach towel were missing. Apparently someone set my bag aside so they could rifle through it for anything valuable they could steal. I am disgusted w/ my whole experience on US Airways. I tried calling baggage claim to let them know items had been stolen, & finally gave up because each time I tried calling, I was on hold for at least 10 minutes & never got through to an operator. I did not feel like wasting anymore cellphone minutes waiting for an operator.

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  9. Dragon Lady on August 15th, 2007 1:09 pm

    And it still goes on. Last Thursday my daughter was to fly from Hartford, CT to Greenville, SC. Flight held in Hartford for several hours caused late arrival for connections in DC. She was not alone. 3800 souls were stranded and US closed their gates and ticket counters and forced these folks to wait in the general airport and go through security again. Not enough? They flew her to New York to get a connection. Still not enough? Her flight from there was 4 hours late. Still not enough? They removed her carryon – a large computer case, but still within the size limitations for a commuter carryon. And yes, still not enough! She picked it up at planeside and when she arrived at my house her computer screen was broken. Of course they are saying that they are not responsible, yet if she had carried it on it would not have (obviously) been dropped.
    Where is Southwest? Jet Blue? Anybody? Come on – this is the fastest growing area in the southeast and we need another airline!

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  11. Meg on December 2nd, 2007 2:41 am

    Today I flew from Buffalo to Portland, OR on US Airways. When I arrived in Portland I had 4 bags to drag home. I had been flying for the past 13 hours (switched planes several times) and just wanted to get home. When I got home I opened one of my bags and my bran-new (still in box) digital camera was gone. Someone went through my bag and stole my camera. I tried calling US Airways and was transfered to a department which was closed both times. I do have a lawyer in the family and I will take this as far as I have to in order to be reimbursed for the theft which occurred.