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!