Friday, July 08, 2005

US Air-No-ways

I had to fly to Philly for the 4th of July weekend. That in itself wasn't an issue. Flying with US airways, what an experience. I cannot believe the changes that this airline has undergone. Not one positive one. Zero, zilch.

It didn't help that, due to a last minute ticket purchase, I had to be searched. Does that SS stand for strip search? And what's with all the forewarning before you get molested? "I will now pat your breasts with the back of my hand..." Like Shut up and get it over with! Anyway I walked from that and my first trip to Charlotte was mainly uneventful.

Get to Charlotte and the first indication that things are messed up is that I walk to gate 37, get told our gate has been changed to 34. Not too bad, get to 34, plane has been delayed by some 40 minutes. Apparently its coming in from Barbados and they are yet to get here, after which the plane will need both cleaning and security checks... Who cares? Prior planning might have averted this. "Is there bad weather?" I inquire. "Nope" comes the reply. Just some other issues came up. It's still too early to know what I was up against. I'm concerned by the man on one of the payphones swearing against ever flying US airways. I'm thinking, "well, I noticed that no one came back to collect trash and that we landed with my seat pulled back,mine and the dude next to me... but is it all that serious?" That is a thought coming in prematurely.

I sit down to wait for our plane to arrive. Pull out my Sidney Sheldon, which is actually interesting. Only thing is I keep getting interrupted by people rushing to the counter. They all keep asking the same question. "Has the plane left?" I'm thinking, "No. It's been delayed." Wrong answer. Attendant keeps asking them, where are you headed? As long as the answer isn't Philadelphia, which was 100% of the times. She says to them next, "oh your plane was delayed?" A frustrated "yes" followed always. Nonchalantly, she proceeds to direct them to the scheduling desk that will assist them because they need to be booked onto other flights. Here was my concern, say, like 35 minutes into all this. Too many people had stopped at the counter with the same question and same answers. So how many people actually left in this plane? More importantly, how many planes were delayed. Quite frankly, a clear pattern of operation is beginning to form. I got to Philly 1 hour late. Right before midnight. And the queue at Hertz was just the icing on the cake. Its midnight and I have to queue 40 minutes to get a car? Jeez! What is the world coming to? And all this after I have a headache from popped ears for like the last 45 minutes of the flight, not to mention a completely deaf right ear.

Return journey. I am sincerely praying my decongestants work. I cannot go through the excruciating pain in my ears again. Thank goodness this is a direct flight. Again, I have to be patted down and basically molested as I check in. Watch the crazy male open up my little bag of paraphanelia and really peer into my little little things. No biggie. I'm prepared for US airways. I have no expectations. True. They did not disappoint me. Our flight was delayed. Why? The crew with which our flight was leaving had not arrived yet. Can you believe this? We have a plane scheduled for departure with a crew that doesn't check in until 1 hour after we are supposed to have departed. All the while, intercom after intercom is abuzz with flight delays. Eventually I have to ask if any single flight on US airways departs before it is at least 1 hour late anymore. 1.5 hours later, we board. And I am home.

So I've heard that America West bought or partnered with US Airways. It's like mystery solved. I flew America West one time too many before where they dumped me in some bundus late, my flight had left, and no flight to San Jose, or San Francisco, my destination, was available for another 4 hours. 4 hours no connecting flight? It was a business trip... I was screwed. And then they lost my luggage. And the attitudes I got from these people, even on my return trip. I wrote them off sincerely and purely then. And US Airways rests right there with them now.


Guessaurus said...

I had to comment on this even if its way late, but US Airways is one carrier I am not taking again. They are useless - flew them from Charlotte (ha) to the UK - they are unprofessional, they treat you like you didnt pay for your flight, their food is pathetic, they give you soft drinks - you have to pay for alcoholic drinks on international flights (first I heard of it) and even though I dont normally drink on flights, having to pay for it is disgusting!
I flew with them between DC and Charlotte again last year and its like being on a flying train - no service or professionalism whatsoever - get on the tin-can, get to your destination, shut up and dont bother us -get off and go your merry way.

I have definitely retired their tired ways - good on you for writing about this!

Mimmz said...

I love it that I wasn't imagining things or being fussy. US Airways sucks!

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