US Airways continues to be awful


Back in November I posted about an incident I had with US Airways and the initial follow-up. 

Having made no progress with the "normal" channels, I decided to escalate and sent an email to John Romantic, Director of Customer Service.  A few hours later I was contacted by someone from his office, lets call her Jenn.

In speaking to Jenn, she informed me of what had gone on with my itinerary.

  1. I book an itinerary on expedia with the routing of ORD-PHX-GEG-PHX-SFO-ORD
  2. United cancels the PHX-SFO leg (this was a US code-share flight)
  3. US automatically rebooks me on GEG-PHX-ORD.
  4. The rebooking forces me to overnight in ORD, which I had not planned as my original flight was a red-eye.  Additionally, I was meeting someone in SFO and thus the original itin was planned as such.
  5. I call expedia, explain to them that I'd like a SFO routing back as it was part of my plans.
  6. Expedia rebooks me on the original routing, but using a US Airways flight for PHX-SFO, or so I think.  They actually couldn't get PHX-SFO-ORD issued, so expedia added the SFO-ORD leg.
  7. Expedia calls US Airways and one of THEIR agents forces the PHX-SFO leg in, completely ignoring minimum connect times.

So, obviously, with this information, I ask why the agent would have forced it when clearly it was illegal and impossible.  No answer.

I additionally point out that since it was indeed a US Airways agent that forced the change, they should be responsible.   However, they refuse to accept responsibility for this and insist I should have just taken a flight the next day.  They didn't seem to care that I would be arriving at my destination (on their ticket, ORD) ten hours late.

I'm thoroughly disgusted by this for obviousy reasons.    Being that their agent forced the illegal connection, they should completely be held liable for the other charges that were incurred. 

Another interesting point is that US Airways doesn't seem to care about DOT complaints.  Normally when a DOT complaint is filed against an airline, most airlines address the issue to prevent it from getting worse.  Not in this case, i've filed two complaints and not a single acknowledgement to either.  At this point, i've decided i'm going to start filing weekly DOT complaints to impact their DOT reports until this gets resolved.

Anybody interested in signing a petition to Star Alliance requesting the removal of US Airways?



AS January 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

Maybe the info is in the earlier post, but the post above leaves out a few details that may be important.

First, you insisted on going via SFO when the airline put you on a routing to your actual destination. That was your choice and done to accomodate you, even though its a connection point not a stopover point or destination. They're not required to transport you there, you didn't pay for the right to transit SFO.

Second, the whole issue of arriving 10 hours late. They got you to SFO at your explicit request, on an available flight. You are upset about the missed connection that was invalid, and since you missed it you reached your destination late. What you didn't specify, is whether there was another valid connection to ORD that they could have put you on, and chose not to. If they put you on the first available flight, it's hard to say what else they might owe you.

You were taking a very roundabout routing, they had irrops and offered you a more direct routing, which you declined. Now you want them to be accountable for it. I think they're well within their rights to decline you compensation since you requested an indirect routing since you didn't want to get there too early, nor too late, but just right. Your request to go via SFO took away their ability to meet their end of the deal - that is, to transport you from GEG-ORD in a timely manner. It's not their fault you chose that specific routing.

It's easy to keep blaming the airline. No doubt continued frivolous complaints will do the trick. But before you talk about an airline that doesn't care, take a step back. You're trying to take undue advantage of the airline and upset that they're not just rolling over.

Fozz January 21, 2010 at 02:46 pm

@AS: While you are correct in that they put me on an alternate routing, they changed it such that I was arriving at my destination the previous evening which would require an expense of a hotel on my part. This was never in the plan and not something I was intending and US was surely not going to pay for the hotel.

Secondly, when I originally booked my flight, there were two options on the PHX-SFO leg, one on UA and one on US. I opted for the one on UA as i had plenty of time to change terminals in PHX. When UA canceled the flight, US also adjusted their schedule such that their flight would now misconnect to the ORD flight. (I didn't learn this last fact until the day of travel).

Sure I had a unique routing, but it was also done such that I didn't want to incur additional charges for a hotel in ORD on the return. If US had a red-eye from PHX to ORD, i'd be perfectly fine with that, but they don't and they weren't going to pick up the cost of the hotel.

Additionally, for the record, they never got me to SFO.

I suggest you read the original post. The big issue was that US failed to issue me a boarding pass for the US coded (UA operated) SFO-ORD flight. If US was able to print that boarding pass, none of this would have been an issue.

The key things here are: A) US failed to print the boarding pass for the last flight. Even though this was on US ticket stock and a US flight number. B) The connection time in SFO was around 30 minutes, this was to include a terminal change, check-in for the UA flight and reclear security. Not realistic at all.
C) This also wasn't IRROPs, this was schedule changes and thus preventable ahead of time. If this was an IRROPs situation, i'd be a bit more flexible.

Honestly, I don't feel that i'm trying to take advantage of the airline. The airline failed to get me to my destination with a reasonable amount of time (say four hours). Expecting me to absorb my hotel cost for an extra evening is not acceptable. Forcing me to misconnect in SFO so they can pass me off to UA is not reasonable. Furthermore, it was one of their own employees who forced something illegal. Had I been told it was an illegal connection, I would have never accepted that routing.

As I said, routing through SFO was my preference, not required, but I was not willing to incur the expense of a hotel in ORD.

With the schedule changes, US didn't even offer to refund my money, the only option they gave me was to change my flight back, so I didn't have much in the way of options.

So, if the airline doesn't give me the option to refund my tix and they want me to incur an additional night of hotel on my dime, that's ok?

But me being upset that they aren't taking responsibility for their agent forcing a connection, their inability to print a boarding pass for one of their flight numbers on their ticket stock and then believing that arriving at my destination nine hours later is acceptable, is not a reason to be upset?

I'm generally not one to demand compensation and I generally let things slide, but this was just an atrocious turn of events and the fact that they aren't taking responsibility is the biggest issue.

And in the effort for full disclosure, they did refund the my unused segments, a whopping $50 and change.

Halothane January 21, 2010 at 06:54 pm

Nah...let's keep US around. Their miles are cheap to come by and no *net blocking =)

scott dickman May 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

I've tried to change my travel dates or add my miles back onto my account BUT it will cost an extra $150 plus who knows how much...I explained I cannot fly due to a medical reason BUT they don't care at US Air...can some one help?