You know when you are about to say something sensitive and you disclaim, “Some of my BEST FRIENDS are…”  Well, I write this knowing that some of my best friends are USAirways employees.  Just not the ones I am about to mention!

So I’ve done a lot of traveling lately.  Recently via US Airways to South Carolina and back to Pittsburgh.  And for once, I  thought I only had one complaint.. the STANDARD ONE about their Commodore 64, 5 1/4″ Floppy Disk, Tape Modem computerized luggage retrieval system that gets your bags to you well within an hour of you getting to the Pittsburgh Airport’s Landside terminal.  Nice an convenient!!

But… they have NOT FAILED to UN-astonish once again.  (See previous US AIRWAYS posts here.)

Just the other day an article entitled, As Airline Fees Top $36 Billion, Is Relief in Sight for Fee-Weary Travelers?, noted how airlines were finally turning a profit. Including US Airways logging record profits.  And now we know how they did it!

So someone gives me a lift to the Charleston, SC airport.  I arrive 3 hours early for my US Airways flight back to Pittsburgh.  When I asked if there was an earlier flight home, the front desk confirms that there is and it is just about to board.  They book me on it.  I swiftly walk to the gate.

I then realize that they did not note a gate # so I return to the front podium.  At that point, the attendant tells me she forgot to charge me the extra $75 for changing to the earlier flight.   Fine… credit card swiped… $75 worth of convenience and I am off to the gate where the plane is now boarding.

Within 10-minutes of me getting to the gate, the gate attendant announces that, “If anyone in the area that is on the 6pm flight would like to board this earlier flight, please come to desk.”  As I am waiting to board, I ask, “Is there any extra fee for those that want to fly earlier?”  The gate attendant replies, “No, it’s just a courtesy since the flight is not full.”

WAIT.. WHAT?????????????????  10-minutes ago I just paid $75 to do what you just offered to others for FREE???????

I think I deserve a REFUND!

Cutting to the chase..once I got home,  I tweeted to @USAirways.  They provided me an email address to which I could send my details.  I did so.. I wrote mainly the same information as above but was NICE!

The, no-name-attached-no-real-person-to-talk-to email reply said they reviewed my case and do not believe I deserve a refund.

I emailed again stating that I don’t think they REALLY read the details of this issue and, once again, no-name-attached-no-real-person-to-talk-to email reply that I do not deserve a refund.

So US Airways, it had been over 4 years since I last flew on your silly little transit system that you call an airline. And now, over $75, it will be a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time before I step on to another one of your planes…. even if I have to go through Chicago, Milwaukee over to Portland and thru Austin just to get to Columbus, Ohio!!

Glad you are finally making a profit due to random fees…. I will keep tabs on the additional ways you chose to make money like: arm rest fees, no fees to recline your chair but $18 to put it back in it’s upright position, etc. etc.

Here’s ONE way to make money.. charge a licensing fee to everyone that posts the name US Airways in a complaint on the internet!  You’ll be multiple BILLIONAIRES, Ya Jagoffs!!!



It would sure help my blood pressure!

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  1. They charge a fee to reserve the seat if you move it up and they still have seats. So you are guaranteed a seat by paying the money.

    If they have empty seats when they are getting ready to leave they may/may not ask if people from later flights want to catch an earlier flight but you aren’t guaranteed a seat at all. This is so they can over book and/or sell your seat on the plane you were originally supposed to take to someone buying a ticket last minute. It just allows them to make more money by filling up an empty flight with passengers from one that may or may not have a better chance of selling out.

    It has nothing to do with customer service at all. If he had just shown up at the gate in hopes that there was a seat without booking one he would have gotten the earlier flight without paying.

    • Dave. Good try. But is INDEED about customer service. The plane was boarding. 10 minutes difference. And, you’d think that after the two emails of explanation, US Airways would realize that it was silly and its NOT worth losing a customer over $75. Especially a customer that travels a lot out of Pittsburgh.

      If you happen to represent US Airways, your comment that this is not about customer service at all ….well then….I guess you have made my point that US Airways STILL doesn’t understand customer service.

      • I do not represent any airline, I am just a decently regular flyer and understand business.

        Honestly could you say if they had given you the $75 back that you would have flown with them again? You already hadn’t flown with them for 4 years and bad mouthed them on your blog (at least that’s what I assume as the link is dead).
        Would you have wrote something positive about the experience? I doubt it based on everything I’ve seen in this blog.

        Given those circumstances, I be they figured they cut their losses and keep what they can. It’d be the smart thing to do business wise.

        • Dave,

          I haven’t flown on USAirways for some time due to poor service. I thought, I should try again, why hold a grudge. I had no issues with my flight to my destination. Only the flight home. They knew nothing of my blog BEFORE I tried to get this resolved. They only ended up there because of how they handled this situtaiton.. the biggest issue being, to resolve a problem, I can’t even speak to a human as much as I asked.

          I teach customer service for part of my real life job. USAirways continues to fail at it despite needing customers. It’s a shame knowing that they WERE they hometown gang who I would love to support. They constantly rank poorly in customer service and service delivery.

          BTW, the link to the blog post is not dead.

          Thanks for the comments though. I appreciate your opinion. I fly quite a bit myself. Other airlines have found ways to appreciate customers… to the point that I don’t mind driving to Cleveland to NOT have to fly USAirways

  2. First mistake was going back to the podium instead of just looking at the monitor to find out which gate your flight was departing from. Second, and this is the big one, you should have told the attendant, “Hey tough luck, you’re not swiping my credit card again!” like a true jagoff!

  3. For what it’s worth, talking with a human in the US Airways’ “customer relations” department yields the same aggrevation.
    I complained about the treatment I received from a gate agent and her supervisor over preventing me from flying with my dog, eventhough I flew with him using the same carrier on the same flight just eleven months prior. They said he was too big to turn around in the carrier. When I argued, I wasn’t given the opportunity to prove them wrong. They said he weighed thirty pounds, but I put him on the luggage scale to show he only weighed twenty. No matter. Then they told me (I swear this is true) that the ASPCA has undercover agents in the airport which will confiscate my dog and fine US Airways if they saw me abusing him by using a carrier this sized.
    I had to board him for the week and delayed my vacation by seven hours. When I returned for my afternoon flight, the supervisor acted like she was doing me a favor by waiving the fee to change my ticket.
    After sending e-mails on three different occasions, I would get follow-up phone calls which involved me stating my case and the person on the other end simply regurgitating boiler plate responses. No empathy, admission of a mistake on their part and a complete lack of effort to try make amends. I even sent letters outlining my ordeal to the heads of the departments in corporate only to receive an e-mail from the first person I spoke with in “customer relations” stating the case was closed.
    A truly classless organization and one I will never fly again.

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