Delayed, Over-Booked & Misinformed

April 6, 2010

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

I want to preface this by saying that I usually fly three or four times a year and have never been on this airline before.

I took a business trip from Tucson to Santa Barbara recently on US Airways. Arrived at the airport in plenty of time prior to the 8:15 AM departure. It was to be an early flight out to Phoenix followed by a plane change to Santa Barbara for an 11:54 AM arrival. The first flight ended up being delayed for at least four hours (it was still there when I left) due to a mechanical problem. A gate attendant thought she was doing me a favor by putting me on a noon flight to Phoenix with an assigned seat ticket for a 4:47 PM flight to Santa Barbara (“just in case”) and an unassigned seat for a 1:30 PM flight. The noon flight was late but I did make it to Phoenix by 1:00 PM.

The next problem was that the 1:30 flight was over-booked and I was fourth on the list (this was not explained to me in Tucson). Then I found out that the 4:47 flight was also over-booked and that my assigned seat ticket had been cancelled when the attendant in Tucson incorrectly created the 1:30 ticket. I was then informed that I would be booked on the last Phoenix flight of the day to arrive in Santa Barbara at 10:11 PM. At this point I went to the customer service counter (with my collection of four Phoenix to Santa Barbara tickets) and explained what I had been through. They were actually helpful and got me on the 4:47 flight. By the time I left the airport in Santa Barbara it was twelve hours after I started the trip with less than two hours of actual flight time.

On the way back the first flight left fifty-five minutes late. When I arrived in Phoenix they told me that my connecting flight had already left and that I had been re-booked on the second flight (first was over-booked) later in the evening. I decided that I didn’t trust them based on my previous experiences and went to the gate anyway. At the gate I was informed that the plane (which I had already supposedly missed) would begin boarding in ten minutes. Forty minutes later we boarded and I finally made it back home.

I hope that this is the exception and not the rule with air travel at US Airways.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Salamandra April 6, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Why bother? Always same problem. Never fly that airline. Why people keep using it. Just say NO!

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Aaron April 7, 2010 at 7:38 am

Not an exception. This airline has terrible service and no coordination. Your story doesn't surprise me at all. I avoid this airline at all costs.

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Jane April 7, 2010 at 8:59 am

Definitely NOT an exception. If I were you, avoid ALL Star Alliance airlines (US Airways, United, Air Canada, Continental, etc.) like the plague! They're ALL horrible!

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rerere April 7, 2010 at 11:23 am

Yeah, take JetBlue!

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Jane April 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Ummm…you do realize that Jet Blue and Southwest don't go anywhere that I travel, and I'd have to drive 2.5 hours to go to the nearest airport for Southwest and FOUR HOURS for JetBlue, right?

Not everyone lives where these airlines fly to, dumbass.

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crella April 7, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Why would anyone realize where you live or like to travel to?

And who's a dumbass?

Where do they come from……

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Jane April 7, 2010 at 4:54 pm

If I lived anywhere NEAR an airport serviced by JetBlue or Southwest, or if they traveled to somewhere that I want to go, don't you think I'd be flying THEM instead of the Big Five? DUH.

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david April 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Jane you do realize that the Star Allience is the most world renown allience and they are extremely successful

Try flying Singapore Airlines, they are Star Allience, and i am pretty darn sure you will be AMAZED by their service, they are customer oriented unlike most other airlines

Any US based airlines is a piece of crap

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Jane April 8, 2010 at 2:00 am

And when do normal Americans travel to Singapore? Not bloody often. Most fly domestically.

So stop pulling airlines out of your ass if they don't fly domestically in the US and don't fly to the smaller airports.

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David April 8, 2010 at 3:04 am

Well many people fly internationally and alot of people regard the star alliance as the best……btw Singapore is a major Asian hub and alot of Americans travel there

and I was refering to you saying avoid all star alience members and yet you have only flown the american members which suck no matter what

I suggest that you don't group things together if you haven't expierienced the majority of the product

southwest is more expensive then many carriers if u don't get their rare low fares and jetblue is having major issues in nyc

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Kad April 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I've had a lot of success with Continental, and delays were mostly due to weather in the northeast, or security changes at airports.

Jane, your sweeping generalization is like most – inaccurate – and it makes the poster look like a bit of a buffoon.

No company that offers seats on a vehicle is perfect, and I find it incongruous somehow that the least efficient among them would somehow join to form one of the most successful airline networks in the world.

And btw, I drive 2 hours regularly for a Continental flight. It's worth the efficient Continental counter service at Pearson (YYZ) to go with a known, than risk an unknown at the local int'l airport, which does not have Continental flights yet.

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Teddy April 12, 2010 at 6:06 am

It seems like your biggest issue was overbooking, an issue that seems rather prevalent in the airline industry today.

I agree that US Airways and United has some issues (however, I won't avoid them if they're more convenient or cheaper than the alternatives). Continental is a great airline. They've got great service, and their planes are some of the newest in the industry.

and discount airlines are only truly discount on competitive routes. I was getting a ticket to fly from BWI to San Antonio last summer and found Southwest charged a fortune for that route. I flew Continental instead.

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Teddy April 12, 2010 at 6:11 am

Oh, I will also mention that most problems at the airport tend to occur if you try checking in at the airport. I recommend checking-in online at least 12 hours in advance. It seems that doing so seems to alleviate problems with getting bounced from your seat or getting an arbitrary seat change.

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