Frustrated Over Cancelled Flights

March 28, 2014

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

I normally fly SouthWest Air. But they didn’t have a morning flight from PHX to San Antonio. US Airways — US Airways Express — used to be America West Express – really is Mesa Airlines – had an 8:45am flight. Anyway, get to the airport and voila, airplane is 2.5 hours late. Should’ve taken SW Air. On the return flight 6:30pm Wednesday, it starts off delayed by 1 hour, then every 30 minutes they nudge up the delayed time. By the time the “departure 8:45pm” is displayed, it’s 7pm and I hear someone say, “This flight’s cancelled!” and storm off.

I pulled up the website and yes, this flight is cancelled. THX Mesa Air! Instead of waiting in line, I called up the airline and best they could do was put me in “the last seat” on the 6:15am Thursday flight home. Fine; I asked about hotel/meal vouchers and the rep said to go to the US Airways counter. So I waited in that line for 90 minutes. I finally get up there and the guy looks me straight in the eyes and waves his arms to the left and right and says, “There’s not a hotel to be had in San Antonio! Everything’s booked solid.” And then he said, “We don’t do meal vouchers.”

This is a lie. What he means is that “US Airways only had three hotel vouchers to give out and they’re all gone.” You know how I know it’s a lie? Because a quick look-up of Hotels.com shows vacant rooms all around the airport, some even as cheap as $52. The other guy at the counter said to all of us, “There’s some comfortable looking chairs over there.” Yes, thank you, as those chairs are the ones that have the immoveable arm rests so people won’t try to sleep on them when they’re stranded in the airport overnight.

Then I said, “Fine, I’ll just get my boarding pass for the 6:15am flight.” I looked it up on the US Airways website and guess what? The 6:15am flight was also cancelled. Thank you US Airways three times today.

The guy behind the counter says, “The 6:15am flight isn’t cancelled,” and then points to the big screen behind him. I showed him the US Airways website and yes, it is cancelled! So now they’ll have to rebook everyone on the 6:30pm Wednesday SanAntonio-PHX flight, and tomorrow rebook everyone on the 6:15am Thu SanAntonio-PHX flight. Then they gave me a new boarding pass leaving San Antonio at 10am to DFW, then the 3pm flight from DFW to PHX.

Then I was surprised. A US Airways employee actually TRIED TO HELP US! Amazing. He went ahead and called around and got the plane that was coming in from PHX and was supposed to stay the night, to load us all up and fly us back to PHX that night — albeit very, very late. So it took a lot of begging on his part to get the flight set up, and then begging the TSA to reopen to let us back into the terminal. But hell, James, you did your job!

We headed out at 11:30pm and landed in PHX 2 hours later. Our luggage wasn’t there when we landed, but US Airways did ask me if I could come back to the airport the next day when it came in as “that would be easiest.” I told them, “I live 50 miles from the airport; you need to deliver it.”

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