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Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

Minneapolis
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993 posts
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Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

I am copying the body of a letter I have sent to U.S. Airways. Our most recent experience on their airlines was absolutely horrible. I am still in process of finding out if travel insurance covers "executive movement". Something I never thought I would have to look into.

"Most recently I was traveling on your airlines and had the most horrendous experience. I would like you to reconsider the position you are putting travelers in with some of your policies.

We landed in PHX and were refused exit of the plane due to “executive movement”. We were told by the captain that all U.S. Airways planes were in the same situation and we would make our connections. Upon leaving customs they checked in our luggage for the flight immediately and told us to hurry to our flight that they were holding it for us.

We practically ran the entire way, but the flight was not held for us past 10 minutes. We arrived just after the doors were shut and were told to wait there 10 minutes and they would see what they could do. The loading personnel left the plane 10 minutes later and we were informed to go to Customer Service. The plane had been oversold and our seats had been given up. There were 11 of us stranded from this one flight.

We went to customer service only to be told they would try to get us out on a flight in the next day or two, but all flights direct to Minneapolis had been oversold so the chances were not good even on Standby.

I explained that my medication had been put in my checked on luggage as asked to by the attendant in Mexico and I no longer had access to it. Their response was they would call paramedics if necessary.

We were booked overnight to Charlotte routing to MSP the next morning, with standby for a flight later that night. We were told that there were no benefits to be extended to us, nothing for food, lodging, or anything to compensate us for our time and issues. There was not a single apology, rather we were treated like we had done something wrong and were to blame. Another guest offered her seat to allow us on the plane, and she was told she would not receive any compensation if she gave up a seat for us, only those passengers who were originally ticketed for the flight. Both planes were delayed due to “executive orders” and it had become clear to me that given only the ORIGNAL ½ hour to go through customs and re-check in for our next flight, that there would not have been enough time, since we were rushed through customs and could not make it.

I do not find this behavior acceptable. If you refuse to let us off one of your planes to reach the next one you should be accountable for this decision. Telling me you will call paramedics if necessary is not an acceptable answer. By the time paramedics are called, even though I will certainly live, further damage will already have been done to my heart, and my life expectancy decreased. I also think overselling without letting passengers know they may not actually have a seat is a poor ethics.

I was able to get out on standby later that night, so no harm was done other than a complete loss of relaxation which is the whole reason I took the trip. My husband, however, was unable to leave until the red eye flight and did not arrive until middle of the next morning with no sleep. In this condition he was unable to go to work, which at the very least he would have missed a ½ day.

I think we should both be compensated for buying more expensive tickets that were suppose to have involved 6 – 8 hours of travel, not 24 hours like my husband experienced. I think we should be compensated for the additional food we purchased, the missed day of work, etc.

I will be forwarding a copy of this situation and letter to the attorney general, and each of our senators and congressman about the gross state of affairs of your company. "

Stowe, Vermont
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1. Re: Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

If the President was on the ground or other official dignitaries, US Air doesn't have to do a thing for you. The airlines are told how it will be by the government. It is not negotiable.

I feel your frustration, but I don't think you have a leg to stand on.

Minneapolis
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2. Re: Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

I don't expect them to, but I think we need to change policy so that someone becomes responsible.

They did choose to close the doors early and give up our seats since they were in an oversell situation. I think that is simply unethical.

Anna

Stowe, Vermont
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3. Re: Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

Right, I get you, but since it was all done by "executive order" they can hide behind that. Any traveler's bill of rights or policy would be preempted by an "executive order."

Ultimately, you got on a flight and got home. That is all they are currently liable for toward a traveler.

Minneapolis
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4. Re: Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

As far as I was concerned it was an excuse to give up our seats in an oversell situation. Both flights were grounded, but they still closed the doors early and used up the extra seats before we could arrive.

Yes, they can certainly hide behind it, but it is certainly unethical and it will get worse.

Pardon the bitterness.

Stowe, Vermont
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5. Re: Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

I agree. It will indeed get worse before it gets better. I can't believe they didn't even give you a food voucher. From a PR point of view, that would have been a nice gesture.

Washington DC
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6. Re: Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

Typical US Air - they compound the problem by total disregard for their passengers, lack of trustworthy information, and refusal to commit to rectifying the situation. we all have our US Air stories - I think that the employees hate the company and want them to fail. They sure act that way.

Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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7. Re: Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

As I see it, there are two issues:

1. The airlines' own websites allow you to book flights with ridiculously short layovers. Even if you had disembarked your flight in a timely fashion, the slightest little hiccup anywhere from Immigration, Customs and baggage claim would have led to your missing your connection. IMHO, this is an outrageous practice; the airlines know full well that people are likely to miss their connection but hey, it looks good on paper; and

2. overselling. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why or how this is allowed (and yes, I do understand all about people not showing up for a flight). For goodness sake, the airlines know as well as we do that their passengers build itineraries and make plans based upon the quite reasonable assumption that they will actually be on the flight that they've booked and paid for. This is not like going to Walmart and being mildly inconvienced by finding they're out of stock of some sale item. A simple raincheck will fix that but being bumped from an oversold flight is another story altogether.

One thing that really got my attention on the OP and no-one else seems to have addressed was the following statement: "my medication had been put in my checked on luggage as asked to by the attendant in Mexico". I have never heard of this before. My mother travels with a cornucopia of prescription meds and she's never been asked to do this either.

With the greatest of respect to the OP, you should NEVER let essential meds be put anywhere other than where you can access them. I appreciate that airport personnel can be intimidating but this is one situation where you must be insistent (but polite!). The OPs unfortunate experience aptly demonstrates exactly why essential meds in a checked bag is a bad, bad idea. I don't think the "we'll call the paramedics" was an appropriate response from the US Airways agent (and I can just bet that information was delivered with a generous helping of sarcasm too) but, IMHO, the meds thing was not a US Airways issue; it's down to the OP.

Good luck getting some sort of compensation or better yet, legislative changes.

Minneapolis
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8. Re: Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

I have never been asked to put my medication in checked luggage before either and I go to Mexico every year. To be on the safe side I will be carrying a doctor's note next time that this medication must be carried on my person at all times.

I appreciate everything else you said and agree whole heartedly! My husband says your words are right on the money. I was really concerned when they changed our flight time to such a short connection. Pretty much any reason for missing a flight connection other than an airplane malfunction is the consumer's fault. Amazing!!!

PL =)

Meadow Lands...
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9. Re: Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

All the way through the OP I was nodding my head up and down in complete agreement as very nearly the same thing happened to us in March, necessitating our staying overnight at our own expense. My sympathies.

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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10. Re: Us Airways Service Horrible - Traveler Bill of Rights Needed

First, as to "attendant in Mexico"--who is that? Anyone should know not to put meds in checked luggage and if asked, refused to do so.

As a former employee for a major airline, I can tell you all airlines will often give you a connecting time that is too short. In the industry, Continental is best known for that in Houston. Its up to the passenger to notice this and ask that the flights be changed.

And not making excuses for US Airways in this case but I have recently read in recent ratings on airline service, US customer service has moved to almost the top among US airlines.

As far as overbooking, its done by all airlines and most hotels and is just a way of life in the travel industry, unfortunately.

Its an unfortunate thing to happen but happens thousands of times in the US each day. And , as mentioned, unless US Airways chooses to do something, they are not obligated in the case of "executive movement"

Edited: 06 May 2010, 12:52