I'm amazed this carrier has any repeat business. Had my first HP flights this week. I'm CO Gold and have until now avoided HP thanks to the advice of others. I should have continued to listen.
I took HP from BWI-CMH. I was blown away right off the bat at the unprofessional folks working the ticket counter. I endured an anti-CO tirade when I asked about my Onepass number being on my record. Again I was appalled on the plane when the flight attendant did not even do a walk through prior to take off. In HP's defense this flight was operated by Mesa.
The real fun was the next day on my return to BWI. I had a connection on CO at BWI. My window was almost 2 hours, I was comfortable there would be no problem. Turns out the palne had mechanical problems and was delayed. Not a big deal. I'm a big boy and realize mechanical problems occur. My beef was with the HP staff in CMH. As the delay continued to be extended I went to them in hopes of a reroute so I could still make my final destination (BUF). Their solution was to put me on a US flight to LGA and give me a taxi voucher to BUF!?!?! I explained to the supervisor that this really wasn't a viable option since it's better than a 5 hour ride. Then she just gave me a look as if I'm the moron. The attitude and demeanor of the gate agents was just plain awful. I ended up with a meal voucher, HP inconvenience kit, and a paper printing of my e-ticket. The good people at CO switched me to their flight to EWR where I missed the last flight to BUF. At least they got me back home.
Maybe I'm just spoiled after flying CO. Or maybe HP is just bad. Really bad.
Mar 25, 01, 2:08 pm
Last year I flew six relatively short flights on HP (mostly LAX to/from LAS). All six flights were over one hr late. One LAX-LAS actually was 4+ hr late and then I had to argue with the Alamo folks who had cancelled my car reservation. Three times mechanics had to board with tools in hand. &^%$#*&^% One good thing was I was u/g on 5 of the 6 flights during the HP/CO 2 hr limit rule, and another is the nice friendly folks in their LAS club. Really great friendly people and very helpful. I would NEVER consider HP for flying across the country.
Mar 25, 01, 3:23 pm
I thought about heading to the HP Club but didn't want to blow a President's Club pass (I'm not a member). This was my first time to Columbus and I was pleasantly suprised with the city. It must really stink to have HP as a hub airline though. It was pretty comical to hear what the CO folks at both CHM and DCA had to say about HP....they can't wait until the "partnership" is ended.
Mar 26, 01, 3:23 pm
I'm a loyal HP customer and could regale you with horror stories of flying on Continental. You can't necessarily generalize your experience to the rest of us.
Mar 26, 01, 4:09 pm
I think you can generalize HP as a bad airline. I was a loyal HP Flight Fund Member through 1998 when I left because I thought their service was horrible. After flying a few hundres thousand miles on United for 1 1/2 years I tried CO on a Platinum comp.
A few people told me that HP had improved greatly, so I bought 4 flights (16 segments) of HP flights at full fare (so that I could book 1st Class) from 12/1/00-1/15/01 - the longest freaking month of my life!
15 segments in FC, one in coach and they ALL SUCKED! Thank God I got my senses and RAN back to United & CO.
Ken in Sacramento
Mar 26, 01, 4:44 pm
I realize one bad experience does not label an airline as awful. But HP is awful. No way around it. I think the loyal HP customers are the minority compared to the outraged flyers that refuse to fly them. CMH wasn't a bad airport, if I wanted to spend hours and hours in that wonderful terminal watching all the other carrier's planes take off ontime I might even consider switching over!
Mar 26, 01, 8:30 pm
I've flown about a dozen HP flights, the longest being PHX-OMA, and never had a delay of more than an hour. And I've never had a complaint about in-flight service, either in FC or coach. I'm a CO elite, too. You might get a little better food on CO, but that's about it. And HP gate agents have always been very helpful to me when I've flown CO (they operate CO flights in PHX).
I maybe be a rare case, or you may be, or maybe we both are.
Mar 26, 01, 9:25 pm
I've had both good and bad experiences on HP, but mostly good.
I flew them a lot several years ago, never enough to achieve elite status, but enough to rack up 40K in miles. After moving away from HP hubs (PHX and LAS) I had a bunch of miles to burn and was able to do a R/T from LAS to Newark and back, with stopovers in PHX and Columbus, all in first class, all on an award ticket.
I've only had one major delay (from 9 AM to 5 PM, but was upgraded for the return flight, and found out before leaving for the airport so it didn't 'seem' so bad) and have found most HP staff- on and off the plane- to be genuinely decent people.
My second-to-last flight on HP was 5 months ago, MSP-PHX on a cheap surf-n-go fare. The flights were on time and the staff was fine, but the aircraft was surprisngly shabby. The carpet under my seat rolled up in a big bunch.
All in all, if I was ever living in PHX or LAS again, and as long as their partner airlines continued to be solid, I'd keep flying them.
Mar 31, 01, 3:37 am
I'm a CO PLAT out of EWR...my girlfriend lives near PHL...so I decided to take a couple of flights out of her home airport..I needed to get to PHX and CO would've just connected me thru EWR on a prop..except for one flight where the time was not good for me...so I flew HP for both RT's...got upgraded on all 4 segments...and the flights weren't bad at all...even a brand new plane on 2 segs...I could still smell the leather in 1st... http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif
Mar 31, 01, 6:44 am
There are a number of threads addressing HP's quality, or lack thereof in the HP venue.
I think that this thread contains a good cross-section of views. For some reason, there seems to be little middle ground as far as people's opinion of HP. Ya either love them or hate them.
Actually, I have been terribly lucky with HP over the past couple of years. -Quickly hit platinum, almost invariably fly first class (oh, bless those Y class tickets and the automatic upgrades). Also, I only had to change aircraft once in about...100 flights or so, and have never been delayed more than an hour or so and even that is very rare.
I think that flying coach on HP is somewhat dismal, albeit the price is low. Also, it seems that the connecting flight passengers seem to run into real problems. I have heard a number of horror stories and seen some incredibly PO'd persons at the airport (mostly seeming to stem from connecting flights). Flying to/from Phoenix is generally not a problem.
Ah, well. For myself, it is best to bunch all possible flights onto one airline (to consistently hit platinum). Living in Phx and traveling throughout CONUS, Am West makes the most sense. And, with so few elites, even the lower tiers receive pretty good treatment. As for flying steerage, well, on those occasions I just close my eyes and tap my red shoes three times.
Mar 31, 01, 8:02 am
There are so few Elites ,it seems very easy to upgrade.This is my 3rd year of being a Silver and I've only missed 2 upgrades during that time. That is a pretty good percentage for a Silver. One was a Friday afternoon ORD-PHX and the other was because I missed a connection.
Mar 31, 01, 11:46 am
while i wouldn't choose to fly HP again, i think in fairness there are certainly worse airlines, and i've flown on them.
the HP-CO thing seems to be falling apart, and yet HP booked a CO reward ticket with short notice and ease, so something in my head made me think that even though i've chosen to fly another airline, i might pick BDL-CMH (that is columbus, right? i've been code-impaired lately!) nonstop on HP over plane changes or driving over from Cleveland. Ya never know.
And i have had *good* HP experiences; they just seem less common than on other airlines. In fairness to HP, the only thing wrecked is the brand identity, and i'm sure a good ad campaign would win over the cattle again. As to whether or not we bite is another story...but do we even ned to talk about how bad CO used to be? http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif
Mar 31, 01, 3:55 pm
HP quality = America Worst
May 2, 01, 3:54 am
I think HP changed for the very worst after their financial crisis in the mid 90's. Instead of emerging stronger as CO did and mending fences, HP began alienating everybody.
Here's my "final straw" story :
In 1997, I was living in Acapulco and commuting every month to California. HP came into the market with the only low fares out of PSP and I gave them a chance. I booked my own PNR in Eaasy Sabre well in advance for a ticket that required no advance
ticketing and headed to the ATO on the day of departure to pick up said ticket.
The HP staff told me that my fare had been disallowed and that they could not issue the ticket. I told them I had not received any message through Sabre to such effect. No dice.
So I went over to the AA counter and asked them to issue the ticket (it was in their system, after all) on the very same PNR. Still there. I came back to the HP counter with the ticket issued on AA stock and was checked in.
Upon arrival in Phoenix, I was met at the gate and treated like a criminal! I was accused of some specious crime, "constructive fraud"! They gave me a choice, pay the upgrade amount of several hundred dollars to their idea of a valid fare basis or walk.
Upon further reasoned analysis, it transpired that the problem was due to the duration of my trip exceeding the permitted 30 days. The fare rules HP submitted to Sabre, of course, did not have the 30 day max. stay. Since I was staying 35 days, I just told them to re-book me on an earlier flight back.
I always wanted to do something about this but never did. I had enough other problems in my life.
I should mention that I am a retired travel agent well versed in ticketing and, yes, I am aware that HP had 24 hours to spit out this international booking. But they never did! Only in "their" system.
As a contrast, the Red Coats for Delta at LAX were the greatest guys. Very sad when DL stopped their non stop ACA service. Even sadder to read of that airline's general demise.
May 2, 01, 8:20 am
Hey, they are improving! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/wink.gif
If someone who happens to be HP Platinum would refer me for HP elite status, I'll give them more of a try, even though they took away all my points and closed my old account with no notice several years ago!
Remember "Secondly, a new benefit has been added to the Platinum Elite program. Members achieving Platinum Elite status at any time during the 2001 program year will now be given the opportunity to nominate another member of their choice to Silver Elite status. Plus, for every additional 25,000 qualifying flight miles or 30 qualifying segments, each Platinum Elite member will receive one additional upgrade nomination."
So, FWIW, in the worst case, I'll get lots of these miles back in a new account should they cancel my flights and subsequently protect me on other carriers! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif
I have heard of, and experienced, the flight delays and other problems America West has gone through. I won't defend them there. But I must say that my personal experience overall with them has been positive. Cheaper fares, easier upgrades, and convenient routes for the business I am in make them okay in my eyes.
My main loyalty is still with American but when I need a less expensive fare, especially to the southwest, I am glad they are there.
For example, end of June, I am going into PHX from BUR on Monday morning, to ABQ on Monday night, ABQ-PHX-TUS on Wednesday night and TUS-PHX-BUR on Thursday night for $229. I thought that was pretty good. That's 3000 base miles, 1500 Silver elite bonus and 4000 for the internet booking they are running currently for a total of 8500 miles. That's 2.7 cents per mile and no Saturday stay required.
May 2, 01, 11:29 am
You'd do well to thank Southwest Airlines for that good fare, if you wanted to do just the PHX-TUS segments America West would fleece you for more then $400. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/eek.gif
Unless you buy your ticket from someone like Priceline it's unusual for America West to be the low cost leader.
I liked 'em better when their slogan was "It seems silly to pay more" now it's "Every flight counts" yeah...right... http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/rolleyes.gif
May 2, 01, 11:44 am
I don't disagree with you about Southwest Snake. Competition drives prices down typically and Southwest keeps them honest. I do like the opportunities to upgrade which of course Southwest doesn't offer. But I would still agree they would be the low fare leader in these parts. And you are also correct about that PHX TUS segment. I can also get taken to the cleaners if I try to fly to Fresno through AA.com or UAL.com for over $250 sometimes.
May 3, 01, 1:28 pm
Hello, I'm new to the board. I've been HP PLAT/Masters for about 4 years now. One thing I've noticed is that people always say "If they're this bad on short hauls, imagine them on long hauls". Well, I tend to commute on them as part of my job and am currently doing the PHX/EWR run every week. I've had very few problems on the long haul flights. The short ones from PHX are the really bad ones. I used to commute to SFO every week and hated it. The EWR flights aren't too bad. I've done the trip about 12 times so far this year, and have only been delayed 3 segments (all doue to weather). All in all, I would only avoid them for SHORT flights. Also, the plat status is nice - I've only missed out on 3 U/G's so far this year, and most of my tickets are the $400 cheapies. Gotta run and catch my plane home now.
Youth may fade, but immaturity can last a lifetime.
May 3, 01, 5:14 pm
You, like most of the "Happy Campers" on HP fly out of the Phoenix area, and therefore don't have to deal with connections.
I've been a OnePass Gold Elite since '93 and Platinum since they created that level. Flying out of Tucson, which has had only 2-3 flights a day on Continental, HP obviously offers a lot more options to the OnePass mmember. About half my flights have been on HP since the OnePass partnership began in 1994.
Having a flight from EWR delayed 45-60 minutes isn't a big deal unless you miss your connection with the last flight home, as has happended to me on a number of occasions.
Of my last 8 HP flights over a period of about a year only one has taken me to and from my destinaton without a major delay, cancellation or misconnection. I've had more flight irregularities on HP in that period then I've had on Contenental over the 8 years. I would consider a flight irregularity to arrive 90 minutes or more late.
Today I won't consider flying HP if I can get to my destination on CO flights, and if flying HP I allow extra time for flight irregularities. The past year has been the worst in the 6 or so years of my experience. All of the recent problems have been due to mechanical problems, or cancellations for undisclosed reasons. It's just getting soo frustrating to have your flight board and push back on time, only to have to turn around and have to return to the gate to have some mechanical problem fixed.
When my wife asks me when I'm getting back and what airline I'm flying if I say Continental she usually replies "Good, then you'll probably be home on time"
On the positive side I can say that as a OnePass Platinum I'm upgraded over 80% of the time at check-in, and I'm treated with the utmost respect at my local airport ticket counter, and at the America West Clubs.
Happy flyin', FlyinMike, and welcome to FlyerTalk.
May 4, 01, 12:10 pm
True - they're not good if you need to connect. I try to go non-stop if at all possible. Me and 2 others were doing PHX/NRT routes last year on NW - the trip to LAX or SFO was on HP. It never happened to me, but my co-wokers would have to spend the night in California on several occasions. One strange thing though, of the 6 or so trips I did to NRT, every HP flight home was on-time. Once I even got an earlier bus home out of LAX - got home before I left work. That's a major plus after you cross that dateline east-bound!