US Airways never again! [rant]

 
Old Apr 28, 15, 5:02 pm
  #1  
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US Airways never again! [rant]

For Spring Break we took our kids to Rome, every other year we try to do a city in Europe and this time it was Rome. We booked our tickets on American as I still had a lot of miles and used them for the kids tickets. Our flight ended up being on US Air, LAX to Philly with an hour and 45 minutes to make the redeye to Rome. First of all the plane stayed at the gate an extra 30 minutes with an electrical problem, OK, things happen. Then we waited on the tarmac another 20 minutes due to "weather delays" in Philly. Found out later no other planes were delayed. Finally airborne I discover this pretty new plane has no entertainment whatsoever, not even a dropdown screen. The FA's did the safety exits, etc standing in the aisle and yelling, 60's style. There wasn't even anything in the armrests. Unbelievable. It's the equivalent of ordering a car now with no A/C or radio. But it gets better. Now it's lunchtime, I'm starving having been up since 4AM to get to LAX on time. We're in the 16th row, just behind business and they ran out of lunches. Rows 16 through 40 or so didn't eat. The FA's didn't care and made no effort to placate anyone. I had potato chips.
We arrive in Philly and I'm naively still thinking we have a shot at getting on the Rome flight, when they can't fit the gate to the door, another 25 minutes. How many times did they do that that day, 30? We run through the terminal, the Rome plane left 5 minutes ago and they didn't hold it even though 66 passengers missed their flights. We've had this happen several times before and they've always held the plane, they make it up in the jet stream, but not US Air. The terminal manager took pity on us and took us out of the "customer service" line and finally got us on a redeye to London that night, she was actually helpful making me unsure she was a US Air employee. I still have lots of American miles, I'm afraid to use them.

Last edited by clubted; Apr 28, 15 at 5:03 pm Reason: added sentence
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Old Apr 28, 15, 5:27 pm
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Hope they took care of your hotel & food due to the MX (at LAX and on arrival at PHL). US doesn't advertise a domestic entertainment system and yanked theirs 7-8 years ago, so not worth a complaint.

I also would not expect any carrier to hold a flight anymore. Slots across the North Atlantic are crowded and if an aircraft misses its slot, it can be a lengthy (3-4 hour delay to get a new slot). I strongly suspect that if US stranded 66 pax, it was because there was no slot to be had for a good while. A 4-hour delay oc course means a planeload of people stuck at FCO waiting for their flight back to PHL (and they, get EUR 600 apiece under EC 261/2004, so US won't intentionally cause a return delay).

All annoying stuff and if you complain, AA will toss you some miles. But, life ain't much better on DL or UA, so don't swear off any one carrier just yet.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 5:29 pm
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You were unlucky. Might happen on every other airline as well.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 5:53 pm
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Not sure this is a trip report...

I will certainly say US Air should have held the PHL/FCO flight for the connecting pax, absent a good reason such as a crew timing out, that was really poor operations.

As for the LAX/PHL flight, it's no secret there's no IFE on US Air planes, the upside is there's no box under the seat blocking your legroom. The US 321s are one of the more comfortable planes to ride in domestic Y. It's a shame they ran out of food, but you should also never count on food in domestic Y either.

Hopefully the return is better.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by clubted View Post
US Air never again!!!!
<snip>
I still have lots of American miles, I'm afraid to use them.
If you are never going to fly UA Air (AA?) again you are soon going to run out of airlines (as quote below)
Originally Posted by ckx2 View Post
You were unlucky. Might happen on every other airline as well.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 6:12 pm
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Considering US Air will no longer exist by the end of this year, I guess you don't have to worry about flying them again
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Old Apr 28, 15, 6:22 pm
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OP,
Welcome to FT.

Sure share your frustration. Hope your return flight experience is better. Write to US/AA.

Moderator: this thread might belong to AA/US Combined Forum
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Old Apr 28, 15, 7:46 pm
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For the life of me, I'll never understand why folks intentionally book flights to Europe with a US connection. Soooo many things can go wrong. Book a flight with the connection in Europe. Especially from LAX where there are countless flights to European hubs per day. And as bonus, no collecting bags in Philly on the return....
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Old Apr 28, 15, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Purim View Post
For the life of me, I'll never understand why folks intentionally book flights to Europe with a US connection. Soooo many things can go wrong. Book a flight with the connection in Europe. Especially from LAX where there are countless flights to European hubs per day. And as bonus, no collecting bags in Philly on the return....
Things never go wrong in Europe? They never have flight delays, exploding volcanoes, air traffic control or pilot strikes?

Anyways, there are reasons; price, timing, not wanting to get squashed in a European regional jet, not wanting to pay hundreds of dollars in ripoff fee-I mean fuel surcharges when redeeming an award... shall I go on?

FWIW, one of the most miserable flights I ever had in coach was a nonstop flight on LH to FRA. I much preferred connecting on AA and DL going to Europe. And I was all carry-on luggage every time... so there you go, horses for courses.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 8:43 pm
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My brother flew YYZ - PHL - DUB last night on US Air and almost ended up in your situation. His flight from YYZ - PHL boarded late, and then sat on the tarmac for half an hour, leaving him only 50 minutes in PHL to make the connection. Luckily he was able to make it, the last one on the plan, but if he hadn't been so lucky he would have ended up like you.

Was it a US Air flight they put you on to London or a British Airways?
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Old Apr 28, 15, 8:45 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Things never go wrong in Europe? They never have flight delays, exploding volcanoes, air traffic control or pilot strikes?
I imagine because if you miss your flight from FRA - FCO, there's a lot more of them (especially since TATL flights usually arrive in the morning), whereas if you miss your connection in the US or Canada, you are usually SOL until the next day.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
OP,
Welcome to FT.

Sure share your frustration. Hope your return flight experience is better. Write to US/AA.

Moderator: this thread might belong to AA/US Combined Forum
Or perhaps TravelBuzz ^
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Old Apr 28, 15, 9:08 pm
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I understand that the OP was using miles for the childrens' tickets, therefore possibly limiting his/her options.

Still - I've learned not to let myself be trapped by short international connections that go wrong - I won't book an international connection for less than five hours.

Paranoid? Maybe - but since I adopted this self-policy, I've made every connection since.

Everyone has different levels of risk tolerance. My vacations are too precious and too carefully planned to to risk Murphy's law rising its head.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 9:27 pm
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Originally Posted by clubted View Post
I still have lots of American miles, I'm afraid to use them.
Can I have them?
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Old Apr 28, 15, 10:04 pm
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Originally Posted by clubted View Post
The terminal manager took pity on us and took us out of the "customer service" line and finally got us on a redeye to London that night
Wasn't your final destination Rome, though?
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