Wednesday, November 3, 2010

US Airways Arrogance

If I were the type to throw a temper tantrum, I would have thrown my coffee cup across the room to smash against the opposite wall. Nor will I demean myself by swearing or cussing out people over the phone. So instead of actively venting my rage, I'm sitting here shaking with anger.

My husband is in the Merchant Marines. His company can't get him or his crew mates off the ship today because the weather in the Gulf is so bad they can't send a boat or helicopter.

I immediately called US Airways to see about changing his ticket. They said I would have to pay the difference in ticket prices (which I expected) AND pay a $150 ticket change fee! I can understand a small fee but this amount is obscene.The customer service rep I initally spoke with tried very hard to discourage me from talking to a supervisor. Then she actually refused by saying that a supervisor wouldn't be able to help me either. Only after I strongly insisted did she put me through. But, as the service rep had warned me, her supervisor refused to budge an inch. Completely stonewalled me. I replied, "Fine. Then I'll eat the price for the ticket and buy him another ticket for the flight home. This way, he'll still have his ticket for his return flight." That's when the supervisor told me if I didn't change his ticket and he couldn't make his flight today, then his return ticket would also be cancelled! So, they cancelled out his ticket and issued me a credit. But I can't ever use it unless I also pay the $150 fee.

End result: my hubby will never fly US Airways again.

I never had this problem with Air Tran. There was one time I had my husband booked with them when he couldn't get off the ship, and they worked with me. I still had to pay the difference in price for the tickets, which was fair, but they waived their $75 ticket change fee. They were also more understanding and didn't act like automatons who could only repeat their company's mantra.

At a time when airlines are increasing their prices, you would think they would compensate their disgruntled passengers by providing better service. I'm specifically recommending not to fly US Airways to everyone I know. It was nice having my husband fly into Fayetteville and it justified the slightly higher prices US Airways charged. He's just going to have to deal with flying into Raleigh from now on, and the cheaper air fares with Air Tran will make up for the little extra it costs me in gas.

April 22, 2011 Added note: I was so incensed at the time I wrote this that I forgot about the other airlines who also fly into little 'ole Fayetteville. Hubby can still fly into an airport closer to home. Happy ending for us after all. Sad ending for US Airways - they've permanently lost a 24-trips a year passenger.

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