US Airways sucks. I will NEVER fly with them again. I've only flown with them once, and attempted one other time though I had to cancel my flight and got only $25 of my $200 transferred to use within a year with their company. Needless to say I didn't use my $25 on another ticket.
I always fly Southwest. I even have a Southwest Visa where I put all my purchases and rack up enough points through their rapid rewards program that I usually get one free ticket a year. I love it. I've NEVER had a probelm flying Southwest, the people at the company are always friendly, in a good mood, joking around... I've been on a couple different flights where the flight attendants sang a funny song over the intercom once we landed. You call their 800 number to reserve a flight and their hold "music" (which is more just patter) is so hilarious you almost hope no one picks up so you can keep listening. On top of all of this great stuff they are one of the least expensive airlines AND have one of the best safety records.
I had planned to use my rapid rewards ticket to go up to PA to visit my family over the holiday as usual. However, Mike's mom (Mike is my parter - domestic and business) decided she wanted to have Mike home for the holidays so she bought him AND me round trip tickets from Nashville to Selbyville, MD by way of Philadelphia on US Airways. These tickets were purchased were purchased online through a third party. These tickets were also not cheap - about $350 each.
The flight there was thankfully uneventful. I rode a commuter flight for the first time ever. I don't like flying, but interestingly I was less nervous on this flight than on a big plane. Maybe this is because you can see the ground the whole time not that that would matter much if an engine decided to quit working...
We arrived in Selbyville, MD on Dec. 23 and we were both scheduled to fly from Selbyville to Philadelphia on Christmas day at different times. He was going to get a connecting flight back here to Nashville and my parents were going to pick me up in Philly, and I was going to return to Nashville from Philly 5 days later.
Well, my parents decided that they wanted to see Mike while he was up North (my mom hadn't seen him in 10 years or so) and meet his family. Mike and I met almost 15 years ago and our parents had never met. It was time. So, they decided to drive the 2.5 hours from my hometown to Mike's. In other words, I wouldn't be taking the commuter flight from Selbyville to Philly on Christmas day.
I didn't bother to cancel the flight since purchases through third parties are non refundable. Besides, it was a one-way flight. What did it matter? Big mistake.
Dec. 30th I was ready to get back to Nashville. My parents drove me to the Philadelphia airport, said goodbye, and left. I got in line (a very short line) at US Airways and attempted their automatic check-in that didn't work for me the first time I tried it on the flight to Philly. The attendant looked up my ticket and asked me if I had taken the commuter flight on Christmas day.
"No", I said, glad I didn't since Mike's flight that day was cancelled anyway.
"Well," he said, "Because you weren't on that flight and didn't cancel, the rest of your ticket is void."
"What???" I said in disbelief. "This ticket has been paid for. That flight was 5 days ago!!!"
"I'm sorry. That was our contract with you and you broke it."
"But that flight was 5 days ago! How does that have any bearing on today's flight???"
"You didn't cancel. It's your fault." I was stunned not only at the "policy" but at the snide way he said this to me. I was feeling strangly confident though because I had the forethought to bring my Southwest Rapid Reward tickets with me anyway in case something happened. My brother had told me that Southwest had just come into Philly.
"Well, thank GOD I brought my Southwest free ticket with me!" He again told me it was my fault and I rush off unspeakably frustrated and irrated looking for the Southwest check-in.
Well, turned out my brother was wrong. Southwest intends to fly into Philly but won't until February. I was stuck and my phone was almost out of power. I tearily called Mike, he told me there was nothing to cry about, and he got a hold of my parents who were not too far outside of Philly on their way back home.
It wasn't long before they picked me up. They couldn't believe what had happened. Nowhere on my print-out did it mention anything about having to cancel a flight in order to keep the rest of your ticket THAT YOU PAID FOR!!! Once back at my parents' house I went to the computer and emailed my complaint to US Airways knowing full well it would do no good.
That night I called Southwest and reserved a flight for the next day, Dec. 31st, out of Baltimore using my Rapid Rewards Ticket. No problem. They were nice, accomodating, and a pleasure to speak with. I arrived at the airport, flew home, and me and my bags arrived safely (unlike Mike's US Air return flight who lost his bags!!!).
Yesterday I got a reply from US Airway's "customer service". This is what they had to say:
"I understand you decided to change your itinerary by driving to Philadelphia, but in doing so changed your ticket and the rest of the reservation was canceled by our system. In order to retain any value of the ticket you would have needed to contact reservations before December 25 and advise them of your plans and pay the difference in fares and the change fee. Because this was not done your ticket has no remaining value and I cannot honor your request for a refund."
How exactly did my ticket CHANGE??? How does my not physically being in a seat that was PAID FOR change my ticket??? It's not like they were losing money! Not only that why would I call to cancel a one way flight so they can charge me a "change fee"???
It is absolutely amazing that our government has bailed these airlines out. They are going bankrupt because they don't treat their customers with any sort of respect at all!!! They act like it is a privilege to fly with them!!! As Southwest says "there are many choices out there..." Guess who's one of the only profitable airlines?
Needless to say I will NEVER fly US Airways again. From here on out I vow only to fly Southwest. Long Live Southwest!
What I thought then... and what I think now.
US Airways Sucks!