After 30 days overseas I’m back home and married. Of course that vacations always run fast independently on how long they are. What didn’t pass by fast were the flights.
For the first time in my life I flew with US Airways. I left on the 27th of July, 3 members of my family a week later and a group of 12 (Family&Friends) two weeks later. It’s impressive that we all had a very bad experience with this airline.
I arrived there almost 5 hours late (and they made me do one more stop than scheduled), the 3 other family members arrived 2 hours late (and also with one more stop than scheduled) and the other 12 were split into different flights (they even split families). Some arrived 5 hours late, some 17 hours.
I thought that on my way back things would be different but I was so wrong. I arrived almost 12 hours late. The transatlantic flight was delayed hour by hour until we left, almost 12 hours after the scheduled time. We were told that the plane had a problem and that they were fixing it. When they finally fixed it and brought the plane to the gate, the captain starts into an argument with the maintenance team and refuses to pilot that plane. Meanwhile the entire crew got illegal (7h after the scheduled depart time) and they had to call a new crew team. Well, I could go on and on, but the point is that even when they have problems they don’t know how to deal with them.
- At night the airport gets really cold (because the AC keeps working and the airport is not crowded anymore). Among the passengers there were small children and people that were cold. There were people asking for blankets at 1 am, but we only got them at 4am.
- There were people saying that they didn’t want to go on that flight anymore (because of the engine problems) and that they wanted to stay in a hotel and fly the following day, but they only gave us that option at around 4am, after the crew got illegal and the police and the FAA came. Yes the things ran out of control in a way that the police and the FAA came to talk with us.
- They were stupid enough to tell the passengers what was the problem with the plane (carboretor) and that the captain started into an argument with the maintenance team and refused to pilot the plane. Would you feel comfortable for flying on such plane after this? If FAA didn’t came and explained everything to the passengers I guess they wouldn’t have any passengers on that flight.
Well, they did the very basic things such as meals vouchers, hotel and flight rebooking for those who refused to fly. And when I arrived home I had an email from them apologizing and they gave me a $300 voucher. Of course that’s not enough, they hold us for 12 hours, hour by hour, I missed one day of work and after everything of course I don’t want to repeat my experience.
In one month, everyone that I know that flew with them had lots of problems. One colleague from work arrived in the US 3 DAYS LATE! Yeah, they didn’t have her name on the booking list (although she had the receipt/reservation from US Airways) and all the flights were booked until the 3rd day.
If you are going to fly in a near future, be aware of the airline you choose.
[Update: I’ve just found this interesting article on USAToday about the same thing.]