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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
Letter to CEO: Stranded in Philly for Two Days

 
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  #1  
Old Jul 31, 2012, 9:06 PM
PDXCharity PDXCharity is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6

Id like to share my first, and most likely my last, experience with your airline, U.S. Airways. My husband and I were returning home from Albany, New York where I attended my commencement ceremony to Portland, Oregon where we live. We arrived on time in Albany and caught our first flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (flight 4192) where we were supposed to catch our first connection to Phoenix from there (flight 1193).

When we arrived in Philadelphia our plane had not yet de-boarded. Once it had de-boarded, we waited on the tarmac for three hours in a thunder storm, waiting for the U.S. Airways staff to calculate fuel for a reroute. After spending three hours on the tarmac we were de-boarded and told that our flight was canceled because the pilot had reached the maximum flight time of 16 hours. We were told to speak with a customer service agent to schedule a new flight. Our flight home was postponed for two days. For two days we were stuck in Philadelphia, eventually being rerouted on flight 1589.

My complaint stems from the lack of financial assistance or service. Because we were stuck in a city wed never been to before, we had to pay over $700 for two hotel nights ($370 for a hotel alone) and expenses. This figure is low considering we also incurred missed wages. At no point did your airline assist with hotel costs, food vouchers, or the like. We didnt even receive an apology from any member of the staff working that night in Philadelphia. For this reason, we were stranded for two days and received no help for the inconvenience.

We are sincerely disappointed with our experience with your airline. We will not be traveling on U.S. Airways anytime in the future, nor will we recommend anyone else we know do so. Because of this complete lack of hospitality and customer service, Ive decided to copy consumerist.com and airlinecompliants.org. I was shocked at the lack of consideration and care we received. I have never had such a poor experience on an airline.
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  #2  
Old Jul 31, 2012, 10:02 PM
xjcaptain xjcaptain is offline
Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 75

Summary.....delayed and eventually canceled due to weather delay, hence no compensation.
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  #3  
Old Aug 9, 2012, 3:46 PM
PDXCharity PDXCharity is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6

Response from the Corporate Office:

Dear Ms. Prater:

Thank you for contacting Customer Relations. We appreciate hearing from our customers and having an opportunity to address their concerns.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the cancellation of flight 1193 due to Weather and Air Traffic Control. We regret the inconvenience this has caused. Additionally, we regret we were unable to provide a new flight schedule for you in a timelier manner.

As weather or another setback causes increased airport traffic congestion, the number of safe take-offs and landings allowed may decrease. As traffic becomes backed-up, the amount of runway and taxiway time allotted is restricted for the remainder of the day. Flights of one airline may remain unaffected while others are delayed.


Delays such as this are considered uncontrollable and are not subject to the compensation that is normally offered as a result of controllable delays, such as maintenance or crew. Our process is to re accommodate passengers on the next available flight having seating. We no longer offer meal vouchers for delays and in some instances we are unable to provide hotel vouchers at discounted rate. I sincerely regret we were unable to do more for you during your extended delay in this instance, and for any difficulties this has caused.

Based on what you’ve said, our agent didn’t handle the situation with an apology and the quality customer care we expect. I apologize and understand your frustration. I’ve shared your feedback with our leadership team in Philadelphia to help improve our service and ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Ms. Prater, our customers deserve a pleasurable experience each and every time they fly with us, and I am sorry this trip did not meet your expectations. Your comments regarding our service are important, and we appreciate your taking the time to tell us about your experience. We will use your remarks as a tool to learn where and how we can make improvements that will benefit everyone.

We are working hard to earn your continued patronage. We hope you will give us the opportunity to do so.

Ms. Prater, we know you have many choices when it comes to traveling. Thank you for choosing US Airways.

Sincerely,



Marie Even
Representative, Customer Relations
US Airways Corporate Office

Here is my response back:

Mr. Troy,

Your letter is quite disappointing. The flight was canceled because of your airline's poor organization. The pilot reached his max flight time and no other pilots were prepared to fly our plane. Indeed, there were weather delays, but the previous flight had already been late. There were many other variables other than weather that contributed to the cancellation of our flight.

It is absolutely absurd that your airline stranded us in Philadelphia for two days. I wouldn't have complained had we had to wait less than a day. But, it seems to me, the U.S. Airlines finds it perfectly acceptable to abandon travelers for days at a time. I'm completely dumbstruck by the distance between the apologetic language in your letter and the actual experience I had with your airline.

I undoubtedly will never fly U.S. Airlines again. It seems I would only risk getting stranded in some city where hopefully I would have enough cash to sleep somewhere other than the airport... perhaps for days.

I'm severely disappointed in the outcome of my letter. I will be sure to update the cc'd individuals in my original letter to inform them of your response.

Regards,

(There were two emails sent to me by two different individuals; hence, the salutation change...)



Last edited by PDXCharity; Aug 9, 2012 at 3:50 PM.
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  #4  
Old Aug 9, 2012, 5:41 PM
xjcaptain xjcaptain is offline
Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 75

Unfortunately, delayed then cancelled due to weather. As much as the airlines wish they had control over the elements or ATC, those things can not be planned for. and as it is not due to any fault of their own, typically no compensation can be offered. Airlines do not have complete crews sitting at every airport 24/7 "just in case". If they did you would see your ticket prices skyrocket. No business can operate with several times the staff on payroll as it normally takes to operate the flights.
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  #5  
Old Aug 9, 2012, 5:47 PM
PDXCharity PDXCharity is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6

I completely understand delays and cancellations due to weather or circumstances that are out of the airline's control; however, I think the way that it was handled was unprofessional. Plus, it's just not acceptable to leave passengers stranded for two days. That was the most outrageous part of the whole ordeal.
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  #6  
Old Aug 10, 2012, 1:36 AM
azstar azstar is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 375

Weather, or not, there are many airlines and airline employees who will accommodate passengers on other airlines so they do not get stranded for days. I suspect there are U S Airways employees who do it also. I doubt that any employee would get reprimanded or suspended for providing good customer service.
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  #7  
Old Aug 14, 2012, 7:04 PM
PDXCharity PDXCharity is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6

Received a call from the corporate office. They basically apologized and said there was nothing further they could do. I told them I would avoid their airline from now on, which is the truth. Other airlines have better customer service for sure.

The End.
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  #8  
Old Aug 14, 2012, 7:35 PM
PDXCharity PDXCharity is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6

Thank you for your most recent email and for taking the time to talk with me today. Although Im confident the previous agents researched your case thoroughly, I reviewed everything again because you expressed concern.

As we discussed after thorough research of your travel records and our flight logs, I have found that the flight was held due to an Air Traffic hold caused by weather issues. When this happens your flight will board and wait for the next available opening. If the time limit is hit then you will be deboarded and wait for next opening block. In this case the pilot was past his allotted hours of work and there were no replacement pilots that could fulfill this flight. I understand your frustration with this situation as it was not something that we would like to have happen to our passenger; however, it is also not a reason that I can alter the original resolution. We are unable to honor your continued request for reimbursement of your added expenses. We are considering this matter closed and there will be no further correspondence pertaining to this issue.

Ms. Prater, I regret that we have been unable to come to an agreeable resolution. Given the privilege of serving you again on US Airways, we look for forward to providing you with a more satisfying travel experience.

Sincerely,


David Harms
Representative, Customer Relations
US Airways Corporate Office
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  #9  
Old Aug 14, 2012, 7:42 PM
PDXCharity PDXCharity is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6

Be forewarned: U.S. Airways will have no problem stranding you in any city, without any help or compensation, if there are cancellations, especially weather cancellations. I know that I will never fly this airline again.
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