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US Airways Express - gives your seat away

 
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  #1  
Old Jan 16, 2009, 6:12 PM
adm120 adm120 is offline
 
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We came into Philadelphia from Detroit a little late, 8PM as opposed to 7:50. The pilot told us there was a plane at his gate and they were looking for another one, and that they knew there were people making connections on the plane. We waited until 8:15 to get to another gate. I ran to my gate and got there at 8:21 and was told the flight was gone. Next flight 11 PM.

DUH – how is it that a flight with connecting passengers has no gate? Certainly it was no secret we were coming in.

The fools sold my seat while I was on the tarmac and let the plane go. I was livid.

This is not uncommon in Philadelphia – which is imo the worst Hub in the world. Total indifference and incompetence.

US Airways and their Express regional (Republic) are now telling us we have to be at the gate 20 minuets before departure or they sell your seat – apparently even if you are connecting with them.

I will never go through Phily again and will cut back on US Airways and “Express” flights.

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  #2  
Old Jan 17, 2009, 2:44 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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This can happen in any hub on any airline. Yes, they knew your flight was arriving. However the gate you were scheduled for may have had a flight on it that was running late leaving. Could have been mechanical or ATC delay. Now they have to wait for another gate to open up. And if the weather goes bad for a bank of flights that's even worse.

How do you know they gave your seat away? DUH - ALL of the flights to a hub will have connection passengers.

You are said that when you got to the gate, the plane was gone, not that you got there and they wouldn't let you on. Ultimately if it comes down to delaying that flight and holding up 40 or 50 people (regional jet from the sounds of it) for the sake of 2 or 3 people, the plane will go.
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  #3  
Old Jan 17, 2009, 2:51 AM
countrynewsman countrynewsman is offline
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Very true...the plane will leave. It happened to me in Denver when connecting to a flight to Kansas City. Our plane sat on the tarmac for 35 minutes because there were no open gates. When we got to our gate, deplaned, and ran to our connecting flight, the jetway was pulled and the plane was ready for pushback. The supervisor booked us on a flight over 2 hours later. I stated I thought there should be some compensation. I was directed to the customer service counter and was told by the agent that we should have been at the gate at least 30 minutes before departure. Wrong thing to say! I said I would have loved to be at the gate if YOUR airplane that I came in on had not sat on the tarmac for 30 minutes. She printed off vouchers worth $600 for the three of us. I then wrote a letter to United and got another $600 in vouchers. I really wasn't expecting that, but I sure as hell didn't give them back! Actually, United has been pretty good to us. When they knew it's their fault, they have done what's right.
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  #4  
Old Jan 18, 2009, 6:47 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by adm120 View Post
We came into Philadelphia from Detroit a little late, 8PM as opposed to 7:50. The pilot told us there was a plane at his gate and they were looking for another one, and that they knew there were people making connections on the plane. We waited until 8:15 to get to another gate. I ran to my gate and got there at 8:21 and was told the flight was gone. Next flight 11 PM.

DUH – how is it that a flight with connecting passengers has no gate? Certainly it was no secret we were coming in.

The fools sold my seat while I was on the tarmac and let the plane go. I was livid.

This is not uncommon in Philadelphia – which is imo the worst Hub in the world. Total indifference and incompetence.

US Airways and their Express regional (Republic) are now telling us we have to be at the gate 20 minuets before departure or they sell your seat – apparently even if you are connecting with them.

I will never go through Phily again and will cut back on US Airways and “Express” flights.
Seems like you've encountered this situation before? You posted the scheduled arrival time of your flight as 7:50 PM but didn't post the scheduled departure time of your connecting flight. Was it another US Air Express flight or US Air mainline? There are minimum "legal" connection times published and I'm wondering if a schedule change after you purchased your tickets shortened your time to under this limit. If so US Air should have contacted you prior to your departure date. I know the "legal" minimum connection time isn't much in PHL (I think it's just 20 or 25 minutes if both flights are US Express) but if I was purchasing the itinerary such a short connection would have given me pause to look for other options.

Originally Posted by Jetliner View Post
This can happen in any hub on any airline. Yes, they knew your flight was arriving. However the gate you were scheduled for may have had a flight on it that was running late leaving. Could have been mechanical or ATC delay. Now they have to wait for another gate to open up. And if the weather goes bad for a bank of flights that's even worse.

How do you know they gave your seat away? DUH - ALL of the flights to a hub will have connection passengers.

You are said that when you got to the gate, the plane was gone, not that you got there and they wouldn't let you on. Ultimately if it comes down to delaying that flight and holding up 40 or 50 people (regional jet from the sounds of it) for the sake of 2 or 3 people, the plane will go.
The OP said the seats were "sold" to other passengers but it's my guess that there were probably stand-by passengers who may have gotten the seats when those connecting didn't show up on time.
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  #5  
Old Jan 19, 2009, 3:41 PM
adm120 adm120 is offline
 
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Quote:
Jetliner
This can happen in any hub on any airline. Yes, they knew your flight was arriving. However the gate you were scheduled for may have had a flight on it that was running late leaving. Could have been mechanical or ATC delay. Now they have to wait for another gate to open up. And if the weather goes bad for a bank of flights that's even worse.
They knew we were arriving for an hour and had no freaking gate ready. This is operational incompetence at best. We then waited 15 min and drove to a gate – past a few empty ones. Inexcusable stupidity is what you see in Philadelphia.

Quote:
How do you know they gave your seat away? DUH - ALL of the flights to a hub will have connection passengers.


Well DUH the reply to my complaint from US Air said they shut the “door” 5 minuets before departure – I was there 8 min before and told the flight was “gone” – you figure it out. One other person on the flight with me was on the “wait list” the flight was no doubt full with extras standing at the gate. – the airline decided that waiting was not worth it. So I will consider flying with these morons through Philly not worth it in the future.


Quote:
PHX Flyer
Seems like you've encountered this situation before? You posted the scheduled arrival time of your flight as 7:50 PM but didn't post the scheduled departure time of your connecting flight. Was it another US Air Express flight or US Air mainline?
My connecting departure was 8:30 and the gate was down the hall. We came in 10 min late and then sate for nearly 15 min waiting for a damn gate. Yes this has happened to me before with the idiots at US Air. Many other airlines do it better. I have been sitting on planes that left late because they were waiting for connecting passengers. US Air just sells the seat and leaves – they suck.

You don’t need a room full of computers to know people are coming in for the flight, who they are and when they will be there.
You just need competent staff and good procedures– US Air seems to have a shortage in this department.
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  #6  
Old Jan 19, 2009, 4:57 PM
trishs trishs is offline
 
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I just returned from a terrible travel experience with US Airways. Their flight was late and when I arrived at my connection, the plane was still on the runway and the tunnel still connected but they told the 7 people there that it was too late to get on. They later admitted that the flight was full! This was 12 minutes before departure time and they had already given the seats away and completely boarded the plane. Yet when I was on standby, they gave people until 3 minutes before departure to come and announced it over the airport PA system. I never heard a message about my missed flight. They never told me why the first flight was late, yet said it was not their fault and I had no compensation coming of any kind while I spent 24 hours in airports. The last ten hours were in the unheated Baggage Claim area where they herded all of the left behind passengers. In the morning I had to go back through security and walk the length of the airport to get back to my flight home. They never gave me an apology or explanation of any kind as to why a customer who paid full price (not a buddy pass or standby as others I met in the baggage claim area) was stranded and pushed around for 24 hours!
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  #7  
Old Jan 19, 2009, 5:40 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Hopefully, someone in the Obama Administration will have the courage to stand-up to the airline lobby and institute some consumer friendly regulations.
Mandating minimum connecting times at major airports should be one such regulation. The existing minimum connecting times, at major US airports, border, in a number of examples, on blatant fraud. Until the government puts the brakes on this nonsense one should ASSUME your in-bound flight is going to be late, REGARDLESS of what the on-time figures show. Remember, US-based airlines are notorious liars. Accordingly, booking flights that have a connecting (lay-over) time of, no less, than 2 hours is important. With some airlines, and some airports, a 2-hour connecting time may be impossible. The choice may come-down to a 30 to 40 minute connecting time, or staying overnight, with a resulting higher fare, at the connecting airport. If you're willing to fly to an alternate airport, then use surface transportation to your final destination, you may be able to realize your extended connecting time. Again, however, this arrangement may require an overnight stay, at the arrival airport, if your flight arrives much after 5:00 PM. Surface connections, to your final destination, may not be available if your flight arrives much after 5 PM. One should look upon connecting flights as a source of potential trouble and ask themselves whether it's worth a saving of a few dollars to take a connecting flight. If you miss your connection, those savings can be, not only eradicated, but your final cost can equal, or exceed, a first class fare. Finally, I lived, for 25 years, about 40 miles north of Philadelphia International (PHL). Generally, that airport should be avoided, no matter who you are flying with. Some of the TSA Officers there get their kicks by acting like Nazis. If PHL is unavoidable, Southwest is the ONLY airline I would take a chance with.
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  #8  
Old Jan 19, 2009, 8:01 PM
adm120 adm120 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by trishs View Post
I just returned from a terrible travel experience with US Airways. Their flight was late and when I arrived at my connection, the plane was still on the runway and the tunnel still connected but they told the 7 people there that it was too late to get on. They later admitted that the flight was full! This was 12 minutes before departure time and they had already given the seats away and completely boarded the plane. Yet when I was on standby, they gave people until 3 minutes before departure to come and announced it over the airport PA system. I never heard a message about my missed flight. They never told me why the first flight was late, yet said it was not their fault and I had no compensation coming of any kind while I spent 24 hours in airports. The last ten hours were in the unheated Baggage Claim area where they herded all of the left behind passengers. In the morning I had to go back through security and walk the length of the airport to get back to my flight home. They never gave me an apology or explanation of any kind as to why a customer who paid full price (not a buddy pass or standby as others I met in the baggage claim area) was stranded and pushed around for 24 hours!
I can sympathize with you Trishs. They sold my seat while I was on the plane sitting on the damn tarmac. And their was a standby guy with me on my flight so I know the flight was full. They SUCK at Philly.

I just got a call back from Republic – US Air Express – which is the flight I came in on from Detroit. The consumer relations person told me that UA Air Corp. does the Operations at Philly – and here is the problem. US Air just is a sloppy stupid airline. Too bad Republic has to be under theses clowns. Too bad they didn’t just go out of business.

Butch Cassidy is right here. We need to have the Congress change the damn regulation so that these fools cannot just sell our seats 20 minuets before our flight.




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  #9  
Old Jan 19, 2009, 9:50 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by adm120 View Post
They knew we were arriving for an hour and had no freaking gate ready. This is operational incompetence at best. We then waited 15 min and drove to a gate – past a few empty ones. Inexcusable stupidity is what you see in Philadelphia.
OK they knew you were arriving for an hour. They know ALL the flights that are inbound to arrive. You expected them to keep a gate open for your aircraft once it was airborne in anticipation of it's arrival? You stated your inbound flight arrived 10 minutes late. They probably had a gate scheduled for your aircraft but it was either occupied by a late departure or given to another aircraft that arrived ahead of yours.

Airline operations are dynamic. Things change throughout the day and changes are made to gate assignments etc. based on many factors. I got a tour of an airline's operations center last year and it's fascinating. Believe me a lot of factors go into the decisions they make. Might not always make sense from a customer's perspective but it's not just a random decision and they try to impact the fewest number of people.


Quote:
Well DUH the reply to my complaint from US Air said they shut the “door” 5 minuets before departure – I was there 8 min before and told the flight was “gone” – you figure it out.


Most airlines cut off boarding at ten minutes. They need time to calculate the final passenger/baggage load, double check fuel, etc. By letting someone on last minute, especially on a smaller regional aircraft, it throws all of those numbers off.


Quote:
My connecting departure was 8:30 and the gate was down the hall. We came in 10 min late and then sate for nearly 15 min waiting for a damn gate. Yes this has happened to me before with the idiots at US Air. Many other airlines do it better. I have been sitting on planes that left late because they were waiting for connecting passengers. US Air just sells the seat and leaves – they suck.
So it was "right down the hall" yet by my calculations of your reported times you took 6 minutes to get between the gates. Perhaps a little further than you remember?

Quote:
You don’t need a room full of computers to know people are coming in for the flight, who they are and when they will be there.
Quote:
You just need competent staff and good procedures– US Air seems to have a shortage in this department.
They are always aware of connecting passengers. Perhaps they felt that inconveniencing a handful of people was better than holding up a full plane load. If they wait too long they lose their takeoff slot and that really throws things out of whack.

Originally Posted by trishs View Post
I just returned from a terrible travel experience with US Airways. Their flight was late and when I arrived at my connection, the plane was still on the runway and the tunnel still connected but they told the 7 people there that it was too late to get on.
See above.

Quote:
... I spent 24 hours in airports. The last ten hours were in the unheated Baggage Claim area where they herded all of the left behind passengers.
A hotel wasn't an option?

Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
Hopefully, someone in the Obama Administration will have the courage to stand-up to the airline lobby and institute some consumer friendly regulations.
Mandating minimum connecting times at major airports should be one such regulation. The existing minimum connecting times, at major US airports, border, in a number of examples, on blatant fraud. Until the government puts the brakes on this nonsense one should ASSUME your in-bound flight is going to be late, REGARDLESS of what the on-time figures show. Remember, US-based airlines are notorious liars. Accordingly, booking flights that have a connecting (lay-over) time of, no less, than 2 hours is important. With some airlines, and some airports, a 2-hour connecting time may be impossible. The choice may come-down to a 30 to 40 minute connecting time, or staying overnight, with a resulting higher fare, at the connecting airport. If you're willing to fly to an alternate airport, then use surface transportation to your final destination, you may be able to realize your extended connecting time. Again, however, this arrangement may require an overnight stay, at the arrival airport, if your flight arrives much after 5:00 PM. Surface connections, to your final destination, may not be available if your flight arrives much after 5 PM. One should look upon connecting flights as a source of potential trouble and ask themselves whether it's worth a saving of a few dollars to take a connecting flight. If you miss your connection, those savings can be, not only eradicated, but your final cost can equal, or exceed, a first class fare. Finally, I lived, for 25 years, about 40 miles north of Philadelphia International (PHL). Generally, that airport should be avoided, no matter who you are flying with. Some of the TSA Officers there get their kicks by acting like Nazis. If PHL is unavoidable, Southwest is the ONLY airline I would take a chance with.
There are already established minimum connection times and they vary by airport and airline however they assume that everything is on or reasonably close to schedule. As we all know this isn't always the case, however when I book flights I always try to choose an option that will allow for late connections even if it's a few dollars more. Also, if your scheduled arrival to the connecting city is too late for the last flight to your onward destination you can always call to book the ticket and tell them to force the overnight at the lower fare. Sure you have to pay a fee to talk to a live person to accomplish this but the 10-25 dollar fee is almost always less than paying for essentially 2 one-way tickets when you should be charged at the connecting fare.

I wholeheartedly agree that PHL should be avoided at all costs unless it is your final destination. The airport was never meant to serve as a hub but has evolved into that.
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  #10  
Old Jan 21, 2009, 2:17 AM
adm120 adm120 is offline
 
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Quote:
Most airlines cut off boarding at ten minutes. They need time to calculate the final passenger/baggage load, double check fuel, etc. By letting someone on last minute, especially on a smaller regional aircraft, it throws all of those numbers off.


This was from a regional (US Air Express) to US Air regular flight and I was there 8 min before the flight and sitting on the tarmac for another 15 while they picked a gate from the numerous empty ones on the B concourse.

You may be impressed I am not. All flights are known entities and they imo had plenty of time to “fide a gate” for the plane before it landed knowing that another plane was at the assigned gate.

Quote:
They are always aware of connecting passengers. Perhaps they felt that inconveniencing a handful of people was better than holding up a full plane load. If they wait too long they lose their takeoff slot and that really throws things out of whack
.

Ya they sold my seat while I was on the tarmac and left is more like it. I have been on planes that waited 10 minuets or more for connecting passengers. NO this was deliberate don’t give a damn business or incompetence.

I will pay more to fly another airline and stay off of ****ty US Air.
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  #11  
Old Mar 27, 2009, 8:38 PM
GaryJ GaryJ is offline
 
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Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
OK they knew you were arriving for an hour. They know ALL the flights that are inbound to arrive. You expected them to keep a gate open for your aircraft once it was airborne in anticipation of it's arrival? You stated your inbound flight arrived 10 minutes late. They probably had a gate scheduled for your aircraft but it was either occupied by a late departure or given to another aircraft that arrived ahead of yours.

Airline operations are dynamic. Things change throughout the day and changes are made to gate assignments etc. based on many factors. I got a tour of an airline's operations center last year and it's fascinating. Believe me a lot of factors go into the decisions they make. Might not always make sense from a customer's perspective but it's not just a random decision and they try to impact the fewest number of people.


[/FONT][/SIZE]

Most airlines cut off boarding at ten minutes. They need time to calculate the final passenger/baggage load, double check fuel, etc. By letting someone on last minute, especially on a smaller regional aircraft, it throws all of those numbers off.




So it was "right down the hall" yet by my calculations of your reported times you took 6 minutes to get between the gates. Perhaps a little further than you remember?

[SIZE=3][FONT=Times New Roman]

They are always aware of connecting passengers. Perhaps they felt that inconveniencing a handful of people was better than holding up a full plane load. If they wait too long they lose their takeoff slot and that really throws things out of whack.



See above.



A hotel wasn't an option?



There are already established minimum connection times and they vary by airport and airline however they assume that everything is on or reasonably close to schedule. As we all know this isn't always the case, however when I book flights I always try to choose an option that will allow for late connections even if it's a few dollars more. Also, if your scheduled arrival to the connecting city is too late for the last flight to your onward destination you can always call to book the ticket and tell them to force the overnight at the lower fare. Sure you have to pay a fee to talk to a live person to accomplish this but the 10-25 dollar fee is almost always less than paying for essentially 2 one-way tickets when you should be charged at the connecting fare.

I wholeheartedly agree that PHL should be avoided at all costs unless it is your final destination. The airport was never meant to serve as a hub but has evolved into that.
Just returned from a March trip to St.Thomas from Atlanta via Charlotte and US Airways gave away our seats on the way down. There was weather delay and the US Airways flight got on the ground 20 minutes before the departing time rather than the scheduled 60 minutes. 6 of us were connecting to St. Thomas. As the plane unloaded, they told the St. Thomas passengers to check at the gate counter. We were told that the flight had departed (10 minutes early with weather delays?) We ended up losing a day of our sailing vacation to the Virgin Islands because they could not get us there that day. We were routed through Philadephia and got there the next afternoon.

We had made the reservations months in advance and I believe that the airlines gave away our cheaper seats to get more revenue from the later ticketed seats. Overbooking flights might make money for the airline but it is false advertising of flight availability. If they are going to treat the passengers like they are on standby and bump them whenever they feel like it, the flight booking should be listed as standby so you know that from the start. Perhaps it would drive the airlines to do a better job of scheduling if people start avoiding "standby tickets." Perhaps there should be tracking of overbooking and publishing it so the consumer knows.

Anyone else had this problem?
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  #12  
Old Mar 27, 2009, 9:06 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by GaryJ View Post
Perhaps it would drive the airlines to do a better job of scheduling if people start avoiding "standby tickets." Perhaps there should be tracking of overbooking and publishing it so the consumer knows.
The DOT does track statistics for both voluntary and involuntary denied boardings due to overbooking. Those reports are easily found on the internet.

You state that had all gone according to schedule there was 60 minutes between your flight from ATL to CLT and CLT to STT. Personally I would not have booked such a connection especially if you were connecting to the last flight to STT for the day or was it that the remaining flights were full as well? Was this a recent trip during spring break? If you are traveling during peak periods (school breaks, holidays, etc) the likelihood that flights are overbooked increases.

My last bit of advice would be to book non-stop if it's an option. I'm sure when you booked this trip US Airways had the cheapest fare however Delta has non-stop service on full-size jets (757) from ATL to STT. When I checked random dates today they are even $100 cheaper than US Air.
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Old Mar 28, 2009, 7:45 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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A choice between Delta and US Airways is no choice at all..both are a nightmare, but if I had to make such an iniquitous choice, avoiding Delta would be my first choice. CLT is not a bad airport for connections generally speaking. The whole issue of overbooking flights is iniquitous. It creates perverse incentives.

The airline is rewarded by being able to sell extra seats without having the compensate the passenger who is inconvenienced (especially if some tangental connection to the "weather" can be invented, you know, your flight was delayed from ATL to CLT because it is windy in Chicago).

Therefore, it is often in the airlines best interest to make the decision to "close up" the flight and sell off the remaining seats to standby's. This infuriates the customer, who is utterly powerless. This attitude towards customers is borne out of exemption from normal contract law embodied in the federal regulations. When the state Attorney Generals tried to get congress to give them the powers to apply normal contract law that applies to all other businesses to airlines, the airline lobby fought tooth and nail to prevent this. Why? Because they are not "de-regulated" in a normal market sense. The are legalised local monopolies who are protected from the normal laws and pressures and have carte blanche to abuse their customers.
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  #14  
Old Mar 28, 2009, 9:39 PM
adm120 adm120 is offline
 
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This is typical. I had a flight and was at the gate 19 min before scheduled departure and was told the flight was “gone”. This ****ty practice is common..

It was amusing recently when the Congressman was livid when it happened to him. They are the dopes that allow this to happen.
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Old Mar 29, 2009, 1:09 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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If every time it happened, just one passenger wrote to their congressman, they would be so inundated they would have to do something.. but they don't and they won't. More is the pity..
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  #16  
Old Apr 15, 2009, 6:03 AM
Jetsetter767 Jetsetter767 is offline
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Originally Posted by adm120 View Post
They knew we were arriving for an hour and had no freaking gate ready. This is operational incompetence at best. We then waited 15 min and drove to a gate – past a few empty ones. Inexcusable stupidity is what you see in Philadelphia.



Well DUH the reply to my complaint from US Air said they shut the “door” 5 minuets before departure – I was there 8 min before and told the flight was “gone” – you figure it out. One other person on the flight with me was on the “wait list” the flight was no doubt full with extras standing at the gate. – the airline decided that waiting was not worth it. So I will consider flying with these morons through Philly not worth it in the future.




My connecting departure was 8:30 and the gate was down the hall. We came in 10 min late and then sate for nearly 15 min waiting for a damn gate. Yes this has happened to me before with the idiots at US Air. Many other airlines do it better. I have been sitting on planes that left late because they were waiting for connecting passengers. US Air just sells the seat and leaves – they suck.

You don’t need a room full of computers to know people are coming in for the flight, who they are and when they will be there.
You just need competent staff and good procedures– US Air seems to have a shortage in this department.
Just a thought, but if this is what you have come to experience from flying with US Airways, why do you set yourself up for the aggrevation and frustration? Fly a different carrier. All the freedoms we have living in this country, air travel is no exception. You have the right to choose. I am not saying that the policies and procedures are perfect, but no airlines' are. They all have flaws and the experience that you have had with US Airways, someone else is having with another airline right now.
Airline operations and logistics are a lot more complex than what meets the eye. Holding a flight (even when they know connecting passengers are coming), is not a easy as you want it to be. I feel your pain, I have been there.
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  #17  
Old Apr 15, 2009, 6:15 AM
Jetsetter767 Jetsetter767 is offline
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Originally Posted by adm120 View Post
I can sympathize with you Trishs. They sold my seat while I was on the plane sitting on the damn tarmac. And their was a standby guy with me on my flight so I know the flight was full. They SUCK at Philly.

I just got a call back from Republic – US Air Express – which is the flight I came in on from Detroit. The consumer relations person told me that UA Air Corp. does the Operations at Philly – and here is the problem. US Air just is a sloppy stupid airline. Too bad Republic has to be under theses clowns. Too bad they didn’t just go out of business.

Butch Cassidy is right here. We need to have the Congress change the damn regulation so that these fools cannot just sell our seats 20 minuets before our flight.



I didn't say anything about you saying that they sold your seat in your original post, but I don't know how many times I have read it, and its getting old... They DID NOT sell your seat. Your seat was released. US Airways did not collect money from another passenger after they released your seat... If they had the time to do that nonsense, they would have waited for YOU! The fine print that most people fail to read (but are still responsible for) does not say "if you are not onboard the aircraft 15 minutes prior to the departure time your seat is subject to cancellation, UNLESS you are sitting on a plane waiting for a gate". Unfortunately for people like you, me and so many others that have fallen victim to 15 minute rule, it applies regardless of the circumstances. If they sat and waited on every person who was coming late, NOBODY would EVER arrive ON TIME. In certain circumstances, it is appropriate, logical, and fesible to apply a hold time for a certain flight, but you can't count on that. PHL is not the best setup in the world, but it is definately not the worst airport. It could happen anywhere. You portray your story as though it was personal... In fact, it is just the opposite -- ITS BUSINESS.
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  #18  
Old Apr 15, 2009, 7:56 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Jetsetter:
The issue of choice is often thrown up by people as a response to the level of poor service. In fact, there is often very little choice available to the consumer. There is a fig leaf of competition, but in reality the airlines have created "fortress hubs" which are effectively local monopolies. The slots at major hubs are controlled by huge airlines. This means that passengers who need to make connections, or early morning flights etc have no choice whatsoever about which airline they fly. The reason the airlines defend this hub system so vigorously in Congress is they understand that monopolies are power and they use this power to control the market.

The second suggestion that the airline has not "sold" your seat is also false. The airline has sold the seat. Often the reason there are so many standby passengers waiting to see if any seats will be released is because the airline deliberately over-sold earlier flights, or this actual flight. They sold more seats than they had available for no reason other than profit. In any other industry, a company which did this is subject to investigation for fraud. If I set up an internet company selling widgets, and I take the money for a million widgets, but only have stock of 500,000 widgets, I have committed an offense. The airlines have somehow convinced legislators and passengers that there is a legitimate reason for "overselling" on the basis that there will be "no shows". There is no legitimate reason for this.

So, welcome to the forum.. we havn't crossed swords before, but I have to respectfully disagree with both of your arguments. The reality is the airlines are effectively monopolies and there is no effective competition, and they most certainly do "sell" the seat when they put standby passengers in it.

Last edited by jimworcs; Apr 15, 2009 at 7:58 AM.
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  #19  
Old Apr 15, 2009, 1:56 PM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
 
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i have never had a domestic connecting flight, but have had many international connecting flights, mainly through london heathrow

i make sure that i have at least 2 hours transfer, incase of delays and what not, security, finding the nxt plane, and a lil relax time

if your complaining that your plane arrived 10mins late than your crazy, its 10mins and everything wont be exactly on time and you have to be prepared for that, so cry a river build a bridge and get over it, 10mins is nothing

It takes time to taxi to a gate and 15mins is pretty long but its your fault for having a extemely close connecting time, you have to think that things will be a lil late

People may have, not definatly, took your seat as you were not there and they wanted to fly full with who they had so that as many people can get to their destination as possible, and keep everyone happy on the most part

you seem to be overexagerating and blaming everyone but yourself for missing the flight
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Old Apr 28, 2009, 6:15 AM
Jetsetter767 Jetsetter767 is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Jetsetter:
The issue of choice is often thrown up by people as a response to the level of poor service. In fact, there is often very little choice available to the consumer. There is a fig leaf of competition, but in reality the airlines have created "fortress hubs" which are effectively local monopolies. The slots at major hubs are controlled by huge airlines. This means that passengers who need to make connections, or early morning flights etc have no choice whatsoever about which airline they fly. The reason the airlines defend this hub system so vigorously in Congress is they understand that monopolies are power and they use this power to control the market.

The second suggestion that the airline has not "sold" your seat is also false. The airline has sold the seat. Often the reason there are so many standby passengers waiting to see if any seats will be released is because the airline deliberately over-sold earlier flights, or this actual flight. They sold more seats than they had available for no reason other than profit. In any other industry, a company which did this is subject to investigation for fraud. If I set up an internet company selling widgets, and I take the money for a million widgets, but only have stock of 500,000 widgets, I have committed an offense. The airlines have somehow convinced legislators and passengers that there is a legitimate reason for "overselling" on the basis that there will be "no shows". There is no legitimate reason for this.

So, welcome to the forum.. we havn't crossed swords before, but I have to respectfully disagree with both of your arguments. The reality is the airlines are effectively monopolies and there is no effective competition, and they most certainly do "sell" the seat when they put standby passengers in it.
You are welcome to disagree with my arguements, however, it doesn't make your position any more valid than mine. I am very much familiar with the process, and although you may not agree with it, is legal. Bottom line.
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  #21  
Old Apr 28, 2009, 9:23 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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We agree it is legal.. it is also immoral and ought to be illegal.
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  #22  
Old Jul 28, 2009, 2:29 AM
adm120 adm120 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Jetsetter767 View Post
I didn't say anything about you saying that they sold your seat in your original post, but I don't know how many times I have read it, and its getting old... They DID NOT sell your seat. Your seat was released. US Airways did not collect money from another passenger after they released your seat... If they had the time to do that nonsense, they would have waited for YOU! The fine print that most people fail to read (but are still responsible for) does not say "if you are not onboard the aircraft 15 minutes prior to the departure time your seat is subject to cancellation, UNLESS you are sitting on a plane waiting for a gate". Unfortunately for people like you, me and so many others that have fallen victim to 15 minute rule, it applies regardless of the circumstances. If they sat and waited on every person who was coming late, NOBODY would EVER arrive ON TIME. In certain circumstances, it is appropriate, logical, and fesible to apply a hold time for a certain flight, but you can't count on that. PHL is not the best setup in the world, but it is definately not the worst airport. It could happen anywhere. You portray your story as though it was personal... In fact, it is just the opposite -- ITS BUSINESS.

MY seat was released while I was sitting in a USAir plane on the damn tarmac.

How freaking stupid can airlines be. And we were sitting their waiting for a GATE. They new we were coming in late and knew we had connecting passengers and they even knew which flights they were on.

So yes the dopes then “released” my seat. Does that make it right? Or smart?

No it doesn’t and that is why I fly USAir only if I have no other choice and never ever through Philadelphia.
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Old Jul 28, 2009, 2:37 AM
adm120 adm120 is offline
 
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PS
I have sat on planes from other airlines and waited 10 min because they knew they had connecting passengers coming in and they WAITED for them. They didn’t release the seats and pull out.

So they get my BUSINESS not the morons at USAir.
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  #24  
Old Jul 28, 2009, 6:24 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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I believe Mr. Spock said it best with "The needs of the many outweigh the need of the one" (or the few i am not sure as my geekyness in star trek isn't that deep). I've been in your shoes believe me its horrible because it's like "if they had just held for 5 minutes!!" But I understand now why it must be done, something to do with air traffic and slots and such. The best thing to do in this situation is try to keep a cool head about the situation because it will happen again no matter whom you fly on. Whenever that happens and if I'm cool about it, I go to a service center or talk to the gate agent who usually rebooks me out on the next flight and in some occasions I was given a hotel (I stopped asking years ago, so it pays to be nice). Then again I am a platinum member so that may have something to do with it.

But my point is, if you book your flight with a connection, think proactively and prepare for the possibility that you might misconnect, meaning have extra money for a hotel, pack extra changing clothes, have some cash set aside for food. Because, in my opinion, it's a waste of time to try and push for these things when the focus should be getting to your destination.
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Old Jul 28, 2009, 7:53 PM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
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The minimum legal connection time for most airlines is 30 minutes, which is pushing it. I ALWAYS recommend to people, when booking tickets, to book their flights, allowing AT LEAST an hour, and preferably longer, for connecting. Many people do not like to wait around the airport for hours, but the more connection time you allow yourself, the better protected you are, in the event of a delay, or having to wait for an open gate, etc. This is why I also recommend ALWAYS booking through the airline itself, and NOT using websites like Orbitz, Travelocity, etc. Those websites return the cheapest fares, but give little choice to the passenger, when it comes to building their own itinerary, something most airline websites allow you to do; pick your departure flight, in which it will show you the numerous connection possibilities for that flight, usually starting with the least amount of connection time, and increasing as you scroll down. The airlines DO give you the option of having longer connections, if you look at their websites, and they can also be requested over the phone. Most people do not pay attention to their connection time, and simply book the ticket, because it is $1 cheaper on Orbitz for one flight, versus another.

There is one problem I see occurring, which may not be bad for most people, but will be for some, if the government gets involved, and mandates longer connection times, such as, one hour. Lets say you have someone who travels regularly on business, to a specific destination, and he usually has a 30-45 minute connection time. He usually takes out a 5pm flight, because it allows him to get off of work, and have time to get to the airport. His connection is 45 minutes, but that is plenty of time, and he doesn't check bags, he always carries a small bag on, so no worries about a short connection, and misconnecting bags, for him. if the government mandates, for example, a minimum legal connection of one hour, that person will no longer have the option of taking that 5pm flight, which he is accustomed to. He will now be forced to take an earlier flight, which may not be doable for him.

The problem is, the airlines aren't going to start adding flights, to accommodate this, they will just rule out certain available flights, for people, forcing them to have to take earlier ones. This may not be bad for some people, more specifically your leisurely traveler, but there are plenty of others, especially business travelers, who may suffer as a result.

Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
Hopefully, someone in the Obama Administration will have the courage to stand-up to the airline lobby and institute some consumer friendly regulations.
Mandating minimum connecting times at major airports should be one such regulation. The existing minimum connecting times, at major US airports, border, in a number of examples, on blatant fraud. Until the government puts the brakes on this nonsense one should ASSUME your in-bound flight is going to be late, REGARDLESS of what the on-time figures show. Remember, US-based airlines are notorious liars. Accordingly, booking flights that have a connecting (lay-over) time of, no less, than 2 hours is important. With some airlines, and some airports, a 2-hour connecting time may be impossible. The choice may come-down to a 30 to 40 minute connecting time, or staying overnight, with a resulting higher fare, at the connecting airport. If you're willing to fly to an alternate airport, then use surface transportation to your final destination, you may be able to realize your extended connecting time. Again, however, this arrangement may require an overnight stay, at the arrival airport, if your flight arrives much after 5:00 PM. Surface connections, to your final destination, may not be available if your flight arrives much after 5 PM. One should look upon connecting flights as a source of potential trouble and ask themselves whether it's worth a saving of a few dollars to take a connecting flight. If you miss your connection, those savings can be, not only eradicated, but your final cost can equal, or exceed, a first class fare. Finally, I lived, for 25 years, about 40 miles north of Philadelphia International (PHL). Generally, that airport should be avoided, no matter who you are flying with. Some of the TSA Officers there get their kicks by acting like Nazis. If PHL is unavoidable, Southwest is the ONLY airline I would take a chance with.
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