My wife and son and I traveled on USAir from Tampa to Charlotte [and back] to see our son at college on October 30/31. I can state that our experience on USAir was the absolute worst travel experience we have ever experienced. In the past, I have avoided ever flying on USAir to Charlotte, and in the future, I will never, ever again fly on your airline.
We booked our 3 tickets through Expedia, for a total cost of $733.70. On Saturday, July 3, 2010, I received an email from Expedia that the flight number on our flight October 30, 2010 had changed from UA 1950, to 1553. And on July 11, we also received an email that the return flight UA 1259 had changed to 1870. These flights code share with United. On both of these emails, it states, "It's not necessary to call us to reconfirm your flight." Again, I would be more than happy to email you a copy of these documents.
As we always do, I went online 24 hours before our flight was due to leave [Friday, October 29, in the morning], and attempted to check in online. I was surprised to find out that I could not, and continued to get a message that our tickets we "out of synch" and that I needed to call USAir. Needless to say, I was quite nervous and did so.
Not only could I not get a boarding pass, the fact that these flights are code shared with United is a real headache. Both my wife and I called and we told several different things [we needed to contact United, then USAIR, etc.] and it seemed clear that we were not being told the truth.
I called your toll free number and explained the situation to the agent. I could see that we were assigned seats, but could not print off the boarding pass. I was told [lied to] that this was due to a computer issue at USAir and that I had nothing to worry about. Quite honestly, I felt like I was not being told the truth, and was told that all we needed to do was to show up Saturday morning [without being checked in, or have a boarding pass] and everything would be ok.
I travel extensively [on other airlines] and have never, ever had this issue. I felt very uncomfortable and called back Friday evening and was told eventually that the PNRs for the USAir tickets were different than the United ones. I received these and was told I could now go online and get the boarding passes. When I asked why the tickets were "out of synch" I was told that USAir was working on their "website" and this would not be a problem.
As I was told, I went online and attempted [again] to print off the boarding passes with the new USAir PNRs. I was disappointed when I continued to get the same message that the tickets were "out of synch."
We arrived at the Tampa airport early on Saturday before the flight. We went to the online kiosk to print off our boarding passes, and a message appeared that we "had changed" the flight, and a $150 fee per ticket had to be collected from us. This obviously was not true. When I told the agent that I would not pay any fee due to the fact that we did not ever change the ticket, she was surly and it was as if somehow it was our fault! She told me I should have called and tried to get the issue resolved before I got to the airport. I stood there speechless. I told her that I tried to get this fixed more than once. She looked at the ticket, and stated she remedied the problem with the tickets. She stated that we would not have any future issues with checking in on the return flight. When I asked her why this happened, I did not get a real answer.
When I arrived in Charlotte, I went to the gate and asked the agent there to recheck the tickets to make sure that the issue with the "out of synch" was corrected. She looked up all the tickets, and assured me that the issue was taken care of. She told me that we would be able to check in online without any issues.
When I attempted to check in for our return flights, the same error message "out of synch" appeared on the tickets, not allowing me to check in. I was furious that for the 3rd time, we had been told something that simply was not true. First on the telephone, then in Tampa, now in Charlotte.
We arrived at the Charlotte airport an hour earlier than we otherwise would have, due to the fact [again] that I was concerned about the tickets. When I attempted to check in, I was told again that due to a change, we owed a $150 fee per ticket, due to a change we had made. Again, this was not true.
The gate agent in Charlotte looked at the tickets, and was eventually able to check us in. When I asked her what was wrong with the tickets, she stated that it was all due to a flight number change by USAir. So all along, the stories about "website maintenance, etc.' were simply not true. So the email we received back in July about the tickets was again not factual.
When we arrived at the gate, the agent made an announcement that tickets with Zone 4 and 5 would have to have their bags checked, due to the fact that overhead bin space would be gone; as this was a full flight. We complied with this request and checked 2 bags. We were then allowed to board in zone 2.
We had an engagement that we needed to be at before 9 pm, and the fact that now we had to check 2 bags was a real issue for us. When the plane was eventually all loaded, I was very upset to see that there were empty over head bins all over the plane. I got out of my seat, and walked back to the jet way to see if I could retrieve our 2 bags and put them in the overhead bins, allowing us to be on time where we needed to be.
I was told that this was impossible. I asked to see a supervisor, and a "Judy" who had tagged the bags [and made the announcement at the gate] appeared. I explained the situation to her, that we were pressed for time, and asked her to get our 2 bags so that I could put them in the numerous overhead bins. She told me to "get back on the plane" and if I continued to question her, "she would remove me from the flight." These are the exact words she used.
She said that the empty bins were empty because so many people agreed to have the bags checked. I told her I could not believe this, as I saw the total number of bags sitting in the jet way [there could not have been more than 10 or 12] and that there were many, many more open bins than that on the plane.
All I was trying to do was to get the bags, and she immediately threatened me. I obviously wanted to get to Tampa, so I got back on the plane. I commented to her that this was going to be the last time I was ever going to fly USAir, and her words, and I quote were "Good." I was absolutely shocked that a "supervisor" who appeared to be in charge would ever make such a comment to a client.
When we got to Tampa, I asked the baggage claim office how to file a complaint, and she was happy to provide me the email address to do so. We eventually got the 2 bags after about a 15 minute wait, and we were late for our engagement, thanks in large measure to the absolute lack of empathy and service by "Judy" and USAir.
I can state that this entire experience we had with your airline rates a "0" on a scale of 1 to 10. From being lied to about the problem with the tickets [that was due 100% to you changing the flight number], the fact that were we told more than once that the problems had been fixed when they had had, not being able to check in online, having to show up twice hours earlier at the airport and to be treated by a "supervisor/"Judy"] totally unprofessionally, I can tell you that I have never been treated so poorly ever before.
Your lack of honesty, integrity and any form of customer service is appalling; I can only hope that another carrier is soon able to get flights into Charlotte so I can avoid flying USAir in the future. I fully intend to post these comments online, and warn other potential clients of the total lack of professionalism that appears to be pervasive throughout the entire USAir organization.
In closing, I could understand and overlook this experience if I felt that this was an isolated or single incident. But look at the facts. In a period of 72 hours, we were lied to over and over again and then threatened by a member of your management team/supervisor to top it off.
I hope that you research how such inept service can be accepted by your employees, and that a note be put in "Judy's" flied to document her lack of professionalism in dealing with this situation. You wasted hours of my time [and my wife's] and a simple honest response could from you at the very beginning was all that we were looking for.