4:30P – I left my NYC Hotel for LGA to head back to Arkansas.
5:45P – Arrived at LGA for my 7:00P connection flight to CLT.
6:20P – Got to the gate and learned my flight was delayed almost 50 minutes.
6:25P – Found Dinner (This isn’t relevant to my post, but it was extremely good).
7:30P – Finally able to board.
Around 9:45P I’m realizing that my connection flight is at 10:10P and I’m not going to make it. The U.S. Airways flight attendant reassured me that due to the massive delay they would surly hold my connection.
10:10P – As I deplaned, I began sprinting to my express gate at the other end of the airport. (I was in Loubitan boots that I attribute to slowing me down significantly.)
10:15P – Got to the gate and sure enough my flight was gone.
10:15.5P – I realize how sweaty I was and had to take moment to process everything that had just happened.
And so began the layover process from hell, and why I will reconsider flying U.S. Airways when I’m in a crunch.
A little backstory before I go on: I booked with U.S. Airways because of the in and out times I needed in NYC. I’ve never flown with U.S. and was looking forward to the experience. U.S. Airways is now owned by American Airlines, which has lost my luggage twice, and so I haven’t flown with them in a while. I was a bit hesitant, but proceeded anyway. My departure flight was incredible. Everything was on time and we even arrived early at LGA. Return was obviously a nightmare, but I digress.
10:30P – Standing in line at the customer service area with about 60 others from my previous flight, I sent a tweet to @usariways to see how they could help.
11:05P – I was finally able to speak with a customer service agent who was very pleasant. She rescheduled my flight but didn’t even bother getting me in first class. She said due to an “Air Traffic” delay they couldn’t compensate me for a hotel.
*Keep in mind, I’ve had this SAME issue while flying Delta, and both times they have gone above and beyond to compensate me and make sure I am comfortable while I wait for my rescheduled flight. This was not the case with U.S. Airways*
11:30P – I was given a “hotel voucher” for a discounted rate. When I called the 1-800 number, the discount was only $5 and their booking service sounded like it was based in Asia. They weren’t very helpful. So I booked independently at the Hyatt (life saver).
11:45P – I made my way to baggage to get my luggage, here’s where it gets crazy. I asked the U.S. Airways attendant at Baggage Services where my luggage was, he responded with “It’s not coming out.” Those literally were the first words out of his mouth. He hadn’t checked my flight number, he was simply saying, “it’s not coming out.” I explained to him I had time sensitive documents that I needed first thing in the morning (in my carry-on bag they made me check due to lack of overhead space on my inbound flight). He still was no help. I said I’d meet someone wherever to get my bag, I just needed to get my things. He responded “If you even think about going down there, I’ll call security.” Finally, I pulled the “but I need my medicine,” (even though I didn’t) he looked at me and said rudely “If need be, we can call an ambulance, but your bag isn’t moving.” At this point I was livid, but composed. I did nothing to spur his insensitivity, he just simply did not want to help. He handed me a sad excuse for a toiletry kit and said “next person in line.”
Every time this has happened on Delta, they have gone out of their way to make it right. U.S. Airways was inconsiderate and basically non-responsive to accommodating their passengers during a situation that was their fault.
12:20P – My car finally came for the Hyatt. Luggage-less and smelling pretty horrid at this point, I checked in and enjoyed the comfort of a suite that I paid for. Some may say, well that’s just part of it, but I don’t by it. Keep in mind, I fly sometimes up to 3 times a month, so I’m no stranger to dealing with airlines, but this has been my worst experience yet.
I would be overjoyed if U.S. Airways could compensate my hotel. Even more so, I would love if they could train their employees to take care of their passengers. I’m always up for giving anyone a second chance, but not until something happens.
Thank you Delta for loving me as much as I love you. I want to get on a flight and go somewhere “just because” to make up for my awful experience.
My advice to those booking trips this week and in the future: Don’t risk it, play it safe and fly Delta. Their gingerbread cookies are the best and I would dare to say they have more legroom.
Have you had a bad airline experience? I’d love to hear about it, comment below and let’s have a group therapy session together.