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June 28, 2007

Comments

marylandbluecrab

This one time an airline called me (I guess that's the first step) to tell me my flight was canceled, about 1/3 of a minute before i left for the airport. After being on the phone with them for 45 minutes, then making the decision that i had to head to the airport if I had any hope of making ANY flight, and then ALMOST hanging up on them, they told me i was booked and confirmed. I got to the airport 20 minutes later (thank you rosslyn to airport metro) and waited another 75 minutes for them to tell me i was not, in fact, booked. Bastards. Good luck, Catch Up Lady. And please don't go...I can't handle live blogging from a non-down-the-hall location!

sunchaser

Too many horror stories to put here, but USScare sure isn't one of my favorites (neither is ComScair).

Glad they at least found some way to get you out.

Flying sucks during the summer vacation season, that's for sure.

FYI: Delta always calls me if my flight is delayed/canceled (though I can't remember the last time a Delta flight was canceled). I think United does this as well.

sunchaser

Too many horror stories to put here, but USScare sure isn't one of my favorites (neither is ComScair).

Glad they at least found some way to get you out.

Flying sucks during the summer vacation season, that's for sure.

FYI: Delta always calls me if my flight is delayed/canceled (though I can't remember the last time a Delta flight was canceled). I think United does this as well.

David Andersen

I consistently have poor to terrible flight experiences with US Airways and United. It's a rare flight that goes off without a hitch. And no, the Indian sounding customer service agents with names like "Bill" and "Sue" are neither helpful or sympathetic.

Madame M

Flying from Hawaii to California always has the disgruntled crew-- they tend to be not very nice.

Good luck on your flight, Catch Up Lady! And yay!

Ryan

Through great pain with Alaskan Air, I've come to the conculsion that the only people empowered to get things done in the air transit system are those who are actually at the ticket counter. The voice on the phone is next to usless.

When faced with a live body in front of them holding up the line they suddenly have options. When on the phone...

WWB

2 hours?? You made GREAT time!

Jetpacks

Where are you working now?

Tom G

I am so frustrated with the lack of notice about US Airways miles expiring, and was told there was no exception to having to spend another $100 just to get my 15000+ miles back. It sucks.

Loren

You are darned lucky to make it on NWA. My son and I were returning from our vacation last Wednesday (6/27) 5:03PM departure from Pittsburgh, connection in Detroit, home to St. Paul. Flight delayed; further delayed to 7:40. Oh noes, connection leaves DTW at 7:38. Call NWA while standing in 40 person deep line at gate, voice prompt tree: 3 questions then: connction you to an agent --> busy signal. Rinse repeat 4 times, finally get through to an on hold message. After 35 minutes, get told the best they can do is FRIDAY morning out of Detroit.

Gate Agent announces flight delayed to 8:40. Then 10:40, then cancelled, along with the flight which was scheduled to depart PIT at 7:30. Agent suggests rebooking on NWA.com. Pull out laptop, logon. Hit rebook button,, and get, unable to fulfill request, please call.

Finally, get bags back (45 minute wait). Rent car, drive to DTW (5 hours). Get to airport following morning, and finally stand -by onto a flight.

michelle carpenter

After three unbelievably bad experiences with US Air, and the airline’s repeated refusal to acknowledge my complaints, I've taken it upon myself to share my horror stories as a word of warning. US AIR has demonstrated an unparalleled lack of customer service. To wit:

1) A couple of years ago I flew non-stop from Pittsburgh to St. Louis. My baggage was lost and never recovered. I find it perplexing that my suitcase, which had complete identification and contact information inside and out, was never located. As if the loss of it were not enough, I had the misfortune to deal with several disgruntled employees who acted as if this were my fault. On two separate occasions, I was disconnected after waiting half an hour to speak to a representative on the phone. The form I was required to complete to obtain reimbursement for my loss insinuated in a number of ways that I was making up the claim or trying to take advantage of the airline (it asked, for instance, “Have you or any member of your family had another claim against US Air?”). The airline made every effort to render the claim process difficult and confusing; I was required to have the form notarized, and I was expected to provide receipts and list the month in which every item in the suitcase had first been purchased. Most notably, one day when I called the Pittsburgh baggage office after waiting for two hours for them to return an urgent message from the central office, I was told by the employee that I was “lucky” she had answered the phone at all. Believe me: nothing about this experience made me feel the least bit “lucky.”

2) Although I hated to fly US AIR again, it's the hub at the closest major airport. So the next Christmas, I compromised by not checking my luggage. I arranged far in advance to have my very small puppy ride in a crate in the cabin (I had no interest in trusting her to US AIR cargo). I did all the proper paperwork, paid the special airline fee, bought an airline-approved crate, and visited my vet to make sure the crate was the right size for her. At the ticket counter an hour before the plane was to leave, I was suddenly accosted by a US AIR rep who announced that I was absolutely prohibited from bringing my dog on board--that I was "cruel" for attempting to do so. And, it turns out, they don't take pets in cargo. So with only an hour and no other option, I tried frantically to find another airline that would take a dog in the cabin (many no longer do). The gods finally smiled on me at the Northwest desk, and a kind woman arranged for me to take a (cheaper!) flight the next morning, with Sam safely at my feet. Sam didn't make a peep the entire flight. [For the dog lovers among you, I'm well aware that the true nightmare would be a combination of #1 and #2. Fortunately, things haven't come to that--but only because I won't fly with her again.]

3) The most recent insult: I was getting onto a plane from Pittsburgh to LaGuardia when I found a woman in my seat. When she insisted it was hers, I asked the flight attendant what to do. He told me I had to get off the plane and ask at the gate. "But aren't we about to leave??" I asked. "You have 8 minutes," he responded. After pounding frantically on the door to the gate, which was locked, I met the gate agent, who then disappeared down the ramp to figure things out. There were several people in the gate who had been (as they say in the industry) "duped": given duplicate tickets. I figured I would be bumped since the flight, as usual, was oversold.

Alas, if only I had been.

We arrived at La Guardia at around noon, and were scheduled to leave for New Hampshire at 3. Around 2:30, the monitors started to display a delay time of half an hour. They continued to do this every half an hour until 5 pm, with no announcement from the airline about what was wrong. When we asked, we were told with great agitation that, "Once AGAIN, we are delayed." But still no information about why, or for how long. Finally at 10 pm the flight was canceled. We waited in one line for an hour only to see the supervisor, who was apparently the only one who could do anything, wander off to a different line. When we finally (two lines later) reached the supervisor and asked about hotel accommodations, which according to their website they are required to provide if the delay is due to a mechanical problem, we were told no more were available. And we could rebook the flight for the next a.m., but there was no guarantee it would be fixed overnight. At this point we noticed a tearful girl who was clutching her school-rented trumpet case like a life vest. We learned that she was an unaccompanied minor, had no place to stay, and was terrified. When I asked the airline rep if US AIR really wanted to be responsible for the welfare of a 16-year-old girl in NYC by herself overnight, he said, "Not my problem." They would give her no accommodations--not even admission to a frequent-flyer lounge, which would at least offer her some semblance of security. At that point, we were told to go outside of the security area to check about hotels. When we did so, we found a very unpleasant representative who confirmed that there were no rooms in NYC (a fact immediately disputed by a fellow stranded traveler who called a nearby hotel and was told they DID have rooms and they DID accept vouchers from US AIR). Resigned to sleeping in LaGuardia for the night, we then discovered we were not allowed to return to the secure ("nice" carpet) area. So we "slept" on the floor next to the revolving door that opened to the street. We made sure the 16-year-old stayed next to us.

The kicker: the next morning we were waiting for a "safer" flight that landed an hour and a half away from where we needed to be, since we were afraid the other plane wasn't fixed. Turns out the other plane, scheduled to depart after ours, left on time. Ours was delayed.


Joel

In July of 2002, my family and I went on vacation to NYC. The airline carrier we flew with was the now defunct Vanguard Airlines. The cabin pressure in the 737 was so bad that my younger sister was crying, and I almost did, too. Gum didn't help any, and only my mother, who was also in pain, comforted us.

On the day before we were scheduled to depart the city, my mom found out that Vanguard declared bankruptcy and closed. We had no flight home, so my mom called some people. (I was pretty young and don't recall whom she called.) She finally got a hold of American Airlines, which was our ticket out of there. She had to pay almost double what she payed for Vanguard, but at least we made it home.

Have you flown Continental? I've heard good and bad, but my flying experiences with them have been all pleasant. Sorry to hear about your very crazy day. I'm glad you got home early!

james-h

I'm sorry. I'm too angry to me of much use here.

However - had two completely UNFUCKED UP flights on Southwest Airlines today.

Melanie

I am with you guys. I HATE US Airways. Their Dividend Miles program is the biggest joke going as far as frequent flyer programs. It all started July 2006 on a flight to Las Vegas. In the airport terminal upon arrival, someone is there with a table set up offering their credt card which gives you frequent flyer miles. I signed up base on the promise that with my first purchase, I'd be given enough miles for a free round trip ticket (25,000 miles). I made my first purchase, and what do you know, I only received 15,000 miles! I kept quiet, didn't say anything. After flying US Airways for another year and a half (for both busniess and personal travel), and using their credit card and signing up for anything else that would give me frequent flyer miles, I had accumulated 45,000 miles. I was under the impression that by purchasing another 5,000 miles to the tune of $170, I'd have enough miles for TWO roundtrip tickets (simple math says 25,000 x 2 = 50,000 miles). I made my purchase, then went to book my two free tickets. I even checked BEFORE buying the miles that the dates of my travel did not fall in a blackout time, checked how many miles would be needed. After purchasing the miles and logging in to book my tickets, SURPRISE!!!! The ticket is 37,500 miles.
I immediately called to get a refund of the miles purchased, since I was now going to have to use that money (and then some) to purchase the 2nd ticket I thought I was getting by purchasing the miles. This is when the REAL run around started. I was told I could not get a refund. I explained the website was deceptive and that I wanted to use that money I spent on miles to purchase the 2nd ticket. The rep said I had to call Points.com for the refund, and it would be ok since I JUST purchased them. I called Points.com, hmmm.... they were CLOSED for the night! Calling back to US Airways and requesting a supervisor, I had the unfortunate luck of speaking to a Christine (Rep ID 3S). She SAID she was a supervisor and was very rude to me and raised her voice to me. I called her out on it, and she just got uglier. I ended up hanging up on her. I spent an hour and a half on HOLD (never got to speak to anyone) with Dividend Miles customer service. After several more hours of useless responses, I finally gave up. The biggest kicker? When I actually went to book that trip, the mileage went up to (conveniently) 50,000 miles. NEVER have I seen an airline with such a wacky frequent flyer program. Not only do the miles per ticket get based on blackout dates, but availability is also based on time of day you fly, day of week, etc. You can barely use your Dividend Miles to book a free flight. I'm done with US Airways for good. This is an extremely abbreviated version of the mess I went through with them. I HATE US AIRWAYS!!!!

Melanie

I am with you guys. I HATE US Airways. Their Dividend Miles program is the biggest joke going as far as frequent flyer programs. It all started July 2006 on a flight to Las Vegas. In the airport terminal upon arrival, someone is there with a table set up offering their credt card which gives you frequent flyer miles. I signed up base on the promise that with my first purchase, I'd be given enough miles for a free round trip ticket (25,000 miles). I made my first purchase, and what do you know, I only received 15,000 miles! I kept quiet, didn't say anything. After flying US Airways for another year and a half (for both busniess and personal travel), and using their credit card and signing up for anything else that would give me frequent flyer miles, I had accumulated 45,000 miles. I was under the impression that by purchasing another 5,000 miles to the tune of $170, I'd have enough miles for TWO roundtrip tickets (simple math says 25,000 x 2 = 50,000 miles). I made my purchase, then went to book my two free tickets. I even checked BEFORE buying the miles that the dates of my travel did not fall in a blackout time, checked how many miles would be needed. After purchasing the miles and logging in to book my tickets, SURPRISE!!!! The ticket is 37,500 miles.
I immediately called to get a refund of the miles purchased, since I was now going to have to use that money (and then some) to purchase the 2nd ticket I thought I was getting by purchasing the miles. This is when the REAL run around started. I was told I could not get a refund. I explained the website was deceptive and that I wanted to use that money I spent on miles to purchase the 2nd ticket. The rep said I had to call Points.com for the refund, and it would be ok since I JUST purchased them. I called Points.com, hmmm.... they were CLOSED for the night! Calling back to US Airways and requesting a supervisor, I had the unfortunate luck of speaking to a Christine (Rep ID 3S). She SAID she was a supervisor and was very rude to me and raised her voice to me. I called her out on it, and she just got uglier. I ended up hanging up on her. I spent an hour and a half on HOLD (never got to speak to anyone) with Dividend Miles customer service. After several more hours of useless responses, I finally gave up. The biggest kicker? When I actually went to book that trip, the mileage went up to (conveniently) 50,000 miles. NEVER have I seen an airline with such a wacky frequent flyer program. Not only do the miles per ticket get based on blackout dates, but availability is also based on time of day you fly, day of week, etc. You can barely use your Dividend Miles to book a free flight. I'm done with US Airways for good. This is an extremely abbreviated version of the mess I went through with them. I HATE US AIRWAYS!!!!

Elizabeth Farina

USAIR needs to improve their customer service! I booked a trip for four on line with Orbitz, but called USAIRWAYS and switched my seat assignment. They were wonderful. Little did I know at the time the woman deleted my seats and didn't assign new ones! The day before my family and I were scheduled to fly I saw I had NO seats assigned. I tried to correct the problem by going on line and couldn't so I called the "help" desk and was told that USAIR could change any seat or block of seats at any time without notifying the customer. I asked to speak to the woman's supervisor. I told him I was looking at the available seats on line and if he moved one individual one row back (same seat) my family could sit together. The supervisor said that USairways NEVER changed seats. Then he said that USAIRWAYS NEVER assigned the exit row seats until the day of the flight. I pointed out that I doubted that fact since I was looking at assigned seats in the exit row. He just kept saying 'we can't help you we can't help you' as you pointed out it was obvious he didn't care at all. I asked for his name, it sounded like Fosmeyster. He didn't speak English as a first language and I'm not sure he even understood what I was trying to ask. So now, after making reservations months in advance I am about to drive my family to the airport with no seat assignments. I was so frustrated with the experience I finally said that I would never fly USairways again - to which Mr. Fostmeyster said "okay good". Terrible Terrible Terrible customer service. I couldn't be more sincere - I'm NOT EVER USING USAIR AGAIN!

Dave

Kindness training should also apply to stewardesses.(Or whatever they're called nowadays -'stewards'?
I flew from Charlotte to Norfolk, U.S. Air Flight 2604 on 25 May 2007, leaving at 12:40 p.m.
As boarding began, I was seated behind a young couple with a young child who was yelling and climbing on the chairs. I gently said, "Shh," and after a moment, the father wheeled around, cursing at me.("F-words.")
I rang for the attendant and asked her to be reseated. When she arrived after a few minutes and asked, "Why?" I calmly stated that "I had been in a disagreement with the passengers and wished to be reseated." The mother then interrupted and yelled that I had told her child to "shut up," which of course could be nothing further from the truth.
The flight attendant threatened to have the entire group removed from the plane but quickly threw out that course of action to focus on me, alone. Before I could respond she said, or rather decreed, "It's not right of you to tell anyone's children to shut up," and "Why would you tell someone's children to shut up?"
She told me if I spoke further, I would be removed from the plane. The unruly couple spoke over the attendant some more and berated me from their seats.
When I was finally seated and the plane was preparing to depart, I was approached by Sydney and asked, "Are you better yet?" I said that I was "upset now but that I would be fine." She then asked again at least twice if I was "all right to fly." It was more than obvious that she was searching for a means to remove me from the flight.
My bottom line is: the stewardess, Sydney lost control, humiliated me in front of the passengers and would not allow me to voice concerns under the threat of my removal from the plane. All I could think was, "This lady is going to have me escorted off by the police, I'll be on CNN and lose my job." Although I fully understand the stress of dealing with passengers, I see that after viewing passengers as cattle, you fully succeed at treating them as less.

alan

US AIRWAYS is getting no better.

See my new web site www.boycottusairways.info to hear my horror stories. The last two times I've flied them, my family and I have spent thenight in a distant city due to their mechanical problems.

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