PZelda (pzelda) wrote in bad_service,

US Airways MAJOR bad service

To preface this post, this is NOT my story. This is a *MAJOR* bad_service saga that started yesterday and is CURRENTLY ONGOING. It's happening to a school friend and her husband. I don't fully understand how Facebook commenting works on this community, so hopefully they will be able to reply to the comments on here. Also, FYI, this is a block of text. They are aggressively pursuing a resolution to this to happen ASAP. I told them I would post this on here so that hopefully you guys will have other avenues for them to take as well as advice. They reside in the Phoenix, AZ area, and so far I know the husband has already had no luck with speaking to US Airways CS and the Frankfurt airport. He has reached out to the Phoenix-area TV news stations.

This is a chain of events via the husband's Facebook page.

For these of you who don't want to navigate to the above link, it's in a cut below.

So...having an issue with US Airways Here is the story (Please feel free to share this with any any/everyone):

I live in Cave Creek, AZ and I am retired from the United States Air Force. I am emailing my complaint, but I plan to start calling customer service in a few hours as this issue is urgent. My daughters were scheduled to fly from Frankfurt to Charlotte to Phoenix today, July 10th. One of them, Arin, is 16 and the other 2, Megan and Carlie, are 14. Megan was ill last evening at home, but she felt well enough to make the trip today. She was feeling drained and tired and slightly dehydrated, but after clearing security at Frankfurt, she bought a snack and some water and was looking forward to getting on the plane, eating and then sleeping. The flight was overbooked and passengers were offered 600 Euro, plus a night’s stay in a hotel plus tomorrow’s flight if they would give up their seats. All three girls heard this announcement as did their mother and grandparents who brought them to the airport.

After my girls were on the plane and seated, one of the flight attendants noticed that Megan was looking a bit pale. Megan explained the situation to the flight attendant (witnessed by the other 2 girls). The flight attendant contacted either the agent or Medlink and was told to remove them from the plane. All three girls were forced to deplane because of their ages and the fact that they are flying together as a family. When they were taken off the plane, they were told to go to baggage claim and retrieve their luggage. From there nothing was done with them or for them. Megan was not seen by medical personnel nor did US Airways or airport personnel assist them with making sure parents were called to make arrangements for them until they could be picked up.

Their mother had traveled an hour and a half to get back home when the girls were able to notify her that they had been kicked off of the plane. She traveled back to the airport, found the girls and their luggage and proceeded to the ticket counter. She was told by [Name of US Airways employee removed] that the tickets could be changed but we would have to pay the change fee for the 2 girls that were not sick as well as any difference in price for new tickets even though they were all forced off of the flight. Their mother, Bianca, then called me (I live in Cave Creek and they girls are travelling to see me) and explained the situation. I was then put on the phone with [Name of US Airways employee removed] and she proceeded to explain to me that she would be nice and waive the change fee for all three girls to rebook the tickets. I asked her if the girls were removed from the flight because of the overbooking and she refused to answer. I asked her if anyone else had taken the offer to give up their seats and she told me that no, the flight left with empty seats. I asked her three additional times about the girls being removed from the flight in order to make room and finally she told me that yes, the flight was overbooked, but that had nothing to do with my girls being removed. I asked her which doctor examined my daughter (again, three times before she would answer me) and she said that no medical professionals actually examined my daughter but that they called Medlink and were told to remove them from the plane. I told her I wanted to speak to her supervisor and she said she was the supervisor. I told her I wanted to talk to her boss and she refused initially to provide me with her name or with her boss’s name. She finally relented and told me her name and the Station Manager is her boss, [Name of US Airways employee removed]. I asked her about booking the girls on tomorrow or Friday’s flight and she told me there were no seats available. I told her I was looking on your website at that very moment and I could see that there were three seats available for me to book as a new paying customer for tomorrow and for Friday. [Name of US Airways employee removed] told me she was not able to change our tickets to the ones I saw online. She also told me that if I wanted to change the return leg of the trip, then I would also have to pay the change fee as well as a fare difference for all three tickets. I then asked her about booking them on another airline and was told that she would not look into it, but if I chose to check into it, Us Airways would not assist with the change fees, new tickets with another airline or provide a refund. After I got off of the phone with [Name of US Airways employee removed], she told Bianca that they could book 2 of the girls out on Sunday and hope to get the third on as a standby passenger or they could book all three of them out on Tuesday. But, she said that if we tried to book them out on Sunday and the third girl could not fly, then they would charge us the change fee to book all of them on Tuesday. At this point, Bianca had no choice but to change the tickets to Tuesday, which will cut my girls’ visit short by nearly a week.

This type of treatment is simply unacceptable and I am shocked that my daughters were treated this way, that [Name of US Airways employee removed] was so rude and unreasonable on the phone and that not only were my daughters forced off the flight due to overbooking, but then they were left outside security with no concern whatsoever. Your personnel claim Megan was too sick to fly and are using that to justify removing them from the plane, then why was she not taken to see medical personnel? I need to be contacted immediately for some resolution. I expect my daughters to be booked as soon as possible on flights comparable to the ones we have paid for. I also expect US Airways to offer us the 600 Euro per ticket that they were willing to pay anyone who gave up their seat due to the overbooking. In addition, I think it is only fair that the return flight be changed to a week later with no fees or penalty. I think all of this is only fair because not only have you removed my kids from the flight, by them not flying today you have created financial issues with our summer plans. We have vacation plans, and things like baseball tickets that are bought for this Sunday’s game and the actions of your employees have created a multitude of problems. Not only that, the girls’ family in Germany had to take time off in order to bring them to the airport for a flight that did not happen as well as make an additional round trip of an hour and a half because of this problem.

In a not-so-surprising turn of events, US Airways just told me that they will waive the change fee if we decide to change the return trip tickets, but they will do nothing else. They claim the report says the child said she could not fly. This report was falsified and I plan to speak to an attorney, the Better Business Bureau, the local media and file a complaint with the FAA. THey now also claim that they did NOT extend the over-booking offer to anyone on this flight.

Don't fly US Airways!

UPDATE AS OF FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013, 8:30PM CENTRAL my friend's husband has posted an update on his Facebook page. The update post he made is public, so it should be viewable. I'll still post the text behind a cut. It's unfortunately not the resolution they're looking for (their daughters still are not with them in Phoenix yet), so they're continuing to pursue this. I have also broken down the posting of the original chain of events the best that I can (from the first LJ cut) but otherwise not edited it in any way, since I was not the one who did the writeup.

Update on US Airways issue...this is an email I received this morning from the Customer Relations representative I spoke to yesterday. My reply to the rep is below as well:

Dear Mr. Hoglund:

Thank you for taking the time to speak to me. On behalf of US Airways Executive team, I appreciated the opportunity to address your continued concerns.

Our intentions are to provide the highest level of service possible at all times. I regret and understand your displeasure with what occurred at the airport when your daughters were not allowed to travel due to one being ill.

As noted in our Contract of Carriage, we can deny boarding to passengers who appear to have a contagious disease which has been determined by US Airways’ medical advisor to be a direct threat to the health and safety of others. The information given to our medical advisor came from questions asked directly to your daughter. Moreover, in these situations as mentioned, we do not provide compensation; therefore, I am unable to honor your request.

We have investigated the issues you have brought to our attention regarding the possibility of the flight being oversold and appreciate the opportunity to share with you the results of our investigation. Our reports indicate that Flight 705 departed with multiple empty seats. Additionally, because the flight went out with open seats no denied boarding compensating was issued.

Please know that your comments have been forwarded to the appropriate managers for an internal review. Your feedback will be used as a training tool and as a means to improve our service. Although we cannot, honor you request for reimbursement of your prepaid expenses, as a gesture of goodwill, I have waived the change fee to allow you to extend their vacation stay.

Mr. Hoglund, I’m sorry that we couldn’t reach a more agreeable resolution to your concerns. We value your business and are working hard to earn your continued patronage. We hope you will give us the opportunity to do so.



Thank you for the reply, [Name removed]. I was in the USAF for 23 years. In the military, when somone had an issue that was not resolved to their expectation, it would be elevated. In the military, we always provide the person we are dealing with the courtesy of knowing that the issue is being elevated to another level. I have sent emails to Scott Kirby (President of US Airways) and Doug Parker (Chairman and CEO). I have been advised by flyersright.org to file a complaint with the DOT and they have provided me with contact information to handle my complaint. I have also contacted the 4 local news stations seeking assistance. I have complaints lodged with the Better Business Bureau and the FAA. I also will consult with an attorney and I am contacting the ACLU as I believe this is a case of age discrimination (this would not have happened if my daughters were travelling with an adult and I feel they were singled out and embarassed in front of a planeful of passengers based on their ages).

I am requesting from you all of the documentation that was used in your decision making process. If you are unable to provide these documents can you please send my request to the section that can or direct me to the office that handles FOIA requests.

Also, Flight LH 5603 from FRA to BOS on Sunday, Jul 14th has seats available and connects to US261 in BOS to continue to PHX. You told me yesterday on the phone that no seats were available to get them here ealier than Tuesday and yet US Airways is willing to sell me tickets at this very second.

Thank you,
Scott Hoglund

This appears that this is the only update on the situation so far, and that was six hours ago.
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