Every time I think the first world’s worst airline—US Airways—couldn’t possibly get any worse, they do something unfathomably dumb that erodes whatever shred of good will anyone could possibly still have towards them.
First, they cut everything that could possibly make a flyer’s experience a positive one, even making dehydrated passengers pay for water and charging en extra fee to check even one bag. Then they turned to extortion, charging passengers extra to reserve a window or aisle seat. (Great idea for attracting vacationing families!) Then they said “screw you” to their most loyal frequent flyer customers, devaluing their miles and eliminating all their bonus miles from here on out. With that move, they basically admitted they don’t care about casual customers OR their remaining loyal ones, the kind of coveted road warriors that rack up dozens of flights per year.
But the new low was a doozie. Basically they stranded a plane full of passengers in the Dominican Republic on August 15, refused to give them a place to stay, an alternative flight, transportation, or even information when the crew’s time ran out. They then sat back while airport guards forced all the passengers out of the terminal and into the rain! Here’s the whole sordid story, with the airline’s reply that “per policy and guidelines this is not a compensation issue.”
If your choice is between flying on USAirways and taking a 14-hour bus ride, the latter will probably be more comfortable and more reliable. If US Airways is the only carrier flying to the island you want to visit, pick another island. There’s no reason to hand your money to this kind of company. The sooner they go under, the better.
[flickr photo from JeffreyPutnam]