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Old 06-24-2009, 04:36 PM   #1
Tracy00
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Angry US AIR is trying to ruin my WDW Vacation!

Hard to believe they can get away with this, but after reading many online accounts and having received too many personal emails to count, it seems they do it ALL the time. I guess I was the last person on earth to know they are well known as THE WORST AIRLINE ON EARTH!!!

I blogged about it here...

http://www.the3dstudio.com/blog_detail.aspx?id=709
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:48 PM   #2
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After reading, what is honestly, not that bad in terms of airline customer service and flight changes, I'd like to point out one thing...

Per the contract of carriage, you didn't purchase a 5:20 PM flight, you purchased a flight with US Airways to transfer you and your paid baggage as applicable between two destinations. The only guarantee they provide is that the service will be completed on the original departure date. This is a pre-flight change, not a delay in service, etc. Seat assignments, specific flight, equipment, etc are subject to change per the contract of carriage.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:01 PM   #3
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USAir certainly doesn't seem to have done what they could have to resolve the situation for you and for that they deserve some criticism. It doesn't help that you booked through Orbitz and now have to go through them to get things resolved, as Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity and similar companies are mostly not very helpful in these situations. Needing to keep 12 people on the same flights also removes a significant amount of flexibility that you might otherwise have.

Unfortunately, your experience also reflects a few misunderstandings on your part about how the airline industry works. Not that their practices represent good customer service or are in any way defensible; just that they are what they are and you have learned that the hard way.

For one, you contractually book only transportation from one point to another. Under the terms of that "contract of carriage" the airline can reroute and reschedule you pretty much at will without very many limitations, including changing your flight to a connecting flight, changing times, etc. (You, of course, can't make any changes without paying a penalty of $150 per ticket.)

For another, the farther you book in advance the more chances you have that the airline will mess around with your schedule. Most make changes to their schedules three or four times a year and each one of those changes that happens after you book is an opportunity for your arrangements to be changed. Southwest is one of the few airlines (maybe the only one) that doesn't make changes after they have set their schedule, but that also means their schedules don't come out as far in advance. They just started bookings yesterday through January 8, for example, whereas the big carriers are booking through most of May already.

Did Orbitz/USAirways tell you that the other nonstop is full? If so, then there's nothing much you can do about it. If you are going based on seating availability shown online or something like that, however, it's possible that the flight isn't full and that they could get your party on it. It would be easier to try to work that out if you could deal with them directly, rather than through Orbitz, but that's not likely to happen.

It's also possible (I won't say likely) that they'll change the schedule again and that the next change could open up some better options for you. You can't rely on them or Orbitz to let you know about that, however, so you'll have to keep an eye on it yourself.

Finally, given the magnitude of the changes as you describe them, they may be willing to give you a refund. Of course that means you'd be back to square one as far as plane reservations go, so you'll need to know that you have some other options available before you go that route.

Sorry you've gotten the runaround from USAirways. I hope the vacation works out great anyway!
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:11 PM   #4
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Well ... I finally made it through your blog and it was fairly slow going. Let me see if I can summarize this: US Air canceled your flight which left in the afternoon and and assigned you to a new flight with a layover. You were on hold forever with US Air to change to another flight and all you could get was a 7:30 am departure. And now you're angry because you need to take ME at the crack of dawn. While I don't blame you for being upset, that's really the way the airline cookie crumbles. Flights get canceled and rebooked all the time. Personally, I would have taken the flight with the layover that was a difference of 2 hours instead of a flight at the butt-crack of dawn. Layovers are really not the worst things in the world ... I live in a small city and I almost never go direct.

I would keep an eye on that flight and other flights that US Air might add. They might make another change and allow you to change to another flight (I think 1 hour of more change in arrival time will do it).
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:30 PM   #5
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I do feel your pain.
I don't get it either.
I've had this discussion on this board before and have gotten tore into for believing that the most airlines are pretty crappy. Personally, I think what you experienced is really crappy customer service.

I feel as you do that you take the time, book very early on flights that are convenient to you. The airlines decide they need to change, switch and bait, whatever you want to call it because it's convenient for them.

If I scheduled someone for an appointment and then decided they needed to see me at 4:30am, I wouldn't be in business for long. Customers put up with all this and they're at the mercy of airlines. "It's in their carriage of contract" so you have to accept their terms to fly on their airline.

I only fly Southwest. They put out a schedule and fly when they said they will. Yes, you may have bad weather, equipment issues, etc every now and again.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:47 PM   #6
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If you are going to complain be sure to refer to them as US Airways not US Air. You also booked through Orbitz and they should be the ones dealing with US Airways not you. You technically bought your ticket from Orbitz not US Airways. You most likely would have gotten better service if you had bought your ticket directly from US Airways.

A great place to get information on US Airways and what they should or shouldn't have done is www.flyertalk.com , go to miles and points and then the US Airways forum. I hope you get the flights you want.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:18 PM   #7
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I understand why you're frustrated and I'm trying to listen to my own advice - you need to let it go! I mean this with all sincerity. As others have mentioned, their "contract of carriage" gets you from point A to point B and it can be changed at any time. I understand completely because this is happening to us, as we speak. I am a Dividend Miles member and therefore fly USAIRways more than any other airline. I typically have awesome results, but no airline is perfect. I, like you, specifically picked the same flights from our Nov trip to WDW and even though we have to get up at 3am here, at least we'd arrive in MCO at 9am and enjoy the whole day in Disney. I booked about 3 weeks ago and 2 weeks ago, w/out getting an email, I noticed the first flights were arriving around 11am and not 9am. WHAT? Flight numbers changed, our seats changed, etc. I called and got us reassigned and unfortunately because I used my miles for my ticket, I can't get rebooked. We now have a 3 hour layover which is terrible. Well, I got over it because it happens. I'm reading other threads from quite a few airlines doing this to others. A lot are cutting capacity so this will likely continue. Well last weekend, our flight home changed too! Granted it wasn't anything major, however again, I had to call and make sure we were sitting with each other again. Remember too, the aircraft itself can change too. I've learned to pay attention to the aircraft since my Dad is a pilot and I've always heard him talk about them. Our aircrafts have changed from 757's to Airbuses which is fine, but just know this can mix up your seating arrangements sometimes. For example, it might have been a seat configuration of 2-4-2, then with a different aircraft it's 3-3. Keep an eye on this too! I've learned through my years of flying to keep checking. I had no problems getting through with USAirways. Keep in mind, the flights can change again - for the better - I'm holding out hope too that they'll open another flight for earlier in the morning getting to MCO. I can't stress about it because I have no control over it. Please don't let it ruin your happy and exciting vacation with your family! Think that it happened for a reason and it might be a reason you never find out about! I hope this long winded reply has at least made you see you're not alone and hang in there!
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:22 PM   #8
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Did you ask for a refund? You could then book the other flight or another airline. This is definitely a substantial change, you should get a refund. I would also consider the connection if it will give you more Disney time rather than the early morning flight.

If you are writing them, I would stick to the facts and leave out the emotions.

I used to be a USAirways preferred member, I flew over 50,000 miles a year with them. Last year I had 2 flights totaling 1,000 miles, I gave most of my business to Delta. I was just aggravated with their customer service and their huge reduction of service in Pittsburgh. They became a laughing stock when they started charging for soft drinks, coffee & water, they finally changed it back after no other airline was dumb enough to follow. While other airlines are putting in individual TV's, they pulled out their overhead movies, so no entertainment on 5 hour flights. They pushed the rows closer together on their aircraft so that they could get more people on, making it uncomfortable. I'm mainly only using them now to redeem free tickets earned from when I used to fly them regularly. When I do fly them, I always seem to be reminded why I no longer do.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:33 PM   #9
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All I can say is that you could replace the words "US AIR" with almost any other airline and tell the same story. I think AirTran is actually the most notorious for changing flights around without notice.

But like the others have said, it's the way the whole industry is and if you want to fly, it's really what you have to deal with, stinky as it may be.

And you can't get necessarily get a refund - even if you booked direct with the airline - a credit maybe, but not a refund. And through Orbitz - I think all their stuff is totally non-refundable, isn't it? (only used them once for a car rental, so I'm not sure - but I thought that was their policy).
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicki_c View Post
All I can say is that you could replace the words "US AIR" with almost any other airline and tell the same story. I think AirTran is actually the most notorious for changing flights around without notice.

But like the others have said, it's the way the whole industry is and if you want to fly, it's really what you have to deal with, stinky as it may be.

And you can't get necessarily get a refund - even if you booked direct with the airline - a credit maybe, but not a refund. And through Orbitz - I think all their stuff is totally non-refundable, isn't it? (only used them once for a car rental, so I'm not sure - but I thought that was their policy).
I agree about airtran chaning their flights a lot, but at least they will let you change your flight around if THEY make the change, without charging you.

I think that USAirways should, at the very least, offer you a refund. When I was flying on Ted (obviously before they were gone), we had a flight and they changed it. They even called me to let me know, and they tried to find another flight for me, but couldn't -- so they gave me all of my money back. I will remember not to fly USAirways. Luckily, we have Southwest here in Chicago -- I love them!!
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy00 View Post
Hard to believe they can get away with this, but after reading many online accounts and having received too many personal emails to count, it seems they do it ALL the time. I guess I was the last person on earth to know they are well known as THE WORST AIRLINE ON EARTH!!!

I blogged about it here...

http://www.the3dstudio.com/blog_detail.aspx?id=709
I highly doubt US Airways is trying to ruin your vacation!
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:54 PM   #12
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Sorry I had a hard time reading the blog, but I loved the comment by Papina

And I could see one of the people on your trip blogging about how their Friend/sister/mother ruined their Disney Vacation by choosing to book with a third party ticket broker Orbitz and a cut rate airline....
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:58 PM   #13
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OK--first in response to other posters who feel that they have been torn into with responses to this type of scenario, I am NOT tearing into anyone. These are simply my thoughts and my opinions.

OP--yes, it is extremely frustrating to be moved off your originally booked flight. I've BTDT before on several other airlines. Honestly though, US Airways is NOT trying to ruin your vacation or anything else. They are 1 in a long line of airlines who are desperately trying to stay in business as a viable business. And, yes, that is not your problem, but it is what it is.

I think for over 2 years now, we've been reading posts that "Airline X is the worst in the world, they changed my flight". It's been affecting just about every carrier, with I think the exception of Southwest.

My tickets for our February flights have been booked for nearly 3 months now, and I check them once or twice a week until we're three months out, just to be aware of any changes that might be made. It's happened to us several times in the past, where they've cancelled flights, changed times, changed equipment, and once, I could not figure out WHAT the chance was. Each time I would have to call and have our seats re-assigned. What horrible airline was this? Delta. It's not just US Airways.

Good Luck OP, and I hope you can enjoy your vacation despite your travel challenges.

For your early morning flight departure, I might consider transferring to an airport hotel the night before (Tell DME that your flight is leaving at midnight, and they'll pick you up at 9pm). Get to the airport, shuttle to your hotel. Then the next morning, shuttle back to the airport. It would probably give you an extra hour of sleep.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:43 PM   #14
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We are taking DirectAir and they changed our return flight from 3:15pm to 9:00am. I was bummed, as I was looking forward to a rather relaxing departure from Disney rather than a rushed morning trying to leave by 6am
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbieB
Did you ask for a refund? You could then book the other flight or another airline. This is definitely a substantial change, you should get a refund. I would also consider the connection if it will give you more Disney time rather than the early morning flight.
Not positive, but I think by accepting the ultimate change, the OP lost the opportunity to cancel and get a no-penalty refund.
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