Posts Tagged ‘US Airways’

US Airways: Another awful change-fee extortion story

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Two years ago, I told the story of US Airways essentially holding my wife and children hostage in Georgia, demanding that we pay hundreds of dollars in change fees so that they could fly home a day later than originally planned. They couldn’t fly on the original date because my wife had a serious illness which (a) made it impossible for her to care adequately for all the kids on the airplane and (b) would have been contagious to all the other passengers.

The way we were treated was awful for two reasons: (1) US Airways policy no-exceptions policy about ticket change fees is offensive, insensitive, and unfriendly and uncaring to passengers; and (2) throughout our experience, it ranged between difficult and impossible to reach people at US Airways who could help us, and when we did, we were often treated with disdain.

As bad as our experience was, a story which was recently shared with me seems worse, so I wanted to share it with my readers.

This story comes from Andrew T. Draper, one of the pastors at the Urban Light Community Church in Muncie, Indiana. The following are his words, written in the form of a letter to the CEO of US Airways.


Sayonara to US Airways Dividend Miles

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

US Airways responds to my letter

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

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Executive summary

As expected, US Airways refused to refund the $500 we paid to get my wife home after her illness, and instead offered me five $150 travel vouchers, one for each ticket.  I told the customer relations rep that she could send the vouchers if she wanted to, but as she well knew, it was extremely unlikely that I would ever use them.  The rep proved herself to be both clueless and willing to lie to my face. (more…)

Complaint posted on

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Complaint letter to CEO of US Airways

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

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(If you’re trying to find out how to complain to US Airways, see this posting.)

March 10, 2009

Doug Parker
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
US Airways
111 West Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, AZ 85281

Dear Mr. Parker,

I am writing about the outrageous experience which has prompted my wife and I to decide that we will never willingly fly on US Airways again. I will also tell you about my efforts to share our experience with as many people as possible and to urge our elected representatives to take action to make what happened to us a thing of the past.


U.S. Airways: the good, the bad, and the unbelievable

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

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Good: I just spoke to the U.S. Airways reservations desk and booked my wife and kids on the same flight for tomorrow that they’d originally been scheduled on for today.  That’s the good news.

Bad: The fare for the Tuesday flight is $100 higher than the fare for the Monday flight at the same time, so they charged me $500 for the fare increase.  Funny, but when an airline cancels your flight and puts you onto a cheaper one, I don’t recall them refunding the difference to you.

Unbelievable: When I called tonight to change the reservation, the agent informed me that there was already a fee waiver coded on my wife’s reservation.


Trapped in Georgia: Still no tickets for tomorrow’s flight

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

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I got the letter from the nurse in Georgia, confirming that my wife was too ill to fly today, at 3:00pm today, Eastern time.

Ten minutes later, I queued up that letter as well as an explanatory cover letter to be sent to the fax number that the customer relations agent had given me.

Five hours later, the fax still hasn’t been successfully transmitted, although I’ve been trying to send it pretty much every five minutes.  (more…)

U.S. Airways claims they’ll waive the fees if I document my wife’s illness

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

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I waited on hold for almost two hours before finally being connected to someone in the customer relations department at U.S. Airways.

I started out by asking if I could just get someone to read my letter rather than being forced to tell the whole story again, and she said that was impossible — they get too many faxes to be able to find a particular fax, so no one would be able to review my fax until it got distributed to agents with the rest of them.

So I told the agent my story and asked, once again, for a reduction or waiver of the ticket change fees.

And, once again, the agent informed me that the terms and conditions of our tickets did not include a waiver for medical emergencies and therefore the fees could not be waived.


Complaint letter to U.S. Airways

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

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I faxed the letter below to the U.S. Airways customer relations department over 40 minutes ago.  So far, no response (no surprise there).

I then tried to call them using the toll-free voice number on the slip of paper they gave me at the airport (to tell them I had sent them an urgent complaint via fax), and I was greeted with a recording informing me that their call volume (complaint volume, more like) was so high that they couldn’t take my call and I should write to them through their Web site instead.

Then I tried calling the long-distance phone number given on the slip of paper as “alternate tel,” and I got a recording informing me that I had dialed the wrong extension (I didn’t dial an extension!).  Love it!

Finally, I tried the original toll-free voice number again, and this time I actually got put into a queue, where I’ve been waiting for almost 25 minutes.


U.S. Airways stops pretending to care about its customers

Monday, February 23rd, 2009