I fly so much. This year alone, I’ve flown over 50,000 miles and I’m closing on 100,000 miles. Most of the flights are booked by other people on my behalf for clients, and quite frankly, I can’t stand most of the people in the travel industry, namely TSA and the “America Patdowns” I get with each flight. [I opt out of the radioactive scanners] Needless to say, I don’t always double check the itineraries in time… and that bit me in the ass this evening.
I fly out tomorrow from San Francisco to Phoenix and I thought I had an 11 hour layover… this was intentional. What you say? An 11 hour INTENTIONAL layover? Yeah.
One of my good friends disappeared in 2006, he went homeless and unaccounted for. Last June, they found him face down in the Arizona desert, with vultures flying over his head, almost dead. He had been in a flight with spinal meningitis, unbeknownst to him… and then he got Death Valley Fever. He was 130lbs, and was comatose for almost 100 days.
Last October, I extended a layover on US Airways to go see my friend. They wheeled him out in a wheelchair, looking all gaunt and comatose. They said to him, “You have a visitor, do you remember Travis?”
He looks up and laughs really big and says, “hahaha Yeah!” and then went back into a comatose / fugue state.
After my visit with him, over the next few months, his health began to get better. He could talk more. And tomorrow, I am taking him to an NFL game, albeit a shitty one, Panthers at Cardinals. And I was planning on buying him a new guitar to replace his lost one. I feel that music will help his synapses in his brain heal, perhaps. He was a great guitarist.
Early September, I had my client set up the flight intentionally in three legs. Kansas City to San Francisco. Then SFO to Phoenix with the extended layover and finally flying back after the football game around 7pm. My itinerary, I noticed tonight, was incorrect. It was accidentally booked at the 3:20pm flight instead of the 6:50pm flight. I looked at the screen shot that the person booking the flight sent me originally, and I realized that I told her that “Flight 7131” would be perfect… well, notice below, there are TWO flight 7131 on this. So, this could have probably been avoided had I noticed this earlier.
I called up US Airways to talk to a representative. Ray, was going to help me, but said that Flight 7131 was a United flight and to call them. So, I call them. United tells me that the flight is actually Flight 468 and it’s a US Airways flight. I’m in this about an hour already.
Now, US Airways rep hears my story, says that she hopes that my friend is better. Then proceeds to tell me that there is a $200 change fee plus a $367 change in fare fee. So, US Airways wants to charge me $567 to move my flight back 2 hours like it was originally supposed to be booked. I then talked to 3 higher-up supervisors and they all basically told me tough shit. “It’s policy. We must gouge our customers for any dollars that we can because we’re greedy corporate assholes.” Or something to that effect.
So, Amarisa, Leslie and Todd at the US Airways call center, thanks for looking out for a customer that travels too much… and putting a very sour taste in my mouth. It is either get my friend a guitar or give you greedy bastards $567. I will give your company ZERO dollars for the rest of my existence. I will buy my friend a guitar, and I will never sit my ass in any of your planes every again, unless it’s an absolutely LAST resort.
Ironically, this past Wednesday, we discussed getting a frequent flyer card with US Air due to the amount of travel. We will keep our Travelocity card and avoid US Air from now on, instead.
Last month, I flew US Airways, and I had to go to the bathroom during the boarding process… and come back to find the doors were shut on the plane 15 minutes prior to the departure time. I then had to take the next flight the next day. So, US Airways isn’t very accommodating to their customers. Policy is policy. Unmovable and unshakable. All situations are the same and should be handled exactly the same. No deviation. It’s almost as if their passengers are an inconvenience to them. And that is not even US Airways exclusive. United and American seem like this, at times, as well. The only one that REALLY seems to care about their customers seems to be Southwest.
Last year, US Airways also lost my luggage for 3 days. So, that was nice.
I should see about getting a voodoo doll and putting a US Airways logo on it. And sit and patiently wait for their demise. I will then maniacally laugh the day your company goes bankrupt. I will also talk shit on your company with every chance that I get. Because, why not? It’s my policy.
My original flight, that I booked PURPOSELY in three legs, so to avoid any stress was $569… and to move my flight back two hours, to a flight that I was told has 60% occupancy will cost me $567? $2 less? Really? Fuck you, US Airways. Seriously. Corporate greed infuriates me.
Sorry if this post was a bit obnoxious. I was looking forward to spending as much time as possible with my friend and this scenario pissed me off. </travis rant>
I feel better now.
As for my friend, he’s made amazing strides in recovery. It warms my heart to know that he has been found, is getting healthy and gaining his full cognizance. He’s an amazing dude and glad to be his friend.