Well folks it’s been about a month since I mentioned my experience with US Airways and here is our review of this not so great airline.
As far as our experience traveling on the airlines, we have probably taken close to 1,000 flights since the 80’s. Yes, folks, we know the routine and our favorite airline is Alaska Airlines followed next by American Air Lines. Recently on our travels we have heard some good things about Virgin America from fellow travelers and we are looking forward to checking them out.
So here is our experience with US airways and from the get go we want to make some thing clear to the US Airways Corporation. If possible we pack a carry-on luggage so we can avoid the baggage claim routine at the airport where we are arriving. It’s always a 15-30 wait for the first piece of luggage and then you have to weed through all the other bags to find yours. On this particular trip we had one carry-on.
October 11 at Columbus OH airport waiting at the gate to catch US Airways Flight 686 departing at 5:55 PM arriving at Charlotte NC at 7:17 PM. It has been a long week and we are looking forward to getting home and we are not feeling very good since we have been battling bronchitis.
The standard announcement that boarding would start in about 10 minutes came and then it was followed by another dreaded announcement, “We are sorry to say the all of our overhead compartments are full and if you are in zone 4 or 5 you need to check your carry-on bags. Please come over to the podium to my left to check your bags and then you can pick them up at the baggage claim at your arriving airport”. Needless to say I was in Zone 4 and I immediately thought “)*#$#^@)!__#+#$$$ just the thing I wanted to avoid!” Followed by several more choice thoughts not fit for family reading.
Now get this, the announcement came before any passengers had boarded the airplane. So then I thought “Wow! The Attendants must be physic because they know ahead of time that the overhead compartments are full even before anyone boards. Amazing!” After several discussions with fellow passengers I went over to check my carry-on and I told the lady what I thought about US Airways and checked my bag. A few Zone 4 / 5 passengers that did not hear the announcement tried to board, but were forced to check their bags. They also found this event BS (Bull S=you fill it in).
So when it was Zone 4’s turn to board I took out a pen and paper and as we progressed from the front of the airplane to the rear noted the status of the overhead compartments to see if the gate attendants were really physic or just lying because they wanted to get everyone aboard without a delay. (If they did not have Zone 4 / 5 check their bags ahead of time and if the overhead compartments filled up during boarding this would delay the departure because the bags would need to be checked at that time.)
So here is the tally: Row 5 both sides, empty, Row 9 both sides half full Row 11, 13, and 14 both sides empty, Row 15 half full. So it was confirmed the gate attendants were NOT physic. If you admit that 5 bags would fit in one empty compartment and do the math it comes out that about 50 bags could have been stored and there weren’t fifty passengers boarding from Zone 4 /5.
So why would they do this and this is what we think. They didn’t want to delay the flight because most everyone on the flight was catching a connecting flight to somewhere else at the Charlotte Airport (a US Airways hub) and the time between connections was tight. My flight to San Francisco departed Charlotte at 8:19 PM, which gave me 1 hour and 2 minutes after this flight arrived.
As it turns out when we arrived at Charlotte we arrived at Gate B9 and my connecting flight was a Gate D5 and since I had never been at this airport we decided to ask someone how far D5 was. We saw one of those electric carts parked outside our arriving gate and asked the young lady how far Gate D5 was. I showed her my boarding pass and she immediately said, “There is no way you are going to make that flight walking. Hop on and I will take you there. It’s over a ½ mile away in a straight line, probably a mile with the winding route to get there.” I hopped on and we left for Gate D5 and it took a good 15-20 minutes zipping along on the electric cart. We arrived at Gate D5 about 5 minutes before the boarding was beginning. (I gave the cart driver a big tip and tons of appreciation for getting me to my gate quickly).
So after a month of think about this experience we come to this conclusion. If the Columbus gate attendants would have said “This is a full flight and we think we don’t have enough space in the overhead compartments for all the carry-on bags and because we need to leave the gate on time to make the connection at Charlotte would the Zone 4 /5 passengers please check their bags etc…” Instead they did the “physic” routine and basically lied to all of us and this just does not sit well with us. Our guess is that Zone 4 /5 are the cheap seats and US Airways really doesn’t care about the folks in the “cheap” seats so to US Airways we say, “You don’t need to worry about this passenger on future flights because we will never fly on your lame airline again.” We also tried to figure out what the “US” in US Airways meant ad we thought “United States”, but no, because all their airplanes are made by Airbus and that is a foreign airplane manufacturer, so we came to the conclusion that based on the way we were treated it means “U-Screwed”. Yes folks whenever you see a US Airways in the future you can say to whom ever you are with “Look! There is a U-Screwed Airways flight!”
We have nothing else to report at this time except to all the folks out there in cyberland that have future flights booked on “U-Screwed” Airlines we send our condolences. Also we wanted to note that our flight to Columbus as on American Airlines and they were full flights, but because AA uses Boeing 737-800 airplanes there was no problem with overhead compartment space they don’t have to hire physic gate attendants.