Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{December 29, 2008}   OMGIhateUSAirways!

So. I’m in friggin’ Phoenix.

After waiting for SEVEN hours in the San Jose del Cabo airport, we *finally* got a flight to Phoenix. Most people on the flight had bailed by this point, with only 17 passengers remaining to take the flight. This was an Airbus A320 plane, which seats 179 passangers, and it had been full. Until we had to wait SEVEN hours.

By this point,we were kind of starving. Because, of course, everything in the airport had closed down. And we asked the flight attendant what there was on the plane that we could buy and she said, “Oh, we don’t carry any food.” (US Airways, by the way, sucks.) Um, what? No food on the plane? I remember from the flight down to Cabos that you have to pay for your lousy can of pop (did I mention that US Airways sucks?), but you can’t even buy food on their plane? wtf? Then we asked what kind of mechanical problems they had that had delayed us for SEVEN hours and the flight attendants said, “Which one?” Apparently there were two non-functional planes (the first one wouldn’t pressurize, the second had some door locking problem) before they got this third, functional plane. So, counting the mechanical problem on the way from Phoenix to Cabos (which caused a few hours delay), that’s THREE major maintenance issues in one trip. Somehow,this does not give me confidence in their ability to maintain their planes.

The next ridiculous thing to happen was that they announced that we had to fly to Tucson to clear customs before we could go to Phoenix. Wait, what? Apparently, our flight was so late that the Phoenix customs people had all gone home. So we had to go to Tucson (which has 24 hour customs), get off the plane with all our luggage, clear customs, go back through security, get back on the plane and fly to Phoenix. No, really. And then we get to Tuscon and find that they have lost our luggage. Lost. Our. Luggage. They had SEVEN hours to get our luggage on that plane. SEVEN! (Did I mention that US Airways is the suckiest airline ever? Did I?) I have never, in my entire life, had my luggage lost. I was starting to think that lost luggage was just a myth. But no, US Airways lost our luggage. Way to go, US Airways!

Once we got to Phoenix, they put us up in a hotel (14 of the 17 people from our flight were on the shuttle to the hotel) and gave us little coupons for their horrible hotel breakfast buffet. And I’m not even making this up, the coupon said it was for an airline “distressed” passenger breakfast.

OK, I’ll have to continue this story later, as I need to go board my plane. Keep your fingers crossed for us to actually make it home before 2009!

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Kalev says:

Oh my gosh, that’s APPALLING! Especially the “airline distressed passenger breakfast”–it’s so institutionalized that they have distressed passengers they have breakfast coupons for it?!

I hope you get home soon now! I can’t believe Phoenix doesn’t have 24-hour Customs! That’s all kinds of pathetic: I thought they were a real destination.

So obviously you wanna hang out with me today, right? 😀

Just kidding…



that seriously sucks Beth. This is why I do not travel.



That does suck royally.

Air Canada isn’t much better. A friend of mine was stuck on his plane for 3 hours while they fixed a mechanical problem. By the time 3 hours had crawled by, they then decided to cancel the flight due to bad weather that had rolled in during the 3 hour delay. When he, and others, complained and wanted some kind of compensation, they were denied because they said the cancellation was beyond their control (“bad weather”) and not due to the mechanical problem.



Flash says:

We flew US Airlines to Cancun last year, and also ended up staying in Phoenix overnight to after multiple plane issues. In fact, after our plane out of Phoenix the next day also had issues and the flight was cancelled, we got to go to Las Vegas (a whole 5 minutes on the ground, running from one end of the airport to the other… at least I got to see a slot machine). But the way I looked at it:

1. I’m on vacation, why stress. I’ve now been to another city.

2. They were the cheapest option, there had to be sacrifices for it.

3. Maybe they are stricter about their planes, and that’s why the declare them unable to fly so often (one can hope).

Knowing the experiences lots of others have had in both the US and Mexico with lost luggage, I declared we would only do carry on. Having done it on that trip, my wife and father have both declared that it is the only way to do it and that we will travel that way from now on.



Beth says:

@Kalev – PHX is the hub for US Airways, so you’d think they’d have 24 hour customs. Oh wait, I nearly forgot that US Airways sucks in every possible respect.

@shihtzustaff – But the vacation part was sooo good!

@Scott – Yeah, I’m not fan of Air Canada either (and will avoid them if I can), but US Airways really takes the cake. I’m *never* flying US Airways again!

@Flash – It’s *because* I’m on vacation that it’s extra crappy. I mean, I only get so much time off every year and if I’m going to spend an extra 7 hours in Mexico, I’d rather spend it sitting on the beach, not on the very uncomfortable floor of the Los Cabos airport!

Also, re: the strictness of their safety – you are more charitable than I. After having 4 maintenance issues on this trip (yup, there was another one on the way from Phoenix to Vancouver), I’m thinking that they have shoddy maintenance system that only gets caught in the final inspection before flight. I mean, why wait until you are about to fly to be “stricter” about plane safety (at which point, it screws up everyone’s flight) rather than being strict about maintenance before that?



Flash says:

Yes, I was being charitable, I doubt we’ll fly them again! I had to fight also for them to pay the Phoenix hotel, they were blaming it on Air Traffic Control, I had to point out that ATC re-routed them to fly over land only because of their defective plane not being safe to fly over water! We actually would have made our connecting flight, both Immigration and Customs waived us through knowing we were severely late, but then airport security held us up as you have to pass through it going from the international wing to the domestic wings.

Also, I was also probably more mellow as I’d just finished 20 days in Mexico. After a week you’re just starting to relax. I didn’t even mind when we were randomly selected the next day for the super-duper screening.



Wow… not what I’d call a nice welcome home. How was that “distressed” passenger breakfast? Hopefully it didn’t stress out even further…
~ESV
thepaceofnature.wordpress.com



Kalev says:

@Beth: Alex says they are infamous for bad maintenance, so yeah, I don’t think it’s because their standards are higher.



Dave says:

The thing I hate most about these situations is the stress/boredom cocktail. Particularly if you’re at a ghetto airport where there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do but wait for your next P.A. announcement. No wait–the thing I hate most is the not-getting-the-flight bit. Stress/boredom is a close second.



Raul says:

I am so sorry to hear about this, Dr. Beth 😦



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