Reader Mail : “Why do you hate US Airways?” … I don’t

Today’s reader mail was apparently inspired by a reader mail post from this past July, and is one that isn’t really a fair question. This reader mail comes from Marcy who asks “I just finished reading your “Why does it seem you hate the TSA?” reader mail and was struck with this question, why do you hate US Airways?

Marcy, good question… slightly misguided question possibly … but good question nonetheless, because it allows me to shed some light on how I view US Airways.  Much like my answer for the TSA post … I do not hate US Airways.  In the past four years I have logged more domestic miles, and certainly more segments, on US Airways than any other airline, as well as quite a few international flights.

My ‘home’ airport for the past six years or so has been New Haven’s Tweed Airport (HVN). For the past four years or so HVN has had one airline, flying to one destination … US Airways to Philadelphia. The vast majority of my travel starts and ends on a US Airways Express Dash-8-100.

I am at times harsh in my comments regarding US Airways and this is largely because I believe the company frequently alienates its passengers.  The company is often inconsistent from station-to-station and its frequent flyer program is seriously in need of an overhaul.

My problems with US Airways’ Dividend Miles … and I had previously been a Platinum Elite … is that the program asks a lot from flyers and offers very little in return.  I was so unhappy with Dividend Miles that I switched my frequent flyer program to BMI (British Midland International) shortly before reaching “Chairman” status with US Airways.

As a passenger, I find direct passenger communications, especially during delays and cancellations are lacking. While US Airways has significantly increased its on time performance to levels that would have been unimaginable 3 or 4 years ago, its hub in Philadelphia is consistently problematic with baggage and with the customer service experience in general.   The customer service experience with US Airways in Charlotte and Phoenix are far better than Philadelphia. When I have tried to address this with US Airways no answer can be provided.

US Airways has resources at its disposal to build a new way of communicating with passengers and handling its passenger issues, however the company moves at a glacial pace and is falling behind its competitors … all of whom are fighting for US Airways’ passenger dollars … even its partners.

However … as a flyer, I find US Airways’ fares competitive, the airline’s route network to meets the majority of my domestic travel needs and its code-share options within Star Alliance ideal.  When flying trans-continental routes, my preference tends to be with US Airways due to convenient flight times and connections from nearly anywhere on the East Coast … and on international flights, I often seek out US Airways’ Airbus A330 flights as the cabin is quite comfortable. While many Star Alliance flyers seek out Lufthansa or Swiss International Airlines, for the economy class comfort and service, US Airways is my preferred airline, generally connecting through Philadelphia, sometimes Charlotte.

I also find the staff at the US Airways Club generally very attentive, friendly and helpful. I have publicly praised the US Airways club recently in this post – A Big Thank You To The US Airways Club Bar Tender at PHL!

So why do I hate US Airways?  I don’t.  I may be critical of the airline, but overall, I actually like US Airways … but would love to see them do what they do better!

Happy Flying!

Comments

  1. I think people use the word ‘hate’ far too glibly and forget that it is a very extreme emotion.

    Why can’t people just ask “Why do you dislike…..” which would be far more applicable and accurate.

    I realise that much of modern society tends to ‘dumb down’, but that really is no excuse for being lazy with our main means of communication which is either verbal or written language.

  2. I have been based in PHL for a few years and when I can help it at all I fly United. Previous attempts by US management to gut elite benefits scared me away. They reversed this policy but I still feel like they have a lingering identity crisis, are they a LCC or a legacy? I still fly them a few times a year however…

  3. I think they are trying their best against the major ones that eat like cancer. I do agree the operation varies from station to station but in general the front line employees are very nice and service oriented.

  4. Easy stuff for US Airways to fix, but no one is listening:
    1. The web site doesn’t work with Mozilla Fire Fox. You can select the flight but not book it. How many customers never figure out they need a different browser?
    2. You cannot book a ticket using Reward Miles for a friend while logged into the Reward Miles site. You have to log out book the ticket and then log back in and select remove my frequent flier number to book the flight.
    3. They charge you $105 in fees to get a free flight.
    4. If you make an error, even if you catch the error with in seconds of booking a flight, they charge $150 change fee. So if they EVER make an error we should all charge them $150 per occurrence.
    5. If you make a error on an award ticket it will cost you $355 in total fess to make the change, sometimes more then the cost of the flight itself, PLUS the miles.

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