• Report: #38232

Complaint Review: America West Airlines

  • Submitted: Sat, December 14, 2002
  • Updated: Tue, May 23, 2006

  • Reported By:Phoenix Arizona
America West Airlines
1329 S 27TH ST PHOENIX, Arizona U.S.A.

America West Airlines Denied boarding with First Class ticket mistreated & ripped off the business that doesn't give a d**n PHOENIX Arizona

*Consumer Comment: To Set all of you straight

*Consumer Comment: Are you too good?

*Consumer Suggestion: Missing the point

*Consumer Suggestion: Once you learn to read...the whole world will be yours.


*Consumer Comment: Been there, done that

*Consumer Suggestion: Stefanie get your head out of your rear

*Consumer Suggestion: Robert - oh little one. ALL the restrictions on your coach ticket still apply

*Consumer Comment: America West Personnel are Rude

*Consumer Comment: An upgraded ticket is the same

*Consumer Suggestion: To the nimrod "pilot"

*Consumer Suggestion: To The Moron With The Suggestion

*Consumer Suggestion: You were not a first class passenger

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I was holding an AWA boarding pass for a coach-class seat and was already checked-in for the flight to San Diego, the last AWA departure from Phoenix for the evening.

It became apparent that I would have to fly with a plane-load of sweaty football players and their screaming fans returning to the coast.

It was 45 minutes before take-off time I went over to the boarding desk to upgrade my seat to first-class. The AWA representative at the desk glared at me for several seconds and then told me if I wanted to upgrade my seat then I'd have to return all the way to the AWA ticket sales counter in the main terminal at Sky Harbor airport.

I went back to the ticket counter, and stood for many minutes waiting for someone to sell me an upgrade. Finally, I proceeded back through the long line at airport security, and into the boarding area, again.

By the time I got to the boarding area it was approximately ten minutes to take-off time - yet they had already boarded and closed the plane.

I explained my situation and when I asked to board the plane I was flatly refused. It would be impossible to convey to you how rudely and coldly the America West Airlines gate personnel acted towards me.

After an exchange of opinions about America West Airlines policy, personnel and lack of respect for first-class passengers, I tore up my ticket and bought one on Southwest Airlines.

After going through the whole ticket purchasing/check-in routine again things started looking up. I finally boarded the last Southwest flight of the evening...

When our Southwest 737 reached the ramp, sitting there was the AWA plane along with several others waiting to take off because of ground fog.

After five minutes of waiting, our Southwest pilot, with some humor, announced that we were returning to the gate to pick up some passengers(!). I thought he was kidding, until he taxied us back to the terminal. There we picked up a middle-aged woman and her daughter who were late to the airport. They were greeted with a round of applause as they came in to hunt for their seats.

Our Southwest flight returned to the ramp in time to take off within seconds of the same America West flight that refused to let me, a first-class passenger, aboard!

Some of the rudest and coldest people you'll find anywhere work for America West Airlines. Because of the preceding incident I will never fly America West Airlines again. Furthermore, I feel compelled to take every opportunity to encourage others NOT to travel with America West, but to fly with Southwest Airlines, instead.

Battles, Arizona

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/14/2002 12:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/America-West-Airlines/PHOENIX-Arizona-85034-4915/America-West-Airlines-Denied-boarding-with-First-Class-ticket-mistreated-ripped-off-the-38232. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

To Set all of you straight

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

Executive Platinum - American
1k - United
Chairmen - America West

Stefanie ....
There are restricted and unrestricted first class seats, just like there are restricted and unrestricted coach seats.

Unrestricted means you can change the ticket without issue.

Restricted means you pay the fare difference and $100 bucks.

America West Upgrade Policy, Day of Departure -
At any given time during the day, but NO later than 3 hours prior to the flight, the airport retains control of all seats. The customer service representative at the gate was INCORRECT to send the passenger back to the ticketing counter outside of security. This transaction by policy is handled at the GATE. At most, the agent should have sent the passenger to one of the customer service centers located INSIDE the terminal.

Last time I checked, airlines don't let you know prior to flight that you are flying with a sweaty football team and their fans. I don't think this passenger had a choice. Have you ever sat next to someone with BO on a flight???? I have. It's beyond unberable.

In the end, AWA exhibited some pretty awful customer service. I fly 100,000+ miles a year on them. They have their good points and bad points. Guess what, United and American are just as bad.

Besides, what do you expect for HALF the cost of a United/American ticket!!!
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#2 Consumer Comment

Are you too good?

AUTHOR: Doug - (U.S.A.)

It seems like you went through an awful lot of trouble to not have to it in a seat for a few hours to take a trip. Why did you bother? The irony is you then decided upon another airline which you seem to brag about, but if I'm not mistaken, doesn't Southwest NOT have first class, so you ended up sitting with all them "regular" people anyhow? That to me is the irony. You missed a flight because you feel the need to be better than someone else or want to be a first class passenger. Who cares? I never bothered as a Marine to ask for ANY special seatings or treatment and was sandwiched in pretty good with my rifle and pack in my lap tucked in tight amoung my other fellow Marines when I was being sent to combat overseas...and guess what? Never complained.

I guess the bottom line is you missed your flight because of some mentally based fear of being with regular folk and missed your flight and ended up using and praising I might add another airline who doesn't separate their customers. I find that pretty funny actually.

I commend the airlines that do not separate classes. There's no use in it. As someone else said...if that idea of public transporation bothers you, get your own transportation.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Missing the point

AUTHOR: Keisha - (U.S.A.)

Everyone is missing the whole point. If this person did not choose to fly with the atheletes the first place, this would never happened. People always blame the airline for their misfortunes. True enough, the airlines are sometimes at fault but people expect for things to happen in their time and the world just does not work that way.
Boarding starts 30 minutes BEFORE the flight, if you had to go all the way to the ticket counter, you should have known that there was a possibility that you would miss your flight. Why did you even leave?
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Once you learn to read...the whole world will be yours.

AUTHOR: Stefanie - (U.S.A.)

If you read with both eyes open.....you'll see that I was referring to the ticket, not the seat. You get all the first class service on the aircraft, but your ticket still has all of the original restrictions.

I am Executive Platinum with American, and a 1K with United, so I am very familiar with the airline staff and rules. They have always bent over backwards to accomodate me. And please don't worry about how much my tickets cost, my employer picks up the tab.
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#5 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Sherri - (U.S.A.)

On trips of 3 hours duration or more, I usually book Business or First Class, but on shorter trips, I usually upgrade at the gate. They take the original boarding pass and print me a new one with a First Class seat location (including America West).

I agree that America West personnel can be rude, and I don't take them that often, mainly due to their horrific on-time record.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Been there, done that

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

I too have flown as a passenger on a real airline and upgraded my ticket whenever I chose too. Amazingly, when I upgrade to 1st Class, they allow me to sit in 1st Class, not coach, and serve me the exact same stuff everyone else gets. Poor Stefanie. She's wasted all that money trying to get her free trip to Dayton, while the rest of us just paid a little less overall to be comfortable.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Stefanie get your head out of your rear

AUTHOR: Victor - (U.S.A.)

You're making a complete fool of yourself. I've upgraded my seat or had my seat upgraded on numerous airlines. Every single time I received all the benefits and special treatment that all of the other first class passengers received. Perhaps Stefanie you might want to try getting an upgrade on a real airline instead of the "held together by duct tape Budget Air" you're accumulating miles with. Then you can speak intelligently on the matter instead of putting everyone down and telling them they're wrong.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Robert - oh little one. ALL the restrictions on your coach ticket still apply

AUTHOR: Stefanie - (U.S.A.)

Tell you what Robert - go buy a coach ticket and upgrade to first. ALL the restrictions on your coach ticket still apply - you only have a better seat. Your coach restrictions are NOT canceled. It is not refundable, changeable without a fee, transferable, etc. Stick to sweeping the floors at Wal-Mart, you obviously know nothing about air travel.

To eliminate any confusion, I am working on my 2 millionth mile.....I have figured out a few things along the way.
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#9 Consumer Comment

America West Personnel are Rude

AUTHOR: Bill - (U.S.A.)

I have to agree with Stan. I fly often, usually fly first class when available and unfortunately have to fly America West frequently due to my location and their scheudle.

They do, without a dout, have the rudest most arrogant ticketing personnel and gate agents of any airline I fly.

They simply do not care about customer service. They believe they have a captive market and believe that they can mistreat you and that you are stuck with them.

Recently on a flight from San Diego to Philadelphia, flying first class in seat 2 A, by the time the flight attendant got to my seat, all regular meals were gone and all they had for a meal was a salad. Just amazes me that they can run out of meals by the time they get to the second row.

I've sat on the runway at Sky Harbor for hours while they tried to "fix" a small plane so we could go to Phoenix from Palm Springs. After changing planes 3 times, we finally got there.

Avoid America West if you can and take your business to an Airlines that appreciates it.
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#10 Consumer Comment

An upgraded ticket is the same

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

You need to learn alot Stefanie. The passeneger upgraded his ticket. This means the coach ticket was cancelled, and a new first class ticket was issued. Duh!
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

To the nimrod "pilot"

AUTHOR: Stefanie - (U.S.A.)

Dipstick, if you are truly a pilot, focus your attention on flying the plane and keep your nose out of the ticketing aspect of the operation. An upgraded ticket is certainly NOT a first class ticket. If you are unsure, take an upgraded ticket to another carrier and watch them laugh when you demand your first class respect. An upgrade will get you a better seat, but none of the benefits that come with the high price and flexibility of a first class ticket.

And for the customer who doesn't like to fly with various sweaty fans and athletes, perhaps public transportation is too much for you. San Diego is only a 6 hour drive from Phoenix.
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

To The Moron With The Suggestion

AUTHOR: Jack - (U.S.A.)

Learn to read...he upgraded. That is the same as purchasing a first class ticket. As an airline pilot, my suggestion is to speak with your dollars. Eastern Airlines learned the hard way that pissing off the clientele is not a wise thing to do.
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

You were not a first class passenger

AUTHOR: Jon - (U.S.A.)

You did not have a first class ticket to begin with! So why were you complaining. If there are no first class seats available, they will not give them to you! Next time you should ask earlier.
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