On July 1, 2005, my mom boarded a connecting flight in Charlotte, NC to Los Angeles. After boarding the plane, the passengers were notified that the flight was overbooked. My mom didn't have to be in LA at a specific time so she gave up her seat so that a VERY angry customer could take that flight. Mom felt she was doing something nice and also was being fairly compensated with a travel voucher for free roundtrip airfare good for one year. Even though she had to wait five hours for the next available flight, she felt that it was worth it considering the voucher would give her another trip to visit me. Little did she know that the voucher was a COMPLETE waste of her time! She has attempted to use this voucher six or seven times over the last year but was denied every time. When speaking with customer service, she has been told the same thing every time. There are plenty of seats available for paying customers but not for vouchers. She has been told that only a few flights have voucher seats available to begin with and even on those flights the numbers are limited to one or two seats.
The voucher is good for one year and she still has not been able to book a flight. She talked to an operator a few days ago who informed her that he could extend the expiration date for another year for her. That's a polite gesture but will she be able to use it in the next year considering she couldn't use it in the past year? He also told her that she should've called earlier in the morning because he had "allowed" someone to use a voucher that morning. It seems that the operators can pick and choose who they want to give seats to which is COMPLETELY UNFAIR! He told her that for the dates she wanted to travel there were plenty of seats for "frequent flyer miles" or "paying customers" but no seats for vouchers. My mom was a "paying customer" on the original flight but apparently that doesn't matter. He told her that she should call everyday and they would tell her if there were any flights available for vouchers and what dates and airports she could use. WHAT? My mom helped one VERY angry customer out for this company and now is being told she can only travel when and where US Airways decides? My mom works for a living and doesn't have time to call every day to be told that there are no seats available on any flights. She also doesn't have the flexibility in her job to be able to travel when US Airways decides they will "allow" her to fly. US Airways obviously has no appreciation for their customers! I've read similar stories on the internet and can see that my mom is not the only person being treated poorly by this company. While my mom only travels 6 or 7 times a year, she shares this experience with her family, friends and colleagues to warn them about traveling with this airline. We've emailed Customer Relations but have yet to receive a response. Mom has spoken with several operators at different phone numbers but gets the same rude attitude every time. She has attempted to call the corporate number that she was given for an entire day and it was continuously busy even in the middle of the night.
I hope this report will save other travelers from this hassle and waste of time. Maybe US Airways should decide to take care of their customers instead of treating them so poorly. They might find that good customer service is good for business!!
Los Angeles, California