• Report: #196382

Complaint Review: US Airways

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  • Submitted: Wed, June 14, 2006
  • Updated: Mon, February 22, 2010

  • Reported By:Los Angeles California
US Airways
2345 Crystal DriveA Arlington, Virginia U.S.A.
  • Phone: 800-428-4322
  • Web:
  • Category: Airlines

US Airways Ripoff Travel Vouchers Are Worthless! Company Does Not Care About Customers! Arlington Virginia

*General Comment: keep on 'em

*Consumer Suggestion: Robwhart is Right

*General Comment: US Airways is horrible

*Consumer Suggestion: It is Stupid to Give Up Your Seat For Anything But a Voucher.

*Consumer Comment: I experienced the same thing.

*Consumer Suggestion: What you can do

*Consumer Suggestion: Subject to availability does not mean that the airline lets you fly if there are vacant seats on the plane

*Consumer Comment: Look at the voucher itself!!

*Consumer Comment: Look at the voucher itself!!

*Consumer Comment: Look at the voucher itself!!

*Consumer Comment: Look at the voucher itself!!

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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!!

Andrea
Los Angeles, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/14/2006 11:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/US-Airways/Arlington-Virginia-22202/US-Airways-Ripoff-Travel-Vouchers-Are-Worthless-Company-Does-Not-Care-About-Customers-Ar-196382. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 11Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

keep on 'em

AUTHOR: robwhart - (United States of America)

I thought I'd update my post with some (possibly) helpful information.

So don't even bother calling their regular number. I really needed to book a flight so I called and attempted to use my $200 and a flight listed as costing $212 on their site was almost $500 per person. So they know most people won't fight em, and they can lie to you about their fare changing all the time and the web site isn't the "real prices" They also told me you should book these tickets 360 days in advance. So the day after you get a voucher while you're on vacation you should be booking a flight for next year?

See this site http://www.elliott.org/help/us-airways/

I sent a letter to the CEO, the VP of Cust Care, and every email listed on that site and guess what? I got a phone call the next morning.

They upped my voucher from $200 to $300, and said they'd look into getting me a free flight. I still think this company is scamming their customers and they know most people don't have the time to call the CEO. Honestly why would you book a flight with an airline that you have to go through all this headache?

One call to Southwest and I'm getting a better fare even with $200 off from US Air. So if you are into pain and anguish, have low blood pressure that needs to be raised, then this is the airline for you.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Robwhart is Right

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

I simply don't give up my seat for any kind of reward. I was unaware of the fact that the $200 voucher isn't really $200 off the fare. All airlines overbook but I don't recall Southwest ever doing it and passing out vouchers. If they do then you can bet that they are really worth $200!    If an airline has to involuntarily bump a passenger they have to pay a large sum that is Government required. Bottom line is that airlines (except for SWA and Hawaiian) don't do anything for me -no food, paid baggage , other fees etc - so why should I accomodate them?

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#3 General Comment

US Airways is horrible

AUTHOR: robwhart - (United States of America)

I had the same problem flying to Las Vegas. Irate passengers yelling at the gate because the flight was overbooked. We volunteered and were told these vouchers were as good as any other seat, just call in advance. (lie) They are still selling tickets on these flights I am asking about but for those of us that did a favor for the airlines, well we are out of luck.

I don't understand why a company would want to punish a customer that did them a huge favor by letting someone screaming at their employees take their seat. 

I called Souwest and, BAM, they got me a great flight at a lower price, even with the $200 discount US Air was offering. I fly at least once a week for business and this was my first and last experience with US Air. Our corporate travel specialist advised me they won't book anyone on US Air, ever.

Here's what I learned from this.
1. Don't fly US Air
2. Don't do anything nice without doing a google search first. Had I read this I'd have not spent the night in an airport, had not had to file a report with the Better Business Bureau, make 6 phone calls to US Air employees that just don't care.

Also the nice southern lady who answered the phone at SW said she's heard my story hundreds of time.

You can blame me for not reading the fine print, but until they print out your vouchers there is NO fine print to read. How is the consumer supposed to know these are worthless? It sucks and I'm glad there are honest airlines out there that actually want to reward consumers that help them out and make repeat customers out of them.


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#4 Consumer Suggestion

It is Stupid to Give Up Your Seat For Anything But a Voucher.

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

It is stupid to give up your seat for a "free" ticket. As Andrea points out, the available seats are few and far between. I once tried - with FF points - on American -to get a "free" trip to Hawaii. I worked my way from March to Sept with no seats available on any itinerary from any gateway with any routing and finally gave up. It might be worth giving up your seat for a voucher ($200 -$300 etc. off your next flight) but certainly not for a "free" ticket. What is worse than waiting 5 hours for the next flight is wondering where your checked bag is. Mine -when I once did this - was sitting is Los Angeles right beside a door out of the airport and it had sat there for hours. There must be really honest people in LAX. My philosophy is that airlines have minimal customer service. They don't serve meals; they charge for luggage, their customer service offices are in Pakistan and I am not going to give up my seat to do them a favor. They can pay the huge Government-required denied boarding fee to the customer that couldn't board and to hell with them. I fly Southwest and Hawaiian. You can have the rest.
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#5 Consumer Comment

I experienced the same thing.

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

It is just another disappointing example of companies tricking people into doing what they want. I too volunteered for a voucher so that someone could get on a flight. I have tried twice to redeem it for a free flight, and both times, they didn't have any flights available for any day of the entire week that I needed.

The voucher is also redeemable for $200 off a flight if you can't get a free seat. Well, you book it over the phone, and one of the reps looks up flights for you. Luckily, I had a computer in front of me and I looked up flights as well without telling her. She kept coming up with fares that were $200 more than the fares that I was finding on Kayak. I told her about it, yelled a little bit, got a slightly cheaper fare, but I still feel that I've been ripped off. I never should have had to pay for the flight in the first place.

Basically, if you have a choice to not use US Airways, don't use them. If you do use them and they ask for volunteers in exchange for vouchers, tell them to stuff it.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

What you can do

AUTHOR: Jordan - (Bermuda)

Oh stuff it Peter from Pony. What silly answer, oh yes lets make a flight voucher with free flight in big letters and then say you can't use it in small letters and then blame people for believing the big letters over the small ones.

Anyway, I've had similar problems. Many flights don't even offer voucher seats on many routes including all international flights and the problem is not exclusive to US Airways. As you have seen nice people do exists and you did finally find someone willing to help. You need to take people's names when they help you like that and then try only to deal with them.

You cannot change the voucher system yourself so don't bother. You can however send by registered mail your flight voucher and a complaint letter to US Airways and ask for a Misc. Service voucher in the amount of a dscounted ticket to LA. This is very easy for customer service to do, miles are a tad more complicated but possible as well. Take the Misc. Service voucher to a counter and exchange it for cash or for ticket.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Subject to availability does not mean that the airline lets you fly if there are vacant seats on the plane

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

To that US-Airways employee in disguise: I have read these "You-did-not-read-the-fine-printed" rebutals over and over again and I am wondering why apparently these rebutals never originate from company employees...

If a passenger receives a voucher for a free flight within the US, valid for one year he assumes that he is going to be able to use it whenever a flight is not booked out. It would not be a problem for the airline to put a passenger with a voucher into a plane if it is not booked out but even if there are 10 or more vacant seats on the plane they will tell you "no seats are available for vouchers". Actually they make only 2 or 3 seats per flight "available" for voucher holders- why ? Very simple: because they don't want to honor the vouchers. It is the same with "Awards flights" from "Miles & More" or "US-Airways Dividend Miles". You would believe that you are treated like any other customer who calls in to make a reservation and is able to get a seat on a plane as long as it is not booked out.... But no- they put you in a special category, the "X-booking class".

The goal is to bring voucher holders or "award flight" seeking passengers to a point where they are willing to accept just anything they can get for their voucher, any flight at any time. Probably many of these vouchers end up expiring the same as "Dividend Miles" or "Miles & More" miles that the airlines refuse to honor for free flights. The expression "Subject to availability" is just a nice way how to bulls**t consumers who believe that this means "as long as the flight is not booked out"

Airlines should make it clear in writing how many seats they make available per flight and what the chances are to get one of these seats. Lottery companies disclose the odds of winning. Airlines don't have any interest in letting their customers know what kind of game they play.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Look at the voucher itself!!

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

It appears that your mother happily took the free voucher without first finding out the terms and conditions associated with using it. Yes - it is good for one free round-trip ticket. However, if you read the information concerning its use, you will see that "seats are limited" for voucher customers. It is clearly spelled out, so how can you claim that the airline is being unfair?

You did not say how far in advance your mother was trying to book her flight. A couple days out? A week? When using vouchers, you need to try to book several months in advance. I personally have used 4 vouchers this past year, and I had no trouble using them since I booked my travel way in advance.

May I suggest that you learn the facts, have a little patience. Also, it may be best if your mother does not willingly give up her seat on future flights so as to avoid such issues in the future.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Look at the voucher itself!!

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

It appears that your mother happily took the free voucher without first finding out the terms and conditions associated with using it. Yes - it is good for one free round-trip ticket. However, if you read the information concerning its use, you will see that "seats are limited" for voucher customers. It is clearly spelled out, so how can you claim that the airline is being unfair?

You did not say how far in advance your mother was trying to book her flight. A couple days out? A week? When using vouchers, you need to try to book several months in advance. I personally have used 4 vouchers this past year, and I had no trouble using them since I booked my travel way in advance.

May I suggest that you learn the facts, have a little patience. Also, it may be best if your mother does not willingly give up her seat on future flights so as to avoid such issues in the future.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Look at the voucher itself!!

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

It appears that your mother happily took the free voucher without first finding out the terms and conditions associated with using it. Yes - it is good for one free round-trip ticket. However, if you read the information concerning its use, you will see that "seats are limited" for voucher customers. It is clearly spelled out, so how can you claim that the airline is being unfair?

You did not say how far in advance your mother was trying to book her flight. A couple days out? A week? When using vouchers, you need to try to book several months in advance. I personally have used 4 vouchers this past year, and I had no trouble using them since I booked my travel way in advance.

May I suggest that you learn the facts, have a little patience. Also, it may be best if your mother does not willingly give up her seat on future flights so as to avoid such issues in the future.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Look at the voucher itself!!

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

It appears that your mother happily took the free voucher without first finding out the terms and conditions associated with using it. Yes - it is good for one free round-trip ticket. However, if you read the information concerning its use, you will see that "seats are limited" for voucher customers. It is clearly spelled out, so how can you claim that the airline is being unfair?

You did not say how far in advance your mother was trying to book her flight. A couple days out? A week? When using vouchers, you need to try to book several months in advance. I personally have used 4 vouchers this past year, and I had no trouble using them since I booked my travel way in advance.

May I suggest that you learn the facts, have a little patience. Also, it may be best if your mother does not willingly give up her seat on future flights so as to avoid such issues in the future.
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