March 19, 2014

Nightmare in the Air

This is the short(er)-version story about why I will never be flying with US Airways, ever again:

Sunday night, we were supposed to fly out of PHX on US Airways, at 8:10pm. We got to the airport by 7:10, and were told the line was a 40 minute wait. After asking everyone for some help with cutting in line, Tanner was able to cut in the first class line. We had 42 minutes until our flight, but you need 45 minutes to be able to check your bag. So, as we showed up to check our bag (we were already previously checked in that morning), we were told we couldn't fly, because the bag has to fly with the customer. I made Tanner get his boarding pass, and run to security, because the airport was seriously insane, I knew it would be a long wait. I kept talking to the guy asking if there was another flight my bag could hop on (considering they do that if you lose your bag), I asked if we could give me a wheelchair and give me an excuse, I then told him I was just going to run with my bag to my flight and they would have to take my bag (the guy was stalling, I just know it. He was “typing” for like 10 minutes not answering me, so there really wasn't anything I could do after that.) He wouldn't let me... so I was stuck. He said there was a 1pm flight on Monday that stopped in HOUSTON, that he could put me on STANDBY. I was seriously baffled that he suggested standby, because I expect you to figure out any way to get me to my destination. The reason it was so frustrating, was because it was Spring Break, and flights were so.dang.expensive, especially on Sunday. But, we both missed on Friday, so we had no other choice but to be back for Monday.

After being close to tears because no one was helping me, I rushed over to Southwest. They had a 9:55 flight, but it was completely sold out, they wouldn't even bother putting me on standby for my sake. They had a flight at 6am Monday morning, but they told me to book it at home because it would be a lot cheaper. See? They’re nice and care about their customers!!! I didn't know what to do, because Tanner was still in security, and it was now 7:50, and he wasn't to the plane. Our friends happened to be on the plane, and she tried to do everything to stall the plane, and they laughed in her face! She kept texting me that she didn't see him, so I started panicking. Finally at 8:05, I received a text from both her, and Tanner that he made it, and I was so relieved. Except, our “goodbye” was so quick, that it kinda sucked I was just alone at the airport now!

My mom was back at the airport waiting for me, but I had to go back to US Air, and have a little chat with customer service. I just wanted to see if there was a better way than wasting another $300 for a new Southwest flight. After waiting in line for 15 minutes, because so many people had missed their flight, I was welcomed to a sweet little lady. Haha, not. She asked me what I needed, slammed my ID down when I told her it was frustrating that I was in a 40 minute line, and the other employee was letting people through the ropes with carry-ons. She WAVED my ID in my face stating that the line that morning was 55 minutes, and so I was very very wrong about it being 40 minutes. I was seriously so done with dealing with rude people; it was taking everything in me not to BALL! (I saved that for later) She told me about the same 1pm flight that stopped in Houston, and that I could be on standby. I informed her I would be missing yet another full day of work, and so that wasn't going to fly. (haha fly..what a pun) I then asked for a refund or some sort of voucher, because I was going to have to book with another airline, and everyone was being a terror. She laughed in my face and asked why the he*# would she ever give me a voucher. I just stood there stunned, and let her know I would never be flying with US Air again, and she told me it was probably a good thing. I then ran to the car shaking and crying because I was so frustrated. I had no idea how I was now going to get to work and back home the next day. I usually need my car during the day, so I was a ball of stress!

We booked the Southwest flight, and my 4 hour sleep that night just wasn't enough. We got to the airport with a little more than an hour this time, and as soon as we pulled up, I knew that I was once again screwed. The outside baggage had a line of about 15 people, which never happens, unless the inside is a nightmare. And, what do you know? It was. I was now stuck, yet again, asking the crew to help me. Because the outside baggage always takes longer, I didn't know if I should risk leaving my spot in line and going outside. I could NOT miss my flight! I then, asked a kind Hispanic man in the aisle in front of me if I could stand in line with him, and because he didn't understand English, I did it anyways. J People around me were yelling at me, but after I explained the situation, they were a little more understanding, but I wasn't moving. I checked my bag, grabbed my boarding pass, and ran to security. Well, silly me who was in a panic, looked at my boarding number, which said B-10, and I assumed that was my gate. I got to the B gate, and they told me I had to go to the Southwest terminal. Luckily that was across the way, so I booked it, once again. Once I got up to security, with 20 minutes to spare, He told me my gate was D-4, and I started to freak out. I’m in C, where is D? He told me I was going to be ok, because I was close. I finally started to calm down, until I asked my actual security person where terminal D was, and he said “Oh sweetie, you’re gonna have to run, and run fast”. Greeeeaat. After him telling me gate D4 was at the complete opposite end, I really didn't know if I was going to make it! I ran on the conveyor belt, and almost tripped getting off, because of…momentum. Ya, that’s what I’m telling myself. Luckily the security man was wrong, and D4 was a lot closer than I thought. My then top-knot was now a crazy thing at the bottom of my neck. I barely made it before they shut the door, and I had so much adrenaline, I had a hard time sleeping. And thennnn we were hit with awesome turbulence, over the snowy mountains, and I was seriously praying to not let me die right then!

I got off the plane to a lost bag (luckily SW still checks your bag even if you're late, and graciously puts in on the next flight), had a family friend drop me off at work, borrowed my boss’ car to then go back to the airport and get my bag that afternoon, had my friend drop me off at the FrontRunner to get home, and I made it on the dot, and then I finally got home. For being St. Patrick’s day, I wasn't having much luck.

That afternoon, I received an email saying: Tanner Zylstra, don't forget about your flight today! It was scheduled for 2pm, and was scheduled for Tanner, so it was so completely confusing, and kinda stupid. I had to call and cancel that, and they said "Are you sure ma'am? That's our courtesy flight for you". Well, I was already in SLC, and they were anything but courteous. J

I sent a wonderful complaint to US Air, and am hoping for something more than a response. They say “their home” is in PHX, but I onlyyyy have problems with them in PHX. I just didn't feel like I was treated like an actual customer, so I hope you don’t have to fly with them either. SO, let’s protest!!!!!!

And that picture of my house didn't really make us late, but Tanner and I joked that if we wouldn't have taken it, we both would have made it home Sunday night.

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