Sunday, March 30, 2008

Memo: Attn: US Airways - Re: Fucking Right Off

None of Sheena's vast international readership will be shocked as she repeats that she is a Points Whore. I like gold status and premier levels and VIP passes and personal concierge service and the free perks that come with these things. But I am also sensitive to being careful with resources, whether mine or parties in which I have a vested interest.

Sometimes these two things converge in what really should be a Win-Win situation. Sheena speaks today of US Airways, and their participation in her favourite perk program of all, the Star Alliance network/Aeroplan.

US Airways is often the "low cost option #2", meaning she saves a couple of hundred bucks by not flying Air Canada or United, but still getting the same # of points. In fact, sometimes even more, because of the propensity for US Airways to use their Philly, Charlotte or Pittsburgh hubs for connections. So if travel is not time sensitive, I'll save the cash, do a connection and still end up with more points and segments towards next year's status. Good shit, eh?

The problem is, however, that US Airways is a shitty airline. With the possible exception only of Delta, this is who loses my luggage most. This is where connections get hosed. This is where at least 1/3 of the time my flights are cancelled and they rebook me on American, losing all points goodness entirely.

Friday night was a new barometer of low.

Arrive at the Baltimore Terminal D. Have a bit of time to kill before boarding. Head to the US Airways Lounge. Find this:

That's right. US Airways can't get no likker license at BWI. And it may take "several months". Something smells fishy. And it ain't the stewardess.




And despite the illusion of free tampons, it was empty. Both levers.


Arrive - get this, the shock in the shock and awe without a doubt - we arrive in Toronto 30 minutes early. Yee ha, eh?


Problem was that Friday was the first day for US Airways to operate out of the Star Alliance home terminal - Pearson Terminal One. Until Friday, it had been in Terminal Three. Which sucked because no club lounges to use over there with Star Alliance flights. So when I heard about the switch a couple of weeks ago, it's like - yee hah. Cheaper flights, more points and free booze and wireless. Maybe this will win me back in the months to come, but today I'm still cranky.


Friday night, from the small window of first hand observation I had was pretty miserable. We sat at the gate for 27 of the 30 early minutes we'd made up. The gate agents couldn't find us. The pilots were vocal and pissy. They gave us updates every 5 minutes passing the blame to terminal and gate staff. The luggage was long unloaded before the jetway started to move. What got the collective rile of the passengers up was the announcement from the cockpit that they were now using their cell phones to call US Airways operations HQ because of non-response in Toronto.


But my luggage did show up, fully intact, so thank god for small miracles. Especially with $40 bucks worth of smuggled cheeses and 2 fully declared Dead Arm Shirazes '05 safely tucked between the layers of pinstripes and cashmere.





4 Comments:

At 12:54 PM, Blogger raymi lauren said...

god these posts give me so much travel anxiety

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger raymi lauren said...

they're basically laxatives.

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger CheekierMeSly said...

The other Dead Arm, not quaffed during your horse's ass weekend visit, is in a cool, dark place as commanded.

How many years must it languish before consumption?

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger Whitenoise said...

On their cell phones? With a half-dozen VHF frequencies available that are always answered 24/7- my bet is that these guys had the wrong freqs selected...

 

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