America West Airlines
In December, 1993, I was flying home from New York to Seattle for the holidays. Being a student, I went with whatever flight would get me there and back for the lowest price. The trip to Seattle was relatively uneventful. But the trip home was a nightmare. It took approximately 24 hours from the time I left Seattle to finally land in New York. Part of the delay can be attributed to weather. But much of it was clearly due to the incompetence of America West and its employees - one of whom failed to put my name on a standby list that I requested to be on, resulting in my missing a flight that would have that would have gotten me back to NY much sooner and enabled me to avoid spending the night on the floor of the Columbus, Ohio airport. More significantly, the poor attitudes and rude behavior of some America West employees made what was already an unpleasant situation much, much worse.
To top it all off, when I finally did make it back to NY, America West had lost my luggage. Given that I was originally scheduled to fly into Newark, but was rerouted to JFK because of the delays, I specifically asked them to check with the Newark airport. They claimed that they did, but that it wasn't there. I called back each day for several days, and they kept telling me that it hadn't shown up. I finally decided to call the Newark airport directly, and they told me that my bag was there, and had been there for several days. Why America West made no effort to find and return the bag, and why the America West people who did have it never bothered to call the number on the luggage tag, are beyond me.
I've been trying to find the letter that I sent them, which described all of this in much greater detail, and includes specific examples of the truly outrageous actions of America West employees, but it looks like I may not have kept a copy. But in response to my letter, they sent me a coupon for $50 off my next America West flight, as if I would have actually considered flying with that airline again anytime soon.
22 July 2005