EECB Forces US Air To Help Stranded Marine With Dying Grandmother, But Not In Time To Say Goodbye

“Kurt
to henri.dawes@usairways.com
cc douglas.parker@usairways.com, anthony.mule@usairways.com, airconsumer@ost.dot.gov, ben@consumerist.com
date Aug 23, 2007 5:08 PM
subject Distressing travel not yet completed

Ms. Dawes,

My dilemma, which I am hoping that you can resolve satisfactorily, is of an urgent nature.

My (step)son, a newly graduated US Marine, is stationed in California. My mother, his grandmother, has been ill for a long time, but earlier this week she became terminal. We let him know what was happening, and he arranged for Emergency leave through his command and the Red Cross.”

The earliest flight he could get was your flight #2793 on 8/22 from Palm Springs CA leaving at 9:00PM, connecting through Las Vegas, and arriving at 7:06AM at JFK airport. His ticket is #3721440267926.

The flight was overbooked and they were going to put him on another flight that would have arrived at 9AM in Newark. Something else occurred and they didn’t put him on that flight. If they had actually put him on that flight, he would have gotten home in time to see his grandmother one last time before she passed at 11AM.

They booked him for another flight, that would connect through Phoenix this morning (where he is still sitting as I write this), to arrive at approx 7PM. It has now been delayed for at least another 2-3 hours.

Your terminal personnel made no attempt to get him on a flight in this dire circumstance. He had to sleep on the terminal floor last night. He missed saying a final goodbye to his grandmother before she passed. He is still sitting in Phoenix with no idea when he can get home.

He paid $554.10 for a round trip ticket, and he isn’t much closer to coming home to be with family in these trying times. His emergency leave is ticking away as he sits in the terminal waiting.

I need to know what you (US Airways) are going to do to compensate him for this debacle. How you are going to make changes to correct the total overbooking of flights. How you are going to make this right. We are grieving, and having to deal with this disaster, and it is extremely stressful.

I await your reply.

Kurt

From: ben
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 9:57 AM
To: kurt
Subject: Re: Distressing travel not yet completed

Mr. Greiner,

Sorry to hear of your loss. Has US Airways replied yet?


BEN POPKEN
EDITOR
CONSUMERIST.COM

Kurt
to Editor
date :Aug 30, 2007 10:29 AM
subject: RE: Distressing travel not yet completed

Ben,

Thank you for your condolences.

My son finally made it home by 11PM (3 hour delay from the original arrival time of that flight) on the day I wrote the original email. He was too late to say a final goodbye to his grandmother, but he was able to be there for the memorial service. He returned to the Marines in California on a flight this morning.

I want to thank you for the service that you provide with the Consumerist, it has helped me greatly with this incident and also in the recent past in dealing with Sprint. It is nice to have this resource that help you to know what to do in a bad service situation to get things resolved satisfactorily.

US Airways had one of their CS people call my son on his cell the next day after his arrival,. Obviously the list of addresses that I sent the mail to poked someone with a sharp stick to cause them to take action. Perhaps they realized how it would look that they subjected a Marine to this situation.

I think my son said the woman’s name was Sandy, but I couldn’t be sure. She was very apologetic for the problems he encountered, expressed her condolences for our loss, and offered the following remedies:

  • An upgrade to first class for his return trip this morning.
  • A $400 travel voucher to be used any time. That will allow him to come home at holiday time for very little cost.
  • She offered to personally waive the $100 change of itinerary fee at any point in the future if he needed it, by contacting her directly.

Even though these things helped soften the insult of what happened, I must say that I (and my son as well) would be very hesitant to fly US Airways again if any other choices are available. Unfortunately for him, Palm Springs is such a small airport that there aren’t a lot of choices to be had.

Kurt

Kurt used the tactics spelled out in our post, “How To Launch An Executive Email Carpet Bomb” to get resolution for his son. It’s comendable that US Airways stepped up, eventually.

The US Airways gestures were generous and their apologies appreciated, but they’ll never bring back Mrs. Greiner.

In the hurlyburly of numbers of airlines delayed, the industry blaming its difficulties on the air-traffic-control system, and travelers worrying over how many miles they’re accruing, it’s easy to forget the human lives and stories that are affected. In essence, because of budget cuts, the Marine never got to say goodbye to his grandmother before she died.

(Photo: dykstranet)

Comments

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  1. NickRB says:

    You know, it’s very unfortunate how things turned out. Clearly US Airways dropped the ball and failed to follow through for this young man. I do think it’s great that when someone with some actual power got involved they tried to make it right. I would certainly give them 1 more chance, especially if they offered me a $400 voucher.

  2. Sasquatch says:

    Appalling. Our servicemen and -women deserve to be treated better than this.

    US Airways, you should all be ashamed of yourselves.

  3. not_seth_brundle says:

    I am really amazed that the gate agents didn’t get a volunteer to be bumped from the 9:00 p.m. flight. I’m sure that under the circumstances they would have had several volunteers even if they didn’t offer much in the way of compensation.

    Obviously the e-mail omits a lot of information but just from what is provided it seems like US Air didn’t do everything it could have.

  4. ekthesy says:

    @ereusch:

    No they don’t. They deserve to be treated like the rest of us, and we all deserve to be treated better by the airlines, especially when a family member dies.

    Nothing personal against members of the armed forces, but why is their job more important than mine? (I’m a teacher.)

  5. Falconfire says:

    @not_seth_brundle: they couldnt get a woman to move one row back and two seats left in my flight last night so I could sit with my fiance who has a utter fear of flying, its not surprising they couldnt get a person to not take a different fight.

    Sadly it would easily be fixed by in this day of age, airlines STOP OVERBOOKING FLIGHTS. There is no excuse on this earth to let it happen anymore. Even if 1 or 2 people dont show up, there are plenty of people who would pick up a standby. The only reason it was allowed to happen in the past was because booking a flight involved a lot of paper work and we had no centralized system to prevent it from happening. These days EVERYONE uses a computer, which can be updated in real time.

    This is yet another problem that the airlines ignore under the aspect of more money for their executives.

  6. forrester says:

    @ereusch: EVERYONE needs to be treated better than this regardless of profession.

    When my mom passed away, westjet (in Canada) bent over backward to give me a good deal and get me there quickly so I could be there when it was her time. All airlines should step up to the plate in the same way imo.

  7. not_seth_brundle says:

    @Falconfire: “@not_seth_brundle: they couldnt get a woman to move one row back and two seats left in my flight last night so I could sit with my fiance who has a utter fear of flying, its not surprising they couldnt get a person to not take a different fight.”

    That sucks, but that’s only one woman v. a whole plane full of people, at least one of whom is likely to be moved by the story of a Marine trying to see his grandmother before she dies. I’ve seen people give up their first-class seats, unsolicited, for a member of the armed forces, even where there was no dying relative. So I remain optimistic.

  8. ReverseCarpetbagging says:

    Anyone have any advice on what to do if you’re entering your information when you go to purchase a flight and then it times you out, only leaving you to find that when you try and rebook the flight, the prices went up almost $400 per person?

    Happened today with US Airways. Not to pick on them, but since their hub is in Charlotte and I usually fly in that direction when Spirit doesn’t have any good deals, I figured I would ask. The “Internet Assistance” chat feature said that my request wasn’t appropriate for internet assistance. The lady on the phone didn’t know what to tell me to do, except to try a third-party travel site.

  9. Buran says:

    While I’m sorry to hear of your loss, I really don’t think it’s right to say “I work for soandso doing blahblah job therefore I should get preferential treatment”. “It is a family emergency” is enough, maybe along with an explanation of the emergency.

    There are thousands of others who work an honest job and are repeatedly mistreated by airlines who are equally worthy of getting help. You don’t see everyone invoking their employer/position/whatever to try to beg for sympathy, do you?

  10. Buran says:

    er, WHEN THEY ARE WORTHY OF, not “who are” …

  11. liketolearn says:

    None of my family will never fly US Airways again. Not only did they treat my son terribly, they offered him a $50 refund on a $350 ticket despite the fact that the outgoing flight was cancelled and he had to buy a one way ticket for $125 on southwest outgoing. Their customer service dept is worthless and after battling wiht them and getting nowhere, I decided no family member would ever fly them again. My other son also had a problem with them and 2 out ot 2 bad experiences is quite enough for me!

  12. totallyrandom says:

    “The US Airways gestures were generous and their apologies appreciated, but they’ll never bring back Mrs. Greiner.”

    Nor did they cause her to depart. I’m shocked that US Airways managed to bungle this so thoroughly, but a heavy-handed statement like that is unnecessary.

  13. JustAGuy2 says:

    @Falconfire:

    Were you asking her to move between a window or an aisle? Or out of an exit row? Some people prefer specific seats… Did you try to swap _your_ seat with one of the people sitting next to your fiancee?

  14. Amelie says:

    @ EKTHESY
    I’m a teacher too, and while things are bad, my life isn’t at risk like many military service people. I think people are letting their feelings against the war color their reactions towards this serviceman. I’ve always been against the war, but I can still objectively see that this person signed up to serve this country and could easily die. In my opinion, that’s enough to grant him special treatment.

    My only question is why didn’t this guy raise holy hell. I knew if it had been me, I would have not been bumped off the plane.

  15. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @ekthesy: I don’t think anyone was implying that an Armed Forces member has a more “important” job than you do. In fact, those words never came out of anyone’s mouth.

    I’m sorry if you feel slighted because some people feel that members of this country’s Marine Corp (or any other branch, for that matter) should get some extra level of treatment in certain situations, but your comment seemed a bit callous. I agree, everyone needs to be treated better by the airlines, but if I’m not mistaken, ereusch was simply trying to get the point across that our service men and women deserve our respect for what they do, day in and day out, for this country.

    Try not to get your panties in a twist. We love teachers here, too. :)

  16. Falconfire says:

    @JustAGuy2: She was being asked (by the airline not myself) to move from a window to a window on the other side of the plane. She wouldnt even come up to the desk to talk with the staff member so they came back to me and said they couldnt get in contact with her.

    I know she heard the announcements, as she was sitting in our seating area, she just refused to talk to the staff (why I dont know, if she assumed that they where going to remove her from the flight, then she is a idiot to think that by not talking to them they wouldnt just go on the plane and grab her off the flight). Now granted there was no excuse for Continental to have even allowed this to happen in the first place (If I buy two tickets to a plane, then you should assume I want to SIT NEXT TO the person I am buying tickets with, they even split up a grandmother and father by sitting me in the MIDDLE OF THE ROW with them) but at the same time people are assholes and you should never expect people to give up their seats to anyone regardless of someone dying or not.

  17. Buran says:

    @zouxou: My reaction has nothing to do with how I feel about the war. It’s about people trying to drum up sympathy by mentioning things that shouldn’t even be imagined to be relevant to the problem.

    I work at a university. If an immediate family member were to be dying, I too would want to be able to get to them. Would I mention who I work for and what I do? Heck no, what does that have to do with the fact that there is an emergency that needs attending to?

    I’d make the same comment if the person needing help were, say, a crab fisherman. They too have a dangerous job, but do you hear crab fishermen constantly reminding people of that fact to get sympathy handouts?

    No.

  18. Buran says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers: So does everyone else who works an honest job. And I don’t see any other profession that plays the sympathy card as much as people who are in that line of work.

  19. Buran says:

    @ReverseCarpetbagging: Type faster. Someone booked the cheap seat out from under you. I’ve had Southwest’s site time out on me before, too, and the only thing you can do is just make sure you don’t get timed out. Southwest does repeatedly warn you that fares aren’t guaranteed until actually booked.

    This same thing came up here on this site just a few weeks ago, and the airline explained that the promo seats were sold out by the time the complainer actually completed booking.

    It’s annoying when this happens to you, but that’s what it was — not an attempt to screw you.

    Could always take another airline… (well, hopefully)

  20. RandomHookup says:

    @Buran:

    The big difference for the military is that they have little control over where they live and when they can get time off. They do a tough job for less pay than most and have sacrificed a lot of their rights for the job.

    That being said, the Marine was lucky to get time off for the death of his (step)grandmother. When I was on active duty in the Army, grandparents didn’t count for “official” emergency leave (meaning that the command just about had to let you go). I wonder how long she has been in his life, if his mom still uses the “step” indentifier.

  21. jb748s says:

    I received 2 $200 vouchers from US Air last year for a flight I had from Philly to Orlando. When I tried to book (you have to call US AIR for the Vouchers) two new seats for another flight this past May, the price for each seat was $159 more on the phone then the US AIR website. When I asked the person why? they didn’t know. So, $400 in vouchers were worth $80. I booked the flight on another airline for a cheaper flight without the vouchers.

  22. JustAGuy2 says:

    @Falconfire:

    Huh? How does her preference for keeping the seat she had selected make her an “asshole?” She booked her flight first, she chose her seat, it’s her right to keep it. Maybe she likes sitting on the right side of the aircraft? Maybe she doesn’t like even-numbered rows? Maybe she didn’t like the person she’d have to sit next to? Who knows. Anyway, her refusal to do you a favor gives you zero right to call her an asshole.

    As to being separated in the first place, why didn’t you choose seats together? You can book seats on the website when you book your tickets, or call up. If you book close to departure, and aren’t a high status customer, they may not offer this option, but they usually do.

    Also, I usually book window & aisle for my wife and I – sometimes, someone takes the seat between us, in which case we offer him/her the window (never been turned down) – sometimes the seat stays empty.

  23. Buran says:

    @RandomHookup: I should point out that many other jobs also don’t have a lot of vacation time or flexibility… and yet there’s still not much of the playing the “where-I-work” card. While what you say is true, if it were a reasonable complaint in situations of “bad service”, you’d see other professions brought up a LOT more frequently.

    And yet, it seems to be only military types who do this. I’m not saying they all do, as I know a few ex-military people who would never dream of it, but … well, it is what it is.

  24. JustAGuy2 says:

    @Falconfire:

    As to overbooking, they do it because it works well the vast majority of the time, and it’s almost always resolvable when it doesn’t work. If you don’t want them to overbook, book your own plane. Having flown close on a million miles by now, I’ve never once been involuntarily bumped from a flight.

  25. Never, ever, fly US Airways through to LAS. NEVER.
    I left Ontario to go to BWI with a 15 minute lay-over in Vegas… I was scheduled to leave at 9:00 PM (This was last year… what is it with these 9′ o’Clock flights?) and arrive at 6:00 AM. Somehow, 9:00 PM became midnight and 6:00AM was the time I wokeup on the floor of the line to get a ticket in Vegas.

  26. ediebeale says:

    @Buran: I think you’re blowing this “he invoked his profession” thing way out of proportion. For one thing, it seems like the letter writer (step-mom?) is the one making any sort of deal of it at all. For another thing, being a teacher and having trouble getting a sub and being in the armed forces and living on a base and having to get leave are not the same things. I love teachers, my mom’s one; I love nurses, doctors, train conductors, and all the other people who work in service of the greater good, but it is simply not the same logistically (not necessarily morally, or whatever), as someone in the armed forces. And it’s a stupid thing to get all huffy about.

  27. ediebeale says:

    @Buran: Also, a “crab fisherman” is probably not going to get a leg blown off in a roadside bombing in Baghdad. We can all agree on that, right?

  28. gruffydd says:

    @JustAGuy2: My husband and I do the same thing – book a window and an aisle….it works out great when there’s no one in the middle.

  29. ekthesy says:

    @pinkbunnyslippers:

    That’s certainly what was implied in the OP. Kurt made sure to mention his son’s occupation in the second sentence, and even wrote “Perhaps they realized how it would look that they subjected a Marine to this situation.”

    Can we all agree that it looks bad to subject ANYONE to this situation? We don’t need special treatment for any occupation, be it soldier, teacher or dogcatcher.

    @zouxou:

    Any one of us could “easily die.” What about a guy who works ten hours a day in a nuclear plant, so that we can all post to the Consumerist? He could die pretty easily, but there’s none of this solicitude for nuclear power plant employees.

    Again, we’re all the same humans, and none of us deserves special treatment because of our occupation.

  30. RandomHookup says:

    @Buran:

    Yep, but you can leave those jobs whenever you get fed up. The one big difference is that quitting the military is a criminal offense.

  31. anams0184 says:

    Dealing with the airlines in these types of situations is always stressful and aggravating. I know that everytime that my father was put in the hospital for a serious illness my brother-in-law and sister had the hardest times getting out to us in Texas from places in the states. Yet flying in from when they were stationed overseas was the easiest thing for them as the international carriers always had them on the first flight out and catered to their needs in the stressful of times. Sometimes they could get here quicker than family members from the Northeast because of delays and layovers and overbooking that they had to deal with. I think that domestic airlines just dont care anymore. And for those saying that touting the military line is unneccesary…I must say that I would always give up my seat for someone thats serving if they needed to be somewhere because of a family emergency as I know that you cannot extend Emergency Leave with your command that easily as you can if you just held a normal 8-5 job and requested for more time off.

  32. Amelie says:

    @ekthesy, who said:
    Any one of us could “easily die.” What about a guy who works ten hours a day in a nuclear plant, so that we can all post to the Consumerist?

    Considering your bizarro-world logic, one can only hope you’re teaching at the K-2 level.

  33. Buran says:

    @ediebeale: They are however quite likely to get injured in other ways. Besides, what does that have to do with the sympathy card thing?

  34. Buran says:

    @RandomHookup: That depends on the job. And don’t forget jobs where if you take off without permission, and they won’t grant it to you, you’re fired, no matter what, and there’s no other choice of employment for you. And yet, we still don’t see those sympathy cards.

  35. Buran says:

    @anams0184: Helping someone with a family emergency is the right thing to do, but you are not required to do it. It’s still appreciated, but you can’t be forced to do it. No matter what the person’s profession is.

    You shouldn’t base how nice you are to someone on what they do for a living any more than anyone who needs help should whine “but I do (x) for a living, and I think I should get special treatment!”.

    Be decent and help people who need help, but don’t play the sympathy card. One is just the kind of thing we should do to fellow humans, the other is rude.

  36. Youthier says:

    @Buran: I don’t understand why you keep picking at this. You’re right, no one/job is more important than another but seriously… good for you if you’ve never pulled the “Don’t you know who I am?” in a moment of great stress but I think a lot of people have, right or wrong. It hardly seems like the most important thing to harp on.

  37. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Buran: We’re in a time of war, though. Someone who “quits” the military stands a decent chance of getting shot.

  38. Jon Parker says:

    @jb748s: I managed to swing that with another airline (American, I think) that required you to call to use a voucher.

    I went on the net, chose my flight, and deferred payment (most will give you 24 hours). Then I called and used the voucher. Worked for me.

  39. hypnotik_jello says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: maybe they should have taken that into consideration before the signed up?

  40. Landru says:

    Service members should definitely be treated special – (teachers too, but that’s a different story). And my opinion has nothing to do with my being against the war. In fact, these poor service men and women being sent off to this difficult mess need as much help/support/special treatment as we can muster – and not just at airports, but at the VA hospitals as well. Someone around here might have a look at how those consumers are treated.

  41. Keter says:

    A few notes:

    1. Money does not make up for some things. Ever.
    2. If anyone pitches a fit about bad customer service in an airport, they put themselves at risk for being arrested and detained as a possible terror suspect. As a military member, this sort of thing can get your court-martialed. He should be commended for keeping a clear head and a civil tongue.
    3. @Buran: way too many posts (9?!).

  42. Buran says:

    @HeyHermano: Uh, because people keep thinking it’s OK?

    “I don’t know why people keep saying to just show the receipt already”.

  43. jamesdenver says:

    @Buran:

    Agree 100%… It doesn’t matter if I’m going to Vegas to tour strip clubs and gamble, or if I’m flying off somewhere to build houses for the poor. I should be treated the same either way, whether Marine, minister, or big time porn producer.

    Also to those who book seats separately and complain about it at check in: Deal with it earlier. I paid money to fly, booked early, and selected my seat for that exact reason. To select my seat.

    My partner and I have boarded packed standby flights without seats together and we don’t tour the plane playing match up with everyone. We just sit apart for a few hours – it’s not that big of a deal for two adults to sit apart for a short spell.

  44. @ReverseCarpetbagging: This is really common on all of the online booking sites.

    There’s no law against it, and you can’t do anything about it. If they see a demand spike (including your single ticket purchase), they can raise the price before you actually purchase it.

  45. wbocrafter says:

    I believe that anyone who has a family member that is in the final phase of their life deserves a higher priority on the flight than other people. Having lost my mother recently the loss was devastating. Anyone losing a family member needs all the support they can get. Put yourself in that woman’s shoes and ask how you would feel if it was your loved one and you knew that her son was a source of comfort for her. It doesn’t matter what your occupation is – we’re talking about people. When my brother-in-law passed away I went through hell trying to get there in time for his funeral. Not only were we subject to intense security procedures at the airport because we had booked our flight within the last 24 hours but we had flights that came in late so we missed our connecting flight. Then when they got us on another flight it left within a half hour. The security line was very long and the airline personnel were not going to let us go to the front of the line to go through security. It was a trip from hell. We got to his funeral 15 minutes before the funeral started and we still had to change clothes.

  46. junkmail says:

    @ekthesy: @Buran:
    Since you’re going to bitch anyway, I’ll go ahead and say it. Our service men and women DO deserve special treatment. Their job IS more important than yours, and you are completely out of line to suggest otherwise. You’re a teacher? Great, nothing but respect. When’s the last time a coworker got their face blown off while you were standing next to them? Get shot at daily, do ya? I’m sorry you don’t support the war. That’s great, I don’t either. Doesn’t matter. Not even a little. Your lack of respect is disturbing at best.

  47. @Falconfire: Falconfire:

    1. Buck up. You should have walked over and asked the other passenger in person to switch with you or your fiancee. Other people don’t bite, and will often respond kindly if you explain your reasons for wanting to switch.

    2. Stop complaining about seat assignments. Major airlines give you three chances to pick your seat assignments: Once when you buy, once during the 24-hour period before flight (e-check in), and if you do as you’re supposed to and show up to the airport early, you can change previously assigned seats right at the gate – you simply need to show up before too many other people check in.

  48. 7livesleft says:

    @ekthesy: Agreed.

    When I was in the service, I had no problem giving up my seat to someone who needed it more than I did. It’s a matter of curtesy, not the fact that the person is a service member or not.

    Today, I’ll still do it. Service member or not.

  49. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    Wow while it brightens my day to see people express some gratitude for our brave military members…it burns my ass to see these whiners who say that military people don’t deserve a little extra.

    I am a disabeled Vet, I have never put that on a job application nor do I get handicaped plates which I am entitled to. You know why? Because I want to be treated as regular guy. But you know all I really want is respect for how much anyone in the military gives of thier life. Yes it is a job but realistically unless you work in finance or PR no one works 8 hours and goes home. What other job requires you to work between 12-14 hours a day with no overtime? Sure you get a nice warm hole in the ground to sleep in and extremely yummy MRE’s every day. But you take a chance that your life can be snuffed out in an instant, in a foreign land with barely a sound bite on the local news to summerize your life. So if they can get a few luxuries that don’t hurt anyone why not give it to them?

  50. kesal says:

    This thread has become more about the person than the problem. I believe the letter was perfectly written.
    I can only picture this young Marine waiting (politely, as trained) to get on a plane, worry lined on his young face. Then to picture him (in his uniform) sleeping on the airport floor. Yes his Step Mom refered to him as a Marine. I believe it is VERY relevant. If the airlines can treat a Marine like this then the rest of us haven’t got a shot in Hell.
    I’ll also bet if the teacher ordered a bus for 80 students and was sent a bus for 40 she/he would be using the fact s/he was a teacher in THEIR letter of complaint. We ALL use what we need to, to get our message across.
    That said, Our men and women in the Military SHOULD get the proper respect. Which IMHO is more deserved than any other profession.

  51. vonskippy says:

    That’s why I said my final goodbyes to my grandma in June of 2002. Luckily for me (and her) she didn’t die until March of 2005. Plan ahead people – death waits for no one – so why blame the airlines for YOUR poor planning?

  52. DAK says:

    Yes, a Marine absolutely does deserve special treatment, especially compared to a teacher who may or may not have more than a GED to justify their paycheck.

    Yes, it’s bad that anyone would be subjected to that experience, but it’s worse when that someone is already removed from their loved ones. If the USMC saw fit to let him go home for a couple days for free, US Airways should not be getting in the way.

    And really, let’s be realistic. Teaching is important work, but so is cleaning bathrooms. Neither profession requires an especially high level of achievement. It’s probably best that people not overstate their own importance for the sake of their own fragile ego.

  53. tobashadow says:

    To be honest i bet if he stood up in front of the crowd of passenger’s waiting and said the following out loud.

    I am trying to get home to see my grandmother before she dies within the next few hour’s but the airline overbooked, could anyone be willing to swap with me please.

    I can allmost guarantee he would have a seat in second’s.

    If not?

    God help us all!

  54. legotech says:

    wow…just wow. My mom was a teacher…she needed time off she called and told them…I was in the Navy….I needed time off for a family emergency, I neded to get the permission of my workcenter supervisor, the Command Master Chief, The Maintenance Office, the XO and the CO, any one of whom could say no, you are mission critical.

    If you don’t like the state breathing down your neck as a teacher and you don’t like teaching the craptastic curriculum, quit, find a charter, or a magnet, or a private school…but PLEASE don’t poison the kids with your poisonous attitude towards others.

  55. chili_dog says:

    I don’t know why anyone even tries to fly them anymore. I live in Phoenix and they offer an amazing schedule, but the gate staffers are horribly under trained and borderline incompetent while rarely willing to help a traveler out. The last time I few them was October, 1998, I was in the next gate area waiting, but an elderly lady was trying to make a connection in Phoenix, and naturally, 3 concourses over walked up to the gate with the A/C door still open, the jetway door still open, and they wouldn;t let her on. All for “on time performance”. It was pathetic and the supervisor didn;t give a rats ass about helping.

    All I can say is I’d rather be shoe horned into a southwest flight for 5 hours at triple the cost then spend a nickel on US Air EVER.

  56. Trackback says:

    When my fiancee and I flew back to Taiwan a few weeks ago, the United flight from Baltimore Washington International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport was oversold and they were offering folks some vouchers to give up their seats.

  57. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @junkmail: *applause*

  58. acambras says:

    @DAK:

    Wow — you seem to have a lot of contempt for teachers.

  59. micultra6977 says:

    The armed forces should receive special treatment, anyone of us dont want to go to work today they just call of sick and go do what they want to, Can those guys NO if they do it is called AWOL and punishable by prision time. Should they bump people on flights for emergency’s like this YES. I have never served or do I have immediate family that has served in the armed forces but these guys and gals provide a great service to this country it is called FREEDOM. That same exact FREEDOM to write comments like everybody has the option to do.

  60. majortom1981 says:

    Couldnt the marine get a flight home with the marines? Find one of the flights going back to the US. Being in the armed forced did he really have to take a normal passanger plane home?