Update: Armed Guards Fail To Squash US Air 1922 Passenger Revolt

Armed guards tried to quell an uprising yesterday among the passengers of US Airways flight 1922, who have been stuck in Costa Rica since their flight got canceled Saturday afternoon. The guards failed.

Richard writes,

3/15/10 9:16 pm

We’re still being held HOSTAGE by US Airways in Costa Rica. The 2:00 flight was cancelled on Saturday. They rescheduled at 6:00AM yesterday. Now going on 72 hours.

We arrived at the airport at 3:00AM only to be informed at 12:00PM that the “mechanical issues” associated to the cancelled flight on Saturday “had not been addressed”. The pilot and crew stormed off and our flight was cancelled again. Now rescheduled for 12:00PM today. As a gold member and flying first class I am appalled by the unprofessional way in which the entire US Air team has responded. The Costa Rican crew here could not be more unprofessional with keeping us completely in the dark. Yesterday, we were aware that the flight was cancelled 2 to 3 hours before the US Airways Agents would admit it. Corporate had posted it on their website.

We finally had a small uprising then they tried to move us to the third gate, to essentially get us out of the way. We refused. Armed guards showed up, but we refused to move. They finally delivered vouchers for hotel and food.

I’m now writing from a Holiday Inn in downtown San Jose. Not sure what’s going to happen today, but we have young families with young children that are being herded like cattle. Doctors have had to cancel surgeries and business people are cancelling new business travel due to these delays I’ve admired US Airways in the last several years, but they’ve really dropped the ball with this one.

Regarding the new wave ladies singing and dancing, one guest is suggesting that they be muzzled and tied to their seats.

-Richard

UPDATE: They made it home!

3/16/10 9:30 AM

The nightmare is over. We arrived in Philadelphia late last night, but US Air’s handling of this continued to show lack of consideration and concern for the passengers. Believe it or not they had the audacity to charge one customer to move his seat from the last row center seat to an empty seat more forward in the coach cabin. As insulting was them charging for drinks and food although they did provide sandwiches for the coach cabin. While we were treated better in first class, I suggested to the flight crew that they should have treated everyone as if they were sitting in first class. The replacement crew was unaware of the circumstances and promised to file a report. Just one more stumble after the other. I sent a complaint to customer service, but to date no response.

Here’s an update from another passenger that should answer some of the commenter questions:

Hi Ben,

I was a USAir 1922 passenger. I have one last update based on info I got from the flight crew that flew us home.

One question not many have asked:
Why, if the plane was fixed at 6:00pm Sunday night, did they wait until 12 noon Monday to fly us home?

Answer:
USAir had sent the flight crew home. There was nobody around to fly the plane at the time it was fixed. Yep, you heard that right – after waiting 18 hours for USAir to decide to fly a part down from the states, the last 18 hours of the delay was because we had to wait for them to fly a flight crew down. Brilliant planning!

And to all of those who said “Why didn’t they just rebook/buy another ticket/change flights/etc?”

Let me explain the SJO departure area:

There’s only one way out. Once you pass through security, they only way for a passenger to leave is by getting on a plane. You can’t just walk back to the ticket counters – you’d have to go through immigration (and through customs, past the rental car counters, across the road into the parking garage, up the stairs, and back across the road just to get to the ticket counters.) Costa Rica immigration won’t let you through if you haven’t just arrived on a flight (we were escorted through immigration each evening after the day’s flight was canceled by USAir agents.)

So for those who said “They aren’t really trapped, the whiney doctors can just buy tickets” – well, we couldn’t. We were really, truly trapped by USAir in the San Jose airport. We weren’t allowed to leave the departure side of the airport unless escorted by USAir agents.

PREVIOUSLY: Update: Greetings From USAIR Flight 1922, Stuck For 24 Hours In Costa Rica