USAirways: Despite What Our Schedule Says, We Haven't Actually Had That Flight In 5 Years

Reader Jon made the mistake of trusting the USAirways website to have an accurate schedule of their Boston to NY shuttle service. Whoops.

My company has a deal with USAir where we can go to the ticket counter in Boston and get discount tickets on the LaGuardia or Washington DC Shuttle. We’re not supposed to book ahead; just go to the counter and show our IDs and get the discount fare.

It’s Friday night last week, and it’s 7:30 at night. I’m trying to get to New York. I go online, type in “us airways shuttle schedule” and am shown to a page on (screen shot attached). Seeing that there’s a 9:00 PM flight (the page indicates that flights are 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM hourly), I get in a cab and head to Logan Airport. [This 9:00 flight is to be the last Boston to NY flight of the night on any airline.]

When I arrive at 8:10 or so, the entire Shuttle ticketing counter is dark and there is a security gate pulled in front of it. I walk down the hall to the USAir main counter and a friendly but hapless fellow looks in his computer and tells me that the last Shuttle flight had left at 8:00. A supervisor joins him; both insist that my story about the phantom flight is either made up or a result of user error — I must have looked at LaGuardia to Boston, or on Sunday when there is a 9:00 flight, or whatever. With my handy iPhone, I show them the web page: Boston to LaGuardia, weekdays, 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM hourly. [Hey Apple, great commercial fodder there: use your iPhone to prove customer service agents wrong.]

They look up other flights, nothing. Offer a flight at 6:00 AM the next day, no thanks. I leave them as they tell me, “Sir, I know that our schedule indicates a 9:00 flight, but we haven’t had a flight past 8:00 for at least the past five years.”

In the end, I spent nearly $60 to get to and then from the airport. USAir would not give me a cab voucher, and the airport manager on duty, Cammy, was easily one of the rudest and least helpful airline types I’ve come across. I got to NY by Amtrak on a train that arrived late at 2:15 AM.

Remember when USAir began with “U”? The airline still sucked back then, but maybe it sucked just a little bit less.


It might be worth it to try escalating this complaint with US Airways, as your company has a (presumably) valuable business relationship with the airline. If nothing else, send your complaint to the Department of Transportation.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Are we sure this wasn’t some cached page? I’m always wary of search engine results, even if they point to the official website.

  2. qitaana says:

    I’d be willing to accept the cached page argument if the 9 pm flight had been discontinued in the last few days… but five years? No, USAir has just completely failed to update their page with accurate information.

  3. B says:

    @Ash78: Cached from 5 years ago?

  4. LetMeGetTheManager says:


    Agreed…you have to go through the official website, most likely using the Site Map, otherwise you may stumble across an old page.

  5. B says:

    link to the timetable on US Air’s website. Still lists 9:00 PM as the last flight. (8 PM on Sundays)

  6. mythago says:

    Isn’t USAir in the ‘worst companies’ smackdown? If not, it should be. I had so many bad experiences with them that I now put DO NOT BOOK ON USAIR on all the travel requests I submit at work.

  7. sleze69 says:

    @B: Anyone want to organize a few trips to Boston airport at 8:10pm and ask them for trips to NY?

  8. madrigal says:

    @sleze69: I’d be down

  9. @B: The “five years” thing was just hearsay from that one peon, or so I thought.

    I’ve regularly found stuff at least a year old using google. But I’m also a little more cautious than the person in the story. Nonetheless, at least he had a train backup. That’s a nice luxury.

  10. kborer22 says:

    could have taken greyhound from south station to port authority, only $20, and at that time of night, probably onle a 3.5 hour trip…

  11. dmolavi says:

    here’s the page:

    you can get to it via regular site navigation.

    however, the search for flights doesn’t reveal a 9PM flight:
    indeed 8PM is the last flight.

  12. B says:

    @Ash78: The page listing 9 PM is two clicks from US Air’s home page. I’m sure old pages can be stumbled onto from Google, but this wasn’t one.

  13. Yep, USAirways indeed sucks.

  14. rewind says:

    Rental car is now getting to be my preferred travel accomidation considering the path of the airlines…

  15. googethis says:

    The underlying theme to every airline counter adventure is the respect level (or lack thereof) of CSRs… I know “rudeness” is subjective but it’s pretty obviously when someone is blowing you off or speaking in a direspectful manner. i seriously think there is an airline version of POPCOPY (Chappele’s show reference) somewhere in every airline new hire orientation…

  16. josquin021 says:

    Hi, Jon the submitter here.

    . The page was indeed via Google, but it’s right near the top of the site’s navigation. Navigating there directly (Travel Tools | In the Air | US Airways Shuttle) gets me the same (now) laughably incorrect info.

    . When flying to non-Shuttle destinations, I always book an actual flight through a the real ticketing system, but for this one (a) our company policy is to do walk-up on the Shuttle, and (b) ticketing is God-awful. (If memory serves, it works with Safari but not Firefox, or Firefox but not Safari, or Internet Explorer only, or not at all?)

    . I received an e-mail from USAir saying that they would escalate the issue with their webmaster. When I replied saying, essentially, “That’s nice for you, but where’s my cab money?”, they sent me a $50 travel voucher. Nice gesture, but of course first prize $25 on USAir, second prize $50 and all that.

  17. RokMartian says:

    Maybe it was really Central time :)

  18. DangerousDave says:

    I have just done a search for available flights from LGA to Boston on Friday. The page is built dynamically, so not caching, it shows the 9pm flight.

  19. SharkD says:

    @RokMartian: I think you mean the Atlantic time zone.

  20. grebby says:

    Looks like they fixed it.

  21. STrRedWolf says:

    I have US Air and United on a DO NOT BOOK A FLIGHT ON THEM list because of what happened last June. United doesn’t talk to US Air, and alot of United flights are really US Air flights… which get canceled, fake-rebooked, and dropped on the floor requiring heroics of the better attendant CSR’s.

    Needless to say, I also dropped Expedia as a booking agent for this fiasco.

  22. DeltaPurser says:

    Why the hell should they give you a voucher?!?!??!? Are you completely out of your mind? It didn’t occur to you to verify this information by trying to actually book a flight? Or to call and check on availability first?

    Take some responsibility here, will ‘ya?!

  23. Difdi says:

    How exactly would you get an out-dated cached page on a computer system (iphone) that didn’t exist at the time the page became out-dated?

  24. RandomZero says:

    @DeltaPurser: Shuttles aren’t exactly normal flights. Walk-0ups are very common, if not status quo.

    For the record, it’s not hearsay from a single agent. The flight in question should be US 2145; all the flight tracking searches I’ve done confirm its nonexistence.