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 usairways.com (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.