Following what now appears to be, alas, an Infocult tradition of noting bad airline services, this morning's post concerns a US Airways flight which is so bad that it still isn't over. I'm typing this from the Philadelphia airport, where I'm about to go to sleep.
It's another case of the major American air carriers getting away with treating customers poorly. There's no accountability built in to the system. I fired off an email to US Air, which will probably be ignored. I'll call in the morning, and mail off a print version, as Jesse recommended. But they clearly feel that they don't need to change their practices at all. Sure, there's the business crunch and possible collapse - which might lead some companies to think about winning customers to their side to increase cash flow, or build crucial loyalty. But this isn't a US Air thing by itself. It's generic. They don't see the indie carriers as competition enough, and we who must fly have no other choices, at least in the US. They know it, and act accordingly.
One part of this is the old favorite, whereby the airline breaks a connection and evades responsibility for it. So US Air delays my flight from San Francisco, letting my little plane flight to Burlington take off before I land. That's not blogworthy by itself, though.
The second part of that I've been put on standby for all day tomorrow. Yes, they won't guarantee me a flight home. I'm going to hang out in the F terminal and hope. So my flight is literally interterminable. I anticipate a day of Ballardian numbness.
The third and completing part: the well-honed coldness of US Airways staff. Perhaps half of my fellow passengers were hoping to make a connection, and not once did I hear a flight attendent express sympathy or hope for these customer. At Philly, the lone gate guy insisted on not springing for a hotel for us (hence the sleeping in airlounge bit), forbid a food voucher, refused to show sympathy, wouldn't apologize, and got irritated when asked to explain things plausibly. He also tried the timely technique of repeating himself, but slowly, so that the mentally thick in the audience might catch up.