USAIR: Why am I not surprised

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USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Hamza Benama » Wed, 29 Aug 2001 06:46:05


that this airline is heading towards bankrupcy!?
I was given Gold status on US Air given I am Platinum on Continental.
Yet, I feel like I might as well be flying as a regular joe who flies US Air once a year.
Aside from the bonus miles, there is frankly no incentive to fly US Air.
First class is half full 99% of the time but they CAN'T upgrade me on a courtesy basis.
The planes suck. All of them old 737 with various configurations.
Most traffic has to go through C***te, a desolate place where options are lacking: they
cancel or delay your flight and you are cooked.
The one city I need to fly to on US Air, PHL, is priced out of this world.
Here is the worst part: I make a reservation for a 7 PM flight. I show up at 5 PM as I finished
business early. I ask very politely if I could fly stand by on the 6 PM flight. Categorically I am
denied this option: Sir, you will have to pay a $X fee and then u will have to fly stand by!
I am not kidding you. You have to pay for the privilege of standing by!
Why is it other airlines allow me a chance on the earlier flight no questions asked?!
I am so glad I did not give my business to USAIR only to realize it is not worth it unless you are
Platinum.
In the last flight, at LEAST 20 passengers were non revenue [ C***te to Fort Lauderdale ]. They
all showed up with their employee tag, no boarding pass, no ticket, zilch. At most 9 employees
with each having a family/friend member and/or baby.
Way to go if you want that Balance Sheet to swing into the positive.

Just a humble opinion.

Plan: use USAIR as needed, lose status next year, no regrets

 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Jo » Wed, 29 Aug 2001 08:18:03




Quote:>that this airline is heading towards bankrupcy!?
>I was given Gold status on US Air given I am Platinum on Continental.
>Yet, I feel like I might as well be flying as a regular joe who flies US
>Air once a year. Aside from the bonus miles, there is frankly no
>incentive to fly US Air. First class is half full 99% of the time but
>they CAN'T upgrade me on a courtesy basis. The planes suck. All of them

        See, I've been told that AA is okay, but I've had anecdotally bad
experiences like yours on them (including one flight where the FA lied to my
face and then avoided me the rest of the flight) so I think AA sucks. So
take this for what it's worth, just some hopefully helpful commentary.
        I haven't seen much courtesy upgrading going on this year, but I think
that's because of the artifically large number of Chairman, Golds and
Silvers on US right now (last year after their FA near-strike, they offered
double miles that counted towards FF status for a month or more, turning
some Golds into Chairman's, a WHOLE lot of Silvers into Gold and a lot of
summer holidays into Silver-trips). For a while it was hard to get first
anywhere (even as gold with upgrade coupons), and I think the folks at
check-in desks are still mentally working off the glut. There are still a
lot of people with upgrade coupons running around, and my guess is that
they'd rather work the coupons out of the system than give the seats away. I
guess that theory will prove either true or bogus after the turn of the
year, when the inflated statuses expire...

Quote:>old 737 with various configurations. Most traffic has to go through
>C***te, a desolate place where options are lacking: they cancel or
>delay your flight and you are cooked. The one city I need to fly to on
>US Air, PHL, is priced out of this world. Here is the worst part: I make

        Where are they running the A319s now? When they first got them, the
319s were running cross-country (which was horrible for capacity), but now
the A321s are doing that. I figured the 319s would take over a few 737
routes. What did happen?

        PHL is expanding if I'm not mistaken, and other airlines are soon to
be using it as a stepping-off point for transatlantic flights (as US does),
so you're probably going to see a drop there and/or get an airline you
prefer to fly on starting service there.

Quote:>a reservation for a 7 PM flight. I show up at 5 PM as I finished
>business early. I ask very politely if I could fly stand by on the 6 PM
>flight. Categorically I am denied this option: Sir, you will have to pay
>a $X fee and then u will have to fly stand by! I am not kidding you. You
>have to pay for the privilege of standing by! Why is it other airlines
>allow me a chance on the earlier flight no questions asked?! I am so

        See, now that one blows my mind. I've never had that happen to me on
US. If I've asked for standby at check-in on the day of the flight, I've
gotten it. Well, except once when the flight was oversold and the check-in
attendant thought he knew better than me (which, as it turns out he did,
since they had to ask for volunteers on that flight). Maybe the person
helping you was just having a bad day? It's amazing how an entire flight
experience can be ruined by just one airline employee... (does this mean I
should reconsider AA?? :))
        I'm not saying that you should change your mind about US (even if I
were, it's you who has to fly your trips, not me, so why listen to me?), but
I would say that if you're in that situation again on US, ask again. I don't
know why they did that to you, but I would guess it wouldn't happen again.

-- Joe

 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Hamza Benama » Wed, 29 Aug 2001 10:10:54



Quote:>     Where are they running the A319s now? When they first got them, the
> 319s were running cross-country (which was horrible for capacity), but now
> the A321s are doing that. I figured the 319s would take over a few 737
> routes. What did happen?

I have not seen any Airbus on IAH-CLT-PHL-CLT-FLL or MCO-PHL

Quote:>     See, now that one blows my mind. I've never had that happen to me on
> US. If I've asked for standby at check-in on the day of the flight, I've
> gotten it. Well, except once when the flight was oversold and the check-in

It blew my mind too, four times [ PHL-YUL, PHL-CLT, PHL-FLL twice ]

Quote:>     I'm not saying that you should change your mind about US (even if I
> were, it's you who has to fly your trips, not me, so why listen to me?),
but
> I would say that if you're in that situation again on US, ask again. I
don't
> know why they did that to you, but I would guess it wouldn't happen again.

Continental is by far better in terms of FF passengers. I was much
happier/satisfied as a silver
on CO than a Gold on US Air.
 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Brian Morri » Wed, 29 Aug 2001 10:52:40



>The planes suck. All of them old 737 with various configurations.

At least most of them have more leg room than Delta does on their
planes.
 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Jerem » Wed, 29 Aug 2001 12:40:45


Fly CO and stop your b*tching.

Pretty simple solution huh?  I think so.  :)


Quote:> Continental is by far better in terms of FF passengers. I was much
> happier/satisfied as a silver
> on CO than a Gold on US Air.

 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Hamza Benama » Wed, 29 Aug 2001 12:52:28


I posted it so that others, not as smart as you sound, take a hard look at
which carrier
to give their business.


> Fly CO and stop your b*tching.

> Pretty simple solution huh?  I think so.  :)


> > Continental is by far better in terms of FF passengers. I was much
> > happier/satisfied as a silver
> > on CO than a Gold on US Air.

 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Karl Orf » Wed, 29 Aug 2001 13:55:19




Quote:> I posted it so that others, not as smart as you sound, take a hard look at
> which carrier
> to give their business.

I've been happy with US.  made Gold last year, will only do Silver this
year.  Got lots of upgrades and it's easy to earn on US - 8 or 9 per
10,000 miles flown, good for 800 miles of travel each (and only need
maximum of 3 one way)
 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Karl Orf » Wed, 29 Aug 2001 23:26:31







> >> I posted it so that others, not as smart as you sound, take a hard look at
> >> which carrier
> >> to give their business.

> >I've been happy with US.  made Gold last year, will only do Silver this
> >year.  Got lots of upgrades and it's easy to earn on US - 8 or 9 per
> >10,000 miles flown, good for 800 miles of travel each (and only need
> >maximum of 3 one way)

> There can't be many domestic destinations that would be further than
> 2400 miles surely anyway

While there are few if you fly directly, it's the connections through a
hub that matter.  i.e, you could be flying SFO-CLT-PWM or FLL-PHL-SEA.  
My GF and I did the latter,  Cost us 3 upgrades each.  About 3,300+
miles each way.
 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Hamza Benama » Thu, 30 Aug 2001 00:29:58


Hello Karl,
Contrast that with strictly no need for upgrade coupons on CO, no need to
keep track of coupons,
no need to worry about distance flown.

Real situation:

I'd have to use 2 coupons for IAH-FLL [ 1300 miles ].
If I fly 4 round trips, I get 8 coupons [ 4 x 2 x 1300 = 10 400 miles
flown ].
But I need 16 coupons for the next batch of 4 round trips to be upgraded.
I will therefore be able to be upgraded AT MOST 50% of the time.

The problem lies in the 800-mile segment requirement. It eats away at your
upgrade potential slowly
but surely.

Right?

Regards

PS: I like the leg room in coach on US Air. Beats CO leg room. Maybe just a
'perception'.




> > I posted it so that others, not as smart as you sound, take a hard look
at
> > which carrier
> > to give their business.

> I've been happy with US.  made Gold last year, will only do Silver this
> year.  Got lots of upgrades and it's easy to earn on US - 8 or 9 per
> 10,000 miles flown, good for 800 miles of travel each (and only need
> maximum of 3 one way)

 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Karl Orf » Thu, 30 Aug 2001 01:09:06




Quote:> Hello Karl,
> Contrast that with strictly no need for upgrade coupons on CO, no need to
> keep track of coupons,
> no need to worry about distance flown.

> Real situation:

> I'd have to use 2 coupons for IAH-FLL [ 1300 miles ].
> If I fly 4 round trips, I get 8 coupons [ 4 x 2 x 1300 = 10 400 miles
> flown ].
> But I need 16 coupons for the next batch of 4 round trips to be upgraded.
> I will therefore be able to be upgraded AT MOST 50% of the time.

True.  You don't need any upgrades as a Chairman's Preferred (top tier).  
I don't know about CO for low and mid tier elites.

bear in mind that US upgrade coupons ca be exchanged for 500 miles each

 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Jo » Thu, 30 Aug 2001 04:56:29




Quote:>Contrast that with strictly no need for upgrade coupons on CO, no need
>to keep track of coupons, no need to worry about distance flown.

        How does that work at the various elite levels? You just show up or
call up and say "I'm Gold, do you have a FC seat for me?" How much better is
it to be Platinum than Gold (he says, speaking as someone who'd probably be
Gold)? How often are you stuck without a seat at a lower tier of elite
status?

Quote:>Real situation:
>I'd have to use 2 coupons for IAH-FLL [ 1300 miles ].
>If I fly 4 round trips, I get 8 coupons [ 4 x 2 x 1300 = 10 400 miles
>flown ].
>But I need 16 coupons for the next batch of 4 round trips to be
>upgraded. I will therefore be able to be upgraded AT MOST 50% of the
>time.
>The problem lies in the 800-mile segment requirement. It eats away at
>your upgrade potential slowly but surely.
>Right?

        Not really. All that's eaten away are totally free upgrades. Cheap
upgrades are still available. You can buy the coupons for money or miles, so
that's not that big a deal, is it? I know that I've got a lot of miles I
never plan on using simply because I need revenue miles, not reward miles,
for status. If I actually needed coupons, I could just use some of those
miles for it. For my own coupon situation, though, since all my flights are
cross-continental, I actually am pretty close to steady-state as far as the
coupons go. The occassional flight where I can't get a seat makes me usually
ahead of the game.

-- Joe

 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Hamza Benama » Thu, 30 Aug 2001 07:17:29


Hello Joe,

Quote:>     How does that work at the various elite levels? You just show up or
> call up and say "I'm Gold, do you have a FC seat for me?" How much better
is
> it to be Platinum than Gold (he says, speaking as someone who'd probably
be
> Gold)? How often are you stuck without a seat at a lower tier of elite
> status?

I was Silver, Gold, and now Platinum on Continental.
As a Platinum, it has been a 99% courtesy upgrade usually 4-5 days before
flight time.
As Gold, it was about the same hit ratio. I don't remember how early the
upgrade was done.
As Silver, I'd say it was around 80%. Upgraded within 24 hours.
Upgrades are all done automatically, by computer.
I always get a confirmation email telling me I was upgraded on flight x and
assigned seat YZ.
Therefore, u know days in advance  that you are flying first.

Quote:>     Not really. All that's eaten away are totally free upgrades. Cheap
> upgrades are still available. You can buy the coupons for money or miles,
so
> that's not that big a deal, is it? I know that I've got a lot of miles I
> never plan on using simply because I need revenue miles, not reward miles,
> for status. If I actually needed coupons, I could just use some of those
> miles for it. For my own coupon situation, though, since all my flights
are
> cross-continental, I actually am pretty close to steady-state as far as
the
> coupons go. The occassional flight where I can't get a seat makes me
usually
> ahead of the game.

I don't like touching miles that I can use for transatlantic upgrades.
I was able to get an upgrade on IAH-CDG last month for 20 000 miles one way.
Best investment of miles in my opinion.
It does not make sense for me to spend 20 000 miles, flown or bonus, on
business travel
within the US when free automated upgrades can be had without a sweat.
What is truly bothersome is to have little privilege as a GOLD on US Air.
Gold is not given
to everyone. It takes lots of miles to achieve such status. How does it make
my life easier now?
I can board early and do not have to check in my luggage because rude
passengers are carrying
4 pieces each.
 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Jo » Thu, 30 Aug 2001 08:46:25




Quote:>Hello Joe,
>>     How does that work at the various elite levels? You just show up
>I was Silver, Gold, and now Platinum on Continental.
>As a Platinum, it has been a 99% courtesy upgrade usually 4-5 days
>before flight time. As Gold, it was about the same hit ratio. I don't
>remember how early the upgrade was done. As Silver, I'd say it was around
>80%. Upgraded within 24 hours. Upgrades are all done automatically, by
>computer. I always get a confirmation email telling me I was upgraded on
>flight x and assigned seat YZ. Therefore, u know days in advance  that you
>are flying first.

        Okay, I see. Thanks. On US you usually know in advance with the coupon
system, too (with the wonderful midnight call once your tier level can
upgrade), but I can see how letting them do the work instead of you doing it  
would be a nice little perk.

Quote:>>     Not really. All that's eaten away are totally free upgrades. Cheap
>> upgrades are still available. You can buy the coupons for money or
>> miles, so that's not that big a deal, is it? I know that I've got a lot
>I don't like touching miles that I can use for transatlantic upgrades.

        Ah. I'm not that experienced with transatlantic flights. I've only
used my Systemwides from last year to travel. I need to figure that out,
too, as I really liked London, but all I have are these North American
coupons, and I don't think I'd like coach as much as Envoy... :)

Quote:>What is truly bothersome is to have little privilege as a GOLD on US
>Air. Gold is not given to everyone. It takes lots of miles to achieve such
>status. How does it make my life easier now? I can board early and do not
>have to check in my luggage because rude passengers are carrying 4 pieces
>each.

        Thanks for the info. As I mentioned in another thread, I'm trying to
decide whether or not to change airlines, and all info is useful!

-- Joe

 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Michael Voigh » Thu, 30 Aug 2001 15:42:20



> There can't be many domestic destinations that would be further than
> 2400 miles surely anyway

> Dave

Are they good for Hawaii and Alaska??
 
 
 

USAIR: Why am I not surprised

Post by Miguel Cru » Thu, 30 Aug 2001 17:06:44



> Where are they running the A319s now?

For what it's worth, I was on a USAir A319 today from C***te to DCA.

Incidentally, I hadn't been on USAir for a long time prior to this weekend
trip. Struck me as the ultimate Generic Airline experience. Not a single
notable thing about it at all. I suppose that's good in a certain way. But
surely unmemorable. Even their decor is all gray.

miguel
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