Thursday, August 30, 2007

Note self, avoid flying via the US.

I learned a valuable lessons this month about travel; if at all possible, avoid traveling via the USA.

With the increased security and down right terrible airlines going through the US only causes delays and anxiety. My flight to Stockholm was suppose to be with US Airways but because of a delay in Toronto I was forced to get my baggage, switch terminals and get on a Lufthansa's flight via Frankfurt instead. This turned out to be a blessing considering the mess on the way back.

Through no fault of their own the flight to Philadelphia was late arriving 1.5 hours. This left me 1.5 hours to get my bags, check them in again, go through security and catch my connection to Toronto. I thought it was tight so I asked the stewardesses (normally airlines have offered to help when you're late, no so with US Airways), if they could help ensure I made it through quickly or made sure I was confirmed on the next connection if I miss mine. Their answer was no, I'd have to wait in line like everyone else. They were rude the entire flight and didn't think it necessary to help the few of us who knew we'd miss our connections. When I landed and then proceeded to wait 40 minutes for my bags I knew I wouldn't make it. So after proceeding all the way through security I made it to the desk where the gentleman told me that I just missed my flight and the last confirmed spot on the next flight, all that was left was stand-by. Had the "nice" flight attendants bothered to call ahead and help me I wouldn't have to sit in Philly for the next 6 hours.

Turns out that Philly has one of the worst cancel/delay rates in the US, 39.6% of a planes leaving there are delayed! Amazing, but after sitting there for hours I believe it. US Airways overbooks most of it's flights, then scrambles to find passengers willing to go on the next flight in exchange for a coupon. The staff is incompetent at best, not knowing how stand-by works, how many seats are on the plane or have any idea where your bags may be.

Thankfully I made it home eventually and learned to avoid the US at all costs when flying overseas.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a real trip (pardon the pun). Did you see the Reuter's Oddly Enough this morning ?

"Philadelphia is home to the least attractive people in the United States, a survey of visitors and residents showed on Friday.

The city of more than 1.5 million people was also found to be among the least stylish, least active, least friendly and least worldly, according to the "America's Favorite Cities" survey by Travel & Leisure magazine and CNN Headline News."

Personally, the only airlines that I truely enjoy flying with are all in Europe. Security measures are logical, but Sierra for service is all too typical in the States today.

I'd prefer real first class service and pay the difference. What concerns me more is where else are they making cuts besides the old dogs they manage to find to offend you during those longer flights ? Dare I say it...Maintenance :eek:

When you make it back this way again, we'll have to have a beer and chat about Eestimaa !


6:51 AM  

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