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"El Gringo Jalapeño"


Jul 30, 2004, 10:00 PM

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America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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¡Hola, amigos! I just flew up to Spokane, WA to celebrate my mother´s 80th birthday on America West Airlines. What started out as joyful anticipation of a family reunion turned into a long nightmarish saga. We boarded the America West flight 518 on Wednesday afternoon expecting to arrive on the continued flight 518 in Spokane at 9:15 PM that same night. Since the plane left Mexico City over 2 hours late(supposedly due to mechanical problems!) and a substitute plane was used to continue flight 518, we were stranded in Phoenix, AZ for 3 days!!!!!!!! Once we had lost our reservations, we became "non-entities" having to continuously stand in line for hours at passenger assistance nearly begging for vouchers for hotel accomadations/$5-$10 meal vouchers($3 plus tax for a bag of potato chips at the airport) or at gates hoping to board a flight on stand-by. Sometimes I felt the term used by AW employees "revenue expedite" really meant what the steerage passengers confronted as they were locked below deck as the Titanic sank! They also use "America West distress" for the passengers given accomadations at the hotels.
Some passengers were given $400, hotels and large meal vouchers to be "bumped" and then flew out directly on the next flight, while I and my family had to stand in line for hours hoping to get on as stand-by after paying $750 for our tickets, which should have been the most direct flight. My wife and I finally arrived in Spokane, WA Saturday morning at 2:30 AM after being flown through Las Vegas(which originally would have cost us $150 cheaper!), 3 days later!!! My brother had to make 4 trips to the airport to pick up all the different arrivals.
Please let me know what your experiences have been with this airline which overcharges and overbooks, as well as any positive experiences, too.
My son flew via Mexicana to Denver then United to Spokane two weeks earlier than us for half the price and absolutely no problems.
¡Mil gracias!
Roy B. Dudley "El Gringo Jalapeño" See more about Xalapa at www.xalaparoy.com



johanson


Jul 30, 2004, 10:52 PM

Post #2 of 13 (10951 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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God, that's terrible (Mom was from Spokane too) I have only had good luck with America West Airlines commuting to NW WA. I would fly to and from Guadalajara from/to either Seattle or Vancouver, BC. Yes it was true that the service was not as good in Business class as the competition, but the price was much better.

I stopped flying with them not because of the service, but because they changed schedules and I did not like having to be at the airport at 3:45 AM to catch the 5:45 AM flight to Pheonix to catch their only flight to Guad at about 8:45 in the morning.

Boy I sure would raise heck about the way you were treated. That is about as bad a case as I have ever heard.


Uncle Jack


Jul 31, 2004, 5:20 AM

Post #3 of 13 (10941 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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Everyone should fly America West Airlines once in their lives......ONCE.

AWA is the best advertising for Aeromexico and Mexicana that could ever be conceived.

uj


bournemouth

Jul 31, 2004, 8:01 AM

Post #4 of 13 (10921 views)

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Re: [Uncle Jack] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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We've called this company "America Worst" for years and will not, absolutely not, use them. Living in Arizona, that's sometimes hard to do. How they pulled back from bankruptcy I don't know - there must be new suckers coming along all the time!


Uncle Jack


Jul 31, 2004, 8:27 AM

Post #5 of 13 (10907 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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That's where our experiences with AirWorst occured....Phoenix to Guad, etc. I think that I'd rather pass another kidney stone than ever board an AWA aircraft again.

uj


(This post was edited by Uncle Jack on Jul 31, 2004, 9:04 AM)


Georgia


Jul 31, 2004, 8:36 AM

Post #6 of 13 (10903 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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1. You should write to their customer service director detailing the particulars of this trip immediately and asking them what they are going to do about it. They will do something to win you back. Check their website.

2. We have had close to similar experiences with Delta.

Some other considerations:

If you don't get the answers you like, ask for the superior of the person you're speaking with. Keep going up the chain of command. If you browse around their website you can probably access the president of the company: do it.

When you get an answer you don't like, tell them that is not acceptable. Be familiar before you travel with the different airlines and their schedules on the route you are taking. Print out those schedules from their website. That has been invaluable to me under similar circumstances. ("I'm sorry, ma'am, our next flight to x doesn't leave until tomorrow." Me: "No, that's not true: I know you have a flight leaving in x minutes [or routed through another city] and under your rules, I should have preference on that flight." Or: "Well, Continental has a flight leaving in an hour. Put me on that flight." Response: "Let me get my manager.") You can also ask where your luggage is: if it's traveling unaccompanied by you: raise hell.

Finally, famliarlize yourself with the rules before you go. Check out the FAA website, etc. Read the terms of your ticket. Complain to the highest authorities involved in the FAA and DOT as well as the airlines. Hold them accountable.

I've gotten a lot of money refunded and free flights when airlines don't follow the rules.

And a reminder: if you are flying from the US to Mexico and you hold an FM3 or higher visa, and they charge you a Mexican tourism tax (FMT visa) demand that it be refunded. It's tax due the Mexican government and if you have a different kind of visa the airlines pockets the tax. It's either yours or Mexico's, not the airlines'.


donwilliston


Aug 1, 2004, 8:12 AM

Post #7 of 13 (10823 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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I've actually had pretty good luck with AWA. But I fly to Atlanta. Once I did have a dialog with their "Customer Service" - they suck!

Other than that the flights have been on time, or even early. The crews have been polite and responsive. And you usually get two free drink tickets for contacting the "Customer Service" dept. (But that's all you get).

don

---
"It's good enough to be true" Gracie Maurahan 1970
---


"El Gringo Jalapeño"


Aug 1, 2004, 11:37 AM

Post #8 of 13 (10786 views)

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Re: [Georgia] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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Georgia:
Thankyou very much for your advice. We have been trying to get some response from AWA but they are very good at stone walling. They first offered $150 in flight vouchers per passenger, not applicable with e-tickets and valid for only 1 year, then they grudgingly said maybe $300 but with even more restrictions. They were giving out $400 and $500 bumping vouchers left and right at the airport, and allowing other standby passengers to board before us, and several times allowed passengers to board who arrived less than 10 minutes before the flight left!
When we were in Spokane, AWA gave me a "courtesy call" on July 10th(my flight back was on the 14th) offering me $100 per passengers if we would fly to Mexico on the 20th, 6 days later!
When we got to Phoenix on the way back to Mexico City on the 5:30 AM flight, the boarding ramp was not working so we had to climb down the steep stairs from the plane carrying our grandchildren plus carryon with no help from the crew and then climb up a steep stairs to the boarding ramp, of course in nearly 100 degree Arizona heat. I had taken a lot of carryon luggage down then up the stairs, left the stuff on the ramp, and then headed back to help my wife, daughter and 83 year old mother-in-law when I was bruskly stopped by one of AWA ground crew who shouted "Where the f**k are you going!". I motioned at my wife and daughter who were struggling with the grandkids and bags, and he let me help them. I CAN PROMISE YOU I WILL NEVER FLY AMERICA WEST again unless there is absolutely no other alternative. BTW, the boarding ramp for our plane was the only one at that part of the Phoenix airport which was not working! We nearly missed our connecting flight to Mexico City due to this incident, especially if we had not ran as fast as possible.
Roy B. Dudley "El Gringo Jalapeño" See more about Xalapa at www.xalaparoy.com

(This post was edited by "El Gringo Jalapeño" on Aug 1, 2004, 11:43 AM)


Uncle Jack


Aug 2, 2004, 1:14 PM

Post #9 of 13 (10707 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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I just Googled "Complaint" and "America West Airlines" and got over 1700 hits. Methinks we not be alone in our experiences.

http://www.google.com/...rch=&safe=images

uj


"El Gringo Jalapeño"


Aug 2, 2004, 4:03 PM

Post #10 of 13 (10678 views)

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Re: [Uncle Jack] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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Uncle Jack:
¡Dios te bendiga! My God, it looks like Lucifer has contracted America West Airlines to conduct the "Flights from Hell!"
Well, I can tell you that we are going to keep on complaining like a squeaky wheel!
As the saying is here in México..."¡Quien no chilla, no mama!". Wish me luck and I will keep you posted.
¡Gracias!
Roy B. Dudley "El Gringo Jalapeño" See more about Xalapa at www.xalaparoy.com


moonfam5

Aug 3, 2004, 8:48 PM

Post #11 of 13 (10588 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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I don't know about AWA, but I can tell you I'll never fly Aero California again. After purchasing tickets two months in advance, our ticket agent gave us boarding passes for the wrong flight! instead of flying direct from Tijuana to Guadalajara, we had a stop in Los Mochis. I am not opposed to a stop over, itf I had puchased a ticket with a stop, but AC promptly listed us as no shows on the direct flight and cancelled our return flight. We had to call our agent in TJ to confirm our flight back, but there was no customer service what so ever. In fact, they moved my wife and daughter and me twice from our seats ( there we all 5 of us flying, my 2 sons sat by themselves). Never fly Aero Califormia! I did have to return to California once during our trip in order to check on our businesses, and flew both ways on Azteca. Very good service, an actual dinner, and newer planes.
WinkThe more I learn, I less I know.


mepsi

Aug 5, 2004, 6:54 PM

Post #12 of 13 (10521 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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Hi Roy,

I really feel for you with your rotten experience with AW. While living in Albuquerque for the last 18 years I have had the "opportunity" to use them many times and have, fortunately, had consistently good experiences with them.They were, in fact, my carrier of choice most of the time since I'm tall and Southwest has their "cattlecall" boarding arrangement. My ontime record with them has been excellent and have always found them to be courteous and as helpful as can be expected of any of the airlines. Also, their rates for ABQ-MXC have been consistently below their competitors for the route.

My personal "see red" carriers have been Delta and American Which I try to avoid in every case.

Bottom line is, to me, they can all be totally rotten and it's just the luck of the draw if you happen to have a really good flight or the flight from hell.

Monte


ERISAjunkie

Aug 7, 2004, 5:57 PM

Post #13 of 13 (10425 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] America West Airlines...¡¡¡Muy, muy malo!!!

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My sister-in-law from my second marriage was a flight attendant for AW. I have never used the airline, living in NYC, but did she have stories to tell! They are probably the most cost effective airlines of all the majors. They pay their employees spit. You can then imagine the morale and standard of customer service. What happened to you was unbelievable. If it happened to me I would still be screaming. Three days!!! They owe you a big apology and free flights without restrictions. Funny how the worse they treat you the less they try to make up for it. My own horror story, which pales in comparison to your tale, was a twenty hour delay in Memphis because the machinists were having a slowdown on Northwest Airlines. They gave us a $10 voucher for dinner. I thanked my lucky stars when there was only an eight hour delay on returning.

Thank you for the advice. I will stay away from AW.
 
 
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