As an AA Executive Platinum, even though merger is not yet complete, thought it was time I tried flying US Airways. I booked 3 trips, one on September 9th*, combination of AA & US, another all US on Oct 24th & last, one on 10/28.
My problems on Sept. 9th flights, were a mix of system issues & employee attitude:
1. Seat Selection: Was not able to select premium seating at booking, without incurring extra charges; had to call US direct to select seats for me. Disaster, no, but not convenient either, as AA could not assist, had to call US.
2. On-line Check-in: Outbound flight was on AA & check-in was fine but I was never able to check-in online for US return flights, nor view any seat maps or the online upgrade/standby lists & this was directly on the US website. Had to use US airport desk for check-in & get boarding passes.
3. Complimentary domestic upgrade: didn’t happen but that alone is not the issue. When I called US at 24 hr window, was told “Nothing available, first is sold out but you can ask GA’s at airport.”. Weird, because at 24hrs, 50 mins, there were 8 open first seats on both flights. Had to assume this was true as I had no access to US seat maps 10 minutes later at 24 hr window.
At both EWR and CLT, I was told by both GA’s that “we don’t offer free upgrades to AA elites”. When I countered that reciprocal upgrades were now in effect, both agents responded in a very rude manner “No don’t think so” and “nobody told me” followed by “but even if they were, first is sold out”. I said fine, could you add me to the upgrade list just in case, but again I got a bit of attitude from both agents: “NO point, sold out.” Later, as I was waiting in the boarding line, one GA came over to talk with some other passengers (maybe friends or ones he knew). Conversation topic: passengers who think they are so special and demand things they aren’t entitled to. As I was less than 5 ft away, I was definitely within sight & hearing distance, very embarrassing. Then later, after boarding, we had 3 first class no-shows…I watched as GA came through and selected 3 pax’s for upgrades. Maybe they were all Chairman’s Preferred, but I would have liked to know I was at least considered and not treated as if I was arrogantly demanding something undeserved.
4. My ExP status was not reflected on my US reservation nor on my ticket; just listed as a OW Emerald.
Because I do fly an awful lot, I make every effort to treat all airline employees politely, with kindness and respect, in the hope to be treated in kind.
I absolutely abhor DYKWIA (Do you know who I am) behavior and do not think asking a legitimate question warrants a snotty attitude and rude response.
The above issues are somewhat minor in the big picture, but they do impact the full customer experience. The important things were all done right: Flights were smooth, safe and on-time; Captains friendly and informative; crew, kind and attentive.
Take-away lesson: don’t book mixed AA/US airline ticket until system glitches are fixed &/or merger is complete, as neither airline can access the others system, leaving the customer to fend for themselves when problems arise.
Hoping that my next US flying experience is a bit better & that US flyers are not experiencing same problems when they fly AA. Already went through an awful airline merger (UA & CO) & really hoping this one would be much easier/smoother, with end result a much better airline: other than issues stated above, so far its been pretty good, thus I remain,
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