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(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
Topic starter
 

I have always told you all about the program with USAir where you can get a refund for the difference in airfare if the fare you've bought drops after your purchase and before your date of travel. The refund comes in the form of a credit voucher, which you can apply to another ticket within a year. Remember?

Ok, so I have a couple of refund coupons from my previous trip where the fare went down and I got a $272 credit per ticket (yeah!! big savings! worth checking fares each day)

So, I called USAir the other day to book for next month and use my vouchers. You know they have now moved their customer service offshore and to another country and many of the new reps seem to be having a hard time ramping up, etc.

So, I explained that I had these vouchers and told them what flights I wanted. The guy told me that I couldn't fly on those days with the vouchers because the voucher codes are like FF miles, which are restricted. Huh? We went back and forth and he agreed to check with a supervisor. He came back and assured me that he was right. I figured things had changed, so I booked around his required dates of travel.

I then called back and asked another rep, and she said the same thing.

I tried a third time (for grins) - same thing.

I really wasn't happy to have to stay 9 days when I only wanted 6. This is an impromptu trip, not my real vacation, so I didn't want to burn so much time away and so much money.

I called USAir's corporate customer service line (where the service specialists are) and asked them. They told me that the phone agents were wrong. They changed my dates to what I wanted and applied my vouchers - no problem. She also advised that the agent had booked me on a return other than what I had asked for. He had me getting into PHL after 11pm. With an 8 yr old who has to go to school the next day, this is not an option. Sheesh. Better check your reservations, folks.

Just wanted to share this in case any of you try to do things you used to do with the phone agents and they tell you that you can't -go to the customer service group - not reservations. I held for about 30 minutes for them to answer, but it was worth it. They are very courteous and quick. The phone number for customer service is on their website.

Let's hope the downgrade in reservation agents isn't a reflection of what is going on with pilots or mechanics 🙁 I know they want to drive business to their website and away from the human agents...and if they would let me input vouchers on the site, I would be glad to stay away from the agents. Most of them are very nice, but this is too expensive of a purchase for me to have to second guess everything they tell me.

 
Posted : January 19, 2006 10:43 am
 Eve
(@eve)
Posts: 75
Trusted Member
 

And they say customer service can be bad on the islands without a little of custom greetings! Sounds a little like aol right now. When do you thing US business is gonna get a BIG clue? India can be fine; hubby had a great slower talking guy that really helped with the dell but that was ONCE in a lifetime. We have been using AA for all bookings inc FF and normal combined; calls; military discounts, this airport that one, blah blah and have never been peed off yet. The customer serv reps at the AAdvantage Citi cards have been wonderful with my probs and I have earned high credit limits to purchase all my major stuff to get vacations (and with major renovations that was two and a half weeks to STX! So far so good but as in the way of big business say la vie (however you spell it) and good luck in saving YOUR buck!

 
Posted : July 10, 2006 11:04 pm
(@ecpirate)
Posts: 60
Trusted Member
 

I fly US Air often as Charlotte is one of my main hubs. I hope they get their act together but I travel enough that almost every major airline has disapointed me and given me poor service. I will say that I am a Gold member with U.S. Air so anytime I actually speak to a human when not reserving on line I call the Gold preferred hotline. That call center is in Winston Salem and I almost always get superior service. I have been routed down to El Salvador a few times and that call center is a nightmare, as soon as I hear the voice at the other end I ask if they are in El Salvador, Mexico or the Phillipines, if they answer yes I simply hang up and try and reconnect to Winston Salem or worse case Reno or Phoenix call center.
U.S. Airways new CEO Doug Parker seems to understand the call centers are a major source of complaint. He sent out a questionare last year and even personally responded to an email complaint that I had. I hope he is successful in making the needed changes because I am locked in to traveling with U.S. Air in the forseeable future because of my destinations.
Here is a blurb in the business section of USA Today about those call centers....

Outsourcing no longer appears “in” at US Airways, which is bringing back hundreds of jobs that had previously been sent to foreign call centers. Most are reservations jobs that had been outsourced to El Salvador, Mexico and the Philippines. About 600 of those positions will be relocated to US Airways call centers in Phoenix, Reno and Winston-Salem, N.C. “Our reservations team does a much better job than those the work has been outsourced to," US Airways CEO Doug Parker says in an interview with TheStreet.com. "Despite our efforts to improve the outsourcing, it will never be as good as having our own employees do it." Most of the jobs that were outsourced were done so by the “old” US Airways, which was fighting to survive before its 2005 merger with America West.

Parker, who took over the combined airline in September, says he considered making the change after regularly hearing complaints from customers and employees about the quality of the outsourced service. In addition to reservations agents, TheStreet.com says US Airways is “reducing its reliance on outsourcing” for its heavy maintenance and informational technology work. Still, Parker says he’s not opposed to outsourcing. "America West has always outsourced some maintenance, just because we didn't have the infrastructure to do a lot of it inside," he said. "US Airways now does some of each. What we're finding is that work that's being done by our own people, no surprise to us, is being done better than by a third-party vendor."

 
Posted : July 11, 2006 7:57 am
(@mspohlman)
Posts: 170
Estimable Member
 

Yesterday I spent a great deal of time on the USAir website and speaking to agents. I have previously booked flights online. Yesterday the website would not accept my reservation. This happened the other day also. It has a hard time with FF miles. I got my reservations all set the other day. Yesterday I tried to make reservations for my husband to meet me on STJ. i could get him a flight down with no trouble. I wanted him on the same return flight with me. The agent said no can do. He then said I had options: Pay for the flight come back one day early or three days late, use 60,000 miles rather than 30,000, change my flight to the 23rd for $100. I told him that none of these options were acceptable and asked to speak to a supervisor. Explained the situation to him and after being put on hold twice he came back to say that he had opened up a seat for my husband. He then proceeded to change my seat so that we could sit together. Guess going over the agent's head worked and the supervisor could not have been nicer. He gave me his name and I wrote to USAir to tell them that I appreciated his service. I lucked out this time. Sorry that some have had so much trouble.

 
Posted : July 11, 2006 10:35 am
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
Topic starter
 

Marie,

So glad your experience seemed to be so different than mine. I tried calling today to confirm that yesterday's problems had been resolved and that my flights were as I desired. On the first try, I moved through the prompts and then heard that loud horn noise that I always hear when they're transfer connecting me to the right party...but them, after holding in dead air, I heard "if you need to make a call, please hand up and try again" - I had been disconnected.

I called back, reached an agent who was really helpful (I was as friendly as possible because I was expecting things to be wrong and I felt badly since I knew it wasn't his fault) - but he confirmed that everything is "A-OK"....my daughter and I are booked correctly.....

HUGE sigh of relief!!!

Guess what, the fares went down today - PHL to STT dropped by almost $80 r/t. Of course, I asked for my voucher - which they're sending me. Today's fare is $368pp. Yesterday's was $416 pp. They have something going on called "Weekend Special", which I assume is for people who fly on the weekends.

 
Posted : July 11, 2006 11:50 am
 J.R.
(@J.R.)
Posts: 1
 

I fly every year from STT to N.Y. Fly USAIR. I call the STT airport. Tell them i found a price on the internet. And they have always matched it. They hold the price for 3 days. i go to the airport and pay cash for my ticket. Never had a problem. Try the local number not the 800 number. Seems to work for me.

 
Posted : July 11, 2006 5:48 pm
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
Topic starter
 

JR, that doesn't sound like something people off of STT can do. There are not local numbers - and no price match guarantees...it doesn't seem like it would make sense for USAir to match prices of other airlines with various routes, plane sizes, etc.

From PHL, USair is usually cheapest to where I fly....so a price match would usually mean a higher fare for me.

What number do you call locally? I can pass that along to my contacts on STT.

 
Posted : July 11, 2006 6:14 pm
(@dntw8up)
Posts: 580
Honorable Member
 

Hi Bluwater.

I don't think J.R.'s suggestion is unique to STT as I've purchased tickets at mainland airports in the recent past.

 
Posted : July 11, 2006 6:58 pm
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
Topic starter
 

Please tell us how it works dntw8up........I, for one, am very curious.

 
Posted : July 11, 2006 7:06 pm
 J.R.
(@J.R.)
Posts: 1
 

Bluewater

They don't match other airline prices. Just USAIR price on say yahoo travel, orbitz, or what ever i happen to find. They are not always the cheapest, But the shortest. And most direct for me

 
Posted : July 11, 2006 9:56 pm
(@dntw8up)
Posts: 580
Honorable Member
 

Bluwater,

In my experience, the prices online and the prices at the ticket counter are the same. Online airlines promise you won't find a cheaper fare and since few folks are willing to park at the airport and stand in line with those who are checking bags, airlines seem to have made fares at the ticket counter match their online fares. Or maybe it's just that the airlines are trying to save money by cutting staff at phone centers and commissions to travel agents so they put a surcharge on reservations made those ways and the other ways are priced without the surcharge. I'm not an airline expert and doubt even they understand what they're doing. I no longer fly USAir so your mileage may vary.

 
Posted : July 11, 2006 10:01 pm
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
Topic starter
 

Thank you both for clarifying.

I see - a ticket agent at the airport may match the internet fare.....got it. Although that won't work for me (PHL parking would probably run me $15 for the time it took to stand in line and buy a ticket + gas to the airport 30 mins away = not such a great deal), it may work for others who don't have to pay to park and live closer to their airport.

Thouhg, USAirs net fares have been matching the reservation agent fares lately. Not sure if that is consistent with other carriers....and I don't know why, but Travelocity, Expedia, etc are almost always higher than the airline direct fare when I check for my routes. Thus, I've given up on that strategy.

I'm guessing that coming to the states from the USVI may work a little differently. Those tickets (out of STT) always seem a little higher than going in the other direction.

 
Posted : July 11, 2006 10:48 pm
(@Kathleen)
Posts: 1
 

Bluwater,
I am traveling from PHL to STT later this month with my family. After reading about the vouchers, I called US Airways to request the $68 per ticket reimbursement. After quite a while the girl got back to me and said according to her supervisor, they are only issued for transatlantic flights. How did you get them to do it for you? What number did you call? I called 800-943-5436 with no luck. Thanks for your help.

 
Posted : July 16, 2006 9:11 pm
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
Topic starter
 

Kathleen, Not sure what the stipulation is, but this flight is transatlantic, technically. Though, I had never been told of any restriction. I've just called and asked. On a few occasions, the agents didn't know what I was talking about, so I had to call back and get someone else. I've already gotten two sets of vouchers for this upcoming tip, since the fare has dropped twice. On both occasions ,the agents knew what I was talking about without further discussion. If I were you, I would keep trying. Try calling and asking for the reissue desk - and asking them to help you.

 
Posted : July 16, 2006 11:02 pm
(@Kathleen)
Posts: 1
 

Bluwater,
I called back and got another person who at first told me they couldn't issue a voucher because I had found the fare online and they couldn't compare it to the phone fare. However, I persisted and she is now sending me the vouchers - whew! You are right about calling back to get someone else. Seems like each one has a different story. They are issuing a voucher for $68 for each passenger (5 people). Better than nothing!

 
Posted : July 17, 2006 1:11 pm
(@lolly)
Posts: 165
Reputable Member
 

This "rule of thumb" has always worked very well for me........and that is never take NO from someone who doesn't have the authority to say no.....polite persistence has always worked for me, just ask my husband!

 
Posted : July 17, 2006 3:07 pm
(@mbw1024)
Posts: 21
Eminent Member
 

Hi. Can you tell me how you redeem the vouchers? I have read it previously but now can't seem to recall.
Thanks, appreciate the help!

Mary Beth

 
Posted : July 18, 2006 7:59 am
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
Topic starter
 

Mary Beth,

You must redeem them for travel on USAir. When you call to book a ticket (I don't think you can do it online, so you must call) you tell them that you have a travel voucher. There will be a number on the voucher that you provide to the agent. The agent will apply the voucher to your ticket price, so you'll pay the fare minus the voucher value. Then, you'll bring the voucher with you to the airport and turn it in. They'll have to verify that the voucher is valid.

Kathleen, glad to read that you got your vouchers!

 
Posted : July 18, 2006 8:18 am
(@mbw1024)
Posts: 21
Eminent Member
 

Thanks! For some reason I thought you had to go to the airport to redeem vouchers. But now I get it.
Holding with USAir now 🙂 We'll see how it goes for me!

 
Posted : July 18, 2006 8:26 am
(@mbw1024)
Posts: 21
Eminent Member
 

ugh
so far Glenn, Boc, Bong and Katie can't help me. They claim they can't see the price i see on the website so therefore no voucher.

 
Posted : July 18, 2006 8:45 am
(@bluwater)
Posts: 2026
Noble Member
Topic starter
 

Can you get to the airport? Others have stated that the counter agents will match the web fare.

 
Posted : July 18, 2006 9:01 am
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