USAir travelers be aware of this...
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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.
I could get to Newark more easily than PHL. something to think about. thanks!
Calling the local (Indy) airport counter worked for us as well earlier this year after several rounds and hours of unproductive phone calls to customer relations and reservations.
Believe it or not USairways customer service and FF program is being run out of El Salvador!!
It is typical for businesses to move their call center operations offshore - labor is cheaper and technology allows the company to easily implement a "follow the sun" plan, where calls always route to someplace where agents can work during daylight hours. Most companies are driving their customer contact to the web, so they'll purposely degrade their live customer service contact. USAir seems to be doing a good job at degrading their live contacts, but they've failed to develop web interfaces that can handle some of the basic customer need - reissue tickets and voucher redemption, amongst others.
And, on top of it all, they ask you to write in (on the website) with your issues and someone will reply in a certain timeframe (I forget what that timefreame is). I did that more than a week ago and still haven't heard back. So, I guess that is "broken" too.
All in all, I just hope they're using all of this saved money to keep the planes in top shape and they're paying the pilots well and keeping them well rested. That's the real concern!!
BTW, this week, AMERICAN AIRLINES is cheaper than USAIR from PHL to STT for the dates I am traveling- $304 r/t on AA vs. $324 on USAir. The downside is that AA connects thru San Juan, which is risky for tose who check baggage. SJU is like the Bermuda Triangle for luggage.
How true & sad that all of our airlines are routing their business overseas. I really hate it to talk to someone about getting a refund or checking on things. I am going to Orlando in September & they have changed the times two times, this last time I called to make sure my seats were the same & they were. I asked the person will US AIR change again (stupid me 🙂 ) She said she didn't know the reason why they changed this time was tech problems with the plane 2 months before I leave give me a break. As far as AA losing your luggage in SJ I never had a problem with that but of I will now lol. Just wish there was another way to get to STT without flying or swimming or taking a boat lol.
Just wanted to close this out with a little humor. After my initial rant and subsequent days of more USAir nightmares with their phone agents, I had received the email confirmation of my tickets - and the dates were, again, wrong. I had to call several agents to correct. At first, they accused me of doing something wrong. Later, they realized that they did, in fact, have two different confirmation codes for the same reservation - but dates were different on each. They fixed that and sent me an email to confirm the correction. That was the last problem I had and all was well.
Prior to all of the conversations and the corrections, I had sent them an email on July 10 because I was tired of talking to them on the phone.
Just today, I received a response:
"Thank you for contacting Customer Relations at US Airways and US Airways,
recently combined as the new US Airways. We appreciate and welcome all
inquiries, concerns, and compliments.
I have forwarded your inquiry to our Dividend Miles Department for review
and handling. For future reference, or if you prefer to speak to a Dividend
Miles representative, you may call our Dividend Miles Service Center at
1-800-428-4322, Option 3. They are available 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M., EST,
Mon-Fri. You may also wish to take advantage of our online e-mail Dividend
Miles located on our website at www.usairways.com. From the home page,
select Contact US, and from the department list, select Dividend Miles
Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact our office and giving
us the opportunity to assist you.
11 days to respond to an email through their webiste - and the response is telling me that they'll forward the request. More waiting........gotta love it. Everything is already straight, so I guess they'll now go and muck something up. Lesson learned, don't bother sending them any emails through their website.