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My Partner and I recently flew with US Airways to Philidelphia and then on to San Francisco. We flew home 2 weeks later with this airline from Los Angeles. We were extremely happy with the service provided right from the outset.We travelled on an Afternoon flight from the UK. The flights were reasonably cheap and affordable, we basically got what we paid for. The flight itself was on time with no delays. The staff were very pleasant and friendly, no complaints there. Offered plenty of complementary drinks and food which considering it was plane food it tasted great.The pilot was communicating all through the flight and stood at the exit on arrival at each airport to wave us off. The flight was uneventful and smooth. It was a long haul flight so we were provided with a blanket and cushion which was very helpful. On our first flight we were sitting on the outer side of the plane in the window seats. There was plenty of room for our legs and plenty of room to get comfortable. On our way home we were in the central section, there was less room here and we felt a little more squashed but I believe this is most likely the same for most airways. The staff of US Airways at main and connecting airports were also very helpful,we knew where we were supposed to be at all times, They were quick but thorough when checking our bags and sorting out our luggage etc.
We arrived in good time for the 17:00 flight with roughly 1.5 hours between flights in Philadelphia. We found out at the gate that our flight was initially 45 minutes which quickly rose to 2 hours, again there was no one on the desk with the only staff around being agency staff on another US Airways gate who did not want to know about our problem and would not contact anyone from US Airways, despite the crowed of people with the same problem building up to over 50.
At 16:10 two staff arrived and spent the next 15 minutes on the phone without letting everyone know that they were there to sort out the problems. Eventually we, along with other people, were told that we would only have 40 minutes to get from one terminal in Philadelphia to another Terminal to catch a flight to Heathrow, this due to further flight delays became only 25 minutes, then catch a further flight to Manchester. As my wife has asthma and as some of the other people had disabilities I asked a one member of staff due to the lack of time, could the carts that are used at Philadelphia for disabled people be waiting for us to transport us to the other terminal. After having to force the issue she said that this would be done and was reconfirmed when I challenged her again about this as we handed our boarding pass to her on departure.
When we arrive at Philadelphia there were no carts and the staff did not know what we were talking about as no one had contacted them, they said if they had they would have had the carts waiting. We then had to run to the next terminal with us catching the next flight with only 5 minutes to spare. The staff on the next flight had to deal with my wife's asthma attack which was brought on by the amount of running she had to do.
When we eventually got back to Manchester and found out that our cases had gone missing. Our cases eventually arrived back on Sunday 13th November one of which had water damage and items missing.
Soon after this I started to contact "Customer Services" and experienced a number of instances of incorrect form filling where they kept mixing up our problems also being totally ignored by Customer Services.
Eventually towards the end of February 2012, after managing to contact a more helpful person, our baggage claim was sorted, however we have still not received an explanation or a genuine apology from Customer Services, instead they tried to fob us off with a voucher for a discounted flight, and we will NOT fly with them again
Don't bother to pay Business to travel with US Airways, you will get cheap service anyway!US Airways doesn't have a lounge at San Diego airportAll we got for dinner on a 5 hour flight was a cookie! An extra blanket? Of course not!But it get worst, US Airways do have a Business lounge at Charlotte Airport but the lounge doesn't service customers using first class. It doesn't matter how much you paid for your ticket, you still have to pay extra if you want to use their US Airways "club".So... if you pay Business class to travel with US Airways all you will get is a seat in the front and the same crap service they offer everywhere else.
We like US Airways. Yes they are a budget airline, yes their food could be considerably better, yes their onflight entertainment often breaks down but unlike some "budgets" we have never encountered any rudeness and they actually seem to have people manning their organisation rather than robots.
We were in Dan Diego when the ash cloud happened earlier this year and from beginning to end we had outstanding service. Tickets were instantly re-issued with neither problem or arguement & we were given a number to ring, or call in, to find out when planes were allowed back into the UK. We did the personal bit & so did the staff as after a few days we were being greeted by name as soon as we were seen. That counts in circumstances like we were in.
Due to fly with US in December and discovered I had made a mistake in the ticket. My TA was saying it would cost a lot of money to sort out so US was rung direct. "Of course, no problem" and it was sorted free of charge. We like Us Airways.
I recently flew from Manchester to Philadelphia and onwards to Syracuse with US Airways. I cannot recommend this airline as I was very disappointed with the overall poor service: food and entertainment.It took over 10 minutes for the cabin crew to acknowledge I was looking for a drink
LGW - CLT - WAS - CLT - LGW : US Airways seem to take a lot of unjust criticism - sure they may have had problems with lost baggage, delayed flights etc but so do many of the other airlines. Agreed, their not the most elegant or luxurious of carriers around but if you want silver service then I suggest dig deeper and pay more. What they are good at is getting you from A to B, they feed you, they water you and they entertain you and for a fraction of what other airlines charge - Happy with the service I got? - Absolutely - No complaints what so ever & as all the flights I took were full they must be doing something right.
I just flew to Vegas and back with US Airways and this is my second time flying with them.
I wasn't impressed before and I certainly wasn't impressed this time but my main negativity is toward their entertainment system.
Being a wheelchair user, the staff were friendly and helpful in assisting me to and from the plane, although the stewardesses seemed, somewhat, miserable and a little stuck up flying back home.
But being entertained on the plane, I believe, is quite a big factor, especially if you cannot sleep like I am unable to do.
On my previous trip, the main movie on the longhaul flight to Chicago was restarted halfway through for whatever reason and it had NO audio.
Flying back from the previous trip, the tv was actually broke!
On this journey to Vegas, all went well but flying back, I was watching the film 'The Hurt Locker', and I was getting right into it after watching about an hour of it when, suddenly, the film froze and cut out!
Their food is quite average, you get a choice of pasta or chicken. I chose the pasta and it looked like a load of mush and, forgive me for this, but it went right through me.
This turned me off from having any kind of meal on the way back so I declined one.
The flying experience itself was good, taking off and landing was excellent, and me and my friend made Charlotte airport in just over 6 hours on the way there and then Vegas in about 5 hrs.
The seating was comfortable for Economy and leg room was adequate.
Overall, I think this will be my last time flying with US Airways unless I really have to again and will be going direct with Virgin in the future if money permits.
At least their entertainment system actually works!
US Airways is not bad for a budget airline and it gets you where you want to go but you do get what you pay for.
I recently flew with US Airways from Manchester to Philadelphia with a connecting flight onwards to Orlando. My family and I were travelling as part of a large group of 40 so I had not personally booked the flights and did not have any say in these flights either, but I believe that the approximate return fare was around £2200 in total for 2 adults, 1 child and 2 infants with their own seats which to be fair is a very good price.
Prior to our trip, I had done as I always do and researched everywhere we would be going, the accomodation we would be staying in and the flight operators we were using. Unfortunately the majority of the reviews I read about US Airways were largely negative and so I had become quite apprehensive prior to the start of our trip. Sadly, I have to go with the majority on this company and say that I was left very disappointed by them. We experienced problems prior to our flight, during our flight and even when our flights were over and if I have any choice in the matter I do not think I will be travelling with them again.
So where did it all go wrong? Well I shall start from the beginning. With our flights to Orlando consisting of a 7 hour flight to Philadelphia and then a 2 1/2 hour flight to Orlando we made the decision to purchase seats for my youngest two children aged one and two at the time of flying. I didnt like the idea of them being sat on our lap for this long amount of time and I also wanted them to be able to have their own space to watch tv, colour in some pictures and snack as they pleased. I had checked the information for flying with infants on the US Airways website and they stated that if you are flying with an infant in their own seat, then they HAVE to travel in an FAA approved car seat or restraint device. I have been on many a flight and I have never actually seen any child in a car seat on a plane, but since we were taking our car seats anyway, I emailed them to check that we could take these on the plane. The response I recieved back was just copied and pasted from the information that I had already read on their website and did not personally answer the query which I had asked. It is not possible to find an FAA approved car seat in UK stores, these need to be purchased in the USA or on ebay from someone who has already done this. I therefore emailed US Airways again to ask them to provide me with information where I could purchase an FAA approved restraint in the UK. I was advised that there was only one licensed stockist and that these restraints which to be honest look no different than safety reins, cost £80 each! After much to-ing and fro-ing via email, I then rang them. When you phone US Airways customer services you are transferred to the USA, which is fine, it is a US company after all, however I think it would be convenient if they did have a UK office to answer queries at this end. I spoke at length with them about the car seat issue and was then told after being on hold for a very long time that car seats were actually provided at check in! To me, this sounded very odd, but having not travelled with infants on an American flight before, I had to listen to what they were telling me. For my better judgement though, I didnt believe them and in the end I left it in the hands of our tour operator to sort out as I didnt seem to be getting anywhere. It took 3 months to finally recieve an email from a UK US Airways representative to say that we did not have to take a car seat on board. Finally a result!
So, next came the actual flights. The flight from Manchester to Philadelphia was on time and boarding was quick and easy. First impressions of the plane was that it was very clean and the staff seemed very welcoming. We had booked group seating so that we were able to supervise the 28 children travelling in our group without them being in the way of other passengers, and we pretty much had the rear of the plane to ourselves, this worked quite well. I found the staff to be very polite towards my family and I, however I did overhear a few being quite rude to the children who were all aged between 13-17 which I found to be quite unecessary, as after all they were paying customers just like everyone else and if they wanted a drink then why shouldnt they be able to ask for one, without getting a snappy comment back. The food was also ok as far as aeroplane foods go. We had a choice of Chicken with Potato Wedges or Vegetable Lasagne. They both looked quite appetizing and they both tasted fine. When we left the plane though after arriving in Philadelphia, further problems began to arise.
We had gate checked both of our pushchairs, this meant that the pushchairs would be available for us at the gate when we exited the plane so that the two toddlers could get straight in their pushchair and we wouldnt have to carry them through customs and security. Unfortunately when we left the plane, the pushchairs were nowhere to be seen. All the crew left the plane and we were left waiting half an hour whilst they tried to locate them. A member of staff then recieved a phone call to say that they were in the baggage reclaim. We then ended up having to carry our children all the way to customs which believe me is a quite a walk with a heavy child in your arms. When we got to customs, they had insisted on opening a separate line for our large group, however the member of staff who was supposed to be processing us was nowhere to be seen and this held us up by an hour. We had left 3 hours between our connecting flights and yet this time was quickly disappearing. We then had to collect all our luggage and then carry it to the transfer carousel before then proceeding through security to get to our connecting flight. I completely understand why all these procedures are in place, however, they should have a separate line for persons on connecting flights as we literally made our flight with seconds to spare and the staff at the gate were so rude to us because we were late, when in fact we had left plenty of time between flights, but with no assistance in getting a group of 40 through all the procedures in place, it was our fault of course that we werent on time!
The second flight to Orlando went without a hitch luckily, although they provided no snack like most short haul flights over here do. Non alcholic beverages were provided complimentary and if you fancied a tipple, these were available for a very high charge of $7 each! I forgot to mention that this was also the case with drinks on the long haul flight too. I have never been on a long haul flight that charges for alcholic beverages. Fortunately, with my children travelling with me I wasnt drinking anyway, however I would have been quite disappointed if I had been travelling on my own at having to pay this as I would normally have a glass of wine with my meal.
Our return journey was pretty much the same, however, the group seating we had booked for our return journey didn't happen for some reason, and even when we checked in as a family of 5 they felt it completely appropriate to seat my one year old on his own in 17c, my 2 year old in 24b, myself in 36e, the wife in 28f and my 9 year old in 32d. Not quite sure why they thought that seating a one year old child in between two complete strangers was acceptable. We obviously raised this issue when boarding the plane but were offered no assistance and we had to resort to asking passengers ourselves if anyone would mind moving so that we could at least have one parent with the children if not both of us. Fortunately for us there was another group of school children all sat together and several of them kindly offered to swap seats which I thought was very kind of them.
Overall, I wasn't impressed and I wouldn't fly with them again if I could help it.
I have flown on quite a few carriers over the years. At the beginning of June I flew Economy class transatlantic for the first time, flying to Phoenix on US Airways via Philadelphia.
US Airways are the 5th biggest airline in the States, operating hubs at Phoenix, Charlotte and Philadelphia as well as focus city operations at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Las Vegas, LaGuardia Airport in New York and Logan International Airpory om Boston. It operates two brands in the US as subsidiaries to the collective US Airways Corporation, with US Airways Shuttles offering hourly services across the North Eastern United States and the US Airways Express, operated by contract and subsidiary airline companies. They have had many economic problems of late: failed expansions across Latin America and the Carribean, failed mergers, passenger decreases and if you remember, the aftermath of the extraordinary landing of one of their aircraft into the Hudson in New York in which everyone survived and the plane was landed safely on the water.
I chose this airline purely because of the price- since I generally have no preference between carriers. Long haul flights are exhausting whatever! Unless you can afford one of those sleeper seats in first class perhaps! I hate flying and avoid it domestically wherever possible, but was visiting my brother in Arizona so a bit impossible to avoid flying without hours and hours and hours on a boat.
I used price comparison sites to try to get the best deal, like travelsupermarket.com, flightcomparison.co.uk, cheap-flights-finder.com and so on. Expedia ended up being the cheapest route- offering me a £364 return ticket from 26th May through to the 13th June, flying out from Glasgow International Airport, Scotland. Booking through Expedia will you get 1% back on the cashback site Quidco (which isn't that great but it may tip your balance over into claimable monies!) as well as 200 Nectar Card points. Since I was flying to the US, there is now a form you have to fill after booking your flight, a few days before you fly, stating where you will be staying on arrival. This happens with whatever carrier you are going with. This could be the address of the hotel you are staying in or the house etc. If you forget to do this you can potentially be barred entry into the States, which would be a little bit counterproductive. So take a few minutes to do the form online (I have heard you can do it at the airport too, but I wouldn't rely on that). You get a response pretty much immediately as to whether your application has been successful or not.
So what were US Airways like?
Comfort: They had leather seats rather than fabric which I dislike as you can stick to them a bit and moving around makes those unavoidable squeaks that become really irritating after 5, 6, 7 hours...especially when the people around you manage to wake you up with their amplified fidgeting. The seats were leather on both the transatlantic Glasgow-Phili route as well the domestic US flight. That said, the flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix was infinitely more spacious than Glasgow-Phili. They obviously try to maximise efficiency with regards to space/capacity on longer flights, but the effect on comfort is noticeable and pretty trying. I flew on a Boeing 757-200 on the first leg, an Airbus A321 on the second. However, I flew Emirates to Bangkok via Dubai a while back and that was much more spacious and the blankets and pillows much thicker and fleecier. US Airways was akin to First Choice, though the plane décor was really drab and dated.
In-flight entertainment: You have to pay for a headset to watch a tiny little screen at the end of each cabin, which is very surprising for a long haul flight. I am a terrible sleeper on aeroplanes so I tend to like wasting time watching movies I might not otherwise watch, or keeping up-to-date with one of those digital maps that tells you how very slowly you are edging across the globe and how freezing it is outside! This was a big downside in my view.
Food: The food choice list for special requirements is extensive when booked online. Since I am vegan and quite health conscious I was keen to see what kind of food they might seem to offer. I ordered 'raw fruit/veggie' (yes, they are that specific!) as I was planning to fast for the flight anyway but could nibble on this if it actually was provided. I am usually very sceptical. I was fasting because of 'the jet lag diet' that reckons you can cure jet lag by fasting on-flight. I can vouch for it! Google it! I was not very surprised when I was approached about half hour into the flight asking if I had ordered a special meal of raw food- to which I responded yes and the flight attendant apologised profusely saying it had been accidentally cooked and that she had followed a raw food diet once too and could sympathise. It was a classic failing on special meals provision with most airlines, but the actual way the flight attendants dealt with it was lovely and I didn't mind at all. You get free meals with US Airways flights that are over 3.5 hours and snack boxes are available on flights over 2.5 hours as part of their buy on board program, "Easyjet style". This happened on the second leg of my flight, but I didn't buy one so couldn't rate it for you all. One great aspect of US Airways is that their soft drinks, water and coffee are free on all flights, throughout the flight, not just at mealtimes.
Time-keeping: Were they on time? All of the flights were not delayed except the final flight of my return journey. This involved a 2 hour wait at Phoenix, but cut down my waiting time in Philadelphia so was not really an issue to be honest. After this wait we also had to wait on the tarmac for about an hour due to really heavy rain and a huge queue of planes waiting to leave. After 45 minutes we were still 10th in the queue! One thing I would point out is that they tend to overbook every single flight! Each one I took they were asking for volunteers to give up their seats for a later flight in return for $350 vouchers for use on any US Airways flight. If I didn't have connections, I would have happy to give up my seat for this kind of reward. So it pays to be flexible!
US Airways Dividend Miles: I wouldn't describe myself as a 'frequent' flyer but since signing up for the Dividend Miles scheme is free, I think it is quite a good scheme. You basically accumulate 'miles' according to the miles you have already travelled with US Airways. I got just over 10,000 miles from the flights I just took, and I think 25,000 miles is the first time you can use your miles to get a free ticket. Apparently you get priority check in, mileage bonuses and other benefits, though I have yet to experience any of these benefits.
All in all, it was a very pleasant journey that wasn't hindered by too many delays or bad service. Other than a distinct lack of space that I have come to expect on economy long haul, it wasn't too harrowing an experience. Paying for headsets is irritating, so didn't bother and read a book instead. If you are going to book the cheapest ticket you can find, then it has to be the destination rather than the airline travel that counts! I had the most wonderful time away, so the air travel was manageable and irrelevant!
For the lack of in-seat tv screens and the cramped, super drab interior, I am rating it at 4 stars.
Apologies if this seems long winded but bear with me!
In 2007 I decided to go to Las Vegas with my friend at Easter and used Expedia to book a flight and hotel deal and found a good price to stay at the Stratosphere and fly with US Airways from Manchester for 10days for under £700. The plan was to spend some time shopping, see shows, check out the casinos and party life and see the Grand Canyon. The biggest cost of this trip was for the flights with US Airways but overall felt it was a bargain deal so instantly booked. I have been to the US before to New York and Los Angeles with other American Airways and enjoyed the flights so expected good things from US Airways.
I remember researching the flights myself independently as I wanted to go to two cities but the costs were so high. Due to this I ended up using expedia and sticking with the one destination to get the costs down. As it was the easter holidays I thought this was quite a good price anyway and this was 2007 when the dollar was nearly 2 to the pound making me eye up all the shopping bargains I was going to get. I think the flights were nearly £500 each meaning the hotel only came to about £200 of total cost. However even at £500 I soon realised the reason I may have got it cheaper was this flight path to get to Las Vegas. We were to leave from Manchester and get into Phildelphia first then go via Chicago to then get to the final destination of Las Vegas. Going back was a little easier and was Las Vegas to Los Angeles to Philidelphia then back to Manchester.
Checking in and the Journey
We got to Manchester nice and early as least 4 hours before due to leave as there were so many security checks at this time and they recommended 3 hours to go. When we got there I thought it strange that the queue was huge to check in for the flight. After speaking to the woman in front worked out the flight was overbooked by at least 50 passengers and they were trying to get people off the flight onto different carriers. Then the lady came round trying to bribe people off the flight. We went to chat to her and worked out we could slash the flight time if we kindly agreed to go with BMI instead. I wast so clued up at the time on asking for upgrades (doh) but weighed up I would get to my holiday destination sooner. So a few clicks on the computer and we were reassigned to BMI. This meant a terminal change but as I used to work a Manchester I knew my way round and it was easy to achieve. We checked in to BMI super quick and then got settled in ready to go. The flight was fine to Chicago except my friend got travel sickness but couldn't complain about the service as pretty good.
Then the problems occurred.
When we got to Chicago and through immigration etc and went round the tram system to locate the right terminal which can be stressful we reached the US Airways check in for our Vegas Flight. Went to check in to my horror was told all my flights were cancelled as we never made the outgoing journey. By now I was completely panicking as though I'm I destined to be stuck in Chicago O Hare aiport! Well luckily the guy was nice and rebooked us back on the flight but we were now split up on most of the journeys except the reurn leg to the UK. He then said the only two seats left were 1 in First Class and one in Coach and as in my name I got the First Class seat. This I though was great but my friend didn't quite agree! I got a lovely meal and alcohol for my 4hour flight into Vegas. My friend fell asleep in coach anyway so came out of her mood eventually. However this flight was delayed over 4 hours and we later saw a couple who had been on the original US Airawys flight from Manchester and swopped and to our horror found they had been bribed up to Business Class. But when I said check you still have your flights turned out they didn't and like us US Airways had cancelled them all so they ended up delayed even longer getting to Vegas and had given up a more direct route!.
In terms of checking in I found the UK side much better but in the US it is like every man/woman for themselves. You find yourself in one huge queue for all US airways flights and you wait for hours to get to the desk and if the departure time comes up sooner than your wait they eventually frantically shout that flight to the priority desks, Anyway going back was delayed aswell and more seat mix ups occurred. We also were delayed out of Vegas to Los Angeles meaning once we got into Philidelphia we had a mad rush thinking we would miss the flight. Then other connecting flights turned out to be delayed even longer than ours so we had to sit on the plane for nearly an hour as the flight was missing over 100 passengers and the flight didn't want to have to rehouse this many people
As soon as I got back I wrote to their Customer Services online to complain about this whole fiasco and they did reply pretty quickly and send me a few hundred dollars worth of vouchers to use on US Airways but the deadline was too soon as it will take me a while to save up to go back to the to America so ended up being wasted as in our names only. So beware of overbooked airlines and agreeing to help them out as they may end up cancelling all your flights and causing you more distress. Also make sure you have a long time between connecting flights so that you don't get stressed or miss your main haul flight. What is disappointing now is with the credit crunch Manchester has pulled a lot of transatlantic flights which will mean more connections as us northerners will have to venture down to Heathrow more to get to the US.
Luckily i can be a calm person under stress and question things so even though was panicked knew what to ask for to get the problem sorted. They didn't lose my luggage which has happened with other airlines. Once i wrote to them did try to redeem themselves and first class to vegas was a plesant experience! Also for the long haul part of the journey the on flight meals were nice and in flight entertainment as good as the rest plus nice enough leg room. The actual holiday was fantastic and in particular the Grand Canyon where i flew over in a tiny plane and got a picture taken with the good looking pilot.
I've flown to and from America twice in the last year and both times I've used US Airways, economy. The first time I flew to Boston, the second time to Washington D.C. I flew from Manchester, but they also fly from London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Dublin and Shannon. As a guide, we got return flights to Boston for about £260 including taxes, and return flight to Washington D.C. for about £330 including taxes. At the time of writing the exchange rate isn't as good as it was however, so it's probably a bit more expensive. I will say however that US Airways do change their prices periodcally so keep an eye out for a good price.
The price is all in, with no hidden extras. Hand luggage is restricted by size (this is a legal restriction I think) but is still quite big - some people had small suitcases as hand luggage - and unlimited weight within reason. Hold luggage, you are allowed one bag of upto 23kg without charge. You can take extra but there is a charge.
There is no charge for checking in, you can either do this online before hand or at the airport on the day. If checking in online before hand you can choose your own seat - in fact I think you can do this upto several weeks in advance.
All flights from the UK to America require you to change at Philadelphia as this is US Airways hub airport. When booking your flight you can choose exactly which flights you want for each leg of your trip which is quite useful. Since I last flew with them they've introduced usairways.co.uk, which allows you to book in pounds rather than dollars which is quite useful.
We found the service on the flight to be very good - all of the cabin crew were very friendly and helpful. The food was good too - on the transatlantic leg of our journey we were served with a main meal and also a sandwich or similar snack, both complimentary - useful as 7 hours is a long time to go without meals! Soft drinks are complimentary too.
The onboard entertainment varies depending which aircraft you are on. For a couple of the transatlantic journeys, we were in an Airbus A330 - these have individual screens in front of each seat with a wide choice of movies, tv shows, music etc. Other times we had the old fashioned tv overhead, and probably a good few feet away.
Catching connecting flights is very straightforward and the US airways staff will give helpful directions and advice if you ask. Flights going to America you will have to pick up your luggage in Philadelphia to go through customs, but on the return journey you don't have to pick up your luggage between flights as it gets automatically transferred between planes.
Legroom was good, didn't have any complaints. Oh and the US airways magazine is quite a good read!
Overall a good, cheap airline but you get good service too. Would definitely recommend.
I currently live in the States and have done for about 2 years now, however over christmas me and my wife decided to take a 2 week Holiday to England to spend the holidays with my family, about 3 months previous and after shopping around for a couple of weeks to get the best price on flights I found a flight through Orbits from Buffalo NY ( Where I live ) to Philadelphia, then Philadelphia to London Heathrow. The Buffalo NY to Philadelphia portion would be using US airways and the Transatlantic portion would be using BA.
So the weekend of our departure rapidly approached and I started to get a feeling of dread when we experienced a large snow storm, after getting 17 inches of snow in 2 days and the day of departure also experiencing 50 MPH winds , the feeling of not being able to get home started to set in, however we departed for Buffalo Niagara International anyway and once we arrived we started to see flight after flight being cancelled, we checked in using US Airways wonderful online check in service so had our Boarding passes ready as we arrived at the airport, once we saw the inevitable and our flight had been cancelled we proceeded to the desk and luckily were one of the first ones there before the crowds started to gather at the US Airways Desk.
We were taken care of by a very polite and courteous Mr Ripper who after seeing all the flights out of Buffalo were being cancelled for the rest of the day started the process of getting us out of Buffalo the next day, in the end he had us on the same flight out of Buffalo the next day but instead of us flying BA for the international portion he booked us on US Airways direct to London Heathrow.
Our flight from Buffalo to Philadelphia was pleasant enough, good service and a nice plane ( for a US Domestic flight anyway ) with fairly comfortable seats, the process at Philadelphia airport was easy enough, the US Airways baggage check in desk was very helpful in getting our bags re-checked in for our international flight.
We boarded our plane at Philadelphia and it was a roomy Boeing 767 with some nice Amenities, the Crew were polite and we had a pilot who was very enthusiastic and humorous with his announcements, the inflight entertainment was actually better than I expected, as when i've flown US Carriers before the movie selection is usually poor and the way its delivered is normally not much better, for those of you who value In-Flight entertainment this is one of the better choices, although this flight didn't have the wealth of movie choices such as someone like Virgin Atlantic does on its Transatlantic flights, the movies were current and you had the great ability for it to be "on Demand" which means that you can watch the movie when YOU want to, rather than having to wait until its scheduled to start or if you're asleep and wake up wanting to watch a movie, you don't have to wait until it restarts again as so many airlines do, that I think is a nice feature and really thinks of the passengers.
The seat was average for Economy class, being 6'2' seat room is a concern for me and while this wasn't the roomiest seat ive ever experienced it wasn't the smallest either.
The food was average airline fare, ive had better on BA , Virgin and Air France, but it did the job and as it was an overnight flight the breakfast they served was filling and tasted OK.
Our flight ended up landing early by 40 minutes which is nice as I don't know many people who enjoy flying and being cramped on a plane for long periods so when a flight can be shortened its normally a relief for the average passenger.
Having flown all the Major American Airlines both domestically and Transatlantic I'd have to say that US Airways ranks up there at the top ( read my other review of Continental, for the opposite ) and their Customer Service and Service in general is good and while the feeling of class and service is maybe not up there quite with BA or Virgin Atlantic ( My personal Favourite ) if you are booking a flight and US Airways is an option I would Certainly pick it over someone like Continental or United.
I'd never flown US until I found a bargain flight for a complex routing from Glasgow (GLA) to New York (LGA) and back from Chicago (ORD) to Manchester (MAN). I'm a Star Alliance card holder, more used to flying with bmi on their trans-Atlantic services from Manchester, but considering the bargain price, I thought I'd give US a punt.
This turned out to be a mistake, because of my own stupidity I realised that I'd purchased a completely ridiculous itinerary: Glasgow - Philadelphia - Washington Reagon - New York La Guardia. Anyone with an ounce of understanding of American geography will know that that route has one two many airports in it.
To cut a long story short, it also had too many connections, and my baggage was lost en route. I have no idea where, but reading other reviews on other sites, it is quite possible to have been lost at Philadelphia, where US appear to have the worst problems with baggage handling.
The flights themselves were ok - the seasonal Glasgow - Philadelphia service was in a tired 757 with no functional inflight entertainment. The regional jet from Philadelphia to Washington had mechanical problems, which meant there was air conditioning until well after take-off, which necessitated standing at PHL on a hot summer's afternoon with all the blinds down and very little water available to passengers. The return from Philadelphia to Manchester was very late departing due to a change of aircraft prior to departure.
Customer service at all airports varied from non-existent to barely noticable. On board it was ok, but leagues behind what I'm used to on bmi.
It took months to resolve my lost luggage, and it was never found. I made endless calls to US, but the phone agents had no more information that what I could find with the claim number I had been given. When the refund arrived, it was substantially less that what I'd claimed for, because US have no liability on many items in your checked baggage.
My first and last trip with US. Unless I travel with plenty of spare time and no checked luggage.
I went from Philadelphia International Airport to San Francisco International Airport, which by the way, is like a maze. Then 7 days later I went back to PHL. There was a nice flight attendant that gave me and my friend free headsets. I got a snack box while my mom got a Wolfgang Puck sandwich. It was great. I got a lot for five dollars! Her sandwich was great too. It was ten dollars. You can get calls, email, news, stocks, internet with email, conference calls, and calling to seats with the Verizon Airfone, and it even supports credit cards! It was great.
When some good friends recently announced that they were getting married in the bride's hometown of Williamsburg in Virginia, it didn't take much persuading for me to accept an invitation to their wedding. First things first though, I had to decide how I, with my sister who had been invited too, were going to get there. So I started the long trawl of the range of deals and fares that are on offer through the various Internet travel agents, before booking with www.opodo.com. This site offered the cheapest (£385 return Gatwick -Williamsburg) most convenient deal with US Airways, and allowed me to select our seats by means of an interactive map of the 'plane. Having had no experience of flying with this airline I had no preconceptions of what the service would be like. However my heart sank when I had a communication via Opodo rescheduling our flight times. This change only involved getting an earlier flight on the same day, so after checking that it did not involve reissuing our tickets, I accepted this. Weeks went by and the time came to confirm our flights, which I did a week before as I still was uneasy about our rescheduled times. No problem though, the bright cheery lady on the other end of the line said our names were on the flight list and gave me a number to call in the USA to ring when we wanted to confirm our homeward flights. At the check-in desk at Gatwick the staff had the same organised approach, giving us boarding cards through to Williamsburg, with details of the check in desk in Philadelphia where we had to change 'planes. Upon boarding, I was impressed to see that we had the same seats that I had originally asked for when I booked with Opodo, and noted that there seemed to be quite a lot of legroom and space compared with many airlines. When returning home I checked the US Airways website and learned that the seat pitch in economy class is 33 or 34ins whilst the width is 17ins. I am fairly tall at 5ft 8ins a
nd my sister a little more with neither of us being very overweight, although we both have big bottoms! We did however find this space allocation quite comfortable for a 7-hour trip to Philadelphia. The stewards onboard were American and were very polite and helpful, doing their best to re-seat travelling companions who they had been unable to put together at check-in. This is unlike other airlines I have flown with, for example Air Canada on whose 'plane I once witnessed a stewardess tell a separated family "Tough I can't do anything about it". I would say though, that if this is vital to you because you are travelling with kids or whatever other reason, mention this when you confirm your flight and check in early. These flights are so cheap they get very full and many passengers are able to reserve their seats online when booking their trip. Stewards can request people to swap, and so can you, but if they can't or won't do this, then you will have to live with sitting alone as one unfortunate lady travelling home for her father's funeral found out. We were lucky enough to be travelling on one of this airline's Airbus A330-300 craft, which are used for long haul transatlantic flights. In addition to plenty of legroom, they offer a personalised, on demand video system at every seat. I believe that entertainment was offered in four languages, with a very clear tutorial on how to use the system for those who are not familiar with this kind of technology. There was a variety of music to listen to, also movies and on my flights "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and "About a Boy" were two of the films available to watch. Although I do remember seeing that there was a charge for this somewhere in the literature, this cannot have been applicable on long haul flights as we weren't asked to pay. This system was much better than a remote screen with people wandering past all the time, although as usual
enter tainment was halted when the captain wished to broadcast messages. Best of all, the head 'phones (which were collected on arrival in Philadelphia) seemed not to leak sound. Therefore I was not forced to listen to other peoples' entertainment whilst trying to sleep; and when I had the headphones on, couldn't hear the cries of the many bratty kids on board. While we are on the subject of naughty children, there was plenty of material on offer that was suitable for them to watch and it was possible for accompanying adults to restrict their access to anything else! I have to say that the food was not up to much, although it was not inedible by any means. We were served one hot meal with two options on offer, chicken or vegetarian pasta. This meal came with a bread roll and butter, salad, cheese and biscuits, and a dessert. Later in the trip we were served a snack which consisted of some soggy sandwiches. Soft drinks, water, tea and coffee were free, but much to our disappointment alcohol was not. So if this is an essential to you when flying, you might want to consider using another airline or taking enough US Dollars to finance your on flight drinking. Prices of spirits and glasses of wine ranged from $3-5. Our deal involved changing at Philadelphia on the way out and there we encountered our only problem. After collecting and rechecking our luggage in an airport employee sent us to wait for our connection at the wrong gate. I quickly realised that all was not well, and asked a US Airways employee for help and she directed us to the right place assuring us that we had plenty of time to make the flight, reminding me where the relevant information was to be found on our boarding passes. This last short leg of our journey to Williamsburg, was on a tiny 30 seat 'plane competently flown by the most glamorous, blonde woman pilot who looked like she had stepped straight off the catwalk. The seat pitch on this was only 30 i
nches but this was endurable for the short time we were in the air. No entertainment system either, and only soft drinks on offer but no food. The return part of our journey began by me reconfirming our flights with an ultra-polite man, who concluded our conversation by saying, "I am so glad I could be of service to you today" sounding completely sincere. For reasons I won't go into here, this made my sister and I titter, but I cannot imagine hearing anything like that now I am home. Then on the sad day of our departure we checked in with the very efficient ground staff at Williamsburg, who explained where to get our connection in Charlottesville airport and US customs procedures. The first homeward part of our journey involved boarding another small 'plane and no sooner were we off the ground than we hit a bit of turbulence. "Old stupid" yes that's me, had eaten a huge "Plantation Breakfast" at a pancake house, that consisted of a fry-up, hominy grits and pancakes with syrup. As this came up to say hello, the stewardess on board could not have been kinder, reassuring me that the rough ride would only be a short term problem. Through no fault of the airline the 'plane was late into Charlottesville, due to the amount of air traffic at that locality. Most of the Americans on board had got connections to catch so upon landing, the stewardess first asked us all to remain seated to allow passengers with tight connections to leave first, assuring them if they did miss their flights they would be rebooked. We were fine as we had 5 hours to wait before continuing our journey. This was uneventful and in fact we arrived in Gatwick an hour earlier than scheduled. In conclusion I have a confession to make, I really do not like flying at all. Done it loads of times but never really got to enjoy it. However with US Airways, something that to me is never very nice, was the best it probably could
be for that pr ice. So if you are planning to fly to the USA, and you can manage without free booze I'd recommend giving them a try.