North American airline carriers are among the worst in the world. They are the worst for service, quality, comfort, food — you name it. They simply suck. On a recent trip to Canada, I had the chance to fly US Airways, which is usually named the worst of the worst. No one likes US Airways, and after flying with them, I can see why. Typically, I fly American Airlines, but this flight was part of a press trip and they flew me on US Airways. I had four flights — Boston to Philadelphia to Toronto and then Montréal to Charlotte to Tampa.
After taking four flights with US Airways, I can tell you that I won’t be switching from American any time soon. I didn’t enjoy any of my US Airways flights.
The airplanes themselves weren’t that bad. They were pretty standard in their design, comfort, and configuration. I never felt that the seats were too small or that I was missing anything I could get on another carrier. However, I did notice that most of the planes I flew on were old. They had definitely seen better days and could have used an overhaul on the interior. Then again, so could many of the planes I fly on.
What really annoyed me about US Airways was the service. Right from check-in, it was all downhill. For starters, they are the only major carrier I know of that charges a baggage fee on international flights. Usually, if you’re flying international, you can avoid it. On US Airways, you still have to pay a $25 per bag fee. When I asked the check-in clerk where I dropped my bag (it was self check-in in Boston), she just said, “Over there,” moving her head towards an area to the left. She barely looked up from her computer screen. When I followed up with asking her where the gate was, she looked even more annoyed as though I was an inconvenience to her day. While connecting in Charlotte to Tampa, my flight was delayed. Arriving at the gate, I asked the gate agent if she knew how long the delay might be, as I was hoping to eat quickly. Scowling at me, she said, “I don’t know. It could be any minute. I’ll post it when I know.” Woah! Overall, I felt like I, as a passenger, was an annoyance to the ground staff.
That attitude transferred into the air, where the flight attendants also seemed to have a chip on their shoulders. They were never polite in their radio addresses or in their interactions with passengers. Their announcements on safety procedures always seemed condescending, as if everyone on the plane should have already known this stuff. I saw an attendant threaten to take away a passenger’s phone if he didn’t put it away. There never seemed to be any kindness from the staff on these flights. I know they have a hard job and are probably grossly underpaid, but like the saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” When I fly American Airlines, they flight attendants are much nicer and, I’m sure, equally mistreated in their job!
After flying with US Airways, I can tell you I’ll never fly with them again. I always give an airline the benefit of the doubt. After all, everyone can have one bad flight. I can have a bad experience at Best Buy, but that doesn’t mean Best Buy is always bad. But after four flights on two different routes and two different days, I realized there’s no reason to switch from American Airlines. In fact, if you’re traveling to the States or traveling around the States, my advice to you is to avoid US Airways. Even United is better.