I wont believe this until I see the 6 letter tracking record locator with the permanent waiver in it..or..the goldfile nbr which designates these waivers..otherwise it is probably just a buncha made up bunk.
There is a newsletter sent out by John McCorkle, a US Flight Attendant (on furlough still I think) who gives a nice insiders view of his company. Many "high profile" people read his emails I''m told.
This is an excerpt from his latest newsletter:
DID THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GET THE GREASE FROM US AIRWAYS?
For those of you who have been on my newsletter list for at least the past
year-and-a-half, you''ll recognize the following story, but what will get
your attention is the ''twist'' to the story I''ve recently discovered -- and
I can assure you, this will disturb our frequent flyers.
Back in early 2001, while the United - US Airways merger was still being
reviewed, you''ll recall me writing about the comments of South Carolina
Senator, Ernest ''Fritz'' Hollings. Mr. Hollings complained about his wife
having to pay almost $1,000. to fly between Washington, DC and Charleston,
SC on US Airways. I agreed with the Senator that the fare was excessive
and from that point on, I continued to monitor the fare about once every
three or four months, to see if there were any changes.
Another reason I continued to monitor the fare was because former US
Airways President and CEO, Rakesh Gangwal, frequently citied the ''drop off''
in business traffic as a major contributor to our financial woes. As many
of you know, my feeling was if the company was going to complain that
nobody was purchasing those $1,000. fares, maybe the company should cut the
fare in half in an attempt to stimulate revenue.
At the time of Senator Hollings'' complaint, the flight to and from CHS was
operated by a Boeing 737. Now, the flight is operated by a 32-seat
turboprop aircraft and yet the fare continues to remain excessively high,
at $941.50 (as quoted on 8-31-02).
But here''s where the story gets interesting: A gentleman by the name of
Ron Reeves retired earlier this summer from his position as US Airways''
Vice President of Governmental Affairs. Last year, Mr. Reeves'' office sent
a directive to the manager who oversees the Chairman''s Preferred liaisons.
(You''ll recall when I exposed the VP ''upgrade gate'' that these dedicated
liaisons deal with only Chairman''s Preferred members and members of
Senator Hollings has a profile on file with the company and when he or his
wife or someone from his office calls to book a flight, the US Airways
liaison pulls up his profile and here is what they see:
PER RON REEVES OFFICE/WORK WITH SENATOR/WIFE REGARDING CHANGES -- WAIVE ADD
COLLECTION AND CHARGE FEES AND EVEN ADVANCE PURCHASE FEE IF THEY PRESS YOU.
QUOTE RULES AS YOU WOULD TO ANYONE, THEN IF THEY ASK YOU TO WAIVE
SOMETHING - THEN WAIVE IT. IF YOU DO WAIVE ANYTHING FOR THEM, PRINT A COPY
OF THE PNR *AFTER* YOU HAVE MADE THE CHANGE **AND** ADDED THE WAIVER CODE.
LEAVE IN GLORIA''S MAILBOX.
This information was current as of July 26, 2002. So, are we to understand
that a Senator or his wife or a representative of his can dial up US
Airways and DICTATE what is an acceptable fare to pay for travel and what
is not? According to this memo, they most certainly can. I wonder if the
new pricing changes implemented last week will effect Senator Hollings?
I imagine the call goes something like this:
Agent: "Thank you for calling US Airways, how may I help you?"
Senator: "Yeah, this is Fritz Hollings -- a United States Senator -- I need
a ticket to Charleston for tomorrow."
Agent: "Yes Sir, Senator, let me see, that will be $941.50 -- may I book
this for you?"
Senator: "Hell no, that''s too much, uh, let''s see, uh, oh yeah, waive
something for me."
Agent: "OK Senator, I can waive the add collection fee for you, and that
will get us down to $795."
Senator: "No, that''s still too much, uh, waive something else."
Agent: "Ok, hold on just a minute ... ok, I''ve waived the change fee and
that gets it down to $595.50."
Senator: "Hell no, that''s still too much. How much are you people paying
Wolf? Waive something else."
Agent: "Ok, well Sir I can also waive the advance purchase fee and that
will price out at $326.50."
Senator: "Uh, hang on just a second ...... SWEETIE, I''M OUT OF SCOTCH,
BRING ME ANOTHER ONE."
Agent: "Excuse me?"
Senator: "Oh, no, I was just yelling at my wife. What was that last price
Agent: "$326.50 sir."
Senator: "Damn, can''t you waive something else? Don''t you know how
expensive 80-year old scotch is?"
Agent: "Well Senator, why don''t you just name your own price since you''re
Senator: "Ok, how about $89 round-trip?"
Agent: "That will be fine Sir."
Senator: "And I want first-class as well."
Agent: "Well, I''m sorry sir, but first-class isn''t offered on our turboprop
Senator: "That damn Stephen Wolf. Ok, just book the damn ticket. And I
want a paper ticket too."
Agent: "Yes Sir, that will be an additional $25."
Senator: "Waive it."
Agent: "Yes Sir, Senator. Thank you for calling US Airways."
Well folks, if the new pricing changes don''t totally alienate our frequent
travelers, this story might. Showing favoritism to a wealthy Senator while
trying to squeeze another dollar out of our most loyal passengers will not
go over well. Let''s see how this plays out. What do you think about this,
a real shocker! We are doomed! That is now sinking into most workers minds right now.
Dave's decisions lately look more in line with a rental car company than an airline and I think it is costing us bigtime.
Even ticket agents know better than to piss off our frequent flyers like our own King has with his non-refundable ideas.
On 9/3/2002 12:07:04 PM
I Love that newsletter...somethings are soo true...John does a wonderful job...by the way the above info is true I have seen it...although that was prior to new rules.