Our Service


Aug 20, 2002
I don't know why we are worrying about management and competition killing off USAirways. Lately the front line employees are working harder at driving away our customers then keeping them. Examples:

My Silver preferred relative has called me to say he is considering dumping all his points into United. He has discovered their reservations, flight attendants and hub employees treat him with cheerfulness and respect. His last few flights on USAirways he has been sneered at and ignored by staff on the airplane and at CLT and PIT. Plus he has given up on our preferred reservations number after curt unpleasant phone calls.

Another relative had bag delayed. Though she flew revenue she was going to pick it up from the airport to save US a few bucks. She had little or no assistance with her simple questions where is the bag, and when will it get to its destination, from the baggage call center. Not at work, I called the 800 number thinking I could talk the agent through getting the information. Unhelpful and rude would be a mild way of describing the agents attitude.

For work and vacation I have ended up in First Class several times in the past few months. Most of the time I was served one drink. Rarely was I asked if there was anything else I would like to drink. Sometimes the snack basket would come around but not all flights. And most of the time I would only see the flight attendants if I went to the restroom. For I would find them gathered in the front galley around a computer, book, newspaper or having a spirited gripe session.

I have witnessed Customers ignored while Agents gathered around to discuss personal business. I myself have experienced the rudeness over the phone when I call downline to get problems fixed or find information.

My personal work ethics would not allow me to act in the manner I see my fellow employees. I can protest with the best of them, carry a sign, write letters to the editor and let my voice be know in Corporate. But I refuse to be unkind, rude and unpleasant. Yes, Management can ruin our company but we can sure do it much faster and more efficient.

I am so sorry to hear you and your family have had such terrible treatment. I agree there's no excuse for it. It makes the rest of us who are service-minded and have good work ethics look bad. Not to mention it makes our jobs that much harder when we have to smooth ruffled feathers behind some one.

I'm also glad to say I've never had these problems and I commute several times a month if not more. Most of the time I am very happy with the service I receive and proud of my fellow employees. I seldom get complaints about other employees and usually I hear from our most frequent flyers they are happy with the service. Does this happen to you and your family in one place or have you found this all over the system? Is it on long hauls, short hauls, domestic or international?

I know I am getting worn out with telling my F/C pax I'm sorry we don't have glassware, that the planes are dirty, that I have very limited service items to offer. I always try to stay attentive and brief my crews to do the same. Sometimes it's very hard to do as I'm running around the aisles helping in coach. I usually make sure my people are well cared for before I leave for coach and let them know I'm in back should they need anything else.

I agree with you it's hard enough to do our jobs as we would like but it's no excuse to neglect our customers. I'm sure you know how short-handed CS is and that RES is under some nasty time restraints for their calls.

In your department, is it possible for you to be proactive with your co-workers? Do you know if they are under so much stress it's causing them to be less than professional? Can you give them the number for EAS if someone appears to be floundering due to the pressures of job insecurity or financial straits? I recently flew with someone who kept crying as she didn't know how she was going to manage being on reserve again with small children at home and an unemployed husband. We all gathered around her to let her know she wasn't alone and that our union offered EAP if she would call. I don't know if she ever did but she seemed comforted just to know people cared.


PS She was an excellent worker despite her own fears and worries.
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You sound like an excellent Flight Attendant. I am sure I would enjoy being on a flight you work. Thank you for the reply. But, from my perspective our complaints have increased and our basic customer service has decreased.

The CSS group is the first point of contact for the Customer when they do voice a complaint. And, we have been getting more and more complaints the further we get from bankruptcy. Complaints on rudeness and unhelpful employees seem on the rise. Local complaints, which I am happy to say are very few, but the others are very worrisome. The discoursty in hubs and in-flight are often mentioned now that the PHL baggage system is working better.

Having experienced bad work behavior and speaking to fellow employees who have also have observed poor Customer service around the system. I can only conclude, unless we clean up our act soon we will chase our customers away.
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I do agree with you about DL, having my share of interesting (bad) experiences in ATL.

Maybe my standards are too high, or I am more sensitive too customer service issues. I just feel we were doing a much better job just a year ago then we are now. And to reassure you where I see a problem I do contact local management. Like anything if a problem is not fixed in its early stages it becomes cancerous and a much bigger problem.

Bob on another note, thank you for being a loyal customer. And, for entertaining us with your insightful posts.
Unfortunalty the airlines because of the demand for low fares have gutted their employee's wages, benefits and loss of jobs. Also the glut of horrible management who do not know how to run airlines have reduced most airlines to basically the Greyhound of the skies and there will be no significant increase in service levels or employee compensation in the near future.

Piney the reason you don't see any problems is because you fly every day of the year just like I do. You become complacent to what is happening around you. I have noticed F/A's hiding in the galley. Making 1 pass for drinks in FC during a long flight. And generally ignoring the customers. Does this bother me? NO. And why doesn't this bother me you might ask? Because I am on a plane every damn day of the year. You know exactly how that crew is going to attend to your "needs" during the preboard most of the time. Some days you want to be given more drinks and other days you just want to be left alone. I have had more F/A's tell me that I was their favortie customer onboard because I didn't bother them during the flight.

Now to address the gate agents. But let me address the PHL EXPRESS AGENTS!!! Here again, if you just sit back and watch like I like to do while waiting to board the plane (when not in the clubs, just like you), you'll see a "gaggle" of agents (or is it flock?) sitting around whining and moaning and generally taking up space. I have noticed this every time I have to fly out of the F concourse in PHL. Those EXPRESS agents need to have their management give them lessons in decorum and manners. Personally, I don't need to overhear Saheem complain to Tenesha about their paychecks.

Now is this behavior solely apparent in USAIRWAYS? NO. I've been flying Northwest more and more and I see it there too. But I will say, it appears more often in a hub city versus any of the others.

As a whole, my positive experiences with US employees greatly outnumber the negative experiences. And that says alot about the frontline people. I just put my bad experiences into a nice email to customer affairs. And I will say I have sent more praising emails than complaining ones.
Very well- since we're on RUDE employee's let's look @ the TSA>>

on 2 different days, security ck point--15 to 17 STANDING AROUND!!!!!

TSA_____thousands standing around!!!

CTX-tkt lobby 4-6......

What a WASTE OF govt money!!!!@!!

I'm not speaking of a hub.......that's another topic for later :down:
The lack of glassware in first class cannot possibly be saving this company more than the loss of status we have put on it.

I am a furloughed F/A, and I have never treated my first class passengers like that. I was also stressed out for my last 6 months at U. I was not flying as much in those last 6 months and I was getting trips that basically noone senior to me wanted...long days and short nights. Even though I was stressed because of all that, I was never mean to my passengers. You may have just ran into someone who was just generally rude and thats just how they are..lazy..rude and do not wanna be there. There are F/A's like that. I fortunately, was not one of them and if I ever come back...I intend to be the best I can be. I do not care how stressed a F/A is...you should not blame it on the customer. They spent their hard earned money to fly on us..and they made a choice to take U. So, I am really sorry that there are F/A that are like that out there treating our passengers like that..and as far as the gate agents go, well, I have been treated badly ALOT in uniform and out by agents...at every base. My family has been treated badly by agents when they fly..friends on my buddy passes were treated badly...and it's just not 1 or 2 times..it's ALL the time. Now that I am furloughed..it is a complete nightmare for me to non-rev....so, I do not do it. I have non-reved 4 times since I was furloughed..and ALL 4 TIMES was a complete nightmare. I was cussed out in front of passengers on 2 of the occasions..it was horrible..I was almost in tears because of the way I was treated..so I avoid non-reving like the plague!!!!!!!!!

I certainly hope the f/a's are teasing with you when they say you are their favorite because you didn't bother them. No one should feel like they shouldn't ask for something if they want or need it.


I think my file full of good letters speaks for itself. I am a good flight attendant. Just a short while ago we were winning awards for our service. I've heard many times from pax that our people are some of the best in the business. What would cause that to change? It's something that needs to be addressed.

Employees may be gathering together for moral support. Everyone is worried about paying their bills. Our work situation has changed dramatically. We have a management who is not at all interested in hearing our concerns. As a group we are frustrated, scared, worn out and stressed. We see no end in sight to the lay-offs and cutbacks. We have a management we don't trust and for whom we've lost all respect. I believe it's well-known that the attitude from the top rolls down hill into the employees. Our best efforts go unnoticed and unappreciated by our leaders.

We need management to understand and recognize they are responsible for much of the attitude employees may have. Give us the tools to do our jobs properly. Quit mickey-mousing us and show us the respect we've earned. Don't make us have to apologize to our bread and butter by instituting policies and procedures that are not customer friendly. Remember that our customers are the only reason we are here. Remember that employees are the ones that make it all work every day. Unfortunate as management may view it, customers and employees are needed and not the evil enemy.

I would like to make a comment on U's service. After 34 years with U and retiring a year ago. Until last week, I have not had the chance to fly U. So last week I decided to take a trip out to the midwest and back and see if the service has changed much. Flying non-rev from Bos-Phl-StL . Then 4 days later I decided to return STL-PIT-MHT just to see how it was threw the other stations. I can honestly say I was treated very good at every stop and also the flight service was good. No problems. When I was active, I used to hate to go threw Philly. Never knew what to expect for treatment. Years ago my family and I have been threw horror shows there. But again I say that the agents at the ticket counters in Bos and STL were very good to me. As were the gate agents in Philly and Pit.
People usually remember the bad trips and not the good ones. I can remember like it was yesterday that my wife and I had a bad trip to FL. on a EAL flight due to a F/A not in a good mood. She just didn't like Allegheny non-rev's. It ruined our vacation. I still remember it and that was in the early 70's.
Dark Cloud,

Thank god you were treated right. I never said the F/A's were treating me bad....but in Philly...the agents...oh my....I was embaressed to ever have worked for the company. I was going on vacation.. I showed up 2 1/2 early and my flight was getting ready to begin boarding..and I was still standing in ticketing..and all the "paying" passengers that were in line behind me..were being pulled by the agent to get their boarding passes...but, little ol' furloughed me...was not aloud..because..(and these were his exact words) "You work for us..so no..you have to wait, shame on you..you should know better" and may I add this he was in front of 50 passengers and he was yelling at me and shaking his finger in my face like I was a child. I came so close to losing my pass privledges..but, I am a mature adult and I bit my tongue. The people in front of me kept telling me to go in front of them and he was saying "NO" "SHE IS AN EMPLOYEE" "SHE HAS TO WAIT" "I DO NOT CARE IF SHE MISSES HER FLIGHT" "SHE SHOULD KNOW BETTER" ...my question is.."know better than what?" I should have showed up 6 hours before departure so they could tell me I was to early to go through security or even get a boarding pass? Like I said...that was the worst experience since I have been furloughed. There are 3 other experiences that are alsmost the same. I was smart and got his name..and a friend of mine who is much senior to me and still flying..saw him the very next day and asked him about it...and asked why he treated me so bad..and his response was"I do not know what you are talking about" he got very irritated and got away from my friend as quickly as possible.

Dark Cloud, let me just tell you that the non-reving experience is much worse for furloughed F/A's. You are not furloughed and you are very senior and retired. That is a whole different ball game. Do you know anyone that is fuloughed involuntary? If so, ask them how we are treated. It is not good. When I would non-rev as an employee out of uniform..I was treated ssssoooooo good...now...it is horrible. The flight attendants are nice...but...that royal treatment is completely gone. Now, we are just like everyone else flying. I can finally know how some of our passengers are being treated. It is very discouraging..and I really feel for them now.

Hopefully you will always be treated like that when non-reving..because the other side of it is dark. :(
Thanks for the reply. My heart goes out to you. It really does. One question I never did ask when I was active.- I never worked on the "service side". So I really never had a full account on what goes on at the counters. I always wondered if the company VIP's had some different type of ID etc. You would think that a VP's etc. were treated as badly as we are , that they would put a stop to it. I always wondered if the company sent people around the system as "regular." non-revs to see how the operation is doing. All I could think is that the VIP'S have some type of different ID . As for your Philly experience. I could stand your hair on end with several experiences that my daughter had when she was in college. Even flying passengers got into the problems trying to defend my daughters. In fact several said they would never fly U again with what they had witnessed. That is years behind and hopefully Philly has improved. Again my heart goes out to you and all the furloughed employees. Years ago, I was furloughed twice. A year at a time. So, I do have a little understanding of what you go threw. I hard enough, never mind what you have to take from co-workers. It should be just the opposite. Everybody should be looking out for each other during these hard times. Good luck to you!
The company's VIPs used to have a different looking travel card. The normal employee had a blue card, employees with 25 or more years of service had a gold card and the VIP officers had a platinum color card for travel. I do recall one incident where a VIP executives wife was very miffed she did not get her first class seat since first class was full of paying passengers. When I boarded I was shocked to see they booted out a paying first class passenger for her though.
AKA_trvlr64 said:

...you'll see a "gaggle" of agents (or is it flock?)...
Well, let's see. I know it's a pod of whales and an exaltation of larks
I believe it's a gripe of agents, a whine of flight attendants, and a cashgrab of pilots. :p

And I'm in a furloughed whine.