Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Republic/US AIR bad customer service

Yet again, another post about bad customer service. My husband wrote this letter after the flight but ended up not sending it. Instead he called the CEO of Republic and dialed by name. He actually answered and after two seconds, conferenced in his VP of Customer Service and told him to solve the problem and they give him a free roundtrip for his troubles.

"I boarded the flight on time and according to the zone I was assigned. I could not find bin space for my carry-on, which is size compliant and fits in every overhead compartment I encounter in my 100k miles of travel annually. I turned around in the aisle and headed back to the front of the aircraft where I calmly explained my dilemma to the flight attendant in the forward cabin. The name on her US Air ID card was Tara. I asked Tara for a gate check. Tara abruptly told me "I cannot do that on this aircraft." There was no polite couching like "I am sorry sir, but we cannot arrange the gate checks on this flight, but I can help you some other way..." I asked for an alternate option and the only one offered was a bag check all the way through to New Orleans, my final destination. I accepted this solution, gave Tara my bag, and returned to my seat 5D.

Tara asked for my name after taking my bag. She confirmed my final destination as New Orleans and walked out the door of the aircraft and into the jet way. Within 3-4 minutes Tara returned with my bag and told me "I don't trust the people in Philadelphia with your bag." I was now given my bag back and told that there was, in fact, bin space for it. I calmly explained that I thought otherwise, but was given no other options. I then walked back to the extreme rear area of the aircraft looking for this bin space I was told existed.

When I arrived in the rear area of the aircraft I saw a 2x2 foot area in one bin. I was glad to see it was a possible area for my bag. I began trying to fit the back into the space. It did not fit, although I had only tried for 30 seconds max, and I was then approached by a second flight attendant who was very unprofessional and shoved a white plastic bag at me and nearly yelled "Consolidate your bag!" This person, whose name I didn't have the chance to learn due to her ID not being worn!!, then proceeded to stand there with her hands on her hips audibly complaining about me and how I was going to cause a delay that the crew would take the heat for. Other passengers were clearly uncomfortable by the stress this was creating. I sensed the tension and tried to use a sense of humor in defusing the situation. "If you could give me a hand with consolidating my bag, we might get done quicker because I am not a good packer, ha ha."

Her response was furious! She shouted the following in one of the sharpest tones of voice I have ever encountered. I quote her following tirade to me... "I am not here to help you with your bag! I am 4 months pregnant and I can't lift your bag for you! I deal with 80 something passengers a day and can't help them with their bags!" At this point I was completely humiliated and concerned this would escalate, so I asked her to calm down, finished moving items into the plastic bag she had shoved at me earlier, and returned to my seat.

The rear area flight attendant then proceeded to stomp her feet so loudly it caused others to comment on her sprint to the pilots cockpit area. After a minute or two complaining to the pilots about me, she stomped back down the aisle and stopped at my seat. She violently tapped her fingernails on my overhead bin and shouted to Tara, "This one right here! 5D!" She stormed back to the rear area and was mumbling complaining all the way back there at one point yelling "If I don't like it I can take my bag and get on the next flight!"

As we taxied down the runway, Tara approached me to tell me that they "Almost removed me from the plane." Tara told me this in a volume that allowed the passengers around me to sort of chuckle and comment. At this point I feel so humiliated, so embarrassed and so "criminal" I cannot explain it with words. I fly all over the planet, multiple times weekly and encounter, on balance, good service by the professionals at the major airlines. I have never been treated in the manner I was treated by these two individuals and have made a decision now to avoid your airline at all costs.

To add insult to injury I was given 866-523-5333 to call and voice my complaint by a manager at the gate where I made a connection. Upon calling that number I was told by a recording that no one was available to help me. I was instructed to go online and fill out this form!

US ranks dead last in customer service in the industry. Now I know why.


Scott J. Dalton"

I vow to my readers to post positive customer experiences too! One positive for every negative. I owe you two!

1 comment:

Brandi said...

Wow, I am so impressed that Scott got thru to the CEO directly!! Now THAT is a feat today. Seems like you can't get thru to anyone live anymore, let along a company executive! Please let us know his tips:) (And kudos for Scott for speaking up. I think if we all band together and complain against all this stinky service, maybe we can improve it!)