Wednesday, June 21, 2006

May I help you (ruin your day)?


Since we're talking about world records today, I thought I'd toss in another... The world's absolute worst airline service... To experience the jaw dropping awe of this wonder you will need at least six hours, a speaker phone, and a clean criminal record, since you will want the judge to take pity on you for the horrible acts you might commit when subjected to this horror show. OK ready?

Call US AIR at 1-800-327-7810, their "special" reservations number (you get this number when you call their normal 800 reservation number AFTER trying to book tickets online, which flat out doesn't work and refers you to a live reservation operator, a gesture that will cost you $5 more per ticket, for the astonishing show of nightmarish service I'm assuming). Now you're ready to book a ticket. I dare you. Something easy, say, two r/t tickets from LAX to JFK. That shouldn't be too hard right? OK, dial the number, now put on the speakerphone, sit back, and start counting to a million slowly. Again. Again. That's about how long it will take to get a reservationist just to pick up. OK, now try to make the reservation. That will take some patience, since the reservationist doesn't speak English very well. And their computer is frozen. And they don't know what JFK is. They will have to put you on hold. For twenty six minutes. When they come back they say they accidentally erased your reservations and need to start over. You start over. But the reservationist gets it wrong. When they read you back the information, the dates are wrong, the airports are wrong, the times are wrong. You are waiting for Alan Funt to walk into your office with a camera crew, but he does not arrive. Finally, after another ten minutes on hold you are told that your ticket is booked. Wait I wanted two tickets, sitting together. Oh. You will need to reorder the second ticket...

This goes on and on and on. A few days later, when you go to check the reservations online, one of the tickets does not show up. You call reluctantly, and you spend another enjoyable session on the phone with a senior customer service agent who can not verify whether your ticket has been cancelled "by someone" or not. They need to talk to another supervisor. 'How long will I be on hold?' you ask explaining that time is of the essence. Two minutes, they promise. You hold them to that promise. Forty seven minutes later you are still on hold and you have decided to blog about this wonderful occurrence and the good feelings it gives you about traveling on US AIR. You will have had time to remember that old Lily Tomlin character and you will learn that that character was called "Ernestine." You will have time to find an image of her, correct the colors, and splice in a US AIR logo. Your day is wasting and you feel great about it. Enjoy!

3 Comments:

Blogger pigatschmo said...

I thought US Air went bankrupt... That may explain things

8:57 PM  
Anonymous JM Colberg said...

Ha, I WISH they would finally go bankrupt and disappear from the face of the earth. US Airways is the most hideous and disgusting airline ever, and as much as I don't care about "business" the one thing I hope for is that they go under. Too many times have I had the "pleasure" to use them - living in Pittsburgh and all that - and each and every time, they have made me almost want to kill myself for using them. I'm now up to the point where I'll take any number of additional layovers just to avoid them. OK, before I start foaming at the mouth I better stop this rant....

12:32 PM  
Anonymous JM Colberg said...

PS: I think instead of wishing somebody to go to hell, you can just wish them flights on US Airways. Hell is quite pleasant compared with US Airways.

12:33 PM  

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