A couple of weeks ago I received a message from the owner of this MySpace page asking me to join her crusade against US Air. While I was impressed by her initiative, and understood her feelings, it had been almost a year since my last horrible US Air experience. I had forgotten how bad they are, and my own statement imploring others to never, ever fly US Air.
Well, yesterday I had to fly to Asheville, North Carolina for a conference. I was speaking at 9 AM this morning. My flight was supposed to leave Dulles at 4:00 yesterday, so I headed to the airport around 2:30.
I ended up leaving almost an hour late because the inbound flight was delayed leaving Dayton, OH. These things happen, so no big deal, right?
When I arrived in Charlotte for my connection, it too was delayed creating a 3 1/2 hour layover (even after my one-hour inbound delay. Since Asheville is only about 2 hours from Charlotte, I figured I’d simply rent a car and drive. I approached the gate agent and asked to have them pull my bag so I could grab a rental car.
Here’s where the story goes from simply pedestrian to tragically ironic.
The gate agent told me that my bag could not be taken out of the stream because it had already been routed to the holding area for my connecting flight. They assured me that doing so meant my bag would arrive at my destination.
See where this is going?
It didn’t… I arrived at my destination after 10:00pm (8 hours from DC to Asheville BY AIR – a new record). My bag however, went into some sort of luggage limbo. After a half-hour trying to explain the concept of a missing bag to the gate agent in Asheville, the guy next to me indicated he was also waiting for an errant bag – and had been since Wednesday (5 days).
I did without the bag, grabbed some new clothes for my meeting, and headed back to the airport at 10:00 AM this morning. upon check-in, I asked them to check the status of my bag. It had not been located, let alone routed to Asheville.
After a half hour flight delay leaving Asheville, and another hour delay due to a blown air conditioner in Charlotte, I was batting .1000 for late flights on this trip – and all of them were due to mechanical problems (nice reliable fleet, huh?)
The US air lost baggage tracking system tells me they have found my bag, but not where it is or when I can expect it.
Under most circumstances, I’d say this was an unbelievably bad trip, but it’s par for the course on US Air.