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US Reservations Is Driving Me Crazy!  
User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 6
Posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2904 times:

One of my good friends goes to Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, and he lives in NJ outside of Philly. Before he went back to school, he asked me to book his flights from PIT-PHL to come home on holidays and such. Interestingly enough, US had better fares and better schedules than WN, so I booked him on US flights.

For starters, the US website makes me nuts. I hate the fact that I have to pick the flights before I can find out the price - it makes it so hard to compare different prices on different flights!!! Why can't they do it like AA, CO, DL, or anyone else that gives you the price on each individual flight?

Secondly, about ten minutes after we booked one weekend visit home, he decided that he wanted to switch the weekend he had booked - not a problem; we were within the 24 hour cancellation grace period. Trying to speak to someone at US with half a brain is nearly impossible - they're all outsourced and nearly impossible to understand! I had to hang up on the first two agents because I couldn't understand what they were saying, and the third guy had to put me on hold for 35 minutes just to cancel the ticket. To make matters worse, the US website wouldn't show the status of the ticket - it kept saying "ticket not found." I ended up booking another ticket on Travelocity.com, and US's website wouldn't let me pull it up to check that eveything was alright.

To make matters worse, my friend's mom just sent me an email to tell me that the refund on the canceled ticket never showed up, and the agents are completely useless every time I've called. I can barely understand them, and they all claim that the refund should have been processed. No kidding - but clearly, something failed along the way, and none of them know how to fix it. One agent told me to "wait six statements and then call us back if you see nothing."

I don't mean to go on such a tirade here, and I will admit that I'm about to plug CO here, but oh well. Why can't US be like CO? CO has all of their res agents in the US - with no accents and difficulty in communication. CO's res agents can handle refunds on the spot, and their website is one-hundred times easier to use - allowing you to see all the fares at once and letting you see any reservations under your name, regardless of where they were made. You can also change your seat assignment after the fact - yet another thing US's website cannot do.

No wonder US is doing so poorly financially - it's like pulling teeth to book a flight with them! Now I apologize for being so critical, but I would like to see the CEO of US book a ticket and then deal with reservations over the phone at US and then attempt to do the same with CO. There's no comparison, and if a relatively travel-savvy person (myself) has a hard time with complex issues, how the heck can an "average Joe" do anything?

Now that I'm done with that, I apologize for getting so angry, but I just needed to let off steam - it was making me nuts. Clearly, CO isn't perfect either, and I've had my fair share of gripes about them, but at least I can understand their agents when I call. My sympathies to anyone that lives in PHL or CLT and has to deal with this on a routine basis.

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePITA333 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 391 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2869 times:

Yes, yes, US does have a strange website and a HORRIBLE reservations phone line. One thing about one of your comments though, the website does have a preview price box on the right hand side, so you can look through flights, not have to go back, and still see the price.

Regards,
PITA333

[Edited 2005-09-02 23:23:32]

User currently offlineUAalltheway From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2862 times:

Than go to a site like Orbitz, Travelocity, etc.. sounds like your main complaint is trying to figure out which flight is going to be the cheapest and through US's booking interface that makes it hard for you, a problem that can be easily solved:

www.orbitz.com

 Wink


User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2861 times:

I know that it has the price box on the right hand side, but when you're looking at city pairs like PIT-PHL, and there are a multitude of flights per day, it becomes increasingly tedious to pick flight after flight after flight and wait while the page reloads and the fare appears. Why can't they just show outbound flights first (with estimated price next to each flight) and then show return flights afterwards (with the total price next to each flight)? That way, you can see the prices of all the flights without having to individually click on each one.

BTW, I finally did end up going to Travelocity to book the other tickets out of frustration, but I shouldn't have to pay $5 extra per reservation for the privilege of using a decent interface.

[Edited 2005-09-02 23:27:49]

User currently offlineJBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3179 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2841 times:
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On US's website, it will tell you the price for the flights you've picked. Then, it will also tell you if there are cheaper flights available.

We live in north-central NJ and my sister goes to U-Pitt, so she flies PIT-EWR frequently.

When you select two flights and press "Display Price", you can click below it on the cheaper fare, and it will show you the flights available at that price.

Another way is to search by price, which eliminates the dates. You just press your dates on a calendar and if the dates are available for the price tier youve selected, you can see all the flights available for the day at that tier.

-Ben


User currently offlinePhatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1346 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2835 times:

Cory: In the future, if you wish to avoid outsourced reservations on airlines whom use them (and I agree, it can be VERY difficult to communicate problems), just go to the airport ticket counter (provided you are close to an airport), explain your plight that you are having with the outsourced phone agents, and they should be more than willing to assist you. I think its worth the drive to the airport (even with the price of gas considered), than having to deal with outsourced reservations who do not understand the problem and waste one's time.

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 3):
BTW, I finally did end up going to Travelocity to book the other tickets out of frustration, but I shouldn't have to pay $5 extra per reservation for the priviledge of using a decent interface.

Travelocity is a middleman, per se, for purchasing tickets. Do expect to pay additional fees with these companies.


User currently offlineSonOfACaptain From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1747 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2813 times:

Cory,

The reason you are having so much difficulty on the US website is because you are not correctly using it. On the main menu where you have to type in all the information (destination, date, ect.), click the search by price, and not the search by date button. By doing this, a screen will show up telling you when the lowest fares are and what flights you can get them. In fact, US has won awards for this feature. The only problem is that US does not make it clear enough for most people (I for one), as people usually tend to skim things. Hope this helps.

-SOAC



Non Illegitimi Carborundum
User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2779 times:

Quoting SonOfACaptain (Reply 6):
click the search by price

I tried that - the problem is that there are so many different possible combinations of flights that it doesn't necessarily put together what you are looking for. I prefer CO's method - you can pick the flights as you like but you can still see what fares are lowest.

Quoting Phatfarmlines (Reply 5):
Do expect to pay additional fees with these companies.

I completely understand that Travelocity needs to make a profit - my point was more along the lines of the fact that US's website was frustrating me so much that I ended up having to use another website. I'm not criticizing Travelocity's fees; I'm frustrated with the US website.

Separately, why can't US's website be more up-to-date? If CO lets you pull up a reservation online and save it to your profile, regardless of where it was made, in addition to letting you pull up the seat map and letting you change seats, why can't US?


User currently offlineSonOfACaptain From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1747 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2769 times:

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 7):
Separately, why can't US's website be more up-to-date?

US is currently working on an update for their website. They have already added many features and upgrades.

-SOAC



Non Illegitimi Carborundum
User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2772 times:

I actually like US Airways' reservation system the best. It is very uncluttered and the price feature works quite well.

AAndrew


User currently offlineCltguy From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 598 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2635 times:

To anyone with half a brain it should be plainly obvious that Travelocity runs the USAirways reservation website. They are EXACTLY the same format. Someone who praises travelocity and then bashes usairways.com is the definition of a hypocrit as they are EXACTLY the same.

User currently offlineJBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3179 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2607 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Cltguy (Reply 10):
To anyone with half a brain it should be plainly obvious that Travelocity runs the USAirways reservation website. They are EXACTLY the same format. Someone who praises travelocity and then bashes usairways.com is the definition of a hypocrit as they are EXACTLY the same.

Umm... not really.

JBLU


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2582 times:

This is why I book with Southwest Big grin

Easy, simple, and sometimes its worth it to pay more to not have to deal with the hassle like you do with usairways.com I admit I have trouble checking flights on usairways.com as well. It is very aggravating to me.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineBrokenrecord From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 772 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2537 times:

My suggestion would be to utilise www.itasoftware.com first, then take the info you find, and select the proper flights on the US site.

User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2488 times:

Quoting Cltguy (Reply 10):
Someone who praises travelocity and then bashes usairways.com is the definition of a hypocrit

Jeez....calm down. For starters, US's reservations interface and Travelocity's are nothing alike. Besides that, there is no reason to say that I have half a brain - I'm not a hypocrite and I'm not an idiot, that's for sure.

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 12):
This is why I book with Southwest

I do happen to think that WN's website is very good for the purpose it serves. For an airline with no (or very few) complex reservations, one class of service, and one aircraft type, it's great. I also think that it does an excellent job of displaying all of the available fares, but they were all sold out for the dates we were looking at. However, when things get more complex (such is the case with the legacies, with codeshares, different classes of service, and the like), their simplistic design wouldn't work as well. But, as I said, it gets the job done well for WN's needs!


User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2460 times:

Okay, so the fifty million dollar question:

When (okay, IF!) the USAirways - America West merger goes through, who's website will continue?

Considering how easy to use HP's is, I hope that will the survivor.



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineBrokenrecord From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 772 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2454 times:

PanAm,
Although I am a die-hard US flyer, I hope that the HP reservation system is the one used.

I really wish that there was a feature like AA and DL have that allows you to log into your reservation after it has been made to make seat changes and the like. I hate having to call everytime I fly to pick my seat after my e-upgrade clears.


User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3803 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 14):
However, when things get more complex (such is the case with the legacies, with codeshares, different classes of service, and the like), their simplistic design wouldn't work as well.

Why not? The legacies, for whatever twisted reasoning, seem by their actions to have themselves conned into believing the high-cost myth that everything they do must be convoluted. Why would it be "impractical" for a legacy to simply list the available flights they offer between points A and B (including non-stops, connections and code-share flight) for the date specified, in sequence of departure times, with lowest available one-way fare for each flight? And on a related note, why would it be "impractical" for the legacies to state their fare restrictions in easily understood language in a concise manner as Southwest does?

Sorry to say, the legacies are largely victims of the myths they have created and imposed upon themselves. Too bad customers cannot always avoid getting caught in the proverbial middle of the legacies' high-cost nonsense.


User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2377 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 17):
why would it be "impractical" for the legacies to state their fare restrictions in easily understood language in a concise manner

While I don't know how easy it would be for the legacies to change their website reservations systems to an interface like WN has, I often do ask myself the above question.

I consider myself to be a relatively travel-savvy individual - I understand what terms like Co-terminals, Applicable Routings, etc. mean. However, even then, I still get confused sometimes when reading the full length fare rules, so how is any normal human being that isn't an airline nut like the ones here at a.net (myself being one of those nuts) supposed to understand what the heck the fare rules mean.

An overhaul of the fare rules to make them more user-friendly would definitely be a welcome change.


User currently offlineGoodmanr From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 297 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2360 times:

Quoting Cory6188 (Thread starter):
For starters, the US website makes me nuts

The US website is horrid.

Quoting JBLUA320 (Reply 4):
On US's website, it will tell you the price for the flights you've picked. Then, it will also tell you if there are cheaper flights available.

Sort of, it won't tell you the prices for all flights, you ahve to select a specific flight before seeing its price.



USAirways - Chairmans Gold
User currently offlineSonOfACaptain From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1747 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 17 hours ago) and read 2270 times:

Quoting Goodmanr (Reply 19):
Sort of, it won't tell you the prices for all flights, you ahve to select a specific flight before seeing its price.

Not exactly, all you have to do is search by PRICE, that way you pick the price you want to pay and they give what is available.

-SOAC



Non Illegitimi Carborundum
User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2997 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 17 hours ago) and read 2251 times:

I've never had a problem booking with the USAirways website, but since you have...

My question to you would be... If you think Travelocity is the sliced bread of online booking as far as schedule/fares, but resent having to pay for the extra, why did you not identify the flights you wanted on Travelocity, but book on USAirways' website to save your money?



Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 17 hours ago) and read 2241 times:

That's the problem with outsourced phone lines. I have had the same problem with DL. It's horrible.

User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 16 hours ago) and read 2219 times:

Quoting 4holer (Reply 21):
If you think Travelocity is the sliced bread of online booking as far as schedule/fares

Actually, I think that CO's website is one of the best when it comes to online booking, but Travelocity does a good job in listing multiple airlines.

Quoting 4holer (Reply 21):
why did you not identify the flights you wanted on Travelocity, but book on USAirways' website to save your money?

It ended up that Travelocity's fare was actually $10 less than that through US's website directly, but when I called US about the low fare guarantee, the agent (outsourced yet again) was totally uninformed and basically useless. I asked my friend what he wanted me to do, and he just told me to book everything through Travelocity instead.


User currently offlineSonOfACaptain From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1747 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 15 hours ago) and read 2198 times:

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 23):
but when I called US about the low fare guarantee, the agent (outsourced yet again) was totally uninformed and basically useless.

I don't mean to be picking on you, but all you had to do was go to www.usairways.com . On the front page there is a big icon on the guarantee on how you redeem it.

-SOAC



Non Illegitimi Carborundum
25 Cory6188 : I know you can do it totally online, but before I went through the effort to do that, I wanted to be completely sure it would work and that the fare I
26 Carduelis : Cory - I hope you see this situation as a lesson. Do not get involved with the world and his brother/mother when making airline reservations. You will
27 USF100FAN : Thank US for outsourcing all call reservations down south somewhere El Salvador or who knows where??? US used to have the best customer reps, mainly i
28 SonOfACaptain : Welcome to the world of American corporations. -SOAC
29 Jetdeltamsy : So fly Continental. What's your point? USAir isn't like Contiental because it's a different company. USAir has laid off thousands of experienced peop
30 Cory6188 : Normally, I have no problems doing travel arrangements for others, and I will continue to do so - I had no problems booking my mom's coworker's trip
31 Cory6188 : I apologize for resurrecting this thread, but simply put, things went from bad to worse. My friend called the US refunds department today to follow up
32 SonOfACaptain : Cory, Cory, Cory. First of all, do not compare this situation with the situation you recently had with CO. A MSY is clearly understood right now, ESP
33 Cory6188 : I was frustrated with US because I didn't understand why the agent, when she was staring at the cancelled PNR in front of her, wanted some sort of wr
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