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User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2177 posts, RR: 6
Posted (15 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3335 times:

I recently nonreved on America West, and had an opportunity to see the best and worst of the carrier. On the 17th of February, I took HP from ATL to PHX on one of the new A319s. The agents in ATL were professional, courteous, and gave me a comp upgrade. Once on board, the cabin was immaculate, the service superb, and the cabin crew incredibly friendly - and we landed 15 min early. The connecting HPX flt to FMN was a brand new DHC8, with all leather interior, first class snacks, and again we were on time.

Returning, I found HPX again to be a great ride, a nice aircraft, a friendly staff (ground, cabin, and flight) and another on time arrival.

HOWEVER, my great experience with AmWest ended in PHX. Because I started later in the day, I was unfortunately going to have to return to ATL thru LAS. No problem, plenty of PHX-LAS flts to catch. I went to the first, and as I walked into the gate area, the agent was announcing "If your trying to go standby, forget it....try anther Vegas flt".

I took heed and proceeded to the gate of another LAS flight scheduled to depart 20 min later. I arrived at the gate, and explained I was a nonrev with another carrier, and was listed for a later flight, but wanted to try my luck with this one. The agent, never looked up, never acknowledged, simply said, "I.D." then "we'll let ya know". I wasn't offended, I've been nonreving for years, and understand the frustrations of the gate agent well. I then slinked off to an anonymous "nonrev corner" to await my fate.

They begin boarding the oversold A320 approx 12 min prior to departure with an announcement from a male agent (about 20 years old with his his tie off, shirt tail out, and sleeves rolled up to his elbows) that stated "folks this is flight 218 to Vegas, now gonna preboard, First Class and Gold Level Flight Fund members only, let's go!" (The 'let's go' was not said humorously, but rather sounded very irritated). This followed shortly by..."everyone stay in your seats, unless your rows 23 and higher, let's go". And pretty much the same announcement continued throughout the boarding process, always a "let's go" and continually referring to the city as "Vegas"...apparently Las, is no longer used by the Phoenix ground personnel. His last announcement was "folks, this is it, no more boarding after this final call...the door's gonna be shut." Literally, word for word.

I was preparing to take my chances on another "Vegas" flight, when I heard my name and about 5 others called and told to board immediately. It was about 10 min past departure time, so I quickly approached the podium, where the 20 year old snapped, "are you going or not". I nodded I was. Although, my name had not been called previously, I apologized and hurried down the jetbridge.

As I reached the aircraft, I noticed the male flight attendant working up front (also with tie undone) seemed frustrated by the late arriving passengers (but hey, when you board a 150 seat aircraft 12 min prior to departure, what do you expect?) so I quickly, and nicely, rattled off I was nonrev and would check my bag if I needed to sense the flight was full. With no spoken words, he literally, threw the bag tag at me....I subsequently filled out my own tag, and took my bag to the stairs on the jetbridge. Hey, no prob, free ride, right?

I then boarded the aircraft, grabbed the first middle seat (noticing all the empty overhead bins screaming for my luggage), and sat. We continued to sit at the gate for about 20 minutes, with a F/A continually annoucing...."ladies and gentlemen, it is past our departure time.....please sit down so we can leave". As a F/A myself, I understand the frustrations of a hectic boarding, but as far as I could tell....everybody was sitting and ready to go. Mr. Happy, the F/A forward then made the door closure announcement (not the typical, " Ladies and Gentlement, this is America West flt 218 now departing for Las Vegas - welcome aboard. Flight attendants, prepare your doors for departure and cross check." but simply a train conductoresque "218 to Vegas".

We finally departed, with the cabin crew doing so almost begrudgingly....I was so embarassed for the airline and it's employees over what I had experienced in the last hour, I thought for a moment, I was back on an old ValuJet flight.

During the wait, to depart, many passengers around me were saying how this was "standard America West....every time". And on the concourse, it seemed to be the norm at many of the gates as well....people and agents, frustrated and unhappy...although, at the time, there didn't appear to be lengthy delays. Just another day at large carriers hub operation.

Beggars cannot be choosers, of course, and I was riding for free on an industry pass, so I'm not writing to complain about America West....but simply to remind my colleagues that as an industry, our level of professionalism is sliding rapidly...and I see it at all carriers, including my own. Although the passengers, management, and the job can be INCREDIBLY frustrating, we owe it to the pride in our profession, to at least go through the motions of a JOB WELL DONE.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBA747-436 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 1259 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (15 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3187 times:

Great report, and i thought it was about time somome spoke up about some of the F/A's. I also understand that this is a VERY hard job and VERY demanding but if your gona be a F/A then you should be able to cope with situations and stay calm and kind until your off the flight when you can vent your anger on a hotel pillow or something  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
But it is a hard job and not what most people think as a glorified waiter/waitress.

Dan Valentine - Bad Ass MOFO Photographer
User currently offlineA320FA From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (15 years 2 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3125 times:

Very good trip report. I am glad that the first part of your trip went well and very sorry that the ending was not very good. I have to agree with you on HP's Gate Agents (PHX) they lack the desire to look and do their jobs with professionalism their management can't enforce it because the Agents are at the bottom of the pay scale and attrition is high which is real sad. I really do feel sorry for them because they are so over worked for nothing. There are a few agents that are the exception.

As for the FA's they have no right to treat you like that. America West FA's are govern by strick work rules on how they look and how they perform inflight duites and responsibilities, your FA's should have treated you with respect.

I am a FA for HP and yes at times I am on my first day of a four day trip and on leg #5 of a 6 leg day. On one leg we may have had 6 Aisle chairs w/ wheel chairs which delayed our next leg because the gate agents are short handed and cannot help with the Aisle chairs/wheelchairs so it is all up to the FA's. Then the gate agents now wanting to rush to board the next flight. On another leg we are in final decent into Las Vegas bad turbulance is occurring and a passenger has gone hysterical from fear of flying (so we calm her down and comfort her) at the same time across the aisle a passenger vomits all over and gets it on the other passengers we help clean what we can till we land then make a mad rush to secure the cabin for landing. so far all flight have been packed full we had to eat lunch on the run sometimes we eat nothing but peanuts. A 13 hour duty day is creeping up on us and I am dead tired. In the back of my mind all I can think about is having to do it all again the next day and just want to go to the hotel. Passengers will never know what our day was like. I will not take it out on passengers I will try my best and show some effort in caring even if I have to use the last energy that I have. We are expected to be at our best and to treat all passengers with respect and to take care of them and to insure safety and comfort. I am very sorry that this has happen to you.

We FA's (most) enjoy our jobs very much. I do know a few that will even do it for love because they love the industry so much.
I do hope that you will fly HP again and find that most of us FA's are professional & kind and do take great care of our customers. Who knows maybe I will be your Flight Attendant?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Thank you for flying America West Airlines!!


User currently offlineJason Seiple From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3114 times:

I know this may insult some....

I do my bit of flying on America West. I have around 32,000 miles in my FlightFund account right now (not counting the miles I got in there from a CO overseas trip). I dislike America West. My last trip with them involved all four flights delayed, one for almost four hours with little or no explanation. I have found that the ONLY good employees at America West are the flight attendants and pilots. I've never had a problem with them. The gate agents are terrible and I could point out about 30 who need to be fired. They keep HP from being a great airline in my mind.

Jason Seiple

User currently offlineAWA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3095 times:

I'm so glad you had a wonderful trip ATL-PHX with us... I'm very sorry that your return wasn't so great.

I do have to agree, our agents at PHX are not the best. We have young, just out of high school people just interested in a temporary job... or older people that have been here for a long time and are bitter at management and tired of the problems.

I work at HP headquarters and I fly ALOT, and I notice everytime I fly out of PHX on us, that there are so many different attitudes of employees at the airport and most of them are not good attitudes. Many of them are not rude or mean, just have a completely carefree attitude that doesn't really help the situation.

Don't give up... just ignore our agents  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineAwaramper From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (15 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3074 times:

I'm very happy that at least part of your trip went well. I do wish that you would have had an easier time in PHX. It seems that our ground crew there pretty much does it for everyone. They are all my fellow employees, but I just wish they would not take out their frustrations on the passengers, whether they are revenue or non-revs. We all hate Franke and the PHX mofia, but taking it out on the people who make sure that our paychecks don't bounce isn't right.

User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2177 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (15 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3047 times:

To all the HP Professionals who have responded to this:

Just wanted to say "thanks"....you guys really have shown that there are still dedicated, loyal, professionals in our midst, that care how their airline runs. We are the ones that make this industry exciting and viable....not the numbskulls that are just in it for the paycheck.


User currently offlineAmericawest123 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3038 times:

America West is a great airline except for its few minor problems (which happens to every airline once and a while). I just flew AWA 757 fro BWI to PHX and was pleased with the service, we arrived 15 minutes early as well, the only thing that got to me was waiting those extra 15 minutes for our gate to be cleared, other than that it was great.

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