I flew HP
for the first time from LAX
in January. I booked on the airline's website and I found the price to be lower than the other carriers, however I was concerned about my 54-minute connection time in PHX
, especially after years of hearing nightmare stories about delays, cancellations, service, etc at HP
. My departure flight LAX
was at first delayed 20 minutes, then 40, then 70 with infrequent announcements providing sketchy details. I thought for sure I would miss my flight to San Jose. When we were finally boarded, I sat in the mini-economy class cabin of the 757 just behind First Class, which felt very
We landed in PHX
a full 90 minutes late. My only hope was counting on the whole America West delay factor, and as it turned out, my connecting flight to San Jose (a flight which originated in San Francisco) was also delayed leaving SFO
, so I made my connecting flight purely by luck. The flight from PHX
was completely wide open as so many connecting passengers from other America West cities were so delayed the airline would not wait for them, so I had a row of three to myself, a blessing considering the miserable pitch for a 6'-3" individual.
Not any huge surprise, but there was no meal service for the 5hr 40min flight, only a "cafe" buy-on-board. I bought a chicken sandwich for $5 which was soggy and quite awful, and I refused to pay another $5 for the movie. The return flight SJO
was on time, but I suspect the only reason it was is because the plane RON's at SJO
before returning to PHX
in the morning, so the plane was already there. The return flight was more crowded, on time, no meal service (I declined to buy anything this time), and by the time we were over Mexico City I had memorized all the answers for the repeating in-flight quiz on the movie monitors.
My connecting flight back to LAX
was a joke. The sole gate agent was the most
unkempt agent I had ever seen boarding an aircraft. His hair was not combed, half of his shirt hung untucked, and he ate his lunch at the counter in full view of all the passengers. Our flight was, of course, delayed due to a mechanical issue which was first described as "a problem with the wing" then later changed to "a broken restroom." The gate agent told us the delay was "20 minutes." Five minutes later he announced the delay was "30 minutes," and a few moments later after talking to a mechanic he came back on the PA and said the delay was going to be "20, 30, or 40 minutes." When it was finally time to board a full 70 minutes later, an older lady who had been waiting in a wheelchair was not given priority to board first. The gate agent allowed everyone else to board first, then the woman in the wheelchair was boarded. Call me crazy, but doesn't this sound a bit backwards?
Overall, I was very disappointed with this, my first experience flying America West. After hearing all of the horror stories concerning America West, and then flying on them, now I have my own story to share, but I don't plan on adding any more to my travel experiences as I don't plan to fly America West again unless they are the only option.
I know that one bad experience should not be the determining factor for not ever giving something another chance, but after hearing so many bad stories about HP
so many times, it is very hard not to ignore them when making future travel plans. I would not discourage anyone from finding the cheapest fare if money is an issue....but as with all things, buyer beware!
If anything, my travels to and from Costa Rica are only that much more exciting having flown HP
It's an entirely different kind of flying; all together.