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USflysagain
Topic Author
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:13 am

HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:18 am

First off, I have to say I love this site and have been lurking for years, but a recent episode on HP, has caused me to seek out advice.

I love HP, am totally excited to see what happens with the new merger, so I do believe that this recent event was an anomaly

Here Goes:
Last Thursday evening I was flying from SFO to PHX via LAS. My arrival in LAS was due at 8:14pm for a connection that departed at 8:44pm, and yes I had to travel from the A gates to the B gates (a hike for such a short time). My plane arrived early in LAS at 8:10pm, however we ending up sitting on the tarmac for 10 minutes while they were waiting for a gate attendant to more the terminal gate into position to deplane. We finally deplane, I check the departures (which was only showing BOARDING) and ran all the way to B19. I arrived at 8:25pm (with no checked luggage, only carry-on) 5 minutes before the final check in (I thought I was well aware of these rules prior to this incident), saw that the door was closed, sought the gate attendant and had the following discourse:

Me: Hi, I¡¯m her to check in for the flight to PHX

Her: I¡¯m sorry, the gate is closed

Me: How is that possible? (Looking at watch to make sure I¡¯m not crazy) I¡¯m here 20 minutes prior to departure.

Her: That¡¯s too bad, the plane is full

Me: But I¡¯m a ticketed passenger with originating in SFO going to PHX, I have a seat. (I then proceeded to explain why I was late, and how my previous flight was on the tarmac for 10 min)

Her: (agitated) I¡¯m sorry sir, but you are not going to be getting on this flight.

Me: Well what are you going to do to help me get to PHX this evening.

Her: I¡¯m not going to do anything, YOUR going to walk down to customer assistance and figure it out yourself.

Me: (Wow) And where might that be?

She then gave me directions, and I gave a sarcastic passive aggressive thank you and called up HP reservations for assistance. The woman on the phone was amazing, very polite, and concerned about how I was treated and directed my on how to contact customer service/relations to report the incident.

As for the flight, I was put on a PHX bound flight departing at 1:00am which was delayed due to weather, departed at 3:00am and arrived in PHX at 4:00am 6 hours after I was due to arrive.

Like I said, I normally love HP, but I would like to know how I should best describe this incident to customer relations. I do believe that I should receive some form of compensation since THEY caused me to miss my flight (and I had only 2 hours of sleep prior to a job interview at 8:00am Fri. morning) Any tips on how I should go about this, or any advice on what I should do if I find myself in this situation in the future?

Thanks,
US Flys Again
 
atct
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:42 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:26 am

Wow, what a bitch. Anywho I believe since it was an airline problem, they are required to either compensate you, or get you on a future flight (which they did). I do not believe that with this case, you are eligible for compensation (Sorry  Sad ) Its been 3 years now since ive worked in the airline job and I worked for DL, so I may be wrong. Someone else know for sure? (preferably an HP employee?)
Trikes are for kids!
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15101
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:45 am

Yeah, just sounds like one bad person.

Not sure if they are required to compensate you if you booked such a short connection time, and since they got you where you were supposed to go.

I had a similar experience in MIA with AA, where we "arrived early" but typical Miami ground ops had us wait 20 minutes.

I was on the last flight to EYW, and they drove me out to the plane but wouldn't let me on because it would be too heavy. They said "there was a couple in first class who made the connection by running, why couldn't you?" and I said I wasn't so lucky to sit in the front of the plane and there was nothing on my ticket that said I agreed to sprint carrying luggage (didn't say that part, just that I can't run due to an injury, which is true).

So they were hemming and hawing, and finally I got them to put me on the US express flight two hours later, delayed a bit more due to weather. US was great, they gave me compensation and an overnight kit because they didn't get my bag to me (without me asking). I asked them why they were compensating me (a flight coupon of some sort) and they said it was their policy, and AA paid them "good money" to fly me to EYW.  Wink Can't argue with that.

And like you, I got there eventually, despite a rather rude gate attendant at AA. And I picked up my luggage at EYW the next morning, so there wasn't really any harm, other than a memory of one airline being a bit rude, and the other airline being extra nice.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
bayareapilot
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 3:53 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:01 am

If what the agent said is true (the flights was full), then that was an IDB and you are definitely due compensation and HP has to report it to the Department of Transportation. You are owed 200% of your fare up to $400 in cold hard CASH.
 
UAL-Fan
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 1999 1:36 pm

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:08 am

I can beat that.....

I flew HP the Thursday before the 4th of July weekend this year JFK-LAS-SAN. We left New York 2.5 hours late due to "weather" (definitely not in New York) even though the plane did arrive in New York on time and we boarded on time with no pilot. The first excuse was that he was stuck in traffic...but that soon changed to "weather".

We should have arrived in LAS around 10PM.....because of the delay everyone on that plane missed thier connections.

All passengers were sent out to the check in counter since there was no way out that evening.

At the check in counter there were hundreds of other steaming mad passengers. HP refused to work with anyone. They had people handing out little yellow slips of paper telling us we were on our own with a phone number to call for help. They wouldn't even talk to us.

Upon calling the number they supplied we soon learned that every flight out of that place was 100% sold out for the next several days due to the holiday. There was no other way out until Sunday for some people I talked to. That was 3 days later!

I've been flying roughly 200,000 miles a year for business for the past 15 years and nothing like this has ever happened. I finally paid for a ticket on Southwest to get home the next evening.

Needless to say they now join USAIR on my never fly them again list. Now that they are one in the same it will just make that list a little easier to manage.

Good Luck.
 
MarshalN
Posts: 1474
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:39 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:11 am

Quoting Bayareapilot (Reply 3):
If what the agent said is true (the flights was full), then that was an IDB and you are definitely due compensation and HP has to report it to the Department of Transportation. You are owed 200% of your fare up to $400 in cold hard CASH.

Sorry, what's IDB? Intentional Double Booking?

I didn't know this rule, gotta keep this in mind next time I fly.
 
akelley728
Posts: 2063
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 1999 12:35 pm

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:37 am

Quoting USflysagain (Thread starter):
Last Thursday evening I was flying from SFO to PHX via LAS. My arrival in LAS was due at 8:14pm for a connection that departed at 8:44pm, and yes I had to travel from the A gates to the B gates (a hike for such a short time).

I'm sorry to hear about your experience, but you knowingly got on a flight with a 30 minute connection time, also knowing that you would have to go from one part of the airport to another (by your own admission you know it's a hike).

IMO, you don't deserve any compensation for missing the flight. However, you communications to customer service should concentrate on the attitude the GA gave you, and the door was 20 minutes prior to departure. There is no excuse for the attitute or the early door closing. You might get something for that.
 
N801NW
Posts: 558
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:56 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:45 am

Quoting MarshalN (Reply 5):
Sorry, what's IDB? Intentional Double Booking?

Involuntary Denied Boarding.
 
Byrdluvs747
Posts: 2540
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 5:25 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Mon Sep 26, 2005 2:50 pm

You should have written her name down and wrote HP with the exact times and dates of travel. Employees like that need to be let go.
The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
 
jmc1975
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 10:57 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:32 pm

Sounds like a bad apple! Hopefully, some of the good folks at LAS can investigate this and take proper action.
.......
 
flyboyaz
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:32 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:10 am

Sorry to hear about your experience! Unfortunately LAS has rude people all around...on any airline!! It's just a weird city.....

They were wrong in closing the door so early. Obviously you were checked in so they should not have taken your seat away until 10-15 minutes before departure. We are not supposed to leave any more than 10 minutes before depature unless everyone who is checked in has boarded. If you had not checked in, then you would have lost your seat at 20 minutes, especially in an oversale.

I would call for sure....not just because they gave your seat away, but because she was so rude. It's hard to say why she did that, unless your connecting flight had not shown in yet..then at 20 minutes they cancel all connecting reservations for the flight and give your seat to someone else. That might be what happened. Not sure.....but being treated that way is unacceptable.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
av8rphx
Posts: 683
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 8:10 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Tue Sep 27, 2005 1:20 am

Speaking of LAS... was doing my weekly commute from MSP, had to stop in LAS because I missed the direct flight out of MSP (damn alarm clock!!!), anyhow... the agent almost left about 10 deadheads who werent checked in and 15 standbys behind because she forgot to check in and clear them..
 
HPRamper
Posts: 5113
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 4:22 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Tue Sep 27, 2005 1:32 am

Quoting Flyboyaz (Reply 10):
It's hard to say why she did that, unless your connecting flight had not shown in yet..then at 20 minutes they cancel all connecting reservations for the flight and give your seat to someone else.

That's a good point, and it seems like that might be the reason this happened when I think about it. But at least the gate agent should have let him know what had happened instead of leaving him guessing.
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Tue Sep 27, 2005 1:56 am

Quoting USflysagain (Thread starter):
I should receive some form of compensation

What a rude agent! I have the feeling that at best you will get a letter of apology and no compensation though.
 
Bridogger6
Posts: 667
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:21 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:06 am

I think if you explain to them what happened, and they are able to indeed verify that that plane closed earlier than it should have, they will prob provide you with a transportation voucher such as one hundred dollars or so off your next flight if you're lucky.

I agree with what flyboy said, LAS sucks, you have rude people at any airline and anywhere around the airport anyway, I hate it for that reason, sorry you had such a bad experience.

As for the IDP (Involuntary Denied Boarding) compensation, all airlines actually have a clause that states that if you're not in the departure area at 10 minutes prior to departure time, your seat may be given away and you will not be compensated, that even applied to misonnections, they are able to close the departure door up to ten minutes early, but usually wait until there are five minutes left.

But if, as you say, you were there on time, you had every right to be on that plane. I am sorry you got treated so poorly, these are the HP stories I hate to hear.  Sad
 
qxq400
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:42 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:57 pm

I know what you can do! Tell HP/US to take a flying leap and do all your travels with AS?QX instead. That will show them!  bigmouth   box 
Welcome baby Madison Renee
 
Singh4US
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2000 12:28 pm

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:48 pm

I am sorry that this happened to you. I don't know how HP's boarding operation system works, however at US when a pax has checked in and not boarded the flight, their name appears on a list. The gate agent will check to see which inbound flight the pax arrived. Usually we will verify that the flight had arrived and wait for the pax to board the connecting flight. We will also page the pax in the terminal. We can hold only for a reasonable length of time, without causing a delay in the department. We only can delay if we have permission for a gate hold via the passenger coordinator. This happens alot in my station as we have lots of inbound international pax whom may be delayed in clearing customs (FLL).

However, as you've stated that the flight left early (prior to scheduled departure) the gate agent should have verified that you had not boarded yet and waited. Sorry for your inconvenience.

You should contact customer relations:

http://www.americawest.com/awa/content/contact/customer_relations.aspx
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9602
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: HP Debacle, Seeking Advice...

Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:49 pm

Quoting USflysagain (Thread starter):
Last Thursday evening I was flying from SFO to PHX via LAS

So were you flying SFO-LAS-PHX on HP. If so, then why were you not already checked in for your LAS-PHX sector. If you were not checked in for this flight, then you might not have much to complain about. Here are the policies of HP:

To assist in ensuring an on time departure, we recommend that you check-in at least 60 minutes prior to departure and arrive at the gate a minimum of 20 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. Customers with advance seat assignments must obtain a boarding pass at least 20 minutes (60 minutes internationally) before scheduled departure. If not checked in and present in the boarding area at least 15 minutes before scheduled departure, your reservation may be cancelled and you will not be eligible for denied boarding compensation. Plan to be on the aircraft at least 10 minutes prior to departure.

You were at the gate according to your timing 19 minutes before departure, so you were very boarderline on making the flight at all since you did not have a boarding pass. Flights get closed for check in 20 minutes early, so there might not have been anything you could have done. It doesn't matter if you are connecting or originating at your departure point, but you must be checked in. For connections you always want to obtain a boarding pass at your point of departure if you can and if you can't you should not schedule such a tight connection. If you already had a boarding pass and you were in the gate at least 15 minutes before depature (like you said you were) then you should demand compensation because you did follow the airline's policies yet got denied boarding. Overall though it probably was not a smart decision to make a 30 minute connection for a flight you were not checked in on. You should have contacted an agent in SFO to see if they could help you because intentionally giving yourself a 10 minute buffer against the absolutely latest possible check in is not a very smart move.

That line of "the flight is full" was probably the agent being obnoxious to you since she might have thought that you were just trying to stand by. If the flight was actually full and that was the reason (which probably wasn't true since there were no stand by passengers waiting according to your accounts) then you deserve involuntary denied boarding compensation.

Overall you should send a letter to HP customer service and get a full explanation. Technically it could go either way. You might just get an I'm sorry, better luck next time though. However a company with truly good customer service would give you some sort of compensation, unfortunately there aren't many if any of those types of companies in the airline business. I would say that you did receive some pretty bad customer service from that agent in LAS. Even though you might have been in the wrong, the agent had a bad attitude and you should complain about that.

[Edited 2005-09-27 16:53:47]
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