John just sent me a link to an article entitled “US Airways Says Thousands Still Stuck:”
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Thousands of weary travelers faced a third day waiting to reach their destinations Sunday as US Airways struggled to recover from the ice and snow storm that paralyzed airports in the Northeast.
The airline was still trying to find seats for 100,000 passengers systemwide whose flights were grounded by Friday’s storm, spokesman Andrew Christie said. Many of the passengers were diverted to US Airways’ hub in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday.
Holy crap. 3 days of waiting. And all this happened 2 days after we got home. So close. Here I was feeling put out about standing in line at the check-in counter for an hour and a half. (Admittedly, the weather was perfect so no flights were actually cancelled and I was wearing a remarkably patient but nevertheless wriggly, and eventually hungry, 23-pound 1-year-old that whole time we stood in line, as we got more and more worried about missing our flight because nobody was giving any information, only to be bumped to another airline, leading us to be flagged for the extra security near-stripdown search, and not getting seats together because we were added to the flight last minute, and then once we did get on the plane, having to beg, plea and avoid fisticuffs with an ornery passenger who didn’t want to change seats so we could use the carseat for Phoebe since we’d paid for 3 seats while the whole plane waited…)
I do feel sincerely sorry for those poor US Airways employees who were working the ticket counters. Dealing with all those people. Thousands of irritated people. For days. Ugh. I swear, I hope those employees have some vacation time coming. And I hope that if they need to fly somewhere, that they get there. Perhaps by means of another airline.
And another funny thing. I just saw this NYT article this morning about airlines writing apology letters. I guess somebody has their work cut out for them.
One last thing. In defense of US Airways. We did actually get home by way of our original reservations with them. Their computer system was actually working on Wednesday, at least at the time we checked in. Also, they actually are comparatively family friendly, assuming you can get on your flight. They had preboarding for families with small children, which I guess has largely been done away with on other airlines. And they had a changing table in the lavatory. Plus the crew members and some of the other employees we encountered were courteous. See? I can say something nice about them. So maybe I should rethink their slogan from the “Shut up and fly” I’d suggested before. Here are some possibilities: