I was half way through my 3 round trips on US Airways when things went haywire. July 4th I was scheduled to fly GEG-PHX-ORD leaving Spokane at 3 PM and arriving in Chicago at midnight, giving me roughly 5 hours sleep before the last round trip on the 5th. We got close. In fact they had lined up the parents with kiddies to board when word came not to board. We have a hydraulics issue.
No such luck as I’m going to miss my Phoenix connection. The US Airways gang in Spokane had already had a tough day. Their 8:15 AM flight to Phoenix went mechanical and that one just left at 2:15PM (wished I was on it). They have two flights per day. Both were a mess for them. I got rebooked on Horizon to Seattle and then first class on United SEA-ORD on the redeye arriving the morning of the 5th at 5:17AM, with now a two hour layover before I start roundtrip #3.
I lost a few miles with the direct SEA-ORD routing but United got a big first class sale.
My Overall Impressions of US Airways
I have to be honest, I was expecting worse from US Airways when I booked this mileage run. The preconceived notion runs deep as they have treated me poorly in the past. But this time, I have almost all positives on my experience.
The food was hot, tasty and varied. And the cranberry snack mix should replace the hot nuts that United serves.
The flight attendants and gate agents were extremely pleasant, outgoing and warm. I had one flight attendant actually come to our row and all the other first class rows and personally thank us for flying US Airways. And the gate agents handled my irregular opps very efficiently.
The planes were cleaner than most of the United product I fly on.
The miles posted to my United account within 72 hours, a record for an alliance posting for me.
Gary from the View from the Wing blog swears by their award chart and lack of Starnet blocking. This means easier use of miles on International itineraries. A big Plus for US Airways.
The negatives were still significant:
No inflight entertainment makes for long transcons. I downloaded several movies to my laptop to pass the time. The seat pitch in first seemed tighter than United but I did not measure it.
And lastly, no E Plus in coach. This feature saves United Airlines for big guys traveling in coach. If you don’t get the upgrade on United at least your knees aren’t all scraped up from the seatback in front of you.
After this time on US Airways I have proven to my self once again, loyalty programs work at retaining customers. I have the status on United and don’t want to start from scratch again at a base tier. The product may not be better, but at least I’m enjoying the bennies United has to offer.