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USAir bait and switch, beware!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

These days, I know most of you are like me. Search for best air fare in a general website like orbitz or kayak or expedia etc. They either book it for you on the airline, or they just send you through to the airline website with the flight info.


Tried to book a flight on USAir the other day. Got through everything till I was ready to pay. Then got the website error "unable to display page". Re-try, same error.


So I called the 800 number but they inform me there's a surcharge for booking over the phone! Well, I would have booked on the website, if only I could. Never mind, I would have to call their technical support so they can "authorize" to waive phone booking surcharge. That was after waiting on hold for like 10 minutes.


Opened up another browser and tried one more time. No dice. So reluctantly I called technical support. Someone who had a serious inability to understand English answered. His "help" was to look up the flight I wanted and pass it to the booking agent! That took 25 minutes!!!


By then, the price had gone up!!! WTF???


He gladly "offered" his supervisor to try to "help". Only she can't seem to speak English! So after a lot of "please repeat/re-phrase", she told me the error I got was because I click through from a search engine!!!


Now that was a first! So if you search, say through orbitz or kayak, and USAir came up on top. And you try to book it, it's not going to work!? If that's the case, why are they feeding the search engines their prices? Just so you CAN'T book? Unless you're willing to pay a higher price by the time you get through to them by phone, that is. That's classic bait-and-switch!


Never mind that I tried it in a new browser while waiting for them to answer the phone, and got the same error. So it's definitely their website error not related to search engine.


Bottom line, it's either book on the phone, which involves a surcharge. Or worse, they would inform you the price has just gone up!


I've not flown USAir for the longest time I can remember, mostly because they don't fly where I want to ski. But Reno isn't a big airport and not that many flights to choose from. My first impression (after a long while) of USAir is they're much worse than others I've dealt with (Delta, Continental, American)!


Sorry for the rant. But I also wonder if their service is as bad as their website. Just curious, I don't have to fly with them. There're other lines I can fly.

post #2 of 9

same thing happened to me last year with American - I have a feeling this will become more and more common as airlines continue to struggle.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

While I hadn't flown American for a while, I had much better luck with Delta when something similar happened.

They waived the phone booking surcharge right away!


(how do they know I tried booking online first? I gave them the exact flight number for all legs. They could deduce I had most likely attempted to book online)

post #4 of 9

I recently went to Kayak. US air had the lowest fare. clicked thru, filled in all the information thru multiple pages. on the last page - just before hitting submit - I notice that they have added $24 insurance. I was quite sure I did not check any button that asked about insurance. so - i went back to the previous pages - and I was right - there is no place to select or deselect trip insurance. they are just adding it to your final price.


So I just went to Expedia - and booked the same flight at the same price. without the insurance.


Sneaky bastards.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Once in a while, I too, found a few web sites "default" to "opt in" a lot of options nobody ever wants. You have to un-check the option. I steer clear of websites like that.


I found the behavior of USAir people most arrogant. They just act like this was normal that their website doesn't work!


post #6 of 9

I live in Pittsburgh , Pa. The former hub for US Air. Today they have probably only 25 percent of the flights they used to have here. Southwest has come in and what a breath of fresh air. US Air was- is always out to gouge you.No love for US Air. I used to fly them as often as possible to get a frequent flyer ticket for traveling to COlorado to ski. They always limited what flights and times were eligible for your award ticket. 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I refuse their bait-n-switch offer and went with a different airline. It's more expensive than their "bait" price but less than what they want to switch me to!


Better flight time too.


(basically, USAir had the lowest price at a less convenient hour. I would have swallowed the longer flight for $50 less. But they won't actually sell me a ticket at that "bait" price and try to "up sell" me for $50 more. Only a fool would bite! I went back to my original preferred flight hours It's no more expensive than their "switch" offer at a lousy hour)



post #8 of 9
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post

I live in Pittsburgh , Pa. The former hub for US Air. Today they have probably only 25 percent of the flights they used to have here. Southwest has come in and what a breath of fresh air.


Ya rt, I flew southwest for the first time from Pittsburgh to Denver last April. I don't even look anywhere else anymore. 

post #9 of 9

Coulorman  posted on TGR last week.   USair hit him with a $200 oversize ski bag fee?

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