Friday, November 04, 2011

US Airways Is Evil - Southwest Has A New Spokesperson


Have you seen the reports on Terri Weissinger? She lived in the San Francisco airport for 8 days. Why? Because the people at US Airways are the a-holes of the day. I would say week, but I think that judge from Texas has got that award pretty much sewn up at this point. Terri was moving from California to Idaho. She had two bags. The airline wanted to charge her $60 in fees. Terri had $30. The airline said, "Sorry. No discounts." Terri offered to leave a bag behind, or to pay them when she landed. The airline said, "No." While Terri was discussing all of this with the airline, her flight left without her. So, to change the ticket to another flight was going to cost an additional $150 for a grand total of $210. Terri did not have it.


So, with no place to return to and no way to get where she was going, Terri stayed at the airport for 8 days. Airport officials threatened to have her arrested and US Airways told her everyday that Terri was out of luck. Any supervisor could have overridden her fees, but they did not, despite the fact they saw her in the airport everyday for 8 days. The fact that even after Terri got her money from an airport church, the airline did not have any sympathy for her shows how evil they are and how you should avoid them at all costs. However, on the bright side, I think Southwest should hire Terri as their new spokesperson. She could be like their Jared from Subway.

Now, with all of that being said, who moves to a new place with $30? Was she meeting someone there? How come they could not wire her the money? Does she not have any friends who could have given her $210? Where is she planning on living in Idaho?

42 comments:

Seachica said...

Something feels off about this story

Amy said...

I don't see a problem. She probably argued with them over the baggage fees, causing herself to miss the flight. Why should she be an exception to the fees? Sounds like another example of an inflated sense of self-entitlement to me.

Fawn Neun said...

I actually flew from Florida to Seoul with only 60 cents in my pocket for good luck. I just KNEW there was no way that the plane would crash if I flew across the planet with no money, completely broke. I figured that if I made sure that the worse thing that could happen could only happen after landing, there's no way I couldn't land safely.

Cathy said...

Who goes to the airport with only $30 and not even a credit card? And offering to leave a bag behind sounds fine in theory, but if they let every person do this, it's a terror risk waiting to happen. Also, if I had been another passenger on flight, I'd be really pissed that EVERYONE had to wait for one person, who was arguing over fees.

Mr. PooLoo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
selenakyle said...

A lot of people are hurting big time.

To me $30 would not be an unheard of amount of pocket cash that is all someone has available at any particular time.

Screw the GD airlines. I feel sorry for anyone who has to fly on a regular basis.

RJ said...

I'm a little confused by her story, too. When I buy plane tickets online, one of the questions you have to answer is "How many bags will be checked?" You answer that question and it is figured into the price you pay right then so no surprises at the airport. Even if that wasn't the case in her ticket-buying, who doesn't know that most airlines charge you to check even ONE bag, much less two. I mean Southwest has based an entire advertising campaign around this practice. I feel bad for her, but I think there is more to this story than we know.

Paisley said...

She argued with them about the fees because she didn't have any money. She was flat broke. She had not flown in over five years and the baggage policy was not on her ticket from Orbitz (they changed the notification rules after she purchased her ticket). They wouldn't let her leave a bag behind (airport security). She tried and failed to find someone to help pay the $30 before her flight left, then was hit with the $150 rebooking charges on top of the baggage fees.

Rose said...

I don't have a credit card. I don't trust myself with paying it off each month. A lot of people have $30 or less to get by on between paychecks.

I can understand the airline not waiving the fee but c'mon, if they want a reputation of good customer service it's in their best interest to not have someone there for 8 days. Not even 3 days. This isn't a Tom Hanks movie. AA waived a $100 fee a couple years ago for something totally my fault. I booked a ticket for the wrong day on accident and showed up on the day I thought I made it for and they were very nice about it.

As an aside, the baggage fees really piss me off. I do however try to make sure I know all the fees when I get there and make sure I have enough to cover it and some cinnabon.

Patty said...

And there was no one to call to help her out within 8 days? No family? No friends? There is more to this story than we are hearing. Hell, I haven't flown in nearly 13 years and know enough to get to the airport well in advance of flight time and I would surely be checking into any other details prior to getting to the airport. And if some random stranger was asing for help to pay for a fee, I would be suspicous (sp?) and wouldn't donate.

One time some guy stopped me outside a restaurant and said he was from out of town, his wife was in the hospital and needed some cash so she could be discharged. Yeah, good luck with that buddy.

Tempestuous Grape said...

You should stick to gossip, bro-ham. Not only does this stuff get covered everywhere, but it's not that note worthy in my opinion.

Chrissy Buns said...

you know, i'm thinking she was just really super down on her luck. it happens, it's not an unheard of thing.

bluebonnetmom said...

I have been really, really broke in the past myself. And I live well below my means so it never happens again. I think most of the airlines are sorry bloodsuckers so none of this surprises me at all. The fact that US Airways is involved also does not surprise me. I have flown them as a last resort to the East Coast a few times.

Layna Day said...

Lots of people don't use credit cards. I shouldn't, but I like to order stuff online.

I need more information before I can make an educated opinion, but someone walking around with only $30 isn't out of the ordinary, even in cases like this.

pomme said...

no friend? no family? any one to call? no credit card?
i feel it's more behind this story

Lauren said...

No one has asked the most pertinent question here...Who moves to Idaho?

Michael said...

Sorry, but I don't feel sorry for this woman at all. Get creative. Tell the staff that you'll be right back because your friend might still be in the parking deck and then ditch the extra bag in the bathroom. Who the hell moves to another state with only 30 bucks anyway? How did the woman eat in those 8 days? Ridiculous.

crila16 said...

Can you use a credit card or do you have to pay cash only? There are banks in the airport, couldn't she have gotten more money out from the ATM?

Ida Blankenship said...

Ha! What Lauren said. Unless she lives in Sun Valley or something, in which case I REALLY don't feel sorry for her.

If you don't have the money, you don't have the money. Why should they waive their policy just for one person? As much as the airlines suck nowadays, they've gotta make their money and they can't just waive fees willy-nilly. And I'd LIKE them to be more strict than most companies. I feel like it's a safety issue.

When I flew back from Australia, my flight from L.A. to the East Coast was cancelled due to a crazy blizzard. I was a student -- no money at all left, and I had an insanely large duffel bag that they wouldn't let me check early. They didn't even give me a food voucher. I spent New Year's Eve in LAX with a grumbling belly and it totally sucked. But, again, I had NO money, and that was kind of my own fault. I knew it. I sucked it up and dealt with it.

This lady doesn't look homeless, but she *does* look entitled. She should have pulled up her big girl britches and left the damned airport. I don't feel bad for her.

Sherry said...

Yeah what everyone else says about how could this happen and how come she didn't know? Here's something no one else has asked is what the hell did this woman eat for 8 days? Did she eat out of the garbage? Something is off here.

That being said, I used to fly with girls who would use the crew lounge as their crash pad rather than spring for a commuter room. UAL finally had to close it after the last flight of the day. They knew if they lived in St. Louis and were based in SFO they would have to commute and get a place but they were too cheap to do it.

Michael said...

@Sherry: Actually I asked that very question two posts up. It makes no sense at all. Here's another unasked question. What did this woman do for showers/baths? Bathroom sinks? Wet naps? Ick Nast indeed.

linnea said...

Yeah, it makes no sense. As an adult you need to take responsibility for yourself and that includes making sure you have enough money to pay for extra stuff if you are traveling. Things happen. I have the same questions as you guys, 1) what did she eat? With what money? and 2) why didnt she just leave the bag somewhere?

__-__=__ said...

According to the AFL-CIO database:
In 2010, W. Douglas Parker received $2,757,981 in total compensation. By comparison, the median worker made $33,840 in 2010. W. Douglas Parker made 81 times the median worker's pay.

A bit much, don't you think? There are better ways to handle this type of thing. Their method helped no one, including themselves. I would consider this company a greed-based business. Not true of all airlines.

BigMama said...

At one point in my life I flew across the country pregnant, with two suitcases and no money on a plane ticket a relative bought for me with the last bit of money she had. I am not a bad person. I was not trying to scam anyone. I didn't have anyone to turn to because of a messy divorce and my family (other than the relative) turned thier back on me at the time. (un-wed mother hood was not nearly as accepted 20 years ago) This could have easily happened to me. Life sucks and sometimes there are no easy outs. I feel for her and until I hear otherwise, I believe her.

Michael said...

@BigMama: I'm glad you made it through your ordeal OK but in this woman's case, she would have been better off buying a Greyhound bus ticket to move and pocketed the extra cash she saved for emergencies and other moving expenses. Ain't no shame in riding the bus.

BigMama said...

I personally didn't have that option. Doubtless she didn't think she would run into these problems. Most of us rarely do.

The Black Cat said...

After watching the video it seems she went to move to Idaho for a better life, I know jobs are scarce in California. She tried calling friends to assist with more money but in doing so missed the flight. I think she just stayed to make a point, when you pack up your life in one place you literally have nowhere to go. I don't think she appears entitled just because she has bottled blonde hair either ;)
What a mess over $30 though, I mean the airline could have done something for crying out loud, they let her loose all the money on the refundable ticket, where's the humanity anymore?

Sis said...

Recently we flew from San Diego to Virginia. I did not know they were charging for bags until we got there, so (like everybody else), the bags were going with us on the plane. But what happened is that it makes the plane heavier and leaves no room for everybody to put their things in the overhead compartments. So they checked bags for free at the gate, it was easy. And this happened both trips up and back. I was glad because not only did I not have to pay but I did not worry about carrying them when we had to change flights.

It would have been easy for the airline to waive the fees and it would not have bothered anybody.

I flew from Las Vegas to California once with enough money to buy a cup of coffee at the airport.

Michael said...

@BigMama: That's why I said "in this woman's case". You had already stated that someone else bought your plane ticket. This woman bought her own.

@The Black Cat: If this woman was starting a new life and had limited funds then she should use those funds wisely I.e. a bus ticket as opposed to a plane ticket which costs more. IMO, the only point she proved was that she is irresponsible and her new life in Idaho was/is going to be just as tough as it was in California. Life isn't fair and when a person has less to work with financially, s/he has to be smarter with what s/he has. Heck, that's why have little to no sympathy for these celebs whining about money problems.

Sherry said...

@Michael, sorry I missed that part of your comment. Must have been speed reading.

Maja. With a J. said...

As much as I disagree with the bag check fees all the airlines have these days, I really don't understand why US Airways should have made an exception for her. I think they (and every other airline) get an absolute barrage of people yelling at them trying to come up with reasons why THEY should get to check their bag for free. If they let one person do it, where do they draw the line next? This woman probably isn't the only person down on her luck trying to move somewhere else.

feraltart said...

I think often that people who are poor don't always have the money smarts to think of alternatives. I have a friend who cries poor, but has two cats, a dog, pay TV and continues to buy camping gear. If my husband and I ran into trouble the pay TV would be the first thing to go, there would be no extraneous purchases and we would both be pushing to get paid work. I think we have too many extra things being taught in schools, but I think budgeting is becoming essential so we can break cycles of poverty.

Michael said...

@feraltart: I agree in theory but not in this case. She is a grown woman. If she had the wherewithal to move to Idaho for more opportunity and scrappy enough to get food for 8 days in an airport with only 30 bucks to her name, then she has to be smart enough to know that a bus ticket costs less than airfare.

Anotheramy said...

Ive been down on my luck too and been forced to ration $8 between gas and food for a week. That said there is something seriously wrong with this story.

Often, plane fare is the same or cheaper than a bus or a train especially if you fly at off times in off seasons. This is shocking but has proven true every time I priced visits to family members.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

It happens. Happened to me once and they let me slide on the bag overage because I only had 1 pound 35 p on me until I got back home to Canada.

Some people are just dicks.

linnea said...

I was once too cheap to pay the overweight fee and simply wore a whole bunch of the clothes in the bag. That worked...

JustJen said...

I know many airline employees, hell, many customer service employees. I've seen it many times - if you throw a fit, we'll let you hang yourself. If you're nice, we'll bend over backwards to help. I'm just saying, if I knew that someone nice was possibly going to have to sleep in the airport, I'd help 'em out of my own pocket. Even someone medium nasty, I'd let 'em sleep it off for a night or so. 8 days? Really? How nasty must she have been for airport employees to walk past her for a week without feeling even the slightest tinge of guilt?

I can totally see someone setting up the situation to try and sue United. Our society has just become that way, unfortunately.

Wil said...

Empathy is dead as a doornail in this country.

I mean, we are questioning her method of travel? Really??

Well .. I just checked Kayak.com and Greyhound.com and the price to Boise from SF via Greyhound leaving on the 8th .. $199. Flying - on what I assume was the flight she missed - US Airways Flt. 408 .. also on the 8th .. $215. So .. she spent a whole $16 more than apparently some of you think she should have to get there faster and be a bit more comfortable.

As for credit cards and who flies without them .. well if I needed to travel anywhere in the next few years .. I would. As for flying with little money .. again .. guilty. Hell, I was once so desperate to get home to Chicago I left Minneapolis with all the money I had .. this was before the age of ATMs, kids.. and didn't have enough money to get from Beloit [the start of the toll road in Northern Illinois} to my Odgen Av exit on the Tri-State. So I backroaded it through southern Wisconsin, crossed the border and drove about 60 miles south to finally get home. When you are poor and desperate you do what you have to in order to survive.

Not to be an asshole .. but I think empathy would be a good thing to teach in school along with the fact that airlines now charge for bags.

Michael said...

@Wil: I'm not going to go through the trouble of doing a price comparison between bus and plane but I'll use your figures. Guess what, she would have an extra $46 AND made it to her destination because Greyhound doesn't charge exorbitant baggage fees. As for "empathy" I'm going to agree with JustJen. The only way those employees would let her sit in there for 8 days is if she was a raging bitch. You're acting as if this woman had starving children in tow which is not the case.

Lelaina Pierce said...

I fly VERY rarely and even I know about checked baggage fees. It's been covered extensively in the news throughout the years. I'm sorry she's broke but if they let one person do this, then everyone would try it. I highly doubt this was left off her transaction.

The checked bag fee IS bullshit and in my opinion, they should just up the cost of the ticket, so you didn't have to deal with people like this that claim they didn't know about the fee.

The Count of Al Dente said...

I can't believe the number of callous, asshole comments posted here. Were you there? Do you know the woman? There are many people who don't even have $30. Show a bit of compassion for people in trouble, especially since you could be next.

Michael said...

@The Count: Um, first off, were YOU there? Do YOU know the woman? Secondly, what do you mean by "next"? For your information, I've been through that with less than $30 which is why I said homegirl needed to be a little creative. When you have no money coming in and have exhausted Coinstar, guess what, you have to be smart with what you have left and PLAN. Don't like it? Too bad. That's life.