US Scare!!!

For 9 years and one month I have boycotted USAirways. It is my own personal boycott, and I am sure it has not affected their bottom line in any way. This weekend I accidentally lifted my boycott. It's a safe bet that I won't fly them for at least another decade. And I will never send my kid with them again!

I  let C fly to Florida (using Continental mileage) to visit EL who moved there this summer. It was a very big deal for me to let her fly alone. When I booked the ticket I was specifically asked if any passengers were 12 or under and I clicked yes. She flew out via Continental from Newark without incident and without having someone follow her around from Continental. Home was a surprise to me: it was via USAirways to Philly. I hadn't even realized the two airlines were in an alliance.

USAirways forced my friend to pay the $100 unaccompanied minor fee, even though we felt she didn't need to be "babysat". We just wanted to follow her to the gate - which I could do without charge at Newark when she left on Friday. When we booked the ticket and even when I checked in, Continental made no mention that there were additional fees due to USAir.

Upon check-in in Florida, USAirways took my information - name, address, etc. I heard C give this to the agent while I was discussing the $100 with LL (EL's Mom) on the phone.  After a long discussion, LL paid the fee, and she and EL were allowed to follow C to the gate where they stayed until the flight took off.

When I got to Philadelphia to pick her up things were problematic. The agent in Florida apparently hadn't put my information into the computer (or the Philly agent couldn't find it), so I was refused entry to the gated area to meet her flight. They said I had to wait until the flight attendant brought C to the gate agent. According to the agent, the procedure was that only once they confirmed that my identity was the same as what was written on her card (which C didn't have - maybe a flight attendant did?), they would call down to the check-in desk and let me get her. The problem is NO ONE told C she was supposed to wait, and she disembarked from the aircraft at the same time as the rest of the passengers. When the gate agent understood that C was on her way out of the plane and I wasn't able to meet her at the gate, and they hadn't kept her in their care, I didn't even get an "I'm sorry we lost your daughter". I just got a bitchy finger pointed toward where passengers leaving the C-gate would be expected to come. Luckily she knew to follow the signs for baggage claim to find me. Thank goodness for cell phones. They worked better than USAirway's staff!

The $100 was completely in vain. I couldn't meet my daughter at her gate and she wasn't in the care of a flight attendant. To me it seems that the only procedure that USAirways was able to follow was to collect the $100 fee!

USAirways has no concern for children flying with or without their parents. They care only about the money they collect for tickets and fees.

I am inviting you to join me in my boycott. Avoiding USAirways is much easier than flying with them, even if it means renting a car!


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