What is one of our biggest complaints living on this beautiful island besides the lack of customer service? What does the quote “if you want to play you has got to pay,” really mean? Most of the time it’s financially traumatizing when it’s time to travel. The airlines keep us hostage on these islands because fares are so high. Even during bereavement the airline prices are still sky.
O.K., so you’ve finally scraped up enough money for a $700 ticket to Florida, or a $1,000 ticket to New York. After a three-hour delay you finally make it onto the plane. Of course the plane doesn’t take off for half an hour and it’s cold and the seats are too close together. They don’t start serving you drinks and peanuts for 45 minutes. No food for us.
I might not be a world traveler. I might not enjoy the best restaurants in Paris or Rome yet, but I know good service when I see it. I travel quite frequently and have eaten in restaurants enough to appreciate when I’m treated well by friendly people.
Recently I had a death in the family and had to leave the rock quickly. No seven-day waiting period was possible. I went on line with all my bereavement information handy and American Airlines, who I usually travel with, informed me they wanted $1,000 and United Airlines wanted $900. I was devastated. I continued my search and low and behold I found a ticket for $435 straight to Philadelphia, Pa. where I needed to go. U.S. Airways was the airline. I had never traveled with them before but I won’t make that mistake again.
I’d like to share with you my traveling experience with U.S. Airways. The plane was on time and when we boarded all the flight attendants were extra friendly and greeted us with a smile and a welcome. When we were seated, buckled in and air born, I swear, these flight attendants were literally rushing down the isle to serve us.
This was a short flight to Charlotte, N.C. and we were served drinks and food within a half hour. Within 45 minutes I almost felt as if I was in first class. The genuinely friendly flight attendants said thank-you to a fault.
These very diverse men and woman came up and down the isles many times to collect trash or offer blankets and pillows and they always said thank-you. Then there was an announcement.
They were offering Visa credit card applications. Some of the perks offered with the card were free round-trip tickets, immediate flight miles, and opportunity for two friends to travel for $99 and if you wanted to fill out the application on the plane, which they suggested, they would mail it for you. All this happened just to Charlotte. I was amazed.
Then to top it off when the pilot announced we were landing, “Put on your seat belts, bring your table and seat backs up,” these still smiling attendants were offering room temperature drinking water to freshen our palettes.
As I was deplaning I asked a very important question.“Does your airline go to San Francisco?” The flight attendant who had slipped me an extra rum earlier said yes. That’s all it took for me to know I’ll be traveling with U.S. Airways for good. My kids and nine grandkids live in San Francisco. God is good.
Now keep in mind I still had to get to Philly and then back to St. Thomas making the same stops, so I was anxious to see if the same treatment was offered throughout my trip. When I got on the plane to Philly everything was the same. The flight couldn’t have been more than 2 hours and the men and women who were serving us were literally running up and down the isles to please us and always said thank-you. Sounds like the Twilight Zone, right?
In the Airport in Philly on my way back to St. Thomas a friendly woman stopped me by asking if I was traveling with U.S. Airways. I said yes and she gently offered a Master Card application, which she filled out for me, from U.S. Airways with all the perks of the Visa except this time I received a very nice gift of a calculator that I still don’t know how to program, but I liked the gesture.
While on the way to North Carolina (2hours) we received food, drinks, clean up many times, water and the credit card information. From North Carolina to St. Thomas the only added offer was duty free items for sale that included a nice catalog to take with you for further shopping.
Some people might think all of this attention is too annoying but I call it great customer service and it’s great to see an airline that still values this service. U.S. Airways has my loyalty from now on, but it would be even better if senior fares were still in effect to help the millions of Grannies who want to see their grandchildren and can’t afford to travel.
Nayda Ann Young