Monday, September 03, 2007

What is wrong with airlines in the US?

I really hate flying. One of the biggest barriers in moving to Europe for me was the thought of the long transatlantic flights I would have to take any time I wanted to go home. Flying to the Midwest from Boston for six years was bad enough.

We're going to the States this week. I was hoping for a good fare on British Airways or Lufthansa. You know, nice airlines with decent food, free drinks, and some small standard of comfort and friendliness. Instead, I ended up with an American airline: probably bankrupt with horrid food, no free drinks, and no more amenities than you'd expect on a domestic flight. And I ended up with the worst of them, apparently: USAir.

I never cared for this airline but I hadn't heard anything about their transatlantic service, so I held a modicum of hope until this morning when I found this article online while trying to get some info:

And this blog entry from only three days ago:

Crappy cabins, never on time, shortstaffed, and CRAPPY MAINTENANCE.
By the way, did I mention I am terrified of flying? After I read this article, just a couple of minutes ago, I had to go be sick in the bathroom.

Next is to check kayak and see if I can get anything last-minute at a good fare on another airline, and find out what my losses would be if I cancelled my USAir tickets.

And if I do have to take this flight and I die on it because of some cheap mother in Arizona, I will haunt the ass of everyone on this planet until they are forced to find all guilty cheap assholes and make them die in a way that is just as horrid as dying on an airplane. Only the cheap assholes will still win because they are probably older than me and will have lived longer in the end.

Crap, this sucks.


  1. Run! Run Now! I was on this flight, honest to God:
    "Then there was what a local Philadelphia radio station called the "passenger revolt" on Flight 706 to Munich early in August. A series of mechanical delays and aborted takeoffs—not to mention the fact that the original crew needed to be replaced after they ran out of duty time—delayed the 8:20 p.m. departure by almost 11 hours. About 50 passengers couldn't bear the uncertainty and the middle-of-the-night wait at Philadelphia airport and simply went home."

    And I was complaining on the way to the US that they used a ghetto taped up placemat for the movie screen. I had no idea how much worse it could get.

  2. I guess I was lucky, but with two round-trip flights (Charlotte - Frankfurt) this summer on USAirways, it was smooth sailing. The flight attendants were superb. I arrived on time. Food doesn't interest me, so I can't say yea or nay on that.

    Now, Philly I understand is a whole different ballgame! Charlotte is great to fly in and out of.

    Best of luck!

    KarenM in NC

  3. You know, almost everything we worry about never actually happens. Make the best of it and enjoy your time back home.

  4. Traveling internationally is never easy, that's for sure. I say pop an emesan tabletten(anti nausea medicine here in Germany - you can buy it otc)about an hour before you board the plane. Not only will it help with an upset tummy, but it'll knock you on your ass...

    You'll wake up 6 or 8 hours later wondering where the hell you are. At least by then you'll be halfway there.

    Here's hoping you have a great (and safe!) trip.

  5. Funny, I was wondering the same thing after reading this morning about another extended delay somewhere in the US. You don't see things like that in Europe.

    Are America's skies getting too full?

  6. The airlines say it's all the private jets...

  7. So it sounds like you'll be in the US when I'm in Heidelberg?! (Sept 24 - 26...) Damn!


  8. Michelle: Oh God...I remember that post, but somehow I missed that it was USAir (maybe I just tried to block it out)...I think I would have had a heart attack on that plane. Unfortunately I think I am stuck flying them anyway!

    Karen: I'm glad to hear your experience was good! Guess I should have gone for the Charlotte layover! ;)

    Ian: Almost everything ;) You're right though. (And if you can believe it, I'm much calmer about flying these days than I used to be...)

    Eurotrippen: I may have to try that. I tried Benadryl one time because it normally knocks me flat, but it didn't work on the plane. I was just super-tired but unable to sleep. I think nerves won over drugs on that one. Maybe this stuff is stronger?

    J: Or maybe the airlines are just poorly-run? That seems to at least be the case with USAir...

    Mary: I can only think of a couple of times that they told us delays were because of traffic...but I wonder if it's become worse lately? Usually they cite a weather domino effect when we have delays - one city somewhere got rained on and now everything is late all over the country.

    Carol: We're only going to be in the US for a week so we'll be back in Europe by then - but the in-laws will be visiting and we'll be traveling with them :/

  9. i am taking eurotrippen's advice for when i fly out there!

  10. Now, now, no one's going to die! I second the advice on taking a travel sickness pill. It really takes the edge off and calms you down. I take it because of nausea but it also knocks me right out. Look for something at the German pharmacy with "Dimenhydrat" in it. That's what's in Dramamine in the U.S. and Gravol in Canada.

    We only have the (expensive!) choice of Lufthansa/Air Canada or British Airways to Vancouver so we don't have any experience with smaller, more annoying airlines.

    But you'll be FINE. Really. Hope you enjoy the wedding.

  11. So, how was your flight? I'm curious to know. Hope everything went smoothly..


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